Dark or Light

Is Torchlight Frontiers MMO Enough?

Tim Eisen Posted:
Columns 0

There was a time when I would look down on an Online Dungeon Crawler like Torchlight Frontiers. My taste in MMORPG’s was very specific. I knew what I wanted and if it didn’t fit my specs I wouldn’t give it a look. What a narrow view that was. It cost me many decent MMORPG experiences and people that I would have shared them with.

Over time my view softened...or rather I was forced to soften it. Maybe it was Diablo III or maybe it was the lack of MMORPG’s but I started to try other MMOish games. While none of them retained me, each of them had a few memorable moments. As life has gotten busier what I was willing to play to fill the MMORPG sized hole in my little black heart evolved from defeated tolerance to excited anticipation.

That brings us back to Torchlight Frontiers. I never played Torchlight 2 but I followed it loosely. I liked what it offered and I enjoyed reading about how good it was. There was a reason I never got to it, but my game damaged brain can’t recall why I never made the purchase. I vaguely recall planning to try it for so long I felt I missed its “moment” and with games that are outside of my confines, I prefer jumping in while they are having their moment.

Does Frontiers have a deep character creator? No. Is it 3rd person, or even first person? No. Is it a PVP based game with destructible housing and territorial control? Nope. By my standards is it even a full-fledged MMORPG featuring a single living game world? Nadda. Yet I find myself intrigued by this little MMOishRPG Dungeon Crawler.

Considering it’s allegedly launching sometime this year I’m a bit concerned about the lack of information. I want to know how servers work, how many players are allowed in an area at a time, how customizable are characters, how many classes are there, how will it be monetized, and how complex housing is? Maybe those answers are out there and I just haven’t done my homework? I’m sure you will let me know if I failed at journalism...again.

My intrigue stems from the fact that I heard mostly positive (is that even possible in the now) things about Torchlight 2 and I like the character in the trailer. It has a light-hearted tone and I’m a sucker for nostalgic isometric views. Unfortunately, it looks like I will once again be tasked with dispatching my beloved green-skinned friends. I hope to live long enough to see the day when goblins and orcs get to tell their side of the story. Certainly, this green skinned hatred has gone on long enough?

Let’s be honest, Tolkien’s version of events is littered with personal bias and hatred for a race he didn’t understand. Had he taken the time he would have learned, not unlike his cherished humans, there were good and bad among the green skins. Someday those lost texts will be found and we can get the real story, from a less bias point of view. Until then, and in Torchlight Frontiers, it appears I’ll b forced to dispatch my green-skinned friends, at least they appear to have a good sense of humor and equally pleasant aesthetic to go with it.

Rumor has it Frontiers will have lots of pets for our assembly line heroes to acquire. Going back to Star Wars Galaxies I am a sucker for a solid pet system in a game. How integrated with combat these loyal companions are is another one of my yet unanswered questions. There is a large gap between a WOW Hunter and those little ghosty spirit pets in Diablo III.

Speaking of, the latter may be where my intrigue for Frontiers is seeded. I’ve long desired a legitimate Diablo MMORPG. Maybe Torchlight is just that? Just where does this game fall? Is it an MMORPG? An ARPHnS? An Online Dungeon Crawler like WOW? Why do we need to stamp labels on everything in existence? Are our brains really that limited that, without a perfectly descriptive label, we cannot understand a thing for what it is?

That takes me to a tangent. After listening to a “journalist” and a “tech guy” go back and forth about “free speech” on private company's social media platforms I can’t help but feel a bit...tired. Get your priorities straight, humanity! Division keeps the powerful in power, its why they like us divided! United we stand wasn’t made for the marketing, its a fact. Divided, any nation can fall and history shows us that is what caused great nations to crumble. Not some epic battle or even a war but the erosion of civil society as created by those in power manipulating the masses to do their bidding while reaping none of the rewards.

There is no cause, its a tool. There is no conflict, its a mirage. There is no us or them, there is only a bunch of (on a universal scale) primitive creatures who’s tech got a little too far ahead of the ancient software they are running and it’s caused our brains to overheat. To the ones orchestrating the division there is only the pursuit of wealth because on this spec of dirt fortunate enough to land in a sunbeam wealth is power and right now were inches from living Altered Carbon (the cool stuff, but also the really uncool stuff too) because we’re too busy fighting one another to notice we are all losing.

Boy, that hasn’t happened in a long time. I mean, I used to go on those kinds of tangents all the time back in the day but...I...I dunno. At some point, I just lost the fire. I stopped and...I’ll probably cut that rant before I send this in. Better check my beer fridge and get back to normal!

(...cracks a beer and takes one long, slow pull...)

Whelp! I spose’ its about that time...Let me know what you guys think of Torchlight Frontiers in the comments below. It might be big enough to feel MMOish and small and simple enough to fit into the ever evaporating schedule of an old gamer that wishes the rest of the world was in the now and not Ultima Online circa 1997. To the bone wall!


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry