Will The Torchlight MMO Work?

Like everyone else on the Internet, I’ve been busy playing Torchlight. I’ll probably write up my thoughts about the game soon (to summarise, tis gud) but playing it single player has really made me wonder what it will be like as a MMORPG and, more importantly, if it would actually work.

In case you’re not familiar with Torchlight, here’s a quick rundown of what it is. It’s Diablo. OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about the MMO element of it. Runic Games has stated that it they will launch a MMO version of it in the future (they are very unspecific about it all) and although I have my suspicions that they’re not actually talking about a traditional EQ/WoW MMO but more of a Battle.net style “MMO” (not my clever quote marks), let’s just pretend they are.

I imagine that a MMO version of Torchlight would essentially be similar any standard fantasy MMO. Bunch of different races, starting areas, quests, dungeons, raids and all that jazz. The big difference of course would be the style of gameplay though. Instead of playing a 3rd person avatar and clicking auto-attack then pressing a few keys as you stand and face your opponent, combat would be a mouse click frenzy and a lot more hectic. I personally could imagine that being a lot of fun but I’m sure many die-hard MMORPGers would disagree.

Combat in most MMOs isn’t exactly thrilling stuff so the Torchlight/Diablo/Titan Quest mouse-mashing style might be a nice break. It would certainly be a lot more fast paced and twitch based. However, the downside is that clicking your mouse like a mad man might get quite repetitive after a while plus instead of sneaking in pee breaks during ninja AFKs, you’ll be busy developing RSI in your index finger.

Aside from combat and an isometric graphics style, I’m not sure what else would be different between the Torchlight MMORPG and any other out there. So to answer my own question, yes, I do think the Torchlight MMO will work. I’ll just start exercising my clicking finger now though.

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18 Comments

  1. Dickie says:

    I’ve seen the F2P model thrown about in refernce to their MMO, as well as the year from now time frame on release. I wrote a post on this earlier this week, but I really think this SRPG will serve as the testing ground for MMO ideas.

    I also think they’ll likely follow the Warrior Epic model, where it’s more like a console multiplayer game with rooms and what not. But, of course, time will tell.

  2. Longasc says:

    It could just be not more than a Battle.net with ingame lobby, or a Guild Wars style instanced but connected world.

  3. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I envision the game being like Dungeon Runners. I would just like the game to have some sort of co-op at some point.

  4. wonder says:

    Anyone play Mythos? That’s the game we were working on when FS closed – and Torchlight is a better iteration (because it was made from scratch and not on HGL’s engine for one thing) but essentially was similar gameplay in an MMO world. mouse mashing parties ftw.

  5. Naithin says:

    I take it you never tried out Mythos? I assume because many of the people behind that are now there at Runic, it’ll work much like that. At the end, before they were closed down, there are both towns and ‘overland areas’ which were shared between just anyone who happened to be there. Although it would spawn another instance (channel by Aion lingo) after xx players in the first one.

    When you went into the ‘dungeon’ areas (or used a drop/bought ‘map’) this was your party (or just you) only.

    So essentially, replace b.net lobby with an ingame lobby (town) with some exploration areas available in addition, and you’re essentially correct. The dungeons themselves are pretty much just like joining a D2 game, with just the people in your party there at all.

    As to the question of the post, will it work? I think it can, definitely. They need to sort out their difficulty though, playing through on Hard (due to warnings of easymode play in other reviews) and I still can’t get a challenge from it, other than by doing the portal guy’s quests, or buying a level appropriate ‘map’ (now those are fun on Hard). The problem with doing these though, is that it makes the main story line difficulty even more of a joke, as I further outlevel the mobs I’m ’supposed’ to be doing. :/

  6. Cuppycake says:

    You must not have played Mythos, which essentially *was* multiplayer Torchlight. :) It was great.

  7. Andrew says:

    I posted a link to an hour long interview with a key member of the Torchlight team a few days ago – a lot fo what you’re wondering is discussed.

  8. spinks says:

    I think the interesting thing with this is that in 18 months or so (I think that was the timescale they were looking at) they’ll actually be competing directly with Diablo 3 and whatever multiplayer options that has.

    (I will laugh if D3 isn’t as good as Torchlight though.)

  9. Ramon says:

    What’s with all the “clicking like a madman”? Just hold the mouse button and move the pointer from enemy to enemy, throwing in a right-click now and then. Works just fine!

    And you can even put your skills on the number keys, so even less clicking, more typing.

    Wheee!

  10. [...] Gordon re: Torchlight – “Combat in most MMOs isn’t exactly thrilling stuff so the Torchlight/Diablo/Titan Quest mouse-mashing style might be a nice break.” [...]

  11. Wryeth says:

    “Combat in most MMOs isn’t exactly thrilling stuff so the Torchlight/Diablo/Titan Quest mouse-mashing style might be a nice break.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. surely people are sick of spending 2 minutes killing 1 creature by now, level after level after boring level.

    i can’t wait to see a button mash mmo make it big

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