If there is one thing that your average MMORPG player is familiar with, it is vertical progression. This comes from characters on a track to grow ever-increasingly more powerful along a very limited range. However, the team behind the upcoming Torchlight Frontiers want to challenge that paradigm by instituting a healthy dose of horizontal progression that will allow for a growth of game systems in the future.
“We’ve decided to design the core progression of Torchlight Frontiers to be less about sitting at the top of a mighty power mountain,” the team said on Reddit, “and more about building different kinds of power that won’t be invalidated by the next new thing. Adding content shouldn’t move the goalpost, but provide exciting new stuff for elder and early game players alike.”
The team said that every new feature will be considered from both a vertical and horizontal angle as to not invalidate past progress, to allow for greater specialization, and to engage in a wider range of content. “Dynamic gear scaling” in zones is the key tool that the devs are using to accomplish this, inspired by how Guild Wars 2 instituted a similar system.