Torchlight Frontiers reveals update notes for alpha 3, live today with no NDA

    
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Torchlight Frontier’s closed alpha 3 is set to begin this afternoon, marking a major milestone for the game as it commits its final character wipe, lifts its NDA, and prepares for the servers to be up 24/7 from here on out. And of course, with the launch of a new alpha phase comes a slew of new content ripe and ready for the testing, the full list of which has been detailed in the latest update notes on the game’s official site.

As previously mentioned, one of the biggest changes is that the NDA has been lifted, meaning that players are free to stream the game, share screenshots, and discuss it on public forums to their hearts’ content. In the game itself, players can now experience a new introductory sequence, a new boss fight, an expanded Hyvid Frontier featuring “new areas and tons of new quests,” and much, much more. This alpha phase also premieres the retooled Mapworks system and the much-hyped wardrobe system.

Both the Dusk Mage and Forged classes have received some new skills — as well as some tweaks to their old ones — and the game’s itemization system has been thoroughly rebalanced “to make items more streatgic, fun at low levels and exciting to find.” The full list of changes is, as you can probably imagine, quite extensive, so if you want to see everything that awaits players in Torchlight Frontiers’s alpha 3, be sure to check out the update notes over at the game’s official site.

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Castagere Shaikura

From what I’m hearing real fans of the Torchlight games are not the ones getting keys but all the Twitch and YouTube streamers are. Some of these streamers even start off by saying they never played a torchlight game before. Talk about salt in the wound for real fans. Nothing like privilege.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Sure, they say this in those notes there “One last character wipe, and then no more character wipes – we really and truly aim for that to be true. ”

And yet there is a disclaimer, which is the FAQ for Alpha 3, which says this “There may or may not be additional progress wipes in the future.”

So if you look closely they say they don’t want to do character wipes but still may have to! Just a heads up, more wipes could happen.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’m of two minds about this.

On the negative side…

* I’d rather play a game like this with just my partner, and perhaps one other at most. Having my world flooded with players isn’t perhaps the most desirable thing, but I’ll have to wait and see. I’m going to be a bit of a curmudgeon though with a bias for me offline Torchly experiences.

* There’ll be no mods, which is a truly unfortunate state of affairs. There were many mods for the prior two which ranged from adding some truly fantastic content to the game, to different balance options and quality of life changes. This and the more personal experience mentioned above leaves Echtra in the undesirable position of proving the worth of always online.

* If the game dies, it’s gone. Much like with what became of Darkspore, and that was a depressing ordeal for everyone. Instead of trying to improve it, EA just shuttered it. No saying what Perfect World will do here if it doesn’t perform according to expectations.

On the positive side…

* If one must have other players around, then not competing for loot or resources is a good thing! An excellent choice! I’ve pointed out before how competition for resources or loot will always bring out the worst in people, it’s inevitable. It’s like a self-fulfilling curse to add such competition to any game, it’d be actively encouraging toxicity. A good choice, then, to not.

* Horizontal progression! I was stunned to see this as this is what I believe is the correct way to handle player diversification. If you have vertical progression with directly optimal paths of upgrade, then you’re guaranteed to have cookie cutter builds. If, however, you start all players off on the same footing, with no levels, and have your active and passive abilities become available via drops and quest completion? Anything goes! Including having an ability that allows you to lay down cart tracks and have those be travelled by a minecart containing a turret! Perimeter defence!

* Their class selection thus far, whilst only being two, shows a degree of both progressiveness and diversity that was sorely lacking from the prior Torchlight games. Some of the outfits in TL1 & TL2 were — let’s face it — classic WoW levels of embarrassing. If they can avoid that and give us more interesting options to play, that’ll be a win for them. And they’ve certainly nailed the latter since one of those options is a robot! If we could have some kind of were-creature, insectoid, or energy being too? I’m almost sold o that alone.

* It seems to have a bit of a stronger narrative, this time around. Torchlight’s strengths have never exactly been with writing, so having a slightly higher calibre would be appreciated. It’s tiresome finding that I loathe the writing in so many games, with only the rare chance for refreshment and rejuvenation before diving headfirst back into the quagmire of filth.

It could either go very right, or very wrong. I’m… cautiously optimistic.

Relen
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Relen

Looks awesome. As a fan of ARPGs – must play for me.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Yes this started to download on me while I was playing another online game through the Arc Launcher.

That made me notice there really aren’t many settings in the Arc Launcher. Steam doesn’t download while you’re playing other games by default and then lets you set the download speed if you do decide to. Arc just downloads anyway even though you’re on another online game (taking up all your bandwidth to do so) and doesn’t have any settings to speed limit the download. It’s all or nothing, and no settings to disallow when you’re playing another online game through it.

Personally I have bought and paid for a Net Limiter that lets me set limits on everything (which you have to do when you share your net with the rest of the family), but a great many people have not and it would be nice to have other settings in the launcher.

I know the number of games through Arc are limited, but using your entire bandwidth to download a game while you’re running another online game through the same launcher (and it can see that you are) is not a great way for the system to be set up. At the very least it shouldn’t download if you’re playing something else online, and built-in speed settings for if you did decide to download anyway would really be nice.

I guess this is feedback I should be giving to PWE, though since I wrote it here I’m going to press the post button anyway :D

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Jack Kerras

Lots of good changes in this version!

…except magic find being added as a roll on items. Every game that adds this eventually removes it, because it suuuuuucks.

Doing more nuanced things with magic find (a’la Guild Wars 2, or even Diablo III) seems totally fine to me, but including it on items instead of stats which actually build up your character is a great way to invite people to bring garbage gear to high-test content, get carried, and be rewarded for it.

That shit -sucks-.

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Darthbawl

Downloading it right now. I have read or watched very little about the game, didn’t want to go into it already expecting a certain level of game.

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Roger Melly

I wonder if this and Saga of Lucimia may be the only western mmo’s to actually release this year :S

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PanagiotisLial1

Saga of Lucimia will launch this year? I thought it still had a lot of work to be done

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Solaris

SoL will definitely not launch this year. I’m pretty sure i read in latest newsletter they were a couple years out.

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BalsBigBrother

Oooh nice can’t say I noticed that … um

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Denice J. Cook

Feel free to give us your non-NDA’d impressions when and if you ever feel like it! :)

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BalsBigBrother

Well I would say that the important take away for me from these alphas now that I can talk about them is that it feels very much like a Torchlight game.

Which might make you say duh its called Torchlight Frontiers what were you expecting. Well sometimes when games iterate between versions the thing that made you love it in the first place gets lost in the rush to add new mechanics or systems etc. However I am happy to say that is not the case here and I instantly feel right at home when I get into the game.

Obviously there is a lot to do in terms of UI, network performance and so on but that is what the testing / feedback is for. You can be sure that I am going to be passing on my thoughts on all the things as I want this one to be as good as it can be.

That’s it for now as I have to get back to the game I have zombies to set on fire.

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Jack Kerras

It’s raw responsiveness I want it to get done most, personally. It has UI work and such to do like everything does (haha Anthem), but I really want it to play great.

I fire off abilities that just don’t actually work regularly. Pop off the Coal Launcher deal, and it flies up in the air, and comes back down, and does its FX… but no fiery patch after and no damage.

It’s alpha, this kind of thing will definitely happen, but it’s little feel things like that, or getting hung up on a weird projecting movement hitbox, or not being able to ‘overwrite’ a right-click-hold ability by pressing 1 or 2, etc.

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Darthbawl

Are we going to have to buy you a new mouse in case you wear your current one out from clicking on PLAY? 😁

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BalsBigBrother

Heh I think I will be ok. This is more like warming up before you run a marathon, my clickie finger is ready for action :p

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I noticed when I went to play Star Trek Online and the game was lagging excessively for me. I went to diagnose where my connection issues were coming from and it was the Arc Launcher downloading the new version of Torchlight Frontiers on me while I was playing other stuff online.

On the good side of things, that meant that the new version of Torchlight Frontiers was about to be running for us :D