Torchlight III’s surprise early access launch was tormented by server issues and poor reviews

Torchlight III surprise-launched into early access on Steam this past weekend in the middle of the PC Gaming Show, and it hasn’t really gone to plan. Server issues on June 13th were followed by apologies to those who’d shelled out $30 to play early and then maintenance to fix them. By Sunday, Perfect World said it had finally “isolated the root cause of the server issues” and was working to fix them. As of this morning, PWE says they’re fixed and stable following “massive numbers of people” trying to play over the weekend.

Max Schaefer on early access server stability from Torchlight3

But it may take a bit of time for the reviews to recover, as on Steam it’s sitting in the “mostly negative” zone right now. Interestingly, while some of the reviews focus on the lack of stability and the launch problems and are accompanied by the “product refunded” tag, many of the higher-ranked reviews are essentially complaints that the game feels more like a “watered-down” free-to-play mobile title. (That wasn’t my personal experience during the original alpha, I will note, but I can understand why people would feel this way now.) The subreddits aren’t exactly on fire for this version of the game either, with some folks comparing it (unfavorably) to Anthem. As I type this, just under 4000 people are in-game, compared to around 800 in Torchlight II (for comparison’s sake).

For MMO players, there’s a bit of befuddlement over how to feel about the whole thing, given that Torchlight III, then called Torchlight Frontiers, was marketed as an MMORPG to MMORPG players for several years before being turned into more of a smaller-scale multiplayer online title in the middle of its test run. Whether that set expectations too high for this early access remains to be seen.

Source: Twitter, Steam. Thanks, Pepperzine.
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