Torchlight III’s early access woes are explained with… zombies and rubber duckies


By now, you’re probably aware that Torchlight III’s early access was a smidge of a disaster. If it was a rocket launch, it would have exploded sideways into the control tower and dumped toxic fuel all over the environment. But what, exactly, went wrong? Well, there’s a short answer to that… and there’s a long, rambling, and somewhat insane answer.

In this week’s state of the game post, Echtra goes into an obscenely long-winded explanation of why the release went belly-up. It uses a lot of technical jargon and engineering metaphors you’ve probably never heard before, so it’s kind of a descent into a new type of madness.

Also, there are zombies.

It’s worth a read, but for the sake of posterity, we’ll highlight some out-of-context quotes that tickled us:

  • “At this point, we had to do two things: We had to kill all of the zombies, and we had to figure out why the zombies were appearing in the first place.”
  • “It was like playing Whack-a-Mole — as soon as we had cleaned up one set of servers, another one would get infested with zombies again.”
  • “We knew generally where the problem had to lie, but did not have a specific root cause. So, we busted out our rubber ducks.”

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The great thing is that it’s always online otherwise we wouldn’t have had this wonderful postmortem about all the server issues.

Kevin Smith

I got a feeling perfect world had their hand in forcing the EA. They had just completely reworked the game from the MMO mess that it was. There wasn’t enough testing on the reworked game at all. They have improved the game leaps an bounds over the frontiers stuff. All the MMO parts just didn’t make the game any better. Overall it isn’t a bad ARPG. Just not a lot of replaybility to it though. Once you have done the entire game with a toon or two don’t think many will stick around. It’s really sad because the devs really do listen to the people that were testing and made tons of changes but you will never know that because of the flak they have been taking over this rushed EA.