The Human Torch: Torchlight MMO Details

We really have got our use out of this shot.

News arrives! VG247 and Shacknews are travelling across the land, spreading news that jaunty tribute blog PC Gamer has revealed a couple of choice quotes from Runic’s President Travis Baldree their new issue. The topic? The forthcoming Torchlight MMO. Key points would be “our vision is to have an MMO that plays as close to single player as we can get it.” – as in, soloable, highly paced, hordes of monsters falling before you. Interestingly, while it’ll be funded my microtransactions, Travis also admits he’ll never buy microtransaction items himself “I’m that kind of player. And the game has to be enjoyable for me, too. We don’t want our monetisation stuff to offer ways to skip the game because the game is boring.” GOOD! I HATE BORING!


  1. Xercies says:

    Whats the point in making an MMO if its going to be as close as singleplayer as you can get it…just make a new singleplayer game.

    • Matt says:

      Runic is a small company, so I imagine it has quite a bit to do with re-using as many assets as they can. As for the question of why they don’t just make another single player game, I imagine it has to do with the single most requested feature for Torchlight being multiplayer.

    • Dexemplu says:

      Diablo 2 had huge succes by using the exact same principle (without micro-transactions).

    • Calneon says:

      I assume this would be more co-op than truly MMO, more like Guild Wars, you can see everyone in towns and you can group up to grind dungeons.

    • Lobotomist says:

      “our vision is to have an MMO that plays as close to single player as we can get it.”

      This needs clarification:

      What he meant is that Torchlight MMO will have gameplay as close as possible to the one of singleplayer torchlight.

      And not that the game will feel like singleplayer.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      The point is to show off your awesomeness to your friends, in-game. It’s a giant pull, trust me. The single-player thingie starts feeling masturbatory after a while, but if you’ll forgive my French, somehow masturbation is better when you get to compare stains afterwards.

      I’ll now go and wash my filthy mouth.

    • Bremze says:

      Clarification, AWAY!

      What Travis said is much more clear if you have played Mythos. Cities and the overworld were the same for every player but all the dungeons were all instanced. You could solo everything, you could do all the dungeons with some friends or you could just find some random people willing to help all while retaining the nice side of the game being multiplayer like trading.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      This is a good idea. There are many parts of MMOs I will never see simply because I’m a casual player and my guild is too small to organise regular raids. The only time I will possibly get to see my current level instances is when I will have leveled far enough to solo them. I’m sure there are more players like me.

    • Czechton says:

      Will be like Mythos or, to those that didnt play Mythos, Diablo II but with a persistant overworld instead of a lobby. Also, Guild Wars.

  2. PacifismFailed says:

    PC the RPS tribute blog, RPS the PC Gamer magazine tribute blog?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      People still print magazines? That’s so cute!


    • PacifismFailed says:

      someone has to keep the oldsters happy in their dotage…”oooo, i wonder whats on the cover disk this month?”:P

    • Chris says:

      I remember those good old days before cover disks were just coasters. I built up quite a collection in my 56k modem years.

    • Carra says:

      The collector in me enjoys seeing his 150 gaming magazines in front of them.

      Fun to browse in them from time to time and see how much gaming changed in the fifteen years I’ve been PC gaming. The first magazine I had still had the “optional: 3dfx card for prettier graphics” for the original Resident Evil game. Resident Evil 5 is quite different…

    • Nick says:

      Ah yes, the original Resi Evil on Pc had two versions, one for 3DFX and one for Power VR.

  3. wedge says:


    Think of Guild Wars. That’s what this seems to aim for. You can solo Guild wars except for some quests and transition areas. Yet when you go into town it feels alive due to the masses of real players moving around doing things. It’s a great setup and one that I hope Torchlight takes up for it’s MMO.

    • Tarqon says:

      Why not just go with the diablo model though? Persistent hubs require way more resources than a purely instanced model, and doesn’t add much to the game if it’s that limited.

  4. Mike says:

    Im sure you’r aware Tom F is calling RPS the James tribute blog:P

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      You James, the tribute blog?


    • AndrewC says:

      Their version of Tei is just a guy from Hartlepool who doesn’t know what ‘there/their/they’re’ to use.

    • Catastrophe says:

      No one can replace our Tei.

    • Clovis says:

      I like the slashdot version of Tei because he says, “woof woof woof,” a lot.

    • Tei says:

      I have broken one of the internet rules to make a multi-website jokes. The joke is not apparent now, but will be visible soon, I hope is fun. I am not a fun person. People laught, but at me, not with me. Anyway, thanks guys :-)

  5. Moni says:

    From this tiny slither of information, I’m imagining it’ll just be co-op Torchlight, which is not at all a bad thing.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah, me too. Free-to-play co-op Torchlight with a micropayment model.


    • id says:

      “Co-op Torchlight” sounds appealing in a way that “Torchlight MMO” never could.

      …maybe because I don’t want to see any of you other jerks around when I’m playing with my pals. GET OFF MY LAWN!

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Not a bad thing at all. But i wonder what will improve this over Diablo 3?
      I wonder if you can run mods. If its co op, not MMO, you should be allowed to run modded games, with special characters, tp stop you using modded items in the vanilla game, or some such.

      I like the idea of me and three other mages shooting our mighty beams of magic down corridors and mopping everythng the frak up. Maybe id finally be able to get a fish to perma change my pet.

  6. drewski says:

    It’s entirely possible this could ruin my life.

  7. Fumarole says:

    Hooray for no monthly subscription! I may play this one.

  8. harvb says:

    I don’t get how people don’t comment that Torchlight is just like Dungeon Runners. They’re really similar.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      I’ve played about 10h of Dungeon Runners before I gave up and about 80h of Torchlight (haven’t given up on the latter yet). Dungeon Runners was (it’s dead now, isn’t it?) boring, dull, uninspired, and sluggish, where Torchlight is charming, intuitive, infinitely entertaining, and as fast and smooth as you like it. I never felt like most of my choices in Dungeon Runners had real impact on my success in the game. It felt more like the Hold the Button game, in that you’re scored for the time you spend doing something pointless. Of course, Torchlight is pointless too; the conceit that there is an actual end-game you’re working towards or a meaningful wrap-up of the story is paper-thin. We all know why we play this game. The difference is, Dungeon Runners felt merely pointless to me, while Torchlight feels amazingly, enjoyably pointless.

      If that makes any sense.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Dungeon Runners was simply a game that failed at gameplay design.

      It was slow , unresponsive, dull (in terms of gameplay) , repetitive, and even the loot that dropped was useless 99.9% of times.

      It was simply not very good game.

      That was the reason it failed. It was not in any way related to “people dont want online diablo”

  9. Mac says:

    Any timeframe for release?

  10. Daniel Klein says:

    Oh man, you dependable mens of the hivemind. I was looking around the Runic Games website just two days ago searching for news about the MMO, gave up and thought to myself, “well, if they’re saying anything anywhere it’ll be on RPS eventually.” EVENTUALLY IS TODAY!

    As for Timeframe, the party line given to forumgoers is “not before 2011”. Wouldn’t be surprised if a lengthy beta started some time before that, though.

  11. Sidorovich says:

    They need to get this out before D3. Torchlight hoovered up all those players who were looking for a Diablo clone. But should this MMO clone come out at the same time as Blizzard’s behemoth, it ain’t going to stand a chance….

    • Wulf says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure, really…

      Humanity is not comprised of clones whom all desire exactly the same thing, after all.

  12. irongamer says:

    This is another quote from the VG247 article.

    “The game has to be solo-able, but players will have to have skills that make them useful in a party and make them work together.”

    The idea of of making a mmo game as close to single player (multi-player co-op) as possible is in the gameplay. Keep the gameplay like a single player game. I think he was saying that in the Torchlight MMO will not have the standard mmorpg combat, grouping, and attacking a single mob at a time convention of todays standard mmorpgs. The gameplay will feel more like a single player mmorpg.

    What I personally like about mmo is the option to play with my friends online, a persistent world, the player economy and seeing other people running around in town.

    I don’t like about the current standard of mmorpgs is wading through content with random people, being forced to see content in a raid and the lack action rpg gameplay.

    I’m looking forward to an mmorpg that feels more like a single player action rpg with the elements of the mmo I enjoy. It sounds like Torchlight MMO may be leaning this way.

    • Thants says:

      So, Diablo 2. They could’ve just said: “Like Diablo 2”.

  13. Vinraith says:

    That sounds too good to be believable, actually. It’s an admirable direction, but sadly MMO’s have a way of hijacking good design and turning it into something else. Still, I’ll withhold judgment, it’s not completely impossible they could make something appealing here despite those cursed three letters.

  14. Soundofvictory says:

    I like that the PC Gamer article was posted on the 29th. It is quite fitting.