The latest update for Torchlight III, Snow and Steam, drops today. We got a chance to speak with Shawn Stone, the senior game designer at Echtra Games about what it will bring to the game. The update is named as such, because of the two elements it focuses on. The Snow side represents all of the holiday and winter-themed loot that accompanies the update. On the other hand, Steam focuses on a huge rework of the Forged class.
Lots of holiday themed items can be earned through gameplay, including new pets and pet skins. Pets can now also fetch potions just like they could in Torchlight 2. There will also be new fort features, and you can position items in your fort vertically up and down. Perfect for something like laying down a pile of snow and placing an igloo on top of it. Forts can also have their own cellars for players to use as they see fit. One of my favorite features for loot-heavy RPGs, transmog, will also be added to the game. For a handful of gold, players will be able to change their armor and weapons so that they can keep their big stats while still keeping their fashion cosmetics.
The Forged class is also getting a big rework as the second half of this update. The definitions of skills and what they do have been made clearer and easier to understand. Some lesser used skills have also been boosted. These changes were made through a combination of player feedback and also by viewing player data. Shawn tells us that information like how much each class is played, what skills are used, and what players choose to level up is all used to make these changes. One big thing the team noticed was what Shawn called “one point wonder” skills. The phrase refers to when a player would drop one point into a skill to see what it was like, and then not use it again. These changes will go towards making more of the Forged skills better and more fun to use.
Torchlight III Snow and Steam has a lot for players to dig into
The update also brings a lot of new content to the endgame. The entire endgame of Torchlight III has been restructured with 14 newly added quests. Fazeer’s Dun’djinn has also been reworked to make it less of a time commitment, but still valuable to those that want to dig in deep for maximum rewards. For example, there are now 45 possible bosses a player can face instead of the previous number of eight for way more variety. Players will also be recognized for how far they’re able to get into the dungeon with trophies that they can show off. There is more than just bragging rights at stake, though, as gear with higher challenge buffs lie deep in the dungeon for players to go after.
When asked about if other big class reworks were in store, Shawn said that they are always looking at player feedback and listening to what the community has to say. The team does have a few skills that are high on their priority list to be looked at, but it doesn’t seem like anything as massive as the overhaul in the Forged update. This is a good thing, as it indicates that the other classes are balanced very well.
Shawn also said it has been fun for the team to design all of the holiday-themed items so far. Since the game released on October 13, so close to Halloween, they didn’t have time to put as many spooky things in as they wanted to. Shawn says next Halloween should see a much more robust Halloween update, more akin to this one. The player base also seems to like the changes to the game that have been made so far. I asked Shawn if going into Early Access was a help to development. In the past couple of years, we have seen games like Hades use Early Access to great effect. Shawn says that Early Access was definitely of great help to the team. Being able to gather so much information from players is invaluable and really helps the team make a much more refined and streamlined product that is more attuned to what the players want.
Reforging the Forged
Shawn also says that they are far from done with adding new features to the game. Beyond just content, more quality of life changes have been added, like a resolution slider, and more are still to come. Torchlight III has a lot of different aspects that appeal to many different types of players. Whether you are a dungeon crawler, pet collector, or interior designer, there are many different aspects of the game to dig into. Shawn says that they plan to give something to all of these types of players, as support for the game is just getting started. If you decide to dive into the game now, you can be sure that there will be plenty of new stuff coming down the pipeline. A big thanks to Shawn for taking the time to speak with us. You can get Torchlight III right now on Steam, as well as the Snow and Steam update.