After announcing in January that Torchlight Frontiers would be shedding the free-to-play model in favor of a premium, one-time purchase approach - simultaneously scaling back the MMO elements and being retitled as Torchlight III - developer Echtra Games has revealed that its newest title has entered Steam Early Access.
Much like the previous entry in the series, Torchlight III will have four classes for folks to choose from, including the magic and rage-weapon hybrid Sharpshooter, the Dusk Mage, the engineering-heavy Forged, and finally, the Railmaster, which can summon a literal train. And of course, there will be pets to choose from - a mere three when you begin the game, and a few others to collect while playing.
New to the series are Forts, which you can basically think of as bases where you can store your gear and other loot. Those particular base-like constructions can be upgraded with various elements from functional ones - like an Enchanter's Altar - to monuments and skill stations. You'll be able to get these upgrades as rewards for completing certain quests or Contracts.
Contracts are in some ways similar to Diablo III's Adventure Mode quests, in that they offer you a number of rewards, from the aforementioned upgrades for Forts to consumables, gold, additional pets, more storage, and other nice-to-haves.
The game itself will have a three-act structure (like Torchlight II), though only the first two acts are playable as part of the Early Access period. The third act - and as such the new end-game experience - will be added during Early Access, which is set to take "a few months". Contracts are not yet available, but will be once Act 3 comes out.
With the action RPG having already received a pretty hefty patch, it's important to note that progress will be wiped at the end of the Early Access period, to allow the developers to "more aggressively test new features, bug fixes, and content".
Torchlight III can be had today for $29.99, a price which will go up once the game launches. There is no word currently on what that price will be or when the ARPG will launch.