Torchlight 3 interview: A look at Echtra's final update

Torchlight 3 is setting sail with a new class, new pets, and more. Shacknews talks with Echtra Games CEO Max Schaefer to learn more.


Even after completing its long journey from Steam Early Access, the team at Echtra Games continued supporting Torchlight 3 even after its 1.0 release. The next Torchlight 3 update looks to be the game's biggest one to date. There's a good reason for that, as we'll get into when we dive into the interview, but Echtra is going in hard with Torchlight 3's next update, which is headlined by the all-new Cursed Captain class.

To learn more about Torchlight 3's spring update, Shacknews spoke with Echtra Games CEO Max Schaefer. Schaefer talked about the Cursed Captain, the addition of a lot of new pets, and why this spring update marks the end of the road for Echtra on Torchlight 3.

Shacknews: I can't imagine a lot of people guessed "Cursed Captain" as Torchlight 3's next class. What can you tell me about the Cursed Captain and what made you want to add this specific class to the game?

Max Schaefer, Echtra Games CEO: We always felt that Torchlight 3 needed a summoner class. At the same time, we wanted to resurrect the two-handed cannon weapon from Torchlight II. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to do both, and also add a ghostly, darker character class. This class has some of the most fun, outrageous skills in the game.

Shacknews: As a Cursed Captain, can you choose which minions you summon or is it all random?

Schaefer: Each summon skill has a specific group of minions that it summons. For example, you can summon your First Mate, Maximilian, or a five-member raiding party of crew members. There's even an entire Ghost Ship!

Shacknews: What are some gameplay strategies that players should keep in mind when playing as the Cursed Captain?

Schaefer: Lean into the summoning! Pick Bane and have the Eight Legged Allies passive loaded up. Let others do the heavy lifting for you, and be a good captain leader from range. Stand back, fire your cannon, and stay alive!

Shacknews: Beyond the new class, you're focusing heavily on pets with this update. What specifically about pets was the team looking to address?

Schaefer: We can't have enough pets! So, we added a ton of them, but we also added some Pet UI management, and fixed a bunch of bugs. For example, they now benefit from attack speed modifiers.

Shacknews: I have to ask, naturally, can you pet any of your pets?

Schaefer: Only in your imagination!

Shacknews: Can give me some examples of some of the new pets that players will find in the next update?

Schaefer: This seemed like a great time, and culturally relevant, to drop some doge action into Torchlight 3, so Shiba Inus make their debut. We also have a whole line of cool Foxes to pick from, we’re extending the holiday pet Ferret into a whole line of Ferrets (same for Stags), and are also happy to add the Bulldogs!

Shacknews: You mention that you're working hard to resolve some bugs and you mention the Humble Quest log bug specifically. I'd be fascinated to hear how that bug seemed to vex the team for so long and how was the team finally able to fix it?

Schaefer: Every game I've worked on, 27 years of them, has at least one bug that defies fixing. This one was Torchlight 3's. I'm not even sure how it got fixed in the end, probably something really weird. But people don’t appreciate how hard it is to get all the quests working so that players can't break them. What seems easy from the outside is the product of a million special-case scenarios, workarounds, failsafes, and redundant systems. It is compounded when you have as much randomization as we do. I'm just happy it’s fixed, and I'm not going to look directly at it, in case I screw it up somehow.

Shacknews: What else is next for Torchlight 3? What can players look forward to with the next big content patch?

Schaefer: Sadly, this will be Echtra's last work on Torchlight 3. We've been acquired by Zynga and have moved on to exciting new things. Stay tuned!

With all the additions in this update, as well as a large number of quality of life enhancements and most importantly, significant performance improvements, we feel like we've left Torchlight 3 in a good place.

Torchlight 3's spring update is coming soon to all of the game's platforms. You can learn more about it over on the Torchlight 3 website.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 25, 2021 1:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Torchlight 3 interview: A look at Echtra's final update

    • reply
      May 25, 2021 1:28 PM

      I just tried this and it's awesome! Ozzie do you know if they are working on a paid DLC or is this the end of support for Torchlight 3 all together?

      Personally i really love the game and it would suck when things just started to be awesome they drop support for the game, I would of gladly paid for a DLC that added a new Map zone etc.

      I suppose" Sadly, this will be Echtra's last work on Torchlight 3. We've been acquired by Zynga and have moved on to exciting new things. Stay tuned!" implies that is the end for TL3 :(

      Well at least it has offline play and I can play it forever, still I feel they could of kept adding things.

      All well, thanks for the article and info!

      • reply
        May 25, 2021 2:47 PM

        The implication is that this is indeed it for Torchlight 3. The Zynga acquisition means that Echtra Games is gone, so it would ultimately be up to Perfect World Entertainment whether they'd want to assign a new dev team to the game, if that's even possible, or if it's even worth the effort.

        • reply
          May 25, 2021 2:54 PM

          :( damn, well... I thought as much but I wanted some sort of hope that maybe they said they whee working on a secret DLC or another team took over.

          Anyways, thanks for clarifying it even if it hurts.

          Last thing fuck acquisition for they almost never go well for the teams and their projects.

          Fingers crossed the crew is taken care of and get to work on a cool project(seems they might be).

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