In a wide-ranging interview with Indie Game Magazine Radio, designer Max Schaefer described his hopes for the future of Torchlight 2, saying that he'd like to introduce a greater sense of permanence to the game through player-created structures.
"What I'd like to see personally is to get the building and resource aspects of Minecraft and put them into an ARPG," he said, "just so it's a little more than just wandering from one monster to the next and hitting them."
"Your character has permanence [in Torchlight 2]," he went on to explain, "but you don't have anything like property or anything that you've built right now in our game that lead to any sense of permanence. So I'd like to explore that a little bit."
Schaefer was quite clear, however, that this was just his personal notion of Torchlight 2's potential future, and that other opinions were available from his colleagues at Runic Games.
"I think everyone at our office has lots of ideas and if you talked to all thirty of us you'd get thirty different visions - which is cool. We're a long way from exhausting the possibilities [of the ARPG genre]."
Schaefer should know, having spent 16 years making ARPGs - a career which helped shape the all-conquering Diablo franchise and made Blizzard North's name. Now at Runic Games, Schaefer has created an ARPG series that many see as a strong contender to Diablo's crown, and the interview provides some fascinating detail as to how the team seeks to set themselves apart while building on the best ideas of the genre. The idea of being able to leave your mark on the world of Torchlight is particularly alluring, and something that could transform the game's entire appeal. But how far can the ARPG evolve before it loses its singular focus on smashing hordes of monsters to a pulp?