Runic Games' Max Schaefer and Travis Baldree took some time out of their day to answer a batch of questions about Torchlight and its upcoming MMO iteration over at Massively.
Will you still be able to have that single-player experience when the MMO comes out?
Schaefer: The MMO will definitely be solo-able, but we'll also always have the single-player. It's nice to have something you can play on a plane.
Baldree: They will actually be two separate games. You won't be carrying your characters between them. The classes probably won't be the same, and there will be substantial differences. When you're playing the MMO, it's not going to feel like, "Oh, I already did this."
Schaefer: The MMOs require a lot more character customization than single-player. There's really one look for our characters right now. And in an MMO, everyone wants to be unique so you got to let people pick their hairstyles, body type and all that stuff. So we're really going to be re-making the characters from scratch.
Baldree: The only things that will really carry over are the basic gameplay mechanics, the visual style, and the world. I mean, the rest of it is all going to be different.
Why should people who may only be interested in the MMO experience later on start playing now? Are there any in-game benefits?
Schaefer: No, you're not going to be able to carry anything over from the single-player to the MMO, but you might get a little bit better at our style of controls and gameplay. We'll probably be structuring some of the dungeons the same way that we're structuring them here, and you'll pick up little cues from what we do now that might carry over into the MMO.