For the most part Diablo fans figured the series was dead, considering that the talent behind it had left for greener pastures.
A Diablo 3?
Which is interesting, considering that Diablo wasn’t made by the standard Blizzard department that created Starcraft or Warcraft. In fact it was made by a separate Blizzard office, Blizzard North. Originally named Condor, Blizzard bought them out and renamed them to Blizzard North in 96, even though they had been contracted to start building Diablo a year earlier.
The three head honchos left Blizzard North due to strife with the parent company Vivendi over financial crap, typical corporate dicks screwing with the artists kind of thing. So they split and formed a new company which put out Guild Wars.
But it looks like Blizzard is going to do a Diablo 3 after all. I am unsure of what direction they will take it but with the loss of many of their old designers and talent I hope they will make it as similar to the originals as possible. My greatest fear? World of Diablo…
Why? Why Billy would you fear that? Why you ask? Well it’s simple really I like MMORPGs, sure I still play WoW. However, those games are too intensive; they require entire teams of people to make them work. This doesn’t bother me, what DOES bother me, though, is that Blizzard is very careful about what they do with their story lines. Sure they can write as much as they want with those books about the past histories, kind of like a giant J.R R. Tolkien library, but the story lines stop advancing past the actual MMO itself. For example do not expect another Warcraft RTS game any time soon; in fact I wouldn’t expect another one ever.
All their money is wrapped up in WoW right now and it’s doing extremely well, not only in the USA but in Europe and Asia. Why rock the boat? And anyone who has played WoW all the way through to the end game knows that the story line stops there. We don’t know what will happen next, but we do know it won’t happen in another RTS game, but only in an expansion to the MMO genre. Which is distressing considering that you can never fully finish that kind of a game.
What does this mean for Diablo? Well considering that Diablo always had a superior story line it would make a far better MMORPG, but if we get Diablo 3 in that format it will be the end of Diablo as we knew it. Not only its original game mechanics but story line wise. Actually that isn’t fair, we would still have extensions in the story, but they would come at incredible snail paces over years and years, and they would always be stuck in the same 3d MMO format.
All we can do really for the time being is wait and see, but I would expect this to become a hot topic issue after this summer when Blizzard releases Burning Crusade and has a little more time to contribute to hyping its other projects (Diablo 3, Starcraft Ghost).
One thing is for sure though, Diablo isn’t dead, Blizzard is revamping its team and we will be getting news about it soon. Let us just hope that the news is of another hack and slasher not another MMO, even though an MMO would be more economically prudent to Vivendi… err, Blizzard’s pocketbook.