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The Blizzard North Diablo 3 that could have been...


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Showing 1-25 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 31, 2012 8:30:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2012 8:31:05 AM PDT
Impetigo says:
Most Diablo fans know that Diablo was developed by a small game studio (Condor) that was acquired by Blizzard shortly (only 6 months) before the release of the original Diablo game back in the mid 1990s. The studio was re-Christened, "Blizzard North", and later developed D2 and the expansion, LOD.

After the release of D2 they began work on the inevitable sequel for several years before a falling out between Blizz North and the larger corporation led to most of the team leaving. Some of that team is now in Runic studio who are about to release Torchlight 2. The D3 that Blizz North was working on was scrapped and they began anew with the debacle of a game that would later gain notoriety and infamy as the only sequel worse than Duke Nukem Forever -- Diablo 3.

Umm... anyway, before Blizz North left Blizz-Activision-Vivendi, they had a good deal of work done on their version of D3 and it seems that some screen shots of the work was shown on kotaku a few months back (which I never saw until today). It seems the game was to be set mostly in the High Heavens and frankly it looks pretty f***ing great to me. Yes, I know it isn't the WOW-ish, cartoony, color explosion that D3 is, but I like it. And if released years ago when it would have come out (circa 2005 I would guess), it would probably not feel that dated.

Check it out (linking to a forbes article since I can't access kotaku at work): http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/05/28/the-diablo-iii-that-never-was/

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 8:59:53 AM PDT
Rockhardly says:
From this post, I kind of expected it to look different than D3.

What are the differences again?

Posted on Jul 31, 2012 11:24:45 AM PDT
Kruger says:
"5/28/2012"

3 months called - it said it will be running a little late, but it wants you to get started without it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 11:47:35 AM PDT
Shanghaied says:
"A few months back"

Actually, about 18 months back, but who's counting?

I remember reading this last year and wishing to GOD they hadn't mothballed the project. I'd much rather be playing Diablo 4 right now, to be honest.

So little you can tell from these screenshots, but I have to agree with Rock; the screenshots really do look pretty similar to D3.

Posted on Jul 31, 2012 12:21:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2012 12:22:10 PM PDT
Impetigo says:
Why the obsession over how many months ago the pics were originally posted by kotaku?

Anyway, you're right that the first couple are similar to D3 but the last one is the one that shows the most promise of maintaining the gothic feel of the first two Diablos. The main point is that it doesn't rely so heavily on Carebears and My Little Pony (folks who grew up in the 80s/90s know what I'm talking about), as Diablo 3 does, for the direction of its artistic design.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 1:15:51 PM PDT
Aaron Miller says:
Man, that makes me depressed. Looks so good!

The high heavens look similar in architecture to D3, but the depth and realism are WAY nice in the 05 screen IMO.

That looks like a Diablo game. D3 looks sort of like an Isometric WoW.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 2:28:44 PM PDT
"D3 looks sort of like an Isometric WoW. "

What's wrong with that? Graphics != good game.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012 4:07:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012 4:16:20 PM PDT
Impetigo says:
WoW is too cartoonish for some people who prefer a more realistic, gritty if you will, art style. D3, while pretty and all (albeit way too colorful), lacks the gothic, brooding visual style that was a hallmark feature of the first two Diablo games (especially D1).

You really believe that good graphics make a good game? I know a lot of people, especially the console demographic, agree with you and eat up super linear and simplistic games like Uncharted mostly because of the quality of the graphics.

It's sad though because as video games (or rather, PC games) have become so mainstream in the past decade or so, the gaming companies have catered to the lowest common denominator and the quality of games has inevitably suffered.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012 4:29:29 PM PDT
Yet Torchlight 2 is being touted as the Diablo 3 killer with graphics that are commonly being called WoW ripoffs?

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 5:36:27 PM PDT
I apologize, but the != in coding means NOT equal too, i should have specified that. I do NOT thing graphics make a good game, in fact I think it's the least important thing a game has. I do however disagree that Linear makes a game bad, I don't understand this argument at all, and probably never will.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 3:57:46 AM PDT
wutai012 says:
Yeah those Torchlight 2 graphics don't do it for me either. I checked out all they hype and I thought the first screenshots/demo of D3 (actiblizzard) was cheesy. TL2 may be a fun game, but that cartoony setting puts me off.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 4:01:43 AM PDT
Really? If I might ask, why does it change how the game is played? Why does it bother you? I am genuinely curious cause it doesn't change my want to play it one bit.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 5:29:30 AM PDT
Aaron Miller says:
"What's wrong with that? Graphics != good game. "

What's wrong with that is Diablo ISN'T WoW. It's Diablo, and should look the part.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 5:40:53 AM PDT
Personally I think the graphics were fine in Diablo 3. I don't think it looks like WoW, but that's just my opinion.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 4:42:17 PM PDT
wutai012 says:
TL2 looks silly to me. Just like I don't know.. a Strawberry Shortcake or Smurfs game would look silly. It looks like the pony level in D3, but the whole game is like that. :) Not my cup of tea.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 5:47:13 PM PDT
I though Whimsyshire may have been one of the greatest things ever created in Gaming History.

My friends and I COULD not stop laughing at it's wonder.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 7:57:33 PM PDT
wutai012 says:
I'm not one of those guys that spite the level, I find it comical as well. It is an ok supplement to a game, just don't like it if it was the main game. You may not find it so funny on Inferno mode. :)

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 3:36:32 AM PDT
Well i have nto gotten tehre on inferno yet.

Honestly I like Torchlight's Graphics i think they work quite well. It will also mean my friend who has a loq quality PC, will be able to play Torchlight 2 with me.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 5:42:59 AM PDT
Aaron Miller says:
Whimsyshire was funny the first time through, but the gear isn't real in there so it's not a good replacement for the cow level imo.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 6:43:07 AM PDT
isn't real? I'm pretty sure it is

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 7:13:59 AM PDT
Aaron Miller says:
It's all joke stuff. It's not a place you can viably farm.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 7:47:30 AM PDT
True but neither was the cow level since you could only go once per difficulty per character. I've been to the cow level many times on my cahracters. Never got a single useful item out of it.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 10:17:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2012 10:17:59 AM PDT
Impetigo says:
I also wish that TL/TL2 didn't look ultra cartoony (they make WoW look ultra realistic by comparison), because then I might be able to get my ARPG fix from them. But they look like an iOS game.

I imagine that making 3D graphics with big and blocky characters and environments is a lot easier and cheaper to do than a 3D game with all the textures and refinements that would be needed to make a 3D game look more realistic and detailed. I can't imagine any other reason that Torchlight looks the way it does graphically.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 10:53:38 AM PDT
Even if the graphics were ridiculous. the game itself would play the same and would be the same game. I will never understand the logic that every game must have ridiculously high graphics.

The reason torchlight 1 and 2 are as they are are for as you mentioned the cost of not only an engine capable of running high end graphics, but also the time and cost of making fully rendered textures and other things. Runic games is a small company and cannot afford even close to that. Besides, I'm betting even if they could they wouldn't.

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 1:46:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2012 1:47:34 PM PDT
Impetigo says:
I agree that gameplay trumps graphics/sound overall (nice looking but linear games like Uncharted and God of War hold little interest for me), but I want some minimum level of visual realism for a gritty series like Diablo. I loved how D1 was genuinely creepy due to the dark, gothic/occult art design and D2 generally continued that visual style (although less so due to the more varied landscapes and environments/settings).

While I don't like the relatively cartoonish look of D3 because it's a Diablo game, I would be all over Torchlight if it looked like D3, if that makes any sense.
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Discussion in:  Diablo III - PC/Mac forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  Jul 31, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 3, 2012

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