Diablo 3 used to look like an MMO: Brevik reveals all

Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 08:43 GMT By Dave Cook

Diablo 3 used to look quite different to how it finally appeared, according to Diablo 2 co-creator David Brevik, who was also slammed on Facebook by Diablo 3 developers this week for saying it wasn’t the game he would have made. While this is already known, Brevik offers further insight into the game that could have been.

It’s been a busy week for Brevik, after he was publicly called a ‘loser’ by Diablo 3′s Jay Wilson on Facebook. Now Brevik has discussed what his version of Diablo 3 looked like before it ended up the way it did.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Brevik revealed, “One of things we originally designed for Diablo 2 that never made it into the game was this idea of a town.”

“We wanted to take that and make that a reality, make that into an MMO experience,” Brevik explained, “Then we had these towns which were not instanced, and they had lots of people in them, and you’re interacting and trading and selling and getting quests. Then you’d go out and have these experiences, but you would create these games and go out and play the game with a group of your friends.”

Blizzard ditched the idea due to low level players encountering high level characters and having them beat harder enemies on their behalf.

Brevik closed by saying, “So this idea of creating these public combat zones that allow people to have that dynamic social interaction is really what I wanted to make with this game.”

What do you think? Would this format have worked better, or is Diablo 3 fine the way it is? Let us know below.



  1. KrazyKraut

    Didn’t Max Schaefer said this already in June 2012? More or less I guess.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 yes, but there is a lot of new insight on it. Click through to the Eurogamer interview. It’s fascinating in parts :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. BULArmy

    For me the wole idea of Diablo as a MMO is even worse then the always on DRM.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. roadkill

    @3 Nothing is worse than always-on DRM. Some MMOs are fun. Always-on DRM is never fun.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. magnumfinger

    Like said previously, even if the team of Blizzard North was the one who created D3, they’ll still push its always online-DRM and Auction House. Most probably, the only difference is that, the team will stick to its ‘gothic’ theme and use Diablo 2′s skill tree compared to the path taken by Jay Wilson.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. TheWulf

    So basically they wanted to create Guild Wars.

    Guild Wars made sense because it’s designed to be a co-op game from the ground up. In fact, in the original design of the first Guild Wars, if you didn’t have at least two other human players, you were going to have a hell of a tough time. I know, I was there.

    That’s why they had mercenaries, but the mercs weren’t exactly that helpful when compared to another player, they were just a bone thrown to those who wanted to solo. GW was pretty much solely a co-op online game, with no single-player experience.

    Much later in the game’s life (Nightfall), we saw heroes added. So it became possible to solo if you were a good strategist and handy with flags, but even with heroes it remained much easier with a party of humans. Especially on the really difficult content, and there was some of that, even after a lot of the more difficult stuff got nerfed.

    To be honest, if Diablo III could have been akin to the original Guild Wars vision, then it might have been something special. But unlike Brevik it seems Blizzard aren’t capable of imagination. So they turned it into a weaksauce single-player MMORPG, which is essentially what Diablo III is.

    If Diablo III had been like Guild Wars, built as a co-op experience from the ground up, and with less of that WoW feel to it (purely linear progression), then… well, that could have been interesting.

    Could have been, should have been. Sadly, what it ended up as is incredibly uninspired even when compared to older Diablo clones like Titan Quest. This makes me very interested in what Brevik is doing at Gazillion though with his Marvel co-op game. If he’s that attached to the Guild wars philosophy, then I’m going to keep an eye on him. (Yes, I loved Guild Wars 1. That shouldn’t be too surprising.)


    Basically, for those curious, Guild Wars was already what Brevik was planning on turning Diablo III into. It had surprise nice drops and it had sidegrades aplenty, and the way you could mash classes together in Guild Wars meant that you could play the same class again but have a completely different experience. Guild Wars had a hell of a lot in common with the first two Diablo games, and it innovated from there with its clever trading card game-like skill system.

    That’s why I loved Guild Wars. It made sense as a natural online evolution of Diablo. Whereas Diablo III is stuck in the past and just a wishy-washy, trite offering in this modern era of ours, back in ’03, ArenaNet and Guild Warswere taking things to the next logical level and creating a co-op only Diablo game.

    I’m fine with anything based upon Diablo II (Torchlight II) or Guild Wars (Brevik’s Marvel game?) to be honest, because I find them both to be valid and enjoyable experiences. But what Diablo III does is it takes the only bad parts of both, what little bad parts they have, filters out the good parts, and then smooshes in a lot of WoW. So you end up with an online single-player experience which plays a lot like WoW, with repetitive classes and no sidegrades or surprise upgrades.

    Not to mention how lacking in content Diablo III is when compared to both Diablo II and Guild Wars: Prophecies.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. absolutezero please visit for all possible Guild Wars Arena Net shoe needs.

    #7 2 years ago

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