Did you know Diablo III was once planned as an MMO?

    
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Oh, yeah, we sort of see it now.

It’s indisputable that World of Warcraft took a lot of nods from online Diablo II when it first launched. Sometimes, it almost seems as if the game was mechanically meant to be an online Diablo title. But guess what? In a recent interview on the Pointless Podcast, David Brevik — formerly of Diablo and now of Marvel Heroes — revealed some tidbits about development, including the fact that the original design for Diablo III was to have the game be a straight-up MMO. It was only after he and the other original developers left that it started to become what it is now.

What would that MMO have looked like? A lot like Marvel Heroes, only minus all of the copyrighted Marvel characters. Fascinating stuff. You can check out the whole interview below, or you can just skip directly to the specific portion we’re referencing here.

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fangGWJ
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fangGWJ

The Iron Dagger Dawn of War 2 games are one of my favorite of all time.  And I doubt they would have been created without that WC3 mission.

The Iron Dagger
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The Iron Dagger

True words. To this day, Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore remains one of my favorite characters in any game. And with WoW already on the horizon by then, all I could think was “It’s going to be like this, only with lots of random people”. Not really – but I suppose it was for the best!

Cyberlight
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Cyberlight

The Iron Dagger  I remember that campaign! It was a nice epilogue after the finale with the Undead campaign. I used to replay the cinematics from Warcraft 3 every once in a while just because they were so gorgeous and evocative.

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

You’re absolutely right. I have played D3. Fun little game. Didn’t buy it til after the expansion came out and they fixed some stuff. It’s basically an MMO already. I enjoyed my time with it, but all the things that make it a pseudo MMO don’t appeal to me in the least. To each his/her own.

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

Haha.. Welcome to Massively, the Internet gaming blog where everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since I shared my opinion, you are welcome to share yours.

Cosmic Cleric
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Cosmic Cleric

Smiggins Nate Woodard Playing the Diablo’s Advocate here, maybe he does know how it would have functioned. /shrug

LilyCheng
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LilyCheng

DugFromTheEarth Makes sense from a business standpoint, why would you make a game to compete against yourself? Only in the early days of StarCraft/WarCraft, I don’t think they’ve ever made a similar genre of game again in their lineup.

Smiggins
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Smiggins

Nate Woodard  Because you know so much about how it would have functioned as an MMO. Ah, the internet.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Im still hoping they make a Universe of Starcraft MMORPG. Even if its identical to WoW in mechanics, and even graphics, just having an entire new game world (with new classes, monsters, quests, etc) would be amazing for me.

zyrusticae
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zyrusticae

Not surprising at all. 
I still play the game because they’ve finally fixed its mechanics and it remains solidly fun, but I still have to badmouth Blizzard for their absolutely gawd-awful butchering of the art style and atmosphere that were so key to the previous games. Even the music has become completely generic and unworthy of the franchise. Which, well, isn’t really related to their former MMO plans as much as it is to the fact that the WoW team should really never have been used to make a Diablo game. At the very least, a new art director and a composer on the level of Matt Uelman would have done wonders for the game. 
Oh yeah, and the story… I actually forgot about it because I play in Adventure Mode all the time just so I don’t have to be reminded of how much of a bloody travesty that was. 
Man, every time I think about this game I get triggered and have to go on a rant about how many ways it is totally awful. And even still, I still play the game! It’s amazing how much good gameplay can make up for terrible supporting structures.