Lord of Destruction is perhaps one of the best expansions any game has ever seen. It added two new classes to Diablo 2–the Druid and the Assassin–along with a whole new act and an exciting conclusion to Diablo saga (at least, until Diablo 3 came along). And it certainly performed well enough to warrant a second Diablo 2 expansion, but then things sort of fell apart at Blizzard North.
That’s according to David Brevik, co-founder of the now-dissolved studio. Brevik took to Twitter last weekend to answer questions from Diablo fans, with one asking if there was ever thought for a second Diablo 2 expansion.
“Yes, sort of,” Brevik replied. “It was only designed, never produced. I had a multi-page design doc going over new classes, new areas, new mechanics, and story concepts. That’s as far as it got.”
Why didn’t it get any further? In 2003, Blizzard North saw a series of high-profile departures that included Brevik himself. This was due to a number of issues, including disagreements with Vivendi, the company that owned Blizzard at the time. Brevik and several other former Blizzard North devs went to form Flagship Studios, which eventually dissolved to form Runic Games of Torchlight fame in 2008.
Another reason for everyone’s departure might have had to do with the terrible working conditions they were under during Diablo 2’s development. Crunch, as Brevik recalled last year, was expected and by all accounts was exceptionally brutal.
“I think it was really interesting,” Brevik added. “We used a lot of the game-structure concepts for Marvel Heroes. It was an APRG+MMO. MMO in terms of many people playing at once, not like WoW. It was scrapped because most of Blizzard North left.” It would have also added a Cleric class.
Some of those MMO features would have included guildhalls for clans to assemble and go on quests, according to David Craddock’s book Stay Awhile And Listen. But with Blizzard North gone, there was no way to make an expansion timely for Diablo 2, so Blizzard decided to focus on making Diablo 3.
And now we’ve got Diablo 2 being remade and a Diablo 4 on the way. Stay tuned to BlizzConline this weekend for more Diablo news.
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