Max Schaefer was one of the original developers for the Diablo 3 franchise, and who is now working on Torchlight 2. Back in June we reported that according to Schaefer, Diablo 3 was originally intended to be an MMO much like World of Warcraft, and this is a fact that has been recently reaffirmed by another former Blizzard developer, David Brevik who also happened to be one of the co-creators of Diablo 1 and 2. In an interview with Eurogamer, Brevik revealed that plans for an MMO-like game had originally been planned with Diablo 2:
“One of things we originally designed for Diablo 2 that never made it into the game was this idea of a Battle.net town […] So instead of going into the chat room at the beginning you would actually go into a graphic town. It was, basically, a glorified chat room, but you could wander around a little bit. We ended up compromising, and going with, you get dumped into a chat room and pictures of your heroes were along the bottom of Battle.net.
We wanted to take that and make that a reality, make that into an MMO experience. 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.”
However it turns out that it did not end up feeling much like an MMO, which was probably why the feature never made it into the final game. Brevik recently made the headlines after giving his honest opinion on Diablo 3, which we’re sure that many fans of the original Diablo and Diablo 2 can probably agree with, although some of the people who worked on Diablo 3 did not take too kindly to his comments. In any case it would have been interesting to see the Diablo franchise turned into an MMO and given its graphics, it certainly looks like it could pass off as Ultimate Online from back in the day!