…And then there was Hellgate: London. I thought this was for sure the spiritual successor to the Diablo series. After all, it shared many of the same developers and it has the same basic story: a hellgate opens up that spews forth a bunch of demons.
I canceled my pre-order to Hellgate: London after a couple of weeks in the open beta. Part of it was that the developers were essentially charging for battle.net and -- worst -- charging for extra character slots. I know they tried to dress it up like MMO fees, but Hellgate: London is not an MMO. They also tried to dress it up like paying for expansions by the month, but why limit character slots so much on the basic account if you aren't trying to squeeze the players? After all, the charm of the Diablo series was their replayability.
…I'd have probably stuck around to see if they could patch it into a good game, but at the end of the day, my lack of being blown away played a big role in not going down that road.
The truth be told, Diablo has a very simple formula: Take Gauntlet and mix in old Rogue-like games. For those not familiar with the Rogue-like genre, Rogue was an old text-based role-playing game that featured random dungeons. Because each game was different, you could play the game over and over again.
That's where Diablo shines above the crowd of Diablo-clones. Replayability.
And it certainly sounds like Blizzard is keeping that theme in the game. In fact, the developers hinted that not only would we get our random dungeons, but we also might be seeing some random quests and/or events. This is way overdue! Dynamic quests are something I've been wanting to see for a long time and could really add a whole new level to the idea of replayability.