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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Diablo 3 - Can It Succeed Where Hellgate:London Failed?

Default Diablo 3 - Can It Succeed Where Hellgate:London Failed?

August 10th, 2008, 19:34
Daniel Nations at Examiner.com speculates on whether the new entry from Blizzard in the Diablo franchise can avoid some of Flagship's mistakes with HG:L:
…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.
More information.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 10th, 2008, 19:34
Of course it can succeed. The thing that Blizzard has that Flagship didn't is endless(almost) funds and are not pressed with time(at least not like every other developer is pressed by publishers). Huge funds allows them not to skimp out on anything. They can't afford for anything not to be top-notch. They have to maintain the name they made for themselves.
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August 10th, 2008, 19:52
Looks like someone needed to write an article, and fast. what a non story.
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August 10th, 2008, 19:55
Agreed (yawn)
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August 10th, 2008, 21:07
Hey things are pretty dull in Oklahoma (where apparently this outfit is located) Everybody in the news media had a major stroke earlier in the week when Paul McCartney passed through.

I agree this is very obvious—Flagship vs Blizzard is pretty much a non-starter.

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August 10th, 2008, 23:10
Do you think he'll take the credit for D3's success now?
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August 10th, 2008, 23:43
Could lead to another tabloid divorce…

Or did you mean the author??

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Last edited by magerette; August 11th, 2008 at 00:08.
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August 10th, 2008, 23:50
The truth be told, Diablo has a very simple formula: Take Gauntlet and mix in old Rogue-like games.
Nice analysis. Let me try one:

Truth be told, Gothic has a very simple formula: Take Doom and mix in King's Quest.
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August 11th, 2008, 06:45
Hellgate wasn't that bad, until I got about 2/3 of the way through and my save got corrupted due to a power outage during play. The 'save on exit' design decision is beyond moronic, IMO, and more games are using this as time goes on.

Hey, Diablo III designers, just let me save my game whenever I want, please?
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August 11th, 2008, 08:25
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
Nice analysis. Let me try one:

Truth be told, Gothic has a very simple formula: Take Doom and mix in King's Quest.
Sorry, but your try failed miserably.
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August 11th, 2008, 08:47
Rogue-likes are text based? They use ASCII-chars for graphics, yes, but I wouldn't call this text-based…
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August 11th, 2008, 09:11
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.
I know that at some point some idiot would show up and call random quests "dynamic" content.

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August 11th, 2008, 09:49
Originally Posted by Rendelius View Post
Rogue-likes are text based? They use ASCII-chars for graphics, yes, but I wouldn't call this text-based…
Well, depends … You type in all commends via the keyboard, no mouse movement as far as I know …

It depends on the definition on what you regard as "text-based", but in principle you are right, imho, Rendelius.

(But in principle this means only that our definitions meet at a point, which is why I *can* agree to you - in theory.)

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August 11th, 2008, 14:35
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
I know that at some point some idiot would show up and call random quests "dynamic" content.
Not to mention that even the first Diablo already had several random quests which the writer seems to have forgotten about.
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August 11th, 2008, 15:30
Originally Posted by Ryuken View Post
Not to mention that even the first Diablo already had several random quests which the writer seems to have forgotten about.
Well they were not EXACTLY random, but randomly chosen out of a limited number of quests. Like how the dungeons worked in Restricted Area.

Really random quests are those in Daggerfall, the side quests in early Sacred versions, Metalheart and some other games.

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August 11th, 2008, 17:08
Random quests aren't going to improve the game.
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August 11th, 2008, 17:54
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Random quests aren't going to improve the game.
Yes they are. I personally am really looking forward to them. They will be very strong incentives to replay the game, not that Diablo will need them. If they'll do them right, they're gonna be great. Especially if they will unveil more of the lore of Sanctuary.
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August 11th, 2008, 20:22
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Could lead to another tabloid divorce…

Or did you mean the author??


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August 11th, 2008, 21:00
I think it's too soon to speak intelligently about how these features will add to the game.
If random means choosing between scripted events from a small pool with limited variety, then it's not going to do much apart from being a minor incentive to replay content a few times.

If, however, they create an elaborate system with a large variety of quest goals - based on player actions - and visual variation then it might add a lot.

It's all about execution.

Also, we can't determine if this is going to qualify as dynamic content or not, as it depends on a number of factors. In a strict sense, they probably WILL be dynamic, as we'll see different quests for each playthrough and as such not have a completely static - as in non-changing - experience. But dynamic in a meaningful way? Who knows.

Daggerfall random quests were garbage, in my opinion, and if that's how they intend to generate missions then I'd rather they focus on something else. Rearranging a few words and names for every quest won't amount to anything meaningful.

As far as I know, there's never been a game with random quests that didn't smack of being just that, random. The goal, in my opinion, would be to create the illusion of hand-designed quests, which has yet to be achieved.

If this was Bethesda, I would be worried. Blizzard? It could work.
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August 12th, 2008, 14:34
The big difference is that HGL tried a totally new concept but it failed to hold what it promised. That was the problem not the concept in itself which I think is very good. D3 will bring good old Diablo in a new dress with subtle but surely good enhancements. If you played a game as good as D2 who wouldn't want more of the same?

One thing I never understood personally: why are random levels supposed to give you greater replayability? I mean: the tileset in a certain dungeon remains the same, what changes slightly is the room layout. That doesn't motivate me to replay a game. What motivates me very much on the other hand are several interesting classes (or class mixes as in Titan Quest). That's what was really outstanding in Diablo.
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