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

August 12th, 2008, 16:22
Originally Posted by DaDoom View Post
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.
You're not talking about random levels, you're talking about a simple implementation of the concept of random levels.

Again, it's about execution.

The rogue-like concept is about developing a character whilst experiencing randomly generated content, including levels, items, mobs, and so on. They all add up in terms of serving as incentives to replay the content.

But the idea is also about not having to hand-design everything, because that ultimately means a very finite experience. By generating content based on whatever formula and pool of resources, you can provide the feeling of a never-ending game. That's the basic appeal of the genre as a whole. The idea that your character is not going to end, and that he can persist and become ever more powerful if you should wish. That's something you can't have in a traditional CRPG, because you're always aware that it will end eventually and you would tire of seeing the exact same content over and over.

In Titan Quest, you might have something close to a true rogue-like, because loot was generated along with various other things. But because the levels are static and always the same, you will eventually feel that you are indeed doing the very same thing over and over.

I will agree that much the same has been the case for Diablo and the other clones, but the illusion of a never ending experience is still stronger with random levels. Even if it's the same tileset, it helps to not know the exact layout and level progression. It's just that little something extra - not knowing where the quest goal or dungeon entrance is this time. But again, that's the simple implementation. If they manage to include enough variety, both in terms of level layout and quest structure - then maybe we'll finally have something that feels different enough to warrant more replays than in the past.

Titan Quest also suffered from a poor online structure, which essentially killed the community. Something which I also think you must have to give a true sense of character persistence and meaning.

Diablo 3 looks to be on the right track to continue the genre, without going overboard with innovation and new features. Much like all Blizzard games.
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August 13th, 2008, 01:11
By generating content based on whatever formula and pool of resources, you can provide the feeling of a never-ending game. That's the basic appeal of the genre as a whole. The idea that your character is not going to end, and that he can persist and become ever more powerful if you should wish. That's something you can't have in a traditional CRPG, because you're always aware that it will end eventually and you would tire of seeing the exact same content over and over.
Excellent points, D'Artagnan. I'd just add, not only does your character become more powerful, but also more refined, and more the product of your choices, for better or worse.

I've often tried to understand exactly what the genre's attraction is for me—you managed to explain everything that draws me to it very succinctly in that post.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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