Of course, I read through it, and was surprised at the amount of insight into the development and history of Diablo that was contained within. One section in particular however, completely dwarfed all others in the sheer amount of questions it raised about what our beloved games could have become.
Official Blizzard Quote:Diablo a real-time game, like Warcraft II. " class="blizzsource">
The original idea was to develop a "turn-based" game much like the old Unix-based games (or chess, for that matter): Players would move a character one square, and then the opponent or monster would move one square. Eight months into the development, the folks at Blizzard suggested making Diablo a real-time game, like Warcraft II.
In case nobody knows what they mean by old Unix games, they basically mean dungeon-romps (much like the Diablo series), in which you would move around a character, often represented by a letter, to kill monsters. All of which was often turn based.
Official Blizzard Quote:
"We resisted and pushed for a turn-based game," Schaefer says. "And they said OK to that, which I think was pretty cool of them. But then the real fight started up here."
For all of you out there who blame Blizzard for all of Diablo III's shortcomings, and wish that Blizzard North was running the show, know this: If Blizzard North had their way with Diablo I, we would have been playing a turn based game, possibly with Diablo II as well.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Brevik had to develop a new engine to run the game in real time, but it added an element of almost DOOM-like action that made the game unique among RPGs. Schaefer says that although they were sold on the game's real-time aspect, they still wanted to make the play different than a game like Warcraft." class="blizzsource">
"We had this big argument in Eric's kitchen," Brevik recalls. "We stomped around, dug our heels in and said, 'We're not changing it!' From an art standpoint, it would really have been no different, but from a programming standpoint, it was going to be a big pain for me. But then we thought about it some more and decided to try their idea. I hacked up something in a couple of days to see what it would be like, and we all just loved it."
Brevik had to develop a new engine to run the game in real time, but it added an element of almost DOOM-like action that made the game unique among RPGs. Schaefer says that although they were sold on the game's real-time aspect, they still wanted to make the play different than a game like Warcraft.
It's really quite interesting to consider what would have been, if that real-time-test had never occured...
I don't want to think of how PvP would have turned out. No doubt it would still function similarly, but it would have lost that fast-paced, on your toes feeling granted by the real-time aspect. It would also eliminate all but the most capable PKers; can you imagine trying to jump lower level characters, when they have time to wait for you to move 4 more squares before you could land a hit on them?
Along the lines of PvP, is the combat system as a whole. What use would faster attack be with a system such as this? Would it simply add another chance to attack on your turn? What about potions? Would they be free-actions, or would drinking a potion end your turn before being able to move or fight?
It also really brings into question how the development of further games would have been effected with a turn-based system. Perhaps it would have influenced Diablo II to become more of an RTS-styled game, than the fast paced mayhem we all know and love.
Though, the most important question I had on my mind...
Would we even be playing it?
Sources: Straight from the Diablo I manual, pgs. 243-244.