A few weeks before the announcement of Starcraft 2, I commented to a friend that Blizzard had been slacking off for almost three years. I know World of Warcraft is huge but everyone at Blizzard can’t all possibly be working on it. Well, turns out they were secretly working on the Starcrat sequel for awhile. Long enough that they had gameplay videos available at last month’s announcement in South Korea. How on earth they managed to keep everyone working on an entire game (and that’s a lot of people) completely quiet without any spy shots or even rumors leading up to the week before May 19th boggles my mind.
As someone who doesn’t really enjoy RTS games, I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t announce a new Diablo game instead. However, there’s speculation that a new game in that series will be announced at BlizzCon in August. If they have gameplay videos of that and I find out they managed to keep production on two HUGE games completely quiet, my head is going to freakin’ explode. I mean, people these days can get spy shots of anything. New cars, new consoles…heck, they managed to find Saddam Hussein in a tiny little hole at roughly the same time that (if the rumors are correct) both new Blizzard games went into development and you’re telling me they couldn’t find any information on a video game that was in late stages of production until now?
Starcrafttwo.com has a long article with plenty of savvy detective work that lends a bit of reason to the rumors that Diablo 3 will be announced later this summer. There certainly are a lot of hints that would point toward a new Diablo game but this could just be Blizzard trying to throw us all off. Heck, I wouldn’t mind a new Lost Vikings. Would you?
Assuming there will be a new game in the Diablo franchise, the question is if it will be a hack ‘n slash like its predecessors or if it will be a MMO. There was speculation years ago that there would be a Diablo MMO (which was supposedly to be announced in 2005) but nothing ever came of that. Was that announcement delayed until now?
Personally, I’m not sure how a Diablo MMO would fare. The content of that game is a lot darker and moodier than that of Warcraft and while it was awesome to hack and slash your way through dungeons, fighting the spawn of hell, I think some of the best times to be had in MMO games is just sitting around a fire in your home city, chatting with your guild mates. I’m not sure there’s a comfy place in Hell to do so, even if there is a lot of fire. If Blizzard does put a happy-happy fun land in the game so that it’s not always hellfire and brimstone, it’s not really true to series. Diablo just doesn’t seem like an ideal MMO enviroment for me but hey, betting against Blizzard making a fantastic Diablo game is almost like rooting for the Washington Generals.