Diablo’s Stieg Hedlund talks about the future of the ARPG

Stieg HedlundStieg Hedlund (see bio) who worked on both Diablo, Diablo 2 and LOD has posted a blog discussing the future of the ARPG. In the article, he looks back at the early beginnings of the genre including D&D, the CRPGs and JRPGS and where it eventually led to.

In a section called “Send in the Clones” he moves on to the Diablo series and then discusses where he thinks the genre is now heading. Here’s a snip:

Diablo came out at the end of that same year, also picking up the Roguelike trope of the randomized dungeon, which kept the novelty level high. While it was quite successful, and a few clones did appear, it was really the massive success of Diablo II

(D2) that ushered in a flood of them. To me, Diablo proved that we could find an audience for this new game type, and D2 let me explore it much more thoroughly. Many clones, at least initially, were quite literal—wholesale adoption of all the elements in D2, with varying degrees of success.

The full article can be read on Gamasutra.

Tagged As: , , | Categories: Diablo 1, Diablo 2, Other Games


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  1. They don’t seem as popular as they were in the 2000’s. Gamer friends of mine aren’t playing as many of them.

  2. Good article and good discussion underneath. Thanks for the tip!

    What imho made the D2 skillsystem special was, that it was quite open to imagination. You could go into it imagining the character you’d like to play, look through characters and skillsets for the best fit and running with that normally turned into a character powerful enough to at least reach mid-hell. Quite similar to how you usually would create a character in any pen&paper rpg.

    And it even worked, when the inspiration was out of the medieval theme of the Diablo-series: At 1.09 times, I’d started with the image of a Rocker, with his small ‘Motorcycle Gang’ (wolves), his best bud (bear) and the covert FBI-Agent (merc) having infiltrated my characters gang and being kept a close eye on by making him his right hand. Though never the physical aggressor: With instilled societary issues, his anarchistic ‘no bullshit’-nature and his disregard for property (, making it easy for others to hate him …), his offensive, alpha-male behaviour (… and throwing the first strike), impulse control issues and an ‘eye for an eye’-mindset rooted deeply into his nature, he’s the one roaming the villages and cities, spreading anarchy and chaos [like poison], wherever he goes and taking down any stiffs (mobs)threatening his lifestyle and/or his gang.

    In the end I ended up with a Rabies-Druid using SoB, as it just had fit my imagination perfectly. The character was quite tough to play at times but fun and was good enough to get at least up to act3-hell. (1.09, SP-HC)

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