Diablo will never be an MMO says Blizzard

Diablo will never be an MMO says Blizzard

Over the years there has been mutterings about the possibility of Diablo eventually becoming an MMO. If you were hoping that at some point in the future you’d be battling the forces of hell with thousands of other players then you can forget it.  According to Blizzard’s Kevin Martens who was speaking to Kotaku all talk of an MMO version at Blizzard is off the table.

There’s no discussion about a Diablo MMO any more.

Kevin Martens
Kevin Martens

It was a really interesting idea back when we were into it, but I think Diablo has a really strong fantasy on its own. Having a thousand people playing it with you on a server doesn’t dramatically increase it. We’ve learned to love the smaller, more focused party experience of four people. And some people are like, ‘Why don’t you do five?’ I mean, we could, but kinda built the game around four people in mind. So the temptation of expanding the social circle has fallen by the wayside as we learned more about what we enjoy about Diablo.”

We’re happy with where the game is at, with the understanding that no designer is ever truly happy with a game. We like the direction we’ve chosen for this. It’s way over the top. Those four people probably do as much damage as any thousand people in any MMO. They’re lords of destruction.

Even if we stay in the realm of action-RPGs with randomization, there’s no shortage of things you can do with that. The future is bright. And I think not every game has to be like Diablo. After Diablo II there was a period where a bunch of games were a lot like it, but then people decided to try different things. And Diablo III came out of that environment in that it’s both very similar and very different.”

I’ll admit there was a time after the release of WoW I would have loved to have seen Diablo become an MMO but as time passed and the MMO genre became extremely stale I’m happy Blizzard has stuck to their guns with the Diablo franchise. You have to wonder if the auction house and online only requirements were an experiment to see how the Diablo community would react to MMO-like features. We all know how well that went.

Update: This is somewhat ironic, since various interviews with Max Schaefer informed us that Diablo 3 began life as an MMORPG.

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    17 thoughts on “Diablo will never be an MMO says Blizzard

    1. It basically is an MMO where everything is instanced. Show me any design feature and I will break down in detail how that is MMO design from MMO devs.

      • "MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player online RPGs by the number of players able to interact together, and by the game's persistent world (usually hosted by the game's publisher), which continues to exist and evolve while the player is offline and away from the game." -wikipedia

        • While perhaps not literally a Massive-Multiplayer Online game, D3 clearly is heavily influenced by WoW, and is close to being miniWoW.

          • Especially the “carrot-on-a-stick”-itemsystem has been directly copypasted from WoW, completely ignoring that the itemsystem has never been the reason people play WoW and has always been the reason why people play Diablo.
            This is also the reason why the D3 devs have to copy another WoW feature they would rather prefer not to: continually release new content. Once you have found the items you wanted, once you’ve reached your timeinvestment/progress threshold, you quit this boring, pointless mess until eventually new content is served.
            But that is what you have to live with when you tack on a Diablo skin onto a WoW clone (minus social interactions, minus rich lore, minus a giant world to explore). Sadly the payment model is a bit different and in the end you can’t even afford a rendered ending sequence for your expansions.

          • True, though could it be possible said the other way? (MMO games being influenced by non-MMO games and then the reverse happening after MMO games do good?)

        • And yet there are MMOs in which almost everything is instanced and there is no persistent anything.

          Describe Diablo 3's gameplay, without name or context to an MMO player. I'll wait.

          • I'm sure you can describe any game in terms of Pong too, but that doesn't make every game pong.

          • The term MMO is slightly fuzzy, but it doesn't describe a specific game mechanic. It's all about the number of players that can interact with each other in-game at any one time. Technically this can be done in chat, hence the fuzziness. To me a fully instanced game definitely isn't an MMO, I need interaction with players in the actual game world for that. Diablo 3 isn't an MMO in my opinion, Guild Wars 1 isn't really one either, but Guild Wars 2 is, as is World of Warcraft, Elite: Dangerous or Star Citizen (at least it will be).

      • Although I agree with your statement, I'd put it more in terms of D3 ain't being a western style rpg anymore. All design features can be broken down in detail how their of asian grinding style rpg design. The impact asian grinding style rpg designs have lead to kinda the stale mmo-market already, where they're used extensively and near to the degree of exclusively.

    2. Here's a quote from Frank Pearce during the closing ceremony: "We don't want the Diablo 3 franchise languish for too long…".

      So, expect the big news (expansion 2) next year!

    3. Yeah, and blizzard also said before that diablo will never have account bound items.

      I don't really take anything they say seriously anymore.

      • MMO usually means much more RPG. Heck, even ARPG usually means much more RPG, than D3 has to offer. And it's RPG that usually means more lore. 😉

    4. With all respect to many: There are several key differences in an MMO experience and D3. I see the influence of WoW, but lacks the communities in game to support true MMO style of play. I would hardly call 4 characters in a game "MMO". No centralized hub for factions(clans) or otherwise(besides chat). No trading (even WoW has trading). No Real loot tables for monster drops. You know exactly what boss drops what you need in WoW. If anything, the game reminds me of FPS(like CoD) with team games. Join a game and kill some n00bs. Same concept except it is monsters.

      All that said, way back when, I would have been VERY happy to have World of Diablo. I would rather pay my money to maintain and improve this game rather than WoW. But–it is not an option.

    5. It would be nice to be able to play with more than just 3 friends of mine at a time to be honest. I have more than 3 friends who play, and we are all in the same clan, and it would be nice to be able to play together. Hell, even a single extra player in the party bringing it up to 5 would be better for us and avoid leaving that one person in the clan out in the cold like that. All they would have to do was pump up mob numbers. It’s an ARPG, for Cain’s sake, not an MMORPG. Who cares about that fine a tuning on balance?

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