David Craddock continues to leak interesting early D1/D2 tidbits via ShackNews, in promotion of his long-awaited book about the history of Blizzard North. This week’s info concerns the class options for Diablo I and II, and some details about how Tristram and the NPC merchants were almost very different in Diablo II. A quote:
“The sub-class idea would have seen three archetypes that boiled down to fighter, rogue, and spell caster,” Craddock said. “The rogue branched into sisters (of the Sightless Eye, the rogue guild) and rangers, or hunters; the fighter into templar, or paladin, and berserkers; and the spell caster into sorceress and necromancer. North decided against the idea because multiple genders would mean building and animating 10 character models.
That’s a significant undertaking for any game, but Diablo 2’s designers had also come up with the component system, a way of displaying individual pieces of gear to give each character a unique appearance–purple skull helm, red leather boots, gold body armor, and so on. Piling on male and female versions of each class would have put too great a strain on the already-bogged-down character art team.”
Additional teases are coming each Monday until the end of October, when ShackNews will be posting a full interview with David Craddock and a whole chapter from his book, which is now due in early 2013. If you want more, I interviewed him for the Diablo Podcast a few months ago.