Diablo 2’s unreleased second expansion would have been “ARPG+MMO”, one of its developers has said.
This expansion was only ever designed and never produced, David Brevik, who was the co-founder and president of defunct studio Blizzard North, said on Twitter over the weekend.
“I had a multi-page design doc going over new classes, new areas, new mechanics and story concepts,” Brevik revealed. “That’s as far as it got.”
Diablo 2, which is currently set for a remaster, launched in June 2000 and met with critical and commercial acclaim. A hugely successful expansion, Lord of Destruction, launched a year later. The intro to Lord of Destruction is below:
Diablo 2 and Lord of Destruction certainly performed well enough to justify a second expansion, but it never came out. Now, 20 years later, Brevik is talking about what happened.
Brevik said he designed this second expansion around six to 12 months before he left Blizzard North. “This is one of the reasons it was never made,” he said. “It was before the 1.10 patch (in terms of timeline). We were also working on our version of Diablo 3 at the time, plus another unannounced project.”
According to Brevik, this second expansion “would have been very different from any Diablo”.
“I think it was really interesting,” he tweeted. “We used a lot of the game-structure concepts for Marvel Heroes. I was an ARPG+MMO. MMO in terms of many people playing at once, not like WoW. It was scrapped because most of BlizNo left.”
Blizzard North was working on a Diablo 3 that was eventually scrapped and restarted by Blizzard Entertainment. Brevik, alongside other key Blizzard North employees, left to start Flagship Studios. It was an exodus that involved around 30 people leaving, and resulted in Diablo 2’s second expansion falling by the wayside. Blizzard North was closed in 2005.
Back in 2016, Brevik tweeted to say one of the new classes that would have been added to Diablo 2 with this expansion was a cleric class, which wouldn’t necessarily have been a healer.
An excerpt from Stay Awhile and Listen: Book 2 by author by David Craddock, published to Shacknews in 2012, also contains some information about the expansion. According to Craddock, the second expansion would have expanded on Diablo 2’s multiplayer features (this tallies with Brevik’s tweets). Background artist David Glenn built guildhalls for groups of players who wanted to start their own clan. Players would have been able to meet up in these guildhalls to run quests.
“One cool guildhall feature was the Stieg Stone, a stone named after designer Stieg Hedlund where guild members could deposit money,” Craddock wrote.
“At certain increments, they would unlock new guildhall rooms and various accoutrements for their guild’s pad. After a few brainstorming sessions, the team decided not to follow through on the expansion. Diablo 2 had run its course; it was time to build Diablo 3.”
It sounds like Brevik has more on this unannounced second expansion for Diablo 2, but is reluctant to talk about it “since Blizzard owns the rights and I’m not sure what I can say”.
“They may want to use it someday,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Brevik was asked if Diablo 4 sounds anything like this Diablo 2 expansion. Here’s his response:
Blizzard is set to host a “Diablo: What’s next?” panel at BlizzCon this week. Keep your eyes peeled.