Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob
I wouldn't say that fans wanted D2 with better graphics, but we did want a game that is in the spirit of the Diablo franchise and improves upon where the series left off. That being said, I think that Diablo 2 with better graphics would have been much more successful than the game that Blizzard turned out with the Diablo name. I have never seen a sequel released where it took so many steps back from a feature and functionality standpoint. There are some who would argue that it is due to a new system and new servers, but I say, "So? I don't give a crap about their tech woes. I just care about the game I was sold." This is all the result of the company's greed and the incompetent game director at the helm.
I personally believe it was intentional, stepping so far away from the formula. Now, why do I think this? Let's look at some of the History of D3.
Diablo 3 originally went into development just prior to the Diablo II expansion Lord of Destruction release. This was back when Blizzard North was still around and had what was mostly the original crew. Unfortunately for us, and Blizzard North, is that Diablo 3 was being developed as an MMO. All the while Blizzard, down south, was working on World of Warcraft. At one point, spring-summer 2003, Blizzard North was having an issue with Vivendia, the owner of Blizzard.
Could it have been about Vivendia Blizzard wanting to go with World of Warcraft, and wanting Blizzard North to not do an MMO? Some of the things that came in the fallout of Blizzard North employees leaving was "Yes." to that. It would make sense, you can't have two of your own products competing against one another.
So of course D3 is completely trashed as it was, after Blizzard North collapsed, and is taken back to the drawing board. We know from interviews and videos that over the years it was scrapped again and again. Now during this early development phase of D3, again, Blizzard is working on another new product code named "Titan". Now if you followed D3 close enough, from the early days of things being leaked out, you would remember that about the time Titan was leaked, D3 was scrapped again.
While Titan is rumored to be an MMO, they still have WoW going strong. Now what does that have to do with anything? Even when Titan hits you are still going to have a large player base sticking with WoW, at least until they unplug the servers. One would expect Blizzard to have to deal with WoW and Titan at one time, and thus all the resources required to run two MMOs at once. Both of these are going to be residual money makers for them, and they will want to baby them.
So where does that leave Diablo III? Well, they know they have to commit on it at this point, enough was leaked to tell the masses that it is coming, even though official word hadn't been made. They also know that if they hit the level Blizzard North did with Diablo II, in terms of quality and content, they would be committed for a long time, and heavily, to D3. I don't think they wanted to do this, and were looking for a way to kind of shut the series down.
By releasing the game the way they did, they only need to drop an expansion, a few large content patches, and then just watch it. At least I believe this to be their thinking.....if they could just get a few years out of it while Titan is released, then "Mission Accomplished". Basically Diablo III was not designed to be a 12 year game like Diablo II, Blizzard doesn't want to support it that long, not even half that long. What I mean by this is a full team behind the product, like you would see with WoW, or even with Diablo II. They wanted to be able to skeleton crew Diablo III after a year or so....
A bit of a crazy mans ramble, but it comes down to the fact that Blizzard had more on their plate than what they wanted to deal with. Star Craft is a huge E-Sport, so they can't short change that. WoW is their cash cow, they can't short change that. Titan is going to be the next big cash cow, they can't short change that. However, they have this "Diablo" project.....yea, they could short change it and get away with it. Won't make them a ton of residual income, and isn't a major e-sport.