Diablo III Looked Heavenly in 2005

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Diablo III Looked Heavenly in 2005

Screenshots of Blizzard's canned version of Diablo III have emerged from both hell, and heaven.

Back in 2005, Blizzard decided to go back to the drawing board on Diablo III and scrapped much of what it had under development. What you might not know is that the studio already had a capable version up and running. Newly discovered screenshots show off what it looked like, and how different it is from what we know of Diablo III today.

Kotaku writes that Blizzard had planned Diablo III as a battle through hell, as expected, but also heaven. Some of the screenshots show areas called "Heaven" and the "Angelic Lands." In these areas, the player faces snakes, snake-men, and gritty winged creatures.

The remaining screenshots are of an area called "Keep." No enemies are shown in the Keep, but we do get a solid look at its architecture. Overall, the art style looks very similar to Diablo II, but using 3D graphics.

Today, Diablo III looks much different (see below), and that's to be expected. Blizzard hasn't been sitting around on its thumbs for the past five-and-a-half years. Not only does it look different, but the current version of the game has a totally new style. Maybe Blizzard wanted something that stood out more from the previous entries in the series?

Blizzard hopes Diablo III will be available in 2011.

Source: Kotaku

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Most likely changed the style to accommodate for consoles.(they're hiring console designers for D3 on Blizzards site.)

It's forbidden by law to post news regarding Diablo 3's graphics and not include this picture: image

Jokes aside, in my opinion the "old" D3 looks fine, if they'd just improved the effects to the current version's quality it would have looked much darker and faithful to the originals.

Honestly, I would have preferred this version. Diablo 3 may not look like the previous titles, but it does look like about a billion other generic fantasy games.

I prefer it the way it looks now. Those screen shots remind me of NeverWinter Nights, which makes me cringe. x.x;

Another essentially completed game Blizzard scrapped and started over on because it didn't meet their standards; those greedy bastards.

START RELEASING THAT CRAP DAGGUMIT.

Oh hey, at one point it looked like a Diablo Game instead of Isometric WoW.

As an old school Diablo fan I am very much prepared for disappointment, while trying to keep a glimmer of hope. I guess everything is really conjecture and we will all have to see.

If Diablo 3 is a huge disappointment there is always Grim Dawn.

image
image
image

Diablo 2 came out in 2000, 2005 is well enough time and space to have another one. It sounds to me like they just canned a project that they could have completed in this timeframe and picked up another one a couple of years later that would become this version of D-III (i wonder why things got scrapped in 2005.... hmmm...)

I would not say that the 2 sets of pictures differ in style that much. Actually they look pretty alike, just the second set got shadows and lighting effects (and a lot of those).

Void(null):

If Diablo 3 is a huge disappointment there is always Grim Dawn.

looks nice. I like titan quest (still got to play through though) i'll try that one

( i love them just for letting me download soundtrack files. I need more of those. lost my collection of fantasy soundtracks for pen and paper athmo)

Scrumpmonkey:
Diablo 2 came out in 2000, 2005 is well enough time and space to have another one. It sounds to me like they just canned a project that they could have completed in this timeframe and picked up another one a couple of years later that would become this version of D-III (i wonder why things got scrapped in 2005.... hmmm...)

Because the old version of Diablo 3 looked to hardly be an improvement over Diablo 2. My guess is that whatever engine they were running then didn't have decent physics or anything, so they had to start over, realizing that if they had finally gotten around to releasing the 2005 version, it would have been 2007 or 2008 and seemed terribly outdated by then.

If you do a very close contrast and compare it actually doesn't look like they scrapped anything. It looks like they took the same game, changed the textures to that WoW'esk fo-watercolor, added a shit-ton of bloom and blur then began heavily tweaking the mechanics with the 6 years of experience they had gained from WoW while finishing off the levels.

That 2005 version hardly looks better then D2. Aside from the 3D graphics.

I am glad they waited with the release.

I preferred the original. Sharper clearer graphics, and probably produced a LOT earlier.

Then again, we should be thankful that it's not got canned yet like so many other Blizzard properties.

I'll say this, some parts of the 2005 version of D3 look pretty nice, but most of it looks rubbish. Now with the current version of D3, I like it, but man, why does everything have to be cartoonish (Remember this cheesiness?)? I thought Diablo was set in a grimdark darkgrim universe. But whatever, reserving judgement until I actually play the damn game.

Scrumpmonkey:
Diablo 2 came out in 2000, 2005 is well enough time and space to have another one. It sounds to me like they just canned a project that they could have completed in this timeframe and picked up another one a couple of years later that would become this version of D-III (i wonder why things got scrapped in 2005.... hmmm...)

World of Warcraft started exploding, also the heads at blizz north left and they relocated the team at the new offices.

I'm pretty sure it has to mostly do with WoW though, noone had any idea that the game was going to be THAT big, seriously, WoW is absolutely massive.

Aylaine:
I prefer it the way it looks now. Those screen shots remind me of NeverWinter Nights, which makes me cringe. x.x;

Wow, exactly what went through my mind...minus the cringe part. The old one looks like it could have just been a good mod for Neverwinter Nights.

I'm not one to complain about the new one, I'm not too bothered by the colours (although some of the model work is a little...less than impressive at this point). To be honest, although the original is much more faithful, it looks a little bland by modern standards.

I just wish Diablo 3 didn't look so much like WoW to me, graphically. It worries me that Blizzard is constantly pointing back to WoW as their inspiration in recent years.

Learning from a success is one thing, but I'm sincerely concerned.

Aylaine:
I prefer it the way it looks now. Those screen shots remind me of NeverWinter Nights, which makes me cringe. x.x;

That was also pre-pre-alpha in 2005. Imagine what it would have looked like if would've had another 6(and counting) years of development and polish.

The fact is that they already had a game with the classic style yet decided to scrap it the same year as WoW really started picking up, and replaced it with a much more WoW-looking Diablo.
Even though it is denied by Blizzard, this information further supports the idea that Blizzard changed the Diablo style to appeal to the WoW crowd.

This isn't a bad move company-wise, but it shows where their loyalty lies (not in their own classic franchises apparently).

I "hope" Diablo 3 will be released in 2011, too. But I'm not holding my breath.

I don't like the character designs in those older pictures. The backgrounds/locations look great as always, but the characters look almost as bad as they did in the second game. I like the newer pictures and designs more, but I've been waiting for that game since they announced it. Maybe someday my grandchildren will get to play it and tell me all about it.

The old screen shots look like another expansion to Diablo 2, rather than a new game entirely.

Graphically speaking it looks worse without question, but I'd have been all for it 5 years ago..not bad at all for last generation.

fundayz:

Aylaine:
I prefer it the way it looks now. Those screen shots remind me of NeverWinter Nights, which makes me cringe. x.x;

That was also pre-pre-alpha in 2005. Imagine what it would have looked like if would've had another 6(and counting) years of development and polish.

The fact is that they already had a game with the classic style yet decided to scrap it the same year as WoW really started picking up, and replaced it with a much more WoW-looking Diablo.
Even though it is denied by Blizzard, this information further supports the idea that Blizzard changed the Diablo style to appeal to the WoW crowd.

This isn't a bad move company-wise, but it shows where their loyalty lies (not in their own classic franchises apparently).

I don't see where people are getting the idea that it looks like WoW from. All the environments remain pretty much dark grey/dark red. The only things that bring any color to it are the character abilities.

fundayz:

Aylaine:
I prefer it the way it looks now. Those screen shots remind me of NeverWinter Nights, which makes me cringe. x.x;

That was also pre-pre-alpha in 2005. Imagine what it would have looked like if would've had another 6(and counting) years of development and polish.

The fact is that they already had a game with the classic style yet decided to scrap it the same year as WoW really started picking up, and replaced it with a much more WoW-looking Diablo.
Even though it is denied by Blizzard, this information further supports the idea that Blizzard changed the Diablo style to appeal to the WoW crowd.

This isn't a bad move company-wise, but it shows where their loyalty lies (not in their own classic franchises apparently).

To be fair, they did the same thing with the original Starcraft...kinda. Originally people passed it off as being too heavily based on Warcraft and pleasing that crowd, and was dismissed for it's overly colourful style. Then they scrapped it and restarted, and it turned out very well for them.

Other than the style issue, it's kind of history repeating itself.

Mister Benoit:
snip

Frankly, the blame should be on Blizzard on this one, not on the unexpected popularity of WoW. Half a year ago, they've come out and said development on WoW has cost them a hundred million dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except that it's over a ten year time span, and when you compare it to another major studio, such as, hmm, Rockstar Games, and see what they're making... GTA 4 had a 100 million dollar budget, and that was burned at least 3 times as fast as the full development time of WoW, I'll bet my ass the numbers on LA Noire and RDR are pretty damn close to GTA 4's, if not bigger.

So what's the problem? Well, assuming Blizzard doesn't underpay their developing employees, it's that they're incapable of handling their logistics (or whatever that's called) well, in one way or another. Whether it's having too many small development teams with not enough actual developers or purposely dedicating small budgets to their games, the blame is on them with both this, Starcraft: Ghost and the cheap look Diablo 3 currently has to it.

Edit: There's one thing I forgot to mention, or haven't made clear enough. It's not an issue of money. Blizzard right now is by far the most well funded video game developer of all time. They can literally support 3 times the amount of developing employees someone like Rockstar can.

ciortas1:
I'll say this, some parts of the 2005 version of D3 look pretty nice, but most of it looks rubbish. Now with the current version of D3, I like it, but man, why does everything have to be cartoonish (Remember this cheesiness?)? I thought Diablo was set in a grimdark darkgrim universe. But whatever, reserving judgement until I actually play the damn game.

I remember Diablo 2 being just as cheesy. Some of those archer and rouge abilities (which is exactly what they combined to make the Demon Hunter) were a little much.

And to everyone, if you want the game darker, adjust your monitors. As long as the world is dark and they have LAN (I should check that second part) it will be fine. They aren't ripping off of WoW, WoW ripped off of Diablo and they are now attempting to make a better game off what they learned from it.

Xzi:

I don't see where people are getting the idea that it looks like WoW from. All the environments remain pretty much dark grey/dark red. The only things that bring any color to it are the character abilities.

Really? Diablo 3 looks less "Demon-worshipping, virgin-sacrificing temple" and more "Family Scare Themepark".

just look at these fan comparisons:
http://www.maxfreak.com/diablo3/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/diablo-3-screenshot-big.jpg
http://img299.imageshack.us/i/itshouldrh5.jpg/
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/2/22868/881061-d3_wow_g_super.jpg

If you can't see how the new style deviates from the old diablo style towards WoW style then there's not much left to say.

World of Diablocraft ? They do have consistent artstyle i'll give them that!

KEM10:
I remember Diablo 2 being just as cheesy. Some of those archer amazon and rouge rogue abilities (which is exactly what they combined to make the Demon Hunter) were a little much.

I'm sorry, but what, in the arsenal of the rogue and the amazon could possibly have been anywhere near as cheesy and overblown as two automatically reloading uzi crossbows that can shoot like shotguns in combination with high heels? That's talking gameplay, by the way. What I was talking about was the actual reveal trailer, which was fucking retarded in every aspect. Especially the dialogue.

fundayz:
http://img299.imageshack.us/i/itshouldrh5.jpg/

Love how there's still a rainbow in the 4th example picture in there. Agree wholeheartedly though.

Did not know about this, very interesting. Yeah I'm not too happy with the obvious WoW influence on the current game aesthetics for Diablo III but even those pre-alpha shots of the old build didn't differentiate much from Diablo II. Graphics though are just one aspect of the complete package, at the end of the day, the gameplay will ultimately dictate how fun the game really is.

No, I'm not happy they've simplified the gameplay to make it faster-paced but if it's fun, I'll let it go and just enjoy the game. I still enjoy playing Diablo 1 every now and then... actually it's installed right now, heh.

I don't know if this has been said but I'm sure someone will release a mod in time that changes the graphics to look like Diablo 2, at least i hope so

fundayz:

Xzi:

I don't see where people are getting the idea that it looks like WoW from. All the environments remain pretty much dark grey/dark red. The only things that bring any color to it are the character abilities.

Really? Diablo 3 looks less "Demon-worshipping, virgin-sacrificing temple" and more "Family Scare Themepark".

just look at these fan comparisons:
http://www.maxfreak.com/diablo3/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/diablo-3-screenshot-big.jpg
http://img299.imageshack.us/i/itshouldrh5.jpg/
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/2/22868/881061-d3_wow_g_super.jpg

If you can't see how the new style deviates from the old diablo style towards WoW style then there's not much left to say.

Um the only major differences i see there are better lighting on the ingame ones. And yeah thats a good thing, i like to see whats on screen. Especially if i got the graphics cards to make it smexy.

Seriously looks like you whole argument sums up to "oh theres too much light"

Quiet Stranger:
I don't know if this has been said but I'm sure someone will release a mod in time that changes the graphics to look like Diablo 2, at least i hope so

If Blizzard keeps up with their Battle.net and over all design philosophies with Diablo 3 as they have with Starcraft 2, you can expect there to not be any mods whatsoever. The people doing them would have to recode huge chunks of the game to even begin making those.

Mister Benoit:

Scrumpmonkey:
Diablo 2 came out in 2000, 2005 is well enough time and space to have another one. It sounds to me like they just canned a project that they could have completed in this timeframe and picked up another one a couple of years later that would become this version of D-III (i wonder why things got scrapped in 2005.... hmmm...)

World of Warcraft started exploding, also the heads at blizz north left and they relocated the team at the new offices.

I'm pretty sure it has to mostly do with WoW though, noone had any idea that the game was going to be THAT big, seriously, WoW is absolutely massive.

Key Blizzard north Employees start leaving at 2003 not 2005. WoW was not even release yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_North
"However on June 30, 2003, several key employees left Blizzard North"

So... we could have had D3 5 years ago? I mean I like the nicer new graphics we're getting now, but why not release that version of D3 and now give us D4 or something? Seems like a massive waste of time and money. For '05, those graphics would have been good.

Wolfram01:
So... we could have had D3 5 years ago? I mean I like the nicer new graphics we're getting now, but why not release that version of D3 and now give us D4 or something? Seems like a massive waste of time and money. For '05, those graphics would have been good.

Not really. That's pre-alpha footage, and a game released in 06 (which is when Diablo 3 would've been released at its earliest) by a comparably tiny studio, Titan Quest, looks infinitely better. The graphics of neither that version of Diablo 3, nor the new ones, aren't good. And again, the bad graphics, among other things, are the direct cause of Blizzard assigning really small development teams for their projects.

Oh my god, people... Not this again.

This effin graphics discussion is driving me insane already. Read this, please.

http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/07/31/diablo-iii-designer-talks-colors/
http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/08/04/diablo-iii-designer-turns-tables/

It's outrageous (and nearly IMPOSSIBLE) for someone from the outside of the game's dev circle to possibly state the whatnots of a decision of the caliber of art direction, for there are many more elements involved than you can possibly conceive! These people are paid to do this, and make a lot of effort to make the best decisions they can.

So stop trolling and just wait for the thing to release. If even then you don't like it, don't buy it, and thats it.

bahumat42:

Um the only major differences i see there are better lighting on the ingame ones. And yeah thats a good thing, i like to see whats on screen. Especially if i got the graphics cards to make it smexy.

Seriously looks like you whole argument sums up to "oh theres too much light"

What are you talking about? The only the first comparison that has less lighting is the first one. The second and third have only changed the hues.

Even then, the fog of war was a defining Diablo feature that they are taking away. A lot of the fun in the first playthroughs of Diablo games is not knowing whats ahead, and they have completely removed that.

Secondly, the comparisons only addressed the colour in the game(which is one of the big complaints). The textures and monster design are much more like WoW, obviously not exactly the same but overall the influence of WoW on Diablo 3 is quite clear.

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