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Kotaku hosted another one of their "Kotaku Asks" features today, and this time they rounded up a set of questions from the community for Diablo, Diablo II, and Marvel Heroes designer David Brevik. While we're able to glean a handful of nuggets about the early days of the heaven-and-hell action RPG series, the iteration of Diablo III he worked on, and a bit of what's to come in the coming months for Marvel Heroes, there is sadly no mention of Hellgate: London or his time at Flagship Studios whatsoever:
Q: How do you deal with the challenge of balancing the many characters and abilities of the game, in comparison with the fewer classes that were available in the Diablo games?
A: Was there anything you added to MH that you would have liked to have in a previous game of yours? Anything you'd like to add to MH?
Well, I think we are much smarter about the way we construct heroes now than we were back then. Each time you do this, you learn a lot about how an ARPG is made and what tools are required. Because of those lessons and tools, it makes it possible. I don't think we do a perfect job each time, but it is pretty amazing what the team can do. We also have more people working on this project than we did on Diablo 2.
Many of the features in Marvel Heroes I would have liked to add to several of my previous games but didn't get the chance. That is one of the reasons that MH exists.
There are still a few features from Diablo 2 that I would like to add to MH, like set items and leaderboards.
Q: I still remember making my way down to the second floor of the Cathedral in Diablo and running into the Butcher unprepared and dying after (Fresh Meat!) Actually its probably one of my first gaming memories, how did that line come about and did you expect it to be so effective?
A: A classic line. I still get an emotional repsonse just thinking about it. The whole Butcher room and the Butcher himself came about late in the development of that level. We were making tiles and one of the artists created a really bloody room. From there we started joking about it and it turned into a butchers shop. Then we said (oh we gotta create a new monster for this called The Butcher). The line wrote itself!
Q: Hello David.
I've noticed you were involved in the making of Diablo 1 and 2. Were you also involved making the development of the unreleased version of Diablo 3 - the cancelled sequel that would have had the gamers fighting in Heaven rather than Hell. If so, why was the game cancelled and would the game had been a complete departure from released D games, including the released version of Diablo 3?
A: Diablo 3 started development when I was still President of Blizzard North. We left about 2 years in and so I wasn't involved after that. I would guess that the team wanted their own vision of what to make because it's hard to make a product when the vision-holder isn't part of the team. I would have done the same thing.