Blizzard toyed with branching storylines in Diablo III
Diablo III lead world designer Leonard Boyarsky has revealed that they experimented with branching narratives early in the game's development.
Boyarsky explained that branching narratives conflicted with the multiplayer nature of the Diablo series and in fact he believes that they simply can't reconcile offering player choice with co-operative multiplayer.
He began, “That was one of the roads we went down early on when I first started. And that was one of the reasons I think that they were interested in me joining the team, was because I had experience with that kind of RPG, and we were really interested in exploring that.”
As one of the originators of the Fallout series Boyarsky's experience with branching narratives is quite extensive.
“[Y]ou really can’t have an action RPG that has player choice,” he stated. “It’s because it moves quickly, but I think the bigger issue has to do with multiplayer. Because if we offer you two different paths and I want to take a different path to my friend, how do we then reconcile that?”
“If I’m making an RPG where you have choice, I want it to matter. And it was really not possible to make it matter and to make this game,” he explained.
They tried to work with it initially but every solution they tried seemed to cause as many problems as it solved, “because every time we came up with a solution it was like, ‘Well, what happens when your friend does this?’ We just never really came up with a good solution. If you’re making an action RPG, especially a multiplayer one, it really makes it impossible to go down that road.”
Diablo III is to get its first expansion, Reaper Of Souls on March 25th for the PC and Mac.