In some comments made on Twitter, Diablo developer David Brevik talked a bit about some old plans for Diablo 2's unreleased second expansion, including the information that it could have started to look a bit like an MMO.
Brevik, the co-founder and President of Blizzard North, talked a bit on Twitter about the unreleased exapansion, detailing some of the ways the team was designing and re-imagining the Diablo experience.
Yes, sort of... it was only designed, never produced. I had a multi-page design doc going over new classes, new areas, new mechanics and story concepts. That’s as far as it got. https://t.co/l8xHYOF6z5— David Brevik (@davidbrevik) February 13, 2021
In a subsequent tweet in the thread, Brevik revealed that the plans the team was drawing up would have been "very different from any Diablo."
I would have been very different from any Diablo. I think it was really interesting. We used a lot of the game-structure concepts for Marvel Heroes. I was an APRG+MMO. MMO in terms of many people playing at once, not like WoW. It was scrapped because most of BlizNo left. https://t.co/dkKddyUlYs— David Brevik (@davidbrevik) February 14, 2021
However, the plans were scrapped as it was being planned about "6-12 months" before Brevik left the company. More employees followed suit with the development house closing in 2005 and Blizzard turning their focus towards their own version of what would become of Diablo III.
Also, according to Eurogamer, in an excerpt from "Stay Awhile and Listen: Book 2" by David Craddock, first published on gaming site Shacknews back in 2012, there is some information regarding this lost second expansion, including the plans to expand the multiplayer features of Diablo 2. One way that is mentioned in the book are guildhalls as well as Steig Stones - stoned where guild members could deposit money. Sounds like some MMO stuff right there.
It's some interesting - and timely tweeting - especially as BlizzConline 2021 is set to kick off this Friday and will include a panel discussing the future of Diablo itself.