Hello and welcome to our forums!
I think Diablo is a decent example for the route we’re going to take in many ways. The story was vague, as was the antagonist. Contrary to you, I also don’t remember it having any great dialogs. Certainly it didn’t have much in terms of character interaction. However, it did an awesome job of creating a suspenseful atmosphere by its presentation – the music, the visual style and the bits of story you did get came together very well. I always felt that my actions were embedded in a story context despite the game’s comparatively few efforts to establish one.
Replayability (and hence the procedural generation of much of the game) is a key concept in our game design – but something that doesn’t go well together with heavily scripted stories or game progression. For this reason (and our limited resources) we won’t have much in terms of direct character interaction, extensive dialogs or cleverly written moral dilemmas to navigate through. We definately want to have each encounter to have some context, to have more meaning than just “enemy = loot + xp”. That’s why we want to present each with a short story and illustration, e.g. we won’t just drop you in a fight with a necromancer because why not, but we have the townspeople approach you telling of their cattle perishing, the graves being empty and such.
What we’ll have in terms of choice & consequences will be emergent from gameplay and not be pre-determined by us to occur at some set point in the story. For example, not helping a town under siege could mean it being razed and no longer available in the game world as a place of commerce and safety in the region. It’s an actual consequence of a strategic decision for how you, as the player, will continue to play the gamer afterwards in a dynamic world. Not a fake consequence that we tell you a story about. Nevertheless, we want to present a major event like this with a (minimalistic) cutscene to the player to convey the gravity of it.
Just as with the combat we’ll iterate on story, immersion and choice & consequences until it feels right. I look forward to your feedback once we have something more to show regarding these!