Only a fool would go head to head with Diablo 2 and release a big game at the same time right, wrong. The folks at Black Isle believe in their product, the folks at Haven Games have a good long chat with Scott Warner of Black Isle Studios about that soon-to-be-released RPG, Icewind Dale. On the thorny subject of Diablo 2 he says, "Icewind Dale is a completely different role playing game. I think that gamers are aware of that and will purchase accordingly"
They go deep into how a game gets finished, and the steps that have to be taken, "the process is most gruelling on the programmers and the testers, as art usually finishes long before shipping and designers ideally have all their work implemented long before gold to ensure a lot of testing on a final vision." As far as RPGs go, this one could very well be a contender.