Throughout the original Diablo
and Diablo II
we only visited a select few areas in the sprawling world of Sanctuary. Diablo I took place in Tristram
and the dungeon below the Cathedral, and Diablo II took us to a Rogue Monastery near Tristram, Lut Gholein, Kurast, Hell, and finally the Barbarian
homeland surrounding Harrogath. However, as you can see after a quick look at the world map
on the official site, Sanctuary contains many more locations that we haven't seen. Fortunately, through the Sin War books and the backstories of new and old characters, we know the lore behind some of the locations on the world map. Below is a short summary of the locations we could see in Diablo III
and its expansions, along with a few pictures. If you would like to view the high-res version of any image in this article, simply click on it. For more information on confirmed and potential locations in Diablo III, be sure to check out Don_guillotine's editorial on the topic
. If you still aren't satisfied with your knowledge of Sanctuary's locations, be sure to click on any wiki links and check out the official site.
So far in the Diablo series, we have yet to venture to the High Heavens, despite repeated journeys to the Burning Hells. Early in development, Diablo III was supposed to take place in the Heavens, which appeared to be much lighter than most areas we've seen, and most of the architecture was composed of white pillars. If it appeared in the final game, it could end up looking similar to these screenshots
. Obviously Heaven could also provide a good contrast to Hell, which is another self explanatory potential location.
Another potential location is the once proud city of Ureh. Featured in The Kingdom of Shadow
, Ureh is now trapped between the mortal and immortal planes after Diablo twisted the mind of the city's leader Juris Khan into opening a passage to Hell, only to be foiled at the last second, forcing the city into a state of limbo. Although the city was featured in the announcement cinematic
, Ureh has since been removed from the game. However, it is an obvious choice for an expansion location, and its presence at any point in Diablo III would most likely also give the player access to the swamp area surrounding the city.
The Skovos Isles, home to the Amazon
s, are yet another location that was shown and then removed from Diablo III. From the concept art we've seen, these islands appear to be tropical locations, which would make for some interesting flora and fauna. If an expansion included these isles, it would be interesting to see if Blizzard was able to implement a reasonable way to get from island to island, or if we would only get access to the main island. Either way, exploring the Amazon's homeland would be extremely interesting.
Another interesting homeland to explore could be the Druid
homeland of Scosglen. Although we have no idea what Scosglen and the Druid college of Tur Dulra would look like, it appears as though it is an arctic environment. Scosglen is also close to the semi-confirmed Xiansai, the Wizard homeland.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Jay Wilson: Well, our story tends to focus a lot more on the two major demons and the impending invasion of Sanctuary. So the character classes tend to follow those events and not so much their homelands. I think the only character who actually goes through their homeland is, I believe, the wizard, Leonard [Boyarsky] knows more about this than me, sometimes I get this wrong. But I'm pretty sure it's the wizard. The monk's land we're not going to, but there are likely to be other monk characters and details about the religious group and the culture that he comes from.
It should be noted that this quote is from an interview in 2009, and Jay Wilson seems less than certain that we will go to Xiansai in Diablo III. However, if it is a location in the final game, a trip to nearby Scosglen could make sense. Both environments would most likely be similar, although Xiansai, judging by its color on the world map, does seem to be effected by the same plague as the Dreadlands despite the island's distance from the Arreat Crater.
A more familiar location could be the Sharval Wilds and Ivgorod. Located to the north of Tristram, the Sharval Wilds are home to the Monks of Ivgorod. This region, along with Westmarch, would most likely feel very similar to the area surrounding Tristram and the Rogue Monastery in the previous Diablo games. However, exploring Ivgorod could be more focused on the mountains in the area, while Westmarch is much closer to a port town than anywhere we've gone to in the area.
Mentioned in the Witch Doctor's entry on the official site, the Torajan Jungles surround familiar places like Kurast, but in Diablo II we only explored a small portion of the area. Depending on whether or not you liked Act III in Diablo II, a journey to the Torajan Jungles could be a very appealing or cringe inducing idea, but any Witch Doctor fan would probably enjoy a visit with the Tribe of the Five Hills. The towns in this area could also prove intriguing, seeing as other than Kurast the world map shows no centers of civilization. Small, unprotected villages instead of walled of cities and towns could lead to a lot more dangerous of a feel in the dense jungles.
The only other location on this list that is at all confirmed is the previously mentioned Dreadlands surrounding the Arreat Crater. During the Blizzcon 2010 Crafting Sanctuary panel
, we got a short look at the concept art and interior of Bastion's Keep, a Barbarian stronghold located near the Arreat Crater. A short time later, Bashiok told us that we had actually seen a small portion of Act III. Seeing as all other footage was labeled as part of the first two acts, that would appear to imply that we venture to Bastion's Keep during Act III, which would then seem to suggest that Act III takes place in the Dreadlands. However, at this point in time that is pure speculation, so technically the only confirmed locations are the forests around Tristram and the deserts surrounding Caldeum.
So now that you've gotten a short overview of each of the choices, which locale do you want to see in Diablo III and its expansions? Do you have any other locations in mind? Vote in the poll above and discuss your favorite choices in the topic below.
During last week's poll
, most people (37%) agreed that a follower system that is similar to what we saw in Lord of Destruction, with the addition of skill choices, would be ideal. The next most popular option was the system Leonard Boyarsky explained in a 2009 interview (28%), and the temporary followers option trailed behind with 18% of the vote. If you would still like to vote in last week's poll, or if you just want to talk about followers and hirelings in Diablo III, be sure to head over to the topic through the link above.