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  • published the article Wiki Digest
    Here we go again. Following in the proud tradition (ha!) of the previous bi-weekly wiki series, we'll be showing what's going on in the wiki every Sunday from now on. We'll be giving you a roundup of what's happened over the last few days and what is currently being discussed and planned over there. Feel free to chime in on what's going on in the wiki if you find a section where you want to help out. With that in mind, let's kick off this first week.

    What's New?
    The class skill pages have been updated with additional information such as resource costs and cooldowns. Check out the DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian Barbarian, or any other class, for the change.

    The entirety of our Diablo II items, comprising every normal, exceptional, elite, unique, set, rune word and crafted item have been moved to the data namespace by Apoc. This may not say you anything, but it allows the item data to be used in much more flexible ways. So if someone would like to make item lists for Diablo II items (I'm looking at you kahdrick ;)) this would now be possible.
    The recent patch changes pretty much every single item we had in the wiki, and Sinate and Wynthyst have been hard at work to update all of it. It's not yet finished but a good chunk is done.

    Some new maps have been added to the fixed areas of the game, such as DiabloWiki.com - The Weeping Hollow The Weeping Hollow. Thanks goes to soulzek for creating these maps for us!

    There's also some brand new and rewritten lore articles in the wiki for your reading pleasure by yours truly: DiabloWiki.com - Baal Baal, DiabloWiki.com - Lilith Lilith, DiabloWiki.com - Great Evils Great Evils and many others have been updated with the latest lore information. Spoilers are of course present.

    What's Being Discussed?
    Talkerst has drawn up some ideas on new template documentation for the wiki to make it easier to figure out just what the hell one is supposed to do if one wants to help out. Check it out here and the discussion about it here.

    The main page is also (once again) regoing a redesign. Two proposed layouts are up for discussion, the Box Layout and the List Layout. Chime in on the discussion here if you have any preferences.
    Posted in: Wiki Digest
  • published the article Birthright Lore Quiz and Reference

    The Sin War Quizzes
    1. Birthright Quiz
    2. Scales of the Serpent Quiz
    3. The Veiled Prophet Quiz

    The Diablo lore used to be easy to understand: listen to all npc speeches and do all the quests and you'd know almost everything there was to know about the games. You could read the game manuals and get some extra information, but the general picture remained the same.

    These days it's much tougher since the latest canonical lore is (at the moment) contained in three separate fantasy books. Some might not be able to read them, some might not want to, but even for those who have read the books it can be a staggering task to piece together the various bits and pieces of lore strewn about in them.

    In an attempt to help you all understand the lore even better, I've compiled a reference of all the books in the Sin War trilogy. Each chapter has its own section and lists what characters appear, where it takes place, a brief description of what happens and a list of all the interesting lore points mentioned in it.

    While this isn't a substitute for reading the books, it can be a great help for those trying to remember what actually happened in the books, or those looking for trivia and the finer details of the lore. The Birthright reference isn't as conclusive as the other two since I improved my formatting after finishing this one, but it's still quite comprehensive.


    As an added bonus, I've also created a quiz of 16 questions (all from Birthright) that test your lore trivia knowledge. Similar quizzes will be included with the other two referenced as well. Enjoy :) (And no cheating!)

    Spoiler Warning: Don't even read the questions unless you've already read, or don't care, about the books.



    Here's a rundown of what the difficulties mean. Five questions for each except for master.
    Easy: These questions shouldn't be impossble to answer correctly even for people who haven't read the series.
    Medium: Slightly harder, these deal more with events in the book and probably require you to have read the books, though you might perhaps complete a few if you've gotten some info from forums and wikis.
    Hard: These are hardcore nerd details. Unless you've scoured the books you probably can't answer these.
    Master: If you nail this one, I'll be impressed. Requires cross-referencing to answer.

    Oh, and here are the average scores of the five staffies who tested them for me. Some knew their lore and some didn't ;)

    Easy: 4.2/5
    Medium: 3/5
    Hard: 0.4/5
    Master: 0/1

    EASY

    1: DiabloWiki.com - Uldyssian Uldyssian is the main character of the series, but what is the name of his brother?


    2: Two major religions are revealed to be at work in Birthright. One is the Temple of the DiabloWiki.com - Triune Triune and the other is the...?


    3: DiabloWiki.com - Malic Malic, a high priest in the Triune, uses undead warriors in his hunt for Uldyssian. What are they called?


    4: A demoness, the sister of the Primus DiabloWiki.com - Lucion Lucion, seduces Uldyssian in the book. What is her name?


    5: What is the name of the only angel to appear in Birthright?


    MEDIUM

    6: The Temple of the Triune worships three spirits that represent Creation, Determination and Love. What are the names of these deities?


    7: DiabloWiki.com - Astrogha Astrogha is a demon who first appears in Birthright. Which demon lord is his master?


    8: Uldyssian is accused of a crime for which he is imprisoned in Birthright. What crime is this?


    9: How does DiabloWiki.com - Achilios Achilios die?


    10: How does the encounter between Uldyssian and Lucion end?


    HARD

    11: What title marks the highest judicial officer of DiabloWiki.com - Kehjan Kehjan?


    12: What is the name of Uldyssian's youngest sister, and what was special about her?


    13: What is the age difference between Uldyssian and Mendeln?


    14: Malic is one of three high priests in the Triune. Who are the other two?


    15: DiabloWiki.com - Romus Romus is a criminal who eventually becomes one of Uldyssian's most stalwart followers. What happens to Romus the first time they meet?


    MASTER

    16: How tall is DiabloWiki.com - Mendeln Mendeln?

    Posted in: Birthright Lore Quiz and Reference
  • published the article Lore Bonanza
    Over the last few years, many of us lore fans have felt left out in the cold. Warcraft has seen its universe expand exponentially over the years, and Starcraft, with Starcraft II released and all, has certainly received a similar boost. But now the time has come for all Diablo fans to rejoice in the expanded Diablo universe. Several new, interesting sources of information have recently come to light, the DiabloWiki.com - Book of Cain Book of Cain, the Blizzcon Lore Panel and the DiabloWiki.com - Black Soulstone Cinematic Black Soulstone Cinematic all give us new pieces of both the overarching lore and the Diablo III story puzzle. With that in mind, let's dig into these three and see what they have to offer.


    (No datamined information though)

    The Book of Cain
    This elusive book, recently covered by the late Sixen, appeared on Amazon.com some time ago before quickly disappearing. But now we can all rejoice as it has appeared once again and can be preordered. Release is scheduled for mid december, and it's going to be a treat for lore fans.
    What the Book of Cain is trying to accomplish is to clarify and unify the currently canonical lore. And the fans are appreciating it, with the preorders sky-rocketing. As anyone who has ever debated over these things will tell you, Diablo lore is very sparse and contradicting at times. Combining information from two games over a decade old, three canonical novels and five that are not really canon, coupled with the speculation regarding D3, gets pretty muddled. The Book of Cain aims to rectify these discrepancies between lorebits and bridge the gaps between the Diablo books.

    Inside its pages are many different things. For the first time ever, we're given a creation myth and an explanation of where DiabloWiki.com - angels angels and DiabloWiki.com - demons demons come from, detailed profiles on all DiabloWiki.com - Great Evils Great Evils (and presumably DiabloWiki.com - Angiris Council Angiris Council angels as well), an account of Sanctuary's history as well as Deckard Cain's personal experiences during the events of Diablo I and II.

    Many will undoubtedly wonder whether it will introduce a large amount of retcons into the continuity, and at this point it's impossible to tell just how much has been rewritten or ignored from previously established lore. What we have seen so far from Blizzard however, both in terms of the books and the current Diablo III Beta, is that they prefer to clarify previously murky areas with some small changes rather than change large swathes of information. The prime example of this from the previews we have is the creation myth: it depicts two great beings, DiabloWiki.com - Anu Anu and DiabloWiki.com - Tathamet Tathamet, who battle and in their deaths spawn the High Heavens and Burning Hells. We didn't know anything about their origins before, and so it expands on our current knowledge without destroying much of it in the process.

    The book totals 148 pages, complete with Blizzard artwork throughout all of the pages, so there's certainly tons of information in it. If you want to stay up to date on the lore in the future, this book will be the one to get.

    Check out the publishers page, Insighted.com, or our our wiki for the preview images.

    Blizzcon Lore Panel
    Reported by ScyberDragon last weekend, the Lore Panel was a first for the Diablo series. The panel begun with mostly the preview information we had about the book of Cain as well as a more detailed account of the lore from the http://diablowiki.com/Sin War Novels" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Sin War Novels"/> Sin War Novels. After that they kicked in with some detailed descriptions of both DiabloWiki.com - Azmodan Azmodan and DiabloWiki.com - Belial Belial and a few brand new areas before rounding it off with questions.

    While the panel, coupled with all the other information, didn't necessarily give a lot of groundbreaking information, it was very nice to see an entire panel dedicated to it. They did stress that they don't want to upset the lore with tons of new arbitrary changes, much like we saw above in regards to the Book of Cain. The most telling example here was probably the DiabloWiki.com - Aidan Aidan, the DiabloWiki.com - Dark Wanderer Dark Wanderer who has now been made into the eldest son of DiabloWiki.com - King Leoric King Leoric. The change is markant to be sure, but it has also been implemented very smoothly without disrupting much. Tidbits have had to be retconned, but the larger picture remains clear and better for it I believe. Blizzard really wants to develop the lore and story in a powerful yet continuous way it would seem.

    The Black Soulstone Cinematic
    Now for the juicy part. By now I assume all of you have already seen it and that any of you who are interested in the lore about it have taken a dive into the Lore Forum, but I'll provide a brief summary just in case.

    Leah writes in book, looks at Black Soulstone, has vision of Azmodan and his demon army invading from Arreat Crater. Azmodan also tries to chat her up, but ends up making her cry. He should probably work on that routine of his.
    The finer details of this cinematic are quite interesting. The initial reaction people have, other than being mind-blown with the quality of it, is the rather weird talk sequence between Leah and Azmodan. Why is he even talking to her? If we however substitute Leah for Diablo, the conversation (monologue really) starts to make a lot more sense.

    This has of course caused a lot of speculation to spring up, not only here on DiabloFans but over on the Battle.net forum as well. Is it Diablo he's talking to, or the Horadrim/Belial/Tyrael/Deckard Cain/Bob/Leah/someone else? We don't know, but we haven't had this much speculation since D3 was announced three years ago!

    Datamined Information
    Note: No datamined spoilers in this thread.
    This has to be mentioned too, whether you like it or not. Datamined stuff has been appearing since the beta started, and it does hint at some specific plot developments pretty strongly. However finding it all was a little troublesome, and so Daemaro compiled it all into one huge spoiler thread. If you want all the information currently available to us, you will have to check that too. I won't spoil any here though, but do check it out if you want to.
    Posted in: Lore Bonanza
  • published the article Fresh Blood for the Wiki

    DiabloFans has seen a veritable onslaught of new information in the last few weeks. The Friends & Family Beta start, leaked information, community site updates, skill calculators, live streams and then finally the start of the Closed Beta have all come. It has been very exciting, but for those few (read: 99.98%) who have in fact not gotten access to the beta, it's been less about the gameplay and more about what is actually in the game.

    Wading through this information has partly been like hunting treasure, and partly like bleeding your eyes to death. And sometimes your ears. But since few find that fun, we're doing our best to consolidate the available information in the wiki.

    What's New?
    As some of you may have noticed, the main page of the wiki has had a lot of new stuff added to it lately. Perhaps you've browsed the main page and continued from there, or perhaps you've been directed there from elsewhere.

    Most of this information is still very hard to get a good grip on. Try browsing through the item category and while pretty much every item in Diablo III is placed here, you're likely not going to get very much out of it unless you know exactly what you're looking for.

    Similarly, we have around a thousand new images (and we're not done yet) that have yet to be placed in any specific categories, making it even worse to navigate.

    Add to that the 3,000 affixes, hundreds of crafting recipes and, well, I think you get the point.

    Sounds bad.
    Indeed. Now that the information is in the wiki, it's time to structure it and make it more useful for everybody. A couple of these things have already been started, but there's much more to do. Here's a quick overview of what's been happening in the wiki recently.

    The various skills (for instance the wizard skills) have all been added to the wiki. And fellow member Talkerst has dedicated a lot of time recently to updata all skill information in the wiki to make sure it's up to data as well as pleasing to the eye. You can see the results to far on the various class pages, such as the DiabloWiki.com - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter. The discussion about these changes has been happening in the wiki forum.
    The item data is currently being reworked into all kinds of lists for easy viewing (like DiabloWiki.com - Chest Armor List Chest Armor List) but it doesn't stop there. Armor tier pages, set pages, crafting templates, lots of stuff has to be done in the item department. And you can help out with this if you want to! Head over to The item list thread and check it out. If you want to create one yourself, you can use the DiabloWiki.com - Help:Item Help:Item page as a reference.

    For stuff that isn't currently also available in one form or another on Blizzard's site, there's also a project started up to create area pages for all known places in the beta. You can see an idea of what's happening on the DiabloWiki.com - New Tristram New Tristram page. So if you're in the beta, or know information from the beta, don't hesitate to create addditional pages similar to this one.

    Well, this sounds positively intriguing!
    I sure hope so, otherwise this article would have been a pretty big time waste that I could have spent doing more important stuff. Like sleeping.

    But if it does sound interesting to you, then I urge you to hop over to the wiki forum and of course the wiki itself to take a peek at what needs doing and lend a hand where needed. You should also check the http://diablowiki.com/Community Portal" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Community Portal"/> Community Portal if you want to get updates on what's happening and what needs doing. This is a tumultuous but interesting time for us DiabloFans and the wiki, and it would be a shame for any of you to miss this opportunity in helping develop our community further. If you're interested, ask any of us sysops how to get started or look over the DiabloWiki.com - Help Help page.

    Happy editing :hammy:
    Posted in: Fresh Blood for the Wiki
  • published the article The Auction House Explained
    The recent flood of information we had has left many of you shocked. Skill points removed, traits reworked, new pvp mechanics, banners, shared stashes etc. etc. But many of you are probably most interested, or hesitant, regarding the DiabloWiki.com - auction house auction house (abbreviated AH) system that will allow players to trade their items in exchange for real money.

    Actually, I'll go out on a limb here and say that many of you are really pissed at Blizzard right now. But before you condemnd Blizzard of sacrilege, we should take a closer look at what this system will really mean for the players.

    The Basics First
    Buying
    Selling
    Example
    You can use the cash AH without spending a dime
    It doesn't matter which AH you end up using anyway
    Added bonus: It eliminates third-party selling
    I don't want this crap in Diablo
    Potential Hazards
    Farmers
    Hacking
    Conclusion

    The Basics First
    Blizzard has revealed that there will be two auction houses available to players through the Battle.net interface: one which uses in-game DiabloWiki.com - gold gold as a currency (just as the WoW auction house does) and one which uses real world money such as dollars, euros or similar depending on which region you play in.

    Buying
    In order to buy items, all you have to do is transfer over money to your B.net account from your credit card, which will convert it into e-balance. You can then go right ahead and bid on items with your e-balance. If you win the auction, your bid is automatically subtracted from your e-balance and you get the item. If you bid on an item but someone else outbids you, it will cost you nothing. This is true for both the gold and cash AH systems, the only difference between them is that in one you will use actual money.

    Selling
    In order to sell items, it's a little more tricky. If you want to put up an item for sale, you have to pay a fee. This fee will be subtracted from your money whether you succeed in selling it or not and given to Blizzard. In the gold AH, this fee is a gold sum (again exactly like WoW), and in the cash AH it's your e-balance. This fee is set at a fixed nominal value (the exact amount we do not know at this time). If you don't manage to sell the item, it will remain in your stash and you can try to sell it again, but the fee will already have been removed from your e-balance. If you do sell it however, an additional selling fee is also applied and given to Blizzard, and afterwards one of two things can happen.
    By default, money that people buy items for will be added to the sellers e-balance (or gold total, if they sell in gold). However, it will also be possible to set up your account so that it will be added your credit card. This will require adding a third party payment service to the account to handle the actual transaction. Blizzard is currently negotiating with potential companies at this point in regards to who will handle this service, so at this point we don't know who it will be or in what regions they will operate. However, it will be possible to make money selling items in Diablo III. What will not be possible, however, is to convert your e-balance back into cash. So if you sell an item and haven't set up your account to give you cash, it will increase your e-balance instead. That e-balance cannot later be withdrawn as cash, but it can be used to buy other items and anything in the Blizzard store, including games and WoW subscription time.

    Blizzard has also stated that every player gets a number of auctions which allows them to put up cash auctions without paying the nominal fee. It's unclear whether this is a fixed amount for each account (x free auctions in a lifetime), a fixed amount concurrently (x free auctions at any one time) or a recharging value (x free auctions every week), but Bashiok has hinted we might be talking about a set number each week. In any case, using such a free waiver will provide you with the possibility of making money without risking a single cent. We'll get back to that further down.

    Example
    (NOTE: CONTAINS ENTIRELY FICTIONAL NUMBERS I MADE UP FOR THIS EXAMPLE.)

    Here we have three people: Sixen, Scyber and Nektu.

    Sixen has put up a leather cap for auction for 10$. In order to do this, he had to pay a nominal listing fee of $1 to Blizzard. Scyber sees this leather cap and decides to bid $10 on it. A couple of minutes later, Nektu sees the same item. He thinks it's worth more than $10, and bids $12. Scyber thinks anything over $10 is too expensive, and does not bid any more. The auction runs out a few hours later with no bids more bids being placed, and Nektu wins the item.

    At this point, $12 are subtracted from Nektu's e-balance while nothing happens to Scyber's e-balance. The selling fee, in this example also $1, is subtracted from Sixen's $12, which means he has made $10 total on his auction (-$1 listing fee, -$1 selling fee)

    Under normal circumstances this would be added to his e-balance, but if Sixen has also set up his account to forward him cash, the third party payment service will at this point extract a fee from those $11, say $1, in order to administer the transaction and give Sixen the rest, in this case a total of $9.

    So Nektu pays $12, Scyber pays nothing, Sixen gets $9, Blizzard gets $2 and the third party gets $1.

    You can use the cash AH without spending a dime
    Using the cash AH is entirely optional. Players aren't forced by Blizzard to use it to trade for items. However, many of you fear that having a cash AH will make it so all the best items only sell for real money, thus in reality forcing people to spend money in order to get the best stuff. And while that's appears to be true on the surface, it isn't really. Here's why:
    If you sell an item using one of your free weekly waivers, you can put up an item in the cash AH, sell it, and generate a positive e-balance without spending a single $. With that e-balance, you can then continue to put up items for sale and, using your initial e-balance, pay for the listing fees. Once you accumulate enough e-balance, you can then buy items for real money without having put in a single cent yourself. So you sell that legendary axe and legendary armor you found and use the generated e-balance to buy an awesome staff instead. The system doesn't lock anyone outside of acquiring the best items, what it does is allow people to spend money to get items faster. But it's still perfectly possible for anyone to use the cash AH.

    And you won't even have to exchange legendaries for legandaries. If Blizzard has done its job properly and accomplished what was intended, which is to make gold a valuable resource, then people will want huge amounts of gold for their crafting, repair and vendor needs even if they only use the cash AH. And since gold can be traded on the AH, anyone will be able to sell gold for cash. Of course, the exchange rate between gold and cash is impossible to predict as of now, but in theory anyone will be able to make e-balance without spending any money. Provided there are some individuals out there who actually do put money into the system, some original e-balance has to be generated with actual money. But they will not have to be a majority.

    In fact, the cash system will establish an exchange rate between gold and real money. The exchange rate will be an approximation since there won't be any mods available to track all auctions, but the market will probably reach a rough value. At that point, every piece of gold you make in the game will be worth an amount of $ equal to the exchange rate. This money cannot be taken from your e-balance (can't make e-balance into cash) but it can be used to buy items and blizzard products.

    It doesn't matter which AH you end up using anyway
    What did you say? Each piece of gold dropped will be worth a certain amount of real money? Not only does this mean that you are tecnically making money as you play, it also means that whether you use the gold AH or the cash AH will be irrelevant. The concept is called Arbitrage, and for those of you not accustomed to economics I'll explain how it works.
    Let's say that I find a legendary axe that I don't need and thus want to sell. I can either sell it for gold or e-balance. Looking in the AH, I see that there are incidentally ten axes, five in each AH, currently up for sale: five go for 2000g and the other five for $20. But I decide to see what gold sells for, and I quickly see that 200g costs $1 in the cash AH. Afterwards I proceed to sell my legendary axe for $19, which the sold for gold will be 19*200=3,800g

    That's arbitrage, the possibility to profit due to price imbalances in different markets. Even if I didn't want cash, it's still a better option for me to use the cash AH under these circumstances, since it gives me more gold. The next thing I do is naturaly to buy the other five legendary axes for 2,000g each, sell them for $19 again, essentially giving me 5*(3,800-2,000)=9,000g profit without having killed a single monster.

    This will of course not last, since eventually other people will figure out that the legendary axe is underpriced in the gold AH and correctly adjust their prices. I probably couldn't even have sold those five axes for $19 again, since I essentially bombed the market by doubling the supply of those axes. But that is exactly the point. This kind of equilization will happen continuously across all different items for sale in the two markets, and will work to create a stable exchange rate between gold and $. And when that has happened, it won't really matter which of them you decide to trade in. Even if you consider yourself a purist and never so much as look at the cash AH, the prices you see for items there should be same as those seen in the cash AH.

    Perfect equilibrium is generally upset by various factors such as transportation costs, taxes, varying legislations between markets, expiration dates on products etc. In the future Diablo economy many of these are removed: the the flat fees applied to purchases are a transaction cost and will generate some imbalances between the markets, but that's about it. In the end, it will matter little which one you actually use.

    Added bonus: It eliminates third-party selling
    But that's not everything the AH will accomplish. The purpose of the AH is to eliminate third-party selling of items and the inherent uncertainty that follows from using such sites. I will quote Don here:
    Quote from "Don_guillotine" »

    Well in D2 the market essentially worked just the way this real money AH will. Every serious player used D2JSP for trading because of the sheer effectiveness of it. And you could either buy forum gold for real money or sell items for forum gold. There was no way to convert forum gold back to real currency however.

    D2JSP was really easy to scam in (since you had to do the trade in-game and giving the currency in the forums) if you weren't careful. The site was also corrupt (they gave gold to their friends who didn't pay for them) and so forth.
    Most Diablo II veterans are familiar with D2JSP and the immense use it had in facilitating trade in Diablo II. It wasn't perfect, but it was much better than what Diablo II offered and allowed buyers and sellers to find and trade with each other using a (relatively) stable currency.

    With Blizzard now running a cash AH, they've established a low-risk market. Blizzard will in this case act as the insurance of every transaction: if you sell an item and the buyer for some reason has no money, you will still get your money and Blizzard takes that financial hit. All transactions will be guaranteed by Blizzard, which will facilitate a safe and secure trading environment. In addition to that, since Blizzard will not be selling any items and since the exchange rate between gold and $ will be determined solely by the players in a region, Blizzard will have no way to influence it and purposefully generate a corrupt environment. In addition, the cash AH is a much more convenient method of trade, meaning any competing sites will have a hart time, well, competing.

    I don't want this crap in Diablo
    So far I've explained why you won't be left out of the system and why you won't have to spend real money. But these are all technical arguments. A fundamentally different argument people raise is that bigger wallet = better character. Most comments seem to counter this with "dis would happuned aniway, deal with eet" but that's not entirely true. Yes some people would have bought items for money, but you could at least feel that Blizzard did not support such actions and that an environment where no monetary benefits in RL would ever affect your own gaming experience existed. But "legalizing" it so to speak will with certainly cause a larger percentage of the total gaming population to at least consider engaging in these activities.

    And to that, there's really nothing I can say. Because it is true that this will happen and that it will most likely affect how you view the game. Perhaps try to ignore other people's items? Kick their ass in PvP regardless? Secretly gloat that they're giving you money for your items? I don't know. Every change to a game is bound to be unappealing to some players unfortunately.

    Potential Hazards
    Finally we have the issue of the various kinds of potential risks this system faces: "chinese" farmers and hacks (particularly bots).

    Farmers
    The first fear is that loosing the restraints of the system will invite countless gold farmers in China and similar to pour into Diablo now that this is allowed. And at face value, we can say that there's no reason for such farmers to reduce in number because of this system, and there's also no reason Blizzard can ban them for. After all, all they've done is buy the game and play it according to the rules (working conditions and such aside, but there's no way for Blizzard to control that).
    How will this affect Diablo III? Well, under normal circumstances such farmers operate in a black market outside of the general trade system. They are competing against each other in this environment, but still away from the main body of trade occuring in the general game.

    Now however, every Diablo player will become a potential customer, and since the AH will be anonymous it will be impossible for you to tell whether you're buying items from a Chinese farmer or not. Of course, whatever items they generate will have to compete with the prices of every single item that every single player puts up, and the people who previously had to go to them for gold or items can now instead trade with the real players, thus hopefully pushing down prices and making it less profitable for them. Still, it will probably lead to a greater amount of items being generated, but so long as the problem of duping doesn't reappear, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Bots
    Botting is a second potential problem, one that doesn't really involve any running labor cost other than your electrical bill. Unlike farming however, this is actively prevented by Blizzard and we can only hope that their experience dealing with botting in WoW and SC2 has paid off and will allow them to contain this potential problem well enough. Has this cash AH given botters a bigger incentive? Undoubtedly. Do I think Blizzard can handle it? Yes, otherwise they've done some really terrible estimates prior to announcing this system.

    Conclusion
    Will this new cash AH force you to spend real money? No.
    Is it certain to work/flop? No, neither is certain.

    No one has done this before, and so it seems unlikely anyone can guarantee an outcome here. Individual future situations are not that easily prognosticated. But I don't think the outset is all that bad either. What it will do is to hopefully lead all trades to be handled through Battle.net, which will generate a more stable economy, a larger economy of more buyers and sellers, a more liquid market and an opportunity for people who want to spend money on items to do so freely while at the same time allowing people who do not want to spend money to still generate a net profit, and more importantly, still interact with the entire trading community regardless of financial situation. The problem will be accepting that people with more money can buy better gear, but if you can do that you should not be worried about what this system can bring.
    Posted in: The Auction House Explained
  • published the article The Cosmology of Diablo: The Worldstone

    It's been a while (a year in fact) but the Cosmology series will finally be finished. This time we will deal with the heavy subject of the Worldstone: where it comes from, what it does and what impact its destruction at the end of the Lord of Destruction (LoD) will have on the world of Sanctuary.

    As a reminder there will be plenty of spoilers from the Sin War novels here, so if you've yet to read the books but still wish to do so, you should stop reading now.

    Unlike the previous installments, citations will be placed at the bottom of the post for a more fluid reading experience.

    What is it?
    How does it hide Sanctuary?
    How does it increase the power of the edyrem?
    Was it stolen?
    Conflicts with lore in LoD?
    What will its destruction lead to?
    References

    What is it and what does it do?
    The Worldstone was an immense crystal that sat at the heart of DiabloWiki.com - Mount Arreat Mount Arreat. It stretched over a hundred feet tall and had a jagged, crimson structure.1 The stone itself is made up of thousands upon thousands of small facets that flash with multi-colored lightning. Fragments of the Worldstone also float around the cavern, continuously colliding, breaking, and reforming.2

    Originally it had one purpose only: to hide Sanctuary from outsiders, specifically DiabloWiki.com - Heaven Heaven and DiabloWiki.com - Hell Hell, in order for the angelic and demonic deserters to remain safe. Four important changes were made to it over the course of it's life however:

    1. DiabloWiki.com - Inarius Inarius bound it to himself, preventing anyone but him to draw on its power. This secured his dominance of Sanctuary.3
    2. Inarius changed the resonance of the stone, which started to diminish the powers of the DiabloWiki.com - nephalem nephalem.4
    3. DiabloWiki.com - Lilith Lilith made an alteration to its resonance after her return to Sanctuary from the void, which allowed the nephalem to once again grow in power.5
    4. DiabloWiki.com - Uldyssian Uldyssian made a change to the core of the Worldstone which allowed the powers of the DiabloWiki.com - edyrem edyrem to grow faster than before.6

    Important point: It is often argued, here and in other places, that Uldyssian tied the Worldstone to himself when he changed its structure. This does not appear to be the case. It is still possible that he did so, but there's no clear reference made to it anywhere.

    Not all of these effects remained after the end of the Sin War however. Inarius' tie to the Worldstone is broken by Uldyssian7 and the spell that Lilith cast, is most likely dispelled or overridden with the core change that Uldyssian made. The same seems likely in regards to the dminishing efffect Inarius placed on it.

    Two powers were not specifically stated to have been altered, however: the hiding power that allowed Sanctuary to remain undetected, and the change Uldyssian made that increased the growth of nephalem powers. These will be dealt with below.

    How does it hide Sanctuary?
    We all know the following as "fact": the worldstone protects DiabloWiki.com - Sanctuary Sanctuary from Heaven and Hell, and now that it is gone Hell is sure to invade! It's maintained in the games, and every Blizzcon at some panel there's a developer mentioning it. However, there are some serious problem with this theory, as I will show. First, we must look at how the Worldstone actually provides protection.

    In essence, it works much like camouflage. Imagine that Sanctuary is a soldier hiding in a forest in full camouflage. If he is perfectly still he is nigh impossible to spot. Should he move, he becomes easier to spot, and the faster he moves the easier it becomes. However, unless someone is actually watching the spot where he is when he moves, he can remain undetected, even if he is running.

    This is exactly how it is portrayed to work in the books. The Worldstone is consistently described as having been made in order to hide Sanctuary.8,9 Both Inarius and Hell are furthermore concerned that if they move too fast, in essence use too much magic, they run the risk of exposing Sanctuary to Heaven10. This very neatly explains why Hell hasn't invaded Sanctuary in full force, and why Inarius simply hasn't stamped out Hell. Doing either would require so much power that Heaven would undoubtedly discover Sanctuary as a side-effect. For this reason, DiabloWiki.com - Diablo Diablo doesn't even show himself in full force, as that mere act might alert Heaven of Sanctuary.11 Inarius has similarly contained his powers all these years so that Heaven would not find him.12

    Thus the Triune was created to slowly turn mankind towards Hell, and the Cathedral of Light shortly thereafter to counter their efforts. This also helps explain why there are so many DiabloWiki.com - morlu morlu in the first two books and relatively few demons. Summoning an army of demons would surely cause Sanctuary to be more visible to Heaven, as would Diablo in his full form, but an army of morlu are just dead humans. Raising them from the dead requires no direct interaction with Hell. It does require some magical energies to raise them from the dead, but this is probably on a magnitude far smaller than what is required to summon an army of demons.

    What does this tell us? This tells us that the effect the Worldstone provides is the camouflage cover in the soldier analogy, and in itself, the cover is near perfect. However, heavy use of magical energies or the mere presence of angels and demons in the world makes Sanctuary "move," thus making it noticeable to those outside of it.

    How does it increase the power of the edyrem?
    As stated above, Uldyssian made a change to the Worldstone with the intent of increasing the power of the edyrem, or rather to make their powers grow faster. While it's never actually made clear how that works, it is clearly shown throughout the final book that the powers of the edyrem begin to take control of them, fueling their emotions and refusing to subdue once arisen.22 Uldyssian does remark near the end of the Veiled Prophet that their powers have grown too fast, and that they weren't ready for them yet.13

    In the final chapter, when the "Reset" as I like to call it has been performed, where all the inhabitants of Sanctuary have their memories of recent events removed, all magical powers are also absent in the previously powerful DiabloWiki.com - Serenthia Serenthia and DiabloWiki.com - Achilios Achilios. It seems impossible that Heaven and Hell would be responsible for this; if they can remove the powers of the edyrem so easily, what use are they as weapons?

    Perhaps their powers didn't disappear. Since they've all lost their memories, it could be they still possess them, but simply no longer remember how to use them. Since the gift had to be awakened within the edyrem before they can use them, whatever powers they had would not transfer to the next generation of humans, and so the powers would be lost, and humanity would be free to develop at a slow pace again.

    Was it stolen?
    There is an obscure sentence where DiabloWiki.com - Tyrael Tyrael says that the Worldstone was stolen.14 He does not say from who, yet it seems unlikely he could mean anyone but Heaven.

    In another passage, DiabloWiki.com - Trag'Oul Trag'Oul says that the "essence of creation" was stolen, and that he was contained in it. As the world was shaped by the angels and demons, so too did he evolve.15

    These two references are highly confusing. No other mentions are made in regards to whether Inarius and/or Lilith stole something in order to forge Sanctuary. But if the Worldstone, or whatever was used to shape it, was stolen, then than could mean that Heaven or Hell should be capable of figuring out how to change it, which could explain how the edyrem lost their powers after the Reset.

    Conflicts with lore from LoD
    So far this unfortunately makes little sense. In Lord of Destruction, the Worldstone is depicted as erecting some sort of barrier around Sanctuary. As long as it stood, it prevented angels and demons from entering en masse, but as soon as it was destroyed, there was nothing holding Hell back. This is not how its portrayed in the novels. Not once is the Worldstone made out to do anything but hide Sanctuary.

    In fact, the idea that the Worldstone would provide a barrier is directly disproved in the novels. During the final chapters of The Veiled Prophet, Sanctuary is truly invaded by both Heaven and Hell as angels and demons pour out over the world.16,17 There is nothing that stops them. In fact, the only thing that did hold Heaven back for a while was Trag'Oul.18 He in fact seems to have performed a function similar to what is usually ascribed to the Worldstone, for he managed to "shield Sanctuary from their sight" after Heaven had already learned of Sanctuary's existence, and only when his shield failed could the Heavenly Host invade Sanctuary proper.

    What is even more interesting is that the DiabloWiki.com - Angiris Council Angiris Council and DiabloWiki.com - Mephisto Mephisto form a pact between themselves. The pact is specifically made so that neither Heaven nor Hell shall interfere in the development of Sanctuary.19 This pact is not just a verbal contract, it also involves Mephisto leaving "his mark" on Sanctuary in order for the Angiris to accept it. Whatever that actually means is never made clear, but it's possible that it somehow forces Hell, or at least Mephisto, to abide by it.

    There is also a pact made in regards to the Worldstone, but what that actually results in is never explained in the books.20

    What will its destruction lead to?
    At this point it seems safe enough to assume that the Worldstone, in and of itself, was not what prevented Hell from invading prior to the events of Diablo III. But is there a way to make all of this fit together without retconning out the events of LoD entirely?

    I believe there is, and the key lies in the last chapters of The Veiled Prophet. The entire finale is centered around this very pact that I mentioned above, the sole intention of which is to make sure that neither Heaven nor Hell will invade Sanctuary. There's also mention of a pact regarding the Worldstone, and the quote of Tyrael where he claims the Worldstone was stolen. These three parts allow us to piece something together.

    When the Angiris and Mephisto convene they agree to form a pact regarding the Worldstone. Given that neither side is likely to trust the other, the pact would have to somehow force both sides into agreeing to it. If it lies within the powers of Heaven and Hell to erect some sort of barrier around Sanctuary, then that would seem a likely course of action for them to take.

    Now the Worldstone is at face value just a big crystal, but it also permeates the entire world in some way.21 What better way to erect such a barrier than to do it through the Worldstone? The powerful artifact would maintain the barrier and make sure that neither Heaven nor Hell will be given the opportunity to invade Sanctuary. The final piece of the puzzle is the part about the Worldstone being stolen. The Worldstone has proven extremely hard to actually manipulate and change, but if it was taken from either Heaven or Hell, or combined using some magics from both, then it would seem reasonable that the task of altering it could be performed if both Heaven and Hell cooperated in doing so.

    This allows us to fit it together with established LoD lore. Baal, when trying to corrupt it, would have been trying to alter whatever arrangement had been made there jointly with Heaven so that Hell would once again be granted full access. Tyrael destroyed it so that both forces would once again be able to invade should the need arise. This would mean that the reason Hell hasn't invaded has been because such a response would have garnered an immediate counter-response from Heaven, eventally leading to all humans perishing, something neither side wants. It's simply a stalemate. Such a stalemate doesn't seem likely to last for very long, becauase if it were then there would have been little reason for Mephisto to cement the earlier pact with his own blood. The stalemate is inherently unstable due to the nature of the war between Heaven and Hell, and that is why Hell begins to move during the events of Diablo III. The reason Hell hasn't invaded yet is thus that it was simply a matter of time.

    Incidentally, this also ties in well with the banishment that the Three suffered from the Lesser Evils. The actual act of banishing them could not be seen as an attempt to invade, and depending on how the Worldstone pact was formulated it might have been that Heaven was prevented from doing anything about it. On the other hand, even if the magics used to banish the Three were indeed successful in circumventing the protection placed over Sanctuary, it would still have prevented a full invasion, thus leaving the Three alone on Sanctuary. Powerful yes, but not powerful enough to subdue an entire world on their own. What they could do however was to use their exile in order to get to the Worldstone. And the soulstones, shards of the Worldstone, could perhaps allow them to negate the barrier around Sanctuary.

    One problem still remains. During Diablo II, it is specifically stated by Tyrael at the end of Act IV that Baal is searching for the Worldstone.23 This indicates that the Three had no prior knowledge of the Worldstone's location, which fits nicely with what is established in the Sin War. The Three are never made out to actually know where the Worldstone is located. However, if the Three did in fact not know where the Worldstone was when they were banished to Sanctuary, then it doesn't seem likely any pact regarding the Worldstone could have involved any tampering with it. How could it have been if Mephisto wasn't present? I think we can assume Mephisto would not be happy with closing any sort of deal regarding the Worldstone without knowing where it is and what it's capable of.

    All in all, it's still a bit unclear on how exactly the Worldstone was relevant during the events of LoD. We will probably have to wait until the very end of Diablo III to find out unfortunately.

    References
    1: Scales of the Serpent, p. 186
    2: Scales of the Serpent, p. 187
    3: The Veiled Prophet, p. 178
    4: Scales of the Serpent, p. 191
    5: Scales of the Serpent, p. 192
    6: Scales of the Serpent, p. 195
    7: The Veiled Prophet, p. 306
    8: Scales of the Serpent, p. 191
    9: The Veiled Prophet, p. 8
    10: Scales of the Serpent, p. 282
    11: The Veiled Prophet, p. 149
    12: Scales of the Serpent, p. 52
    13: The Veiled Prophet, p. 323
    14: The Veiled Prophet, p. 178
    15: The Veiled Prophet, p. 69
    16: The Veiled Prophet, p. 303
    17: The Veiled Prophet, p. 307
    18: The Veiled Prophet, p. 240-242
    19: The Veiled Prophet, p. 332
    20: The Veiled Prophet, p. 334
    21: The Veiled Prophet, p. 305
    22: The Veiled Prophet, p. 250
    23: Tyrael, Act IV, Diablo II
    Posted in: The Cosmology of Diablo: The Worldstone
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 8
    < Issue 7 - Issue 9 >
    Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 8

    Character Builds

    As some of you may know, we have quite a few build articles in the wiki that cover a wide variety of playstyles. As you may also know however, writing a guide in the wiki format can be tricky and hard to figure out. To help all of you who want to write a guide but don't know how or where to start, we've now created a new help article specifically for that:

    DiabloWiki.com - Help:Writing Build Guides (Diablo II) Help:Writing Build Guides (Diablo II)

    This new help article assumes no previous knowledge of editing a wiki, so anyone can use it to add a guide. It starts out with explaining how to create the actual page and what to think about when naming it, followed by some basics formatting like creating headers and links in the wiki, since this can be more complicated than one might think. Following that is a more in-depth description of how to spruce up the guide with templates (wiki-term for tables and other things that have already been designed to be plugged into a page) so it looks nicer, and finishes off with some closing words of wisdom and the rules! Yes there are rules, mainly that one-line guides with bad grammar are not going to be kept around.

    Kudos goes to Kickin_It for typing out the whole thing. So if you have an idea for a build, definitely read this new page and add your guide to our wiki.

    Examples
    Although no guide has yet been written by using this guide, here's a selection of guides that utilize the elements, and the spirit, of the build guide:

    DiabloWiki.com - Concentrate Barbarian by Kickin It Concentrate Barbarian by Kickin It
    DiabloWiki.com - Elementalist by lMarcusl Elementalist by lMarcusl
    DiabloWiki.com - Frenzy Barb by Rousse Frenzy Barb by Rousse
    DiabloWiki.com - Mauler by emilemil1 Mauler by emilemil1

    For a full list of all guides in the wiki, visit DiabloWiki.com - Class Builds (Diablo II) Class Builds (Diablo II).

    What Else is New?
    Apoc has added three new character pages: Lead Content Designer DiabloWiki.com - Kevin Martens Kevin Martens, Concept Artist DiabloWiki.com - Josh Tallman Josh Tallman and voice actor DiabloWiki.com - Michael Gough Michael Gough, The Man Behind the Cain.

    Jackzor has added a little bit to the DiabloWiki.com - Enchantments Enchantments page, but has also added screenshots to all D3 monster pages in the wiki, so take a peek in the DiabloWiki.com - Portal:Bestiary Portal:Bestiary to get a glimpse of monsters in action in the game.

    Finally there's two new articles added by me about DiabloWiki.com - Seram Seram and DiabloWiki.com - Partha Partha, two towns in the Sin War novels where Uldyssian grew up and started preaching. This is the first of many new lore-related articles that I'll be adding to the wiki in the nearby future.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 8
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 7

    Attention! If anyone can tell me how to get .gif animations of unique Diablo I monsters with the proper colors, please send me a PM immediately. I'd greatly appreciate it.

    What's New?
    As you all well know, the male DiabloWiki.com - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter has been revealed, and as you all probably know we have updates the wiki to reflect this. Now that that's taken care of, on with the rest of news.
    What you may not know is that we have some new articles on the various people behind Diablo. Apoc took the time to add some information about DiabloWiki.com - Jason Bender Jason Bender (Senior Designer), DiabloWiki.com - Christian Lichtner Christian Lichtner (Art Director), DiabloWiki.com - Micah Whipple Micah Whipple (Bashiok), DiabloWiki.com - Robert B. Marks Robert B. Marks (author of DiabloWiki.com - Demonsbane Demonsbane) and DiabloWiki.com - Mel Odom Mel Odom (author of DiabloWiki.com - The Black Road The Black Road). This is just be beginning, as eventually we'll continue to expand our wiki with more and more people who've helped build Diablo.

    The unique monster section for Diablo I has now been completed, and only lacks images for most of them. This leaves this section of the wiki largely complete, with skills being the only section yet to have any articles written on them. This is largely due to the rather complex nature of D1 skills, which involve many different variables to calculate damage. This makes it difficult to create comprehensive tables for the skills (compared to skill in Diablo II like http://diablowiki.com/Battle Orders" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Battle Orders"/> Battle Orders).

    Kickin_It has continued to overhaul our category sections. Not much more to say about that: you can see where it's going by looking at DiabloWiki.com - Category:Browse Category:Browse however.
    The Diablo II section of the wiki has seen some attention these past two weeks as well however. zhuge has hoverhauled the http://diablowiki.com/Horadric Cube Recipes" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Horadric Cube Recipes"/> Horadric Cube Recipes, adding images and and putting all information into tables to better structure the page.

    The guide section has also seen a new entrant as well. lMarcusl has added a DiabloWiki.com - Tiger Claw Sin Tiger Claw Sin to the wiki. This one, like his previous DiabloWiki.com - Elementalist Druid Elementalist Druid, is meant to be able to beat Hell singleplayer. As such it doesn't feature any high-end gear recommendations that you usually see in a guide. It should however allow you to beat Hell without such gear in any case however, so if you're considering doing that challenge with an Assassin, then perhaps this is the guide for you.

    Finally, there's now a http://diablowiki.com/To-Do List" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - To-Do List"/> To-Do List in the wiki. This page will be continually updated with various tasks that need to be done in the wiki. If you want to chip in but don't know where, this is definitely the page you should check out.

    (I should also note that I've unfortunately destroyed last weeks article spotlight: DiabloWiki.com - Dreamflange Dreamflange. If you want to see it in all it's glory, look here.)

    Article Spotlight
    This week it's a little bit of lore, though probably not much for the alraedy savvy. DiabloWiki.com - Kabraxis Kabraxis is an apparently prominent demon who has to date only been present in The Black Road. After the Prime Evils he's probably the demon to have wreaked the most havoc in modern times in Sanctuary, so much as to draw the ire of the Three upon himself even. Though it is unknown whether everything told in the book is canon or not, Kabraxis is still an interesting demon in the Diablo Universe worth knowing about.

    How Can You Help?
    Aside from the previously mentioned To-Do List, there are many sections in the wiki that need improving. Most glaring is perhaps the lore section of our wiki, which oftentimes simply lacks content yet more often citations, images or clear paragraph structure. If you know your lore and see an article missing something, don't hesitate to add your knowledge to the wiki.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 7
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 6
    Attention! If anyone can tell me how to get .gif animations of unique Diablo I monsters with the proper colors, please send me a PM immediately. I'd greatly appreciate it.

    What's New?
    Last week's SandyTheSandman continued and added three new lore articles to the wiki: DiabloWiki.com - Buyard Cholik Buyard Cholik from DiabloWiki.com - The Black Road The Black Road, DiabloWiki.com - Norrec Vizharan Norrec Vizharan from DiabloWiki.com - Legacy of Blood Legacy of Blood, and DiabloWiki.com - Siggard Siggard from DiabloWiki.com - Demonsbane Demonsbane. I warn you, the last one is quite long. I've asked our dear Sandman to shorten it a bit, but he has yet to do. He must be occupied with slaying Diablo.

    Expanding on my previous work last time, I've now completed all regular monster pages for Diablo I and Hellfire, along with most unique monster pages. Still some images... no, a lot of images missing. Some of which may never be uploaded in as animations even if we're unlucky.

    The three class pages for the http://diablowiki.com/Warrior" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Warrior"/> Warrior, http://diablowiki.com/Rogue" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Rogue"/> Rogue and http://diablowiki.com/Sorcerer" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Sorcerer"/> Sorcerer have been reformatted and expanded as well.

    Kickin_It has also begun a massive overhaul of our category system in the wiki, reorganizing most of our pages. You can see the beginnings of it at DiabloWiki.com - Category:Browse Category:Browse. Within a foreseeeable future it will make navigating through the categories much easier, and should help you all find the more obscure pages we have.

    We also suffered what might be called a bot attack. A few days ago we could offer you some really cheap auto insurance in the wiki along with our more standard offers of DiabloWiki.com - Tyrael Tyrael and the DiabloWiki.com - Borderlands Borderlands. Unfortunately however, our ever-present sysop guys were adamant in cleaning it up. Hopefylly at least some of you got a glimpse of those awesome deals before they disappeared.

    Article Spotlight
    I was going to put DiabloWiki.com - Immune Monsters (Diablo II) Immune Monsters (Diablo II) here first, but when I realized hos much work I'd have to do to make the page presentable and correct, I decided not to.

    So instead I'd like to take this space and showcase our shortest page in the wiki. Ladies and gentle people, I give you: DiabloWiki.com - Dreamflange Dreamflange. I know the amount of information it proves is impressive given it's size, but we're working on it. In fact, I think we might expand it by as much as 1200% within the next few days :o Stay tuned.

    Next Time
    We had very little contributions these past two weeks outside of the wiki team unfortunately. So unlesss you want next time to be all about me, I'd suggest you all dive into the wiki right now and chip away at whatever's missing. If you don't want to have to through any sort of learning curse for it, I suggest... well actually that's probably not possible. But if you want something relatively easy to help out with, we need some general monster descriptions for all DiabloWiki.com - Category:Diablo I Monsters Category:Diablo I Monsters. Or you can take a shot at expanding any of our lore articles.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 6
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 5
    New week, new edits. We've had a good roll these past two weeks as well, so I'll get right on with it.

    What's New?
    As always it seems, we've had some additional contributions by news member Don_Guillotine, this time with some additional information added to DiabloWiki.com - Leah Leah, DiabloWiki.com - Bastion's Keep Bastion's Keep, DiabloWiki.com - Shrines Shrines in D3 and several other minor additions across various D3 articles.

    Last time, new user http://diablowiki.com/Ombra" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Ombra"/> Ombra added information to several characters in the Sin War trilogy. He's continued and added a bunch of backstory to many others now as well, including DiabloWiki.com - Mendeln Mendeln, DiabloWiki.com - Achilios Achilios, DiabloWiki.com - Arihan Arihan, DiabloWiki.com - Thonos Thonos and others.

    Leaving the new game we're all excited about for just awhile, I recently completed all the regular D1 monster stats. There's as-of-yet no consolidation page for them, but you can click your way through them from the DiabloWiki.com - Knight (Diablo I) Knight (Diablo I) page. Most have moving animations, but there are some placeholder images in place that will be removed eventually. (Also, some of them have been color corrected by me because the program can't extract them properly. 2 cookies to anyone who can guess which images I've "fixied").

    New member SandyTheSandman here at the forums also took the time to get to know the wiki interface and created a brand new DiabloWiki.com - Jewelry (Diablo I) Jewelry (Diablo I) page listing all rings and amulets found in Diablo I and Hellfire.

    Lastly, continuing on with the guide theme from last time, we have two new guides featured in the wiki now, but written by previously mentioned Ombra: a DiabloWiki.com - FoH'adin FoH'adin and a http://diablowiki.com/Minion Necromancer" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Minion Necromancer"/> Minion Necromancer. Check them out and be sure to get mighty inspired yourself to add to our growing repository of guides.

    Article Spotlight
    This week we're showcasing an old article which the staff had actually forgotten about: it's the DiabloWiki.com - Glossary (Diablo II) Glossary (Diablo II). Created in the past from a thread here at the forums, it lists all possible kinds of abbreviations that are used in Diablo II on the forums and on Battle.net itself. Since it's revival by sysop Kickin_It last week it has received a host of additions to it, some of which may be quite rarely used. If there's anything that's been missed here, feel free to add to it, and be sure to check it out if you find some weird ass letter combination in the Diablo II forums here ;)

    Here are a few examples:
    HR: High Rune
    PDSC: Poison Damage Small Charm
    SMHTPPK: Sting's Map Hack Using Town Portal Player Kill Mod.
    Zodded: An Ethereal item with a Zod.

    What's Next?
    It seems as if Diablo I is going to continue to receive a facelift. What remains are hellfire monsters, unique monsters, levels and skills. Besides that, I'll hope for some more community additions: guides and perhaps the additional content page here and there. I'm starting to get used to this, so don't disappoint :)


    Just a reminder for anyone interested... Curse is still recruiting and you should definitely apply if you think you have the skills required to join the company! A few positions are now filled but we're still looking for skilled people for the jobs below.

    EDIT: That was Sixen, not me. Sneaking in those job applications in my wiki roundup...
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 5
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 4
    This week we bring you a lot of additions to the wiki, so... I was almost going to say buckle-up there, but I seriously doubt it's going to be that exciting :P

    What's New?
    Rejoice, for the Diablo II section of the wiki is almost done! I've now completed all areas (with some http://diablowiki.com/additional images" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - additional images"/> additional images uploaded as well, check that out). All we're missing are a few Super Unique monster pages, but other than that we now have all data: classes, skills, items, monsters, areas, quests, npcs. In short, everything Arreat Summit offers and more! Of course, there's still loads to be done. Guides have to be written, affix lists have to be created for item pages, game mechanis have to be more thouroughly explained. But the core is done.

    Thanks to this, I've now moved all focus to the Diablo I section of the wiki. I've reformatted all http://diablowiki.com/Diablo I Quests" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Diablo I Quests"/> Diablo I Quests and have continued with all monster pages.

    Believe it or not, but some other people have in fact also been active these past two weeks in the wiki other than me! Don Guillotine has added some new trait information for all http://diablowiki.com/classes" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - classes"/> classes and Apoc has been filling out super unique pages faster than ever.

    Surprisingly, we also have not only one, but three new contributors this last week. lMarcusl started it all off when he wrote his DiabloWiki.com - Elementalist Elementalist Druid, who focuses on several elemental skills. Though very basic to begin with, he quickly grasped the basic wiki-structure and transformed it into a proper guide. And it is meant for singleplay, meaning it is capable of soloing Hell without any outside help. Useful for those of you who prefer singleplayer or playing on your own without depending on strong items.

    On the other end of the spectrum, we have http://diablowiki.com/gaby de wilde" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - gaby de wilde"/> gaby de wilde, who shortly after Marcus created a guide of his own, the DiabloWiki.com - Amplify Damage Necro Amplify Damage Necro, an interesting build that focuses on high level Amplify Damage and Corpse Explosion in order to quickly devastate enemy monsters. This build however sacrifices all surviveability for damage and cheapness (in that it is not expensive). I don't know how well it works, but it is there, so feel free to try it.

    Now I said three, and the last of our weekly contributors is http://diablowiki.com/Ombra" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Ombra"/> Ombra who started expanding on some of our lore articles. Most of these articles do not have citations yet, but the general picture in them is definitely correct. Some of the finer details may be up for debate, but we'll sort that out eventually. So for a rundown on some of the characters in the Sin War, check out the DiabloWiki.com - Inarius Inarius, DiabloWiki.com - Oris Oris, DiabloWiki.com - Gamuel Gamuel, DiabloWiki.com - Edyrem Edyrem and DiabloWiki.com - Lucion Lucion articles.

    Article Spotlight
    No spotlight this time. Partly because I'm lazy, and partly because we had such good contributions these past weeks.

    What's Next?
    Now it's time for Diablo I and whatever else people want to work with, but since I can't read minds I'll just put down what I know we'll be working on. Which is D1: classes, skills, levels etc.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 4
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 3
    Welcome to the new year everyone and the continuation of the stunningly interesting Bi-Weekly wiki reports. We had a little break over the holidays (both from editing and reporting on it mind you) but with the new year things will pick up again.

    What's New?
    Back on the 13th I compiled a Quest Items page. While I'm sure you all already knew that the Horadric Scroll does in fact do absolutely nothing, at least now you will have a picture of it doing nothing as well. Perhaps the page will be useful to someone.

    In much more interesting news, all Diablo II class pages have been reformatted with new attribute and skills layouts as well as expanded quote lists and some basic info on each class: DiabloWiki.com - Amazon Amazon, DiabloWiki.com - Assassin Assassin, Barbarian, DiabloWiki.com - Druid Druid, DiabloWiki.com - Necromancer Necromancer, DiabloWiki.com - Paladin Paladin, DiabloWiki.com - Sorceress Sorceress.

    I myself have continued working on the areas of Act V, and all that remain now is the worldstone keep and the pandemonium areas. Once they are done, all areas in Diablo II will have been completed. Meanwhile, Apoc has continued to create more superunique pages, like DiabloWiki.com - Sszark the Burning Sszark the Burning and DiabloWiki.com - Fire Eye Fire Eye.

    Article Spotlight
    For the lore buffs, we have an article outlining the text from all DiabloWiki.com - Tomes (Diablo I) Tomes (Diablo I) found in the first game. The excerpts from the game are the originals, but have some additional comments to highlight where retcons since then have changed the meaning and validity.

    It also includes all of the quest tomes, though their texts are of less interest.

    What's Next?
    The Superuniques and areas will most likely be done before the next bi-weekly. I'm not entirely sure of what we'll be focusing on after that, but seeing as we probably won't get any major announcements from Blizzard, we might end up working on D1. I haven't really looked any more at extracting the remaining D1 animations, as their color palettes have proven to not work very well when I try to convert them to .gif format.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 3
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 2
    In the two weeks that have passed since our last (and first) Wiki Bi-Weekly, we've had a stunning amount of activity in the wiki. We have been so stunned in fact that we've barely done anything at all! But fear not, for I will try my very best to make sure that this bi-weekly seems to be as full of improvements as the last one.

    What's New?
    First off, the area pages mentioned in the previous edition are underway, albeit slowly (in essense, the overworld and hell levels of Act V have been completed in these two weeks). Now, being the efficient editor that I am, I usually do pages like these in batches. So a few days ago I worked on all the ice cave pages simultaneously. Now sitting on Firefox, this means having a lot of tabs open at the same time, and I developed a false sense of security. You start to think "hey, no worries if I accidentally close a tab, I can just undo it and retrieve all of the information I'd added before saving the page!"

    Not so however when you accidentally close the entire program. Which happened just after saving the DiabloWiki.com - Crystalline Passage Crystalline Passage, but unfortunately before any other were saved. But fear not, for I shall ardently remake those pages again, even though they were almost done the first time around.

    Other than my own meager contributions this week, we've had some other advancements. Our own Don Guillotine of the News Team has been very active in all fields these last few weeks, including a little in the wiki. He did some structural and factual edits on the Diablo III Monster pages as well as the DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian Barbarian and DiabloWiki.com - Witch Doctor Witch Doctor pages, adding extensive new trait lists to the latter two.

    Apoc has completed the page for DiabloWiki.com - Fangskin Fangskin. I agree, not the most massive contribution to data, but at the very least it means no one else will have to do it later on, which is always a positive thing. Hopefully it will also make him feel terribly bad about himself and jump straight back into the wiki regardless of any other work he has to do in the so-called "real life" ;)

    I'd also like to take this time to showcase the latest bot we've had in the wiki. Say hello to Omotesoni, which seems to have uploaded an image that strangely enough redirects you to some loans site. I continue to wonder why these things keep popping up when our stalwart defender Zhuge always slams down on them within the hour. It probably just goes to show you how cheap it is to screw with people over the Internet nowadays.

    Article Spotlight


    Continuing on with the somewhat technical streak since last time when the affix page was on display, we will now showcase DiabloWiki.com - Breakpoints (Diablo II) Breakpoints (Diablo II) as well. It includes comprehensive lists of Faster Block Rate, Faster Hit Recovery and Faster Cast Rate for all classes and mercenaries, and allows you to easily see how much of each stat one needs in order to shave off that extra frame from the character animation. Priceless when optimizing gear setups, and for realizing that you cannot actually reach a Faster Hit Recovery time of 3 frames for the amazon, as it requires a staggering 600% of FHR.

    Unfortunately it does not have lists of Increased Attack Speed, mostly due to the fact that this specific stat is much harder to easily condense into one table.

    What's Next?
    I'd like to put something else here from last week, but truth be told we still have to finish up the same things since then. So in short areas, superuniques, Diablo I images and quests for Diablo I still need doing.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly Issue 2
  • published the article Wiki Bi-Weekly
    In an effort to keep our forum community aware of what is happening in the wiki, we're launching a new series of wiki articles to keep you all up to date on happenings over there. I will go through the largest changes in the last two weeks, showcase a random article, and finish up with what we'll be working on next and how you all can help out. Comments and feedback will be appreciated.

    What's New?
    During the last two weeks we've added many new pages to the wiki regarding areas. Whereas before you might have seen a page as empty as this, all areas in Act I to Act IV for Diablo II have now been remade into detailed pages with monster information, general area information and galleries where applicable, like the DiabloWiki.com - Forgotten Tower (Diablo II) Forgotten Tower (Diablo II).

    What of Diablo III in these last few days then? Well, Blizzcon was over a month ago and most info from that time has been added one way or another to the wiki by now: check out the pages on the DiabloWiki.com - Talisman Talisman, DiabloWiki.com - Artisans Artisans, DiabloWiki.com - PvP PvP and of course the DiabloWiki.com - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter. We also have new high-res screenshots of all the classes, as well as comprehensive lists of all skills and traits currently confirmed on the respective class pages.

    For those loyal Diablo I fans in our userbase, we've also started looking at those sections of the wiki as well. There are plans to add all the relevant Diablo I information to the wiki over the coming weeks, and while the data is of yet not there, we have started adding all the monster animations to the wiki in preparation.

    Also give a big thanks to OmniBOT, who fixed up several articles to give them better structure in the wiki a few days ago, most notably the page about DiabloWiki.com - Items Items, which had a lot of grammatical and some factual errors in it. Other articles shaped up included DiabloWiki.com - Act I Act I and the DiabloWiki.com - Borderlands Borderlands. Always nice to see people help out with the wiki project :)

    Article Spotlight
    In this first bi-weekly, we're going to showcase an old article, however it is to date by far the largest in the wiki. It is the DiabloWiki.com - Affixes (Diablo II) Affixes (Diablo II) page, which lists all the prefixes and suffixes present in Diablo II.

    In a large and comprehensive list, one can find an affix by what bonus it grants, in which level intervals it provides said bonus, and on which items that specific affix can appear. it is quite helpful in determining what affixes a rare or magic item can actually spawn with. For example, did you know that only magic amulets, boots and circlets with an item lvl of 26 or more can spawn with more than 25% magic find?

    What's Next?
    Over the next two weeks, we will finish up the remaining area pages for Act V, finish up the last superunique pages, and add the still missing Diablo I animations to the wiki.

    If you have any suggestions as to how to shape these pages or what content to display on them, be sure to drop a reply in the respective forum threads or send me a PM. If you want to help out adding new content to the wiki in the next few days, there will soon be threads created on how to implement Diablo I monster, quest and NPC pages in the wiki forum, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
    Posted in: Wiki Bi-Weekly
  • published the article Tomes

    The world of Diablo is quite extensive, and the lore around it amounts to a great deal. It's not (yet) on the scale of Tolkien's works, but few game series have had the opportunity to have not one but eight books set in it's fictional universe, and Blizzard's cinematics are not only renowned for their high quality, but also for the memorable moments they create and the powerful visions of their worlds they reveal. All evidence seems to suggest that this tradition has been carried over to Starcraft II in full force, and we can only assume the same will be true for Diablo III.

    But in the old days, before the massive cinematics and in-game cut-scenes of Warcraft III, how did Blizzard tell their stories? Well I'm sure you all remember the tomes scattered about the dungeons of DiabloWiki.com - Diablo I Diablo I. A simple yet very effective way of conveying details of the story to the player. We shall have a look at the various tomes of Diablo I, what they told of the story, but most importantly, if their information provided is still accurate. Because Diablo, whether you like it or not, has gone through a lot of changes from the release of the first game to the last chapter of the Sin War novels, DiabloWiki.com - The Veiled Prophet The Veiled Prophet. Retconning does happen, and things can change.


    First things first: What tomes?
    For those of you who never played Diablo I (and the few who did but have a bad memory), during the game the player would come across several books (similar to the DiabloWiki.com - Moldy Tome Moldy Tome in DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II Diablo II). These books would, upon reading them, provide snippets of information about the game and the war between Heaven and Hell. Four of them were started a quest and included nothing really interesting, but nine books were there purely to tell a story to the player.

    These nine tomes could then be divided into three separate categories:
    • Three were written by the Horadrim, and told of the capture of the DiabloWiki.com - Prime Evils Prime Evils.
    • Three were written by Arch Bishop Lazarus and praised Diablo.
    • Three were of an unknown author with considerable knowledge of Hell.

    The Horadric Tomes
    The Great Conflict
    Take heed and bear witness to the truths that lie herein, for they are the last legacy of the Horadrim. There is a war that rages on even now, beyond the fields that we know - between the Utopian Kingdoms of the High Heavens and the Chaotic Pits of the Burning Hells. This war is known as the Great Conflict, and it has raged and burned longer than any of the stars in the sky. Neither side ever gains sway for long as the forces of Light and Darkness constantly vie for control over all creation.
    The Wages of Sin are War
    Take heed and bear witness to the truths that lie herein, for they are the last legacy of the Horadrim. When the eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells falls upon mortal soil, it is called the Sin War. Angels and Demons walk amongst humanity in disguise, fighting in secret, away from the prying eyes of mortals. Some daring, powerful mortals have even allied themselves with either side, and helped to dictate the course of the Sin War.
    There is a slight change here. The Sin War technically refers to the initial conflict that befell Sanctuary (the entirety of those events is laid out in the Sin War novels). Other than that, the passage is still canon.

    Tale of the Horadrim
    Take heed and bear witness to the truths that lie herein, for they are the last legacy of the Horadrim. Nearly three hundred years ago, it came to be known that the three Prime Evils of the Burning Hells had mysteriously come to our world. The Three Brothers ravaged the lands of the East for decades, while humanity was left trembling in their wake. Our order - the Horadrim - was founded by a group of secretive Magi to hunt down and capture the three Evils once and for all.

    The original Horadrim captured two of the Three within powerful artifacts known as Soulstones and buried them deep beneath the desolate Eastern sands. The third Evil escaped capture and fled to the West with many of the Horadrim in pursuit. The third Evil - known as Diablo, the Lord of Terror - was eventually captured, his essence set in a Soulstone and buried within this Labyrinth.

    Be warned that the Soulstone must be kept from discovery by those not of the Faith. If Diablo were to be released, he would seek a body that would be easily controlled as he would be very weak - perhaps that of an old man or a child.
    This text is mysterious. While the text in itself remains canonical, it is clearly revealed in the first paragraph that the Horadrim were unaware of why the Three were in fact on Sanctuary to begin with. In another book further down, The Binding of the Three, it is clarified that the Three were overthrown by the Lesser Evils.

    However in Diablo II when Deckard Cain gives the quest Sisters to the Slaugher to the player, he reveals that:

    "Ancient Horadric texts record that Andariel and the other Lesser Evils once overthrew the three Prime Evils -- Diablo, Mephisto and Baal -- banishing them from Hell to our world."

    At first glance, it would seem as if this is crystal clear: the book in Diablo I must have been written by a Horadrim mage, and that is how Deckard Cain knows of it. But what one must remember is that Cain is only just barely a Horadrim; the order fell apart before he was born, and the only reason he carries the title is because his ancestor was a Horadrim, and since the order no longer exists, there's no one to stop him from using the title. Clearly Cain managed to retrieve the book "The Binding of the Three" from Tristram, but it is not clear whether he actually knows who wrote it, or just assumed it was a Horadrim mage becasue he found it in their old fortress.

    Lazarus' Tomes
    The Realms Beyond
    All praises to Diablo - Lord of Terror and survivor of the Dark Exile. When he awakened from his long slumber, my Lord and master spoke to me of secrets that few mortals know. He told me the kingdoms of the High Heavens and the pits of the Burning Hells engage in an eternal war. He revealed the powers that have brought this discord to the realms of man. My master has named the battle for this world and all who exist here the Sin War.

    Tale of the Three
    Glory and approbation to Diablo, Lord of Terror and leader of the Three. My lord spoke to me of his two brothers, Mephisto and Baal, who were banished to this world long ago. My lord wishes to bide his time and harness his awesome power so that he may free his captive brothers from their tombs beneath the sands of the east. Once my lord releases his brothers, The Sin War will once again know the fury of the three.
    This quote is questionable. It is the only quote that actually names one of the Three as leader. Various quotes in the Sin War novels allude to the fact that Diablo is the strongest and foremost of them, but no single quote can prove it. For example, DiabloWiki.com - Astrogha Astrogha, a servant of Diablo, refers to his master as the greatest. Lazarus, being a corrupted servant of Diablo, would obviously give his master the same reverance as Astrogha. More so probably, given Diablo's dominance over his mind. So while the quote shouldn't be taken literally, it is another small proof supporting the fact that Diablo does in fact seem to be the leader of the Three (for more thoughts on this, refer to The Cosmology of Diablo: Angels and Demons).

    The Black King
    Hail and sacrifice to Diablo, Lord of Terror and Destroyer of Souls. When I awoke my master from his sleep, he attempted to posses a mortal's form. Diablo attempted to claim the body of King Leoric, but my master was too weak from his imprisonment. My lord required a simple and innocent anchor to this world, and so found the boy Albrecht perfect for the task. While the good King Leoric was left maddened by Diablo's unsuccessful possession, I kidnapped his son Albrecht and brought him before my master. I now await Diablo's call and pray that I will be rewarded when he at last emerges as the lord of this world.
    This is the only passage during which the title "Destroyer of Souls" is used for Diablo. Since it is capitalized it is clearly a title, but it has never been mentioned after this. Perhaps it is just the ravings of Lazarus, or perhaps there is some unknown connection that Diablo has to souls in general that we are unaware of.

    Demonic Tomes
    I have chosen to label these tomes as demonic tomes, mostly because of the information they contain about the inner workings of Hell. It is unlikely anyone but a demon or perhaps a very powerful sorcerer could possess this information.

    The Dark Exile
    So it came to be that there was a great revolution within the Burning Hells known as The Dark Exile. The Lesser Evils overthrew the Three Prime Evils and banished their spirit forms to the mortal realm. The demons Belial (the Lord of Lies) and Azmodan (the Lord of Sin) fought to claim rulership of Hell during the absence of the Three Brothers. All of Hell polarized between the factions of Belial and Azmodan while the forces of the High Heavens continually battered upon the very Gates of Hell.
    This is definitely canonical, though whether it is true or not is another matter. Izual holds a speech in Diablo II that casts some doubt as to whether it was truly a revolution or simply a very elaborate plan by the Prime Evils:

    "You see, it was I who told Diablo and his Brothers about the Soulstones and how to corrupt them. It was I who helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile to your world."

    Still, the mere fact that a revolution did take place, whether real or faked, is not something just any mortal is capable of knowing. And it wouldn't have been a very good scheme if anyone knew the rebellion was a sham.

    The Sin War
    Many Demons travelled to the mortal realm in search of the Three Brothers. These Demons were followed to the mortal plane by Angels who hunted them throughout the vast cities of the East. The Angels allied themselves with a secretive order of mortal Magi named the Horadrim, who quickly became adept at hunting Demons. They also made many dark enemies in the underworlds.
    True, though the amount of angels is probably limited to mainly Tyrael and perhaps some lesser angels under his command. At least, no angel but Tyrael has ever been named to have helped the Horadrim.

    The Binding of the Three
    So it came to be that the Three Prime Evils were banished in spirit form to the mortal realm and after sewing chaos across the East for decades, they were hunted down by the cursed Order of the mortal Horadrim. The Horadrim used artifacts called Soulstones to contain the essence of Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred and his brother Baal, the Lord of Destruction. The youngest brother - Diablo, the Lord of Terror - escaped to the west. Eventually the Horadrim captured Diablo within a Soulstone as well, and buried him under an ancient, forgotten Cathedral. There, the Lord of Terror sleeps and awaits the time of his rebirth. Know ye that he will seek a body of youth and power to possess - one that is innocent and easily controlled. He will then arise to free his Brothers and once more fan the flames of the Sin War...
    This clearly highlights that a Horadrim mage did not write this book. A Horadrim would not call his order cursed, and he would not refer to the Horadrim as "mortal". It suggests that a demon, or some other immortal being, has written this.

    What is also interesting about this book is that it is the only quote that mentions Diablo as the youngest brother. There are plenty of passages that mention Mephisto as the eldest, but only this one named Diablo as the youngest. It has consequently never been disproved either, so it seems entirely reasonable to assume that this holds true.

    Final Words
    And this was supposed to be a short post... Regardless of that, most of this article, as well as some details about the quest tomes and where all tomes appear, can now be found in the wiki at DiabloWiki.com - Tomes (Diablo I) Tomes (Diablo I).

    And for those still waiting for the next cosmology installment, it is coming.
    Posted in: Tomes