A DiabloFans editorial: Stairway to Heaven?




This is a bit shorter editorial speculating about a possible Diablo III expansion. By doing that I'm certainly being slightly ahead of my time. After all, the game itself will come out in 2011 at the earliest. However, these few points and the evidence leading towards them are something I wanted to share with all of you.

Some of the sources I used are relatively old, albeit official, especially the information I took from the DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II Diablo II game manual ― published with the game in 2000. This editorial is merely meant as food for thought and as a seed for discussion. It's also purely speculative in nature.

That all being said, I'm, myself, fairly hyped about some things I came up with. Most of all about how they at least seemingly add up to make something fairly convincing. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you're convinced or not.


As a brief glimpse for those not yet convinced to finish reading, I'll present to you this short summary. If my speculations and the sources I based them on were correct, we'll be visiting the High Heavens and Ureh, seeing the possible return of the DiabloWiki.com - Necromancer Necromancer and more than likely visiting the underground Necromancer city, where the DiabloWiki.com - Priests of Rathma Priests of Rathma are trained in their faith and ways.


The first core point about things likely to be included in the expansion is the fascinating city of Ureh. One of the key locations in the Kingdom of Shadows novel by Richard A. Knaak, which is considered by Blizzard to be an official piece of the lore of DiabloWiki.com - Sanctuary Sanctuary.

In our own DiabloFans exclusive interview posted on November 24th, 2009, Jay Wilson announced that sadly Ureh has been cut out from the game:


Official Blizzard Quote:



DiabloFans: [...] Will different places like Ureh be visited throughout the game?

Jay Wilson: We removed Ureh from the game as a setting to try and get the game out sooner. [...]

However, a lot of concept work for Ureh has been done. It was modeled for the cinematics (it was shown in the cinematic trailer), which makes me to do the speculative assumption that Jay Wilson is explicitly referring to it being cut from the core game. This is not however an idea I can take credit for myself. As quite a central place in the novel and something featured in both the map in the Diablo II manual and the new Map of Sanctuary, the consensus among fans after the initial announcement appeared to be that surely it would be featured in an expansion. This is something I'm ready to assume myself as well.


The next point revolves around the Necromancer. He is perhaps one of the most loved character class of Diablo II. And I, among others, lamented when they confirmed it won't make return at least in the initial release of Diablo III. However, as Jay Wilson says in this below quotation from MTV Multiplayer's blogging on August 5th, 2008, reoccurence in expansions isn't ruled out yet:


Official Blizzard Quote:



"There's a lot of people on our team who aren't happy with our class choices,” he admitted. "But after we've established 'Diablo III' as its own game with its own type of gameplay and experiences, I wouldn't be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there's room for him. We're looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we've got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road."

As the quotation itself implicitly points out, even the Diablo III development team themselves might've wanted to include the Necromancer. Ignoring the perhaps slight contradiction in the wording between these two quotations, the notion of recurrence was further enhanced by Blizzard's community manager Bashiok on January 6th, 2010, when he cleared a misconception regarding the Necromancer as actually confirmed for the expansion:


Official Blizzard Quote:



We're not specifically designing the witch doctor to leave room for a necromancer class. We're focusing on this game and making the classes fun. It's more of a case of, the witch doctor just isn't similar enough that it would prohibit us from adding a necromancer. Were one to be added in an expansion. Were an expansion to be made.

These two comments by Blizzard representatives prove that the return of the Necromancer is possible. This brings me to the next interesting point.


From the Diablo II manual (the text is also on The Arreat Summit), page 41 of the English manual describing the Necromancers, we can read the following:


Official Blizzard Quote:



As with most users of magic, the priests of the cult of Rathma hail from the far Eastern jungles. They
reside in a vast underground city located deep within those jungles. [...]

This city, the training ground for Necromancers, is also referenced in the Diablo novels, which are considered official lore, such as Richard Knaak's the Legacy of Blood. Is it just me, or would a city of the Necromancers be too cool a thing to miss? This above quote has led to the general consensus that the vast underground city of the East mentioned in the manual, is indeed located in the Swamp Land of the East.

Now let's put our interest towards this particular area of the map on the right. Notice how swamp lands is conveniently located just next to Ureh. Is it a coincidence? Or a reason to specifically talk about the possibility of the Necromancer returning?


Now, the last point returns us to Ureh. From the back of the Diablo Archive, the version of the Kingdom of Shadow I own, we get the following:


Official Blizzard Quote:



Legend speaks of a long-dead city known as Ureh, thought by many to have been a gateway to the High Heavens. [...]

The Brain might ask at this point: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

We've been to the DiabloWiki.com - Burning Hells Burning Hells, but the DiabloWiki.com - High Heavens High Heavens is a location unvisited in the series so far. And what would be a more convenient and canon way to enter it, than something already fabled to be a gateway into there?

This was something discussed in this topic started by ScyberDragon. My own guess is that somehow the forces of Burning Hells will invade the High Heavens through Ureh, and the player will go there to save the Burning hells from winning. Your guess is as good as mine, though.


Now that I've presented to you what I think, and what points there, what does the community think?

I at least got hyped.



Disclaimer: DiabloFans' Rumors are not the officially recognized positions of the staff, management, and/or administration of DiabloFans.

Comments

  • #1 Feabreg
    Once again nice editorial Don ;)

    I have to admit i was really disapointed when they said that Ureh was not a part of the game already... but oh well, i hope they'll really bring it on an expansion.

    and it would be definitly interesting to find that necro lost city :)
  • #2 Enkeria
    Quote from "Chemedeiros" »
    Once again nice editorial Don ;)

    I have to admit i was really disapointed when they said that Ureh was not a part of the game already


    Agreed!
    I'm gonna read Diablo Archive some day, I just got it actually. Nice way to practice my english.

    However, I can see the High Heavens as the last act in the expansion, and before it, Ureh. Currupt Necromansers with armies of undead, marching from the Swamplands.. That would be something very cool - and if this was the next last act, I guess having a Necromanser on the "good side" is a must!

    Nice read, Got me Hyped too!
  • #3 Feabreg
    I have read almost all of the archive (except the black road which will be next) and im finishing the "Sin War" triology and I must say that my favorite book so far was the "The Kingdom of Shadow"...

    Now i have heard that "the Moon of the Spider" is sort of a continuation of that one... is that true??
  • #4 Don_guillotine
    Quote from "Chemedeiros" »
    Now i have heard that "the Moon of the Spider" is sort of a continuation of that one... is that true??


    Yes, that is true as far as I know.
  • #5 Feabreg
    Thanks Don... I guess i'll have to order it somewhere :P

    Congrats once again on the editorial!
  • #6 Raggnarokh
    <input type='button' class='bbc_spoiler_show' value='Show Spoiler' />
    Btw, I have to reread " The Kingdom of Shadow " but wasn't the whole " gateway to heavens " a lie? And that it actually led to Hell? :confused:

    Ps. My point is that the whole theory collapses because Ureh is not really a gateway to the High Heavans. :)
  • #7 Mephisto's Lament
    Awesome work as always. You made me quite excite!

    /borat
  • #8 Don_guillotine
    Quote from "RAGGNAROKH" »
    [SPOIL]Btw, I have to reread " The Kingdom of Shadow " but wasn't the whole " gateway to heavens " a lie? And that it actually led to Hell? :confused:[/SPOIL]

    Ps. My point is that the whole theory collapses because Ureh is not really a gateway to the High Heavans. :)


    Please use (SPOIL)(/SPOIL) tags (replace ( )with [ ]), not everyone has read the book. We don't want to spoil their fun, do we?

    And that bit is built upon the rest, not vice versa. If A leads to B which leads to C, and B is untrue, only C collapses but A remains intact.
  • #9 PhrozenDragon
    I agree with this post. It makes sense, and if the Three are the last boss in D3, it gives us a believe final encounter in an eventual expansion.
  • #10 Bell
    Ah, this idea got me all excited. It all seems to fit quite nicely together as well! By Jove, I do hope your right. I would love to see Ureh actually making it's appearance.
  • #11 diablomasterabg
    Don, why do you think we shall defend High Heaven from Burning Hell?
    Both of them hate people and only wait for an opportunity to take possession over them and make them fight against the other side. I think that it's more probable that Cain will see clearly and state that people will live most nicely if there is no High Heaven and no Burning Hell...Then send the hero to kill the archangels and the prime evils...
    In the greatest battle ever existed the only battlers left are Tyrael and Diablo...then you came and a great threeway battle starts. They are not 2v1 but Tyrael also can hit Diablo and Diablo can hit Tyrael!
    It sounds great, doesn't it!?
  • #12 Zenith
    Quote from "diablomasterabg" »
    Don, why do you think we shall defend High Heaven from Burning Hell?
    Both of them hate people and only wait for an opportunity to take possession over them and make them fight against the other side. I think that it's more probable that Cain will see clearly and state that people will live most nicely if there is no High Heaven and no Burning Hell...Then send the hero to kill the archangels and the prime evils...
    In the greatest battle ever existed the only battlers left are Tyrael and Diablo...then you came and a great threeway battle starts. They are not 2v1 but Tyrael also can hit Diablo and Diablo can hit Tyrael!
    It sounds great, doesn't it!?
    well because the high heavens never really did anything bad to us and the hells have always been...and if the heavens die then Sanctuary will be fu**ed :)
  • #13 PhrozenDragon
    Quote from "diablomasterabg" »
    Don, why do you think we shall defend High Heaven from Burning Hell?
    Both of them hate people and only wait for an opportunity to take possession over them and make them fight against the other side. I think that it's more probable that Cain will see clearly and state that people will live most nicely if there is no High Heaven and no Burning Hell...Then send the hero to kill the archangels and the prime evils...

    Unless of course Hell is on the verge of winning. It would make no sense for heroes to team up with Hell to kill off Heaven. Because once that's over, Hell will focus entirely on Sanctuary, and there will be no Heaven to consider. In essence, humanity will be destroyed.

    Perhaps Heaven is as bad as Hell, but I'd rather have two rabid dogs fight each other than one rabid dog attacking me.

    Quote from "diablomasterabg" »

    In the greatest battle ever existed the only battlers left are Tyrael and Diablo...then you came and a great threeway battle starts. They are not 2v1 but Tyrael also can hit Diablo and Diablo can hit Tyrael!
    It sounds great, doesn't it!?

    In theory. But in practice, it will probably come down to one of the following:

    1. Diablo and Tyrael damage each other way too much. The player can sit and camp while they kill each other off.
    2. Diablo and Tyrael deal too little damage to each other. The whole setup is going to feel lame, as it will always end with the player killing both of them anyway.
  • #14 Nektu
    Excellent read! Leaving out Ureh? Maybe they'll put that into the expansion.
  • #15 diablomasterabg
    Hmm, I think that it will be great if there is a little space for the fight maybe as big as the rogue enchapment in D2 and if Blizzard script them to oftenly change their target!
  • #16 Jamoose
    Wow great job on this post Don G.
  • #17 Don_guillotine
    Quote from "diablomasterabg" »
    Don, why do you think we shall defend High Heaven from Burning Hell?
    Both of them hate people and only wait for an opportunity to take possession over them and make them fight against the other side. I think that it's more probable that Cain will see clearly and state that people will live most nicely if there is no High Heaven and no Burning Hell...Then send the hero to kill the archangels and the prime evils...
    In the greatest battle ever existed the only battlers left are Tyrael and Diablo...then you came and a great threeway battle starts. They are not 2v1 but Tyrael also can hit Diablo and Diablo can hit Tyrael!
    It sounds great, doesn't it!?


    Well as PhrozenDragon pointed out, it could be that Hell tries to first defeat Heaven, and then attack on Sanctuary again. Would make perfect sense in an expansion context, if in the end of the main game the forces of Hell are nigh won, they'll use this dirty trick.
  • #18 Feabreg
    [SPOIL]I havent finished to read the last of the "sin war" books, but for what i've read so far, i thought that sanctuary would be seen as an advantage either for hell or heaven in the war. So i guess we will not help any of them because then the balance would be broken. right? [/SPOIL]

    So not all angels have to be "good" neither all demons have to be "bad"... this leaves a lot open for the game!
  • #19 Jackzor
    Nice editorial, and I would have to agree with the Ureh part of it as they've probably done at least some in-game work on it anyways, and it would definitely make sense for an expansion. However, although I do think that we'll visit the High Heavens at some point in D3 and its expansion(s), I don't know about it being through Ureh, as theres some question as to where Ureh leads. That being said, I think Hell taking the fight to the High Heavens would be one of the coolest things we could possibly see in the Diablo series. Just imagine a heavenly, bright place being slowly corrupted by the forces of evil, and seeing angels and demons fighting all around us. That would be amazing, and I don't see how Blizzard could possibly pass on that opportunity.
  • #20 diablomasterabg
    Hmm, I think that the balance had been broken long ago with the human interruption of the Horadrim!
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