• published the article Diablo: Immortal — The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    I know this article is coming late, being over a month since BlizzCon, but I felt that it was almost impossible to discuss Diablo: Immortal immediately following the announcement. Since then, outright anger has condensed into solid criticisms and vitriolic comments have made way for thought out concerns. I feel there are some actual good points to Immortal and there are things we could be excited for, but there are obviously many issues to be concerned about as well.

     

    The Good

    There are some positives when it comes to Immortal. The feeling from people who had the chance to play the game at BlizzCon seemed largely positive, and demo exit poll discussions with the devs at the show were encouraging.

     

    Personally, I found the game to be fun as the Monk and Barbarian, but the Wizard needed a lot of work. The flow of gameplay is quick-paced, faster than D2 while not as frantic as D3. The "cooldown resource" overall felt okay once I had adapted to it. There was some discussion with devs about maybe adding a function to certain skills that would reduce the cooldowns on other skills as a kind of "generator" mechanic. I like the idea of this approach as most end game builds in any ARPG are largely disconnected from its resource system, whereas in other styles of RPG resource mechanics play more into specific timing or rotation than what we've seen in other Diablo titles.

     

    I also wanted to touch briefly on the controls for Immortal. One issue I see that has come up again and again about Immortal is the controls. Plenty of other content creators have weighed in on it already and the only thing I have to add to the discussion is that it took me about 5-6 playthroughs before I started getting a feel for them. By the 10th playthrough the button placements were second nature and the game felt a lot more refined. There will definitely be a learning curve and not just for skill interactions or class mechanics, but each skill had its own targeting or aiming mechanic and learning all of those will take time in figuring out different builds once we actually get our hands on the finished game. I feel most people I've heard that criticized the control scheme just didn't have enough time with the demo, because if I had only played it once with each class (especially in the case of the Wizard), I would have walked away with a negative take on the controls, too.

     

    Outside of the gameplay, the concept art for the game looks amazing, with hints of some major lore reveals like The Resurrection Chamber. Could we finally learn how demons are resurrected and why Diablo and his brothers are always coming back? It's a great example of how there is definitely stuff to get excited about when it comes to Diablo: Immortal, as the game is being promoted to include almost everything we've ever wanted in a Diablo game, including:

     

    • Varied end game content
    • In-depth gameplay via skill interactions
    • Continual updates and content
    • Expanded lore and story
    • Gameplay tailored to different playstyles (10min bites or hours long grind sessions)
    • Persistent online world with city hubs

    All of these are things we would love in Diablo 3 or Diablo 4. It's a shame that the negatives surrounding Immortal have overshadowed these attributes as everything they're aiming for would stack up to be amazing for an ARPG, it's just that we weren't expecting these features to debut first in a mobile game.

     

    The Bad

    ARPGs have dealt with a lot of issues over the years, with botting and item buying being some of the top complaints among the respective communities of almost every major ARPG out there. Even looking back at vanilla Diablo 3, the real money auction house was one of, if not THE, most controversial feature of that game. The vast majority of ARPG players despise pay-to-win mechanics, so when Blizzard announces a Diablo title for mobile, where there is a huge stigma of pay-to-win practices, you can see where this goes wrong. While I still trust Blizzard to make an amazing mobile game, the fact they've partnered with NetEase, a company that is famous for its microstransaction heavy titles, still leaves me with some major reservations. The Diablo community, and the ARPG playerbase as a whole, doesn't have issues with mircotransactions so long as they don't unbalance player power. Path of Exile is supported completely by cosmetic mircotransactions for example and is widely beloved, but if there are any ways to just out right buy powerful items in Diablo Immortal, it will further sour the relationship between the core Diablo fanbase and Blizzard. It's understandable that there is some hesitation from fans who are worried that the game could potentially offer people the ability to buy power rather than earn, in the process being forced to pay into the system in order to compete. Especially since Blizzard hasn't decided (or at least isn't saying) how the game will be monetized just yet.

     

    Another red-flag topic I heard from developers regarding Immortal was a question about "auto-play". Many eastern mobile games feature an auto-play mechanic where the game plays for you; moving to zones, talking to NPCs, fighting monsters, and completing quests. While not as completely automated as botting, this would be a huge sticking point for western ARPG fans that have been against botting for decades. The issue here is that auto-play is a staple for games in the eastern markets and Blizzard wants to create just a single, global game and not have to localize it for different regions. This is just one of those issues where there is no real right answer. Western players don't want an auto-play mechanic, but eastern players would be left questioning why it isn't in the game, and Blizzard wants everyone to play in the same shared space. Thankfully, decisions about auto-play were still very far away as the developers were still focused on core design of Immortal and it sounded like the developers were well aware of how western players would react to such a feature. I hope Blizzard fully understands that if they truly intend for Immortal to be targeted towards "core Diablo players" that this type of feature is a make-or-break decision for the majority of the Diablo community. Anything that resembled botting being a core feature of the game would be completely tone-deaf to a core issue we, as players, have been rallying against since the early days of the franchise.

     

    The Ugly

    This one isn't necessarily about the game itself, but it's still important — how the whole announcement of Diablo: Immortal was handled. Diablo players are primarily PC players, with a growing console base as well. When we're told to be excited about this year's BlizzCon, we expected something for PC. The Immortal announcement came out of left field and when there was nothing else mentioned for Diablo 3 or the next iteration in the series beyond "multiple teams, working on multiple projects", it's understandable that the fans got upset. That isn't to say that Blizzard and the developers shouldn't be excited about Immortal — they genuinely care about the game and they should be excited for their passion project. But, at the same time, the people in control of these marketing decisions should understand that we're not going to be the demographic that's going to be excited for that style of game. There are multiple examples from earlier this year of other developers announcing mobile titles to lukewarm response at best or outright hostility at worse. We fans felt as if Blizzard didn't understand what we wanted or what we get excited about. It felt like they were out of touch.

     

    Will PC players play a mobile game? Of course, but it's not going to be a primary focus. We needed something else, hard evidence from Blizzard to saying "hey here's something else we're working on to show that we haven't forgotten about you, the core audience." It's commonly accepted by most that one of the multiple projects is Diablo 4 and it will be on PC, but at this point the community needs to hear Blizzard say that.

     

    But as we've seen, Blizzard will not budge when it comes to keeping everything hidden until it's ready to show. Even after the bombshell Kotaku article, which contained numerous details about a second, cancelled expansion for Diablo 3 and multiple versions of Diablo 4, Blizzard still refuses to comment, which honestly is only furthering the divide between the community and the company.

     

    The cancellations of projects like Titan and Starcraft: Ghost have burned Blizzard in the past, which makes it somewhat understandable why Blizzard doesn't want to reveal their hand. However, in this scenario, it seems Blizzard could have take a play from game publisher Bethesda Softworks, who earlier this year announced a mobile game based on its beloved RPG series The Elder Scrolls and then followed it up by immediately confirming development of a new core game entry in the form of The Elder Scrolls VI. They even released a teaser trailer. Bethesda knew its fanbase wouldn't be satisfied with just a mobile game announcement, so they gave them a little tease of what was to come. And it worked.

     

    Turns out people can get mighty excited about 20 seconds of mountains and rocks followed by a logo. It's a gesture like that which shows the developers still have their core audience in mind. Maybe one day, AAA+ titles will exist for mobile and it'll be something BlizzCon goers will be expecting, but we're not there yet. Diablo: Immortal could be that first mind-blowing mobile game that really draws in the hardcore crowd, but no one will believe that until they get the game in their hands, and Blizzard should have approached it as such.


    We can all agree that Immortal got off to a bad start, but there is some potential for the title. There are also some aspects to be very wary of. Blizzard will need to put in a lot of effort to recoup lost faith among the fanbase, and they'll also need to be more open in communicating about where Immortal is headed and what kind of monetization system the game will feature.

     

    Diablo fans are upset because they're passionate about the franchise. They have decades of fond memories, and a mobile title, with all of the stigmas that go along with that, just seems anathema to those memories. For many Immortal will be a great side game, but they'll just want something more to go along with it. Maybe, just maybe, Blizzard can take a little risk and openly acknowledge that they're working on a PC Diablo title as the next iteration in the series and ease people's fears. If not, it might be a long wait for fans when it comes to learning what's next.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Diablo: Immortal — The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
  • published the article Review: Book of Adria

    If you've been dismayed by the delay of the Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary, fear not! We've got you covered. I recently received a review copy courtesy of Blizzard, and suffice to say, if you enjoyed previous Diablo source books like the Book of Tyrael or the Book of Cain, you'll love this one. Read on for the full review.

     

    Premise

    The Book of Adria is written as an in-universe guide and collection of records helping to detail the denizens of the world of Sanctuary, the High Heavens, the Burning Hells, and beyond. The book spans a wide time frame, with it being started by Adria before the events of Diablo I during her time in the Coven, with later entries and footnotes being added during the events leading up to the Reaper of Souls. Adria's original intent for the book was to be a record of knowledge that the members of the Coven could use to further the goals of the Burning Hells and throughout it she constantly reinforces the mantra that knowledge is power, and power is the key to victory in the Eternal Conflict. Every page is dripping with details; tips for organs to use during summoning rituals, how to best harvest the stomach acid of a dune thresher, or which season is best for harvesting poisons of local fauna. Adria also added notes to her older entries with knowledge she gained after leaving the Coven and becoming a direct agent for the Lord of Terror, Diablo himself.

    Materials and Construction

    Like the other books in the series, no expense was spared in the construction of the Book of Adria. From the embossed cover to the heavy, high quality stock used for each page, the book is amazing from beginning to end. The book is a more coherent collection of thoughts than the Book of Cain before it and, fittingly, lacks its predecessors roughened edges. Adria also forgoes the gilded filigree that adorned the Book of Tyrael. This book serves a simple purpose; it's a collection of knowledge. A collection of power. Despite this (very fitting) pragmatic approach to the design of the book, the quality of the construction and printing of the book lives up to standards set by the Book of Cain and Book of Tyrael and will fit right along these previous entries.

    Art Design and Production

    Almost every single page in the Book of Adria is adorned with magnificent drawings, rough sketches, scribbled notes, or diagrams for magical formula to summon forth the Lords of the Burning Hells. The book is designed as an ever growing catalog of the creatures Adria has encountered during her travels roaming Sanctuary and notes on how to use, or avoid, all of them. Continuing in a theme set by the Book of Tyrael, this book is more cohesive than the Book of Cain and is divided into logical categories, such as the nature of the Coven itself, the undead, the native creatures of Sanctuary and of the realms beyond, her limited knowledge of the angels, and a very in-depth look at the minions and rulers of the Burning Hells. One of my favorite touches is Adria's constant notes on how best to make use of the information contained within. For example, an entry on ghosts and possessions notes that a mild poison will weaken the body of the host and allow you bring the possessing spirit to the forefront. It's little touches like this that really draw you in and for just the briefest of moments allow you picture what it must be like living the world of Sanctuary. 

     

    The Lore

    Whether you're a new fan to Diablo or long time lore nerd, this book has something to offer for everyone. It felt like many entries in the book started from the in-game journals detailing the beasts within Diablo III, but were further fleshed out from there. The beginning starts off before the events of Diablo I with Adria's notes on the history of the Coven, detailing its origins during the Sin Wars. She continues with notes on how best to use the information contained in the book to acquire power and to prepare the Coven for the coming of the End of Days and the final battles of the Eternal Conflict. Adria also offers warnings that the reader must always be cautious. It's complacency, she writes, that spelled the doom for the prior leaders of the Coven. Should she ever fail in her duties, she expects the next in line for her position to kill her, just as had been done in the past. Spread throughout are also notes from Adria many decades later, having left the Coven and now working for Diablo directly. She offers insight into the shortsightedness of the Coven and why she took her findings with her. It is also in these sections we get our first hints at the rituals needed to cast spells, the protections used for communing with those not of our realm, and how to harvest reagents. One of my favorite parts of the book is within this first chapter, detailing the months of Sanctuary. In that same section is the only retcon I noticed within the book. An included map of Sanctuary has shifted the placements of some of the cities and geography of Sanctuary, most notably the moving of Westmarch and Bramwell.

     

    Next comes the "Dead and the Damned", a look at the undead that inhabit Sanctuary and those that control them. This section touches on one of the focal points of Reaper of Souls, the power of the human soul. Described as an almost infinite power source, the constant struggle of the human soul to simply survive after its mortal body has passed away drives souls to replenish themselves and explains why they are so sought after by demons or used to power occult rituals. This need to continue on is also used as an explanation for ghosts and possessions, as the souls of the wrongfully dead feel an overpowering need to return to the places they once lived. Brief accounts of Witch Doctors and Necromancers are also given, alongside some insights into their worldviews. Adria notes that various cultural beliefs are shaped by the Eternal Conflict, whether they know it or not. 

     

    Next is the "Creatures of Sanctuary and the Realms Beyond". This section details the more natural denizens of the world, such as spiders or Khazra, as well as creatures not from our world, Heaven, or Hell. These pages are littered with helpful tips from Adria on how to best make use of everything to their fullest. Whether it's noting you can substitute goatman blood for human blood or how you can prepare Lucani eyes for a ritual to see into the future, every page prepares the reader for the obstacles they may face if they truly intend to take part in the Eternal Conflict between Heaven and Hell. I found the details on the realms of Creation scattered throughout this section some of the most interesting aspects of the whole book. While realms beyond Heaven and Hell have been hinted at before, dating back to Diablo II and the Sin War Trilogy, these "other realms" have never been covered in any detail. While Adria's understandings of the working of Creation are limited, it's tantalizing to see hints that there might be more to the universe of Diablo than we originally thought and what that might mean for the future of the franchise. 

     

     

    The shortest section of the book is that on the "Angels of the High Heavens". This makes sense from the context of the book, as the Angiris Council had forbid any angel from interfering in the affairs of humanity, with Tyrael being a notable exception. As such, Adria could find little information on them. While she states she originally hated the Angels because of their opposition to the Burning Hells, as she learned more about Creation and the Eternal Conflict, she came to at least respect the Hosts of the High Heavens as they are bound by fate to their actions and see to their duties honorably. Adria expands slightly on our understanding of events during Diablo II and what Baal's ultimate goal at the Worldstone Keep truly was, as well as what affect his corruption of the Worldstone had on Sanctuary. She also makes notes of Malthael's transformation during the events of the Reaper of Souls and how his actions have changed the power dynamics in the High Heavens.

     

    The final, and longest, section of the book, "Demon of the Burning Hells", takes up almost half of the entire page count. Great detail is taken in every section on how to prepare the reader for summoning or contacting each and every demon contained within. Special notes on what to look out for, how to draw your summoning circles, and even the days on which to attempt contact with the Burning Hells. As Adria was incredibly familiar with demonology and regularly consorted with demons, this level of detail makes perfect sense. This is the driving power behind the Coven and later her own plots to bind the Seven Evils into the Black Soulstone and create the Prime Evil. She carefully details her time in Tristram, her contact with Diablo, and her quest to better understand Zoltun Kulle's techniques of marking demons to bind within the Soulstone. It is within these pages Adria gives very detailed instructions on the creation of the summoning circles she used to capture the souls of the Lesser and Prime Evils and bind them within the Black Soulstone. If you ever wondered how exactly all the previous Demon Lords got trapped within the Soulstone instantly upon its completion, this section tells you. This section also concludes one of the themes throughout the book, Adria's relationship with her daughter Leah. It is a bit saddening to see Adria constantly refer to her own daughter as 'the vessel', but fitting with her character. The book drives home how Adria was ruthless in pursuit of her goals, in the process shedding any traces of her humanity.

     

    Final Thoughts

    The final section of the Book of Adria really out does anything in the Book of Cain or the Book of Tyrael. Blizzard has taken the concept of these source books and brought it to the next level. This isn't just a collection of notes, it's a history lesson and guidebook all in one. The attention to detail and level of care that went into fleshing out such minor details is a testament to just how much Blizzard cares about the future of the Diablo franchise. If you're like me, you'll finish this book in a single sitting because you won't be able to put it down. Every page not only gives you a more in-depth look at the world within the game, it also sheds light on the thought processes and motivations of the characters within the setting.

     

    If you enjoyed the previous two source books, you will LOVE this book. If you're looking for a good jumping in point and ready to immerse yourself in the setting of Diablo, this is a the perfect place to start as it acts as a great companion to Diablo III and its connection to the previous games. The only things I would have liked to have seen included in this book are some insight from Adria as to what happened to Leah's soul after Diablo took over and maybe some thoughts from whomever found the book after Adria's defeat as to what awaits Adria's own soul in the Burning Hells.

     

    Even for those who aren't fans of the lore, the Book of Adria is an amazing treat that deserves a place in the collection of every diehard Diablo fan. From the quality of the production, to the art that is just spilling off the page, this book makes for a wonderful coffee table piece — provided your guests don't mind the summoning circles for calling forth the Prime Evils, that is.

     

    If you're eagerly awaiting getting your hands on a copy of the Book of Adria, don't worry, you'll be able to get one soon. The Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary is currently scheduled to be released later this year in December.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Review: Book of Adria
  • published the article Diablo Hopes, Rumors, and Predictions for BlizzCon 2018

    As is tradition, the period right before BlizzCon is rife with hopes, dreams, and speculation about what Diablo news will be revealed at this year's show. Every single bit of media from Blizzard is being heavily scrutinized in search of hints regarding what might be announced, but the truth is right now all we have to go on is chiefly rumors and speculation. That being said, I've made a list of Diablo related announcements that could pop up at BlizzCon 2018, as well as my thoughts on how likely they are to happen.

     

    Diablo Netflix Series

    Rumors have been circulating for a while now about a potential deal with Netflix to produce a series based within the world of Diablo. The lore nerd within me would love a follow up series based around Wrath that would help flesh out the history of Sanctuary, the High Heavens, and Burning Hells. But how likely is it?

    Realistic Prediction:

    We saw just a few weeks ago that apparently the rumors are true and that Blizzard is actively in talks with industry professionals to explore a potential Diablo series. We can look back at 2006 when Universal and Blizzard announced the Warcraft movie, but didn't discuss any details until BlizzCon 2007, where they featured a single piece of concept art. This lends a tiny bit of precedent in that if Blizzard is comfortable with moving forward on a deal with Netflix, BlizzCon would be the perfect time to announce it. On the other hand, if we're looking to the Warcraft movie as an example, the initial press release for the film was made jointly with the studio. Trying to line that up with BlizzCon may be harder than we give credit to. I'm not going to hold my breath on this one.

    Diablo Mobile

    This rumor started a few years ago and continues to be brought up as a joke response in threads speculating on what shape the future of the franchise will take. But does it have any basis?

    Realistic Prediction:

    Despite the persistence of this rumor, there has been no evidence to support it at all. No credible rumors or leaks have ever been seen about it, and scrutiny over the multitude of Unannounced Diablo Project postings also haven't lent themselves to suggest any kind of mobile project in the works. While I'd be presently surprised by a mobile game set within Sanctuary, I don't see this happening in 2018.

    Diablo III Updates

    There have been rumors that earlier this year the primary responsibilities for Diablo III were handed from Team 3 over to Classic Games. With the press tours of the Switch port being headed by Pete Stilwell, Senior Producer of Classic Games, it lends a lit more evidence that this is true. What does this mean for the game itself? That means that Blizzard can have Team 3 focus on the Unannounced Project(s) while still providing a level of support for Diablo III. By the time BlizzCon rolls around, it'll have been over a year since the last the time the game received any meaningful updates (Patch 2.6.1), and it's likely time for some quality of life changes for the game. We've seen with Season 14 & 15 that Blizzard has been using some of the past community buffs, with the final ones to be reused simply being EXP increases or Legendary drop rate boosts. If Blizzard were to change it up and create something entirely new, Season 16 would be the perfect time for it and any announcements at BlizzCon would still give a little over a month for a PTR and testing before the proposed ending of Season 15 in December.

    Realistic Prediction:

    I expect at least a roadmap of what Blizzard intends for the future of Diablo III and what we can expect in terms of continued patch support (or lack thereof). At a minimum I could see a minor patch with something new for Season 16, as a season of 2000% Legendary drop rates sounds like it'd be fun for a bit but get stale fast.

     

    Diablo I/Diablo II Remaster/Remake

    Now this is where things begin to get interesting. There have been rumors of a Diablo remaster since before the announcement of the Starcraft remaster. Back towards the end of 2015, Blizzard started hiring for an Art Outsource Supervisor with the description of: "Classic games is seeking a skilled artist to help revitalize StarCraft, Warcraft III, Diablo II, and our catalogue of other classics." The community started to wonder if Blizzard was actively looking to bring back their some of their older titles. Last year's release of the Starcraft remastered edition was proof that they have been working towards this end. Now the question is, will Blizzard bring this treatment to Sanctuary? And if so, which title? While most fans think of Diablo II when they think of "Diablo" as a whole, that one may be a bit trickery to pull off.

    Realistic Prediction:

    We've heard from David Brevik, one of the original creators of Diablo, that the original source code for Diablo II is likely lost. That would nix any plans of remastering the title. This doesn't rule out a remake however, but it would require a lot more work to reverse engineer the game. To me, the more likely scenario will be a remake/remaster of the original Diablo. We've also seen a lot of Diablo I imagery in the BlizzCon goodie bag, the 'leaked' thumbnail of the Starcraft Vinyl Virtual Ticket video, and the BlizzCon 2018 Key Art featuring an old-school Diablo design. Also, if either title would have to be remade from the ground up, Diablo I would be the easier title to develop. Out of all of the possibilities for this year's announcements, I'm placing a remake or remaster of Diablo I or II as the most probable.

     

    Diablo IV

    Diablo IV is probably Blizzard's worst kept secret. While they haven't official announced what any of the multiple unannounced projects are, this has to be one of them. It's the secret no one talks about, but everyone just kind of knows anyways. The question is, will Blizzard officially announce it this year? And if so, will it mimic 2008's announcement of Diablo III and have a preview of gameplay, but no actual playable demo? Or will it follow suit with all of Blizzard's announcements since then and have a demo to coincide with the announcement? We had our first inkling Diablo IV was development back in Dec. 2015 when Blizzard posted their first job for an Unannounced Diablo Project. While it's been almost three years, we have to remember that development started for Diablo III back in 2001 immediately following the release of Lord of Destruction. I don't expect another 11 year development cycle, but Blizzard is likely to take their time with this title and try their best to not only live up to the expectations set by Diablo III but also live up to the nostalgia many in the community still hold for Diablo II.

    Realist Prediction:

    It's really hard to say with this one. I almost feel that just announcing that it's in development with no further information, a la WoW: Classic, would actually be beneficial for them, as it'll at least deliver on all the hype that has been building since the Future of Diablo video that was release this summer. At the same time, Blizzard has been burned in the past with Project Titan, Starcraft: Ghost, and, to an extent, the long development cycle of Diablo III as well. This is has caused them to be far more conservative with game announcements and I feel that might hold back Diablo IV's unveiling until "it's ready". I'll give this one a coin flip. We all know they're working on it, they know we know they're working on it, they know we really, really want it, but Blizzard does things their way and it might not always make sense to us.

     

    (P.S.  D4 won't be called Reign of Terror)

     

    We won't have to wait much longer to learn what all Blizzard has in store. BlizzCon 2018 starts November 2.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Diablo Hopes, Rumors, and Predictions for BlizzCon 2018
  • published the article What Could the Rumored Netflix Diablo Series Look Like?

    With the recent rumors of a potential Netflix Diablo series in the works, many have been wondering what exactly a series based on the game franchise might look like. Assuming the show would be an animated series rather than live-action, we actually might already have a good idea of what a Diablo show could look like thanks to the 2012 short, Diablo III: Wrath.

     

    Valor Shall Turn to Wrath

    Wrath was released shortly before the launch of Diablo III and used as an introduction to some of the new faces players were about to encounter in the game. Anyone who hadn't read the novels would have never heard of Auriel, Itherael, Imperius, or Malthael, and this animated short gave some quick insights into the characters and their motivations. This short also served as a back drop to the beginnings of the Prophecy of the End of Days that foretold many of the events of Diablo III.

     

    Wrath itself takes place at some point thousands of years in the past during the Eternal Conflict. The forces of Heaven are assaulting the Pandemonium Fortress that is currently held by the minions of Hell. Little did the Angiris Council realize that they had fallen into a trapped laid by the Prime Evils to try and break the unity of the Council by preying upon Imperius' rage and cause him to fall to wrath. This was a perfect way to introduce new characters, personalities, and motivations. Blizzard has since gone on to frequently use non-game media like comics, shorts and more for storytelling purposes throughout their game properties, most notably for Overwatch, a game in which the narrative is told almost entirely in out-of-game fiction.

    What's Next?

    I don't expect Blizzard to shy away from storytelling within the game and completely following Overwatch's model, but the rumored Diablo series could very much be a way to take an expanded look at the history of the universe. Whether it takes place during the Eternal Conflict, the Sin War, the creation of Sanctuary, or even as the Hunt for the Three, it could give potential insight as to where Blizzard will be taking the story for the future of the franchise. I don't expect it to fill the gap between Reaper of Souls and what comes next, but to be used more as an introduction to characters or events that will be utilized in the future, much like how Wrath or the Overwatch shorts are used. We could then make some guesses as to where the future will go for Diablo IV or any of the announced multiple projects may be. Finally, I would also expect this to be more of a mini-series than an actual fully fledged show, this would be setting the stage for next part in the storyline rather than being an actual entry in the main story itself. 

     

    Of course, it's always possible the show could be a loose adaptation of previous game storylines themselves, much like the Netflix Castlevania animated series which is soon to be in its second season. Or this rumor might simply be just that — a rumor, and there's no show to look forward to at all. Regardless, it's still fun to think about what a Diablo Netflix series could look like. If it turned out to be anything like Diablo III: Wrath, fans would be in for a real treat.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: What Could the Rumored Netflix Diablo Series Look Like?
  • published the article Lore Loose Ends: Mephisto, Lord of Hatred

    There are many figures in Diablo lore that have helped shape the world of Sanctuary and all those who dwell within it, but few have had as large an impact on it as the forces of the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.

     

    This series will take a closer look at the leaders of these factions and where they stand in the current Diablo timeline. In this article, we'll take a look at Mephisto, Lord of Hatred.

    Lord of Hatred, The First Brother, Ruler of Hell

    Mephisto is the Eldest of the three Prime Evils, making him one of the oldest beings in all of Creation. A master manipulator and schemer, Mephisto was the defacto ruler of Hell through his many machinations that kept his rivals, and allies, at war with one so that none could challenge him. In the end though, even Mephisto was tricked by Diablo and made a pawn in the Lord of Terror's scheme to become the Prime Evil. But is this truly the last we have seen of the Lord of Hatred?

     

    Dul'Mephistos

     

    Mephisto is one of the few Lords of Hell known to have children and befitting his status in Hell, his children have also held positions of power that have helped shape Sanctuary. It was Mephisto's daughter Lilith that conspired with Inarius to steal the Worldstone and create Sanctuary itself. It was also Lilith that recognized the power of the offspring of angels and demons, the nephalem, and tried to turn them into an army to subjugate both Heaven and Hell. Later, during the Sin War, it was Mephisto's son Lucian who would lead the forces of Hell that were trying to corrupt all of humanity while challenging Inarius' rule of Sanctuary. When the Lucian ultimately failed and the Sin War came to it's climax, it was Mephisto who bargained with the Angiris Council as the representative of Hell.

    The Dark Exile

    After the Three Prime Evils captured Izual during his ill-fated raid on the Hellforge and pried the secrets of the soulstones from the angel's tortured form, they began planning the end of the Eternal Conflict. Mephisto lead his brothers in plotting how to fake their own exile to Sanctuary, fooling the Angelic Hosts, and giving them ample opportunity to corrupt all of mankind. They would then use the latent nephalem powers within humans as a weapon against the High Heavens and swing the Eternal Conflict in favor of Hell. The Three would manipulate the Lesser Evils into overthrowing the Primes and orchestrate their banishment to Sanctuary as a form of punishment. Armed with the secrets provided by Izual, Mephisto and his brothers knew that Tyrael would likely intervene and try to use the soulstones to capture and imprison their souls. Little did Mephisto know that Diablo had already started plotting his own ascension to become the sole Prime Evil.

     

    Lord of Hatred

    The Rise of the Three

    Mephisto was the first of the Three to be captured, but with his skills of manipulation and corruption he was also the first free himself. After centuries of slowly corrupting generation after generation of the leaders of the Zakarum Church, he was finally able to overcome to the prison of the soulstone and lead the priests in a ritual that shattered his soulstone into seven fragments and freed his essence from within. The sole high priest of the Zakarum to remain uncorrupted, the Que-Hegan (leader) Khalim, was turned on by his fellows and was dismembered so that he could not interfere with the release of Mephisto. The next priest to be promoted to Que-Hegan, Sankekur, was used as Mephisto's physical vessel on Sanctuary. Using Sankekur, Mephisto would tighten his control of the rest of the Zakarum Faith and set about long laid plans to free his brothers. The heroes of Diablo II would eventually come to face-to-face with the Lord of Hatred on their quest to hunt down and stop Diablo, defeating Mephisto and shattering his soulstone.

     

    While his soulstone was shattered, Mephisto's soul survived and was left in some form of limbo for 20 years until Diablo's servant, Adria, trapped the Lord of Hatred's essence within the Black Soulstone in order to form the Prime Evil. Upon the completion of the Black Soulstone, all the power of the seven Great Evils were merged into the singular being known as the Prime Evil, with Diablo in control. But could that really be the end of Mephisto?

     

    In the final battle with Malthael during Reaper of Souls, the Angel of Death shattered the Black Soulstone and absorbed it within himself to try and combat the Nephalem hero. Even with all of that power, Malthael was still laid low by the Nephalem, but what happened to the Black Soulstone and the souls trapped within it were left wide open at the end of the Reaper of Souls.

     

    Unending Hatred

    Some of the writers of Reaper of Souls have commented in the past that if (they haven't definitely said this is the case) Diablo was released following Malthael's destruction, it would be Diablo's Prime Evil form released and not the individual Prime Evils. But this isn't canon, at least not yet. Blizzard could easily walk back those comments in Diablo IV or whatever comes next. A being as powerful and manipulative as Mephisto would surely be raging at his bonds within the Black Soulstone and fighting against whatever magics Diablo used to enslave his soul.

     

    What if the Black Soulstone was still functioning even after being shattered? Could Diablo have lost control over the Prime Evil? Having a Prime Evil that changed personalities or tactics throughout a story could be a very interesting antagonist. No longer were you facing the Prime Evil as a singular monolithic Evil, but as an ever changing enemy as the different Lords of Hell fought one another to assume temporary control of the Prime Evil. The Prime Evil was able to corrupt angels and the High Heaven's themselves by its mere presence while Diablo was using its power in a full frontal attack. What if Mephisto had been in control? Imagine the horrors that could have been unleashed if that kind of corrupting influence was used across all of Sanctuary instead? The Prime Evil could have been infesting Sanctuary by tapping into the demonic nature within all humans and raising an army of potential nephalem. A Prime Evil controlled by Mephisto would be a far more sinister opponent to face than the one we defeated in Diablo III.

     

    What if Mephisto was able to escape the confines of the Black Soulstone and regain his free will? Malthael had changed the Black Soulstone and had been using it to absorb the power of human/nephalem souls from all across the world. The Lords of Hell that had also been trapped within could easily have been infused with some portion of that power. A lesser lord of Hell, a minion of Azmodan known as Vidian, effectively used the blood of humans to infuse himself with a small portion of a nephalem's power. It would not be a far stretch to see a being of Mephisto's talents being able to harness the power of all those souls he was trapped alongside within the Black Soulstone. Whether Mephisto would turn that power on Sanctuary and the High Heavens or his own brethren in retaliation for using him as a tool is anyone's guess.

     

    Mephisto may be MIA in Diablo itself as of late, but the Lord of Hatred is now playable in Heroes of the Storm


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Lore Loose Ends: Mephisto, Lord of Hatred
  • published the article Lore Loose Ends: Where is Hope?

    There are many figures in Diablo lore that have helped shape the world of Sanctuary and all those who dwell within it, but few have had as large an impact on it as the forces of the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.

     

    This series will take a closer look at the leaders of these factions and where they stand in the current Diablo timeline. In this first article, we'll take a look at Auriel, Archangel of Hope.

    Auriel, Archangel of Hope
    Auriel, Archangel of Hope

    Auriel is a member of the ruling council of the High Heavens, which is known as the Angiris Council. Not only is she revered by the Angels for her placement on the council, but her standing as the embodiment of Hope itself has led her to become the most beloved of all Angels. She is a benevolent being who shows compassion for humanity, instead of the contempt or hatred that many other Angels harbor. Auriel was one of the members of the Angiris Council that voted to save humanity at the culmination of the Sin War, and has continued to support the human race ever since. While she supports humanity, she's unable to interfere due to the pact the Council made with the Prime Evils of Hell at the end of the Sin War, which preserved Sanctuary as neutral ground. We know that up until the events of Reaper of Souls that Auriel continued to support humans and nephalem indirectly, but she is noticeably absent during Malthael's attack on Sanctuary.

    The Fate of the Black Soulstone is Decided

     

    Shortly before Reaper of Souls, in the novel Storm of Light, Tyrael's newly reformed Horadrim undertake a perilous mission to steal the Black Soulstone from Heaven and hide it in the Ruins of Corvus. At the end of the story, Auriel uncovers Tyrael's plan and ambushes him and the Horadrim during their escape through the abandoned Halls of Wisdom. During her confrontation with Tyrael, she ultimately lets him escape without interfering, seeing that Tyrael's intentions are what he thinks is best for the safety of all of Creation. It's only after this that we see that Malthael had tricked Tyrael into bringing the Black Soulstone to Sanctuary so that the he could steal it and enact his plans to destroy all of humanity.

     

    Auriel doesn't intervene during Malthael's attack, when even Imperius lends a hand in helping to defeat the Angel of Death. The pact with Hell is obviously over and she is no longer bound to not interfere, so why doesn't she help? Could it be that she began to regret her decision to aid Tyrael? Might she have second thoughts about the power of the Nephalem and the creations of humanity, like the Black Soulstone?

     

    Even Tyrael began to question the power of the Nephalem after the detruction of Malthael — and he was humanity's most ardent supporter, so it is possible that Auriel's faith has been shaken, too. The balance of the Angiris Council's vote on Sanctuary threatens to swing in favor of war against the Nephalem, with Imperius' stance likely remaining on the side of their destruction and Tyrael's position within the Council in question after Storm of Light. With Itherael being an unknown, Imperius witnessing the true power and threat of the Nephalem, and Tyrael potentially being removed from the Council, even if Auriel simply abstained from voting on the issue of the Nephalem, it could lead to all-out war with the High Heavens and the destruction of Sanctuary. 

     

    All this being said, Auriel may still have unwavering faith in the Nephalem. She could still champion their continued existence and attempt to stave off any action from the High Heavens against the denizens of Sanctuary. Hope is her defining characteristic, and with the population of Sanctuary slaughtered in the wake of Malthael's attack, that's exactly what humanity needs in the next Diablo game. 


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Lore Loose Ends: Where is Hope?
  • published the article Community Highlights: Epic Cosplays & Original Concept Art

    While all eyes are on BlizzCon 2018 for any news about the future of the Diablo franchise, there are still plenty of awesome creations being put together from fans throughout the community. Take a look!

    Auriel Cosplay

    This amazing cosplay was created by Tiffany Gordon. It took two months to create and you can find videos of the wings in-action and more behind-the-scenes photos on her Instagram.

     

    Wei Wang Diablo III Concept Artist

    Wei Wang, one of the original Diablo III artists, has recently joined Twitter and has been showing off many of his concept pieces from the earlier days of Diablo III's development. You can find art from him about Diablo, Warcraft, and more on his Art Station account.

     

    Barbarian Cosplay

    The official Diablo Twitter account has shown off an awesome Barbarian cosplay by Anhyra Cosplay

     

    Deckard Cain Coming to the Nexus

    And just in case you missed it, Deckard Cain will be entering Heroes of the Storm's Nexus soon, and the husband and wife duo of Steel Barrel Cosplay made an epic Deckard Cain to help celebrate the announcement.

     


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Community Highlights: Epic Cosplays & Original Concept Art
  • published the article Is Diablo 3 Coming to Switch? If So, Here Are New Features We'd Love to See

    Diablo 3 on the Switch?

    One of the biggest rumors buzzing around the Diablo community at the moment is the possibility of Diablo 3 coming to the Nintendo Switch. The rumor has been shared around the web across various news sites and even got a response from Blizzard in the form of a cryptic tweet. But Blizzard has since gone on record to say that they did not mean the tweet as an acknowledgement of a Switch version in development and that they have no official announcements for Diablo 3 at this time. A few days later, a report from Eurogamer seems to confirm that the game is indeed in production, though a official announcement appears to be several months away.

     

    This back and forth has, naturally, sparked lots of conversation. With that in mind I wanted to dive in and give my thoughts on what features I’d like to see included if Diablo 3 does ever arrive for the Switch.

     

    The Necromancer and Eternal Collection

    Currently, new copies of Diablo 3 available for the PS4 and Xbox One come in the form of the "Eternal Collection", which contains the base game, Reaper of Souls, and the Rise of the Necromancer pack. I would expect nothing less from the Switch Version, so no extra DLC here: just one purchase for all of the currently available Diablo 3 content.

    Nintendo Easter Eggs?

    When Diablo 3 was originally announced for consoles, Blizzard had a load of special pre-order bonus items exclusively for the Playstation 3 based off of popular Sony IPs, namely Journey and Uncharted.

    Blizzard would later go on to release more exclusives for the launch of the Ultimate Evil Edition for the PS4 with the Shadow of the Colossus transmog and the chance of encountering a special Last of Us themed ‘Clicker’ Rift.

     

     

    Could we see Blizzard repeat this pattern for the Switch? There are certainly tons of possibilities.

    A Legend of Zelda themed transmog of Link’s tunic?

    A Chain Chomp cosmetic pet?

    Samus inspired shoulders and helm to go alongside the Starcraft transmogs?

    A chance for Whimsydale/Whimsyshire to spawn with Koopas and Goombas?

    A Master Sword legendary drop?

    With so many iconic IPs a version of Diablo on a Nintendo console would have an incredible selection of transmog, cosmetic, or thematic items to offer.

     

    Diablo On The Go

    All console versions of Diablo 3 offer an offline mode of play. If the Switch rumor does come true, Diablo 3 would be the first in the series to go mobile and be able to be played anywhere. Running a rift while waiting between classes, finishing some bounties while on your lunch break from work, or you could even play while flying.

     

    Local Wireless Play - The Next Level of Couch Co-Op

    The portable nature of the Switch would make this feature a sure bet. One of the original intentions for the console port of Diablo 3 was the idea of the couch co-op. Couch co-op, aka local multiplayer, is simply having multiple players all play on the same screen in the same room. Blizzard’s commitment to couch co-op lead to many changes in the game, from Necromancer corpse usage on consoles, the ability for multiple players to enter Set Dungeons, and even for the multiplayer Challenge Rifts. The Switch’s local wireless play feature is the next logical step for couch co-op. Rather than every player playing on the same screen, a player could play on their individual Switch while still being linked in a party with players playing nearby on their own Switches. Any place with a wifi connection could be an instant group to play with friends. Local play would combine all the best aspects of the Switch’s mobile nature and Blizzard’s commitment to the multiplayer experience. Imagine putting together Bounty runs or Rift groups while hanging out at BlizzCon.

    Gameplay Improvements

    The Ultimate Evil Edition launched in 2014 and there hasn’t been any major mechanical overhauls to the console version of the game since then. A Switch version would be the perfect opportunity for Blizzard to revisit the game and make improvements.

     

    One of the biggest weaknesses of the console versions of Diablo 3 are the controls. Many of the best builds on PC don’t translate well to console due to many skills having fixed targeting. As an example, very few Wizards on console use any type of Meteor build due to the awkwardness of targeting the skill when surrounded by enemies, while easier to use skills like Energy Twister dominate the Wizard leaderboards. The simplified targeting system on consoles make Diablo 3 feel like an almost completely different game at higher level Greater Rifts. The Switch version could bring the higher level experiences closer to one another through an overhaul of the control scheme of the game.

    Parting Thoughts: A Sign of Things to Come?

    Diablo 3 on consoles seemed like a huge risk for Blizzard. It was their first console game in over a decade and it was a litmus test of sorts to see if there was any interest for Blizzard titles on platforms other than PC. With the success of Diablo 3 and then Overwatch on the Playstation and Xbox, a Switch version of Diablo 3 is definitely in the realm of possibility. A Switch version of Diablo 3 could be a good way to gauge consumer interest in Blizzard titles on the Switch as well. If the game sold well, Blizzard might look to bring over Overwatch or other future titles to the Switch.

     

    What do you think about the possibility of Diablo 3 on the the Switch? What new features would you like to see included? Let us know in the comments below.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Is Diablo 3 Coming to Switch? If So, Here Are New Features We'd Love to See
  • published the article Community Highlights: Diablo Fanart, Cosplay, & More

    Bio Cosplay's Bone Necromancer Cosplay

    Bio Cosplay has shared some photo's from his necromancer cosplay from BlizzCon '17. He based the work off of some early concept art of armor for the necromancer that didn't fully make it into the game. You can follow his instagram page for more photos, in-progress pics, and more.

     Bio Cosplay's Necromancer

    Tony Timperi's Death of Diablo Fanart

    Tony Temperi recently created this impressive Diablo illustration for the Darkening of Tristram event. You can find more of his work on his artstation account.

    Death of Diablo

     

    Ebunny's Tristram Cover and How to Play Tutorial

    Reddit recently uncovered an older cover and 'how to' for the Tristram theme. Ebunny's other covers and original music can be found on Youtube.

     

    Westmarch Workshop Episode 134

    Neinball and Leviathan discuss the recent use of exploits and jump into the communities thoughts and ideas of what Diablo 4 could look like.

     


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Community Highlights: Diablo Fanart, Cosplay, & More
  • published the article Lore Loose Ends: Eirena's Awakening

    With rumors of the "Unannounced Project" and Diablo 4 circulating around the community, we have to stop and ask — what comes next? We're going to take a look back at many of the loose ends and unfinished storylines from previous games to speculate about where future entries in the franchise could go.

     

    The Sisterhood

     

    Eirena lived during the times of the Mage Clan Wars. Her and her sisters were the servants of a powerful Vizjerei mage, who's books they used to teach themselves magic. The sisters would eventually learn that their master was summoning demons from the Burning Hells. Eirena and the others resolved to stop their master from completing his rituals. While their master was distracted during his rites, Eirena and the others attacked and succeeded at stopping the summoning, preventing more demons from entering their world. But it came at great cost. While the sisters defeated their master and his minions, they were cursed with the corrupted mage's dying breath. The sisters were brought to the edge of death, their life forces quickly fading.

     

    Eirena, The Enchantress

    Words of the Prophet

     

    It was at this time that the mysterious entity known as the Prophet appeared and saved the sisters. He offered to teach them the ways of magic and train them to face a great evil he foresaw would come at some point in the future. After recruitment and training the burgeoning sisterhood was dubbed the Hands of the Prophet and their mission made clear. They were to be placed in a magical trance and made to slumber until the appointed time that they would be called upon to save Sanctuary with the help of a great hero. After roughly 1,500 years, Eirena awoke from her slumber and found all of her sisters dead, with signs of a demonic attack and a great battle having taken place in their sanctum. Undeterred, Eirena searched the deserts around Caldeum until she crossed paths with the Nephelam, the prophesied hero she was destined to find. 

     

    During the battle against the Prime Evil in the High Heavens, Eirena would come across a dying angel that gave her an ancient document that had been written by the Prophet. In the document she found that the Prophet was actually an angel and acted in secret to protect Sanctuary, for he saw the great promise within humanity. However, the identity of the Prophet was still a mystery. Was he the dying angel that gave her the scroll? Or some other figure lost to time? After this encounter Eirena and the Nephalem would defeat the Prime Evil Diablo and save the High Heavens and Sanctuary in the process. But not all would stay peaceful for long. Soon a new threat would endanger Sanctuary in the form of the angel Malthael. Eirena would again join forces with the Nephalem to protect their world.

     

     

    Sister Lysa

    The Whispers in Chaos

     

    During Malthael's attack on Sanctuary, Eirena would begin to hear whispers from her long lost sisters. Through scrying, Eirena was finally able to discern the source of the voices, Sister Lysa. Somehow Lysa still lived and was calling to her from the realm of Pandemonium. While venturing through the broken realm, Eirena encountered the souls of her dead sisters. They began to warn her of what lay ahead and to give clues to what happened to them so long ago. At the heart of the Lair of the Prophet, Eirena encountered Lysa and learned the truth of what the Prophet had asked of the sisterhood. Unbeknownst to Eirena, she had been chosen as the one that would fight against the Great Evils after her sleep, and the rest of the sisterhood was given the choice to leave or to sacrifice their lives to allow Eirena to survive until the coming of the End of Days. All of the sisters agreed to these terms, save one, Lysa. Lysa was furious that she had not been the chosen one. In her pride, she made a pact with demons to try and destroy the Hands of the Prophet. The rest of the sisterhood awoke as they were beset by the demonic horde and, as predicted, gave their lives so that Eirena would live. Lysa somehow survived the encounter and sought revenge on Eirena, but the corrupted Enchantress proved no match against the Nephalem and Eirena's combined might.

    The Truth Unveiled

     

    After defeating Lysa, the Prophet reached out to Eirena to explain what he asked of her sisters, telling her she should view their sacrifice as a gift and not a burden. After returning from Pandemonium Eirena resolved to continue the Prophet's work and rebuild the sisterhood. But this new order would not sleep for centuries at a time. Instead, they would remain vigilante and pass down their knowledge from generation to generation. This new Hands of the Prophet would actively watch over and protect humanity without having to sacrifice their own.

     

    Questions still remain. Were the words of the Prophet a message from the past or did the Prophet still live? Who exactly was the Prophet and is he still working behind the scenes to save Sanctuary? Tyrael seemed to recall someone in his past that went by the name of the Prophet. Could he be referring to Inarius, who posed as the Veiled Prophet during the Sin Wars? Could Inarius still be alive, chained and tormented in Hell, looking after the safety of humanity, his legacy? And what of Eirena's new order? Will she be able to rebuild the Hands of the Prophet in the wake of Malthael's attack?

     

    Eirena's story dives deep into the history of Sanctuary and could potentially involve some of the major players in the creation of our world. Her quest to learn the identity of the Prophet could lead her back to the father of the Nephalem, Inarius, and could even be traced back to the Worldstone. We will have to wait and see if Blizzard has plans to answer these remaining questions, whether in Diablo 4 or elsewhere.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Lore Loose Ends: Eirena's Awakening
  • published the article Lore Loose Ends: Kormac's Torment

    With rumors of the "Unannounced Project" and Diablo 4 circulating around the community, we have to stop and ask — what comes next? We're going to take a look back at many of the loose ends and unfinished storylines from previous games to speculate about where future entries in the franchise could go.

     

    The Templar of Westmarch

     

    Kormac has been at the side of the Nephalem's since the very beginning of the hunt for the Black Soulstone and the fight against the Prime Evil. Along the journey, Kormac searched for sacred texts of his order, the Templar Order. The Templar had redeemed Kormac, cleansing him of his past sins, as well as his memories. As a Templar, Kormac found purpose in fighting for the Light and all that was righteous. While Kormac couldn't remember any of his past before being a Templar, he was very devout in following the Templar's teachings, since they had given his life meaning. It was during these studies that he found that his life as a Templar was a lie. The Templar Order didn't redeem criminals and convicts, as he believed — they kidnapped and brainwashed converts. He wasn't the flawed person he had been led to believe that he was, and doubt was cast over everything he believed in. The Templar were also revealed to be actively trying to collect weapons from the Angelic Host, in order to use them to further their own agenda.

     

    Kormac's Quest

     

    Upon reaching Westmarch to fight against the Angel of Death, Kormac wanted to bring the evidence he had discovered to the Templar's Grand Maester, so that the corruption within the order could be purged. While Kormac held out hope that the Maester wasn't complicit with the torturing and brainwashing of initiates, he eventually found evidence to the contrary. Kormac began to further question his Templar beliefs. He eventually resolved that only by confronting the Maester with the sins of the Order could his conscience be put at ease.

     

     

    Confronting the Maester

     

    Upon reaching the Templar's main hall, Kormac was welcomed as a hero. Having helped defeat Azmodan and Belial, his conquests to safeguard humanity were legendary. While passing through the Templar stronghold, Kormac is confronted with even more evidence of the order's sins, as they were torturing new converts. When Kormac is finally given an audience with the Maester to confront him with the evidence of the Templar's crimes, the Maester turns on him. The Maester's grand vision was to convert all of humanity into Templars, so that he could lead them and control everyone in his blind and twisted interpretation of the Light. Only with the help of the Nephalem is Kormac able to face down the elite of the Templars and fight his way through to the Maester. In the final confrontation with the leader of the Templar, Kormac is able to find some small sense of justice in righting at least one of the wrongs the order had inflicted upon the world. 

     

    Future of the Order

     

    After taking down the leadership of the Templar, Kormac begins a new quest: to search for and find every surviving Templar and free them from the order's brainwashing. 

     

    How many Templar factions still exist within Sanctuary, and how many people will fall to them in the aftermath of Malthael's mass attack across the world? 

    Could the Templar be a major force in the future, now that many cities — and possibly entire nations — are left defenseless?

    How far will Kormac's travels take him, and will he be able use the secrets he's learned to truly save others?

     

    There are endless possibilities for the Templar storyline to expand upon going forward. We've faced plenty of human enemies that have pledged themselves to the forces of Hell, but an entirely human faction with no connection to the Burning Hells or the High Heaven serving as an antagonist would certainly be an exciting new direction for Diablo


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Lore Loose Ends: Kormac's Torment
  • published the article Community Highlights: Diablo's Future, Sonya Cosplay, Diablo II, & Fanart

    Bluddshed - Goldman Sachs Diablo Prediction

    Bluddshed shared his take on the recent Goldman Sachs prediction that a new Diablo title would be released by 2019.

     

     

    Sonya Cosplay

     

    Anhyra Cosplay did an amazing job on her recent Sonya cosplay. The rest of her gallery can be found on DeviantArt.

     

     

    Diablo II Ladder Reset

     

    The Diablo II Ladder was recently reset, let the Baal runs continue! Do you still play Diablo II or even the original Diablo? Is a ladder reset enough to get you back into the game?

    The Evil Faces of Diablo

     

    The Diablo community team recently shared a collection of fanart from freelance game artist Etienne Beschet. You can find the rest of his work on his Art Station gallery.

     


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Community Highlights: Diablo's Future, Sonya Cosplay, Diablo II, & Fanart
  • published the article Lore Loose Ends: The Tale of Lyndon's Brother

    With rumors of the "Unannounced Project" and Diablo 4 circulate around the community, we have to stop and ask, 'What comes next?' We're going to take a look back at many of the loose ends and unfinished story lines within the games to speculate about where future stories of the franchise could go.

     

     

    Lyndon's Brother and the Kingsport Thieve's Guild

     

    Lyndon, the Scoundrel, was the second follower to join the side of the Nephalem during the End Times and the fight against the Prime Evil. Throughout most of the story, Lyndon alludes to his life in Kingsport as a member of the Thieves Guild and the guilt he feels over the imprisonment of his brother, Edlin. Lyndon and Edlin were very close despite having took very different paths in life. Lyndon had a knack for stealing and Edlin joined the city guard. Lyndon wasn't entirely without morals, he'd slip information to his brother to disrupt the Thieves Guild's plans and make Edlin a hero. The brothers also loved the same woman, Rea, but she had no feelings for Lyndon and married Edlin.

     

    During a major heist Edlin showed up too early and instead of catching the Thieves Guild in the act was instead accused of being a part of it. Lyndon barely escaped, but left his brother behind to be locked away and the Thieves Guild has been chasing after Lyndon ever since. Rea convinces Edlin that it was Lyndon who had set him up. Due to his guilt, Lyndon never returns home to Kingsport, but instead sends all the money he steals and cons back to Rea to help pay off Edlin's debt and help get him out of prison.

     

    Growing Fears

     

    Shortly into Malthael's attack on Westmarch, Lyndon decides that he must leave to save his brother. The Nephalem is able to talk sense into Lyndon that he'll likely die trying to leave Westmarch with Malthael's attack going. A nearby guard overhears their conversation and points out that they recently received a transfer of prisoners from Kingsport and that they're being kept in the guard's garrison. 

     

    Restlessness

     

    The Nephalem and Lyndon break into the garrison to rescue Edlin, but it seems that the Thieves Guild had already infiltrated the prison and were moving to kill Edlin. After fighting their way through the Guild and the prison, the Nephalem and Lyndon discover they are too late. Edlin had already been murdered. All that was left in the cell was Edlin's corpse and a dagger.

     

    A Stolen Life

     

    After heading back to the Survivor's Enclave, Lyndon is inconsolable until Haedrig take a closer look at the dagger. Their was a note hidden in secret compartment in the pommel of the dagger addressed to Lyndon. The note was from Rea, saying that it was she that had Edlin killed and told Lyndon that if he wanted revenge, that he could come to Kingsport to find her.

     

    This cliffhanger leaves many questions unanswered:

    • Why would Rea kill her own husband? Is there more history between her and Lyndon that would cause her to lash out at him in this way?
    • What is Rea's connection to the Thieves Guild?
    • And the big question: Will Lyndon get justice?

    We ultimately don't how much more of the Diablo III tale Blizzard intends to tell. The storyline was pushed forward slightly in the Shrouded Moors with Patch 2.6, but we're left to wonder how many of these other minor stories within the game will be picked up and finished, whether it's in Diablo III or in a future game.


    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Lore Loose Ends: The Tale of Lyndon's Brother
  • published the article Season 12 Haedrig's Gift Build Suggestions

    Now that we're a few days into Season 12, many players have completed the first four chapters of the Season Journey (or are close to it). Once you have your full starter set, what do you do next? We've collected some of the most popular builds that utilize

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  • published the article Celebrate the Season 12 Launch Alongside Your Favorite Streamers

    A new season is here and that means it's time to celebrate. Come join your favorite streamers as they start their journey through Season 12.

    Level With a Cause Charity Event:

    Level with a cause is a charity event that will run from November 9th to November 12th. During this event you will find your favorite Diablo streamers raising money during the start of Season 12 for Take This, a non-profit charity that is raising awareness of mental health issues within the gaming community! You can see a full list of the streamers and help support this amazing charity here or on /r/diablo. Or, you can keep an eye out for #LevelWithACause in stream titles on Twitch!

    Season 12 Live Streams From NA

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    Neinball (@NeinballGamer) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a horadrim in training. Whether he's relaxing on Zegema Beach, fighting servants of the Corpse-God in the 41st millennium, or quelling Rebellions in the Outer Rim, his passion always brings him back to slaying Demons in Sanctuary.

    Posted in: Celebrate the Season 12 Launch Alongside Your Favorite Streamers