Randomized Randomization

There has been a lot of debate spurred on by the fact that Diablo III will have a static world. What does this mean? This means that when you play Diablo III, the borders to the world you move around in will always be the same. The same path will be taken to get to the city that is always in the same location. This was not the case in Diablo II. Players spent ample amounts of time, walking along the borders of each area trying to find the entrance to the next area. Even base camps like the Rogue Encampment would have a changing exit.

There has been numerous reason given as to why Diablo III has chosen to do this. The first one being that they can increase the quality of these environments by not having to structure and design them in a way that lent itself to randomization. Another reason was that it gave it more of a real-world sense because we all know cities don't just move to random locations in the real world. Bashiok has given us a few more reasons for this decision:

Official Blizzard Quote:

The exterior landscape will for the most part be static, but with pockets of randomness (this doesn't include monster spawns which are still quite random). You'll always know where the towns and roads are, and know the edges of the map. We felt that exploring the exteriors to find landmarks and quest areas wasn't very compelling. It's also more productive for co-op to be able to say to a friend 'Let's meet at this shrubbery' and everyone knows how to quickly get there every time. Dungeons are more linear in the way that content is encountered, so they can be randomized quite a bit and you're not very likely to be just running around aimlessly. If you do hit a dead end you're at least assured you encountered plenty of battle (and thus loots) on the way.

Now, with all that said, the most important thing to remember is that not every area of the map is static, mostly just the borders. Within these borders are areas, ranging from small to very large, that will be randomized every time you play through the game. These areas are not just randomized monsters, as monsters will always be randomized in all areas of the maps. These random pockets can produce rare chests, dungeons and quests.

Official Blizzard Quote:

So while the exterior is largely static, within that defined landscape there are literal square holes (from small to huge) and within those empty square holes a great number of possible pieces can be dropped in. And they're chosen randomly. So you may play a few games and always see empty terrain in the same place, but on your next playthrough you'll instead have a broken down wagon appear and a quest giver that needs you to go kill a unique fallen shaman who stole his tools to fix it. And maybe the playthrough after that the square puzzle piece is a short dungeon to explore with a big chest or mini-boss at the end. Ideally it'll encourage exploration of the exterior zones over and over, hoping to find that a rewarding adventure has appeared.

As if this randomization was not enough, Diablo III will still have completely random dungeons like they did in Diablo II. Every time your character enters into the depths of Sanctuary, you will encounter different rooms and combinations of pathways. But to even add randomization to these randomized dungeons, some of the rooms will even have these pockets of randomized events that will offer even more variety in the countless amounts of playthroughs.

Official Blizzard Quote:

Dungeons on the other hand are completely randomized, same as Diablo II.* All of the halls and rooms and all the bits are shuffled around and it's all different every time. Some of the rooms themselves will offer unique quests if they're rolled up, and in some cases individual rooms themselves have those square chunks missing and within those randomly chosen rooms a number of random events can occur. It's a bit involved to explain, but very simple in practice (I believe some images of the square puzzle pieces were actually shown at a BlizzCon?). *Some small "dungeons" are completely hand crafted and won't include randomization of layout at all, but these are generally things like wine cellars or other underground areas of a few rooms or less.

Whether or not you agree with the static world in Diablo III, it is clear that every time you play Diablo III, it will not be the same occurrences you ran into the first one hundred times you played the game.


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