Should Diablo III Have Pentagrams?

A fan laments the loss of powerful RL symbols in WoW, and hopes Diablo III won’t be similarly modified. Bashiok replies… indirectly.

This isnt a troll thread. When wow came out they pretty much removed any visual religious references. They removed the cross from chaples, the alter of storms no longer had a pentagram etc.

Diablo 3 NEEDS these demonic visualizations to add to the immersion of the game, I really hope a blue can comment on this.

A lot of what we do now and have been doing for the past… 8 or so years, around the Warcraft III and initial World of Warcraft development era, is putting a lot of effort into crafting unique worlds. Meaning that we put more effort into every aspect of the game world itself. Who is this secret organization? What is their history? What’s their look? Do they have a specific accent? Do they have a symbol or mark that can identify them?

In the previous games I think there was a sense of “Oh it’s a demon, Diablo, devil, Satan, satanism… pentagram!” and while certainly there are those influences, what we’re creating now and have been creating for quite some time is evolving the game world and making something more complete. A complete world where every aspect is fully realized, maybe even if it doesn’t show up in the game.

I think that same sort of world-crafting can be seen between Warcraft II and Warcraft III. A big shift in focus to fleshing out a unique fantasy world and story.

In other words, all that stuff’s gone from modern Blizzard games. Because why? Because someone’s uptight Christian mom = angry letters = bad publicity = potentially lower corporate profits.

That said, the developers do have a point. Why should they shoehorn iconic imagery from our world into a game world that’s supposed to be an original creation? The mythology of Sanctuary is not the same as that of any human culture or religion. Why limit themselves to any of the long-established human religious concepts, when they can invent their own? All good fantasy does, even if it’s sometimes just reskinned versions of existing human religions/myths/archetypes.

On the other hand… maybe that’s a mistake? Perhaps Blizzard should continue to use known symbols, and leverage more meaning from their cultural significance? They can create some awesome origin myth for Diablo and the forces of evil in the game, and give them a scary symbol, etc. But would that ever pack as much punch as using a cross, or a pentagram? Even if you’re not a believer in the supernatural aspects of Christianity, those symbols have a powerful resonance in your mind.

It’s basically escapism vs. semi-borrowed realism. For which do you vote?


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  1. Like you said, the borrowed real life imagery adds to the impact of the fiction. Sure you can come up with all of your own stuff, and that can certainly work well, but it isn’t quite going to have the same level of cultural resonance.

    (Though… I will admit that those dark satanic themes suit my tastes, so I am a little biased in their favor.)

  2. Flux asks: \escapism vs. semi-borrowed realism. For which do you vote?\
    The poster at least partially answers the query for us: \long-established human religious concepts… leverage more meaning from their cultural significance. … Even if you’re not a believer in the supernatural aspects of Christianity, those symbols [using a cross, or a pentagram] have a powerful resonance in your mind.\ Poster Bael adds: \your own stuff…isn’t quite going to have the same level of cultural resonance.\

    To sum up an answer so far: the best escapism borrows from realism. An audience always has a background culture; the more borrowed, the deeper the immersion experience: it touches the soul within its imbedded values. The \fight against evil\ appears, at least, to be manifest & obtainable.

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