Blizzard Chat: Skovos and D3 Expansion Hints?

Skovos hints in-game.

Skovos hints in-game.

Another area of interest from this week’s Blizzard dev chat were the few mentions of the expansion and/or DiabloWikiSkovos, which most fans think/hope will be the setting for Act Six. Since Reaper of Souls released the developers have said almost nothing about additional expansions or their future plans, always giving that, “we’re just concentrating on making the next patch awesome!” dodge/avoid/evade reply. (They were a lot chattier about expansions during D3’s development, making several “D2 only doing one expansion was a wasted opportunity” type remarks.)

The official silence has done nothing to stop fan speculation about when/if/what we might see in D3X2, and while there’s a lot of debate about what a 7th class might be (a Druid shape-shifting Necromancer, obviously) the theory most often put forth is that Act Six will take place in the Greek-style Amazon island home of DiabloWikiSkovos. The setting would be great with gleaming beaches, dense jungle rainforests, Venetian-style sinking cities with massive stone temples, and a general Greek-gods/island visual theme. I won’t go into all the reasons why Skovos seems likely, since Nobbie covered them all in much better detail a few months ago, but it’s what a lot of us are expecting and hoping for.

There were plenty of questions asked about the (hypothetical) second D3 Expansion during this week’s chat, but none of them got any replies… except for a couple that mentioned Skovos. Blizzard Chat: Skovos and D3 Expansion Hints?

What is going down in the Skovos Isles? Lorath and Tyrael are always going on about it. Is this a hint at upcoming new content?
BrianKindregan: Sanctuary is full of deadly surprises, so the New Horadrim that Tyrael is sending out to help humanity have high rates of fatality. Skovos seems to be a particularly rough place to get assigned.

But many other parts of Sanctuary are equally dangerous, so Skovos is just the topic at hand between Lorath and Tryael.

So how about those Skovos Isles, guys?
BrianKindregan: Skovos is a dangerous place!

Brian is one of the writers and thus uniquely qualified to (not) answer a question about the story that may or may not be continued in an expansion that may or may not be revealed at Blizzcon in a couple of months.

Obviously he gave no new info, and just repeated what the NPCs say in the game… but can anyone (besides Nobbie) divine deeper meaning in his words? Was answering any questions at all meant as a hint? Or is it a ruse to throw us off of their real plans? Do you guys expect to see Skovos in the full D3X2 game, or maybe just in an added area in some future patch, ala Ruins of Sescheron in v2.3?

The ever-popular Skovos concept art, since it’s just so purty.


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  1. I hope they do Ureh, if anything make it like the Ruins of Secheron. Taken straight from the wiki:
    “Ureh in Diablo III[edit]

    Ureh was thought to have a very high probability to be a playable town in Diablo III. A concept art piece, shown on the right, was named Ureh and there are various official concept art pieces of Ureh seen also in the image gallery as well as being included in the introduction cinematic.

    Unfortunately, Jay Wilson confirmed [1] in late 2009 that Ureh will not be seen in Diablo 3. Jay explained that there were simply too many locations and too much content, and that some things had to be cut in order to “get the game out sooner.” From what Jay said, it’s hoped that Ureh will be seen in one of the Diablo 3 expansion packs, since it sounds as if preliminary work was done; more than just concept art.

    Ureh in Diablo III Expansion[edit]

    Since Diablo III most likely will have two expansions, and there’s already considerable work having gone in to Ureh, both in concept art as well as modelling it for the cinematic, it is likely it will be one of the locations we’ll see in an expansion. The sort of location it is would also support it, as it’s highly mystical in nature, and really anything could happen there, story-wise.”

    • Who said D3 will have 2 expansions? In my opinion there will be more than that, now they do not earn cash from AH so diablo does not generate any revenue and they keep the game alive with new content and new expansions.

      Do not expect them to give you PvP in form of a patch for free.

      • This game doesnt suit pvp its too hard to balance, thats why leader boards exist for competitive play… but i think there will be 2 more x-pacs before they start work on Diablo 4 or end the series

      • I’m hoping for PvP in the next expansion. I remember Travis Day talk about how we could of various quest like pvp modes. One would be where a character controls a powerful demon from a previous Diablo game (Baal, Mephisto?) and other players would play heroes to stop the evil. Or even a king of the hill for the players fighting off waves of enemies.

        I think they could do a balanced pvp if they just cap or round of certain stats. They could even do a pvp arena mode that they showed off at the former Blizzcons where all the stats on gear wouldn’t be included other than legendary and set properties.

        • The games center around damage/mitigation/regeneration, paired with its overweight on itemization, always fixed skill power and – most importantly – autohit makes balancing the game towards an interesting pvp really hard to begin with. Without the possibility to make tactical decisions making the opponent(s) miss more often, the best outcome would be as simple as rock/paper/scissor, with the scale of rocks, papers and scissors determined by the power of accumulated items and (, for example, ) "bigger rocks" effectively overpowering "smaller papers". Could be fun for a short time, until the ideal pvp combinations are found and loosing a pvpmatch due to not having the bigger stick (: worse equipment) or having the wrong skillsetup for the opponent to begin with would overall accumulate more frustration than fun. If debuffs were element specific and not reduce damage output overall, this could spice things up a bit, though not much. But even then it would necessitate more options to switch skills during a pvp to allow for tactical changes and reacting to tactical changes of your respective opponents, to gain/retain the upper hand in the exchange of doing/healing more effective damage than the opponent(s). It would provide more leeway to the "bigger stick wins"-rule, though.(And, just to be complete, don't forget the paragon system, which is practically the nail to the coffin for balanced pvp by design.)Without a thorough skill system revision, breaking up the fixed skillpower stalemate, thus allowing for player driven character specialisation, and counteracting the overweight of itemization in the process, balancing D3 for pvp is just a hollow dream, I'm afraid. The games design as is is simply not complex enough to provide enough axes to balance pvp around.I'd more then welcome such a skill system revision in any upcoming expansion/patch, though. (Even more so: An extensive skill system revision is long overdue, from my point of view…)

  2. We won't really know until they let us know, or they slip up on the PR or datamining. HOPEFULLY we get to see Skovos, or some really lovely area anticipated in the next expansion. RoS gave us little hints at possible areas, but I always felt that D3V threw Westmarch and RoS out of the blue. The only real hints were Malthael's disappearance for a long while and the soulstone. That's about it.

  3. Those conversations are older than the expansion.

    • Isn't Lorath the name of the Horadrim guy with the spear? The one who survived Malthael in the opening RoS cinematic?

      • Lorath is also featured in the novel Storm of Light. He's a major character. It was very cool to finally meet him in-game when ROS launched.

        • I'll take your word for it. But replying to the guy who said the conversations were older than the expansion… seems unlikely when they are conversations with an NPC who was only introduced in RoS. Eh?

  4. In the "Art of Blizzard" book, they explained Skovos was dropped because of Sony's God of War and similar high profile games all using a similar setting. They appeared to do a lot of work on it, so might be easy to resume. By the way, Barnes and Noble bookstore is blowing out this massive $75 tome for $19 right now. In-store, at any rate. "Publisher overstock." I'm in Phoenix, AZ.

  5. Just give us D4 already come on guys jeezus.

  6. I think it is cleared! New Expansion announced on BlizzCon! Yeah! Btw, where is Nobbie? 😀

  7. Noticed Flux describing Blizzard's repsonse as "dodge/avoid/evade".Those are D2 Amazon's passives skills. 🙂

  8. NEW TRISTRAM = They removed Cain's House to accommodate Covetous Shen, and the hut next to that to put Myriam, with the hut next to that to have become the Heretics Abode which used to be in the hut they removed for Myriam. The town center has become a little lively with 7 NPCs as well as the 3 hirelings, Kanai's Cube and the Nephalem Obelisk. Bron the Barkeep from the Slaughterd Calf Inn is removed. Another merchant is on the far left side where he's always been, with yet another (useless) merchant down the road. Now imagine they moved or replaced that NPC. Next to that is an empty space, where Shen used to be with yet an additional potential NPC area right next to the Cellar of the Damned. What are the odds?

    HIDDEN CAMP = First of all, all the merchants of the Caldeum Bazaar have been moved to the Hidden Camp and Sadeir the Innkeeper of the Searing Sands Inn removed as well. Practically infinite NPC placements there (as they were) but the place has become infested so not really an option anymore unless the Searing Sands Inn gets an interior upgrade.

    BASTION'S KEEP STRONGHOLD: All I have to say to that location is: "The Armory". Btw I still believe that to be a Zerg head hanging on the barrel next to Brother Andreus the Healer. It clearly doesn't resemble the horned head in the Slaughtered Calf Inn. Imho.

    THE SURVIVORS ENCLAVE = The center square is full but there are two NPCs standing halfway out to the Zakarum Cathedral. That space could somehow be filled (?).

    As far as "theorycrafting" goes in regard to an xpac, I've always looked at the layout design. I once theoreticized about the two huts in Act 1 and the put Myriam there and moved the The Heretic's Abode. Before RoS I said, hey, don't worry about stash space, there is room for at least one stash tab under the four we have. So far, both times win. In this regard, I always find hope when I see "unused space" that may feature additional content perhaps coming to Diablo 3 so far. These are my hints. But we all err.

  9. If they ever do get a proper PvP meta game going (unlikely), the perfect story setting would be factions or nations of humans, some of them led by Nephalem similar to the heroes (the player characters), would be begin to consolidate their power. The world has been invaded by demons, and then angels, and threatened everything. Tyrael "worries" about the power of the Nephalem at the end of RoS; it's setting up humanity as the next main villain. I'd like it to be a little murky. Maybe in an early quest, the player has to kill or destroy a force that turns out to be the good guys, and now our heroes are the villains. There should be at least a little redemption (most people don't want to end the game as the abominable villain, especially if the ending is "canon") but maybe not total hand waving "now you're a good guy again." More Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, less Kerrigan in SC2 or *gag* Grom in Warlords of Draenor.

  10. oh, just one more very obvious "hint", what is there to come after Torment X? Perdition? That "unused space" isn't there for no reason … It is really pretty obvious, that "something else" aka MOAR is sure to come. I rest my case.

  11. Skovos looks good but I would liek to see more of a jungle theme. We could go back to Kurast:) Made by Peter Lee

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