Blizzard on Diablo 3’s Real World Influences

A fan points out (as a complaint) that much of the content and design of Diablo 3 differs from its historical parallels on Earth; the Monk is a mixture of Eastern and Western, there’s anachronistic technology, the Monk’s polytheism differs from the faux-Christian monotheistic mythology of Diablo I, etc. Bashiok replied with some game reality:

Uhm, but yeah, it’s not Earth. We like to mix it up a little, try to do something interesting while keeping the same tone. It would likely be incorrect to say even a minority of people on Sanctuary believe in the great conflict as it really exists.

I think people also lose sight of the fact that angels aren’t really “the good guys”. Humanity exists in a state of … well, humanity. And the absolute natures of good and evil in this world seem to have little or no patience and understanding for anything in-between. The moral greys of humans (not to mention their mere existence) is as intolerable as the opposite alignment. Humanity to them is an abomination, but they’ve agreed to watch for a while and see what happens.

So in any case the game obviously pulls from a lot of influences, and it’s certainly morphed and evolved through each of the games and novels. As we’ve continued to build out the lore, layers are added, and it moves further and further from what essentially began as a medieval-era fight through a single gothic church battling the forces of evil vaguely altered from real world monotheistic beliefs.

We’re quite a bit past that now.

The mythology of Diablo 1 was quite simple and linear, as Bashiok points out. The whole game was set in one small location and most of the plot and world lore was made up on the fly and/or retconned in during the development of Diablo 2. Now we’re into Diablo 3, the world fiction has been filled out through the release of numerous Diablo Novels, and there’s been a bit more retcon undertaken. It seems only natural that the world plot and cosmology continues to expand.

The issue now should be how interesting or engaging the game’s story (which we still know almost nothing about) is, not whether it’s still exactly adhering to the world set up by the first game, 15 years ago. Right?


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