Speculation, crazed predictions, and pictures that must constantly get checked over by admin. It’s another Slab. This week I examine the male Wizard with yet another revelation at the end. The first paragraph is below. Click through to read the rest.

    Wizard of the Stars part II

    I was just about to interact with the hangout demons of the OT Forum when Blizzard struck again by releasing the male Wizard model. I will have to save this bottle of sparkling Henkell Trocken for next week. For now, let us do a high dive into a swimming pool of tech?er, magic. You may recall my Wizard of the Stars discussion last September hypothesized about the true purpose of the female Wizard. She was all about personifying science fiction themes and play styles. Why? Well, to lure in those science fiction fans in danger of buying Star Trek Online 2 instead of Diablo 3 when they both come out. Can you blame Blizzard for trying to set things right? Well, Blizzard confirmed my hunch last week by releasing a male Wizard who looks like Optimus Prime! But one other prediction I made that became strange but true was that the Wizard, male, female or whatever, would end up with the best and toughest armor out of all the heroes.
    I know, it’s weird.

    We tend to presume that when it comes to good armor, the spell casters of most games get stuck with this:

    Instead, the Wizard is decked out in the most protective gear we have seen so far in Diablo 3. Sure, Wizards are smart and into self preservation and such, but come on. You would think the Barbarian would look into getting himself one of those breastplates. You know, to cover his heart? Anyway, for whichever reasons [ahem?shoulder pads are taking over the entire game] none of the other hero models we have seen are wearing a breastplate. I am sure they will turn up in the future. But, will the breastplates we are lucky enough to adorn be of this tiny toothpick variety the Wizard uses?

    It is hard to say. Blizzard seems to be on an anti-armor campaign. When we finally do see a breastplate, it is awfully tiny and looks more like an ink logo on the Wizards clothes. Of course, this is only the model, but we will also have Monks who love their robes and Witch Doctors who love to disrobe. Late-game heavy armor does not seem to be very promising. The male Wizard Blizzard is showing could very well be posing in his ?heavy? armor. If it were up to me, this armor we see on him now would just be the trinkets you pick up from levels 5-15. The real heavy armor should look more like this:


    No wonder people want to play as Tyrael!

    You have got to admit, Tyrael does look very awesome and powerful in what could be a stack of three breastplates on top of each other. I cannot fathom why Blizzard seems opposed to covering anyone else head to toe like they do with Tyrael. Are they worried we will not be able to tell who it is under a set of really good armor? Is it all about showing off the characters’ physiques? Well…come on, that is what Act I town is for. And pervert noobs nking each other.  More power should mean less skin showing. Business owners do not go around in shorts and t-*; they wear full suits.

    Or, (hopefully) Blizzard, being a big business itself, just does not want to spoil us. After all, the limited items we have been exposed to are nowhere near end game caliber. Maybe they cannot simply go ahead and show us the big guns. It would be like showing us Diablo himself or too much key plot stuff. Phew. I was worried there for a moment that we would all look like noob beggars in Diablo 3. Maybe the best armor is yet to appear, and the Wizard’s current gear is just his underwear.

    As much as I would like to believe that, I must cast some doubts [get it? I said cast?never mind]. The evidence for poor man armor is abound. This highly incriminating concept art of Witch Doctor “armor” looks about as watered down as American beer.

    And the progression below shows him still pretty bare in what is definitely a late stage look. It certainly has that same ?where’s the metal?? vibe you get after purchasing the Metallica Load album.

    The characters all look great, but let’s not forget Diablo games are all about the loot. We are going to need full body armor to stand in the breath of Megademons or get swarmed by 50 Fallen who don’t get enough action in their lonely dens. As for the ?problem? of overly hiding the characters’ identity or their physiques in too much armor, this is really not a problem at all. Look at the Sorceress of Diablo 2; she was totally covered in her heavy armor look and we could still easily distinguish her from the other heroes. Hint: she was the one spamming chain lightning and fireballs! Seriously though, she had her own distinct armored look that set her apart from the rest. Her ?full plate? resembled splint armor, but it covered her completely and looked very stylish and fitting for a caster.

    The same can be done for each of the Diablo 3 heroes. Flaunting loot is awesome, and characters who look untouchable in their own unique style are even more awesome. This Art Panel Video at 8:02 says ?Jay Wants Awesome? written in big letters across their screen. Well, Jay Wilson is in luck because I happen to know exactly what looks awesome:

    I now conclude my periodic armor rant by saying that smaller trinkets and a metal bra are alright for character models, but our end game armor should not leave so much cloth or skin showing. Players will one day want to walk into town wearing a suit of armor that tells everyone how rich and powerful they are. Anything less will make us look like a bunch of mercenaries. The Wizard’s belt scrolls and possible return of the Diablo I robe item are great additions, but let’s hope the flammable gear does not go much beyond that.  Why is it that everything in Diablo 3 is so loud and over the top…except body armor? For me, seeing my future characters so uncovered will always be that missing piece of manliness.

    Speaking of which, I will finish off with a word about the surprised reaction of fans toward the male Wizard’s demasculinized face and hula dancing. We can pretty much dispel [get it? I said dis—] the hula dancing problem because all of the 3D models are doing it, and they all look equally ridiculous (except the Barbarian, Blizzard’s spoiled boy who gets all the attention). The drunken swaying they all like to do is just Blizzard pushing the look-at-me-please-for-god-sakes-notice-and buy-the-game button a little too hard. The Wizard’s face, however, is the way it is for a good reason. I have found a Diablo character lookalike in nearly all of my dissections. Some are serious; others are not exactly prime examples (like Optimus Prime above) and are mainly for laughs. But the one below is the best I have ever uncovered and fully explains the male Wizard’s fair and downcast face of placidity:


    It is Jaye Davidson as Ra in the 1994 film Stargate. The same actor was in The Crying Game for his feminine look, but Blizzard is definitely going for the controlled, sophisticated, condescending deity figure who makes others around him look like petty and filthy primitives. While Blizzard may not be basing the male Wizard entirely on this exact character, the persona is out there and makes the fair-featured boyish Wizard an imposing force to be feared in the game. Check out this video at 5:35  to see a good example of Ra being very Diablo 3 Wizard-like. I will also show a brief video from The Crying Game (below) and let fans choose for themselves which best represents the male Wizard.

    Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

    Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

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