A commenter on the Battle.net forums posted a list of Diablo game locations he hoped to see revisited in Diablo 3, chief amongst them Harrogath (he actually said “Horrogoth” which is, I think, a new cologne by Marilyn Manson). Bashiok was forced to inform him that… na’ ga’ ‘appen.
It was in our announcement cinematic…
It’s called Arreat Crater now. Since Harrogath was somewhere near the peaks of Mt. Arreat (summit, highest reachable point), and it’s a flaming hole in the ground now…
So if that’s the case, those guards can’t be standing on Mt. Arreat, where must they be?
The issue of what and where was “blowed up” in the announcement cinematic arises regularly, and since there’s always confusion over the plot, and since Bashiok’s words here seem to validate my own, I’ll bullet point the facts as I understand them:
- Harrogath, site of Act 5 D2X, was a small Barbarian town located on the slopes of the holy Mt. Arreat, inside of which was found the Worldstone.
- While Baal was seeking the Worldstone, his vast armies were besieging the other Barbarian cities.
- When the Worldstone was destroyed by Tyrael, Mt. Arreat exploded. It’s now gone entirely, and is known as Arreat Crater.
- The damage from this explosion, and the loss of Baal’s leadership, reduced his demonic armies to raving mobs, no longer able to threaten the fortified Barbarian cities.
- This is shown (in flashback) in the D3 promo/intro cinematic, intercut around scenes of Leah witnessing the meteor falling into Tristram Cathedral, 20 years later.
It would see that there’s a bit of retcon going on, since in D2X you talk to the NPCs in Harrogath after the Worldstone has been destroyed, and the town remains standing. But retcon is what makes the Blizzard universes go ‘round, so try not to think about it too much.
Also, don’t take the D3 promo/intro cinematic as canon for plot info. It was constructed from clips of other D3 cinematics and released as a promotional item. It’s not one of the cinematics we’ll see in the final game. Compare the D2C or D2X promo cinematics to the final game versions; you only get a hint of the plot from these promos.