This is the first installment of a new column that we’ll be running periodically, when some images demand (and reward) a closer inspection. This inaugural installment was spurred by a post by FriskyDingo, in which he noted that there were new, or at least unknown, monsters in the various painting-style images atop each of the four class pages on the official Diablo 3 website.

    Has anyone looked at the class page artwork to see the strange monster concepts which we know nothing about? Some look slightly familiar.. like a ghoatman who has thorns sticking out of him or perhaps some unrevealed monster of the fallen family.. while others look completely new to me..

    Also.. how do I get those as my background

    Bashiok replied, but just to throw cold water on the concept.

    I thought you may have been on to something but I don’t see any unrevealed monsters in those pieces.

    So what is it? New or not? Well… it’s hard to say. As for setting those images as your background… just keep reading, they’re all inserted below.

    First of all, realize that there are quite a few unknown Diablo 3 monsters; monsters that have appeared in concept art, but that have not been named or seen in the game. (And there’s no telling if they ever will be, since Blizzard often releases concept art that doesn’t make it into the game. Check out a few of the unknown Diablo 2 monster concepts, for example. )

    As FriskyDingo points out, the four character page images have some odd creatures in them. That said, the art in those images, while awesome, is very stylized. To the point that familiar monsters can look entirely new. The DiabloWikiWitch Doctor image is a good example, since what seem to be entirely new types of Fallen are (I think) just Imps and Overseers. They look much tougher and larger than usual, but that’s indicative of the art style of these pieces, not a new or changed base monster type.  (Click through to view this, and the other images, at full size.)

    Click through to read the rest of the article and see the images for the Wizard, Barbarian, and Monk…

    There is a new monster in the DiabloWikiWizard‘s artwork; a four-armed goatman standing in the background. Note that this quadrugoat it’s virtually identical to the goatman in this piece of concept art; aside from possessing approximately twice as many arms. Does this mean we’ll see four-armed goatmen in the game? Or did the artist of this particular work just take some liberties with the design?

    The DiabloWikiMonk‘s painting appears to have a new monster as well, though as with the others, it’s hard to tell for certain if it’s new, or just stylized by the artist.  If they are, as Bashiok insists, nothing new, then the only monster they have any strong resemblance to is the… DiabloWikiscavenger. No, really. But there’s something weird going on with those guys, since the ones we’ve seen so far in the game are the same old leaping ankle-biters, but in most of the concept art they look huge. They certainly look huge in the Monk piece below, if Scavengers is what they are. (Compare the face and hair to this Scavenger concept art. Very good match.)

    The DiabloWikiBarbarian character page features more monsters we’ve not seen in the game, though not all of them are total mysteries. The one to the left appears to be one of the Crater Assault Troops, who were named in a piece of concept art, and who also show up in the cinematic. The teaser cinematic, the one with DiabloWikiLeah and all the candles.  To the right we’ve got a few DiabloWikiThousand Pounders, mostly obscured in the mist, and two undead, who are probably just stylized DiabloWikizombies. The tall demon to the right in the mage-robe/kilt is a bit of a mystery, though. It might be a mage unit of the Crater Assault Troops; they have similar torsos, but other than that I don’t see anything on him that’s alike any known monster.

    Also note that we’ve had this image since June 2008, when it was seen in the initial D3 artwork reel; that’s not as large a view, but the picture is a good deal taller than the one on the page header, making the Thousand Pounders much more prominent, while entirely excluding the muscular guy with the skeleton head in a sort of turban. (You might also enjoy seeing the preliminary sketches for this work.)

    So what do you guys think? Are any of these “new” monsters, or does that just depend on your definition of the word? I’d say a few are new, others are stylized enough to almost pass for it, and perhaps some of the others are just visual delights that won’t turn up in the game at all. Only time will tell. Also, if you’re like FriskyDingo and you want these artworks for your desktop, just right click the big versions and “Set as desktop,” or whatever your browser’s equivalent of that option is. None of these have yet been turned into properly-dimensioned wallpapers, but with our eager community of artists, I bet it won’t take too long.

    Update: Bashiok added a reply to the original thread, but not to ID or explain any of the mysterious monsters. Just to say that we weren’t likely to see any of those full paintings any time soon.

    No those pieces are probably going to stay mostly hidden for a while. We don’t get a lot of finished paintings like those, and so when we do have them we like to keep them somewhat exclusive to keep their value high.  That being a perceived exclusivity or impact value and not a “gimme 20 bucks to see it” value.

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