BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Lore Panel Transcript
World of Sanctuary
Kevin Martens: Ok. World of Sanctuary. This is very much a switching of gears. It’s not much of concept art. Let’s show you some in-game stuff, and I’m going to show you three brand new areas today you haven’t seen before in Diablo III.
Caldeum is the major trading center of the world. It’s the Rome of its time where everything from the west, the east, the north and south comes through. It’s that central portal.
Just a real brief history of Caldeum. We already mentioned there’s a big refugee crisis here, and Belial is obviously behind it, and you don’t know when, how, where and why.
This city has three major groups in it. They had the Zakarum priesthood, they had the big merchant families, and they had the Yshari Sanctum, which is the major wizard school. In fact the wizards of Diablo III studied here for some time.
These groups are always bind by power and recently Emperor Hakan I, the founder of this empire, sorta brought them all under his boot, and finally made the city more organized, and since then it has grown even more powerful and more wealthy.
So he’s always trying to vie for power, Hakan did help a lot. However, Hakan died under mysterious circumstances, and we’ll get to that in a second, and recently the child emperor Hakan II has taken power, and this poor kid is just trying to survive until adulthood, so that he can take over properly, and I’ll explain a little more about that when we get to talk about the people of Caldeum. Let’s take a look at some of the areas.
This is one of the trading passes that comes in from the west, and it’s an overlook of the city. You can see Caldeum in there below.
Here’s one of the central bazaars.
Now the society — I’m going to show you the people in a second — is very stratafied. Literally, the rich people live above in this sort of cloud-city-like approach. These massive platforms above the poor people.
This is actually the throne room. You can see the tiny little Emperor Hakan II in there and some of his emperial guards.
You do get to meet Hakan II and talk to him and try to hopefully help him out.
So this is the child emperor, and this poor kid, this society is not patrolineal, Hakan II was found through a Zakarum ritual, and they hired the Ironwolf — the mercenary company from Diablo II makes an appearance here again.
The Zakarum work with the Ironwolf to find this kid, make sure the Merchant Houses, Yshari Sanctum take control of him or kill him and try to put their own person in there.
Here’s a concept art of the Zakarum Priest and his fancy Caldeum gear, and an Ironwolf to the left.
They are the Emperor’s personal guard and they are helping him in a sort of regency thing. In fact, Asheara is the leader of those guards.
However, the Ironwolf guards have been recently kicked out of the palace. The Emperor Hakan II ordered them out and replaced them with this new imperial guards.
These guys in purple are now in the throne room. They don’t let anyone see him anymore. They won’t let Asheara near the gates, so she’s up there trying to help the refugees wondering whether she still should stick around the city, if she can help that kid, or what else she can do — and that’s the situation when the player arrives.
Here are some more people of Caldeum. This is a concept where you can see some very cool variations. Some of the best costumes in the entire game can be found in Caldeum. Really cool character art.
So the Dahlgur Oasis. This is the central farming region. It’s where most of the water come from for the city.
This is the area that allows this little trading outpost to become the grand city. Without this source of water, without this massive oasis, Caldeum would not be what it is today. So it’s very important.
Legend has it that this mysterious desert prophet named Dahlgur came in from the west, took the city fathers of this little trading town to the oasis and showed them this source so that they could grow. He wanted them to name it after him and then he wandered back to the west, never to be seen again. No one knows if he is a legend or not.
Let’s take a look at the Dahlgur Oasis. Here’s our female Monk roaming through here. Belial’s forces are all over this area, and many of the refugees came from here. The water is waning and people are starting to starve because no farming is happening. Watch for the exploding fungus plants here. Flora and fauna. A lot of snake men.
This is really a cool area contrast-wise from the super harsh deserts you are going to see in this area as well, it’s quite very beautiful, but it’s corrupted right now.
The Archives of Zoltun Kulle
This is our teaser area for today. Zoltun Kulle is a new character we’ve created. He’s actually one of the original Horadrim with Deckard Cain and Tal Rasha. They founded the Horadrim, and they are the ones who tracked down the original Lords of Hell.
I can’t tell you much more about Zoltun Kulle except he turned bad, and he turned bad fast and hard. He became the most dangerous man in the world to the point where the other Horadrim and the wizard and the sorceress, everybody got together to try to kill this guy. Turned out they couldn’t kill him. Somehow he caught immortality.
The best they could do was cut him in half. Bury his head with runes and guardians in one part of the desert, and put his body in an alternate dimension in a vain attempt to try keep this guy from not coming back together and try to ruin everything. He’s that powerful.
We showed a little bit of this sort of ruins that we had in BlizzCon 2009. This is a little-sized dungeon. All sandy and collapsed. It looks like this bizarre ruin and magic is all broken. You get to explore the other archives which for hundreds of years have sat undisturbed. Still. Sorta pragmant with the power of Zulton Kull.
Let’s take a look at that. This is just a little teaser. Not going to show you any of the monsters there. Not going to tell you why you are there.
Diablo III Lore Panel Video
Check out the Q&A in the next page.