I wrote this in my Diablo 3 forums and wanted to write about my thoughts on this forum. The title is funny, but this article concerns one of the major story problems I remember being promised by the team behind the development in Diablo 3 that was hardly maintained, and the locations they triedfell terribly short. The Diablo story spoilers are to Diablo's I-III.
The thing I'm talking about is a trend that was introduced with Diablo II and in all truth, would have been fantastic to carry on in 3 and was a major missed opportunity in terms of story as well as the bigger world-building specifically, what did happen to Diablo 2's heroes after Baal's defeat?
If you've played Diablo I or played it in the past you'll recall there were 3 heroes. The warrior, whom we learn later was the prince born in Khanduras and the son of the King Leoric, Aiden. The third was the Rogue and was who was a member of the secluded female archers' society called The Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye. The final heroes was the Sorcerer who was a magical-wielding part of the Vizjerei Mage Clans from the Far East.
The distinctive thing that was unique about Diablo as an RPG in the moment that a majority of games were playing it was that, when they made this sequel, they chose not to offer you three choices as to which hero to choose in the original game and then let you choose to choose to ignore the choice or select most likely to be the "right" one. Nor did they simply eliminate the original hero and carry on like they had done nothing. They decided to incorporate all three of them into their sequel like they had taken the fight against Diablo together and left after defeating him.
The event completely devastated the three of them, making them insane or completely possessed. We have heard this: The Warrior, Aiden, was transformed into The Dark Wanderer, who was possessed by Diablo. The Rogue returned west in order to fulfill her orders and was left emotional, physically and psychologically stained and scarred, she was transformed into Blood Raven, disfigured and capable of raising dead to create an entire army of the evil minion. The Sorcerer after discovering an ancient book of forbidden wisdom in the depths beneath the cathedral in Tristram and became obsessed with the information contained within it up to insaneness and sought his way to the Arcane Sanctuary, truly believing that he could be Horazon the Summoner( The Summoner). The Diablo II's heroes, regardless of which of the seven classes we picked, came across these former champions in need of a new challenge and put them down in our efforts to achieve success when they did not succeed. This was an incredible plot element, and it was it was a great way of understand the struggles these heroes endured and what they ultimately paid to take on The Lord of Terror.
With Diablo III being announced in the early days and soon to come out, I distinctly remember in the year 2010 and 2011 reading a thread on the forums been relating to this particular subject. It was made clear whether we were likely to have the chance to discover about the fate of the characters of Diablo II in the game We were informed by the staff in a rather blunt response, that we would indeed be able to witness what happened to the characters. (I apologize for not being able to provide a source for this as it was 10 years ago and was difficult to find. )
Fast forward Fast Forward Diablo III release and...nothing. There's a story that refers to an Sorceress who is believed to be one from D2 who knows and is the mentor of D3's Female Wizard character in D3 as well as an unrelated Necro NPC who refers to the character's "master" who claims to have had taken on Diablo himself. There were a few exceptions to it. None other of them. The fight between them isn't mentioned by anyone with any significance. Ever. It's like Diablo II was without heroes and what they did brought an entire world in Diablo III what it is and what's the point? This was a massive disappointment, and a weak link to an opportunity to create a amazing, brand-specific trend in the Diablo series. A further item to add to the to-date, lengthy to-do list of things that in the memory of players, have caused Diablo III an unremarkable experience in many ways, but it was a huge success to the eyes of many, and this comes an opinion from someone who put in hours and hours into the D3.
However, it's not all completely lost. Thanks to Diablo IV, and a commitment from the development team that returning to the style the feel and the spirit of the previous two titles is the goal they are striving for, we are hopeful.
Diablo III had seven distinct class heroes which were stronger than Diablo II heroes ever were. The Nephalem. Imagine these heroes from the past as a kind of paragon to search for help during our new adventure or as demons who are twisted that have been corrupted by their God-like abilities that we need to fight together with our allies. Hell, they could be part of the main story, or as large sidequest/side-dungeon bosses that we find and get unique items from.
Imagine an entire expansion within Diablo IV's development phase, Fall of the Nephalem that they're massive boss fights and we must track them down throughout the globe. Perhaps even one of them wasn't corrupted , but rather fled into hiding, scared of their power and not willing to be corrupted as their fellow players. Perhaps this was the Barbarian aged, with white hair, nevertheless strong, unspoiled because of his love for the land, and to Arreat and living in a solitary life, longing to go unnoticed. You may have to take on the Crusader, brimming with passion and arrogance, but in a state of confusion as to how dangerous they've been, and believing that they are be righteous when they may be guilty of committing criminal actions? There is no limit to what you can do. So, I wanted to share this there. I hope this style from D2 will be revived.