Recent Features

The Diablo 3 Podcast #153: Co-Op, Clans, & Blizzcon
Diablo 3 Podcast conversation about multiplayer co-op issues in Diablo 3. What are the benefits of playing with others? Should there be more party skill bonuses? Why are the Diablo 3 clan tools so meh? The curse of the double-Unity requirement. Show features Aahzmodius, Wolfpaq, and Flux. Click through for approximate segment starting times: 0:30 […]
Randomization and level design in the future of Diablo 3
Creating good random map generators is a difficult task in video games, and something we’ve seen done with relative success in all of the Diablo games. Diablo 1 had four dungeon types with quite different maps for each area, though all were just big squares with different arrangements of the pieces within them. (The Hellfire […]

Should Diablo III Have Pentagrams?

Posted 13 Oct 2010 by

A fan laments the loss of powerful RL symbols in WoW, and hopes Diablo III won’t be similarly modified. Bashiok replies… indirectly.

This isnt a troll thread. When wow came out they pretty much removed any visual religious references. They removed the cross from chaples, the alter of storms no longer had a pentagram etc.

Diablo 3 NEEDS these demonic visualizations to add to the immersion of the game, I really hope a blue can comment on this.

A lot of what we do now and have been doing for the past… 8 or so years, around the Warcraft III and initial World of Warcraft development era, is putting a lot of effort into crafting unique worlds. Meaning that we put more effort into every aspect of the game world itself. Who is this secret organization? What is their history? What’s their look? Do they have a specific accent? Do they have a symbol or mark that can identify them?

In the previous games I think there was a sense of “Oh it’s a demon, Diablo, devil, Satan, satanism… pentagram!” and while certainly there are those influences, what we’re creating now and have been creating for quite some time is evolving the game world and making something more complete. A complete world where every aspect is fully realized, maybe even if it doesn’t show up in the game.

I think that same sort of world-crafting can be seen between Warcraft II and Warcraft III. A big shift in focus to fleshing out a unique fantasy world and story.

In other words, all that stuff’s gone from modern Blizzard games. Because why? Because someone’s uptight Christian mom = angry letters = bad publicity = potentially lower corporate profits.

That said, the developers do have a point. Why should they shoehorn iconic imagery from our world into a game world that’s supposed to be an original creation? The mythology of Sanctuary is not the same as that of any human culture or religion. Why limit themselves to any of the long-established human religious concepts, when they can invent their own? All good fantasy does, even if it’s sometimes just reskinned versions of existing human religions/myths/archetypes.

On the other hand… maybe that’s a mistake? Perhaps Blizzard should continue to use known symbols, and leverage more meaning from their cultural significance? They can create some awesome origin myth for Diablo and the forces of evil in the game, and give them a scary symbol, etc. But would that ever pack as much punch as using a cross, or a pentagram? Even if you’re not a believer in the supernatural aspects of Christianity, those symbols have a powerful resonance in your mind.

It’s basically escapism vs. semi-borrowed realism. For which do you vote?