Usually we toss out a question to be answered on Twitter and include the responses on the next show. That’s all well and good, but not everyone tweets and occasionally a tweet may get left out. With as grandiose of an occasion as the beginning of Season 2 is, we figured we offer another way for our listeners to participate and have their voices heard.
Are you excited for February 13th? Will you be taking the plunge and diving head-first with seasonal play? Will you be trying a new class? Or will you dip your toe in to playing Hardcore mode for the very first time? Or will you stick with your existing characters and continue to fine-tune them and push higher in to the Greater Rift levels?
What are you plans, if any, for Season Two? Let us know by commenting below!
From Insight Editions comes another stunning book filled with lore and artwork from the Diablo III “universe”. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael will be released on October 1, 2013. Personally, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!
My experience playing through Diablo III has made me a huge fan of Tyrael. If you’ve played through Normal Difficulty of Diablo III, then you already know that Tyrael started out as the Archangel of Justice on the Angiris Council. He chose to give up his immortality in order to help the Nephalem on Sanctuary (and he does help the players through many parts of the Diablo III game). What’s not to like about a character that makes such a huge sacrifice in order to help others?
Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is intended to be a companion edition to Diablo III: Book of Cain. In other words, Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is not a novel (like Diablo III: The Order, written by Nate Kenyon, is). This time, players will get an in-depth look into the mind of Archangel Tyrael. The book is a chronicle of Tyrael’s involvement in the Eternal Conflict that wages in the Diablo “universe”. You can also expect to find more amazing illustrations that are wrapped within covers that are as detailed as what we saw with Diablo III: Book of Cain.
What else will it contain? From the press release:
As a former archangel of the High Heavens, Tyrael ranks among the most important and influential characters in the Diablo franchise. Here, in this illustrated and comprehensive tome, he reveals never-before-known secrets about the history of the world, the dark threats that yet face mankind, and his decision to join the ranks of humanity as a mortal.
In addition to plenty of writings from the viewpoint of Tyrael, the book will also include some writings from Leah and Deckard Cain. There will also be a fully removable family tree. I cannot help but wonder whose family tree that is! I suppose it could be Leah’s family tree. Maybe it is a family tree that connects all of the Archangels? We are just going to have to wait and see.
It seems to me that you wouldn’t necessarily have to have read Diablo III: Book of Cain before you can dig into Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. They aren’t exactly a “series” (like what you would find with novels). Each can stand completely on it’s own, and will enhance the information that is found in the other. I tend to think of these type of books as one part “Monster Manual” and one part “story time”. You can start with either one, and compare it to the other, without getting “lost”.
Almost immediately following us wrapping up episode 32 we were treated with the fabled preview blog of patch 1.0.7. Unfortunately for us that meant a HUGE nugget of really important information would have to wait until our next recording session in late January. Given the depth and importance of the changes being previewed, letting this information languish until then sure didn’t feel like a good idea.
So then it dawned on us, why not utilize our Mumble server and open up a round table discussion about patch 1.0.7 with you, the listener?
Good idea, right? We sure think so. By holding a community round table we can get more opinions and impressions of the changes coming in 1.0.7 from a wider variety of perspectives. This also allows us to be more timely with discussing this information while not bogging down our next episode with lots of 1.0.7 talk.
Oh sure, we’re certain the discussion will continue well in to the next couple of episodes, but we can all agree that a 2+ hour MEGA show would be unwieldy for everyone. So instead we’re going to try out a separate round table format and see how it is received.
Okay, so with all that being said, how do you, the listener, participate?
As previously stated, we’re going to be holding this patch 1.0.7 round table on Mumble, so make sure you have Mumble installed on your computer and go through the audio setup wizard if you haven’t already done so. (The wizard is pretty easy to follow and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete).
You needn’t download the Diablo 3 Patch 1.0.7 PTR client, but by all means do so if you want to check out the changes for yourself. Hopefully the PTR will be stable enough for some of us to have some first-hand experience with the changes, but we also want to have an “outside-looking-in” perspective on the round table as well.
So when will we be holding this Patch 1.0.7 Round Table?
Friday, January 18th at 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern
Make sure you clear your calendars on Friday, January 18th at 6pm Pacific / 9pm Eastern. More than likely we won’t start EXACTLY at this time as some “pre-show” will definitely occur to loosen everyone up.
If this round table format works out well we’ll be sure to revisit it with substantial patches in the future.
This year, I’ve been fascinated by the artwork in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar. Each month featured a piece of artwork that really captured my attention. I wanted to know more about the art and the artist who created it. I also wondered about who, exactly, was depicted in each piece. Naturally, I ended up writing about it. This blog is part of my series that takes an in-depth look into the art in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar.
For the month of November, Blizzard selected an incredibly malformed being. You can tell from looking at his torso and the upper part or one arm that this humanoid is male. He is wearing a minimal amount of clothing, but isn’t wearing any armor or carrying a weapon. Instead, this creepy creature has spikes growing out of his head, out of his spine, and covering over at least one of his shoulders. His arms are turning into some really nasty looking weapons that also have spikes.
The figure is contorted and grimacing, as one would if his body was suddenly turned from human to…. something definitely not human. Our “Mr. November” is depicted in mid-transformation, and you can tell that he is in absolute agony from the experience.
So, what, or who, is the unfortunate “Mr. November”? I found the answer to that question on a BlizzPlanet post from April 1, 2011. This particular piece of artwork shows a monster called a Dark Vessel that is in the process of turning into a Triune Vessel.
Let’s be clear. “Mr. November” started out as a human. One day, he joined the Triune, and became one of those crazy zealots called “Cultists”. This guy was so into the whole “let’s raise demons” thing that he allowed his own body to be sacrificed, inhabited by a demon, and painfully mutated and transformed.
The spikes that you see coming out of “Mr. November’s” spine are called “Teeth of Diablo”. In order to be turned into a Triune Vessel (sometimes called an Unholy Thrall), he had to willingly allow another sanity-lacking Cultist to insert those spikes directly into his spine (while awake and without anesthesia).
There is a little bit of lore about the Dark Vessel that comes from a character named Abd al-Hazir. He had this to say:
The cultists were preforming a strange ritual when I saw them, today. One of their number stood soundlessly while others thrust long spikes deep into his spine. He did not perish, and I believe that he may have even been darkly empowered from the implantation, though such terrible magic is foreign to me.
According to Blizzplanet, the artwork that was selected for the month of November in the 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar was created by Brom. His work has been featured many times in this calendar. He is the artist who created the Skeleton King piece for the month of July, and the Tomb Viper that appeared in February. According to DiabloWiki, the artwork for November is titled “Triune Vessel”.
Want to know what a Triune Vessel looks line in-game? Here’s a very brief, and to the point, video of a Barbarian who is smashing the Cultists to pieces before they can turn into the hideous creature that our “Mr. November” has allowed himself to become. A few do manage to turn, and the Barbarian makes sure that they “die ugly”.
Last Christmas, I got a 2012 Diablo III Wall Calendar. I put it by my computer, where I can stare at the artwork daily. So far, the artwork that Blizzard selected for each month has been interesting enough to inspire me to want to find out more about it. This blog is part of my series about the artwork in the Diablo III 2012 Wall Calendar.
It wasn’t a huge challenge to figure out who “Ms. October” was. She is shown mid-vault, and is holding a one-handed crossbow in each hand. She is shooting multiple arrows at the head of her humanoid opponent while still in the air, and is likely about to start shooting at the armored foe she is vaulting towards with her other crossbow any second now. Our “Ms. October” is, obviously, the Demon Hunter.
I wasn’t expecting to see the Demon Hunter again in this year’s calendar, since she already made an appearance as “Ms. April”. For whatever reason, Blizzard decided to include the Demon Hunter twice, but didn’t choose to show one female Demon Hunter and one male Demon Hunter.
That seemed rather strange to me. But, then I realized that I have two Demon Hunters and both of them are female. I can think of a couple different pieces of art that show a female Demon Hunter, but not even one that shows a male Demon Hunter.
This particular piece of artwork can be found on Battle.net in the Wallpaper collection. It was added there on August 1, 2011. If you love it, you can (legally) download it from there, (in a variety of sizes).
So, let’s review. The Demon Hunter was selected for both October, and April, (both female). The Barbarian (male) appeared in March. The Monk (male) was featured in June. The Wizard (female), (or, as we often say on Shattered Soulstone, “the Sorceress”), was selected for the month of August.
Where’s the Witch Doctor?
I’ll give you a hint: he’s not in the artwork for either November or December. Nope. The Witch Doctor is the only player class that did not appear in the Diablo III 2012 Wall Calendar. Why? I have no idea, especially since Battle.net has a very cool wallpaper that shows the Witch Doctor that was also added on August 1, 2011. Why didn’t they use it in the calendar?
I am now wondering of the 2013 Diablo III Wall Calendar will have two months of artwork that shows the Witch Doctor. I know the calendar exists, but I haven’t taken a close look at it yet.
Before I end this blog, I wanted to briefly go over the humanoid opponents that are surrounding our “Ms. October” in the artwork above. I am fairly certain that they are Morlu. The concept of the Morlu goes back to The Sin War Trilogy by Richard Knaak.
The Morlu make an appearance in-game in Diablo III. You will encounter them in Act IV. The video below actually shows a “glitch” that caused a Morlu to die, and yet, still be standing there. I doubt the bug is still in the game. However, the video does give you a good example of what a Morlu looks like in Diablo III. He’s got a very similar helmet, shoulders, and bracers.