During the BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal panel, Wyatt Cheng said something that has been poking the back of my mind ever since. Something that has made me think that Diablo Immortal is not just to tell the story of what happened five years after Diablo II's Worldstone destruction, but also serve as a primer for Diablo IV.
That thing poking at the back of my mind is that there is not just other worlds out there -- as revealed to the dragon Trag'Oul in Diablo: The Sin War (Vol. 3) -- but there are also other timelines. If you are into DC Comics or Marvel Comics -- you know what I mean: a multiverse of alternate timelines.
So what exactly did Wyatt Cheng said for me to have this outlandish wild idea?
During the Diablo Immortal: World and Q&A panel, a fan asked Wyatt if Mephisto would somehow be in the game.
Wyatt was very careful and very cryptic. He said: "...we are exploring how some of the Prime Evils might be returning faster than they should. So, I will leave it at that for the moment" -- read the panel transcript (page 4).
Read that sentence again.
The first thought that comes to mind is: "What the (beep)?"
Then you will start scratching your forehead, and give it some deep thought in order to rationalize what Wyatt might possibly be referring to here.
I think one of those ideas coming to mind is that -- in order for the Prime Evils to return faster than they should... there should be alternate timelines, separate from each other. In short, if Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo return 5 years after the destruction of the worldstone... that timeline should be different that the one we experienced in Diablo III. I think we can agree to that.
So... what exactly happened in the past that changed and accelerated the return of the Prime Evils?
There can only be one explanation: timetravel.
Wait a second... there is no timetraveling in the Diablo universe.
Well, I would have to stop you dry right there, because you are wrong.
There are very quirky weird ways that Blizzard has presented timetravel concepts in Diablo over the years.
For example, Eirena the Enchantress revealed that she was sent into the future by The Prophet. She is originally from 1500 years before Diablo III.
Eirena said: "I learned these spells fifteen hundred years ago. My sisters and I pledged our service to a man of great power. We called him The Prophet. He trained us and placed us in a magical slumber to awaken in this era. I am to prevent the Lords of Hell from invading."
Ok. This was not exactly timetravel, but it is a workaround of sorts. The Prophet used the lifeforce of the other pledged sisters to create some sort of magical time-delayed forcefield that kept Eirena in stasis for 1500 years.
So while there is no timetravel like the ones we are used to in movies and comics -- it is still a form of one-way ticket timetravel. The Enchantress went to sleep approximately around -215 before the creation of the Zakarum Church -- timeline shown at BlizzCon 2018 below.
Now... by association, and in contrast, the Dark Exile happened in 964 -- after the creation of the Zakarum Church.
So... can you tell me exactly how "The Prophet" sends Eirena 1500 into the future to prevent the invasion of the Lords of Hell? The Prime Evils were not exiled until 946. Nearly a 1000 years after her time. Why wasn't she sent to 964 instead to prevent the Dark Exile, or why wasn't Eirene sent to 1263 to prevent the awakening of Diablo in Tristram?
No. She was sent to a specific time, to a specific task. To help the hero defeat Azmodan and Belial. Eirena specifically said she was sent by the Prophet to find the hero and help accomplish the hero's goal.
The only way I can rationalize this is that The Prophet -- who turned out to be an Angel from the High Heavens, either had visions of the future (maybe he was a lieutenant of Itherael, the Archangel of Fate)... or because somehow he came across a timetraveler 1500 years ago who passed that info to him. Hard to tell. I mean... what was this angel doing in Sanctuary -- disobeying the Angiris Council's pact?
If The Prophet saw visions of the future, like Itherael does when reading his scroll... this brings further scrutiny. Why didn't the angel use the knowledge of the future to stop the Prime Evils' exile or at least Diablo I's events instead?
This felt more personal. A dying angel experiences the High Heavens being destroyed and purged by Diablo... he would want to go back in time and send Eirenna to help avert the destruction of the High Heavens.
Could the angel be stuck in a time loop? When he dies, his mind goes back in time into his younger-self, and all happens again and again from his point of view? That's another interesting concept. Groundhog 1500 years-day.
So to understand how this specific Angel could become the Prophet 1500 years in the past, we might have to understand exactly what an Angel is.
They are made of light and sound at the core. What happens when you bend light? What happens when soundwaves ripple? I think only a physicist might be able to answer that -- and there is none for me to ask right now, so...
Tyrael, for instance... the explosion of the Worldstone ( a stone that bends reality) dissolved Tyrael's essence in dissonance so violently that it took Tyrael 20 years to coalesce his form. He is the Archangel of Justice.
Now... what exactly would happen to Itherael or to any of his lieutenants if any of them had destroyed the Worldstone, instead? Would his body behave the same way as Tyrael's? Or because of their "fate" powers, would their soundwaves/lightwaves ripple back or forth in time instead?
What evidence is there that the same might not have happened to Tyrael and he just doesn't remember?
Where is Itherael? Where has he being all this time since the Worldstone was stolen by Inarius and Lilith? Or should I ask... when is he?
How exactly can these Angels bypass or fool the Angiris Council into indirectly interfering in Sanctuary after the Sin War pact between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells?
So far Tyrael and The Prophet who taught Eirena have circumvented the Angiris Council. There was a third angel... Lycander (long before the Sin War) who also circumvented the Angiris Council for a brief time.
Lycander was one of the rogue angels who came along with Inarius to Sanctuary.
Time passed, the Nephalem were born. Eventually, Lycander fell in love with a nephalem named Phillios. After Lilith killed the rogue angels, in a move to save the Nephalem, Lycander escaped the purge and returned to the High Heavens -- not telling the Angiris Council about Sanctuary's existence.
Lycander kept communicating with her Nephalem lover, Phillios, through an artifact known as the Sightless Eye which she left in his posession.
Have there been more angels we don't know of who might have circumvented the Angiris Council or the pact itself?
How about Ithereal's angels? Could some have passed messages about the future to Sanctuary? Can some of them even be able to go back and forth through time? Are there ancient or modern Nephalem with the innate ability to navigate the timeways?
Were there Nephalem procreated by Ithereal's angels -- some who might have come along with Inarius to build Sanctuary? If such Nephalem existed, now that the Worldstone is gone along with its adjustments meant to depower the Nephalem -- would that mean that in present times, one or more of these humans regaining Nephalem powers be able to timetravel or communicate with anyone throughout time, and pass forward information about the future -- cough, have you watched "Frequency" the film or the TV series?
So many questions.
So many hints have been scattered throughout Diablo II and Diablo III about the future and prophecies. Are some of those prophecies due to timetraveling or even messages sent back in time? Separate from the normal visions of the future theme we have seen most recently with the Vecin -- Myriam's people.
Deckard Cain said:
Myriam the Mystic vendor says something very intriguing and very peculiar.
If the world is constantly playing like an automatic vinyl record turntable... which starts and ends -- and starts all over again, and Diablo knows this... has his plan been all along to bump the turntable to start at a specific moment in the vinyl record, and somehow rewrite the data in the vinyl?
Aka... start a new timeline where the Prime Evils can finally be victorious, and stir out of the time loop that eternally plays out the same events.
So what I am saying is... maybe what Wyatt Cheng hinted here: " we are exploring how some of the Prime Evils might be returning faster than they should. So, I will leave it at that for the moment " -- is that Diablo Immortal shows a bump in the turntable where the Prime Evils return sooner than they were meant to. Somehow change the natural events that led to Diablo III 15 years later.
Something akin to what Garrosh did 30 years in the past when he prevented his father Grom from drinking Mannoroth's blood. The Horde did never invade Azeroth to start the First War.
So if Diablo Immortal is doing something similar to that -- the question is... is Diablo IV based on the events we are familiar with in Diablo III... or is Diablo IV based on the alternate timeline post Diablo Immortal?
If so... is there room to rewrite Diablo III into a whole new game where different events happened? For Blizzard to develop a new game based on Diablo Immortal's change of the timeline...
Alas, maybe Blizzard isn't so ambitious as to go that far. Still, makes you wonder... what did Wyatt mean?
Things we know about Diablo Immortal:
Diablo Immortal takes place 5 years after the destruction of the Worldstone. At this point in time, Deckard Cain has not met Leah yet. Deckard met Leah (age 8) in Caldeum in Year 7 -- or 2 years after Diablo Immortal -- Reference: Diablo: The Order by Nate Kenyon (author).
Diablo Immortal will feature a young Valla being trained in the ways of the Demon Hunter by her master Josen. We will find Valla in Shassar Sea.
Wyatt hinted at what Adria and Maghda are doing behind-the-scenes in this time period.
Obviously, Adria is still traveling with a 6-age Leah in tow.
There will be 8 public zones to explore (at launch).
Diablo Immortal is an ongoing game -- which means it will grow over time with new content patches and expansions. New zones, new classes, etc.
With the revelation of Diablo IV's newest Cannibal -- there is a chance we might see the early days of what led the Barbarian to go cannibal in the Frozen Tundra.
The Scoundrel Lyndon should be much younger. His brother was a city guard, while Lyndon was a member of the Thieves' Guild. Unsure at what age he might have joined. He said he and his brother were orphans. Will we meet their parents?
The Countess is coming back at the Forgotten Tower.
Westmarch is a capital city in Diablo Immortal where we meet other players. Will we meet the Crusader and his master trainer?
Jacob Staalek is in Diablo Immortal -- hailing from Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel (DC Comics).