Warning: Story spoilers follow throughout this post.
With an imminent Diablo 3 expansion announcement, I thought I’d write a bit about what may happen in the expansion as far as story. I know most people could care less about Diablo 3 story, but I’ve always liked the Heaven and Hell vibe in the games. They took elements of real life religions and sprinkled in a bit of fiction (or not, depending on your viewpoint) to make the “forces” involved more compelling. Sanctuary is a pretty large setting, but even after three games we have barely seen any of it.
Main Story Threads
At the end of the game, Diablo, the single Prime Evil, is defeated by the heroes. The ending cinematic gives us a hint of things to come. For one, the Black Soulstone is not destroyed. As Diablo’s body dissipates, the Black Soulstone can be seen for a split second falling back to Sanctuary. It is most likely still intact somewhere on the ground.
At the end of Act 3, Diablo has Adria wait until called on again. I think there is a good chance Adria is searching for the Black Soulstone again. It is possible she could use another person as Diablo’s vessel, just like Leah. It’s true that Leah was special. She had the seed of Diablo within her from her father Aidan, who slammed Diablo’s soulstone in his forehead. It could be that through Leah’s conception by Aidan a mark was also left on Adria that would allow her to bear another child with some form of Diablo within him or her. Adria could simply find the Black Soulstone and repeat the process.
Speaking of Leah, there were hints in the story that her spirit may still exist after the Prime Evil’s banishment back to Hell. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to see Leah again in some form in the expansion. Perhaps she will play a big part in dealing with Adria.
Then there’s Tyrael in the last cinematic. It is hinted that he has become the new Archangel of Wisdom, but Malthael is still presumably alive somewhere. I would not be surprised if we see Malthael in the expansion. Also, is there a new Archangel of Justice or is Tyrael doing double duty? Imperius is still around too. I can’t see him accepting Tyrael’s acceptance back into the Angiris Council. Maybe he will become a new threat to face.
Follower Story Threads
Among the followers, the Templar’s story has the biggest loose end. At the end of the game, he has pretty much just discovered that his order is completely false. He still seems to believe the grand maester and that maybe some members of the order are truly good, but he wants to confront them to get answers. That clearly is left open. Maybe it will be finished in a book, but at least it will be mentioned in the expansion during conversations for those that don’t read the book.
The Scoundrel’s story is basically finished in the base game, but we don’t know the details. The hero agrees to pay the Scoundrel what he needs to free his brother, but we don’t know what happens after that. Does his brother forgive him? What about the brother’s wife, the Scoundrel’s former lover, does she stick with the brother or go back to the Scoundrel? This could also be cleared up in a conversation in the game, but Kingsport would be fun to see.
The Enchantress’ story is also pretty much finished in the base game, but there were two possible loose ends I caught in the conversations. First, she mentioned that the nearest sisters were dead, but there were others much further whose fates she did not know. If one of them is alive, maybe we get to meet her in the expansion. The second loose end is the identity of the Prophet. The Enchantress explains how she approached a dying angel who gave her a book with writings from the Prophet. Chances are that angel was not the Prophet but a foller of the Prophet.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Prophet turned out to be Malthael. He’s been missing awhile. None of the angels know where he is and it doesn’t sound like the demons know either. That means he is probably somewhere on Sanctuary where those supernatural beings can’t see. He may have been the first to recognize the angels’ need for mortals in future events. Through the ages he has groomed various mortals to help in later ages, somehow putting them in stasis. This goes back to the first loose end, the Enchantress’ sisters may be dead but there could be other followers of the Prophet each with their own separate missions.
Artisan Story Threads
The Blacksmith’s story seems to be done. He talks about his family’s tragic past and how he met his wife. You had to help kill his wife, but his story ended there. He says his father was cut down before his eyes, but maybe the father is still alive somewhere. Out of all the characters in the hero’s traveling party, he is the only one that doesn’t seem to have any loose ends.
The Jewelcrafter is still looking for Dirgest’s jewel. Finding this jewel could be a key part of the expansion. He says it contains an evil being of some sort. That definitely sounds like a demon to me. Also, who is the Jewelcrafter anyways? One of the gods of Xiansai? If he is really a god, he must have some special powers. Maybe the the Jewelcrafter is actually Malthael in disguise. Somehow he saw that this Dirgest guy was a big threat and assumed a disguise in the mortal realm to acquire the jewel and destroy it for good.
The Mystic was cut shortly before the game’s release, but she was to have her own story. During one the quests, you rescue a women from the Spider Queen. She was originally meant to be the Mystic. In the game’s credits they even credited the voice actress for this character as the Mystic. They could expand the existing quest involving her so that when she is rescued, she also joins your caravan. A more likely possibility to me is that she re-appears in one expansion areas. You probably have to rescue her again and then she joins your caravan.
One big “if” is how many expansions Diablo 3 will get. I could easily see all the loose ends tied in just one expansion. There isn’t enough story left over to do more than that, but Blizzard could always put more loose ends in the expansion to justify a second expansion. Starcraft 2 is getting two expansions after all. It may just be the new pattern for Blizzard to release two expansions per game (excepting MMOs like WoW).