It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from Diablo 3, what with Blizzard concentrating on seemingly every-single-other-franchise at this year’s BlizzCon. However, it looks like the studio’s not forgotten our beloved action RPG, revealing a brand new zone set to launch with upcoming patch 2.4.0.
It’s called Greyhollow Island, and it’s making me more than a little inspired to head back to Sanctuary again – I wonder if my monk’s still running around out there…
The sting of sea salt burns your eyes, adding insult to injury as an endless storm rages on. The memory of countless ships dashed upon jagged shores is fresh in your mind as a streak of lighting cracks across the sky, briefly illuminating the dense forest that surrounds you. The heavy scent of pine and sodden earth is interrupted by the sickly sweet note of decay, and a thousand flickering eyes in the distance serve as warning—if the madness of Greyhollow Island does not take you first, the beasts surely will.
While there will be plenty of enemies dotted around the landscape (both natural and supernatural, as you’d expect), Blizzard has gone out of its way to reduce the number of humanoid creatures you’ll encounter, adding to the sense of isolation.
The studio’s introductory blog post makes for some great reading – it seems the creation team were so inspired by the idea and concept of Greyhollow Island that it didn’t take much effort to bring this creepy location to life. Turns out it’s pretty heavily inspired by the Pacific Northwest region of the US – specifically, a section of coastline known as The Graveyard of the Pacific, as Technical Artist Neal Wojahn explains:
Greyhollow is supposed to be set in a similarly treacherous area. As a child, I have vivid memories of driving with my family to the Oregon coast and seeing shipwrecks sinking out into the sand, being beaten by the grey fury of nature.
…and if it’s not exciting enough to be given an all-new location (accessible only through Adventure Mode, with no additional Campaign content), there are also new events, 16 new monsters and a bunch of Set Dungeons added in patch 2.4.0 as well. Preliminary patch notes are available online, and they might just tide you over until release… especially because we don’t know when that’ll be, yet. Sorry!