A new monster from Diablo 3's 2.4 patch called Greyhollow Island

I've talked about the upcoming 2.4 patch for Diablo 3 when it was first entering its test phase and now over a month later they're finally sharing more information about it.

In a recent post over on the Diablo 3 blog Blizzard spoke about what exactly we'll be able to find in Greyhollow island, the brand new map coming with patch 2.4, as well as their inspirations and goals while creating it. If you're interested in a brief overview of the new zone as well as the trailer you will find them below.

 

Its important to note that Greyhollow Island is an adventure mode map, and as such requires Diablo 3: ROS in order to play. This does also mean that it won't be a part of your standard progression through Diablo 3's story, instead this is something you will do once you reach the end game.

That aside, Greyhollow Island is designed as an eerie dark place completely devoid of any human contact until you foolishly step on to it in search of riches. The island once housed a grand civilization which, as is standard in Diablo, mysteriously vanished one day leaving the entire place to the mercy of nature. Many adventurers tried to plunder the island's riches but none ever returned indicating that the island is home to something more than hostile wildlife. 

Blizzard's idea with Greyhollow Island was to create a place that had a distinct "man vs nature" feeling to it and as such you won't be fighting any humanoid enemies during your stay on the island. Instead, demon-warped beasts will be your constant companions as you progress through the place.

One really interesting thing is that a major inspiration for the entire zone was a section of coastline called the "Graveyard of the Pacific", an area that suffers far more shipwrecks than anywhere else in the ocean. The inspiration comes from a childhood memory of one of the designers who said this about his idea of Grayhollow Island:

"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."

While none of this is relevant to how most people will experience the zone, most likely filled with meteors and blood, but I still find it really fascinating when developers give us an insight in to how and why a game area got created so I'm glad Blizzard shared it with us. 

Diablo 3 patch 2.4 brings Greyhollow Island, a place where nature is slowly devouring old shipwrecks

The atmosphere of the place seems to be spot on

The way they're handling the story this time around is thankfully a departure from the "in your face" storytelling Diablo 3 got bogged down with. In Grayhollow you will find bits and pieces of lore you'll have to connect and fill in the blanks yourself, much like how it works in Dark Souls.

Whether this system will work out or not I'm not sure but I appreciate them finally trusting the players to be smart enough that they don't need to spell out every, single, thing through in-game cutscenes that just vomit exposition at the player rather than having something of substance going on.

And that is it as far as the information we've been given goes. I've more or less weaned myself off Diablo 3 due to how excellent Path of Exile turned out but I think this new patch might be just the sort of incentive I need to give Diablo another whirl.

There is no release date for patch 2.4 yet though with Blizzard constantly saying soon I have a feeling it will sometime later this month.

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