Let me tell you a story about cows. Back in the day, before frustrating always-online requirements existed, back when Blizzard supported LAN play and people could buy games, install them and have everything from the get-go, the Diablo gaming community created a myth, a myth about cattle so important that it shaped the future of the franchise. Sort of.
Somehow, the original Diablo – released on the last day of 1996 – gave rise to a rumor that by clicking repeatedly on a certain cow in the town of Tristram, a secret cow level would open its door to eager butchers-to-be. That was not the case however, but Blizzard made up for it in Diablo II.
To clarify and ensure fans of the original Diablo that there was in fact, no cow level in the game, Blizzard named one of the cheat codes in StarCraft (1997) “there is now cow level.” For the heartbroken however, the crafty Diablo II dev team made sure to rectify this glaring omission in the sequel.
During development of Diablo II – which released in the summer of 2000 – Blizzard shared a screenshot that oddly enough, featured cows fighting each other. Since said image was intentionally released on April Fool’s day of 1999 however, there was no way of telling if that was going to be a part of the game. It was too good to be true!
Needless to say, once the game came out the community unlocked the secret cow level by meshing the correct items together using The Horadric Cube and a legend was realized. 12 years have gone by since Diablo II released so Blizzard has a lot to live up to on the secret level front with Diablo III. As we learned late last night, they absolutely delivered.
Welcome to Whimsyshire, the land of… My Little Pony? See for yourself:
To travel to the place where dreams come true, players must craft the illusive Staff of Herding. Herding, get it? It’s not easy though as crafting the item requires five separate rare items:
- Black Mushroom (Cathedral Level 1, Act 1)
- Shinbone (Leoric’s Manor, Act 1)
- Liquid Rainbow (Mysterious Cave in Mysterious Chest map, Act 2)
- Wirt’s Bell (One of the selling merchant in the city, Act 2, for 100,000 gold.)
- Gibbering Gemstone (Chiltara, Caverns of Frost, Act 3) and Plans (Izual, Act 4). As well as 50,000 gold.
So, add this to your quest list.
In other Diablo III news, Blizzard took down the servers again in North America this morning for two hours to perform more server maintenance. If you were up as late as we were last night playing it, you likely slept through this or had to force yourself up for work/school. It’s up and running smooth now, so go do some looting.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.