Diablo® III

Demons Turning To Good?

11/23/2013 02:25 PMPosted by Wesker
@keltestA demon becoming redeemed through self-reflection would be interesting, don't you think? I'm not espousing that it must happen through force or pressure from angels.


Interesting, perhaps. But demons and angels cannot change their fundamental natures on their own. The most they can do is set them aside. That's why its the ETERNAL conflict.
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11/23/2013 04:21 PMPosted by Keltest
@keltestA demon becoming redeemed through self-reflection would be interesting, don't you think? I'm not espousing that it must happen through force or pressure from angels.


Interesting, perhaps. But demons and angels cannot change their fundamental natures on their own. The most they can do is set them aside. That's why its the ETERNAL conflict.


I haven't spoiled the story of ROS for myself, but I've begun to think that Malthael changed his fundamental nature through self-reflection while away from the High Heavens. I don't know if he's gone insane or if he's always been the way he is currently, but what he's doing and what he hopes to accomplish is not wise and is not good. It's evil and self-destructive - much like a lord of hell.

So, if Malthael can change, why can't a demon?
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11/24/2013 04:40 PMPosted by Wesker


Interesting, perhaps. But demons and angels cannot change their fundamental natures on their own. The most they can do is set them aside. That's why its the ETERNAL conflict.


I haven't spoiled the story of ROS for myself, but I've begun to think that Malthael changed his fundamental nature through self-reflection while away from the High Heavens. I don't know if he's gone insane or if he's always been the way he is currently, but what he's doing and what he hopes to accomplish is not wise and is not good. It's evil and self-destructive - much like a lord of hell.

So, if Malthael can change, why can't a demon?


That's just it. As far as we (the non-beta folks) know, he is still "good". there are a whole bunch of threads about how Malthael genuinely is acting for the greater good, because Tyrael's sword couldn't hurt him.
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I haven't spoiled the story of ROS for myself, but I've begun to think that Malthael changed his fundamental nature through self-reflection while away from the High Heavens. I don't know if he's gone insane or if he's always been the way he is currently, but what he's doing and what he hopes to accomplish is not wise and is not good. It's evil and self-destructive - much like a lord of hell.

So, if Malthael can change, why can't a demon?


That's just it. As far as we (the non-beta folks) know, he is still "good". there are a whole bunch of threads about how Malthael genuinely is acting for the greater good, because Tyrael's sword couldn't hurt him.


Aldruin cannot harm those with righteous intentions - meaning what they hope to accomplish is in no way selfish or self-serving and they believe sincerely themselves that their goals are beneficial for the good of all.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that what they're doing and what they want is good. It could very well be evil and destructive. This, I believe, is the case with Malthael.

I think it's similar to an insane person believing that his insane thoughts - such as killing innocent people - are for the good of everyone.
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That's just it. As far as we (the non-beta folks) know, he is still "good". there are a whole bunch of threads about how Malthael genuinely is acting for the greater good, because Tyrael's sword couldn't hurt him.


Aldruin cannot harm those with righteous intentions - meaning what they hope to accomplish is in no way selfish or self-serving and they believe sincerely themselves that their goals are beneficial for the good of all.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that what they're doing and what they want is good. It could very well be evil and destructive. This, I believe, is the case with Malthael.

I think it's similar to an insane person believing that his insane thoughts - such as killing innocent people - are for the good of everyone.


It isn't like corrupted paladins in Warcraft who can still use light powers. Even if they think theyre doing good, if theyre not, it will still harm them.
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11/13/2013 06:16 PMPosted by Wesker
Why is it that angels can be corrupted but demons can't be purified? It would make for an interesting story line if nothing else.


simply thermodynamics.

assume that angels=order and demons=chaos/destruction

thermodynamics state that things tend towards chaos, not the other way around. you need to do a lot of effort to create and keep order, but with little (or no) effort things break and go wild. in diablo's universe that may be why angels fall, but demons don't "rise". it can also explain why the prophecy of the end of times say the hell will win in the end.
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12/14/2013 10:05 AMPosted by Mith
Why is it that angels can be corrupted but demons can't be purified? It would make for an interesting story line if nothing else.


simply thermodynamics.

assume that angels=order and demons=chaos/destruction

thermodynamics state that things tend towards chaos, not the other way around. you need to do a lot of effort to create and keep order, but with little (or no) effort things break and go wild. in diablo's universe that may be why angels fall, but demons don't "rise". it can also explain why the prophecy of the end of times say the hell will win in the end.


Apologies for not responding sooner. I thought interest in this topic had died so I haven't checked it again until now.

If I may, to respond to your post concerning the law of Thermodynamics, I'll repost something I wrote earlier in this thread:

11/23/2013 02:25 PMPosted by Wesker
@Zanyuki

I have to disagree with your assertion that order requires an "all-powerful intelligence." You just need to look at the natural world to see that this is false (assuming you don't believe in God). The order of the day/night/seasonal cycle of the planet, the food chain in living nature, the ability to mathematically predict occurrences in the natural world, the symmetry of many forms of life, the spherical shape of the planets, the revolving of the planets around the sun - these are all examples of natural order.


Not everything I said above is relevant to your point, but I want to point out that many things in existence have order in them inherently. For example, the revolving of the planets around the sun. There is no effort in this system - the Solar System - for this phenomenon to exist. Or the spherical shapes of all the planets as another example. Was any effort put into that? Of course not. Actually, it can be said that the above phenomena occur when the system loses energy and becomes stable. Yet, it is not chaos but order.

You can just as much argue that the nature of the Angels in D3 is not brought about by any effort on their part. It's just the way things are. Ithereal and Tyrael say as much too when they comment that Angels have no free will. They cannot change the way they think or their behavior unless a great deal of effort is made. In fact, it requires a significant amount of effort to change themselves or to be changed by outside forces.

This change can come through the effort of self-reflection (Malthael) or it can be forced (Izual).
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I would like to see demons be given the option to choose to rebel against their nature.

This is an extremely compelling thing to me, and I'd imagine many others.
I really hope blizzard reads into some of this. I think this is something special here.
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I agree that angels might have little incentive to convert demons, since redemption is not necessarily "good". So I suggest, that it will be the nephalem that will try to convert demons.

The nephalem (can) do evil, and therefore understand the value of redemption much better than angels. As they align their own society to the values of anu and heaven, they could develop a philosophy that demands the redemption of their demonic relatives. They would be strong enough to do so, and as long as the nephalem in general are good, they would have the support of heaven.

Of course, that couldn't possibly go wrong...
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I like the whole discussion about how the connotation of 'forced' corruption is easier to grasp than 'forced' redemption; and the consideration of how the "good guys" could reverse-izual a demon and still stay the "good guys" is a legitimate concern in the context of what is supposed to be a simple background plot in what is a multi-consumer targeted VIDEO GAME.

In a more complex setting; the whole idea of re-education would be a good theme, however it is a little more black and white that what you can plop into a videogame; because it is exactly the kind of thing critics like to go nuts about in our over-politicized modern society.

The slight problem with putting something like this in D3 which has "mass appeal" is that re-education or brainwashing or whatever you want to call it is a contentious social issue in the modern age. Especially when the source material seeks to attribute direct brands of "good" and "evil" to the involved combatatative parties (heaven vs. hell). In other works of media; fiction, games, etc... there have been very well done 'questionable means' employed by both the antagonists and protagonists in the story which were largely possible due to no clear 'good' or 'evil' labels being explicitly assigned which would indicate approval or recommendation of such an action which steps on a lot of political correctness toes.

Let's take a look at babylon 5. the shadows and vorlons are d-bags. the vorlons can be considered 'nicer' than the shadows since they're at least being cryptic and helpful to mankind, but when push comes to shove, they don't have single problem with destroying entire planets where the 'lesser races' live to stop their enemy's political influence from spreading. The shadows can be considered 'bad guys' compared to the vorlons since most of their actions we see are their interactions with who we consider the 'bad guys'; warmongering, personal gain, etc, etc... but at the end of the shadow war when both the shadows and vorlons leave it is pretty clear that they aren't entirely ferocious enemies of one another; more like equals who have an intellectual debate with one another and are perfectly capable or reason and civility with one another but have no problem with any collateral damage to other 'lesser' species that their debate may bring. This is actually as close to D3's whole heaven v hill dichotomy as we come; Both these 'factions' represent intangible ideals for reasons far beyond a bystander's understanding as absolute imperatives which are to be seeked by any means tangible (e.g. angels are ok with killing all humans if it means the devils can't use the humans against them).

Another similar media setting which deals with this is wh40k; the empire aren't nice people. chaos aren't nice people. both regularly employ sacrifices, conquest, genocide, planetary destruction, etc... to achieve their means. The guys we 'like' do it decked out in white and gold, the guys we 'don't' do it in black and red; to the average 'person'; living under a rouge planetary governer next door to chaos cultists probably isn't much worse than living in the depths of a hive world in abject poverty and overcrowding; the primary similarity is that your house is probably going to be flattened by stray bolter-fire.

So the short answer is; they can't do redeemed demons in d2 because they are trying to depict the sides of the war as clear analogues of "good" and "evil". showing the good-guys re-educating, brain-washing, or somehow torturing demons until they become heaven-aligned manchurian candidates or sleeper cells will step on far too many toes since heaven is  generally supposed to be the good guys.

The long answer is; yes they could, and similar things have been done before; but due to the fact that this is a mass-media well known typical 18-35 M audience targeted release that gets a fair amount of coverage it is more of a liability in the controversy it will create with your typical social media/political alarmists than any benefit of adding a little nuance to the story would bring.
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12/24/2013 03:57 PMPosted by Wesker
Not everything I said above is relevant to your point, but I want to point out that many things in existence have order in them inherently. For example, the revolving of the planets around the sun. There is no effort in this system - the Solar System - for this phenomenon to exist. Or the spherical shapes of all the planets as another example. Was any effort put into that? Of course not. Actually, it can be said that the above phenomena occur when the system loses energy and becomes stable. Yet, it is not chaos but order.


I'm sorry, I also thought the topic was dead :P it seems to have resurrected, so...

well, of course the "natural order" is not result of someone trying to keep it, perhaps I oversimplified my explanation and allowed some misinterpretation. but see, the natural order is always the order of minimal energy and maximum entropy, and remember entropy means disorder/chaos (or, in other interpretations, ignorance of how a system works, but this one is irrelevant here).

using the word "effort" may have been a mistake, it suggested a conscious attempt to do something, it's not what I had in mind. I was thinking about energy. you (or nature) need a lot more energy to create a diamond (highly ordered system, very low entropy) than to create graphite (poorly ordered system, high entropy). similarly you'd need a lot more energy to create a non-spherical planet, non-elliptic orbits, etc.

and also such systems only keep going because the environment allows, if these systems are disturbed they just go wild. if a star passes close enough to the sun you can say good bye to the stable orbits of the planets. asteroids big enough shatter a planet to non-spherically-shaped pieces. if the climate suddenly changes mass extinctions happen. if you have a 42ºC fever or a 30ºC hypothermia many intracellular mechanisms that rely on your thermal stability stop functioning and you eventually die. an excited atom naturally goes back to fundamental state. (this last example doesn't even require a disturbance).

the whole point is, if you disturb a system order crumbles while chaos thrives. and if you accept the analogy that angels embody order and demons embody chaos, angels can be easily corrupted while demons can't be easily saved.

12/24/2013 03:57 PMPosted by Wesker
You can just as much argue that the nature of the Angels in D3 is not brought about by any effort on their part. It's just the way things are. Ithereal and Tyrael say as much too when they comment that Angels have no free will. They cannot change the way they think or their behavior unless a great deal of effort is made. In fact, it requires a significant amount of effort to change themselves or to be changed by outside forces.

This change can come through the effort of self-reflection (Malthael) or it can be forced


actually it is an effort on their part, they keep a complex hierarchy, law system, the whole structure of heaven; one could unarguably say it takes a lot more effort than keeping hell the way it is. just because it's the angel's nature to do things this way doesn't mean they don't spend time, energy and resources to do it.

also, the amount of effort needed to change an angel can be meaningful, but is surely much less than what is needed to change demon. you can break a good person with mere torture, but how can you fix a psychopath?

I also don't entirely buy the "no free will" story. Tyrael chose not to be an angel anymore. I interpret that angels and demons are VERY strongly oriented by their natures, to the point that their actions are almost always possible to foresee (pretty much like animals), but they still have a drop of free will that makes such choices possible. but this part is speculative.
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I think that most Demons who might have fit the bill for this sort of thing, broke away from Hell and helped create Sanctuary. But then the Nephalem were born... so obviously somebody was getting along.

Lilith killed all the other renegades soon after, both Demon and Angel alike. I'm not sure why neither seem to cycle back through the Crystal Arch or the Abyss. But if you are looking for Demons who might actually play nice with others, they were killed off not long after their children were born.
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