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As someone new to the Diablo series, I'm a little unsure about its timeline. I have been playing Diablo 2 to prepare for Diablo 3's release. In Diablo 2, they mention the fall of Tristram and Diablo's defeat. Tristram is still a smoldering ruin. In Diablo 3's beta, there is a large city called New Tristram. How quickly did they rebuild it?

How much time has passed between the Diablo games? Is there a timeline of all the events in the series so far?

I don't like wiki-anything answers. I will accept as canon anything from a Diablo game, novel, or official Blizzard chat.

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Note I started putting together this list before you added the wiki-clause, I'm trying to corroborate this information with official sources.

There is an extensive timeline here and here. Neither seems to contradict each other so I'll just pull out the most relevant pieces of information from both.

Edit:

It appears the above wikipages read from this page on the official Diablo 3 site. I haven't got information on the date of Diablo 3 though (and an upper bound on New Tristram's construction). I have got some information on New Tristram

964

Led by Azmodan and Belial, many of the Hells' lesser demons rise up against the Prime Evils in a rebellion that culminates in the Dark Exile. Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal are exiled to Sanctuary from the Burning Hells.

This is the prelude to the first game, following this the various prime evils are lined up and captured by the Horadrim that Tyrael sets up circa 1004.

1025

The town of Tristram is established around the Horadric monastery.

This is the monastery that Diablo's soulstone is buried under. The Monastry falls into disrepair and is abandoned. With the demon's captured, the Horadrim fade into legend.

1262

The eastern lord Leoric comes to Tristram, declares himself its king, and converts the old, long-unused Horadric monastery to a Zakarum cathedral. His advisor, Archbishop Lazarus, secretly releases Diablo from imprisonment.

This is where it begins,

1263 Diablo is defeated by the hero, who then tries to contain Diablo within himself. Despite the hero's noble intentions, his valiant spirit quickly succumbs to Diablo's corruption. He becomes the Dark Wanderer, leaving Tristram behind shortly before legions of foul demons attack and destroy the town and its inhabitants.

So here is the date for the first destruction of Tristram, much sooner after Diablo is killed than I thought it would be.

Between now and 1265 the other prime evils escape and reek havoc upon the land until 'A group of heroes begins a quest' to defeat the prime evils.

1265

The angel Tyrael discovers that Baal has succeeded in corrupting the Worldstone housed within Mount Arreat. Realizing that the Worldstone cannot be restored, Tyrael reluctantly destroys it. The resulting explosion destroys Mount Arreat, ravages much of the countryside, and decimates Baal's army.

The time line states that sometime between 1265 and 1285 New Tristram is founded (1285 is when the new game begins). From the writings of Abd Al-hazir:

New Tristram has been in existence for several years, though the exact date of its founding is unclear.

The now removed faq on the site says Sancturary was saved some 20 years ago, setting the date of Diablo 3 to be circa 1285

So New Tristram was most likely built around 1280, but has been in decline since then.

  • Thank you good sir, for an excellent answer. +1 and a cigar. :) – Gabe Willard May 2 '12 at 3:54
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    I don't smoke, but thanks. – AncientSwordRage May 2 '12 at 7:32

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