"Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise" is a sort of game released by Blizzard on their website where players can create sigils, view cass information, upload art, and unlock content related to the release of Diablo 3. As of 10/05/2012, all of the unlockable content has been released so that everyone can now view it. This will only be online until one week after release, where it will be taken down. The purpose of this Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise All Unlockables post is to preserve as much as possible of the original website.
The first section of the game is the "Gathering of Heroes", where Blizzard released information about each class one by one. Each of these class pages have a short description of each class, a link to skill analysis, and a link to a "short story" for each class.
On each page, there is also a video explaining each storyline for each class, how they play, etc. I am not sure if these will also be taken down with the site, but just in case they are not here is the Witch Doctor video.
On the skill analysis page there are listed all the passive skills, active skills, as well as talent calculators. There are also other nifty things such as key concepts of each class, armor progression, artwork, etc.
The "short story" section on each class is anything buy short. It links to an 11 page story for each character. Here is the Witch Doctor's short story.
The next section of our Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise All Unlockables is the sigil page, where players (until one week after release) can create a sigil to unlock a custom one in game. The process for doing so has already been described in our earlier Diablo 3 Exclusive Sigil page. Besides unlocking a unique sigil in game, people who create a banner using their real life photo have a chance to become Hero of the Day and win a signed Diablo 3 Mousepad.
The next Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise All Unlockables section is the Art Contest. This is where talented artists could submit their Diablo related artwork for a chance to be featured on the community site as well as a chance to win any of the custom Diablo things shown below:
The last (and most interesting) section in our Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise All Unlockables collection is the "Reveal Dark Secrets" page. This is where Blizzard periodically unlocked content related to the release of Diablo 3. The page had a skill tree look with the last unlockable being at the bottom. Here is what it looks like with all the content unlocked:
I will list each unlockable here in chronological order with the first item being the first unlockable.
1) Developer Diary 1
"Game Director Jay Wilson, Art Director Christian Lichtner, and Lead Software Engineer Jason Regier sat down last spring to discuss the state of Diablo III development in this exclusive first video installment of Developer Diaries.". This was a five minute video where the previously mentioned people discussed Diablo 3.
2) Diablo III: Book of Cain
"The following comes from the bloodstained pages of Deckard Cain's own illustrated journal, Book of Cain. Brimming with forgotten knowledge, this tome puts forth the histories of Sanctuary and realms beyond in an attempt to forestall the End of Days.". This was a downloadable PDF file was a single page from the book of Deckard Cain, that will detail the events on Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 with all retcons included for people who have not played them. Here is a jpg illustration of the PDF:
3) Developer Diary 2
"Three weeks before preliminary Diablo III internal alpha testing, Jay Wilson, Christian Lichtner, and Jason Regier met again to talk about how employee feedback will help them polish the game in this second video installment of Developer Diaries.". This was part 2 of the first Developer's Diary.
4) Developer Diary 3
"On May 3, 2011, Jay Wilson, Christian Lichtner, and Jason Regier reconvened to discuss some of their biggest challenges going into the Diablo III testing and localization phases in this third video installment of Developer Diaries.". The third part of the Diary.
5) BlizzCast 17
"Our own Rob Simpson talks Diablo III item, quest, and sound design with Senior Designer Jason Bender, Senior Sound Designer Kris Giampa, and Lead Content Designer Kevin Martens. What are the best ways to capture the sound of bones breaking? Find out in this BlizzCast 17 video exclusive.". This 11 minute video is was similar to the Developer Diaries listed before with guys talking about item randomization, dungeon layout randomization, sound recording, etc.
6) Diablo III: The Order
"Explore this chilling excerpt from The Order, an upcoming novel recounting Deckard Cain's struggles against the forces of evil alongside his mysterious young charge, Leah. This story takes place years before the events of Diablo III.". This is a an excerpt novel that will be released on the same day as Diablo 3 (May 15th). It was published in text format. Here is the excerpt:
"Cain smelled something foul like rotten meat. Another room loomed through an archway before him, pitch black inside. He heard movement and a low, guttural snarl accompanied by the scraping of rock. Feeling exposed in the candlelight, he flattened himself against the wall and moved as quietly as a ghost to a corner between two bookcases.
The thing that emerged from the archway was so huge and incomprehensible that at first Cain had trouble processing the sight of it. It appeared to be made of human limbs and torsos all rolled together, along with a forest of jutting spikes of what looked like rock and timber. Two long arms ended in clubs rather than hands and sprouted the same shards of wood and stone. At least three separate heads grew from putrid, swollen flesh, white-filmed eyes rolling blindly in their sockets.
The monstrosity moved slowly and laboriously, and it had to duck to clear the arch, over ten feet off the floor. Its dripping shoulders nearly touched both sides of the opening as it leaned into the library, grunting with the effort. It seemed to have one main head in the center of its chest, and as it swung in Cain’s direction, those eyes fixed on his face.
The creature paused as if studying him. Then it opened its
primary mouth and roared, the stench of its breath washing over Cain as the mouths of the other heads screeched in unison.
The candle flickered and nearly went out. Fresh panic rose up in Cain as the creature took a lumbering step toward him and threatened to knock over the table and send them into darkness. He slipped away from his hiding place and went for the door, but the monster moved with him and reached out a long clubbed limb as if to smash him into the floor."
7) Developer Diary 4
"On March 21, 2012, with Diablo III nearly finished and a release date of May 15, 2012 finalized, Lead Software Engineer Jason Regier, Game Director Jay Wilson, and Art Director Christian Lichtner returned to the studio, and talked about the time required to make a quality game, how the team approached the skill system, the rune system, and community feedback." The fourth part of the Developer Diary series.
8) Developer Diary 5
"Our Diablo III Dev Diary video series concludes as Jason Regier, Jay Wilson, and Christian Lichtner discuss Inferno difficulty, monster affixes, achievements, release expectations, PvP, and more in this exclusive interview from March 21, 2012.". The last part of the Developer Diaries.
9) Class Wallpapers
"Congratulations! Your actions yield for you new treasures of true artistry. Choose any of the desktop wallpapers here to champion your favorite hero.". This unlockable featured wallpapers in different sizes for each of the Diablo 3 Classes. I have compiled all the wallpapers in a single archive for your convenience. It can be downloaded here. If you are looking for more wallpapers, you might be interested in our previous articles: Diablo 3 Windows 7 Theme and Diablo 3 Wallpaper HD.
And lst but not least, the final entry in our Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise All Unlockables is:
10) Diablo III: Wrath
"Long before the creation of Sanctuary, the Eternal Conflict between angels and demons raged on for untold millennia. Blizzard Entertainment teamed up with renowned director Peter Chung and acclaimed animation studio Titmouse to create this unique vision of a fundamental moment in the battle between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.". The last unlockable was this short Diablo 3 movie. We have a more detailed post about this over at Diablo 3 Wrath.