Mastering the Dry Steppes in Diablo 4
Diablo IV introduces an expansive open-world format featuring five distinct regions: Kehjistan, with a particular focus on its northern desert expanse, Scosglen, the Dry Steppes, the Fractured Peaks, and the swamplands of Hawezar. These regions are significantly larger than any found in Diablo III, ranging from 10 to 20 times their size.
Seamlessly interconnected, players can traverse these areas without encountering any interruptions. Notably, the geographical landscape of these regions undergoes dynamic shifts to accommodate this connectivity. For instance, when journeying from the Fractured Peaks to Hawezar in the south, players will witness a cascade of waterfalls as melting snow enriches the surrounding swamps.
The Dry Steppes
As players push through the cold Fractured Peaks they will get a swift change of scenery meeting a barren desert wasteland found within Sanctuary known as the Dry Steppes. Here players will find a host of new enemies including wandering barbarians pushed into the desert after the destruction of their homeland, mercenaries hunting their next big score, and cannibalistic blood mages looking to put you on the menu.
Known Locations in the Dry Steppes
Little is currently known about the Dark Ravine other than the reward granted for completing it. Players that conquer this location will be granted the Aspect of Might, a powerful defensive aspect that grants users a 25% damage reduction for 4 seconds upon using a basic skill.
The Orbei Monastery is a zone found within the Dry Steppes. The lore for the Orbei Monastery reads:
“Orbei Monastery is an isolated and secretive feature in the rural Dry Steppes. While the Zakarum’s presence has diminished, the Orbei Monastery carries evidence that places of worship for the Zakarum can still quietly function.
The monastery was once a prominent base of learning for Zakarum monks. By the Reign of Enmity, despite the efforts of Zakarum worshipers, the monastery fell into a state of dilapidation and was abandoned. However, it still attracted Zakarum pilgrims, making their way along the road to the monastery in wagons.”
Currently, all other info we have regarding the Orbei Monastery comes from Associate Art Director Matt McDaid and Lead Environment Artist Chaz Head
- Matt McDaid - The Orbei Monastery is an isolated and secretive feature in the rural Dry Steppes. While the Zakarum’s presence has diminished, the Orbei Monastery carries evidence that places of worship for the Zakarum can still quietly function. Since the location here is in the desiccated plains of the Dry Steppes, we aim to push the notion of dusty grasslands with sparse vegetation. We’ve made the conscious decision to add dark rocks that complement the pale blonde and rusty grasses. Poplar and Saxaul trees cling to the ground which really helps provide parallax movement on screen. This contributes to greater depth as elements in the foreground move quicker than those further back in the scene.
To help provide extra visual interest in the region, the Environment Art team created a Salt flats biome. Being able to have blue alkaline lakes skirted with salt-encrusted tufas, and vivid geothermal pools really helps add pockets of vibrancy to the Dry Steppes and create compelling natural landmarks.
Against the efforts of the Zakarum worshipers, and like many of the buildings in Sanctuary, the Orbei Monastery is in a state of dilapidation. It is a goal of ours to visually communicate that whilst this place is in the early stages of ruin, it was once a prominent base of learning for the Zakarum monks. Compared to the native architecture in the Dry Steppes, the Zakarum architecture is more distinct and refined. These structures are adorned with ornate details, and often accompanied by elaborate statuary. Chaz will elaborate more on the interesting relics that can be found on the Zakarum estates.
- Chaz Head - Many followers of Zakarum come to pilgrimage in Orbei Monastery. Caravans along the road reinforce this idea; making these wagons explode is always a fun time!
As you can see it has fallen on hard times. Much of the storage and keep-sakes of the Zakarum have been laid to waste. You can pick through the ruins of the abandoned monastery, perhaps there are still treasures to find?
As you venture outside the monastery into the geothermal region, many of its natural inhabitants to contend with. If you look closely, you will find their dwellings among the cliffs.
Ruins of Qara-Yisu
In the Ruins of Qara-Yisu players will find a once proud village reduced to rubble. Past and current residents struggle with keeping out the bloodthirsty cannibals residing close by who use their community as a consistent source of food and loot by raiding it constantly.
As a result of these raids, the residents made a bargain with a demon and were able to gain the power necessary to push out the cannibals, at the cost of their village. Now afflicted with a cure worse than the disease, residents barely recognize their once proud community
The Ruins of Qara-Yisu have now become a stronghold that players must clear in order to save the residents. Filled with monsters and demons players will find that cleansing this curse is no small task, however, nothing worth doing was ever easy, and players who embark to free the residents of Qara-Yisu are likely to find great rewards
The Dry Steppes in Summation
Little is known about this hot desert region of Sanctuary, with bloodthirsty cannibals, barbarians, and mercenaries prowling the barren wasteland, players will find no shortage of opposition as they venture through this area. Stay tuned as this guide will be updated when we learn more about locations, rewards, and secrets found within the Dry Steppes!