Note: This page is for the first two games. Diablo III has its own page.An isometric 2D Hack and Slash game series from Blizzard Entertainment. Notorious for having an elaborate backstory and plot that nobody ever follows concerning a war between Heaven and Hell. As a sort of simple graphical roguelike, the pursuit of theperfect randomly-generated equipment and character build to satisfy one's inner Munchkin gives the game tremendous replayability.The first game was essentially a huge dungeon crawl, consisting of 16 levels of increasing difficulty under the old cathedral of Tristram, the only town in the game, where various NPCs provide you with quests, healing, and equipment. The goal was to reach the Big Bad, Diablo, in the very bottom level of the dungeon and kill him. The non-canonical third-party expansion pack Hellfire added eight new separate levels, four new quests (a quest to kill another Diablo-esque baddy in the crypt near the church, a quest from Lester the farmer, a cow quest and a quest to retrieve a teddy bear) as well as three more characters (Monk, Bard and Barbarian) in addition to the original three (Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer), but you had to enter a special edit to a text file to get the last two of those quests and new characters.The second game followed the storyline, which ended with the protagonist of the original game implanting Diablo's soulstone into his own forehead (it's implied that it was the warrior). Despite remaining at 640x480, it brought numerous gameplay improvements and was now broken into four acts, each with its own town and six quests per act (except Act 4, which had only three). The expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, added 800x600 resolution, two new characters (Assassin and Druid) in addition to the original five (Barbarian, Necromancer, Amazon, Sorceress and Paladin) and added Act 5, in which, after defeating Mephisto and Diablo in the original game, the player confronted Baal, the last of the three Prime Evils.The third game in the series, Diablo III, was announced in June 2008 and was released on May 15th, 2012. Trailers for it are on Blizzard's homepage.Meanwhile, the developers of the first two Diablo games, Blizzard North, resigned en masse and formed "Flagship Studios", which continued to produce Hack and Slash games, specifically Hellgate: London and Mythos. After Flagship folded, the same people formed "Runic Games", which produced Torchlight. All three titles can be considered Spiritual Successors to Diablo; they certainly all play similarly.See also Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and its spiritual successor Champions of Norrath. A character sheet is in the works.
Ability Required to Proceed: In Hellfire (an expansion pack to the original game), you cannot reach the insect hive until the farmer character knows you well enough to talk to you about his problems (and then to give you the explosives you need to create an entrance to the hive).
Absurdly High Level Cap: In the second game, the pace of experience slows down to a crawl by the mid-80s. A handful of people do reach 99, but it takes an insanely long time. Most characters will have attained optimal skills long before this. This is because shortly after it was released, Diablo II ended up with hundreds of Level 99 Hardcore Barbarians on Battle.net, much to the chagrin of the game designers who were certain reaching level 99 in Hardcore (where dying even once permanently ended your game) was impossible. Several nerfs to the signature Barbarian skill (Whirlwind) were applied, only for other game-breaking abilities to be uncovered in other character classes. Finally, they simply applied a patch that set all experience gains for level 80 or higher characters to be 1/10th normal, all past level 90 to be 1/100th normal, and past level 95 to be 1/1000th normal (most non-boss enemies, even on Hell difficulty, give only one experience point per kill at that level). By mathematically guaranteeing that players would need to kill 10 enemies per second, 24 hours a day, for nearly a year to go from level 98 to level 99, they finally succeeded in killing off interest in attaining the maximum level.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers under Lut Gholein. Averted somewhat since there are passageways that are tiny and cramped and will only allow one character to move forward at a time. The sewers under Kurast are larger still.
Action Girl: The Amazon, the Sorceress, the Assassin, the NPC Rogues.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In Diablo 2, a market developed in trading items between players: but the game's "official" currency, gold, quickly became worthless due to inflation as most items were valued at more gold than a character could ever carry or transfer. Instances of a particular rare magic item, the Stone of Jordan, became the unofficial currency.
Adventure-Friendly World: In the world of Diablo most of the magical equipment you come by (barring some made using ancient relics) was forged by the demons for use in their wars. The events of the first game created a bustling trade from adventurers dredging the items up from the demons of the cathedral, while most traders in Diablo III admit to getting their goods by stealing, looting corpses, or digging them out of the ground.
Necromancer - Petmaster or Nuker or Mezzer, depending on your choices
Paladin - DPSer, DPSer/Healer, or Healer, depending — the most team-oriented Class in the game, groups of Paladins could be far more powerful than groups of any single other Class.
Druid - Melee DPSer, Petmaster or Nuker, depending
Assassin - Ninja/Scrapper DPSer, but could choose to learn Traps.
Affably Evil: "I shall take your position into consideration."
The Alcoholic: Farnham from the original Diablo, who lost his mind and fell to drink soon after being one of the only survivors of those who followed the treacherous Lazarus into the Cathedral.
Alien Geometries: In Diablo II, the Arcane Sanctuary area contains some quite Escher-esque geometry: platforms are supported by pillars that stand on other platforms which ought to be at the same height. The game gives the option of displaying in perspective (parallel lines converge at the horizon) or isometric (parallel lines remain parallel). In Arcane Sanctuary, the perspective option is disabled, due to it being impossible to draw.
All-Natural Gem Polish: Diablo II's socketed items can be fitted with gems of many grades, the lowest being Chipped and the highest being Perfect. The game also has the refining process present in the Horadric Cube.
Background information for much of the series is not actually in the game, though you do get plenty of tidbits from NPCs. The Diablo manual contained most of the plot and backstories of all the races and units. This includes a very vivid description of a little boy being transformed into Diablo.
In Diablo II, practically any information about items in the game, such as Horadric Cube recipes, crafted item formulas and Rune Words, or even what's a magic/rare/set/unique item and their colors, are not explained in-game, and are explained here instead.
Almost Dead Guy: The dying villager at the entrance to the Church that begins the "Butcher" quest in Diablo. Since he'll hang on forever as long as you don't speak to him, and you don't actually need to speak with him to deal with the Butcher, some players simply ignore him in order to save his life.
Amazon Brigade: Diablo II starts the player out in the Rogues' camp (a reference to the female-only Rogue class from original Diablo). Everyone permanently living there is female, from the blacksmith Charsi to the matronly high priestess Akara to the guard captain Kashya. They're staying in the camp because they had been evicted from their monastery after Diablo's minions took over and mind-controlled half their numbers, whom you fight throughout Act I, and who are also all female.
In Diablo, the cathedral holds many free-standing stone coffins, many of which contain skeletons that will attack you. And then there is an entire level called The Tomb of King Leoric, which is not particularly ancient, but is still crawling with skeletons.
In Diablo II, Act II, the desert around Lut Gholein has the Stony Tomb and the Halls of the Dead. In the last section of the act, you reach the Valley of the Magi, which is lined with tombs.
The Diablo Warrior. You know that somewhere during his voyage to the East, he realized that Diablo has more and more control over him, and that instead of seeking salvation, Diablo will make him free another Prime Evil.
Tal Rasha, deliberately having himself imprisoned with Baal's soul inside him in much the same way, intending to fight it inside him for all eternity.
Inarius the angel. Mephisto tore the wings from his back, sliced open his eyelids, and sealed him in a prison of mirrors. He's got nothing to do for the rest of eternity except gaze upon the reflection of his ruined form.
At the end of Diablo, the hero defeats the titular boss and jams its soulstone in his/her own forehead to contain it. This results in the hero becoming the new Big Bad in Diablo 2. This was later retconned in Diablo 2 by saying that said hero was more or less mindraped into doing so.
It's uncertain how long Tal Rasha held out containing Baal this way, but considering the Diablo 2 expansion, it's probably safe to say that anyone who fights demons succumbs to this in some degree.
Angels, Devils and Squid: The series mainly focuses on the Angels and Devils, but some Squid are present in the novels, such as the dreamers, who are stated to come from a dimension beyond both Heaven and Hell, as well as whatever Trag'Oul is (although, he's more of a benevolent squid).
Animate Dead: Justified on the website. Evidently skeletons are actually dirt and bone dust held together by magic, rather than actual skeletons.
Revive is the Necromancer spell that turns corpses of monsters into your minions.
The Witch Doctor's Wall of Zombies spell in the third game.
Animorphism: Druids in Lord of Destruction can acquire the ability to turn into a werewolf, or the slightly-more-exotic werebear.
In Diablo II, when you die, you respawn in the nearest town with no equipped items or gold. To get your items back, you need to go back to where you were killed and recover your own corpse. This is often unfeasible, especially on higher difficulties, because the enemies that killed you are still hanging around your corpse and now you have no weapons to defeat them or armor to survive them. Thankfully, you can restart your game and your corpse will appear in town with all the items intact and only the gold gone. This was a consequence of not having this option in the first Diablo in multiplayer mode. Imagine your prized gear on the floor surrounded by monsters right at the entrance of the level waiting to chomp down on you.
The sequel also introduced running and the ability to highlight items on the ground.
Anti-Grinding: In the first game, each floor had a finite number of enemies, limiting experience and item acquisition. Although it's obvious fast enough that you can still grind by starting a new game with the same character, resetting the entire dungeon bosses and all.
Anyone Can Die: In Diablo II the town of Tristram from the previous game is revisited but it has been destroyed and the townspeople slain, what's more the original heroes of the first game have been corrupted and have to be killed, with the Warrior being possessed by Diablo himself. Even the narrator of Diablo II (Marius) is killed in the end. When Diablo III was announced it was hinted that some of the heroes of Diablo II have been driven insane by their ordeal and so it could be possible to have to kill some of them too.
Appendage Assimilation: Radament from Diablo 2 is a mummy whose limbs were replaced with animal parts so he can be more effective at fighting graverobbers. The fact that he started collecting and assimilating human limbs to reconstruct his body is the first sign that something has gone very wrong in the eastern deserts (i.e. Baal has been released).
In Diablo II, the website gave some official-looking lore about a boss monster named Reziarfg (derived from the name of one of the developers, G.Fraiser) but no information on where it is actually found. Thus, players tried everything to find Reziarfg, but it was really just an April Fools joke.
Area of Effect: Diablo and Diablo II feature lots of spells and effects with a circular hit radius, like Nova and its counterparts of other elements (including Diablo's Fire Nova), the Sorceress's Static Field (drops every nearby enemy's HP by a direct percentage), the Necromancer's Corpse Explosion and curses, the Barbarian's Warcries (both the buffing and de-buffing ones), and the Paladin's auras.
Armor and Magic Don't Mix: In a roundabout way. A character's ability to wear a piece of armor (aside from level and any specific class restrictions on an item) more often than not depends on how many stat points are in STR. The result is that the 'pure' mage classes (wizards in the first game, necromancers and sorceresses in the second) can't wear the heaviest armor because the player has likely put most of their stat points into INT. In other words, they can't wear the armor because they're squishy, and they're squishy because they train their minds more than their bodies. Additionally, the first game gives wizards the lowest STR cap of any class, further restricting what armors they can equip.
The Artful Dodger: Wirt from the first game, who deals in illicit goods and has perhaps the saddest backstory of the entire first game.
Artificial Stupidity: Hirelings in Diablo II clearly fall into this trope. While the enemy AI is okay, the ally AI is definitely not. Hirelings don't seem to understand basic concepts like "I should use that door just a few steps from me instead of trying to walk through the wall", they have the annoying habit of exploring all the whole time in a world where just walking a few metres triggers a new wave of dozens of enemies... And monsters by the Necromancer are even worse, as getting too far from them (and they aren't good AT ALL at following you) makes them disappear. After numerous reports of necromancers getting stuck in a corner by their minions, Blizzard added an Unsummon skill to remove them when needed.
Autosave: The second game seems to autosave after some time has passed, as well as when leaving the game.
Diablo has a LOT of spells that are cool but useless. Town Portal can be learned as a spell, but you're very likely to find a scroll anyway. Couple that with the fact you have to learn it multiple times to reduce the mana cost to reasonable levels (especially for the Warrior) and, well... Likewise, Healing is a lot less useful than just slugging back a potion, and the unique ability each class has will see use only on the far side of never. Telekinesis has no redeeming qualities whatsoever (you can just walk up to the items, and being able to push a foe back a square is more than inadequate for the amount of mana it costs).
Don't underestimate Telekinesis. It is useful if you're playing under multiplayer rules (death = all items drop to the floor) and you have to extract your precious items from under the noses of the monsters that killed you with those items on and will most likely kill you again without them, over and over until they swarm the only entrance to the level.
In Diablo II the druid's Armageddon spell causes a rain of meteors to follow you, but the meteors hit randomly and do very little damage compared to the sorceress ones. The entire martial arts tree of the assassin is spectacular to watch but does next to no damage.
The higher level martial arts spells look downright awesome (And CAN be devastating with synergy bonuses from SEVERAL other skills), particularly Phoenix Strike. But, Phoenix strike does mostly elemental damage- which most enemies have ludicrous defence against in Hell difficulty!
Diablo II suffered this with many, many skills for every class:
The Barbaran can pull the Bad Ass trick of dual-wielding throwing weapons. This has only been successfully utilized by a select few individuals for Player vs Monster or PvP due to how limited one's choices for dealing consistent damage with them are.
The Sorceress' awesome-looking Lightning Storm is Exactly What It Says on the Tin but even maximum-twinked damage from it is relatively pitiful compared to more boring utility lightning skills. The multi-headed Hydra spell is a fireball-shooting stationary turret that does little damage at maximum and most monsters are immune to fire anyway. She can also activate a skill that leaves fire in her wake wherever she walks that when used, even if you again take max-twinked damage into account, is effectively cosmetic.
Then again the majority of skills in the game are not viable for Hell difficulty and each class has only 1-2 usable builds max (out of 30 skills). Class balance just wasn't particularly important in '99.
Equip a Barbarian with an axe (or two). Cast Berserk. or Frenzy. Literal example. Ax, crazy.
Really, every hero from 1 as well. By the sequel, the first game's Rogue is Blood Raven, the Sorcerer is the Summoner, and the Warrior is the Big Bad (though they were all corrupted by demons to some degree).
Choosing the Barbarian from the character select screen in Diablo II will prompt him to let out a yell and start grinding an axe while you choose his name. His starting inventory includes an axe.
Diablo II also introduced one-handed axes that the Barbarian can use with a shield or in each hand, while the first game only had two-handed axes. Axes have more consistent damage output, with higher minimum but lower maximum damage than swords and maces.
Badass: Any character who dives into hell and makes it his/her own blood soaked parking lot deserves special mention. Especially single handed.
Barbarian Hero: The Barbarian is available as a character class in Diablo II.
Batman Gambit: In Diablo II, the fallen archangel Izual reveals that :the Dark Exile, the capturing of the Prime Evils in soulstones and the plot of Diablo I was a Batman Gambit planned by the Prime Evils and himself. This is no doubt a retcon, though.
Black and Gray Morality: See Light Is Not Good. With a few exceptions, the forces of Heaven have little to no regard for humanity. At best, they see them as pawns in their war against Hell and at worst they want to completely wipe out Sanctuary because it is part demonic.
Overseer — El que todo lo ve (The one that sees everything)
Hollow One — Hueco uno (Hole #1, as if we have a hole or hollow labeled "number one")
The Necromancer Head items — Translated as "Leader", so you got things like "Leader of the Zombies", "Leader of the Untanglers", and "Leader of the Demons" (Hey, isn't it Diablo this one? You've already won the game!)
And the infamous Great Poleaxe, translated as "El Gran Pollax", with literally means "The big cock". This, combined with the suffixes and prefixes, may lead to things like "The hard big cock", "The relaxing big cock", and such.
The French version translated the Eldritch Orb as "Orbe d'Eltrich", as in "Eldritch's Orb", probably having no idea what 'eldritch' means.
Still can work, as you can translate it "Orb of Eldritch" which, while cumbersome, can work.
Blood Bath: One monster in Diablo II, dubbed "The Countess" in reference to Elizabeth Bathory, is described as having "bathed in the rejuvenating blood of a hundred virgins" in the tome that initiates her quest. And her room in the old tower contains a basin full of (still fresh-looking) blood.
Lampshaded in one of the dialogue options with Larzuk.
Border Patrol: In the offline version of Diablo II, if you walk out of the area where your current quest is at and try to walk into a new area your character hasn't been told to go to yet, you will be immediately attacked by a large swarm of higher-level creatures. This is especially difficult for the Necromancer Class, as their Summoned Help likes to wander around, sometimes into these dangerous areas, which invariably brings down the wrath of the developers.
Bow and Sword in Accord: Your warrior in the first game ought to hang on to a bow in case he gets a chance to shoot anything through a portcullis. (Most enemies can't open doors.) For the Rogue, this is much more important, as if she's caught at close range she needs a sword and shield to defend herself.
A unique curse that Baal and some of his succubus minions cast causes players with more mana than health (i.e. most spellcasters) to use up health instead of mana when using their abilities, essentially forcing them to cast from their hit points.
Chaos Architecture: The labyrinthine catacombs to Hell with their dead ends and lava caves under the cathedral in Tristram in D1 weren't built that way. They were perfectly normal catacombs that just happened to imprison a Prime Evil, who took over. When you go back to Tristram in Diablo II, it's mostly the same, though the bridge is ruined so you can't get across the river. Even Wirt's body and Cain's cage are in roughly the same place the characters were in the original game. In Diablo 3, however, the locations of a number of structures change places from where they were in D1.
In Diablo II and III, a gold piece is the tiniest unit of currency in the game. Level 1 monsters routinely carry up to 10 gold pieces (which they drop on the ground when you kill them). Vendors are willing to pay you 2 gold pieces for a damaged club (basically a broken stick). By level 10, you'll be carrying around (and paying) thousands of gold pieces.
In the second game, between players, the gold piece was even more devalued than it was with vendors. While a vendor might pay 140 gold for a single low-quality gemstone, already a pretty silly exchange, you'd have a hard time convincing a player to part with a single chipped gem even for all the gold he could physically carry (several hundred thousand).
Clowncar Grave: The infinitely annoying mummy sarcophagi. The official website says that they were never designed as a resting place but instead as a way to guard the tombs and that the fake mummies are artificially created whenever an intruder is detected.
Color-Coded Stones: In II, you could find the six gems that are explained in their description, each with the colour that it's said in the description. What's more, adding them to Socketed Equipment gives it a glow of the colour of the gem, and some of them (to be precise, ruby, sapphire, topaz and emerald) are associated with elements, adding damage of that element in weapons and resistance to the element in shields (ruby is fire, sapphire is cold, topaz is lightning and emerald is poison). The other two (diamond and amethyst) aren't, though.
Combat Medic: The Paladin is the closest thing to a 'healing' class in the game with his combat auras. And, ya know, Holy Bolt, which is actually a healing spell. Still, the game consciously avoided healbots.
Baal has this as an attack. He uses them to kill Marius.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: In Diablo 2, this works against the players. The more players are playing in the same game at the same time, the more powerful the monsters become — thereby making each player proportionately weaker than if he was playing on his own. With a good team setup, synergy means the players still come out ahead in that race.
Continuing Is Painful: Dying in the original Diablo results in you dropping all your items until you can get them back, provided someone else doesn't gank them in the meantime if you're playing multiplayer. In II, they're stored in a corpse that only you can loot, though getting to your stuff in either case can be a headache in itself, especially if you died to something really tough or a swarm of them.
Cool Sword: The angelic runeblade Azurewrath (which was mentioned in the first game's manual, introduced in Diablo II as a unique crystal sword, then later updated into a much more powerful phase blade) has been given an Awesome model for Diablo III.
Corrupt Church: The Zakarum in the second game, except for the PC Paladins. The Archbishop Lazarus was part of the Zakarum in the first game, although as an individual he qualifies as Evil Chancellor.
Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: A magazine was trying to establish a link between the shootings at Columbine and video games. They used an interview with a survivor's family, while the survivor was playing the video game Diablo... which was described as "just shooting" and was punctuated by the survivor's character being blown up. The only shooting in Diablo is with a bow, and most of the time, your weapon is a sword or other melee weapon.
Crapsack World: The world of Sanctuary. Well, technically the tie-in novels make it a Crapsaccharine World, but the games themselves focus on what happens when the veil's stripped away, followed three seconds later by the flesh off your skull.
The first game starts with the noble king of Khandruas going insane and being corrupted and his kingdom being destroyed. Then you have to kill the undead king, plus demons are killing people, the prince has been kidnapped and possessed. After 16 annoying levels you finally make it to the Big Bad, the title archdemon and beat him... except the prince is now dead and you just became Diablo's new, more powerful host. The second game lets you kill most of the Seven Great Evils... too bad it turns out they all end up getting revived, and the thing holding some semblance of stability over the world is destroyed. So horrible monsters are even more common. Did we mention there is no god and all the angels (except Tyrael...) are humongous jerkasses?
Humans get a vast power boost because of the destruction of the Worldstone. In the long run, there may be some hope. They're supposed to get stronger than demons or angels.
Crate Expectations: Wonderfully averted in Diablo II. There is (usually) one interactive crate in the entire game. One. Everything else is either a barrel, a jar, or some horrible hellish construction involving Nothing but Skulls.
"Smiters" and "Kicksins" rely on combining high crushing blow (takes a large chuck of a foes HP) chances with high attack speed (to get crushing blow off a lot). They tend to be poor in non-boss non-PVP situations.
"Summonmancers" are considered by far the easiest class to solo the game with. They can not function at all in PVP unless you're able to perform a successful "tele-stomp" which involves teleporting yourself and all your minions onto someone and killing them with the combined might of their blows.
In Hell difficulty, every monster has total immunity to at least one form of attack. If you're playing a character specialized in that form of attack to the exclusion of all others, your life will be... difficult. Single-element sorceresses, and warrior-type characters who deal only physical damage, are the most common victims of this.
Damage-Increasing Debuff: Amplify Damage in II reduces the target's physical resistance, as do some other skills. Of course, enemies have similar abilities as well...
Damage Over Time: Lots of abilities and effects deal their damage slowly, poison being the most common.
Dark Is Not Evil: The Necromancer in the 2nd game, who sees raising undead as a necessary evil for the greater good is, going by his commentary, at worst an Anti-Hero. The official website states that his own purposes are often aligned with those of the forces of Light. He may be on to something, as the years he's spent in the crypt studying the dark arts make him much more likely to resist being corrupted by diablo's evil like the heroes of the first game. You even find his apprentice in a random event in Diablo III, carrying on his master's legacy of using necromancy for the greater good, and he comes across as being rather noble.
According to the manual his order are masters of keeping themselves level-headed and strive for perfect balance. He is on the side of good simply because evil is in danger of winning. In other words, the trope is played perfectly straight; Dark may not be good, but it sure as hell isn't evil. (Unless the angels somehow get the upper hand...)
Subverted. They are simply trapped in the Black Soulstone and are now enslaved by Malthael. Arguably, this may be a Fate Worse than Death for them.
Deceased and Diseased: There are mummified undead enemies in Diablo II which release a cloud of toxic corpse gas when defeated.
Deconstruction: The series as a whole is one to Heroic Fantasy. No matter how hard you fight, no matter how many hellspawn you slay, the Great Evils will always be one step ahead of you, your actions will, more often than not, help them with their goals, and they will always succeed in their plans and get what they want, even in death. Always.
Devil but No God: Averted. There isn't a devil either. In Hell you have the Three Prime Evils and their four lieutenants, and in Heaven you have the Angelic Council. Sanctuary itself was created by a relationship between an angel and demon.
Lampshaded in the third game. According to backstory, humans actually have potential to be even more powerful than angels and demons. That's also a reason why the demons are messing with human world in a first place.
Also there is in-game achievement "Punch Diablo".
Downer Ending: In the first game your character is corrupted by Diablo's soulstone and becomes one of the sequel's Big Bads. The sequel ends with Tyrael destroying the Worldstone, which is apparently the only thing holding Sanctuary apart from Heaven and Hell. Diablo III subverts that ending by revealing that it was a very good thing Tyrael destroyed the Worldstone.
The Dreaded: Diablo, the titular antagonist of the series. Appropriate, given that he's the Lord of Terror.
In Diablo II, the Barbarian class is able to dual-wield any single-handed weapons, and use any two-handed sword in one hand (and thus dual-wield two-handed swords).
In the Diablo II expansion, the Assassin class is able to dual-wield claw-class weapons, and has a passive skill to use them as a shield while doing so.
The Bard had a crude form of it; they reused the Rogue animations so she's only ever shown holding one sword, but gets double damage and the ability to hit multiple enemies simultaneously when equipped with two.
Dump Stat: Energy tends to be looked down upon. There's only one, maybe two, builds where a guide does not explicitly tell you to never, ever put a point into energy.
Dying Town: Tristram in the original Diablo and the Kurast Docks in Diablo II.
Early-Installment Weirdness: The first Diablo was markedly different from its sequel and Diablo III. Aside from the expected differences in scope, lore, balance and gameplay features, the first game was much more survival oriented and featured several instances of Nethack-style permanent character damage. Shrine effects were irreversible and not all were positive, and there was a monster that would permanently reduce your maximum life. When you died in multiplayer mode, all your gear would end up on the ground and would be lost forever if you were unable to recover it. This would be unthinkable in the sequels which revolve around Min-Maxing character builds and Item Farming.
Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Boss fights in the series are often a lot more difficult than the areas before or after them. The Butcher in I Duriel in II are two good examples.
Elite Mook: Quite literally. Elite mooks basically have a different colored name, more hit points, some new powers, and drop higher loot. Otherwise, they're the same as their type. They also tend to be surrounded by a cadre of their type, which are normal except for a single buff.
Evil Sounds Deep: No matter what game he's in, Diablo rocks the evil demonic voice.
Expanded Universe: A number of novels penned in the world of Sanctuary, including the Word of God canonized Sin War Trilogy starring the Sanctuary equivalent of Heracles/Jesus set thousands and thousands of years before the games take place.
Experience Booster: The Experience Shrines in Diablo II provide a temporary boost to your experience gain rate.
Eye Scream: In the original game's intro, you see a close up of a crow picking out the eye of a decaying body. While not looking too realistic by today's CGI standards, that was a pretty unpleasant scene at the time of release.
Fallen Angel: Izual, Inarius, Imperius, and probably others. The apparent lack of any Ascended Demons bodes ill for the fate of the setting.
Fallen Hero: All three player-characters from the first game wound up this way by the time of the second. The warrior became possessed by Diablo's soulstone, becoming the Dark Wanderer and eventually Diablo himself; the rogue...well, Blood Raven's her; and the sorcerer became the Summoner who's causing Lut Gholein a small hell's worth of grief. And possibly every hero from the second game has gone Ax-Crazy or some other form of loopy. Yes, the Paladin included. Or maybe not, if Diablo III is any indication.
Fake Difficulty: Loads of it once you get to the aptly-named Hell Difficulty. -100 to all of your resistances, life and mana stealing is drastically reduced, minions and mercenaries are Nerfed beyond recognition, every enemy is immune to something (except act bosses, some really special superuniques, quill rats and hell bovines), massive experience loss upon death... the list goes on.
Arguably not "fake" since excelling at the various skills that the game demands (item collection, character building, etc.) allows you to overcome these penalties and then some. Well-made characters can exist quite safely in almost all areas of Hell. Particularly optimized defensive builds can literally be parked and left unmonitored for extended periods of time in all but the most dangerous of areas.
Pre-1.10 MSLE, and to a lesser extent, post-1.10 LEFE, LECE, or LEFECE monsters probably still count, though, since dealing any damage to them can mean insta-death.note LE, or Lightning Enchanted, causes a monster to release sparks when hurt. The other modifiers mentioned either greatly increase the number of sparks (MS or Multi-Shot), or add enormous amounts of damage to them (FE and CE, or Fire Enchanted and Cold Enchanted).
Fighter, Mage, Thief: Played completely straight in Diablo, with the Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rogue, respectively. In Diablo II, the archetypes get expanded on and diversified, with the Paladin and Barbarian descending from the Warrior, the Assassin and Amazon descending from the Rogue, and so on. Most classes can be played as two or even all three types, though.
Fireballs: It has fire magic in it after all so that's almost compulsory.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: A few variants of this, but played completely straight by the Sorceress. One of the Paladin's powers adds all three of these to his attacks.
Fishing For Mooks: A strategy in some cases as you do not want to go wading into large melees, the barbarians taunt can be used to lure enemies away from other enemies. This can help in defeating fallen shamans but is generally regarded as a waste of skill points (well, waste of skill point), arguably, though the ability to get basically any monster that does anything complicated or dangerous to stop doing it and instead walk right up to you and get its ass kicked is handy sometimes.
The first Diablo features the title demon lord driving King Leoric of Khanduras insane, bringing him back as a powerful skeletal demon, and then possessing his youngest son Albrecht. He then Mind Controls the hero of the first game, who it turns out is the King's older son Aidan, into sticking the piece of Diablo's soulstone into his own head.
By the time Diablo II rolls around, Tristram, the town where the first game was largely set, has been destroyed by the demons, with most of its inhabitants either dead or corrupted, and its only survivor, Deckard Cain, being tortured in every way by the demons. To make things worse, all three of the player characters from the first game didn't make it out of things in one piece — the Rogue was corrupted by Andariel and became Blood Raven, the Mage was driven insane by Diablo himself and became the Summoner, and the Warrior? As a result of sticking that soulstone into his own head at the end of the first game, he's become Diablo's new host. The heroes of the second game go Ax-Crazy at the end of the game with the exception of the Barbarian. When Diablo is defeated again, his older brother Baal corrupts the Worldstone, forcing the archangel Tyrael to destroy it to prevent it from being used to control humanity, obliterating Mount Arreat and a good portion of the surrounding barbarian homeland with it.
And now Diablo III. As a result of a star falling from the heavens (which turns out to be Tyrael, who after twenty years of reforming in Pandemonium following the Worldstone's destruction returned to the High Heavens only to be put on trial by his jerkassed peers who don't give a shit about humanity and decided to renounce his angelic status to aid humanity directly), a Zombie Apocalypse is going down in New Tristram. Several beloved characters from Diablo II, including Deckard Cain, end up dying either before or during the game. The demon cult that killed Cain ends up wreaking havoc across the deserts of Kehjistan, including the village of Alcarnus, before being taken down along with their master Belial. But then Azmodan learns about the Black Soulstone, which Belial and every major Evil you've killed during Diablo II were drawn into courtesy of Adria, the Witch of Tristram from the very first game, and decides to invade the mortal realm in order to retrieve it. All of this, however, doesn't hold a candle to Adria's betrayal at the very end of Act III, which sees her using the Black Soulstone with all seven Evils inside to bring about Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil, the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, by turning poor Leah, the daughter that she had with Aidan when he was Diablo's host, into Diablo's new host. Diablo then proceeds to unleash Hell upon the High Heavens themselves, running roughshod all over the angels who don't stand a chance against the Prime Evil and spreading his evil supernatural corruption everywhere — and not even angels are immune to it! Only your Nephalem badassery is enough to stop him from extinguishing the Crystal Arch, the very heart of the Heavens, and casting both the Heavens and Sanctuary into darkness forever, though only time will tell whether or not we've seen the last of Diablo.
Get on the Boat: You need access to a ship to get from Lut Gholein to Kurast in II.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Technically Duriel. He is an important lore character and has a detailed backstory, but unlike Andariel he received no build up or foreshadowing for his fight.
Somewhat justified since he's essentially a Bait-and-Switch Boss there to end the act with a twist by making the player think they're about to face Baal.
The Gods Must Be Lazy: There doesn't seem to be a God in the setting (with the Prime Evils dividing up the duties of Satan) but the angels of the High Heavens are more concerned with their law of non-interference than those of the mortals of Sanctuary. Although one angel, Tyrael, does eventually decide to take matters into his own hands (and gets his ass kicked.) Though this could just be Imperius. The demons from the Burning Hells, of course, aren't picky with their prey, so the world is just as crappy as you'd imagine as a result.
Gradual Grinder: Necromancers, and oddly enough, Paladins. A well-made Paladin has no business grinding away. Blessed Hammer, Smite, and Zeal are some of the highest DPS skills in the game, and none of their other active skills are at all grindy.
Gratuitous Japanese: In a way - the name of the Unique crossbow "Buriza-Do Kyanon" is pretty much what you'll get if you spell out "blizzard cannon" in Katakana.
Guide Dang It: Diablo II had this problem to an extreme degree with its game mechanics. Many game mechanics are not described in game or in the manual, and had to be determined outside the game by testing.
Attack speeds, for example, in Diablo II are different between characters, do not often correspond to the descriptions given for items, multiple attack moves like Zeal and Strafe increase the speed in unusual ways, and these and other properties are not described anywhere, they had to be found by outside players in outside guides.
There's a guide written up for the technical details how poison damage works, including how it gets overwritten and how to convert damage over time in-game as relates to time IRL, to help use it viably as a damage-over-time effect. Without knowing this, it's easy to overwrite/nerf your own damage and come to the conclusion that poison simply sucks.
This is compounded by the so-called "LCS" - or "Lying Character Screen". Literally the only number it can't get wrong is your level, and inaccurate stats can appear as early as level 3. The attack (and related chance to hit), defense (and related chance to be hit), and damage numbers are particularly meaningless, having absolutely no relation to the actual figures used once you have a few different sources of bonuses to these things.
The entire skill/stat placement system was one big Guide Dang It, as it was very easy to nerf a character by distributing points incorrectly. For most of the game's lifespan, the only way to be strong enough for higher difficulties was to save skill points until you had unlocked high-level skills, as low-level skills were too weak even with heavy investment, and allocate stat points based on what you would need for Hell mode. Fortunately, this was fixed in a later patch, with low-level skills providing damage boosts to higher-level ones and the ability to reset stat/skill distributions.
Blizzard couldn't be bothered to list all the interactions between skills:
When active, Concentration gives a damage boost to Blessed Hammer at 50% efficiency. It's never mentioned anywhere, and since these are the only aura to boost magic skills and the only magic skill to get the boost, there's no reason to expect it.
Energy Shield's synergy with Telekinesis is mentioned on the skill tree, but never explained: investing skill points in Telekinesis decreases the amount of mana lost per damage prevented.
Half-Human Hybrid: Goatmen and catmen. Also inverted, humans are in fact demon/angel hybrids.
Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: For most decently well built characters, act bosses tend to be more of a punching bag than any challenge. The real killers in the game? Multiple packs of unique and minions, bosspack archers and other dangerous melee monsters like frenzytaurs, gloams and tomb vipers, and generally speaking powered up regular mooks.
The Burning Soul is a poor example, simply because its damage is bugged. It is supposed to do 42~108 damage, but it actually does five times this figure because of a code bug, instantaneously making it the most dangerous monster in the game (pre-1.13, Iron-Maiden-using Oblivion Knights would have been competition; see below).
The Burning Soul is still extremely dangerous even with patch 1.13. The combination of fast, extremely long range, and high damage lightning that are rapidly spammed, which means a character without maxed lightning resistance in hell difficulty will die extremely quickly.
The Necromancer skill Iron Maiden bounces cause enemies to take 6.75x of damage they deal with their melee attacks. It's not an effective skill in Nightmare and Hell difficulties. On the other hand, Oblivion Knights using Iron Maiden was extremely deadly to players that rely on melee attacks, until patch 1.13 removed this skill from this monster.
Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion deals only 20% damage in Hell difficulty. And well-geared players still get owned by this badly.
Players deals 1/6 damage to other players.
As of patch 1.10 and later, monsters have +50% HP, +50% EXP and deals +6.25% damage for each additional player in the game beyond the first.
The game does not display flying damage numbers anywhere, just graphical health bars.
It's possible that poorly geared characters, that can deal more damage than their own HP, end up having trouble killing monsters in hell difficulty.
Fittingly averted with the Necromancer, who is truly incorruptible because of his devotion to the great Cycle of Being. By the time of Diablo 3, he is still completely fine and totally sane, and has even mentored several other Necromancers, one of whom can be encountered during gameplay.
Hey, It's That Voice!: The narrator and Mephisto are voiced by Paul Eiding, who some may instantly recognize as the voice of the Colonel from Metal Gear Solid.
Ice Breaker: Using cold magic or cold-enchanted equipment can shatter an enemy to bits, leaving no corpse. This works best against skeletons in Act II. It's also a good backup plan when you try to Cut Off The Snakes Head in a pack of enemies where lieutenants revive mooks and a unique revive lieutenants but fail because it's too tightly packed to allow you access to the unique. Destroy enough mooks that cannot be resurrected and suddenly their rapid-fire reviving is worthless.
Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Both I and II have Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, and both games called them "difficulty levels", but in the second they're more like New Game+. The first game also tried to make them multiplayer-exclusive, though there's a Good Bad Bug to get around that.
Improbable Weapon User: In Diablo 2, when you go to the village of Tristram, you can find the corpse of Wirt (the annoying kid from the first game who would sell you overpriced magical items every so often), and rob his body, getting a LOT of gold....and his peg leg, which you can use as a club with 3 sockets....although if you didn't socket it, at the end of the game you could combine it with a Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube to go to the Secret Cow Level. Still, the image of using someone's peg leg as a weapon is quite strange.
Incredibly Durable Enemies: Diablo II: Unless you have nice equipment, don't expect enemies to drop from a single cast of Meteor, Armageddon, or Fist of the Heavens.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests. Even in hell. To be fair, the chests there are skeletal cages and corpses. Although most of them are called "Hidden Stash" or similar, which is really weird since they usually stand in the wide open and consist of neatly tiled skeletons and a flickering flame.
Informed Equipment: In Diablo, there were very few models, though there were some different ones for different kinds of armor: specifically light leathery armor, medium chain-y armor, and heavy plate armor. Diablo II made a branch between early games with no or few extra models and later ones with piles of them, where each class had its own style of armor, and different types of armor each had a different look on each class. Items with abilities that associated with a particular - such as deep green for poison - reflected those colors on the character's model, as well.
Handled ingeniously by splitting the models into different sections and sprites to have more combinations of equipment.
Which ends up causing different parts of the character's body to be dyed in accordance with the item. Masks specifically end up dying your Necromancer's normally white hair various colors, and certain one-of-a-kind items will turn a Sorceresses hair into something that looks like a giant bleach-stained towel taped to her head.
The sequel isn't nearly as bad as the first (Act II is a desert, with each region surrounded by cliffs; Act III is a jungle, and the trees are apparently solid walls; Act IV is Hell, at first on floating rocks in a field of darkness, and then islands on a river of fire; Act V is a mountain, and portals into Hell, and a big scary dungeon full of big red crystals), but Act I is a bunch of fields, surrounded by stone and wooden fences that a child could jump over.
It Will Never Catch On: The Barbarians of Harrogath dismiss the inventions their blacksmith, Larzuk, dreams up to help their fight against Baal's army, including a flying machine made from many sheepskins sewn together and hung above his forge, so they trap the hot air and begin to float, and a weapon consisting of a tube full of exploding powder that fires pieces of metal at the enemy.
Kaizo Trap: Until a player gets familiar with which Diablo II enemies have death novas, they're Kaizo traps to melee fighters, and ranged attackers who think it's safe to pull off a point-blank coup-de-grace.
Lethal Joke Character: Diablo II expansion Lord of Destruction features the Assassin which has a skill called Blade Fury which is weak in comparism to other traps the Assassin can set and receives barely a better base damage to mana cost ratio if you spend more skill points into it. The catch of this skill is that it gets stronger the stronger you get yourself as it inflicts 75% weapon damage to enemies. This becomes even more impressive when you realize that it also causes the traits of your weapons like elemental damage as well as the traits you add to it by other means like armor or skills. So if your weapon possesses Mana Steal you have a ranged attack that refills your mana as long as it hits, if your weapon possesses Knockback it will push enemies away from you and if your weapon possesses the ability to randomly cast spells it will cast that spell with a similar ratio where it hits and it costs almost no mana at all. The downsides of it are that you can't move while you use it (you can't move while you cast most spells anyway), it only hits single enemies as long as it doesn't cast other spells and enemies are still able to avoid or block it (though as evasions and blocks are often tied to an animation they might be hit by the next blade as soon as they recover from defending). This is an example of a literal death of a thousand cuts for bosses outside of the screen caused by a spam attack.
Light Is Not Good: The angels initially wanted to destroy humanity due to being descended partially from demons. This changed when the Council voted to spare humans on seeing their possible nobility. Imperius is the only one on the Council to continue to call for humanity's destruction and attempts to prevent any angelic attempts at aiding humanity. Given his status as commander of heaven's armies and the angels' believe in order it greatly impedes the other angels from acting.
The original Diablo. Although spells could be learned by anyone with sufficient magic stat points, Warriors and Rogues often found themselves limited in learning capability without high magic-boosting equipment. A few of the game's most useful and powerful bread-and-butter spells often hit the required magic stat requirements way before maximum spell level, forcing non-sorcerers to rely on Enchanted Shrines that are difficult to come by. Additionally, spell damage were also frequently dependent on actual magic stat values. In a game that pretty much taught you to either kill overwhelming odds before they touched you or handle them one at a time (which required you to rely heavily on environment), spell-casting, and consequently the character with inherently superior spell-casting qualities, becomes the staple of endgame strategy.
Not... really. Casters are easier since they depend less on items (most Fighters basically require quite good items to succeed, while some casters can get by with any old thing), and the Sorceress has free access to Teleport which makes a huge difference, but for the toughest bosses, a Fighter is always better. A "Smiter" can beat Uber Tristram with relatively mediocre items; for a Sorceress, it's almost impossible without preposterously rare items.
Averted in PvP: every single class has several builds to duel with at each PvP level cap. There are melee builds dubbed "caster killers" for how effectively they can trash Necromancers, casting Druids and Sorceresses. This is in part due to a piece of armor which gives any class the ability to teleport, a skill normally reserved for the Sorceress. Even low-level duels are well-matched between caster and melee. But only with Enigma.note A basically-impossible-to-legitimately-obtain armor that can give anyone the Sorceress's Teleport skill.
Before the expansion, caster classes shot ahead of fighters early on and then hit a hard cap at about level 50 after their main offensive spell was maxed, at which point fighter classes only got started. The sheer amount of elemental resistances compared to physical resistances was not helping, notably the fact that pretty much the entire final Act in Hell difficulty was 75% fire resistant. The only viable endgame caster builds involved merciless exploitation of percentage based damage (Static Field, Corpse Explosion, Iron Maiden) or bugs (Blessed Hammer) while flat damage spells were only used to finish off enemies reduced to a sliver by Static Field or to kill a handful of enemies at the start of a run so you could get some revived minions up.
The expansion aimed to fix this by introducing large numbers of +skill level items, previously a very rare modifier that tended to come mostly on bad items. The game tilted in favour of casters, at first because it was easy enough to promote area of effect abilities, then because later patches made the game much harder to the point where melee builds without godly items stood no chance. Meanwhile new items solved the early game struggles of caster classes and provided ways around elemental immunities, enabling them to dominate pretty much the entire game from start to finish.
The necromancer before the expansion had spells with awful scaling effects. His poison spells did not gain damage per second when you spent skill points into them, only duration, meaning you could kill anything... over the course of 30 seconds. In an action RPG. The worst of the worst were poison skeletal mages which ended up doing literally 1 damage per second for 3 minutes.
Living Legend: The hero of the first, not so much. But of the second? Travels the world, solving everyone's problems and actually kills all three lords of hell. Living Legend.
Hell Bovines from the Secret Cow Level in Diablo II.
In Lord of Destruction, there are some enormous minotaur-like demons in Act V, called [Descriptor] Lords. For some reason, bull-demons are all named for the Clans of goatfolk from Act I and Act II—Moon Clan/Lord, Blood Clan/Lord, etc.
In the original Diablo, if you are killed while playing a female character, she sounds like she just went Out with a Bang.
In Diablo II, it's those corrupted Sisters who do this. In all fairness though, they are moaned in relief out of being released from a bondage to evil.
MacGuffin: The series is loaded with this trope, almost every quest has you off finding a MacGuffin needed to complete a side-quest or to move the plot forward.
Optional sidequests in the first game has you go down into the church labyrinth to find a MacGuffin, (Ogden's Sign, Magic Rock, Anvil of Fury, Black Mushroom+Monster Brain), and then bring it back to the quest-giver NPC in Tristram. One that must always be brought back however, is Lazarus' Staff which is needed to access Lazarus' lair, and always happens to block the access to the final labyrinth level; Diablo's level.
Diablo II continues the trend.
Act 1, To rescue Cain, find the scroll needed to access the Cairne Stones to open a portal to Tristram. Later on, find the Horadric Malus that was left behind in the rogue monastary.
Act 2, To open the door to the final stage requires you to complete a long MacGuffin chain. Find a Horadric Scroll in the sewers, then find the Horadric Cube, then find the two pieces of an ancient staff that must then be put together to form a full staff (The Horadric Staff). Horazon's Journal you need to read in the arcane sanctuary also applies as one even though it's not an item your character can grab.
Act 3, similar to Act 2, to open the door to Mephisto's lair, find the 4 pieces of an ancient flail throughout the Act that must then be put together to form a full flail (Khalim's Will). Act ends with you receiving Mephisto's Soulstone. The optional quests also sends you out to find the Golden Bird, Gidbinn Blade, Lam Essen's Tome MacGuffins.
Act 4, destroy Mephisto's MacGuffin at the nearby Hellforge, but to do it, you need the nearby Hellforge Hammer. The cutscene after finishing Act 4 also shows the player destroying Diablo's MacGuffin.
Act 5, the Relic of the Ancients isn't a MacGuffin you can obtain, but it's plot relevant for Baal to reach the World Stone. Off-camera, Baal's MacGuffin is destroyed as well.
Made of Explodium: The first game had the occasional explosive barrel and fireball, but the second is particularly bad about this. Magic can make nearly anything explode - arrows, snowballs, the earth itself, and most notably, corpses in a variety of gruesome ways.
Any monsters with the Fire Enchanted property explode spontaneously when they die, no matter how it happens, leaving only copious quantities of blood and goo. You don't want to be too close when that happens.
Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Attracting demons is an Informed Flaw of using magic, but since you have a fair chance of being torn apart by them any time you set foot outside your house anyway, at least you'll be better able to defend yourself...
Make Me Wanna Shout: The barbarian of Diablo II has a number of vocal capabilities (howl, taunt, shout, battle cry, battle orders, war cry and battle command) with a number of effects on enemies ranging from fear, stunning or status penalties all the way to immediate damage. And they can grant allies temporary buffs.
Mirror Boss: Nihlathak and The Ancients use skills accessible to Necromancers and Barbarians. Nihlathak in particular is fitting, as using your abilities quick enough prevents him from using the same (very deadly) abilities against you (both use up corpses).
Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The first game. Friendly fire. It was still possible until the mage learned Chain Lightning, after which his allies were forced to take cover behind walls every time monsters showed up.
Money for Nothing: Money has three uses in Diablo II. Reviving your mercenary, repairing your gear, and gambling (in which you spend money on an item with unknown properties). It's still one of the best ways to get good equipment in single player.
Early on, it's a good idea to buy gear regularly. And every now and then, you can get some useful but expensive gear from the right merchant. Especially for the Paladin, the Sorceress and the Necromancer, because they need specific weapons that don't drop more often than others, and cannot be acquired through gambling.
Mook Maker: Several enemies can revive dead enemies (such as the fallen shaman). Also, the player character, if he plays as the necromancer, as he has the ability to summon Helpful Mooks (such as skeletons and Golems).
The ending cinematic in Diablo, depending on which class you played as. When the player character drives Diablo's Soulstone into his/her forehead, the look of pain on the Warrior and Sorcerer's faces is authentic. The Rogue, by contrast, ends up looking like Barbra Streisand.
Baal, in the opening cinematic for Act V of Diablo II. Sure, he's got an army from hell with him, and he blows up the guard in a very evil way, but... he also gestures emphatically with every line, looks like he's wearing makeup, and seems way too happy about being carried on a fashionable throne by his minions. He may be the most intimidating drama queen ever, but he still acts like a drama queen.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Black Death in Diablo, and their ability to permanently lower your health by one point causes even experienced players to avoid them like the plague. The fact that they can crash the game when dealing a finishing blow to the player in earlier versions, makes it worse.
New Game+: Both games offer the ability to play through the plot again after you've finished.
Diablo I has a sort of 'New Game Minus', which lets you restart the plot but keep your stats and inventory.
Nice Hat: Diablo and Diablo II have the Harlequin Crest. The original has a drawback of -3 to your Armor class, but the +2 to all attributes is tempting. In the sequel it is one of the best hats in the game. Unfortunately, it stands out like a sore thumb in a fairly realistic and gritty Grimdark world because it is a neon green hood.
Nintendo Hard: Hell difficulty since patch 1.10 in Diablo II, where it was massively beefed up as a result of being It's Easy, so It Sucks in the prior patches. To stand a chance in this difficulty level you need to have a proper character build, to play through the game so many times over to level your stats, and the proper equipment dropable only on this difficulty at extremely low rates, to stand a chance against the later bosses.
In Hardcore mode, the difficulty of the game essentially forces you to play cooperatively; beating the game on your own requires a very specialized build and a great deal of skill and/or patience.
No Hero Discount: Demons about to overrun the countryside? Tragic. Want your armor repaired? Cash up front!
Even Tyrael and the two merchants in Act IV of Diablo II will charge money, though they at least have an excuse. Tyrael charges because he's an angel, and because of the pact, cannot directly intervene on behalf of humanity. There are similar rules for the two human merchants in the Pandemonium fortress with Tyrael.
Hilariously lampshaded in the official Diablo II online database; "In Act IV, Tyrael will resurrect your Hireling but he will charge you. What does he do with that gold? Angels got to pay the bills too."
Oddly subverted in that there are two quests, in act II and V, which will reduce prices.
Nothing but Skulls: Skullpiles as treasure chests, in addition to lying strewn about in Chaos Sanctuary. Made worse by the nature of the Random Drops game - How can you not find a skull in a pile of skulls? Justified in that the skulls you want are the skulls of arcane demons - apparently the rest are a more mundane variety.
Nothing Is Scarier: In Diablo, the dungeon levels are large and there can be quite a distance between the monsters, which only adds to the suspense and scariness of the game. Even more so because there are monsters that can turn invisible and sneak up on you, and others that charge you from far off-screen with a blood-curdling roar.
One-Hit Kill: Some builds are focused around doing so much damage in a single strike that they can kill any monster or opponent in PvP. Notably, the twinked Blizzard Sorceress and the Charging Paladin. It is also technically possible, with perfectly set-up gear and skills, to kill the final boss on the hardest difficulty over the course of several minutes with a single stab from a Necromancer's Poison Dagger skill.
Due to a bug in how damage is dealt when Fire-Enchanted monsters explode upon death, they can easily OHK an unprepared player. The mini-boss Nihlathak is infamous for both his potential to drop desirable items and his potential to kill even prepared players in an instant by using the corpses of his dead minions as area-of-effect bombs.
One-Man Army: Every playable character in the Diablo games can, and will, kill hundreds (if not thousands) of demons and other creatures over the course of the adventure. In the first game, you venture into the depths of hell killing every demon, critter, and monster in your path including Diablo himself. In the second game, not only do you plow through Hell and kill Diablo, you also kill his brothers Mephisto, Baal, and legions upon legions of their evil minions, all by yourself. It's a virtual one man demonic genocide.
One Size Fits All: A frail and shaky Witch Doctor can wear the same armor as a massive Barbarian, provided the stat requirements are met.
One Stat to Rule Them All: In most cases, non-Vitality point assignment is only recommended for meeting equipment requirements. What happened to avoiding getting hit, and so being able to add to strength and agility? Well, all right, so far it's only Amazons who get to enjoy Slow Missiles... Nearly every single character build follows this stat format:
Strength: as little as possible to meet equipment requirements
Dexterity: as above, or exactly enough for maximum block.
Strength is outdone by skill- and equipment-based damage boosts. The attack rating (accuracy) from Dexterity can easily be found elsewhere or is simply irrelevant. The same can be said for the mana gained from Energy. Thus, with enemies having high damage, Vitality is the only thing really worth investing in.
This is why Diablo III has automatic stat point assignment. Many fans ironically consider this to reduce the importance of player skill because in Diablo II if you are a newbie you will put your stat points in wrong and end up with a useless character.
They're probably fixing some Unstable Equilibrium with this. One of Diablo II's newest patches, 1.13c, added in the ability to "respec" and reset attribute and skill points once per difficulty level to encourage non-Min-Maxing.
One Time Dungeon: The Cow Level is intended as such — you can't open the portal anymore if you kill the Cow King, or if you're there when someone else does. But you can still enter the level through someone else's portal.
In Diablo, the Dark Wanderer character (Diablo in the Diablo 1 Warrior's body) slowly transforms into Diablo starting from the beginning, up until just before Act 3 is completed. Similarly, Baal, having taken over Tal Rasha's body in a similar way, slowly transforms him beginning with his release prior to the completion of Act 2, until the final form seen in the opening movie (and final battle) of the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. King Leoric, the Skeleton King, also underwent a similar transformation, though he was able to resist full possession by Diablo. The Warrior's use of the soulstone may have made him more vulnerable to this though. Prince Albrecht succumbed immediately though, similar to how Griswold instantly became a zombie.
King Leoric was able to resist because at the time Diablo had just reawakened in the Soulstone. Prince Albrecht could not resist because as an infant he had little if any willpower to resist. The Warrior fell relatively easy because most the deeds Diablo caused Tristan were perpetrated to strengthen Diablo as well as perpetuate an Evil Plan to attract a hero powerful enough to kill him in Prince Albrecht's altered form and who would think that they were able to imprison Diablo in there mind, body and soul. Diablo by this time became powerful enough to gradually takeover the Warrior's body gaining a much more powerful host.
Organ Drops: A quest in Diablo II involves collecting an eye, brain and heart, each of which is in an Inexplicable Treasure Chest. Moreover, Deckard Cain always has a little narmy speech about how that particular bodypart will symbolically aid you in the fight against the Prime Evils.
"This is most fortunate! Khalim’s Brain knows Mephisto’s weakness."
"You have found Khalim’s Heart, and it still bears the courage to face Mephisto!"
Our Angels Are Different: Light tentacles instead of wings, tend to wear armor and face-concealing cloaks. As far as alignment goes, they are ostensibly on your side, but don't expect any help from anyone other than Tyrael. Strict followers of a law of non-interference again with the exception of Tyrael and a few other angels.
Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: And not just monsters. The Paladin in Diablo II has a skill called Sacrifice, which grants him bonus damage in exchange for losing some health. Every time he uses the skill, about a gallon of blood spills out of him.
Palette Swap: The different monster varieties, from 3 to 6 variants, as well as champion/unique monsters.
Pamphlet Shelf: Bookshelves in the series usually yield a single spell tome at best.
Perpetual Beta: Both games have suffered from this. Diablo had a long history of Good Bad Bugs and Game Breaking Bugs, most notably item-duplicating, in its day. The second game is more notable for being in this state even after a decade of semi-annual support. Most skills are bugged and many are outright broken even after ten years of patches. A few particularly offensive examples of bugs that still plague it:
The "Lying Character Screen". Due to the character screen not being updated in patches, while fundamental game mechanics have been, the character screen is notorious for displaying incorrect numbers for every gameplay value except the player's name, level, experience, and health.
Melee spear skills for the Amazon class are so broken that players will call you crazy for considering them. One skill has such a slow animation that a monster can walk away before it lands. There's also a multi-strike skill that, as soon as any hit misses in the sequence or is interrupted (including by any of the Amazon's passive damage avoidance skills), all subsequent hits will miss while the animation plays out and you are beaten to death.
Both skills that use a certain attack animation, which looks like a continuous blast of flame or ice, can only hit one target. Furthermore, these skills do less than 1/3rd the damage they should. This is because the missile used disappears once it hits a target, rather than continuing to exist to deal damage in spite of the ongoing animation giving the illusion it's working.
There is the Gloam enemy that has two attacks: a powerful touch-based attack and a ranged lightning blast. The damage from the first attack is inexplicably added to the damage from the second attack making it one of the most infamous monsters in the game.
Due to faulty coding a Viper enemy, on Hell difficulty, fires poison blasts from its mouth that leave behind invisible hitboxes that do massive physical as well as poison damage and hit up to 12.5 times per second. This can and will kill any character not specifically built to fully negate the damage within seconds if they meet the conditions to trigger the bug. The conditions? Walking, or having an ally stand near you. They're also notorious for murdering your NPC ally without a moment's notice. Veteran players will usually just Save & Quit rather than deal with them.
If a boss monster gets a certain kind of randomly generated Mana Drain power, it drains 512x as much mana as intended. This makes it go from an annoying perk to an instantly debilitating one that can result in (nearly) instant death for sorceresses who used the Energy Shield skill (which allows the player to lose mana instead of health when attacked).
Physical Heaven: Diablo II has you sent to Hell to kill Diablo. Turns out the forces of heaven have set up a fortress there and in fact have a few angels patrolling the place trying to keep things under control. Care to guess how that turned out?
Physical Hell: Of course, there wouldn't be a game otherwise. Not there originally, Diablo makes it literally out of terror incarnate.
In Act II, you must collect the Viper Amulet, the Staff of Kings, and the Horadric Cube to assemble the Horadric Staff, which acts as a key to open the tomb of Tal Rasha.
In Act III, you must collect Khalim's Relics; combined, they act as a key to open the Durance of Hate.
Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Horadric Cube in Diablo II is needed to transmute several pieces of useless crap into a larger piece of useless crap just so you can get to the bosses of Acts II and III. However, you can continue to use it to transmute Vendor Trash into better items that are both more useful and more valuable. It also doubles as a mini-Bag of Holding, taking up 2x2 space in inventory while having a 3x4 space for items.
In the first Diablo, Mana Shield absorbed less damage at higher levels due to a bug. Also, levelling up Chain Lightning would cause you to run into the sprite limit in one shot, causing disappearing lightning sprites and making it unreliable.
In Diablo 2, regular Lightning is vastly better than Chain Lightning in all aspects, pretty much all of the necromancer spells except the direct damage line get worse as you go down the tree, putting too many points into Energy Shield causes you to run out of mana, and Cleanse gets worse at higher levels due to a bug again. Putting too many points into Evade causes you to stunlock yourself. For a while Zeal used to add more hits as you put more points into it, until it locked your character in place for about five seconds while flailing away at nearby monsters - and if the first attack misses, all of them miss. No lifesteal, no way to cancel out of it, you're dead. GG.
Random Drops: A given, taking into account the genre of the game.
Rare Random Drop: At extremely slim odds for some items. For example, the chance of anything in the game dropping a Zod (the rarest rune) ranges from zero (cannot drop) to 1:some six digit number.
Mercifully, the latest patch has made the rarest runes drop more frequently - still incredibly rare, but it is now reasonably likely for a high-level player to see a few in a Season. Before it was possible for a player to never see some runes in their entire career - unless you traded for dupes.
Randomly Generated Loot: More or less the Trope Codifier for this sort of loot dropping. It featured individual pieces of equipment with random variations in stats, but special effects were mostly fixed to specific item types.
Ranged Emergency Weapon: The bow is hardly the warrior's most useful weapon, but it can be handy if an enemy is behind a grate or if you need to exchange fire with something that won't let you close enough to engage in melee for a meaningful length of time.
Rays from Heaven: When you clear the Den Of Evil in Diablo II, the place gets illuminated with rays of light apparently breaking through the stone roof of the place as a heavenly-sounding choir can be heard above the music. If you're playing a Paladin, the quote he gives at this point is quite fitting: "My duty here is done."
Revive Kills Zombie: The Holy Bolt spell does two things: damage undead mobs, and heal friendlies.
Roguelike: The randomly-generated dungeon maps and loot, and the Save Game Limits designed to prevent Save Scumming, essentially make it a real-time Roguelike with isometric graphics and multiplayer. Hardcore mode in Diablo II features the Roguelike tradition of the permanency of death, and the option of having your corpse lootable is similar to the bones file feature of NetHack.
Word of God says that it was a more traditional turn-based Roguelike (albeit one with isometric graphics) during early development, until someone turned off the pause between turns to see what would happen and was pleasantly surprised...
Sealed Evil in a Can: When the Prime Evils were unleashed upon Sanctuary, the Archangel Tyrael selected a group of mortals known as the Horadrim and charged them with imprisoning their essences into the Soulstones so that they would not be reborn into the Hells upon death. But thanks to the betrayal of Tyrael's lieutenant Izual, who filled the Prime Evils in on the Soulstones and how to corrupt them, it turns out that this played directly into their hands.
Sealed Evil in a Duel: In Diablo II, Tal Rasha uses his own body as an extension of a soulstone to imprison Baal. He is possessed, and has to be tied up and magically bound in a tomb, his spirit fighting Baal's for eternity. Or until Marius came along and tugged on the ringpull. Ooops.
The plot of Diablo revolves around a protagonist who seeks to stop the titular demon from destroying the town of Tristram, setting himself free from the cathedral, and leading his demonic hordes to destroy the world. In the end, he kills the demon (actually, his human host) and plunges the stone containing his soul into himself, with hopes that he will be able to contain the demon's power. All in all, a reasonable ending. Now, cut to the second game. It is revealed that he couldn't resist it. He became Diablo, destroyed Tristram, set himself free, and is now leading his demonic hordes to destroy the world. Well, crap. It was actually revealed that by the time you face Diablo in the first Diablo game, you're already under his control. The entire point of Diablo's plotting in the first game was for him to find a stronger host body. He reckoned, correctly, that any being strong enough to fight his/her way down to him, and then "slay" him was exactly what he needed. The manual to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction even points out how every time people thought it was over, the brothers just kept reemerging.
The expansion of the sequel isn't much better. You manage to smash Mephisto and Diablo's soulstones! Except that Baal is still left unchecked, and he's figured out the location of the source of the soulstones, the Worldstone. Oh, and he manages to convince one of the NPCs to give him a Plot Coupon, meaning free access to the Worldstone for him. By the time you catch up to and kill Baal, Tyrael comes down and notifies you that Baal's corruption of the Worldstone means that the only way to prevent the entire Realm from becoming an outpost of Hell is to destroy the Worldstone. Not even Tyrael himself knows what will happen afterwards. All you can do is enter the portal he opens for you.
Shout-Out: In Diablo II, it's possible to hire a mercenary named "Jarulf," a reference to Pedro Faria, the author of the greatest Diablo resource, Jarulf's Guide.
It's also possible to hire a mercenary called "Klaatu"
A bunch of the Rogue mercenaries are named after staff on the old "official unofficial" diabloii.net site.
One of the rare dirk-class weapons is called "The Diggler," a reference to the movie Boogie Nights.
Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Diablo 2 features bone helms, bone shields, and bone wands which all classes can use. There are also the shrunken heads which are unique shields for necromancers.
Skill Point Reset: Diablo II is infamous for its unforgiving skill tree system which forced many players to start the game all over again when it turned out their skill build wasn't any good later on. Fortunately a one-time reset was added in a patch, and a certain late game item also allows this, making it slightly less jarring.
In Diablo I, only one of the three (the Rogue) classes was female. Diablo II evened the gender balance a bit with three female classes and four male ones. Diablo III removes the problem entirely by allowing the player to be either gender for all classes.
Diablo I was either more or less balanced with the inclusion of the Hellfire expansion depending on how you approach it. It added the male monk class by default, plus mildly altered remakes of the Warrior and Rogue that could only be unlocked by futzing with a system file.
Speedrun: Diablo manages to hold two speedruns that are astounding for entirely opposite reasons: The original Diablo was crushed in 0:03:12(!) through obscene luck manipulation and glitching, while Diablo II has a much longer run of 4:22:xx beating the game 100%... on Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, all from a fresh file.
The original game has one of the less abstract uses of the spell book trope in video games. A spell book, when read, simply adds that spell to your repertoire so that you can use it as much as you want in future (as long as you have enough mana). If you find another book of the same spell at a higher level, reading it will let you cast a more advanced version of the same spell.
Diablo II bypasses the use of spell books. There are single-use scrolls for certain universal spells (Identify and Town Portal), and if the scrolls take up too much room in your inventory you can store up to twenty of them in a book.
Squishy Wizard: The Necromancer and Sorceress are the 'squishy' classes. The Druid can be as well, but certain builds (especially those that focus on shapeshifting) are more durable.
Despite being squishy by his stats, a Necromancer who focuses on summons is easily among the safest of heroes, having several tons of undead flesh and bone between him and anything nasty. Highly recommended for fresh solo characters, who must go it without hand-me-downs. Sorceresses focusing on Energy Shield can accomplish exceptional feats of durability as well, but it's much harder and much less common.
In Diablo II, the helpful townsfolk from the first game are skeletal scenery when you return to Tristram... except for Deckard Cain, of course, and poor Griswold, who is now the zombie Level Boss. On the plus side, Peg-Leg Wirt's body yields a buttload of coin and a surprising magic item.
Even better example? The Rogue is corrupted by Andariel and becomes Blood Raven, the Sorcerer goes insane and becomes the Summoner, the imposter sub-boss of Act 2; and the Warrior becomes the Dark Wanderer — the new host of Diablo himself.
Most of the cast of Diablo II is either dead or insane come Diablo III, including Warriv, everyone in the city of Harrogath, and the Sorceress (who was killed by the Assassin). And Deckard Cain himself, who survived the first two games, dies early on in the game.
Take Your Time: Present in all games, although some exceptions do exist. If you don't rescue Cain from his cage in II before moving on, the Rogues will do it for you and he'll ask for a fee when identifying items.
Teaser Equipment: The enterprising young boy Wirt randomly sells a high-level item, but you're unlikely to be able to purchase it until later. Even though that item is generated at random, it's generally of a higher level than what the normal item shops are selling, though not always relevant to your class. By the time you'll generally be able to purchase it, the gear in other shops has largely caught up.
Thunder Equals Downpour: The Thunderstorm spell in Diablo II plays a satisfying thunder sound the first time it drops a lightning bolt on an enemy, then only sporadically.
Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Blunderbores from II. Alchemical enhancements increased the physical muscle mass of those warriors far beyond normal proportions. Apparently they didn't bother to make their head proportional to the rest of their body.
Too Awesome to Use: Jewels and runes in II are just rare enough, and can only be used once.
The Unfought: When Diablo II and its expansion end, Belial and Azmodan are the only two Evils, Prime or Lesser, remaining, and you don't get to fight them until Diablo III.
Unidentified Items: In the first game, you can take your unknown items into town and have Cain identify them, or buy a scroll to do it (for the same price of 100 gold). In the sequel, Cain will do the service for free as thanks for freeing him from a gibbet in Tristram (if you choose to be a dick and leave him there, the Rogues will eventually free him and he'll charge the standard price).
The original Diablo disables the "SAVE" option when you die. However, it does so a few frames late, and during these few frames it's difficult, but possible to save already dead and watch your character die instantly each time you reload. There's only one save slot. While you can start the game over with your character's current stats (much like a New Game+, except accessible from the very beginning), you'll lose anything you had left lying around in town (which is likely to be a lot, due to Grid Inventory and Nothing Fades). But hey, it's your own damn fault for saving when you knew you were dead.
You can just plain save while surrounded by monsters and one hit from death. This is obviously user error. Another variant is to save immediately before getting dealt a final blow such as by a projectile, which is more of an accident.
This can screw up first-time Diablo players who come from Diablo II. In Diablo 2, you CAN save and exit when you die and get away with it. In that game, you will be brought back to town carrying whatever was in your inventory when you died. Anything on the ground or that you dropped(potions, usually), were gone... If you're used to that, the change in save-after-death in the original can burn.
Multiplayer characters can screw up in a different way: there is no regular save function and dying in multiplayer mode causes your items to fall to the ground. If you die in a place where you can't get them back (there is one notable enemy type that ignores the safe radius around level entrances and is also invisible, so you can die very quickly after entering a level, only to see a mass of hidden ones manifest around the stairs) and have no choice but to leave the game, you lost all of your items permanently. Good luck completing the game after that.
Diablo has strong roguelike influences and can screw you over in numerous other ways. Black Death in particular take away 1 hit point permanently on striking (with no indication that this is the case) and can render the game unwinnable if you are playing very badly and get hit hundreds of times, leaving you with a tiny amount of health. You have to try really hard to make this happen, though.
In Diablo II, if you lose everything, then you can still go back to where you died and pick up your body. Since it's a pain without your best weapons, you may decide to just quit the game and reload it instead. Doing this too many times causes the game to say "Bad Dead Bodies". There is no indication anywhere that this will happen.
Why people run into the "Bad Dead Bodies" problem: if you die multiple times, pick up your first corpse with all of your items on it, but don't have enough inventory space to equip them all, the remainder stays on your corpse. If you then die again, then your items are now split among two corpses. The game only saves the corpse with the most valuable items on it. Some useless items have a grossly inflated sales price. This may not literally make the game unwinnable, but losing almost all of your items in Hell difficulty can end your quest right there. This is considered a feature and it is the reason why most people simply quit and reload when they die once, and pick up their corpse in town.
Unwitting Pawn: The protagonist of Diablo. Even the Archangel Tyrael falls into this category a bit. Or a lot, if you believe Izual. Arguably everyone in the series was a Unwitting Pawn to the Prime Evils. Especially in the first game. Nobody ever figures out the true agendas of the Prime Evils until it's too late.
Useless Useful Spell: Averted for the most part. While at first sight anything that has to do with freezing, stunning, knocking back, fleeing, or converting won't work on anyone important, they DO work well on those "anyone important"'s minions, and a well built character (and their merc) can take on even the scariest uniques one on one if the minions are not joining the fight.
The synergy system succeeded in averting this trope, although certain skills such as Psychic Hammer and Blade Sentry are still viewed as useless beyond the first few character levels. Classic Diablo II played this straight. Minion-based Necromancer builds had to rely on golems because of how weak skeletons were and most Sorceresses had to wait until they were level 18-24 to have a single skill worth putting more than a single prerequisite point into.
Vendor Trash: Played straight with the copious amounts of low-quality weapons and armor to pawn for gold.
Video Game Stealing: While not stealing, the "Find Potion" and "Find Item" barbarian skills in Diablo II allow you to find additional items on corpses that are not there when you simply loot the killed enemy. Both of these were explained in the manual. The potions aren't really bottles of potion, but the enemy's internal organs with the same properties as healing or mana potions, concocted into a drinkable form. Ewwww. The Find Item skill was explained as barbarians used to living a hardscrabble life and willing to look a little harder through the carnage to find the good stuff. Considering that, at higher skill levels and on stronger monsters, this can get you hundreds of gold or rare magic items, they must be looking really hard.
Villain by Default: Averted with Necromancers. Necromancers there are innately Neutral, and, in Diablo II, are on the side of the heroes and a PC option because the demons have no respect for the Balance of Life and Death, indiscriminately killing people and animating the dead. It's also implied that all magic except necromancy is innately corruptive and risks turning its user evil if they aren't cautious.
Villain Teleportation: In Diablo II, boss monsters with the random Teleportation modifier also heal on each teleport, and it is completely random and independent of their AI or animations. In other words, either you deal enough damage to kill them outright or you will never kill them. The teleporting Council doomed many underpowered variant builds until Blizzard removed the heal in the expansion pack patch.
Voice of the Legion: Many characters in Diablo (I and II), including all Prime Evils and Lesser Evils, Archbishop Lazarus, the Nephalem (Barbarian Ancients)... hell, virtually every talking monster. Tyrael, in Diablo II, also. A rare example of an angel getting this ability.
Voodoo Zombie: The various undead are often of this kind, with powerful undead such as the Skeleton King being a result of Diablo's direct influence. The Zombie Apocalypse that goes down in the first act of Diablo III, however, is a result of Tyrael renouncing his angelic title and Justice leaving the High Heavens, resulting in all those who died unjustly being brought back from their graves.
Diablo features The Butcher, who is an extremely tough opponent for the part of the game he appears in, being very fast and capable of dealing huge amounts of damage in close combat. He quickly becomes That One Boss to lower level characters because the only way to beat him safely depends on the randomly-generated terrain spawning in such a fashion to let you plink him to death at range. Thankfully, he only has a 50% chance of appearing, and drops a nifty unique axe when he finally goes down.
Diablo II, had this at several points in the game, many of which were lethal on the Hardcore difficulty, and were designed to screw over those with poor gear or bad skill distribution.
Good luck taking down Blood Raven if you're a melee fighter. In fact, given her speed, powerful ranged attacks ,and the minions she calls up periodically to harass you, good luck period.
Duriel. So you're a ranged class and you've been running away shooting over your shoulder all the time, eh? You think you can kite or outrange every single monster in the game, eh? You think that hit points are useless because nothing comes close to you, eh? You think if you ever come close to dying, you can always run away, eh? And the game would never put you in an inescapable sardine can with a boss that will charge you for an instant kill if you get too far away and has an unresistable slow aura? Ha! As of v1.13 at least, Duriel no longer uses the charge, but his (un)Holy Freeze aura pretty much makes you hardly able to retaliate effectively as he dices up your character in short order.
Walking Wasteland: Baal in Diablo II cutscenes appears to do this, spreading a dark, smoky aura, blackening and cracking the ground, and even the skies darken at his approach. Whether the blighting aura is innate or intentional, it is suppressed while he's disguised as Tyrael.
Wallet of Holding: The first game allowed up to 5000 gold per available inventory slot, which led to a glitch where you can't buy the best armor in the game because you can't hold enough money. An item added in the Hellfire expansion to the game doubled your gold capacity to 10,000 per slot. The sequel has a separate storage for gold in the inventory, although Diablo 2 still caps the amount you can carry.
Wall of Weapons: Diablo II has a wall of weapons - in Hell! They're arranged nicely over the fireplace in the Heaven-owned Pandemonium Fortress. Why your character can't pluck one of them off the wall is never asked, of course... Because you'd be stealing from the forces of Heaven, maybe?
Diablo II has a "waypoint" in nearly every zone (including towns and enemy lairs), which can instantly teleport the player to any other waypoint in the game. However, as the zones are sorted according to the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, only two waypoints are typically used: one in the town, the other in the most advanced zone so far. Diablo III continues this, except you can no longer travel by waypoint back to previous acts.
In addition, the games also made use of Town Portal, though as the name implied, the scrolls primarily sent you back to town (which you would need to do often in order to sell off your old or excess gear, repair the gear you were using, and resupply on essentials such as potions, ammunition and Scrolls of Identify or Town Portal.
Was Once a Man: Humans possessed and altered to fit their shape by the Prime Evils, through Demonic Possession. Diablo's body turns back into that of the young prince in the first game when he's killed, and in the second, all the Three Evils are in the bodies of possessed humans, which turn more and more monstrous in irregular stages.
Water Source Tampering: One of the potential side quests in the first game involves Tristram's water supply being poisoned. When you go into the catacombs and find the spring, killing the monsters around it will turn it back to normal.
Weaksauce Weakness: In Diablo II, a Paladin using the skill Blessed Hammer (commonly known as Hammerdins) are capable of throwing dozens of high-damage hammers at a time, even into the highest difficulties. Their weakness? Walls. Since the hammers arc in a circular pattern, it can be extremely difficult to defeat certain monsters who are positioned in a difficult spot. There's a reason why the most effective equipment for a Hammerdin has an item that provides the Teleport spell: because there's quite a few mandatory sections of the game that are best served teleporting around, avoiding enemies, grabbing the one item you need, and getting out of there.
Weaponized Offspring: The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae.
Weapon of X Slaying: Diablo gives all blunt weapons this effect against undead monsters, and Diablo II also has weapons with specific anti-undead or anti-demon enchantments.
Shopkeepers love to buy items from you. In the first game, only related items can be sold to the relevant shopkeeper. The sequel relaxes the rule and plays this trope straight.
In Diablo II, there is an upper limit on the amount of money a particular vendor will pay, depending on the player's location. In the First Town, items cannot be sold for more than 5000 gold, but this limit scales upwards in subsequent towns. In addition, since trade screens are limited in size in this game, vendors will accumulate items sold to them by the player as long as there is enough space for them on the screen, and subsequent items will disappear. They'll still buy ANYTHING mind you, and they still have infinite cash reserves. The limit only applies per item.
What Happened to the Mouse?: When you kill Mephisto, Natalya disappears. There's still no word as to where she went. She described herself as a "Hunter of Evil" whose job was to hunt down rogue mages, and Tal Rasha was a rogue mage (to put it lightly), so it could be inferred that she went after Baal... but you never see her in Lord of Destruction either.
Whip It Good: Several of the larger demon enemies in Diablo 2 use whips, in particular the Overlords from the Lord of Destruction expansion.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: In Diablo II, the mage Ormus gives a short speech that's similar to the one from Vampire Hunter D during a quest related to the lost treasure of a sage who sought immortality:
"What he [Ku Y'leh] did not realize is that there is no life beyond death. There is only life. Once it is prolonged unnaturally, it can become a living hell."
As a result of the same quest, Meshif muses:
"Can you imagine having to get up to piss every night for the rest of eternity?"
Words Can Break My Bones: The scrolls in the series work this way, with the written words becoming the spell as they're spoken (and consequently, disappearing). The magic books from the first installment may be similar, as they too disappear when used.
Worthless Yellow Rocks: A very interesting case showed up in the player market of Diablo 2. Due to the in-game currency of gold being ridiculously easy to obtain, it didn't take long for any item worth buying from another player to quickly become worth more gold than it was physically possible to carry. Players started using a rare drop as a de facto currency instead.
Yet Another Stupid Death: Killed by standing in fire in Diablo. Another would be people killed by repeatedly attacking bosses with a damage reflecting shield up, because any time you have to hit yourself to death you deserve to die.
Yin-Yang Bomb: The entire human race is the result of interbreeding between angels and demons.
It happens again in the Lord of Destruction Expansion. You have to stop Baal from getting to the Worldstone or all is lost. But when you defeat him it turns out he has already corrupted the Worldstone, forcing Tyrael to destroy it to keep humanity from being enslaved by Hell (although given the worldstone's true purpose, this inadvertently sets up the happiest ending in the series).
Don't forget about the first game, either.
Archbishop Lazarus: Abandon your foolish quest. All that awaits you is the wrath of my Master! You Are Too Late to save the child. Now you will join him...in Hell!
You Fool!: In Diablo 2, Tyrael uses this when Marius takes Baal's soulstone. 'You... FOOL! You have just ensured the doom of this world!'
You Have Researched Breathing: Everything including rings and necklaces have stat and level requirements to wear them. Also, your characters are apparently so paranoid about magical items that they refuse to wield anything until it's been identified. And while in Diablo I, you could wear Unidentified items, but bear the risk of it being cursed, in the sequel you can not wear Unidentified items and there are no Cursed items.
"Alas, poor adventurer - he accidentally put on the Necklace of Self-Decapitation."
Also in Diablo II, your druid may know how to summon a cluster of three tornadoes, but summoning one tornado is beyond his grasp until six levels later.
Your mage in Diablo starts out with a level two Firebolt and is incapable of casting Holy Bolt, which according to the lore was explicitly created to be easy to cast for anyone with no particular magical talent. It gets worse in the sequel, where the sorceress and necromancer start the game with zero magical or necromantic abilities whatsoever and rely on their staff or wand to cast anything at all.
You Kill It, You Bought It: This happened to the hero in the first game. After killing Diablo and removing the soulstone from its forehead and freeing his former host, the hero rams the thing into his own forehead, becoming Diablo and taking his place, which brings us full circle to where we started.
Zip Mode: In the unofficial expansion Hellfire, your walk speed was doubled in town. In II, you could run in towns without depleting your Sprint Meter.