Video Game / Diablo II

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"Not even Death can save you from me."

"Why did I follow him? I don't know. Why do things happen as they do in dreams? All I know is that when he beckoned, I had to follow him. And from that moment, we traveled together, east. Always...into the east."
Marius, opening cinematic

Diablo II is the first sequel to the massively popular Diablo. It expanded the available characters to five: Barbarian, Amazon, Necromancer, Sorceress, and Paladin, and introduced many new features, including: a skill tree which gave players the ability to tailor their character(s) toward certain power schemes; the ability to add jewels and runes to weapons and armor to increase their abilities; the ability to craft items; new levels of weapon and armor rarity and quality; and many others. The game also greatly expanded the Diablo world. The action takes place in four Acts, set in the ruins of Tristram, the desert city of Lut Gholein, the jungle realm of Kurast, and in the depths of hell.

Diablo II's plot revolves around the efforts of the Dark Wanderer (the corrupted hero of the first game) to reunite with the other Prime Evils and your character's journey to defeat the Prime Evils once and for all. The overall plot is loosely narrated by an elderly man named Marius, who follows the Dark Wanderer on his travels and sees the horrors he unleashes as Diablo increasingly gains control over him.

An expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, added a fifth act set on Mount Arreat, two new character classes (the Druid and Assassin), and allowed the game to play at an 800x600 resolution.

The next sequel, Diablo III, was released in 2012.


This game provides examples of the following:

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    A - E 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: 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, although 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.
    • Justified in both. Deserts get huge flash floods at times that can sweep away the sand a town is built on. And rainforest get rain all the time and need the sewers.
  • Action Girl: The Amazon, the Sorceress, the Assassin, the NPC Rogues.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: 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, then later high level runes became the standard.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Like the first game, Diablo II was still geared for soloing, but was better PVP Balanced, and classes edged closer to traditional MMO archetypes, while having absolutely nothing to do with normal party roles:
    • Barbarian - Scrapper-type DPSer, Tank
    • Amazon - DPSer of any of the three types, depending on what skills you choose
    • Sorceress - Nuker, but woefully dependent on Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors considering you could only master one element
    • 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.
  • The Alcoholic: Geglash in Act II. While he is played for comedy, he is also an experienced fighter, and Atma notes that he has been drinking more than usual since the 'troubles' began.
  • 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 the Arcane Sanctuary, the perspective option is disabled, due to it being impossible to draw.
  • All Deaths Final: The games include a feature called "Hardcore Mode" that prevents any kind of resurrection. When a Player Character dies, that's it; they can't be brought back, and their save file can no longer be played.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: 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.
  • All There in the Manual: 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.
  • Amazon Brigade: The player starts 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.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The sorceress and the paladin.
  • Ancient Tomb: In 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.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The Dark Wanderer. One can only imagine the torment his soul must have endured as Diablo gradually corrupted him, and then finally took complete control.
    • 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.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • 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 II. This was later retconned in Diablo II 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 what happens in Diablo II, it's probably safe to say that anyone who fights demons succumbs to this in some degree.
  • Animate Dead: Revive is the Necromancer spell that turns corpses of monsters into your minions.
  • Animorphism: Druids in Lord of Destruction can acquire the ability to turn into a werewolf, or the slightly-more-exotic werebear.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Diablo II introduced a number of these:
    • 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.
    • Running, and the ability to highlight items on the ground.
  • Anyone Can Die: Tristram is revisited but it has been destroyed and the townspeople slain, and 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. Supplementary material for Diablo III confirms that at least some of the heroes of the second game have also been killed not outside battle, notably the Sorceress, who mentors the DIII Wizard until being murdered by the Assassin. The rest have been implied to pass away by the time the next game rolls in.
  • Appendage Assimilation: Radament 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).
  • April Fools' Day:
    • The Secret Cow Level was announced on April 1st, and turned out to be real.
    • 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.
  • Arabian Nights/Days: Lut Gholein, a desert city with this motif.
  • 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.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Countess. With her pools of blood, she is loosely based on the Real Life Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
  • 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 (necromancers and sorceresses) 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.
    • This actually wound up being subverted more often than not. Due to players wanting to spend the minimum amount of stat points in anything other than Vitality, the run speed penalty on medium and heavy armor, and the comparatively small difference in defense between the light and heavy armors, end game it was not uncommon to see members of any class all running around in archon plates and carrying monarch shields.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While the enemy AI is okay, the ally AI is definitely not.
    • Hirelings clearly fall into this trope. They 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 wandering around 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. Players with access to the Teleport skill, either from the Enigma runeword or charges on another item could get around this, as teleporting gathers all your minions to you.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Diablo II had a big problem in that gold coins were so easy to obtain in large amounts that the multiplayer economy was unwilling to accept them as a currency. The economy turned to barter and finally started using Stone of Jordan rings which were valuable enough and rare enough to be used as a currency for high value items. Later on various runes were used as an alternate currency.
  • Ascended Glitch: Hammerdins. Basically, Blessed Hammer is a nigh-useless spell on the non-spellcaster Paladin. Due to some bug, Blessed Hammer's damage was boosted by the Concentration aura (which should only be boosting physical attacks). This created the Hammerdin, making a Blessed Hammer/Concentration combo a viable character build (with the right equipment, of course). Blizzard made sure it would continue to work properly in subsequent patches. Incidentally, this made Hammerdins into one of the strongest builds in the game (some would argue the strongest). Technically the bug was fixed in the expansion, then put back in on purpose.
  • Ascended Meme: In Diablo there was a fan spoof of a hidden cow level that did not exist. It shows up in Diablo II. That prompted a number of fan spoofs, including a secret bunny level in the hopes that they would show up in Diablo III.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: Two show up in Act V:
    • A specific monster extends a tentacle from its hand which then travels underground until it surfaces beneath the player.
    • Baal can summon a trio of tentacles to harass the player during the final battle.
  • Attack Reflector:
    • The Paladin has a Thorns aura that reflects a certain percentage of damage back to the attacker.
    • There is also a Necromancer curse called Iron Maiden that causes enemies to be damaged by their own attacks. It also multiplies the reflected damage. Unfortunately for players, enemies can use it as well (it was so powerful that as of 1.13 Oblivion Knights can no longer use it).
  • Autosave: The game seems to autosave after some time has passed, as well as when leaving the game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The druid's Armageddon spell can be used while in werewolf form and causes a rain of meteors to follow you, but the meteors hit randomly and do very little damage compared to the sorceress ones. Not to mention acquiring it requires putting points in pretty much all of the elemental skills, regardless of whether you're going to use them or not (and, if you're a werewolf, you won't use any of them).
    • 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!
    • The Barbaran can pull the badass 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 Thunder 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 many 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.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Equip a Barbarian with an axe (or two). Cast Berserk. or Frenzy. Literal example. Ax, crazy.
    • All of the heroes from the first game. The 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).
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Choosing the Barbarian from the character select screen will prompt him to let out a yell and start sharpening 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 Boast: In Diablo II, just before you're about to fight Diablo: "Not even death can save you from me!" He's right.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Diablo II ends with the successful Evil Plan of the Bigger Bad. In the expansion, the new Big Bad manages to corrupt the Cosmic Keystone enough to force the protagonists to destroy it. However, this paves the way for Diablo III because the keystone was the only thing preventing a full-scale demonic invasion. Notice a pattern yet?
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The Necromancers are an order devoted to maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil, but because Hell has the upper hand 90% of the time (and for the remaining 10%, Heaven is just as cruel to mortals), in practice most of them are strictly heroic.
  • Bad with the Bone: There were wands, helmets, and shields made of bone plus socketable demon skulls. All particular favorites of the necromancer class.
  • Bag of Holding: The Horadric Cube is four inventory spaces outside, twelve inside.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The necromancers base their actions on the notion of a Balance. The novels attempt to (not always successfully) play with this. In one book, the villain is a necromancer who points out that all the necromancers do is fight evil, which doesn't adhere to the concept of a Balance. The hero of the book, another necromancer, continues to fight him, but doesn't bother to explain why he's wrong. In another book, the Balance is interestingly defined not as Good and Evil, but Good and the absence of Evil. It's explained that light and dark are not necessarily good and evil, and while the balance tipping to evil would mean torment, the absence of evil would lead to stagnation. One additional point to consider that the Balance is sometimes portrayed (though not described as) not as being between good and evil, but making sure that neither the angels or the demons of the series gain too much of a foothold in the world, as both are jerks. It just so happens that at the time of the second game, the "evil" forces are much more overt in screwing with mortal reality, and only one angel is bothering to do something.
    • Apparently the books make it more confusing than the game. In-game materials and the guidebook make it clear that necromancers are True Neutral or even Chaotic Neutral. It's just that when the world is completely full of Always Chaotic Evil demons, and there are not one but three Satan Expys running loose, True or Chaotic Neutral is right there side by side with Lawful Good.
      • This a running theme with Neutral alignments in everything, and mentioned in more than one flavor text description of the Neutral alignments in D&D. In general, even characters utterly devoted toward neutrality and balance will almost always side with Good in the end, especially if the forces of Evil are strong enough. Rarely is there an instance of the opposite occurring, unless the good guys are going the Well-Intentioned Extremist route or the Neutral characters lean more towards Evil themselves. It's often stated that Neutral characters begrudgingly admit that Good-aligned characters make slightly more manageable neighbors, as opposed to their much more unpleasant cousins.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Barbarian.
  • Baleful Polymorph: One of the runewords has a chance of turning the user into an undead pigmy skeleton.
  • Ballistic Bone: The Necromancer class can shoot Bone Spears and Teeth.
  • Barbarian Hero: The Barbarian is available as a character class.
  • Barbarian Tribe: Act 5 had you helping a friendly version. Barbarians were even a choosable class.
  • Batman Gambit: The fallen archangel Izual reveals that the Dark Exile, the capturing of the Prime Evils in soulstones and the plot of Diablo was a Batman Gambit planned by the Prime Evils and himself.
  • Battle Aura: The Paladin character has literal auras of various types which can be shared with his allies.
  • Battle Trophy: After a victory in PvP mode, you win the ear of your foe.
  • The Beastmaster:
    • Druids can summon wolves and ravens, among other things.
    • Necromancers have a "summonmancer" archetype; they are generally held to make better pure summoners then druids (Druid summons are mainly for support).
  • Bedlam House: The rendered cinematics of the original game take place in a Bedlam House style of sanitarium, where the inmates are whipped and tend to scream a lot. The Archangel Tyrael "visits" to interrogate a man named Marius about how he'd gotten caught up in the events of the story. The twist is that it's not Tyrael, but Baal. He burns the asylum down behind him as he leaves.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: In the lore, the angel Izual was captured by the forces of evil and tortured until he became evil. After you kill him he reveals that he was Evil All Along, and was the one who kicked off the 'Soul Stone' thing with the direct intention of helping The Three.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, the three Prime Evils. Diablo is the Big Bad in the first game and at least the Final Boss in the second, and Baal is the Big Bad in the expansion, while Mephisto is an intermediate boss in Diablo II, but for the plot as a whole (if anyone notices it) they are equals. They seem to be loyal to each other too (well, they are brothers). The third installment makes it explicitly clear that the Prime Evils are willing to work together so long as it suits their individual agendas, but that Hell has never really posed a serious threat to Heaven before because the Prime Evils have never been able to resist the temptation to stab each other in the back a bit too soon.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Scores of them.
  • Big Good: Tyrael.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some items:
    • "Bec-de-corbin", a polearm which is Old French for "raven's beak".
    • "Martel-de-fer", a maul, which is "hammer of iron" in French.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Yes, all five Evils has been killed. But Tyrael destroyed the corrupted Worldstone, which is apparently the only thing holding Sanctuary apart from Heaven and Hell. Barbarians lost their purpose and became scattered. But it also destroyed the block on humanity's power, which will REALLY be useful in later game.
  • Bizarrchitecture: In Act II, the Arcane Sanctuary consists of many paths and stairways with Unlikely Foundations (actually, no foundations at all), and is very reminiscent of an M. C. Escher artwork.
  • Black Cloak: Tyrael is a brown cloak, and oddly enough, he's one of the good guys.
    • Although the brown-cloaked figure seen in the cinematics is actually Baal pretending to be Tyrael. And he's definitely not one of the good guys.
    • And there's the Dark Wanderer, dressed similarly in almost black, although he doesn't much bother to hide his face with the hood. Maybe because it's not his, anyway.
  • Black Mage: The Sorceress.
  • The Blacksmith: Each Act has one of these as an NPC to repair your goods and buy and sell items: Charsi, Fara, Hratli, Halbu and Larzuk.
  • Bladder of Steel: You cannot pause Diablo II when playing online, as with most multiplayer online games. This becomes especially rough when you play "hardcore", where when you die the game deletes your character. However, your character cannot be attacked in town, so as long as you carry some town portal scrolls, you can use them as a sort of pause.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Assassin class specializes in katar-type weapons.
  • Blade on a Stick:
    • Players can equip a large number of bladed polearms, such as glaives, halberds, and scythes. These weapons tended to have the widest range of damage, with high highs and low lows. Act 2 mercenaries can equip these as well but their graphic will always depict them with a stabbing spear.
    • The cows in the Secret Cow Level wield bardiches.
    • The Amazon class can wield spears and javelins, which can only stab, thus avoiding Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship with a spear. Also, only Javelins can be thrown. The other polearms in the game, on the other hand, always slash.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Diablo II, besides having equipment that Randomly Drops, has beneficial shrines and healing wells that can be found even in the Chaos Sanctuary, Diablo's lair.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • The Spanish version had several with the names of the monsters and items:
      • Unraveler — Desenrredador (Untangler)
      • Claw Viper — Garra Viperina (Viper Claw)
      • 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", which 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 Worldstone gets referred during all of Act V as "Mundo de Piedra", which literally means "Stone World".
      • For some reason, the Rogues from Act I are referred to as "Arpías" (Harpies).
    • The French version translated the Eldritch Orb as "Orbe d'Eltrich", as in "Eldritch's Orb", probably having no idea what 'eldritch' means (although there is a monster named Eldritch the Rectifier).
  • Blood Bath: One monster, 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. Her room in the old tower contains a basin full of (still fresh-looking) blood.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Early on, you have to battle demons in the Rogues' Monastery Cathedral, which Andariel has turned into an outpost of Hell.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: Averted; unlike the first game, some parts of Hell look like islands floating in the void. Other areas have the classic rivers of flame.
  • Bloody Murder: The Necromancer has the Blood Golem skill as part of his Summoning skilltree.
  • Blow Gun: In Act III, a common foe is pygmy enemies that use blow darts to attack.
  • Boastful Rap: "Bind Those Keys" by Amerigo Vespucci. Yep, an actually good fan song about Diablo II.
  • Bodyguard Babes: According to the manual, the succubi enemies in Lord of Destruction are Baal's personal harem. Given that you'll fight a few hundred over the course of Act V, Baal is clearly a pimp.
  • Bonsai Forest: Diablo II has rather short trees. It may be justified in the first half of chapter 1 and chapter 5 due to them taking place in moors, stony fields, marshes and tundras where the growth of trees is naturally poor. Chapter 3, however, doesn't have that excuse since it takes place in a rainforest.
  • Bonus Boss: Über Diablo. Lilith. Über Izual. Über Duriel. Beating the last three gets you items that take you to Über Tristram where you can fight Über Baal, Über Mephisto, and Pandemonium Diablo (who is even more Über than Über Diablo). There's a lot of them.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Cow Level, inserted as a response to a rumor from the original game that such a place existed. Later, the 1.11 patch introduced an elaborate Pandemonium quest with several bonus dungeons.
  • Boobs of Steel: How the Amazon can move around without her assets getting in the way is truly something. Other females in the series are more realistically endowed. This is lampshaded in one of the dialogue options with Larzuk.
  • Bookends: The first and last cinematics of the original game, in which a Dark Wanderer (Diablo in the beginning, Baal in the end) walks out of a burning building.
  • Border Patrol: In the offline version, 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.
  • Boring Return Journey: Not only the Town Portal spell, but the Waypoints which allowed travel between them, but only a few per Act. Optional dungeons usually required walking back out, and since you had probably killed everything on the way in it could be tedious. Fortunately running made this less of a trek.
  • Boss Banter: Most Bosses say a specific phrase when you first meet them.
    Andariel: DIIIIIE, maggot!
    Duriel: Looking for BAAL?!
    Mephisto: You're too late!
    Diablo: Not even DEATH can save you from me!
  • Boss Dissonance: Diablo 2 does both kinds. Act 1 and 2 have bosses that can chew you up in the matter of seconds if you blink. Especially Duriel, who's not only super tough and super fast, but you must also fight him in a small chamber that doesn't even leave any room for strategy, so if you're playing a ranged character, you can kiss him goodbye. In Acts 3, 4, and 5, the Elite Mooks and their leaders that you need to fight before facing the boss are MUCH harder than their infernal masters. Mainly because when facing the boss, all you really need to do is dodge. In Hell difficulty, act bosses and superuniques without minions are usually much easier than normal uniques and their minions since act bosses don't get extra boss modifiers and immunities.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Oblivion Knights in the original game and the minions of Destruction in the expansion. The first acting a lot like a boss would: commanding large armies of minions while bombing you with powerful attacks and curses, while the second is powerful enough to take out a player character 1 on 1. Yes, both are normal creatures. God help you if you meet a unique variant (and you will). Luckily, they only appear directly before the boss battle of their respective acts.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Quivers hold an utterly ridiculous but finite number of arrows (350 arrows in the same amount of inventory space as a short sword). The Amazon skill Magic Arrow creates arrows out of Mana and completely removes the need for a quiver. One unique bow, aptly named Endlesshail, has the property that it fires Magic Arrows as its default attack and does not cost any mana.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: This is what the entire gameplay of Diablo 2 is about. The game goes something like this: make a new character. Beat Normal difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Nightmare difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Hell difficulty to complete the game. Proceed to grind a specific dungeon/boss hundreds of times looking for powerful items. Trade those items for even better items. Level Grind to 99 by doing a different dungeon/boss hundreds of times. Continue grinding for items. Trade more. Perhaps buy some for real money off third party item sweatshops. Eventually after many many hours you have the best and most optimal item setup for your character, with which you can... grind for items even faster.
  • Brain Food: Apparently the Zombie family of Undead monsters in the verse want to eat brains. If you don't attack them, and they don't see you, they will occasionally mumble "Brains...".
  • Breakable Power Up: As in the first game, upon death, all items and equipment are lost and stored in a corpse for retrieval. This one solves the Loot Drama problem by making corpses only lootable by the player who dropped it.
  • Breakable Weapons: An item keeps all its characteristics intact until it reaches zero durability, at which point it instantly becomes useless, but can still be repaired. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction added three special cases: Ethereal items, which are more powerful than regular items but have lower durability and cannot be repaired, the Indestructible attribute found on some unique and set items as well as regular magical items with the "of ages" suffix and finally the Zod rune (but good luck finding it).
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Averted. Unlike the hero of Diablo, the PC figures out a better way to deal with Diablo's soulstone... smash it to pieces on the Hellforge.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Hell Tristram and the super version, Chaos Tristram. They require items you have to fight Hell difficulty act bosses to maybe see. And this isn't the only stage in the process...
  • Building of Adventure: The Rogue's Monastery, which you must battle through to confront Andariel.
  • Burning Rubber: The sorceress' spell "Blaze" which literally leaves a trail of fire wherever she walks.
  • Canon Name: While Diablo II hints at the fate of the three possible characters from the original game, it only explicitly states that one of them (hinted to be the Warrior) became Diablo, and Blood Raven, the Rogue (maybe), is the only one given an actual name. The Sorcerer from the original game also reappears in the sequel, where he's called the Summoner (more of a title than a name, but that's as close as a unique identifier as we got). Diablo III states that the warrior of the first game is named Aidan.
    • You can name your hero as whatever, but it takes Diablo III Reaper of Souls to confirm the name/identity of the Sorceress, Isendra. And it takes Heroes of the Storm to give one for the Necromancer, Xul.
  • The Casanova: Deckard Cain was apparently this in his youth. He says about Anya being like some Zakarum priestesses he had known. He also says that they did not have to take vows of chastity. Do the math.
  • Cast From Hitpoints:
    • 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.
    • The Paladins "Sacrifice" skill plays it straight
  • Cat Girl: Jaguar Women enemies, and variants.
  • Celestial Body: Trag'oul, a dragon/deity in the lore, is described as a dragon whose entire body is made from stars, and who bears the world on his spine.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series seems to be riding on this. Despite its immense popularity, Diablo II was sometimes derided for not being as dark and edgy as the first game. In the books as well, the mood can range from as dark and edgy as the first game to surprisingly goofy. On the other hand, whatever funny moments the series can prevent it from getting too dark.
  • Chain Lightning:
    • An ability of the Sorceress.
    • The Amazon's Lightning Strike ability generates a bolt of chain lightning.
    • "Proc-ing" items that give X chance to cast X level Chain Lightning upon Attack/Striking/When Struck.
    • Multi-Shot Lightning Enchanted Boss. Thankfully, that quirk of MSLE monsters have been addressed from v1.10 onwards.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: The game is all about this trope. Early in the game, it may seem useful to put your stat points into Energy, but by the time you reach end game you realize that those points have essentially been wasted, as all you care about by then is having just enough Strength to equip the best gear and then nothing but Vitality. Likewise, in later difficulties enemies have excessive resistance to various kinds of attack, and some of your spells scale better than others; let's hope you didn't put all of your ability points into something useless. Surprise!
  • Character Class System
  • Charged Attack: A separate tree of Assassin skills is devoted to this—charging with these skills, then releasing with a normal attack. Effects vary from life and mana leech to area-affecting Elemental Punches, and can be applied all at once.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Similarly, the Barbarian is described this way in a number of places. Most fitting is the natural resistance skill, which helps the barbarian resist several types of magic damage, and is said to come simply from surviving tough environments.
  • Cheap Gold Coins:
    • 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.
    • 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).
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • Using a wand or a staff or other melee weapons as a Necromancer or Sorceress.
    • The Telekinesis spell, particularly in Diablo I, is the ultimate way to cherry tap your enemies.
    • The Sorceress does have access to a spell that adds substantial fire damage to any ranged or melee weapon, potentially turning any weapon (or even her bare fists) into a harbinger of fiery doom. Likewise, the Necromancer, when equipped with any dagger, can perform a special stab that causes incredible poison damage over time.
    • A very obscure Barbarian build for PvP is based around using a poison damage buffing wand in each hand along with an AoE Whirlwind attack and an inventory completely full of powerful poison damage charms. The result is slaying other well-equipped players while holding what looks like two venomous forks.
    • One forum member at the inc.gamers Diablo II fan site tried to make a Boxer build with the Barbarian class, aka no weapon at all. Punching always does 1-2 damage in-game, so he had to rely on percentage-reduction damage bonuses. Needless to say it was very item-dependent and, as he admitted, very boring due to how repetitive it got.
    • In the spirit of the trope, though, one player tried to play through the game using nothing but the Sorceress' weakest, most basic spell.
    • The Amazon is said to be able to beat Diablo with a broken short bow on Hell difficulty.
    • The Druid can have his ravens peck the Big Bad to death. It only takes about 30 minutes of realtime for Normal difficulty...
  • The Chessmaster: Most of the plot and background involving apparently fluctuating fortunes for all sides in the conflict between the Burning Hells, the High Heavens, and the humans in between, including significant losses for the Three Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto and Baal along the way, turns out to have been all part of the long-term plan of the Prime Evils themselves.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: This became vastly simpler to manage in the Lord of Destruction expansion pack, which added two extra weapon/shield slots that could be toggled to and back with a single keypress (as well as providing more Inventory Tetris space, natch).
  • Chokepoint Geography:
    • The only way out of Khanduras (Act I) to the Desert of Aranoch (Act II) is through the Rogue's Pass, a narrow monastery pass through the mountains defended previously by the Sisters of the Sightless Eye and presently by the hordes of hell.
    • Instead of having to go all the way through the monastery, there is a set of portculli that wagon caravans like Warriv's presumably take. The REAL mystery is how they got through The Underground Passage, a network of narrow, twisting caves just before the monastery.
  • Church Militant: The Church of Zakarum has the paladins, who were founded to protect the monks who were meant to spread the religion. For some reason, the kind, generous, armed knights were more inspiring to the populace than the monks. They faded from view once Zakarum no longer put a lot of effort into converting people, only to make a comeback when the Prime Evils started attacking the mortal world, and Zakarum started converting again. This time, anyone inconvertible was deemed evil and killed. A small band, including any paladin player characters, chose to go rogue, and directly confront the Prime Evils. They later discovered that the church they served was corrupt, and had to face several enemies that were themselves examples of this trope.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Five stones that must be hit in a certain order to open a portal to Tristram.
  • Class and Level System: As in Diablo, you select one of several different character classes, but how you develop the character is up to you. When you level up, you get one skill point and can add it to any accessible skill on one of your skill trees.
  • 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.
  • Cobweb Jungle: Parts of the Spider Forest in Act III.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The bad guys are quite fond of this. Act I has you going through the Rogue Monastery, which has been taken over by the evil forces of Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. Those Rogues who didn't become demons can be seen dead on various torture devices throughout the monastery, and judging by the state of their bodies, what happened to them was not pleasant.
    • What Baal did to Marius was pretty cold-blooded too. Instead of simply seizing the soulstone from Marius and killing him quickly, Baal used an illusion to disguise himself as Tyrael, forced Marius to relive his horrific adventure with Diablo, and convinced Marius to give up the soulstone willingly... and then revealed his true colors before finally killing Marius.
  • Color Coded Item Tiers: The colors are:
    • Grey (Low quality, no magic properties and lower base stats)
    • White (Normal or superior)
    • Slightly Different Grey (Socketed, same as normal but can be improved with gems and runes)
    • Blue (Magic, one or two magic properties)
    • Yellow (Rare, a random mix of magic properties)
    • Gold (Unique, preset magical properties with a unique name and appearance)
    • Green (Set, preset magical properties and can be used in conjunction with other items in the same set to get additional bonuses)
    • Orange (Crafted, created using the Horadric Cube)
  • Color-Coded Stones
    • You could find the six gems that are explained in their description, each with the colour that is 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.
    • The Soulstones. Mephisto's is blue, Diablo's is red, and Baal's is yellow-green.
  • Combat and Support:
    • Combat: Barbarian and Assassin
    • Balance: Amazon, Paladin, and Druid
    • Support: Necromancer and Sorceress
  • 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 (it's just that Revive Kills Zombie applies and they can also be used against undead). Still, the game consciously avoided healbots.
  • Combat Tentacles:
  • Compilation Re-release: The Diablo Battle Chest, which includes both the first two Diablo games and the second game's expansion pack Lord of Destruction.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: 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.
  • Constructed World: Sanctuary is revealed to be this.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Unlike in Diablo where anyone could steal your stuff when you die, in this game your stuff is stored in a corpse that only you can loot, though getting to it can be a headache in itself, especially if you died to something really tough or a swarm of them.
  • Continuity Snarl / Retcon: There are several inconsistencies across the series, although most players pay so little attention to the story that they won't realise it.
    • It is said that Mephisto, along with Baal, was originally captured in the desert near Lut Gholein, and later moved to Kurast. In the Diablo III timeline it says: Mephisto is captured near the jungles of Kehjistan.
    • It is said that the Ancients are the spirits of the Nephalem, the Ancient Ones. But the Arreat Summit (the official DII webpage) says that they were barbarians chosen by the Ancients.
    • The writings of Abd al-Hazir say that the Tristram Cathedral was built around 912 over the vault where Diablo was imprisoned, but Diablo hadn't even been exiled to Sanctuary at that time.
    • The Diablo 1 manual says that after their exile the Three Brothers ravaged the lands of the Far East for countless centuries, but in the game it is stated that they did so for decades. In the current timeline 50 years pass between their exile and capture.
    • Before he came to Khanduras Leoric was originally a northern lord, this has been changed to an eastern lord.
    • In the Sin War trilogy of novels the robes of the order of Dialon are azure, they should be crimson. While the robes of the order of Mephis should be azure instead of black. (To match the color of their Soulstone)
    • There are many errors in Scales of the Serpent, where the statue of Dialon has a hammer instead of tablets and where the one of Bala has tablets instead of a hammer.
    • In Scales of the Serpent, the high priest of Dialon is named Arihan and is said to have had his title for a long time, but in Birthright all the high priests are named (Malic, Herodius and Balthazar) and Arihan isn't part of them.
    • Abd al-Hazir mention that Zoltun Kulle was a Vizjerei mage and as evidence cites the Demonicus de Zoltun Kulle. In the Book of Cain, Cain suspect Zoltun was a Ennead mage.
    • There's even something of a continuity snarl between Diablo II Classic and Lord of Destruction. The cinematics of Diablo II Classic say that Diablo was defeated for a while (long enough for the news to reach Marius, at least) before Baal found Marius, took his Soulstone back, and burned the asylum down. But in Lord of Destruction, Tyrael says that while the hero was fighting in hell, i.e. before Diablo was defeated, Baal had been rallying his army and launching his assault on Mount Arreat, and had already taken over all but one of the barbarian strongholds; and Baal had already recovered his Soulstone by the time he had taken over Sescheron in the opening cinematic in Lord of Destruction. So... did Baal get his Soulstone back before or after Diablo was defeated? The official timeline rectifies this snarl: Diablo was defeated in late 1264, and Baal began his assault on Mount Arreat in early 1265, retconning Tyrael's statement and undoing the retcon on Marius' story.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Act IV's River of Flame, where you can walk right beside lava flows with no ill effects.
  • Cooldown: Diablo II has the combination. Some spells were cooldown spells, some could be cast continuously. Unlike most games, if any cooldown spell was used, it would prevent all other cooldown skills from being used for the period, not just itself. Many skill setups in the game involved combining a cooldown skill with a fast casting skill.
  • 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. While they don't have a backstory, many of the unique and runeword swords would also qualify.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Corrupt Church: The Zakarum, 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.
  • Cosmetic Award: Diablo II has several cosmetic awards. For completing the game a title will be put in front of your character's name, differing depending on the difficulty level and if you opted to played in the high risk "Hardcore" mode, as well as if you have the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. There is also a Bonus Quest where you get to fight beefed up versions of the three main bosses (the Ubers) all at the same time. Players who manage this feat are rewarded with powerful items, but also a "Standard of Heroes" item that serves no use other than a trophy. There is also a trophy ear you will get if you kill another player in PvP. One of the expansion pack's later quests has the purely cosmetic reward of personalizing a single item by adding your name to it.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The evil Baal tries to capture the Worldstone. He aims to corrupt it and turn the mortal world into a bastion of Hell. He pretty much succeeds. Tyrael is forced to destroy the Worldstone to keep Sanctuary from becoming part of Hell. Fortunately, destroying the Worldstone removes the seal on humanity's true potential as angel-demon hybrids (Sanctuary itself was created through an angel-demon union). Unfortunately, it also makes humanity a target for the fanatically anti-demon angels.
  • Covers Always Lie: There is no hooded skeleton in the entire game, despite what the cover suggests. The Dark Wanderer does wear a hood (usually), but he has his flesh intact until he transforms into Diablo's true form.
  • Cowardly Mooks:
    • The Fallen will temporarily retreat if any nearby monster is killed.
    • The Zakarum zealots, after you've completed the Blackened Temple quest, will flee when they see you, only attacking you when you corner them.
  • Crapsack World: This theme continues from the first game. You get to 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, and as revealed later, Auriel and Itherael...) are humongous jerkasses?
  • Crate Expectations: Wonderfully averted. There is (usually) one interactive crate in the entire game (in the last level of the Forgotten Tower, in one of the two side rooms before fighting the Countess). One. Everything else is either a barrel, a jar, or some horrible hellish construction involving Nothing but Skulls.
  • Creepy Cathedral:
    • The Chaos Sanctuary looks like a cathedral. The problem is, it's in Hell and it doubles as Diablo's lair. When all five seals are opened, the place glows red.
    • The Rogues' Monastery in the first act was a normal-looking cathedral, until Andariel and her demonic minions took over.
    • The Durance of Hate from the third act was a temple used to imprison one of the Prime Evils, Mephisto, who used the opportunity to corrupt nearly every Zakarum priest and turn them into demons.
  • Creepy Crows: In Lord of Destruction, the Druid can summon a murder of ravens to "peck his enemy's eyes out".
  • Creepy Good: The Necromancer uses bone-based spells, summons skeletons and golems made of blood, can use poison-based attacks, and has a liking for dark comments, but is otherwise a good guy.
  • Creepy Twins: Andariel the Maiden of Anguish and Duriel the Lord of Pain. Not only they're evil as FUCK, but they're also powerful demons. Andariel is the Disc One Final Boss, and Duriel is That One Boss.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A few of the archetypes.
    • "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.
  • Critical Hit: Diablo II has both Critical and Deadly strikes. They serve the same "you do double damage" purpose, but come from difference sources- Critical Strike bonuses come from skills, while Deadly Strike bonuses come from items. However, success on one cancels the other (so there's no 4x damage). You can also get a chance of Crushing Blow from an item, which directly takes off a large percentage of the target's HP; gaining high crushing blow chances and a fast attack is how the Paladin "smiter" and Assassin's Kicksin archetypes function (they tend be a bit of Crippling Overspecialization, only worthwhile on bosses/duels).
  • Crosshair Aware: The Meteor skill places a flaming bullseye on the ground where the meteor will impact. While this applies both to the monsters' and players' meteors, monsters aren't bright enough to know they should avoid standing on a big flaming target.
  • Cross Player: Like the first game, there's a specifically-sexed sprite for each character. Want to zing fireballs around? You've got to play as a female Sorceress. Want to summon the dead to do your bidding? All necromancers are male, sorry.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Though the tenets of the religion aren't gone into much (or at all), the architecture and appearance of the various figures makes the similarity rather obvious.
    • The novels expand on the tenants of Zakarum a little more, and it's typical Christian stuff such as forsaking evil in your heart, as well as preaching gentleness and forgiveness. More cynically, the church is also said to be very open to donations.
  • Crystal Weapon: A Crystal Sword is a fairly basic, low-leveled weapon that's rather frail. It's one of the first weapons that has six sockets available for buffs or other magical effects to be added on to it though, making it somewhat popular for strategies involving magic or runes.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Blizzard celebrated the release of a long awaited patch for Diablo 2, with a wallpaper featuring the Chaos Sanctuary frozen over, and Diablo himself leaning over a campfire to keep himself warm.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The series contains a minor example of this. The first game allows you to choose one of three characters to play, a male Warrior, a female Rogue, and a male Sorcerer. After defeating Diablo, this character embeds his soulstone into his or her forehead in an attempt to contain Diablo forever. It doesn't work, and the hero is possessed by Diablo, becoming Diablo II's villain. Although never explicitly stated, it is pretty clear that the Warrior is canonically the one who did so, as the character is male (unlike the rogue) and white (so not the sorcerer). If you look very carefully you can find hints about what happened to the Rogue and Sorcerer, but they clearly didn't do as well as their meat shield buddy, if "possessed by Satan" can be considering doing well. It is implied that the rogue and sorcerer go on to become minor bosses for earlier quests (Blood Raven and The Summoner respectively).
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Amplify Damage reduces the target's physical resistance, as do some other skills. Of course, enemies have similar abilities as well. Lower Resistance and Conviction provide this for elemental damage users.
  • Damage Over Time: Lots of abilities and effects deal their damage slowly, poison being the most common.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Izual, the first boss encountered in Hell.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Tyrael berates Marius for freeing Baal, telling him that he must find the courage to undo his mistake. He doesn't.
  • Dark is Not Evil: The Necromancer, 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 more likely to win. In other words, the trope is played perfectly straight; Dark may not be good, but it sure as hell isn't evil. The manual also states that the fact that they don't fear death and they seek only to maintain balance means that they're the only mage clan that has never been corrupted by demonic influence.
  • Daylight Horror: Diablo II mostly takes place under the sunlight (when it's not Beneath the Earth), including a desert territory brimming with undead buzzards and demonic locusts.
  • Dead Character Walking: Versions of the game prior to 1.04 had this as a bug.
  • Deadly Lunge: Some skeletons walk around slooowly with very long swords, and suddenly slashing at you. And they rise again after being defeated.
  • Death Activated Super Power: Various monsters have devastating "cast upon death" abilities. The player characters can acquire some of those, too, a great aid in retrieving your own body.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Ah, good old "You have died. Press 'ESC' to continue." Yes, you lose some experience points and money, but they are relatively easy to get back. Hell, when you are playing on normal difficulty level, you do not even get the experience penalty.
    • There was always the hardcore mode, which made the game a bit more similar to its roguelike ancestors and made death permanent.
  • Decapitated Army: When you kill the high council in Act III, the Zakarumites will no longer attack you and flee in fear.
  • Deceased and Diseased: There are mummified undead enemies which release a cloud of toxic corpse gas when defeated.
  • Dem Bones: Both enemy and summonable skeletons. The summonables are quite strange, in that you can assemble a (human) Skeleton from the corpse of any monster, up to and including giant spiders, pygmies, ghosts, small rat-like creatures, swarms of locusts and other skeletons. If you were wondering where the Ludicrous Gibs come from...
  • Demonic Possession: The other two heroes that helped The Warrior became evil. as a result of the darkness that tortured their minds. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Tal Rasha was possessed completely by Baal as a result of Marius' action thus mutating into a dark lord. Well? Are we there yet? No! Almost all of the Zakarum's followers became possessed as well. The Pope equivalent of the game's universe, The current Que Hegan was already possessed by Mephisto and mutated into him.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Seven Great Evils: The Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, and the Lesser Evils Andariel, Duriel, Belial, and Azmodan. In Diablo II, you face:
    • Andariel, the first of the Lesser Evils, is fought in the Cathedral at the end of Act I. She is the Maiden of Anguish and specializes in mental torment.
    • Duriel is the second Lesser Evil, which you fight in Tal Rasha's tomb. He is the Lord of Pain, and specializes in physical torture.
    • Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, is the first of the greater Prime Evils you face.
    • Baal, the Lord of Destruction, is the second of the Prime Evils, and is actually fought in the expansion pack of Lord of Destruction. He's the one responsible for what happens to the Worldstone.
    • Diablo himself, the Lord of Terror, the last of the Prime Evils and the Big Bad of the entire series.
  • Demon of Human Origin: The protagonist of the original game becomes the Dark Wanderer in the sequel after losing his battle of wills to contain the evil by embedding Diablo's soulstone in his forehead, eventually being entirely possessed and mutating into Diablo himself. Something very similar happened with Tal-Rasha and the Lord of Destruction, Baal.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In two different ways, no less.
    • When passing the mouse over a corpse with a skill that uses corpses, the corpse will be listed as "(Monster's name) Corpse", which is fine and all until you realize that a ton of enemies are undead, which leads to beautiful things like "Skeleton Corpse" and "Mummy Corpse".
    • Then there's the items. It's entirely possible to get a "Light Belt of Light", a lightweight belt which increases the light radius, or a "Strong Field Plate of Strength", a strong - as in, resistant - armor which increases the Strength stat. If using a save editor, then it's perfectly possible to make a, say, "Fiery Axe of Fire". Or, for a more fancy version, a "Flaming Glorious Axe of Incineration". It should be noted, though, that the game precludes said combinations from happening normally.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The game ends with you killing the last of the three Prime Evils, Baal, just after he corrupted the Worldstone, the thing that keeps the demons out of the world. Archangel Tyrael goes for the lesser of two evils and destroys the corrupted Worldstone; the one you've fought so hard over to protect.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The theme continues here, and is even lampshaded in an achievement, "Punch Diablo".
  • Die, Chair! Die!: A broken crate can drop money, items, or even spawn an enemy.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The game has a dramatic change as you go from Nightmare to Hell difficulty. The effectiveness of just about everything is reduced to a quarter, your resistances plummet to a base of -100, and almost every single monster is not only resistant, but entirely immune to a particular element (often when the monster had zero resistance to anything in either of the previous difficulties) while gaining additional resistances to one or nearly all attributes. The immunities are a particular problem, as it's very possible for your character's skills to be focused on only one form of damage if you didn't know about the problem beforehand.
    • It deserves special mention that some monsters possess immunity to physical damage. I.E, melee attacks don't work. Speaking of bosses, there are three randomly generated per normal level in hell difficulty as opposed to one in normal plus their flock of minions is deadlier too.
    • Less dramatic is Act IV of the game, when you invade Hell, featuring a jump in monster difficulty - suddenly homing, mana draining missiles, etc. Then of course there's Diablo himself.
    • The battle with the Ancients is far harder than the the battle with Baal, the final boss.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Diablo II uses this for many skill bonuses, such as Dodge giving you an 18% chance to dodge with the first point, but quickly tapering down to less than 1% bonus per point by level 20. This type of balance wound up turning many skills into "one point wonders." Just put a single point in the skill, and the "x all skills" bonuses on your equipment end up giving you just as much of a bonus as actually maxing the skill would have in the first place.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: Freezing your enemies and then shattering them is nice unless you are a necromancer, who needs intact corpses to fuel some of his spells.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Diablo II was divided in four acts, with one final boss per act. In act 2 you're expected to kill Baal before he can escape his prison, but run into a giant bug called Duriel instead. Diablo is the final boss of act 4, but the expansion comes and Baal turns out to be the true final boss of the game instead.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • The game allows you to trade between your characters online. One neat trick is to make Khalim's Will, which is usable by characters of any level (because it's a quest item) and provides obscene amounts of damage for most if not all characters below level 25 (when you acquire it, you're generally around level 21-24).
    • Enchant Skill, while normally a relatively useless sorceress skill that adds fire damage to a target's weapon, with incredible amounts of + skills, can get fire damage added up to somewhere between 3000 and 9000. It's still somewhat useless by the time you can get it there barring a very specific build. However, joining a normal game and giving that much damage to a character in normal mode essentially means anyone can go through the whole of normal one or two-shotting every monster with a regular short bow. To put it in perspective, Diablo only has 14,000 HP on Normal (though fire resistance does factor in) and Baal, the boss of the expansion only about twice that. The most a regular enemy has is about 3000. Makes early level grinding in Hardcore a breeze.
  • Discount Card: In Act 2, after killing Radament in the sewers beneath Lut Gholein, Atma the tavernkeeper tells the player she's asked the other vendors in town to give you reduced prices on goods.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The Druid class has a few egregious examples, but the most offensive is the Hurricane skill, which is one of the Level 30 tree's-end techniques. Plainly, it summons a frickin hurricane that you then walk around in. Not only are you completely unharmed by it, neither are your allies. Enemies are not sucked in; instead, anything that comes into contact takes significant damage and dies. The lore says the druid is unharmed because he is in the eye of the cyclone. Also interesting are the actual Tornado and especially Twister spells: the latter produces three tornadoes that are so tiny as to miss targets two druid lengths in front of you, and getting hit only stuns you for a fraction of a second. The former correctly deals damage around it, where 'around it' is defined as the size of a large monster, and because it deals damage over time it cannot even interrupt monsters. This spell set goes nicely with the waist height volcano, but it is no surprise the sequel features Energy Twister, a tornado of whirling magic!.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Marius finds himself venturing into the tomb of Tal Rasha alongside the Dark Wanderer, eventually finding the shackled mage in the flesh. Before the Dark Wanderer can release him, Tyrael involves himself and the two duke it out. Marius approaches (under the belief Tal Rasha wants to be released from his miserable fate), only for Tyrael to call out to him not to do it. Marius doesn't listen.
    Tyrael: Fool! You have just ensured the doom of this world. You cannot begin to imagine what has been set in motion this day. Go to the Temple of Light in the city of Kurast. There you will find the gate to Hell opened before you. You must find the courage to step through that gate, Marius! Take the stone to the Hellforge where it will be destroyed. Now run... Take the stone and run!!
  • Doomed Protagonist: Diablo II makes very clear that this was the eventual fate of the hero from the first game, as he finally succumbs to Diablo's corruption and becomes the Dark Wanderer. All three PCs from the first game suffer this; the Rogue becomes the demonic Blood Raven, and the Sorcerer becomes the Summoner.
  • Door to Before: The Waypoints act just like this, but are explicitly magic, justifying the trope some.
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • The Amazon and Assassin both have abilities like this. The Amazon can create an illusion of herself and summon a real spirit warrior to aid her; the Assassin can summon a shadow of herself with somewhat reduced skills, or a more powerful version at higher levels with greater skill levels.
    • Baal himself can do this; thankfully, he can only make one copy.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Baal does this when you face him. His clone dies much faster than he does.
    • The only visual difference between the real him and the clone is the clone's type listing is slightly offset instead of centered, which allows players to know to target him first.
      • Or they can attack the copy, who is worth just as much XP as the real Baal.
  • Drop the Hammer:
    • Mace-class weapons include Warhammers, Mauls, and Great Mauls, plus their Exceptional and Elite versions. 50% more damage to undead, too. Scepters (many of which are depicted more as flanged maces on their graphics) also qualify.
    • The Paladin's Blessed Hammer skill.
  • Druid: Lord of Destruction introduces the Druid character class.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • 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).
    • 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.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In Lord Of Destruction, this is how you are treated by the Barbarians (and especially by the corrupt Elder Nihlithak) in the fifth and final Act of the game. You have just defeated the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo, not to mention previously defeating his brother Mephisto, and what do you get? Qual-Kehk says, "You have the look of a warrior. An extra soldier would be useful, but don't expect anyone to mourn if you get yourself killed." Nihlithak is a lot nastier. "After so many have died, who are you to think you can accomplish what our warriors could not?" And, "Ending the siege [will] not earn immediate respect, outsider. Respect only comes with sacrifice — something I'm sure you know nothing of". The worst from Nihlithak? "What are you still doing here? I thought you were going off to die. Go...Be quick about it". All other Barbarians eventually respect you once they see your abilities firsthand, though. Of course, this is a Justified Trope in case of Nihlithak, because he's Evil All Along and you get to fight him later.
  • Dummied Out: There are several items dummied out — some apparently complete, but with the flag that allows enemies to drop them disabled.
  • 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: The Kurast Docks.
  • Dynamic Loading: So-called "Black walls" in multiplayer, but they only appear if there is lag. Without lag, the loading happens fast enough that you will practically never notice it.
  • Early Bird Boss:
    • One of the first uniques is a shaman who not only can resurrect the Fallen Ones under his command, but can also resurrect the shamans who can resurrect the fallen ones. Upon being defeated, he, like Fire Enchanted monsters, explodes and damages anyone in melee range.
    • Blood Raven is this. Honestly, unless you intend to grind past the quest (since it's optional) or play a fully populated game (simulated or actual) from scratch, it's unlikely you'll reach levels high enough to make those level 1 or 6 skills effective enough for Blood Raven nor acquire equipment significantly contributing to survival without twinking, as soon as the quest becomes available. By the time you are able to hire mercenaries without killing Blood Raven, you're probably high enough a level to be on comparable, if not greater footing with her anyway.
    • Speaking of the first two dungeons, The Cave in the Cold Plains (not Blood Moor once the Den Of Evil is done) contains Coldcrow, a Super Unique archer pack that's Cold Enchanted. Archers generally cause a lot of grief because of their ranged capabilities, but this monster pack multiplies the damage of an already damage-enhanced monster through the use of minions. The Cold Enchanted property further acts as some sort of a force multiplier by allowing all in the pack to deal additional cold damage AND slow their target's movements. This combination makes for an encounter that makes Blood Raven seem like a cakewalk. To make matters worse, upon death, she flips you the finger like all Cold Enchanted monsters do, by casting a frost nova that's VERY damaging to characters who haven't been investing significantly in their vitality attribute. Woe to the one who doesn't replenish their HP right before they deal her the death blow.
  • Elemental Armor:
    • Three Frozen Armor spells, which allowed to create an ice armor with several extra effects.
    • Bone Armor and Cyclone Armor that absorb physical and elemental damage respectively.
  • Elemental Crafting: Diablo II expanded on the mechanic from the first game, and adds even more (and changes the meaning of some of them, the 'blue' series (Lapis, Sapphire etc) become cold resistance, as that element was added; as generic "magic" resistance was removed, Amber becomes Lightning resistance, and Jade and Emerald become Poison resistance (poison as an elemental damage type is also an addition).
  • Elemental Powers: As in the first game, the Sorceress uses Fire, Ice and Lightning spells, expanding on their destructive potential as she gains levels and skill points. The Necromancer uses Death (combines Necromancy, Blood Magic and Black Magic) and Poison. Druids can use Fire (many of which seem combined with Earth Magic) and Wind magic.
  • Element Number Five: In the novels by Richard Knaak, the necromancers consider Time to be the fifth element.
  • Elemental Weapon: A staple of the games. In Diablo II, they can come with elemental powers themselves or can be given some through socketing.
  • Enemy Civil War: Diablo II expands on the lore surrounding the Sin War and the fall of the Prime Evils, eventually revealing that the three Prime Evils masterminded the whole thing in order to get themselves exiled to the the human world.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • Sand maggots spit poison and lay eggs.
    • The aforementioned "summonmancers" can have a small army of skeleton minions, plus a merc and a Golem, and perhaps some revived monsters.
  • Energy Bow: The Amazon's Magic Arrow skill fires a bolt of mana that replaces the need for arrow quivers and does extra damage. A few unique bows have the special property "Fires level X Magic Arrow", meaning they shoot Magic Arrows as the basic attack and can be used with Strafe or Multishot.
  • Enough to Go Around: In online play, quests will yield as many MacGuffins as there are players completing them, even when said MacGuffins are one-of-a-kind items. Exceptions: The scroll with the solution to the Cairn Stones, the Horadric Malus and the Hellforge Hammer only drop once. Played straight with anything you need to advance the plot, but unfortunately averted with the Infinity Plus One Charms dropped by the Bonus Bosses. Except the Standard of Heroes. Figures.
  • Epic Flail: Khalim's Flail, a quest item that you get to make into a relic/artifact by transmuting/fusing it with its previous owner's brain, eye and heart. The resulting weapon had three chains attached to its handle, with metallic spiked skulls for the hammers. All in a day's work.
  • Escape Rope: The Town Portal. It's no longer available as a learnable skill since the skill trees are now strictly segregated by class, but the game does include a compact storage system for carrying a large number of spell scrolls for this purpose. It always leads to the town of the current act. If you used one in the final battle vs. Diablo, he'd cast bone prison on it while you were gone, and you'd teleport into a trap. A common multiplayer strategy was to use the portals of a party member instead of yours, as the portal would only disappear after its creator took it; teammates could use it back and forth as many times as needed. Thus one could make a semi-permanent teleport to an area with just two party members and two scrolls - and since portals are labeled by player, its rather easy to perform.
  • Eternal Equinox
  • Ethnic Magician: Diablo II mixes it up a bit — the two distinctly non-white heroes are the Sorceress (a Squishy Wizard type with a haughty intellectual personality) and the Paladin (a decidedly non-squishy fighting priest type, complete with lots of analogies to real-world monotheistic religions). The Barbarian class is the only one that doesn't use magic of any kind, as his culture forbids it, and he is white.
  • Everyone Has A Special Move: Each character essentially has their own unique special move trees.
  • Everything Fades: Diablo II leaves bodies populating the floor until the character leaves the area in order for certain spells and abilities to be useable (raising the dead, searching corpses and, particularly effective, making bodies explode to the detriment of those nearby). There are searchable bodies of never-seen alive NPCs which stay there forever.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: The Secret Cow Level.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: At level 30, Barbarians gain access to the Whirlwind attack. The in-game description of "Whirling dance of death" is sufficient enough to describe what that move is and does. Assassins can also use this attack, if they equip the Chaos runeword.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Certain monsters can resurrect the undead. In Act V, Reanimated Horde-type monsters have a random probability of resurrecting themselves, and can do so up to three times.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Every single Prime Evil is this. Diablo, Baal and Mephisto really love to chew the scenery to dust.
  • Evil Laugh: Seems that Baal finds many things funny.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Diablo's corruption of the hero into the Dark Wanderer gradually wastes and mutates him, until he finally becomes completely demonic in form.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Summoner, the corrupted Sorcerer from the first game.
  • Evolving Weapon: Lord of Destruction introduced several magic item properties that scale by character level, including bonuses to armor value, damage, and accuracy. Unfortunately, they're rarely worth keeping for very long, as something better will usually drop.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Same with poison shrines are poisonous.
  • Expansion Pack: Lord of Destruction, where you traveled to the Barbarians' homeland of Arreat and fought Baal.
  • Experience Booster: The Experience Shrines provide a temporary boost to your experience gain rate.
  • Experience Meter: There's one underneath the player's HP vial.
  • Exploding Barrels: These are a hazard you run into frequently; some of them can be lethal.
  • Explosive Breeder: Some of the maggots, particularly the ones in hell; however, they don't have fast maturing rates, and the kids act much differently then the parents in terms of attack plans, making it more of a Mook Maker.

    F - J 
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The unnamed protagonist is met with failure at every turn due to arriving ever so slightly too late to have stopped the villain from doing what they were trying to do.
    • Act 1: The hero arrives too late to catch Diablo in his new body and Andariel is successful in delaying his venture to the east to go after Diablo.
    • Act 2: The hero arrives in what couldn't have been more than a few minutes after Diablo got there and freed his brother, which is precisely what you were trying to stop him from doing. They leave Duriel there to delay the character's pursuit.
    • Act 3: You make it to Mephisto mere moments after he activates the power of the soulstones on his brother Diablo and opens a portal to hell for him to escape to, staying behind himself to delay the player's pursuit.
    • Act 4: You actually make it to Diablo and kill him before he does anything too terrible, but that's only because he wasn't actually trying to do anything to Sanctuary at that point. And Baal was still in Sanctuary doing his own thing (although, fortunately, he didn't manage to retrieve his soulstone or begin screwing over Sanctuary until some time after Diablo's defeat).
    • Act 5: Halfway through, you arrive just too late to interrupt Baal from getting an object that will allow him to walk right through the front door of the Worldstone Keep. You then get to Baal and - surprise, surprise - he doesn't seem to have corrupted the Worldstone yet. You fight him and defeat him thinking that you arrived just in time to stop the world from being destroyed, but wait! Tyrael then tells you that the mere act of Baal touching the Worldstone corrupted it completely, meaning that after the fight you find out that yet again you arrived too late, once again by mere minutes at the very most.
    • The entire quest you set out on in the beginning of the game turns into failure after failure. Sure, you destroy 5 of the most powerful evil beings in existence, but not before they succeed in doing the very thing that they set out to do in the first place. And let's not forget Diablo is using the body of the Warrior from the first game.
  • Fainting Seer: In Lord of Destruction, the seer of Harrogath, the home base for the expansion back, has her hair turn white, goes shrieking mad, and dies when she sees what's coming.
  • 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 
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Wendigos are hulking, monstrous beasts over twice the size of a human. They are regularly beaten to death by level 1 characters using the weapons they start the game with. Their snowy counterparts, on the other hand...
  • 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 became corrupted and turned into Blood Raven. The sorcerer became the Summoner who's causing Lut Gholein a small hell's worth of grief.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Both Tal Rasha and the warrior from the first Diablo make the unwise decision to insert a soulstone containing a demon into their bodies. The end results were not pretty for either of them. Tal Rasha knew exactly what he was getting into and why, and the PC had been corrupted by Diablo himself, but it still sucked in the end.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Baal. After the warden of Sessheron warns him that he's not welcome and that they will fight him, Baal says "I shall take your position into consideration" as if he might be doing so. He then gives a couple of casual demonstrations of his power, and then splatters the poor warden all over the place, finishing with a mocking "It seems your terms are not acceptable." and an Evil Laugh
  • Feelies: The Diablo II Battle Chest came with a similar set of goodies, including the first game.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: 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.
  • Final Death: Diablo II, already quite similar to roguelikes, offers a "hardcore" setting to players who have beaten the game, in which their character file is locked after a single death, and can no longer be played. (It's still there, though, and you can see a record of all your Hardcore deaths if you feel like keeping them. And cheaters can edit the dead character's save to restore them to life, good as new. But that's cheating. Cheater.)
    • Quoth the game manual:
      Note: Blizzard Entertainment is in no way responsible for your hardcore character. If you choose to create and play a hardcore character, you do so at your own risk. Blizzard is not responsible for the death and loss of your hardcore characters for any reason including Internet lag, bugs, Acts of God, your little sister, or any other reason whatsoever. Consult the End User License Agreement for more details. Blizzard will not, and does not have the capability to restore any deceased Hardcore characters. Don't even ask. La-la-la-la-la, we can't hear you.
  • Final Death Mode: Hardcore Mode allows only one life to your character — if you die, your character needs to be deleted.
  • Finger Wag: Baal in the opening cinematic of Lord of Destruction. The incredibly nervous elder representing Sescheron has just delivered a quavering You Shall Not Pass. Baal pauses for a moment as though he's genuinely thinking of turning his Army of Doom back down the mountain to find some other place to pillage... then promptly vaporises the elder's innards. He issues this trope along with the words "It appears your terms are not acceptable", cackles and lays waste to the entire town. A good time was had by all!
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: A part of Hell is the River of Flame, which is classical fire and brimstone. Other parts of Hell include great, dark, ashen plains. This is in contrast to the first Diablo which envisioned Hell as a land of bones, blood and mutilated corpses.
  • 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.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Most of the actual story is narrated by Marius, a random person whom the Dark Wanderer (Diablo) takes along to carry his stuff or something. He is eventually given the task to enter Hell itself to destroy Baal's soulstone, ie. to actually do something, but understandably chickens out. What's interesting is that if Marius is seen as First-Person Peripheral Narrator, then the main character is Diablo, not the Player Character. But since the latter only runs around killing monsters and misses all the real story, even Marius himself seems more like the protagonist at times.
  • First Town: The Rogues' Encampment, with many other towns later after you Get on the Boat.
  • Fishing for Mooks: A strategy in some cases as you do not want to go wading into large melees, the Barbarian's 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.
  • Five-Bad Band: The bosses.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Bosses with the Fire Enchanted modifier will explode violently upon death.
  • Flaming Sword:
    • The Archangel Tyrael used a sword that burned with holy flames, before Baal wrestled it away.
    • The sorceress can enchant weapons with fire. Of course, this ability is almost completely useless in solo play, due to their Squishy Wizard status. But with the right gear and Minmaxing, they can dish out 100k+ damage per hit turning them somewhat into Glass Cannons dealing more damage than just about anything else in the game. Not that a sorceress's weapon actually appears to flame; it just turns bright red. Incidentally, there's actually unused flaming sword animations for the Paladin in the game files. And it does look as cheesy as one would imagine.
  • Flash Step: Played straight with the Assassin's Dragon Flight, which teleports to a target and kicks it. The Paladin's Charge attack is close, allowing a means to dance from place to place at (nearly) untrackable speed, even leaving the trail of afterimages. There's also an armor which allows any class to use the Sorceresses' teleport, which while not technically a flash step, does end up looking quite the same in duels...
  • Flesh Golem: Blood golems, vaguely human-like flesh creatures created by necromancers.
  • Flunky Boss: Unique monsters (and a lot of superunique monsters) which have several minions fighting alongside it. Also, Act I and III boss rooms are filled with normal enemies which can attack with the boss.
  • Flying Weapon: There are haunted scimitars. These may drop a normal scimitar when defeated, or merely shatter.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Diablo II can be beaten without any level grinding at all...on the first difficulty setting. If you haven't been, then good luck with Hell.
  • For Want of a Nail: In the Tomb of Tal Rasha, Diablo is still in his Wanderer form and not yet at full power. Tyrael tries to stop him from freeing Baal and actually has him on the ropes until Marius unwittingly releases Baal when he pulls the latter's soulstone out of Tal Rasha's chest. Faced with two Prime Evils and distracted while berating Marius, Tyrael is quickly overwhelmed. The player finds him bound with the same enchanted bindings that once held Tal Rasha after defeating Duriel.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Malah in Lord of Destruction.
    "You knew it would eventually come down to this. Kill Baal. Finish the game!"
  • Framing Device: The cinematics in the original game are of Marius narrating his adventures. Said narration occurs between the end of the original game and the beginning of the expansion.
  • Freaky Funeral Forms: The Druid's reaction to burial: "Planting the dead. How odd." This is when he enters the Burial Ground.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Gheed could qualify as this and Honest John. Warriv states that, while Gheed is greedy, his wares are beyond reproach, suggesting that he realizes that selling low quality goods means that people would stop buying from him.
  • From Bad to Worse: By the time Diablo II's story begins, 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. 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.
  • Geographic Flexibility: In multiplayer, the wilderness areas outside of towns change shape everytime one plays.
  • Get on the Boat: You need access to a ship to get from Lut Gholein to Kurast.
  • Giant Flyer: The Suckers are small compared to some of the entries on the trope page... but are still weird mosquito-things as big as a large man.
  • Giant Mook: Sasquatches, Blunderbores (massive brutes that wield corpses like clubs), giant walking trees, and the megademons are back from the first game. The goatmen appearing in all three games, while roughly human sized, are still pretty large and imposing considering most opponents you encounter before meeting them for the first time.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Duriel. He is an important lore character in the greater Diablo canon and has a detailed backstory (none of which can be found in Diablo II, not even in the manual), but unlike Andariel he received no build up or foreshadowing for his fight. 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.
  • Giant Spider: Several kinds of giant spiders figure prominently as enemies in Act 3 (Kurast).
  • Giggling Villain: In Lord of Destruction, Baal has a cutscene intro where he giggles just before casting a spell that blows Cessuron's guardian to bits. From there, it scales up into full-blown maniacal laughter.
  • Gimmick Level: Diablo II had the Secret Cow Level. It's a secret level, full of cows. They are armed with bardiches, walk on two legs, and there are lots of them. In the original Diablo, there were rumours of a secret cow level that did not actually exist, so they made one for Diablo II to shut the fans up.note 
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: The Necromancer, after defeating Mephisto for the first time:
    Good journey, Mephisto. Give my regards to the abyss.
  • Global Currency Exception: The value of gold coins quickly reached the Money for Nothing stage, so instead, players began using a very valuable ring, the Stone of Jordan (or SoJ) as a standard currency for player-to-player interactions; it could easily be farmed through gaming the ingame casino, at least until Blizzard caught on and whacked it with a nerfbat, but it was a useful and compact item for player trading.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks:
    • Angels are expressly forbidden from directly aiding mankind. The archangel Tyrael tries to give advice, but that's about all he can do aside from taking your cash to resurrect your minions (technically falling under indirect help).
    • And it's explained in some of the supplementary works that most of the angels actively despise humanity because they are partly descended from demons, and would be perfectly happy to see humanity wiped out.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: In Act IV, the player must journey through Hell and face down the titular Prime Evil, Diablo. The player is instructed in what to do and how to proceed by the Archangel Tyrael, who is forbidden to aid the player directly. Of course, given Tyrael's pitiful performance fighting Diablo and Baal two acts ago, the player is probably more powerful than him anyway. Which is a very worrying notion, if you think about it. Mere mortals are not supposed to be able to kick vastly more ass than a damn archangel. Tyrael is still a huge improvement compared to the other archangels that have no interest in saving humanity from the Prime Evils (or have interest, but can't betray the obstructive laws), especially the leader of the archangels Imperius who also thinks we need to die.
  • 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 and later on Malthael (Auriel and Itherael are more considerate, but they didn't have enough guts to break the law like Tyrael, so they still refer to that law of non-interference). 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.
  • Golem: The Necromancer can summon fighting golems made of clay, metal, blood, or fire. Clay Golems slow opponents and have HP, Metal Golems take on the properties of what they're created from, Blood Golems can steal life to heal itself and the Necromancer (prior to the final patch, this link functioned both ways, harming the Necromancer when the golem is hit), and Fire Golems are immune to fire and grow stronger when hit by fire attacks as well as having a damaging fire aura.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The Angels all have bright tendrils of light, though we only ever see one in action in a cut scene, and he gets his ass kicked (granted, he was doing pretty well until the second Prime Evil started ganking him).
  • The Goomba: Every act had one set of these buggers: The Fallen in act 1, the Mummies in act 2, the Pygmies in act 3, Doom Knights in act 4 (not particularly weak, but they still fit the pattern, in the context of act 4), and the Minions (the short, hunchback pig-men with spikes on their backs) in act 5.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • The player may collect various armor sets; if you get all the pieces you usually get a special bonus.
    • In Act II, the hero must collect the pieces of the Horadric Staff, then combine them in the Horadric Cube.
    • In Act III, the hero must collect various relics, then combine them in the Horadric Cube to open the entrance to the Durance of Hate.
  • Go Wait Outside: In Act 3, Alkor the alchemist tells you to busy yourself while he's experimenting with the ashes of Ku'yleh, but clicking on him again is more than enough.
  • Gradual Grinder: Necromancers, and oddly enough, Paladins.
    • A Paladin with a high-enough Defense aura could play Last Man Standing with large packs of monsters. 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.
    • The Necromancer has a wide variety of options for keeping enemies crippled while gradually wearing them down, with no appreciable attrition. The other option was a Necromancer equipped with the spell Poison Dagger. Typically the higher the poison damage, the longer it would take to kill something. On the downside, since the Necromancer was something of a Squishy Wizard, it was entirely possible to get killed by a monster that didn't know it was dead yet. On the upside, it was also possible to run away just far enough that a poisoned monster would fall over just before it got the chance to hit you, in keeping with the Rule of Cool.
    • A summoning Druid could also let his minions do the heavy lifting while slowly poisoning all opponents.
  • 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.
  • Green Hill Zone: Act I takes place in the forested areas between the Rogues' encampment and their Monastery.
  • Grim Up North: The barbarian homeland is way up in the snowy mountain peaks; however, the grimness is subverted as their entire culture is dedicated to battling evil.
  • Ground Pound: Barbarians have Leap and Leap Attack skills. Both create circular shockwaves that knock enemies back.
  • 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, 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.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: The two close-quarters combat classes - the Barbarian and the Paladin - are male. The Sorceress is a ranged combatant, and the Amazon specializes in bows, javelins and spears - only the latter is close-quarters. The Assassin (female) can actually do both, depending on whether you concentrate on traps (her shuriken attack) or martial arts.
  • Had To Be Sharp: This is the background of the Barbarian class. Though they specifically reject technology and magic because they think it will make them weaker in the long run.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Goatmen and catmen. Also inverted, humans are in fact demon/angel hybrids.
  • Happy Ending Override: Diablo II is one of the few games that matches Chrono Cross in the sheer brutality of this—everything you did in the first game only made the problem worse. The third game, surprisingly, did not do the same to the second game.
    • Though not for a lack of trying. Apparently, Adria was following you and gathering the spirits of all the Lords of Hell you defeated, for her own end the whole time.
  • Harder Than Hard: In addition to the highest difficulties, the games also have Hardcore mode, which is like Roguelikes in its difficulty in that you only get one life to play through the game with, and once you die, that's it for your character.
  • 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.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Drops on Nightmare and Hell difficulties are much better.
  • Hat of Power: Characters(and NPC mercenaries) can both equip a wide variety of powerful magic headgear. Barbarians and druids can each acquire headgear that can only be worn by their specific class.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The series includes a Crapsack World in which the legions of hell take over Earth while the inhabitatants of heaven don't want to interfere. This also allows an angel, Tyrael, to play an important part in the games' affairs.
  • Healing Spring: Wells. A character can drink about half the water contained in one to restore a decent chunk of health, mana, and stamina.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry:
    • Monsters in hell difficulty usually have base attack damage that are around 1/100th of their HP.
      • Maw Fiend: 11128~19782 HP, 81~139 melee attack, 130~160 corpse spit damage
      • Burning Soul: 2008~5059 HP, 42~108 attack damage, (42~108)+(188~282) lightning damage. These damage figures are the result of a game bug which was eventually fixed, but the creature is still very dangerous due to a combination of fast, extremely long range, and high damage lightning attacks 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. 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.
  • Hell: The games use Hell and an attempt to stop a demonic invasion in their stories. Diablo II involves a journey straight into Hell itself, a landscape of burnt, smoldering plains of ash.
  • Hellgate:
    • Apparently, whatever horrors were committed in the temple of the Zakarum under Kurast weakened the fabric of reality enough that it was easier to create a portal into Hell from there. This may have been because Mephisto didn't want to reveal himself to the world yet, though.
    • In Lord of Destruction, the plateaus are littered with portals to Hell. Those were likely forcibly created during Baal's ascent up the mountain, though, rather than being weak spots that always existed. Although maybe not — Harrogath was always a very important location, cosmogically speaking.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Since all of the speeches are prerecorded, they simply refer to the player as "Hero" or variations thereof instead of mentioning you by name.
  • Heroic Albino: The Necromancer is at first glance one of those magical albinos, but TPTB suggest that he gained his pale skin and bleached hair from years of studying in tombs, crypts, and other dark and sickly places. Then again, maybe getting scared silly is an occupational hazard.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Fittingly averted with the Necromancer, who is truly incorruptible because of his devotion to the great Cycle of Being.
  • Hide Your Children: While exploring the monster-packed ruins of Tristram, you can find Wirt's remains (as well as his peg leg, which you can use as a weapon, and a stash of gold he likely conned off the player character in the last game). After defeating Diablo (and either starting a new game or moving on to the Lord of Destruction expansion) go back to the rogue camp from act 1 and combine it with a Tome of Town Portal and enter the infamous Cow Level!
    • As a Mythology Gag in Warcraft III, you can acquire an artifact called "Wirt's Other Leg" that boosts your hero's attack power. In World of Warcraft, you can recover Wirt's Third Leg, a fairly rare and fairly powerful one-handed mace. As a Shout-Out, you can retrieve "Wart's Peg Leg" in Hellgate: London, though Wart is a much less obnoxious character and he doesn't have to die for you to get it.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Tonnes of opportunities to deploy this trope. Deploy this trope against any melee opponent who looks too scary.
    • You could specialize in this strategy by using items and charms with FRW (faster run/walk) and self-guided missiles (the Amazon's Guided Arrow or the Necromancer's Bone Spirit.)
    • A Poison Bone Necromancer added a new level to this strategy by using Bone Wall, which created obstacles in your opponents' path and/or trapped them if they couldn't teleport (rather than speeding up themselves, they slowed down their opponent.)
    • In the .08 version of the expansion pack, this strategy was considered a game killer because of the skill Pierce. The guided arrow would pierce through the opponent, turn around, hit the opponent again, and again, and again. The Amazon could also release several Guided Arrows while the first one was still active, and thus 5-10 arrows would be automatically piercing through the opponent. People were killing game bosses offscreen in under a minute. Guided Arrow Amazons were routinely outlawed in player duels, and naked Amazons with only a weapon could defeat much stronger players.
    • The Sorcerer's Blizzard, Firewall and Meteor spells were cast behind the sorcerer on enemies, then the sorcerer would run around in a circle around the spell's splash damage area so that the monsters would take the damage. With .09, the Druid and Assassin characters could also do this with their upgraded skills. The Sorceress' Blaze spell also worked very well for this at low levels, creating a line of fire wherever you walked. You didn't even have to turn around to hit them.
    • The Amazon's Lightning Fury would be used in a strategy called "herding." A large number of enemies were grouped together, and the Amazon would run in a circle casting Lightning Fury, avoiding damage. Sometimes, another player would help the Amazon by herding the monsters for them (usually they had skills or items to make them move faster.) As this strategy was first invented on the Cow Level, the helper became known as a "sheepdog."
    • The 1.10 patch brought in runewords, including Enigma which allows any class to use the Teleport skill, allowing for this tactic to be used far more effectively than running would among other things. Anyone can do this except the Amazon, as her slow casting speed means she'd be faster on foot.
  • Homing Projectile: Amazons can fire homing arrows. An early bug combined this with the Piercing skill to make the arrows home onto an enemy, hit them, pass through them, then turn around and do it again.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Gheed, one of the two merchants in Act I, is one of these. He offers you a lifetime guarantee and a two-day warranty on all items (presumably on the basis that he doesn't expect you to last any longer as a hero in a world swarming with monsters). He doesn't, of course, in gameplay terms, charge any more than any other merchants. He probably also qualifies as a Friend in the Black Market, as Warriv intimates that Gheed's goods are of high quality.
  • Hope Spot: The cinematics in the original game are a huge Hope Spot as Marius narrates his adventure to a cloaked man whom he believes to be the archangel Tyrael. It was actually the Prime Evil Baal, and Marius was doomed the moment he set foot in that room.
  • Horny Devils: Baal's personal harem is unleashed in Lord of Destruction. Albeit, they're not particularly sexual creatures, rather color-coded, fireball-flinging, batwinged, naked women.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: The reward for one of the quests in Act II is that shopkeepers give you a discount.
  • Hot Bar: There's a hotbar where you can assign your usable items (perhaps most importantly, healing potions) and spells.
  • Hub Level: There's a hub in each of the four main Acts: Rogue's Camp, Lut Gholein, Kurast Docks, Pandemonium Fortress, and Harrogath in the expansion. They served the same purpose as Tristram, though the portal mechanic has been enhanced with Waypoints, which allowed you to go anywhere you already visited.
  • Hybrid Power: The Nephalem are offspring of angels and demons, and have the potential to become far more powerful than either.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Not only do you have the usual not-seen-in-the-game-world inventory, you can acquire literal (in-universe) hyperspace called the Horadric Cube. This item takes up four squares in the player's inventory, but opens up to reveal twelve squares of internal storage.
  • 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: Normal, Nightmare, and Hell difficulty levels, although here they're more like New Game+.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Den of Evil. Halls of the Dead. Flayer Dungeon. In fact, it would be easier to list locations that aren't this trope.
  • Ignoring by Singing: At the end of the disclaimer for hardcore mode, where death is permanent:
    Blizzard will not, and does not have the capability to restore any deceased Hardcore characters. Don't even ask. La-la-la-la-la, we can't hear you...
  • Impossible Item Drop: Watch in awe as a swarm of insects spits up a suit of plate mail!
  • Improbable Weapon User: 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.
  • Improvised Golems: The Necromancer is all over this. Aside from insta-summonable earth and blood golems, he can also make metal golems out of any equipment, which then takes on the enchantments and traits of their raw materials.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness:
    • The Necromancers are specifically stated to be 'above temptations of power' from the demons of hell.
    • A posthumous character, Khalim, was the sole incorruptible member (as well as leader) of the Zakarum faith. Even after he's executed, mutilated and his body parts spread across Act III, he got the last laugh over Mephisto.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Unless you have nice equipment, don't expect enemies to drop from a single cast of Meteor, Armageddon, or Fist of the Heavens.
  • I Need You Stronger: Whether it was Diablo's plan in the first game or not, it works. Failure Is the Only Option, and that's why he's 10 times stronger in Diablo II.
  • 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: 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.
  • In Medias Res: More like "In Ultimas Res." All of the cinematics in the original game take place after Diablo's defeat.
  • The Insomniac: Marius is haunted by dreams of the demons in Tristram. He understandably tries to avoid them by fighting sleep for days at a time. He only sleeps once in the cinematics, noting that it was the first time he slept in weeks, and that was only so Diablo/the Wanderer could send him a vision of Tal Rasha sealing Baal in his own body.
  • Instant Armor: 7 out of the 210 skills in the game are an example of this. Only the Druid, Necromancer, Assassin, and Sorceress can use any of them. All of them, except for the sorceress, who has access to 4 of the skills, can only use 1 of them.
  • Instant Death Radius: Diablo II is loaded with enemies like this, the most notable examples being Diablo and Duriel. Inverted in the case of Mephisto, who has deadly ranged attacks, but will only use wimpy melee attacks at close quarters.
    • Actually, standing up to Diablo is the best way to beat him with a weak character. His lightning hose has a gap right next to him so he'll literally shoot it past you, he won't cast bone prison when you're next to him, his cold melee and firestorm attacks can be dodged since they have big backswings and don't follow you, and his flaming circle attack always hits you anyway. Duriel's radius of death is about the same size as his room, so it doesn't really count. And Mephisto's best fought from across the chasm with a weak character - he doesn't exclusively melee when you're next to him, and his melee is a bit too much for a weak character anyway.
      • Duriel is also easier to survive if either a player or a minion is next to him since that prevents him from using his charge attack, which stuns its target.
    • Melee characters are widely regarded as not viable unless you have the best items in the game. For instance, there are a handful of bugged monsters that are virtually impossible to kill in melee before they annihilate you from extreme range. And one monster type used to cast a curse on you that caused you to pretty much kill yourself when you hit anything in melee. It could cast this while you were in the middle of a whirlwind or zeal hit sequence resulting in an unavoidable instant death.
      • The somewhat popular Lord of Destruction mod "Eastern Sun" nerfed the monster version of the spell in question (Iron Maiden, a Necromancer Curse), thus making it possible to actually complete Act IV with a melee character.
    • The "Median XL" mod has a literal instant death radius in the form of the "witch" monster: a motionless ghost that announces its presence with an eerie song. It does nothing, but when you get close enough she notices you and laughs; if you do not immediately get out of range, she teleports at you and kills you with an unresistable and unblockable attack that deals 50,000 damage per frame.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Act I is a bunch of fields, surrounded by stone and wooden fences that a child could jump over.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: And the Assassin doesn't even need them...
  • In the Hood: Archangel Tyrael wears a hood, completely concealing his face. This eventually proves rather unfortunate — Marius hands the soul stone over to his hooded confessor, who then reveals he is not Tyrael, but Baal. Not that it would have gone better had he known.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: A day/night cycle is present but it usually affects only visibility. Originally, there were magic affixes that only activated during certain times of the day, but they didn't make it to the final game.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Even worse than the first game; while your inventory is bigger, and you can get extra storage with the Horadric Cube, you now have to contend with weapons with odd shapes, runes, and gems, along with everything else. One trick to get around this in a solo or less jerky server is to just drop things on the ground back at base (although you need to stuff everything away before logging out,) which also defangs the only real bite that the game's Death Is a Slap on the Wrist had. Lord of Destruction turned inventory management into a legitimate part of the game with charms. Charms are magical objects of varying size that bestow their (totally cumulative) enchantments on you simply by being carried. This means that a player can choose between having more free inventory space, or having more enchantments from charms.
  • Item Crafting: The Horadric Cube to a limited extent (plus Charsi's "Imbue" reward). Various mods like "Eastern Sun" expand on this, occasionally to an absurd level.
  • 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.
  • Javelin Thrower: The Amazon can specialize in javelins. Technically any character can wield javelins, though only Amazons have a skill tree devoted to them. Some javelin throwing builds can even be effective (such as the Throwbarb), they just are rarely seen since while effective, they're still weaker than the more traditional cookie cutter builds.
  • Joke Item: Wirt's Leg, though this is not necessarily worthless as it is used to gain access to the Secret Cow Level, and Cows provide very good drops for whatever difficulty level you're playing in at the time. You can also enchant Wirt's Leg; it can get some pretty strange and unusual enchantments, such as the very valuable +1/+2 to all skills enchantments or even sometimes an optional socket, so you can put a Perfect Skull to leech health.
  • Joke Level: The Secret Cow Level is a secret level, with specific requirements to reach it, that clashes a bit with the moody setting of the game. While still dark and realistic looking (by graphical standards of the time), it consists of grasslands containing a massive army of bulls who speak by saying the word "moo" over and over again.
  • Jungle Japes: The Kurast Jungle in Act III.

    K - O 
  • Kaizo Trap: Until a player gets familiar with which 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.
  • Kill It with Ice: Diablo II introduces the Cold element to kill stuff and be killed with. It also has a chance of successfully shattering stuff.
  • King Mook: Several fixed king mooks act as bosses and fixed encounters, as well as randomly generated ones that spawn at random locations every time you load the game.
  • Knock Back: Knockback is a specific effect that can be either part of an attack or a modifier on a weapon. Knockback is guaranteed to make an enemy flinch and interrupt their attack, but it may take longer to kill enemies in melee because you'll have to keep walking up to them.
  • Lady Land: Diablo II has an Amazon character, but their description in the manual averts this. The Amazons only allow women to be warriors, but it's because they live in a jungle environment, where the female body is better suited for combat. Men are allowed every right and privilege women are, and can fill all other social roles - they're even allowed into the priesthood, despite the central deity being female. The only difference between male and female social standing is that men aren't allowed in the military.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: The Amazon player class wears one, although it's more like a loincloth in design than a skirt.
  • The Lancer: Tyrael of the Angiris Council to Malthael. He clearly balances out what is right and wrong.
  • Large Ham: This is toned down significantly significantly for the players and friendly NPCs, but the bosses are just as dramatic as ever.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: There's a Good Bad Bug in that when a character is killed while shapeshifted, he shifts back and stays at 1 Hit Point but doesn't die.
  • Last Ditch Move:
    • Many boss and miniboss monsters in the series have AoE elemental explosions that occur on death, which can be very nasty for Hard Core players.
    • The random monster attributes Fire Enchanted and Cold Enchanted not only give their wielders elemental damage of the respective type but upon death they pull off this trope: Fire Enchanted monsters cast Corpse Explosion on their own corpse while Cold Enchanted monsters fire off a Frost Nova. For low-level characters, the latter is VERY nasty as cold damage slows and such monsters rarely go solo.
    • Player characters can acquire this via certain pieces of equipment, such as the unique Rainbow Facet jewels.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The spells "Volcano" and "Molten Boulder".
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • The weakest of the creatures known as "Fallen ones" are red, the stronger version known as "carver" are blue, the strongest (called "Dark ones") are black (not counting a very special purple version).
    • The Balrog-type demon also fits. From the weakest to strongest: Balrog (pale red), Pit Lord (Bluish Black), Venom Lord (Olive Green).
    • Diablo himself: Normal (red), Nightmare (yellow), Hell (black).
    • In keeping with the theme of color-changing items, Diablo II added yellow for rare and green for set items, changing unique to gold. Ironically, it also subverted the system since although rare items had more modifiers, regular magic items could have larger ones, so the weapon with the highest possible damage was actually blue.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The Soulstones turned out to be this as a result of Izual filling the Prime Evils in on how to corrupt them. Mephisto's soulstone in particular resulted in the Zakarum high priesthood becoming corrupted and turning into demons.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Three of the villains are actually the heroes from the first game. The Rogue has become an undead creature haunting the monastery graveyard, the Sorcerer is a mad summoner living in a pocket dimension, and the Warrior is the receptacle for Diablo's reincarnation.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Assassin has a skill called Blade Fury which is weak in comparison 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.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Act IV is fought in Hell, which is probably as Lethal Lava Land as you can get. However, the lava actually behaves the same as walls and there is no way to step on it.
  • Level Grinding: The series revels in this. Diablo II online is basically made of powerleveling. 75% of characters start off like this: Get glitched by a high-level player to beat the game on the highest difficulty at level 1, join a game, go to the second-last room and wait for the other characters to kill things, exit game, go back to step 2. Maybe 0.1% of people actually play the game like you're intended to.
    • Even ignoring online play, this is pretty much a necessity. Try going through the game without level grinding, you probably won't access even a single rank of the highest level skill. Now try and go through the game on Nightmare with that character.
    • If you play on your own (single player), you will not even get enough experience to keep up with the monsters, forcing you to stop and grind. If you play only in full (eight player) online games, you very quickly outlevel the monsters and stop gaining more levels unless you skip ahead. In numerical terms, you gain over five times as much experience in a full game.
    • In single and multiplay, the better gear becomes more important to keeping up than character stats. Because everything Randomly Drops, level grinding is just a byproduct of farming.
  • Level-Locked Loot: Items do have level restrictions, and some items have strength requirements. These requirements can be slightly reduced in-game if the item has the special suffix 'of Freedom' or if it is socketed with a jewel that grants the same suffix.
  • Life Meter: Just as in the first game, the Life Meter takes the form of a globe filled with red liquid, the same color as the life potions. The color changes to green if the character is poisoned. Also, the globe is held up by a little demon statue, characters turn green when poisoned, and other things (gas, throwing potions, damage stats) are green when they relate to poison.
  • A Lighter Shade Of Gray: While the other angels are described as unfathomable in their motivations, Tyrael has humanity's best interests at heart.
  • 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.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The "Lightning" skill tree is the "everything that isn't fire and ice" skill tree. Teleport, telekinesis, force field, etc. all go here.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: The game presents a somewhat annoying case, in that one can only have two skills ready at any one time. For passive skills like Paladin auras, this makes sense, but for normal attacks and spells it's very limiting. The game also lets one assign skills to quick keys, but these only ready skills, actually activating them requires a press of the slot's button.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: In Diablo II each class has a unique repertoire of skills, and only the universal utility spells of Identify and Town Portal are available as single-use, no-requirement scrolls. They can no longer be learned as spells. Up to twenty such scrolls can be bound into a book to take up less inventory space.
  • Limp and Livid: A certain type of skeletal enemy fits this trope to a T. They shamble around dragging enormous broadswords, but if a player gets too close they can swiftly attack.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • As with nearly all branches of RPG's that host both Fighter and Mage types, Diablo II plays this pretty straight. In early levels your physical, combat class will sweep the floor with any Mooks standing in their way. Later levels see the caster become extremely powerful, especially those who went with Frost or Cold effects.
    • 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 
    • 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.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: While shattering is not so much "freeze then crush with blunt instrument" as "freeze then kill normally", it is one of the more effective way of dealing with things that are liable to be resurrected or used somehow by something nearby.
  • Living Shadow: The Assassin can summon a shadowy clone to fight on her side.
  • A Load of Bull:
    • Hell Bovines from the Secret Cow Level.
    • 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: A particularly unpleasant example at the end of Act 2 - in multiplayer games, while you're waiting for the final boss area to load, said boss has already started attacking you, frequently resulting in players being dead before they can do anything. In earlier versions of the expansion, the 5th wave of minions before the final boss caused a similar lag spike. Thankfully, these were fixed in later patches.
  • Locked Door: While not necessary to the plot, locked chests required generic keys to be open. The hero, despite having the strength to vanquish the three prime evils, is incapable of opening these chests without a key unless they're an Assassin.
  • Long-Range Fighter: The Amazon and the Rogues you can hire in Act I. Both specialize in bows, crossbows, and javelins. A few variant builds for other classes fall into this as well, such as the Throwbarb and the Ranger (bow using paladin).
  • Looks Like She Is Enjoying It: The corrupted Sisters do this. In all fairness though, they are moaning in relief out of being released from a bondage to evil.
  • Lord British Postulate: Median XL is a mod that features invulnerable trap-like monsters that kill you instantly when you get near, but don't move. This being Diablo, you can imagine how well that went.
    • Not only that, but players figured out ways to kill monsters that are immune to all elements, monsters that cannot even be targeted (tip: damage reflection) and even monsters that cannot be targeted and are immune to all damage and do not have any attack that would trigger damage reflection. There are even four different ways to do so: resurrect monsters with "burn" damage which bypasses resistances and attacks hit points directly; find the item that summons instakill reanimates on your side when you kill enemies; find the item that summons a certain boss whose death animation is coded to autokill nearby monsters on your side and let it "expire"; or use a bugged passive in combination with Open Wounds to cause the monster to take physical damage despite being immune to it.
  • Low Level Run:
    • High-level characters could go to the last Waypoint of each act and send a Town Portal to be used by low-level players in their party. This allowed n00bs to gain access to certain areas without completing the prerequisite quests: for example, getting to the Canyon of the Magi without killing the Summoner, or to the Durance of Hate without ever assembling Khalim's Will. This was nerfed in the 1.10 patch.
    • An allegedly popular set of challenges are the 1@17, 2@20, 3@30 Diablo kills — basically, killing the final boss on a difficulty setting at the earliest possible level. To use the Hell entrance in Normal difficulty requires a character level of 17, to access Nightmare difficulty requires a level of 20, and Hell difficulty is accessible at 30. Each challenge is to be attempted solo, though you are not required to attempt or complete any of the earlier challenges to attempt the coveted 3@30.
    • There's also the literal lowest-level-possible challenge, which can be attempted only using outdated patches. And we have the Ironman challenges of various difficulty, the impossible no-items-no-skills-no-stats challenge, and of course any build or item choice less than optimal will be challenging at least to defend against hecklers.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Diablo II, in respect of being a Fantasy RPG, features shields. Notably, the Paladin class has a few abilities that require their use.
  • Luck Stat: Items can give the player an increased chance to find magic items and/or a boost to the amount of gold dropped.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Any monster with the 'Fire Enchanted' trait promptly cover a decent amount of the ground with themselves upon death. This gets especially silly with the boss of the Flayer Dungeon, as you have to defeat him twice and has Fire Enchanted in both forms. Necromancers can do this to nearly any dead enemy with Raise Skeleton (Mage) or Corpse Explosion, as well.
    • Some monsters also break into gibs upon a normal sword-bashing death. It's funny to cast the resurrection spell with a necromancer on them and watch the death animation play backwards. Gibs fly into the air and connect with each other, forming a fully functional undead monster.
    • Interestingly, if one kills a swarm of locusts and attempts to raise a skeleton from the "corpse", the same bloody explosion will occur and produce a perfect human skeleton complete with weapon. Also, if you kill an enemy skeleton, you can cast the raise-skeleton spell on it, but first it too must explode in a shower of blood and gory effluence.
    • Aah, Corpse Explosion. Blow up a tiny Leaper or Fetish and get a blood fountain as glorious as if you'd blown up an entire Blood Maggot. A dry, fleshless Skeleton Warrior? Gibs aplenty. That one little animation, illogical as it may be, provides so much catharsis.
    • Many of the Druid's powers explode corpses too... carrion vines and solar creepers, for example, but also summoned Dire Wolves who always appreciate a quick snack and are apparently very messy eaters.
  • MacGuffin: Diablo II continues the trend:
    • Act I: 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 II: 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 III: Similar to Act II, 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 IV: 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 V: 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: This is increased from Diablo. 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.
  • Mage Killer: The Assassin is a member of the Viz-jaq'taar, an order formed by the Vizjerei mage clans and tasked with hunting down and eliminating rogue mages who traffic with demons.
  • Mage Marksman: The Amazon, whose archery was supplemented by support magic such as making enemies glow, which make them easier targets and summoning Valkyries.
  • Magical Accessory: Characters can equip a wide variety of magical rings, amulets, and tiaras.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The Paladin (who can use both defensive and offensive magical auras) and the Assassin (with her magical martial arts) are the closest fits. The Druid can specialize in either magic or physical combat (with his shapeshifting tree), but doesn't really count since it's hard for him to do both at once.
    • The Monk class from Hellfire, the unofficial expansion for the original Diablo. In the original game, the starting class mostly just affected the starting stats and character art, so it was possible to build any class into at least a partial spell caster by spending your level-ups right.
    • The Necromancer's skills allow for a 'Meleemancer' build, which relies on primarily on curses to allow the Necro to cherrytap monsters to death without much risk.
    • The sorceress herself, being fully capable of holding two handed weapons and heavy armor given enough strength, and with the enchantment spell and some specialisation talentpoints can surpass any other class in single hit melee damage.
  • Magic Staff: Diablo II had simpler staves than in the first game that provided bonuses to sorceress' skills. They can also have high melee damage, but are not likely to be used in an actual fight. An exception to this is the unique staff "Ribcracker", which is a fairly popular weapon for shapeshifter druids who don't have access to the high end expensive runewords.
  • Magitek: The Assassin's gadgets such as the lightning trap, flame trap and blade barrier would fall under this. As a coven of mage hunters, the assassins avoid making use of spells. However, as a former mage clan, they've instead dedicated themselves to developing psychic powers and engineering weapons and tools based on their old magics.
  • Magic Wand:
    • Necromancers and sorceresses can use wands that provide bonuses to their spells. However, they're used as clubs in combat. Weak, easily breakable, expensive to repair clubs: but if you need to use it as a club, you're probably doing it wrong, though they often apply impressive elemental damage to their attackes.
    • One particular unique staff, the "Ribcracker", gives no bonuses to skills but instead has several +damage or +attack speed modifiers. It is surprisingly good for Spam Attack builds such as Zealot Paladins or Werewolf Druids.
  • Magnet Hands: Cows wielding bardiches...with their hooves.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Barbarian 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. They can also grant allies temporary buffs.
  • Mana: It's the fuel for spells of all types.
  • Mana Burn: The "Mana Burn" stat that can spawn on unique monsters, which takes some of your mana when they hit you. There are also regular monsters with mana draining attacks. Encountering a monster with both Mana Burn and lightning enchanted is fun.
  • Mana Meter: The mana orb is blue and held by a statue of an angel.
  • Mana Potion:
    • Mana Potions restored your character's mana.
    • Magical weapons could have a special ability that restored your mana when they hit an opponent.
  • Mana Shield: The Sorceress has an Energy shield that diverts a proportion of damage to Magic points.
  • Marathon Boss: Diablo himself, who not only has a ton of HP, but most certainly is a threat. You'll spend a lot of time attacking and a lot of time dying.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Several levels qualify in the higher difficulties, but the most egregious is the Durance of Hate second floor. What makes this example especially annoying is that, besides its incredible length (its area is several times a regular level), there's a chance for it to be filled of Stygian Dolls. Good luck making through that incredibly long level while fighting them every three rooms.
    • Replace "difficulty" with "tedium" and you have the Maggot Lair in Act II. You have a giant maze of hallways, each a single sprite wide. As in, no enemies or allies can cross another enemy or ally; everything blocks everything's pathnote . This means you are forced to fight anything in front of you. There are lot of things in front of you. Only one melee fighter can attack one enemy at a time. Decided to bring one of the town's lancing mercenaries with you? Well expect them to be either bored or dead. If you had the misfortune of going the wrong way, well then it looks like you're going to have to go through said process all over again. Needless to say, it's not one of the game's more attractive experiences.
  • Master of None: The Druid is sometimes accused of being a Master Of None. He uses elemental magic, nature summons, and has shapeshifting for melee. However, his magic is weaker than the sorceress', often with huge timers placed on them. His summons are limited to 1, 3, or 5 damaging minions, while the Necromancer can have somewhere around 40 skeletons total. His melee skills are up to the task, but since his were-forms have limited durations, he has to worry about turning back into a human mid-battle.
  • Master of Unlocking: The Assassin can unlock chests without a key. Some have complained that it's a pointless skill, since keys are so easy to come by in the game that you're usually selling the extras to make room in your inventory.
  • Mayincatec: Kehjistan combines Mayincatec building elements with South Asian jungles. It is also the seat of power of a monotheistic, very Christian influenced world religion, and most of it has a very Darkest Africa feel. They do practice blood sacrifice - to the prime evil Mephisto, probably without even knowing it.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Act I takes place in the same medieval region as the first game, and takes it even further by expanding the area around Tristram and featuing the Monastery.
  • Meta Power-Up: Some very high level items that increased XP gain, and items ranging from low to high levels that increase gold drops or the chance that randomly dropped items will be magical (and the power of magical items that drop).
  • The Minion Master: Summon-focused necromancers can have more than 30 minions of various types on screen at a time. Druids can summon a small horde of minions too, though theirs are far less effective.
  • Min-Maxing: Diablo II is pretty much an exercise in minmaxing. Every build has optimal stat and skill placement and item choices. Deviating from the build in any way, or heaven forbid trying to make something unique or using whatever equipment you pick up off the ground, ensures that you will have to use effort to get through hell difficulty. Furthermore, minmaxing extends to the items as well as characters. Getting items with stats that are perfect or near perfect cost many times more than the going rate, even if the difference is only a 1%.
  • 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).
  • Money for Nothing: Money has three uses: 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. 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.
  • Money Multiplier: Gold Find.
  • Money Sink:
    • In the 1.10 update, Blizzard added a special encounter with a "Diablo Clone" (who drops a very powerful item) if and only if enough Stones of Jordan are sold to vendors in the game. The SOJ was a powerful ring that was duped to such ridiculous levels that it served as the de facto currency in the game, and the Diablo Clone was Blizzard's way of getting rid of excess SoJs.
    • Gambling allows one a relatively decent odds of getting a desired item, assuming one has sufficient money (it "only" takes a few thousand tries, if you're not unlucky). No-twink/single players will also practically require it in order to make sure all their gear is adequate at any given time.
  • Monster Allies: Necromancers can create skeletons out of fallen enemies to fight alongside him. Until he learns the Revive spell, which is the pinnacle of necromancy because it animates a creature in a way that gives it access to all the intelligence it had in life but gives control to the Necromancer, they all turn into humanoid, human-sized skeletons—even if they were previously foot-tall imp demons. Or a cloud of flies. Or a ghost, or a bug. At least the imps might have bones. This is apparently justified by Necromancers not actually using the bones of a defeated enemy for creating the skeleton, but rather just using the dead energy of it to animate other bones. Somehow.
  • Monsters Everywhere: Standard, where anywhere other than the towns will be absolutely swarming with monsters, including the sewers under the town. This is justified, since literally all Hell is flooding into the mortal realm and the world is nearing its destruction.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Several enemies can revive dead enemies (such as the fallen shaman).
    • Sand Worms lay eggs that hatch into hordes of baby sand worms, Flesh Spawners spit up small creatures, Blood Hawk nests continually spawn Blood Hawks, Mummy Sarcophagi continually spawn Mummies, and Demon Huts continually spawn Demon Imps.
    • The Necromancer has the ability to summon Helpful Mooks (such as skeletons and Golems).
  • Mook Medic: Zakarum Priests, Council Members and Overlords, and Unravellers counted as well.
  • Multishot: Several of the Amazon powers including one actually named Multi-Shot. Certain monsters can spawn with this attribute as well.
  • Mummy: Mummies are a particularly common enemy in Act II. The lore says that unlike zombies with their rotten flesh, mummies conserve their muscles and tissues intact which makes them physically stronger than other types of undead. Mummies can be produced in infinite numbers from sarcophagi and "die" in a burst of poisonous gases (from the chemicals used to preserve their ancient bodies escaping, of course), and greater mummies, the remains of Horadric mages who, to honor them, had animal parts grafted onto their bodies in death. They could raise other kinds of undead (but not each other) and threw black "Unholy Bolts".
  • Muzzle Flashlight: The official guide suggests using fire arrows or spells to scout ahead in dark areas.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The series features a plan that requires two deaths, masterminded by the eponymous demon himself. It was first hinted at in Diablo II by the fallen angel Izual, who hints that the deaths of the Prime Evils are serving some greater purpose. In Diablo III, the purpose is to get all the defeated Evils, Prime and Lesser, into the same Black Soulstone, which is then jammed into the chest of the daughter Diablo fathered after being killed the first time. This allows Diablo to become the personality in charge of the full power of the Prime Evil.
  • Named Weapons: All magic weapons are named. Names in yellow are random Noun+Verber; names in green are part of a set (and usually named for the set); names in brown are unique epic-level weapons. As a quest reward, you can ask a person to inscribe one of your objects with your name.
  • Necromancer:
    • Diablo II has its Necromancer player character. He can raise skeletons, summon golems, revive the dead, dish out poison and element-less magic damage, debuff enemies with curses, and a favorite of many players: make enemy corpses explode. (Ironically, necromancers are described as the only non-divine magic-users whose abilities aren't inherently corruptive—they're devoted not to death, but to the cycle of life and death, and they oppose Hell because the demons have been trying to break the cycle.)
    • Legacy of Blood has Kara Nightshadow as a heroine, and is genuinely one of the good guys. She often has to explain to other characters how her use of death magic doesn't conflict with her apparent alignment.
    • The Kingdom of Shadow and Moon of the Spider feature Zayl and his "companion" Humbart. Humbart is a spirit bound to a skull. Nothing else, just a skull. He can see, hear, and talk, but that is about it. Zayl makes it a point to keep Humbart hidden when he's around anyone else, lest they think he's evil.
    • The Sin War trilogy briefly explains the origins of the Necromancers. There are 3 worlds in the Diablo multiverse, they are basically Heaven, Hell, and Sanctuary (Earth). Heaven is at war with Hell, and both sides think they could win by "recruiting" the mortals of Sanctuary. Necromancers want Sanctuary to stay neutral/not involved. They would like to kick ALL Angels and Demons out of Sanctuary, but, lacking the ability to do so, they wind up fighting against whichever side is winning. Usually Demons/evil has a stronger influence, so the Necromancers are on the side of the Angels/good.
  • New Game+: Like the first game, you can replay the entire game after you've completed a difficulty level. The Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels are more like this. Early Nightmare/Hell is balanced for characters that just finished Normal/Nightmare.
  • Nice Hat: The Harlequin Crest returns, and 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's a neon green hood. You can also wear skull helmets, winged helmets, and assorted other interesting headgear.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Every hero in the series has done something or another to screw things up. Including frigging Tyrael, your archangel ally. Marius, however, is the shining example. Not only does he violently bugger up by yanking Tal Rasha's Soulstone (and thus releasing Baal) while Diablo and Tyrael were occupied, but he breaks things worse by inaction due to not going through the Hell Gate and having the Soulstone fragment destroyed. This does little to make his death at the end of the main game any less tragic.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Necromancer goes squee over the Arcane Sanctuary:
    This is fantastic! I wish I had time to study this bizarre dimension.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The underlings of a necromancer PC: hey, the bad guys can't have all the fun!
  • Nipple and Dimed: Mainly averted, where the corpses had Barbie Doll Anatomy, and all female enemies were wearing bikinis at least, with the one exception of Andariel, who while having her chest exposed, wore pasties with chains attached to them.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • There are certain techniques that destroy bodies, which is important because some enemy summoners can resurrect them.
    • Some enemies (like the Maw Beasts) eat and spit corpses on you.
  • No Hero Discount: As in the first game, you have to pay for everything, regardless of your heroic deeds; the only break from this is that there are two quests (one each in Acts II and V) that will reduce prices. Even Tyrael and the two merchants in Act IV 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. The official Diablo II online database lampshades this humorously:
    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.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: In the backstory, Tal Rasha gives his followers one of these orders after inserting Baal's soulstone into his own body. Unfortunately, no one told Marius.
  • Non-Elemental: Non-elemental magic damage, which very few enemies have resistance to. All seven character classes except the Druid and Sorceress have at least one skill for dealing magic damage, and there are some unique items that add magic damage to your attacks.
  • Non-Human Undead: Necromancers can get the ability to animate the corpses of their enemies as they were in life instead of somehow ending up with humanoid skeletons, as happens before this.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: In single player, if you use "player 8" mode, (or on battle.net, when soloing inside fairly full games) the monsters will get bonuses as if you where playing in a full multiplayer game, and also give extra XP and loot accordingly. While this does make the game harder in some ways, the level difference (between monster and player) and the loot are a big factor in difficulty, so this mode is only a bit harder early on, when the difficulty is very low anyway due to the very slow difficulty build up through the game. The experience and loot boost will proceed to push you so far ahead that the hard parts get a lot easier.
  • Non-Player Companion: The second installment introduced the henchmen system, which allows you to hire a companion in all but one towns, though only one can follow you at any time. The companion can Level Up and be equipped with better gear, but does not replace the Player Party, which consists of other players' characters online.
    • Certain skills allow you to summon these, such as the Amazon's Valkyrie and the Assassin's Shadow Warrior/Master.
  • Noob Cave: Blood Moor and the Den of Evil, populated by an assortment of non-threatening creatures whose job it is to die in a couple of hits and provide the novice character with some basic gear and their first couple of level-ups. The very first mission is the Den of Evil, which has you clearing out a cave of zombies because they might attack the Rogue Encampment. Emphasis on might because the cave is full of low-level zombies, fallen that can be one-shotted with ease and the weaksauce wannabe-giants that get killed with one hit once you reach level three, and then you meet up with a single rogue laying waste to twenty or so of them on top of evil amazon-chick reincarnated-and-then-re-killed-by-the-sentry corpses in the Cold Plains in the very next mission. Oh, and said sentry is just the guard to keep the difficult monsters from chasing you into the non-noob part of the first act. Yeah, way to spread your resources, Akara. Totally a Chessmaster when it comes to defending your peeps. *headdesk*
  • Nostalgia Level: One quest ended with a return to the town of Tristram, where the first game took place. Except that, typically for the series, everyone had been turned into zombies. The developers even took the time to position corpses where each of the NPCs from the first game were standing.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Paladin ability "Holy Bolt". Virtually useless unless you're focusing on healing teammates or damaging Undead. Of course, only a 1/4 of all the monsters in the game are Undead so you're helpless against everything else, but Holy Bolt does smash the daylights out of Undead.
    • If you spec out a Paladin to maximize Holy Bolt's healing properties, you won't be able to hit any monsters past Act 3 Normal. On the other hand, with the right gear (Faster Cast Rate rings for the win) you can heal 500+ HP a second. Not bad for a game that allegedly doesn't have a healing class.
    • Though the Sorceress's Blaze (which makes fire appear where you walk) is mostly useless, it makes an effective kiting tactic against Duriel. More than most classes, the Sorceress desperately needs to stay out of his Instant Death Radius; with Blaze, you can get him to chase you around in a circle in your trail of fire until he eventually dies.
  • 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.
  • Obviously Evil: While Diablo plays this trope straight with most of the antagonists, who are almost all blood-thirsty, cannibalistic, Always Chaotic Evil demons, this was averted with the Necromancer, who has white skin, dresses in black with skulls, uses spells based on corpses, blood and poison... but is at worst an Anti-Hero and one of the playable characters.
  • Older Is Better: All of the items with more obscure ancient names are for some reason better.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Arcane Sanctuary, which is floating in space.
  • One Bullet at a Time: You can cast as many missiles as you like ... but then you might not see them. Hilarity Ensues when fighting against a multi-shot lightning-enchanted boss while you have slow missiles active, where moving in the wrong direction (or not at all) will get you kill by hot air.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Barbarians can wield two-handed weapons like this, allowing for either a shield or another weapon (even another two-handed weapon) to be used in the other hand, though they take a damage penalty for one-handed use. For barbarians using a Frenzy build, however, nothing tops it.
  • 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-Hit Polykill: The Amazon has a Bow skill called Pierce, which causes arrows to pass through multiple enemies. When combined with Strafe, which splits an arrow to hit multiple targets... carnage ensues.
    • In older versions, this produced amusing results when used with the "guided arrow" skill - the arrow would hit the target, fly out the other side, and immediately turn around to have another go (and possibly repeat up to 5 times).
    • Some projectile weapons also have the Piercing Attack trait, rated 1 to 100% chance to pierce a target. The Buriza-Do Kyanon unique crossbow was the preferred weapon of many Amazons, called "Burizons", who specialized in Strafe and (when it worked) Guided Arrow.
      • As well as this works with bows, it works much better when the Amazon uses a Javelin. Her Lightning Fury skill makes a number of lightning bolts fly out towards the enemies and at high levels you get a very high number of bolts. Combine it with piercing and the javelin will go on to hit another target... and release the entire volley of lightning bolts again. And again. And again. The more enemies you have together the faster all of them will drop dead, making this perhaps the ultimate example.
  • 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. 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 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.
    • Vitality: PUT EVERYTHING YOU HAVE HERE!
    • Energy: never put anything into this. (Even when playing a sorceress!)
    • 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, unless you're an Energy Shield sorceress (Energy Shield redirects up to 95% of damage they take to their mana instead of their hitpoints).
    • The 1.13c patch 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.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: There's a quest where you must touch five cairn stones in a certain order. The correct order is given on a particular scroll. You don't need to read the scroll; brute-force guessing works fine, as long as you have the scroll. Without it, the cairns do nothing no matter how much you click them.
  • Organ Drops: One quest in Act III 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.
    "Ah... Khalim's Eye... Only it can reveal the true path to Mephisto."
    "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."
    Ahhh, Khalim's Spleen...!
  • 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.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: The Druid has an entire skill tree dedicated to transforming into a werewolf or a were-bear, and special attacks that can be used in those forms.
  • Out of the Inferno: Baal does a variant at the end of the game, where everything behind him is catching on fire after he passes it. Well, he is the Lord of Destruction...
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: And not just monsters. The Paladin 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.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: While it doesn't sound like much compared to other examples on this page, the Amazon's "Impale" attack can take as much as 6 seconds to complete. Problem is, this is a game in which most other melee characters are attacking at speeds of 2-5 attacks per second, and the game is balanced accordingly. Any Impale-based build requires a mercenary or summon to tank so her attacks don't get interrupted before she can land a hit.

    P - T 
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Projectiles only really become dangerous when there are loads of them, or they home. The Amazons also have a spell that slows down any missile. The partial exception to this is the red lightning Diablo itself fires, which is very difficult to avoid completely. Unfortunately, the Amazon's arrows also qualify which is why she gets fancy multi-shot and machine gunning skills to compensate.
  • Painful Transformation: The Dark Wanderer assumes Diablo's true form in the cinematic between Acts III and IV. Lumps move under his skin, horns sprout from his brow, and his face stretches and twists as he howls in pain. Thankfully, he collapses and the rest of the transformation occurs hidden under his cloak.
  • The Paladin: The Paladin is one of the selectable classes. He left the Corrupt Church of Zakarum and seeks to destroy the demons responsible for its corruption.
  • Palette Swap: As in the first game, different monster varieties are shown this way; 3 to 6 variants, as well as champion/unique monsters.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Bookshelves usually yield a single spell tome at best.
  • Patchwork Map: Averted; there's a specific 'travel gap' between the different Acts - an (unseen and assumed) caravan takes you from the temperate Rogues camp to the desert of Lut Gholein, then an unseen boat takes you from the desert to the jungle of Kurast, then the end of that Act opens a magical portal directly to Hell. If you have the LoD expansion, a helpful angel teleports you directly from Hell to the fifth Act in the snowy mountains.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The first area of Act V used to be a great place to level grind thanks to relatively easy monsters who gave exp like candy. It got fixed in a patch later on though.
    • The general peninsulas for Diablo 2 are something along the lines of:
      • Tristram for 1-15
      • Tomb runs for 15-20
      • Cow level for 20-25
      • Baal Runs on varying difficulty modes for 25 on.
    • Getting a Bug Rush to Act 4 in Hell Mode at level 24+ can get you to level 65+ in mere minutes.
    • There's also an Ascended Glitch that lets you equip items to gain stats, which lets you equip even better items. Given the proper (extremely hard to find, due to Rare Item drop rates/combinations, forging, and the other ways of getting gear in the game) you can equip just about any item in the game by using this feature.
  • Percent Damage Attack:
    • The Sorceress has the Static Field skill, which does damage equal to 25% of target's current HP including bosses. Resistances and immunities apply. On Nightmare and Hell difficulties, this skill cannot reduce the health of enemies below 33% and 50% respectively. Against other players, it does only 4.375% damage after applying PvP damage reduction.
    • The Crushing Blow item modifier provides a chance to reduce the HP of target monster, boss, or hostile player by 1/4, 1/8, and 1/10 respectively with each successful attack. This works with ranged attacks but the effect is halved.
  • Perpetual Beta: Diablo II is more notable than the first game 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 God: Three of these, aptly named the Prime Evils.
  • 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?
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • To some extent, the Countess may qualify for this. The first time you kill her, her spirit (in gaseous form) floats into a chest in the middle of the room, which pops open and dumps out several dozen piles of gold. With the most recent patch, even in subsequent battles, on higher difficulties she has a better chance of dropping runes than most enemies, and probably the best chance proportional to the amount of effort needed to find and kill her. In addition to being useful in their own right, runes have also become the standard trade commodity of the Battle.net community.
    • Pindleskin was not intended to be this, if being patched is any indication, but before then it could drop the most powerful items in the game.
  • Pixel Hunt: Thankfully, this was removed by adding an Alt-key function to show all items on the ground.
  • Plaguemaster: The Necromancer has a whole skilltree devoted to poisons. Werewolf druids gain the rabies skill, allowing their bite to deliver a poison that can be spread from one enemy to another simply by being in close proximity to each other.
  • Player-Generated Economy: For a while, multiplayer servers were frequent to item duplication, making in-game gold worthless and duplicated rare items (especially the Stone of Jordan) forming the main unit of currency. In closed servers, item duplication is illegal, so trade is better-regulated, though open servers are not.
  • Player Mooks: You can hire expendable mercenaries in town to aid you.
  • Plot Coupon: Used repeatedly:
    • 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 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. It's also essential to being able to access the Secret Cow level.
  • Point Build System: There's a class/level system, but each class has skills that can be purchased like a point build.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Low-level Necromancers can enchant daggers with poison. Poison enchantments on weapons was also quite common, even though these enchantments were generally far from lethal in any way. Assassins can poison their weapons with the Venom skill.
  • Poisonous Captive: At the end of Diablo, the titular Big Bad is imprisoned in a crystal which is fused with the hero's body and mind, as Diablo simply cannot be killed. Cue the second game, where the hero is completely overtaken by Diablo who wears his body like a cloak. While this counts as Demonic Possession, it is implied that the process was gradual and did not rely solely on magic, but also at least partially on the personal influence and inherent malice of the demon. The same story also happened in the past with Tal Rasha and Baal.
  • Pokémon Speak: Various Fallen repeatedly call the names of some of their greatest heroes (boss critters). Especially said bosses themselves, Rakanishu, Bishibosh, and Colenzo. Notably when the PC approaches the Fallen to attack, they usually scream something like "Back off!"
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Diablo II characters do this, for much the same reasons as World of Warcraft. Namely, specializing is the only way to get a character doing enough damage at the higher difficulties. As might be expected this is bad news for, for example, a sorceress who uses only fire spells who meets an enemy that is immune to fire.
  • Portmanteau:
    • The strategy guides and developer comments refer to the Amazon character as a "spearazon" or a "bowazon", depending on which skill tree the player specializes in.
    • Paladin builds do much the same thing, from the Hammerdin (Paladin who uses Blessed Hammer), Auradin (Paladin who uses auras) and the Vengadin or Avenger (Paladin who uses Vengeance). There's also a build using Holy Freeze and Zeal which is called (appropriately) the Freezealot.
    • Assassins are primarily grouped into Kicksins (those who use kung fu) and Trapsins (those who use traps).
  • Power Gives You Wings: Angels have wings made of energy tentacles.
  • Power Limiter: The first humans of Sanctuary (and Sanctuary itself) were Angel-Demon hybrids called the Nephalem. They possessed power beyond any angel or demon and more significantly were Immune to Fate. The Angels feared their power and created the Worldstone to limit their power. Then Tyrael was forced to destroy the Worldstone after Baal corrupted it in Throne of Destruction. Cue the sequel, and the first of the new Nephalem become powerful enough to slay the reincarnated God of Evil.
  • The Power of Hate: Mephisto, who is called the Lord of Hatred for a reason. He is so absolutely evil that even the dead rise in rage to kill the living.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Practical Currency: The Diablo II community used certain well-known "rare" items (well, they drop rarely, but given the size of the playerbase there are still tens of thousands of them) such as the traditional Stone of Jordan ring as currencies. Though each trade was effectively a barter, valuable items would have an agreed-upon market value in, say, Stones of Jordan or High Runes (Ist Rune and higher).
  • Practical Taunt: The Barbarian has the Taunt ability, which lowers an enemy's defenses, and more importantly, provokes ranged attackers into fighting up close.
  • Pre-Explosion Buildup: When Tyrael blows up the World Stone in the epilogue of Lord of Destruction, a warping sound can be heard before the stone goes boom.
    • In fact, this effect is tripled:
      • There is a moment of silence after Tyreal charges up the sword (and a slowmotion effect when he throws it) that reaches its pinnacle when the sword enters the stone. Then the dimensions around the stone start to ripple.
      • The stone slowly disintegrates, and as it reaches its ends, it builds up to a final explosion, this explosion is preluded by the now familiar pre-explosion warping sound.
      • But then it turns out that there is a second, even louder explosion, that comes after a softer explosion, the softer explosion thus itself becomes the pre-explosion warp.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: The champion from the last game was possessed by Diablo and is always a few steps ahead of you. He mostly shows up in the cutscenes, but you do encounter him once ingame.
  • Primal Fear: The second half of the first Act takes place in the dungeons under the Rogue's Monastery, which has now become the stronghold of the demon queen Andariel. Here the player gets to see what exactly happened to all the Rogues who didn't get corrupted into Andariel's minions, as there are plenty of various torture devices with the corpses of naked, dismembered women all over the dungeons and blood smeared accross the walls. The culmination is Andariel's lair, where the first room has a giant pit in the center which is full of blood and corpses, followed by her throne room with the naked bodies of Rogues impaled on spiked pillars as decorations.
  • Psychic Powers: The former mage clan that became the Assassins, have developed psychic powers such as mind control as one of the supernatural abilities that are an alternative to their old demonically influenced magic.
  • Quest Giver: Floating exclamation marks over a character's head indicate that he/she has a quest to give you. The exclamation marks are in speech bubbles and the character will will try to come towards you.
  • Random Drops: A given, taking into account the genre of the game. 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.
  • Random Drop Booster: Magic Find gear makes the items that drop more likely to be higher quality. Basically, Magic Find makes more of the items that drop be magical or better (Rare/Set/Unique). If you have 100% MF, if an item dropped normally had a 10% chance to be magical, it will now have a 20% chance. You won't get more items dropping, but the ones that do drop will be better items. More players in a game = more item drops, so you want to try and combine the MF with a big MP game for the best results.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: Lightning-based attacks do damage randomly between 1 and some huge number.
  • 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.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Diablo II does this in the same fashion as the first game, though single-player maps do not change unless the original is deleted, or if the player plays online. These levels were more random before the first few patch; later on, they changed the random generator to be less annoying.
  • Rare Candy: Diablo II has items similar to the Elixirs in the first game that gave a boost to your stats, but typically as one-shot quest rewards.
  • Rare Random Drop: The games feature items that aren't just randomly dropped, but randomly generated from thousands of potential combinations of attributes, special abilities and base weapon types. Runes (items you can place into other items to make them better) are particularly glaring, with some high-level runes having such tiny chances to drop (1 in millions, and even that requires finding enemies even capable of dropping the runes in the first place) that most hard-core players have never seen a legitimate one (ones created by hacks, of course, are another matter entirely). In fact, one person apparently estimated that one has a better chance of getting hit by a falling plane that was struck by lightning than one does of finding the rarest rune. Nobody knows if that estimation is true, but you get the idea.
    • The rune example is fairly straightforward, but it can get much more complex: A base sword, for example, might have an inherent range of say 5 +/- damage and 10 +/- quality. So, just getting a "max" sword would take at least 15 rolls of that sword, of which, the top swords are also rare. Then, the top prefix is "Cruel," which varies between 200-300% added damage. The top suffix is "of Eviscration" which also varies by 20 points. It is estimated that maybe 1 sword has ever existed that was truly "perfect." You would need 10's of thousands of rolls to get a perfect roll, but you would probably need somewhere around 100 million of that sword to get 10k with that roll to even have a chance at the perfect stats. And then, there's the "Ethereal" version, which is 1/3 as common as the regular version. Only 1 300% Cruel, Ethereal, Elite class, 2 Socket sword has ever been found.
    • Diablo II includes many items that, when equipped, increase the odds of an item drop, notably socketing an item with perfect topaz gems. Some players traded for as much of this equipment as they could cram onto themselves, and went hunting; the Barbarian had an edge over any other character in this respect, because the optimum item-finding equipment package requires dual-wielding a pair of enchanted broadswords, which only the barbarian can do, and the barbarian had a skill that basically amounted to "trigger the random drop again".
  • Rays from Heaven: When you clear the Den Of Evil, 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."
  • Real Men Love Jesus: The Paladins of The Church of Light. At least until the entire church was corrupted by evil, anyway.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: It was added with the Expansion Pack. It also resulted in the addition of eight cells of wielded item Hammer Space which could be used to lug around items too.
  • Regenerating Mana: This was added as a feature in this game.
  • Respawning Enemies: Enemies respawn when leaving the game and coming back. In online games, the map will also change. Both online and offline, what enemies appear in which area can change. Also of note is that bosses also reappear like normal enemies.
  • Reverse Grip: All dagger-class weapons are wielded in Reverse Grip, thus distinguishing them from swords.
  • Reverse Shrapnel:
    • The Assassin skill Blade Barrier, which creates a cloud of blades spinning around her and damaging all monsters that get close.
    • The Necromancer skill Bone Armor, which encircles him in swirling bones that protect him from damage.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: The Holy Bolt spell does two things: damage undead mobs, and heal friendlies.
  • Reviving Enemy: The Reanimated Horde from Lord of Destruction had a chance of rising again after you'd killed them (although this could only happen a finite number of times and wouldn't always happen). The only way to be sure was to Kill It with Ice, which would cause the body to shatter and evaporate.
  • Ring of Power: The Stone of Jordan, in addition to being a powerful unique item, also functioned as currency in online play due to the general worthlessness of gold beyond a certain point.
  • Road Runner PC: The player is essentially the fastest thing on the map. He has a Sprint Meter, but at higher levels it's too big to make a difference. Except in very enclosed spaces, running is nearly always an option. This is why the most dangerous enemies in the game are the very few who are faster than you (mainly Undead Fetish and uniques with the Extra Fast affix), those that do ice damage (causing you to slow down,) Spam Attack quickly enough to stunlock you, or mob you tightly enough to obscure the Town Portal you're frantically trying to click on.
  • 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 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.
  • Rogue Protagonist: You learn of a possessed and evil character called the Dark Wanderer. As it turns out, he's the player character of the first gamenote .
  • Role Reprisal: Michael Gough would return to reprising his role of Deckard Cain.
  • Rule of Three:
    • To craft the weapon that will open the path to Mephisto's lair, you must use the Eye, Heart, and Brain of Khalim.
    • The Three Prime Evils.
    • The Barbarian Ancients guarding the World Keep: Talic, Korlic and Madawc.
  • Rush Boss: Most of the key bosses are marathon bosses (including all the Act Bosses except possibly Andariel, who's a bit of a half-way house), but the mid-act boss in Act 2, The Summoner, is a classic Rush Boss. He's extremely fragile, going down in two or three hits, but depending on your build he can easily One-Hit Kill you, at least on Normal difficulty. He also has fantastic range (well over your character's sight range), meaning new players often die to him before they even see him.
  • Sand Worm: The burrowing Sand Maggots, which the official backstory points out are actually arthropods and not worms at all. A gigantic boss variant named Coldworm the Burrower was so bloated it resembled a worm more than the normal Sand Maggots.
  • Save-Game Limits: Diablo II does not allow you to save in any way except by quitting the game. Doing so respawns all monsters and teleports you to the town of the act you're in.
  • Save Scumming: Offline players can save scum by manually copying the save files to other locations or just flagging them "read-only" and removing the attribute once the desired results have been achieved. Particularly useful for the otherwise expensive and unrewarding gambling.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In-game, at least. Everyone who was present in the canonical games and expansions has a part in the canon. As a boss.

    Not counting Multiplayer, this happens in the first two games. In Diablo's Multiplayer, the NPCs keep the same speech, talking to you like if you were the sole one present. This is a complicated example due to the difference between what's seen in-game and what happened according to canon.

    In the games' canon, all of the heroes were indeed present. The Rogue, Sorcerer and Warrior from the first game show up as Blood Raven, the Summoner, and the Wanderer (possessed by Diablo himself because he is made the one who canonically "defeated" him) in the second. This goes with the completely different onscreen and backstory versions of the setting of the first game; Tristram is supposed to be the capital of the realm, whereas in-game it's a minuscule village, and several adventurers are supposed to be coming to explore the nearby dungeon, when in the game the only possible signs of anyone such other than the Player Character are some remains inside.

    To complicate things even more, though it's probably a Retcon or continuity error, while the Wanderer was the one who defeated Diablo, his background in the second game contradicts that of the Player Character in the first (who used to live in Tristram, whereas the Wanderer was not known to anyone there), which would imply... well, nothing that makes coherent sense, but it makes the relationship to this trope even more complicated.

    Further, each of the three "characters" described in the manual is actually a type of adventurer (a character class in game terms); it's not that there was just one Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer, the backstory made it clear there were at least potentially several of each coming to Tristram, and indeed the Rogues in the next game speak of others of their number besides Blood Raven having been there. So basically, the game does the trope almost on two levels, but the canon averts it.

    Diablo III largely avoids anything hard and fast about the heroes of Diablo II, and lampshades the fact that Tristram is so small and run-down for a capital with one of Leoric's journals commenting on that and wondering why Lazarus directed him to make such a place his capital. However, it further confuses the issue of the Wanderer, by making him Aidan, Leoric's eldest son, whereas in earlier lore, Leoric only had the one son — paving over the continuity error with regards to the Wanderer in Tristram by making him someone no-one would actually admit to recognizing after seeing how he'd deteriorated, but also making him a character who previously didn't exist in any capacity.
  • Secret Level: The secret Cow Level, which was made after various rumours about one in the first game.
  • Sequel Hook: The original (pre-expansion) plot ended with one of these. The whole story has been set in flashbacks told by a crazy man in a madhouse named Marius who tells the Archangel Tyrael about how he travelled the world with Diablo himself and saw the three Prime Evils rise to power. Eventually he gives up the soulstone of Baal, Diablo's younger brother, to his visitor so all of it can finally end... TWIST! It wasn't Tyrael at all, but Baal in disguise. He kills Marius and takes his soulstone back and leaves to pursue unknown plans.
  • Sequence Breaking: When playing online, it is rare to spend more than 20 minutes in act three, as everyone simply fights the council and Mephisto right away due to rushing and waypoint abuse.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • The Necromancer's Confusion curse causes enemies to attack randomly, and of course can be used on a crowd to turn them against each other. There is also the Attract curse which causes all enemies to attack the cursed target. Necromancers can also raise defeated enemies from the dead as their minions.
    • Paladins have an attack that temporarily makes an enemy switch sides. If Defeat Means Friendship, a good punch to the face means a brief alliance?
    • Assassins(and their summoned shadows) can temporarily convert a monster to their side with Mind Blast.
  • Set Bonus: Item (particularly, armor) sets give you set bonuses if you wear some or all of them at once.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The randomly-generated items and monsters sometimes have matching affixes, leading to things such as "Flaming Longsword of Flame" and "Ghostly Ghost".
  • Shield Bash: There are some shield-bash skills for Paladin.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Act II is set in the desert surrounding the city of Lut Gholein in the region of Aranoch. Prince Jerhyn, ruler of the land, is dressed in white robes and a turban, and has (or had, rather) a harem living in his palace, which has a giant onion-shaped dome typical of Mughal architecture.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Shamans have the ability to resurrect fallen enemies of their type that you've killed, so killing them quickly is very much recommended.
  • Shoot the Messenger: In the opening cinematic of Lord of Destruction, Baal and his army approach the gates of Sesscheron. A lone herald is sent out to address him. The herald eventually musters up his courage and defiantly refuses Baal entry to the city and declares that he will never reach Mount Arreat and the Worldstone. Baal's response is to calmly tell him he will take his proposal "into consideration". He then summons tendrils of demonic energy that go inside the herald and make him pop like a grape. Baal then mockingly says "it seems your terms...are not acceptable." and laughs and laughs as his army storms the city.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • 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 Diablo II. 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 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.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The Necromancer has a rather iconic pauldron in the shape of a horned demon skull on one shoulder.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Iit's possible to hire mercenaries named Jarulfnote  and Klaatu. A couple of other fansite personalities also show up as merc names (such as Scorch and Elle).
    • Some of the Rogue mercenaries are named after staff on the old "official unofficial" diabloii.net site. Word of God revealed that many of the Rogue mercs are named after the wives/girlfriends of people involved in the game's development.
    • In act 5 you can hire most of the protagonists from The 13th Warrior.
    • One of the rare dirk-class weapons is called "The Diggler," a reference to Boogie Nights.
    • The Blessed Hammer skill channels the energy of the Hammer of Ghrab Thaar.
    • The mini-boss The Summoner bears a distinct resemblance to Rita Repulsa.
    • The Fetish demons are modelled after the Zuni Fetish doll from Trilogy of Terror.
    • If you speak to Gheed after completing Act I, he gleefully announces that he's gonna party like it's 999.
  • Shrunken Head: The Necromancer can use shrunken heads as a shield, boosting his powers at the same time.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • Lots of demons use scythes as primary weapons and scythes are available as equippable weapons, powerful but not that effective.
    • Some of the Uniques aimed for the Necromancer were Scythes adorned with skulls. And the lack of effectiveness from the scythes come more from the fact that slow weapons with heavy damage being largely useless, due to the fact it means you take a long time to recover and thus being incapable of effectively dodging insta-kill attacks (like some creatures' ability to cast an uber powered version of the Sorceress inferno, and some bosses' attacks). Still, it is said a Concentration specced Barbarian would be able to pull it off...
    • Scythes (particularly War Scythes) are effective weapons for Druids since they get a Fast (or Very Fast) attack speed. They work especially well with the Shapeshifting skill tree.
    • Median XL's Necromancers are quite fond of using scythes as their Weapon of Choice, and have some nice attacks such as Angel of Death that do nasty damage.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Bone helms, bone shields, and bone wands which all classes can use. There are also the shrunken heads which are unique shields for necromancers.
    • Necromancers also have a unicorn skull as their left pauldron.
  • 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.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Diablo II features a hybrid skill score/perk system, wherein each class has three unique skill trees consisting of several tiers of perks. Individual tiers are unlocked one by one at certain character levels, after which any number of skill points (gained at each level and from some quests) can be invested into any unlocked perk, increasing its efficiency and often giving bonuses to more advanced perks derived from it. On a side note, Diablo II has one of the earliest implementations of the aura-type perks (with its Paladin class).
  • Skippable Boss: Subverted in Lord of Destruction: The guardians of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon can be bypassed with a Plot Coupon. The problem? The Big Bad bribes one of the NPCs into handing him the Plot Coupon, which means he gets the free pass instead. Enjoy your boss fight!
  • Skull for a Head: Mephisto has this. My goodness! So horrible!
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Lord of Destruction takes place in the snowy, barbarian-inhabited wastes of Harrogath.
  • Slow Transformation: The Wanderer over several cutscenes gradually looks more and more evil, until in a final cutscene morphing fully into a Diablo form.
  • Smash Mook: Blunderbores, Wendigo and Thorned Hulks.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Diablo II evened the gender balance a bit from the first game with three female classes and four male ones.
  • Socketed Equipment: The Trope Namer. Diablo II allowed the upgrading of gems, either through the Horadric Cube or touching a gem shrine which would drop one of your gems on the ground as a higher level one (For example, touching a shrine while you have, for example, a chipped ruby would turn it into a flawed ruby). If you didn't have a gem, it would drop a random, chipped gem when activated.
  • So Last Season: The player is expected to invest as little as possible in starter skills and switch to using higher-tier skills as soon as possible. Unless the intention is to make a Lethal Joke Character, that is. Even then, because of bad skill balancing by the developers (see the Power-Up Letdown entry), a few builds avert this: the Smiter paladin relies on Smite, the Summonmancer relies on Raise Skeleton, and the Death Sentry assassin has Fire Blast as her secondary skill. All of those skills are acquired at level 1.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: If you hire a new mercenary while you have an old one, the old one disappears with whatever equipment you gave him/her.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: As in the first game, the item spread is carefully controlled by which area of the game you're in; the starting levels will give you nothing but light armor, weak weapons of all kinds, and marginally magical items. As you continue through the game, the range of droppable items increases, so that Dagger of Poking you picked up in Act I will eventually be replaced by the Pointy Short Sword of Sharpness in Act II, the Serrated Flamberge of Wounding in Act III, and the Butt-kicking BFS of Evisceration on the highest difficulty setting. This is averted in Hell difficulty mode, where all acts (except act IV) had several optional zones (level 85 zones) where pretty much any item (except for the rarest runes) may drop.
  • Soul Jar: The only way to ensure that the Prime Evils never return to the mortal world is to destroy their Soulstones. Of course, the only reason the Soulstones exist to begin with is because the Evils somehow convinced the world that using them would do this. Bad Evils! Or, if Izual is to be believed, it's actually a gambit on the part of good manipulating evil, not evil manipulating good. The original plan was to imprison the Evils in the Soulstones so that they would not return to Hell upon death. But Izual betrayed Heaven by filling in the Evils on how to corrupt the Soulstones and helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile into Sanctuary, setting up the events of the series proper.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Most of the monsters make some periodic noise. Fallen chatter, insect-types chitter, zombies moan, skeletons shuffle, etc.
    • Every type of item that Randomly Drops has its own sound effect. They're pretty easy to distinguish even among similar types (i.e. a ring sounds quite different than an amulet, a spear or polearm sounds different than a javelin, etc.)
    • Chests, stashes and barrels make a very distinct noise when the player springs a Booby Trap. It is one of the most memorable sounds in the game and a good reason not to play muted.
  • Spam Attack: The earlier series, with skills like Strafe, Jab, Fend, Frenzy, and most especially Zeal.
  • Speedrun: Diablo II has a run of 4:22:xx beating the game 100%... on Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, all from a fresh file.
  • Spell Book: Rather than actual books of spells, they're storage units for up to 20 individual spell scrolls.
  • Spider Limbs: Andariel features four spider legs growing from her back, but they're only used for attacking.
  • Spider People: Baal is this, walking on four arachnid-like legs.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Two AntiHeroic examples; Necromancer and Assassin can get armors festooned with Spikes. Though not the villains, neither of them explicitly deny evil motives and revel in evil methods.
  • Spin Attack: The Barbarian's Whirlwind attack; he spins rapidly with weapon(s) extended.
  • Spread Shot: The Amazon has Multishot, which fires a spread of arrows, and the Strafe skill, which fires a rapid stream of arrows.
  • Sprint Meter: Competely depleting the Sprint Meter means having to wait for it to fill up completely before sprinting again. Potions exist to temporarily nullify it. (Also, the game is kind enough to freeze the meter in the non-combat areas, allowing you to sprint all you like.)
  • Sprint Shoes: Diablo II has quite a few things that qualify as this. The assassin has Burst of Speed. The barbarian has the Increased Speed passive as well as Frenzy. The druid gets a minor boost when in werewolf form. The paladin can use Charge for quick movement, or he can just switch to the Vigor aura and basically give his whole party the Bunny Hood effect. Characters lacking these, and many who DO, usually have some equipment that gives a speed boost.
  • 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.
    • For enemies, there's the Summoner, who can deal lot of damage to you from a long distance but goes down pretty easily, if you can manage to get through the multitude of weaker enemies surrounding him to actually hit him.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Poison: The game has a poisoned status that continuously drains health and may prevent or counteract attempts at healing. It doesn't drop a player's health below 1 HP, though mobs and NPCs are not so lucky.
    • Frozen: The Frozen status severely slows down those afflicted. When killed, there's a good chance the target will explode, destroying the corpse.
    • Weird Transformation: You can socket a helm with some runes and wear it, giving you a 1% Chance To Cast Level 50 Delirium When Struck (morph). When this happens, you temporarily transform into a tiny weak demonling carrying a spear.
    • Open Wounds: A damage over time bleeding effect.
  • Starter Equipment: The characters don't get any armor, just a class-appropriate weapon: the Barbarian, a hand axe; the Paladin, a short sword, the Amazon, a stack of javelins, the Sorceress, a staff of +1 Fire Bolt, the Necromancer, a wand of +1 Summon Skeleton, the Assassin, a katar, and the Druid, a club. Some of them also get a buckler. It should be noted, however, that these items are flagged as being Starter items, which means they always cost exactly 1 gold to repair. Not that it helps.
  • Status Buff: Paladins were a lackluster fighter class at high levels, but were valued for their auras and healing abilities. This was later changed, while paladin auras were still beneficial to their parties, paladins are able to be extremely effective in melee (zealots and smiters, which is one of the best builds for killing the hardest bosses) and as casters (hammerdins, a very popular build for rushing, power leveling, and farming) in their own right.
  • Stock Sound Effect: Blizzard abuses this often. Minotaurs' death is one of the examples.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: When you go to defeat Baal, he just sits there and summons a few rounds of minions at you, while being completely invincible until the "real" battle with him begins in the next room.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: The Barbarian Elders on Mount Arreat in Lord of Destruction.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Good job sticking a soulstone into your head, warrior from the first game. Wrestling against the lord of Terror, yeah right. Take the damn soulstone to the Horadric mage, who can send you back down to destroy the thing. Admittedly, he was kinda messed up by this point and it's pointed out that this was a very very bad idea. Still, why would you think your willpower can stand up to the devil, who also happens to be immortal so he'll win anyway?

    It is now known that the random warrior is actually the other son of the skeleton king and the older brother of the prince that Diablo took over for a body. Basically, the entire game Diablo was whispering to the warrior to make him think that was the only way to seal him and prevent him from ever being released into the world again, but in contrast to the deranged hero, the audience—and, indeed, the Horadric mage in question—knows better.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • 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.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: The hero from the first game is the Big Bad of the second.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted; when you defeat the evil council in Kurast, their Zealots only run away from you at that point onward.
  • Summon Magic: The Necromancer and Druid characters have a whole list of spells devoted to summoning multiple allies, who are always loyal and fight until killed. The Amazon and Assassin can summon a single powerful ally.
  • Super Weight:
    • Type 0: Most humans.
    • Type 1: Mercenaries, lesser monsters.
    • Type 2: Most NPC magic-users, most monsters.
    • Type 3: Most player characters, The Summoner, Blood Raven, Lesser Evils, lesser angels, Human Tyrael.
    • Type 4: The Prime Evils and Angiris Council.
    • Type 5: Anu and Tathamet, Diablo as the Prime Evil.
  • The Swarm: Swarms of insects as a certain enemy type. You can stab them to death with swords and they drop suits of armor.
  • Sword Drag:
    • The Rot Walkers in Act V do this.
    • The Wanderer in the opening cinematic, convincing those thugs at the Wretched Hive to try and go Bullying a Dragon.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: One's an epic staff (Horadric Staff); the other is an epic mace (Khalim's Will). You're forced to give up both to foward the plot. The staff opens the true Tomb of Tal Rasha in Act 2 and Khalim's Will opens the stairwell to Mephisto's Durance of Hate in Act 3.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Baal was imprisoned in a soulstone along with his two brothers. His, however, cracked and in order to contain him it was driven into the mind of the mage Tal Rasha, who would engage in an eternal Battle of Wills with the Prime Evil. On top of that, Tal Rasha was chained both literally and magically inside a very tightly sealed tomb in the middle of a killer desert. It didn't end well. On the other hand, it was apparently the only prison of the three that wasn't subverted from within by the Prime Evils- sucks to be Tal Rasha, but it did keep Baal trapped until Diablo showed up to break him out.
  • Take Your Time: As in the first game, with one notable exception. If you don't rescue Cain from his cage in before moving on, the Rogues will do it for you and he'll ask for a fee when identifying items.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • The unique monsters that are Cold and/or Fire Enchanted. Nasty cold nova and fire+physical damage effect upon monster death.
    • Undead Fetishes. One of the game's more infamous enemies, they reward you with a face full of shrapnel if they die in close proximity to you.
    • Enforced with the Suicide Minions of Act 5.
    • Some Uniques have a trait that makes them explode upon dying, and some undead emit a cloud of poison when downed.
    • Certain items, such as the Rainbow Facet unique jewels, allow player characters a chance to do this.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In the cinematic between Act II and Act III, Tyrael somehow finds the time to deliver a ten-second monologue to Marius while ostensibly in battle with two Prime Evils.
    • The background clearly shows that time has stopped while he does this. Also, he's an angel. And furthermore, the moment his time-stop ends, Baal catches him off-guard and disarms him. Triple justified.
  • Technicolor Fire: When the necromancer is chosen on the character selection screen, he will create an illusion of blue fire around himself.
  • Tech Tree: Sometimes this makes sense, like how a Sorceress has to learn the basic Ice Bolt spell before learning the more advanced Blizzard. Other times, like how the Barbarian has to learn Leap (what it sounds like) before Whirlwind (a spinning blade attack), it's obvious they're just prerequisites for prerequisites' sake.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Waypoints, huge tiles on the ground that allow you to travel instantly between levels once you've activated them.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad:
    • These happen when activating the seals to reach Diablo. Twice they have the courtesy to run in from off-screen; once they just pop up out of thin air. Of course, you're breaking Soul Jars in Hell, so this is pretty darn justified.
    • Earlier in the game is the quest for the Gidbinn. When you light up the fire in the village in the forest, a small groupe of enemies will come rushing at you, including the one that drops the aforementioned dagger.
  • Teleport Spam:
    • In the most extreme cases, a player controlled Sorceress may be teleporting about 3.5 times per second in combat (3.1 being the norm).
    • The Act V imps. Sure, they were easy meat for your Hammerdin, but god forbid you tried to go through as a melee spec.
    • With the addition of the Enigma runeword, ANYONE, not just Sorceresses, can use Teleport. Yes, even Hammerdins.
  • Temple of Doom: Lots of them, naturally. There's the various Tombs of Tal Rasha; the temples under the Flayer Jungle, large parts of Kurast...
  • The Tetris Effect: After playing (especially with friends who quickly grab everything), you will start to hear the "ding" noise that happens whenever a jewel/rune drops.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: When Marius witnesses Diablo's transformation, he even says it "was not meant for mortal eyes."
  • Thieves' Guild: The rogues aren't just members of a thieves' guild, they're apparently members of a thieves' religious monastic order. They're also not thieves...
  • Third-Person Person: Ormus's dialogue.
  • This Is the Final Battle: Spoken by Malah in the expansion: "Everything you have done has been to prepare for this. Kill Baal! Finish the game!"
  • This Was His True Form: Oddly enough, there's no sign of this when the player removes Mephisto's soulstone from the body that used to be Sankekur. Possibly due to Diablo's "death" in the first game being planned while Mephisto's death wasn't.
  • The Three Trials: Acts II and III require you to track down three magical artifacts to combine into a weapon that'd open the way to the endboss. Technically there were four items in the third act, but the last one was obtained right next to where you needed to use them.
  • Threshold Guardians: The Ancients in Act 5.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In the ending, Tyrael throws his sword to destroy the corrupted worldstone. At least his target is frigging huge. Tyrael is also an angel. When a being of pure energy and magic throws something, it will probably "strike true".
  • 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. 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.
  • To Hell and Back: You have to literally fight through hell to reach and battle Diablo.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Jewels and runes are just rare enough, and can only be used once.
  • Too Important to Walk: In the opening scene of Lord of Destruction, Baal is carried on a massive litter by his soldiers when he parleys with a herald.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: A sudden unexplained eclipse turns out to have been caused by evil magic, and the heroes undertake a quest to destroy the spell at its source. Once this is done, daylight returns instantly.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: This happens to the first game's protagonist when he fails to contain Diablo's soul.
  • Transformation Sequence: In the cutscene before Act IV narrated by Marius, he has the misfortune to witness The Wanderer's horrific transformation into Diablo. Spikes burst out from his back, his face distorts horribly, and it ends with Diablo casting aside what's left of his human shell like a dirty rag.
  • Trick Arrow: The Amazon has an entire skill-tab dedicated to these, including arrows that explode, arrows that freeze everything, arrows that split into multiple smaller arrows, and of course the Guided Arrow. The unique bow Widowmaker allows ANYONE to fire Guided Arrows.
  • Turn Undead: As in Diablo, there are three types of enemy: animal, demon, and undead. For each of the latter two, there are possible item enchantments that do extra damage. Holy Bolt is one of several anti-undead attacks available to the Paladin, who also has an Aura called Sanctuary which pushes Undead away from the character and hurts them a bit. Its main use is to keep the Pally from getting dogpiled. It also greatly increases your melee damage on undeads.
  • The Turret Master:
    • The Assassin is one of the earlier forms of this, having a line of Trap abilities that worked to summon turrets.
    • The Hydra spell, called Guardian in the first game, summons a three-headed beast that would shoot firebolts.
  • Twinking: Has more strictly Level-Locked Loot than the first game to prevent this from becoming too much of a Game Breaker, but many players still found it worthwhile to create mule characters to accomplish this.
  • Two-Faced: The corrupted council in Act III are half human and half demon, split vertically.

    U - Z 
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Intentional examples, such as mods and socketables making an item indestructible.
  • Underboobs: The Sorceress has such an outfit while she is not wearing any armor.
  • The Unfought: Belial and Azmodan are the only two Evils, Prime or Lesser, remaining after the conclusions of Diablo II and Lord of Destruction, and you don't get to fight them until Diablo III.
  • Unidentified Items: Cain will identify items 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).
  • Universal Poison: And universal antidote. It's elemental poison, after all.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Barbarian's Frenzy attack, causing the character to attack and run faster and faster as they attack enemies.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one in town make a big fuss that you travel with undead, golems, wild animals, plants, spirits, a shadow or a bright glowing valkyrie.
    • To be fair, you ARE living in a world where demons, monsters, and the forces of Hell are running rampant and magic is fairly commonplace, after a bit of that things like a druid and his pets or an amazon's valkyrie likely wouldn't be all that noteworthy.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: 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.
    • Poor, poor Marius.
  • Urban Segregation: Kurast.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted for the most part, although 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.
    • 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.
  • Valkyries: The Amazon can summon a Valkyrie. In Amazonian mythology (unlike the Norse one), Valkyries are spirits of the greatest heroes from the Amazonian people. It is claimed that the Amazon who could summon Valkyries has a chance of becoming one herself after her death.
  • Vendor Trash: Played straight with the copious amounts of low-quality weapons and armor to pawn for gold.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final showdown takes place in the Chaos Sanctuary, a gigantic hellish pentangle in an infernal cathedral at the end of a river of lava. The expansion, Lord of Destruction, ends in the Worldstone Chamber, in the deepest level of a holy cavern, at the top of a very tall mountain.
  • Very High Velocity Rounds: Not the full Bullet Time, but the Amazon had this trope as a Skill. She could slow the speed of all projectiles within a radius around her, except her own.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck:
    • The Inferno spell which is a flamethrower, complete with short range at low spell levels, low area coverage at all spell levels, no persistent damage, slow-moving flames and it takes a long time to cast and roots you to the spot while you channel and stops when you get hit. Between its weak damage and the danger factor of planting yourself in front of the onrushing enemies that will proceed to stunlock you, this is the worst sorceress spell in the game. The expansion provided the new druid class with an Ice thrower which was useful for no other reason than the very long chill length, providing some much-needed crowd control until players figured out that there's a passive area effect chill spell in the druid's arsenal and most enemies you want to chill are immune to it anyway. The assassin has Wake of Inferno, a summoned turret version of this spell, without the root, but with less range.
    • There is a very cheap runeword that averted this by giving a massive bonus to all fire spells, and to the Inferno spell in particular; like most spells, it could become much more effective as you pumped its effective level up beyond 20, making it a cheap and effective tool that could be acquired by the end of Act 1 and remained useful until everything becomes immune to fire.
  • Video Game Stealing: While not stealing, the "Find Potion" and "Find Item" Barbarian skills 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 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.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Pretty much the entire game consists of the Heroes reacting to what the Villains have done (pretty ineffectively, too; see Failure Is the Only Option). The one time the Heroes have a chance to do something proactive (after they've defeated Diablo in 1264, but before the news of Diablo's defeat reached Marius and before Baal got his Soulstone back in 1265), they don't.
  • Villain Teleportation: 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, including all Prime Evils and Lesser Evils, the Nephalem (Barbarian Ancients)... hell, virtually every talking monster. Tyrael, also. A rare example of an angel getting this ability. Strangely enough, while Baal does have the Voice of the Legion at the end of Act 5, he does not have it in the original game when he's impersonating Tyrael, even though Tyrael does have it.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: These show up 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 Shirtless Scene: The Barbarian, at least unarmored.
  • Walking Wasteland: Baal in the 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: There's separate storage for gold in the inventory, although it still caps the amount you can carry.
  • Wall of Weapons: There's one of these - 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?
  • The Wandering You: To get anywhere requires very, very long stretches of doing nothing more than walking and chopping your way through hundreds of demons.
  • Warp Whistle:
    • There's 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.
    • In addition, there's the Town Portal scroll, 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.
  • Warrior Poet: The Druid is supposed to be this, according to the official sources.
  • Was Once a Man: Humans possessed and altered to fit their shape by the Prime Evils, through Demonic Possession. All the Three Evils are in the bodies of possessed humans, which turn more and more monstrous in irregular stages.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: 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 lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae. The appropriately named Flesh Spawners spawn offspring to attack you as well.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Some weapons have specific anti-undead or anti-demon enchantments.
  • We Buy Anything: Unlike the first game, here shopkeepers will buy anything you want to sell them. However, 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, to a maximum of 35000 gold. 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.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Should the PC die, his hireling and any summons also spontaneously fall over dead.
  • Welcome to Corneria:
    • The guards in the city of Lut Gholein only say "Welcome to the palace" and "Stay out of trouble".
    • Flavie: "Take care! The Corrupted Rogues in the wilderness ahead are not to be trifled with."
  • Wendigo: This is the official name of the line of monsters that starts with Gargantuan Beast and ends with Yeti.
  • Wham Line: "I am not the archangel Tyrael."
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: Inverted/parodied, when the Necromancer defeats Radamant and his undead forces:
    What a waste of undead flesh...
  • 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.
    • It's revealed through item descriptions that she survived the events of Lord of Destruction and eventually joined the Demon Hunters.
  • Whip It Good: Several of the larger demon enemies use whips, in particular the Overlords in Act V.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?:
    • 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?
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: The Willowisp monsters are ethereal undead that are transparent until they use their lightning attack.
    Created from the vapors that rise from the dense jungle swamps, these mindless forms seek out the energy contained in all living things. While not evil in nature, their feeding habits do make them a serious threat to adventurers.
  • Winged Humanoid: The (arch)angels in the series are agents of Heaven with a rather unusual appearance. E.g. Tyrael's wings are actually tentacles made of light.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Ancients. As a bonus, you have to defeat them all without teleporting back to camp. If you do, they reset and heal up, and the fight has to be done all over again.
  • Wolverine Claws: Claw-class weapons, though this also included katars and other punching weapons.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: A very interesting case showed up in the player market. 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.
  • The X of Y: Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction.
  • You Are Too Late: Since Diablo II features the player trying to chase down Baal and the Dark Wanderer, respectively, Acts II and III both end on this note.
    • Duriel, the Act II boss, taunts you saying "Looking for Baal?"
    • Mephisto points this out as well when you confront him at the end of Act III: "You're too late! Ahahahahaha!"
    • It happens again in Lord of Destruction. 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.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: If you get killed by something with no real entry in the game's entity registry, it merely shows up as "An Evil Force"
  • You Fool!: 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.
    • Your druid may know how to summon a cluster of three tornadoes, but summoning one tornado is beyond his grasp until six levels later.
    • 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.
  • Zerg Rush: This is the enemies' favorite strategy (even for the bigger guys). Think about it: You and up to 7 other guys, up against hundreds of demons. It especially gets nuts when you're up against those bug things, that spawn smaller bug things, from Act II. There are some structures that spawn enemies, which look like something out of the Zerg Faction.
  • Zip Mode: You could run in towns without depleting your Sprint Meter.
  • Zombie Gait: Not only do some of the zombies shamble around, some of them will poison the player with each hit and/or release a cloud of poison gas upon death, though this poison will not turn the player or his/her minions into zombies.


Alternative Title(s): Diablo 2

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/DiabloII