The people pray for strength and guidance. They should pray for the mercy of a swift death, for I have seen what the darkness hides.
It has been twenty years since the demonic invasion was thwarted and the Worldstone destroyed, and Sanctuary has enjoyed relative peace and stability. However, hellish forces are stirring again. All over the world are reports of horrors and atrocities, and a fallen star landing in Tristram marks the beginning of the prophesied End Times.Diablo III is the latest in the Diablo series, released on May 15, 2012. The gameplay is essentially the same as previous entries, but with more Anti-Frustration Features (such as gold being picked up on touch rather than having to be clicked), and with new trading aspects, including an auction house that operates both in in-game gold and in real world money. It also brings back the Barbarian character classnote but not the same Barbarian from Diablo 2, and introduces four new classes: Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and Demon Hunter.An Expansion Pack is in the works, but no timeline has been set for it just yet. Additionally, a version for Playstations 3 and 4 is also in development. It has been revealed that these ports will have an offline mode and that the real money auction house will not be implemented in them.
This game features examples of:
A Child Shall Lead Them: The Emperor of Caldeum, Hakan II, is only a boy. However, he is actually Belial in disguise.
Absurdly High Level Cap: Pre-patch 1.0.4 the cap was at level 60. Patch 1.0.4 added 100 extra Paragon levels to that, so yes, the cap is now at level 160. Considering that monster are the same that when capped at level 60, you can guess how hard is to get level 160 (the game designers try to make it as hard as getting level 99 in the previous game).
Leah. Despite everything she has personally witnessed, she still remains skeptical of Cain's warnings until his death. This has been parodied by Penny Arcade. The novel justifies this, where much is made of Leah's ability to almost completely block out traumatic memories.
Abd al-Hazir is an accomplished explorer, historian, and naturalist. In a world with powerful magic, the dead rising from their graves, and demon hordes pouring from the bowels of Hell to eat cities, Abd finds demonology and related subjects to be ridiculous superstition.
Airborne Mook: Several. Many have no problem moving over rough terrain, and some of them use flight to their advantage by dive-bombing you from out of range.
Invoked with the Demonic Hellflyer. Azmodan's ground forces were nearly defeated before due to the angels' flight capability, so he decided to breed flying demons to counter them.
All Webbed Up: Karyna the mystic is found in the den of the Spider Queen suspended in webbing and you arrive just to time to prevent the spider from drinking her innards.
Ambiguous Gender: Diablo's true form in this game is much more effeminate than his previous incarnations, possibly due to the influence of his host, Leah. It makes for a very Squicky moment when s/he Sexy Walks past the camera in a cinematic.
It could also be because s/he contains the essence of all seven Evils, including Andariel, who was female.
As mentioned in the page description, you pick up gold automatically when you run by it, unlike in previous games and unlike most other items in this game.
There is a mutual stash shared by all characters on an account. No need to transfer items between characters by creating games and leaving a dagger of +500 awesomeness on the ground where anyone can get it while you try to get your lower-level character in there, like in Diablo II, just put it in the chest!
Said stash is also very, very large, and you can buy two more.
Weapons and armor take up only two spaces in your inventory while everything else takes up just one, in contrast to the previous games' love of big items that frequently took up four to eight spaces at once and "overburdening" you in a hurry.
Potions stack, and no longer take up numerous spaces in your inventory.
You no longer have to carry around scrolls of identify or town portal. Just one click, and you cast the appropriate spell for free.
There is no ability tree or ability learning anymore. Leveling up simply unlocks ability and runes that you can choose to put in your ability slots. And ability damage increases as the character's damage improves too. Thus it is not possible anymore to find yourself stuck after making a wrong choice of abilities to level up.
Certain flying enemies will circle overhead, out of reach, and will ambush you once you start fighting something else.
Enemies with ranged attacks try to retreat (even behind obstacles) so you have a hard time attacking them while they spam projectiles at you. It gets worse with flying ranged attackers who have an easy time doing said retreating...
Pack hunting enemies like Scavengers and Leapers will actually apply pack hunting tactics against you, by splitting up and attacking from the side or the back.
If facing a group of teleporting enemies, one of them will almost always teleport behind you in a narrow passage, blocking you off and trapping you so his buddies can munch on you. Hope your leap or teleport skills aren't on cooldown...
Mook Makers like Fallen Prophets will actively run away if you try to approach them. On the other hand, allied NPCs will usually target them first.
Waller monsters deserve a special mention. Rare wallers will place walls in such a way that the only way to escape is to move closer to the enemy, while Champions will always place walls directly in front of a moving player. This even seems to be even smarter - melee classes seem to be kept back so they can't get to them, while ranged classes are kept so they can't get away.
Demons will insist on attacking you, ignoring the followers usually. If the enemy is a melee opponent without Teleportation or Vortex and a follower bars their way... they will sit there idly as you rain hell on them, and they won't even try to move the follower in front of them.
Occasionally the AI might bug up and cause enemies to stand completely still and not even attack. While not noticeable on minions because you slaughter them rather quickly, it's more noticeable when a boss such as Azmodan or Diablo freezes up, allowing you to score Terrible, Terrible Damage on them.
At one of the Blizzcons, the developers stated that they deliberately invoked this trope, as perfectly intelligent enemies were not fun to fight and tended to kill the player extremely quickly.
The Atoner: Working your way through all conversations with Lyndon, the Scoundrel, eventually reveals that he sends the gold he steals back to Kingsport both to support his brother's wife and children, and to pay off the Merchant's Guild in an effort to get his brother released from prison. Some of his dialogue suggests that this is also why he follows the Player Character despite the escalating levels of danger; in one bit of conversation, he wonders if continuing to help the PC kill demons would make him a good person.
Auction: The game offers a player to player auction house for selling items you find during your adventures. One version uses in-game gold, the other uses cold hard cash and requires a Pay Pal account. Blizzard gets a cut, of course, and the cash version is not available in Hardcore Mode.
Unsurprisingly, Diablo as usual... until it is revealed it isn't exactly the Diablo we know but rather more or less a reincarnation of the original Prime Evil, Tathamet. At least Diablo appears to be the dominant personality, even if he has a "We Are Legion" thing going what with the other 6 Evils swimming around in there also.
The Butcher shows back up as the boss of Act 1, although much expanded on from the original. After you kill him, you learn this is actually justified: according to the journal entry on The Butcher, there's more than one—this wasn't the same Butcher from Diablo I, and there are likely more of them.
Badass Adorable: Eirena the Enchantress is an attractive young blonde with a naive, innocent personality and an exotic accent, and she's also quite good at killing demons (especially if she's equipped with a good staff).
She killed her first demon when she was only thirteen!
Tyrael: You can not judge me! I am Justice itself! We were meant for more than this, to protect the innocent! But if our precious laws bind you all to inaction... then I will no longer stand as your brother!
The Demon Hunter gets a couple in her introductory trailer:
As long as I'm here, they are the prey... And I... am the Hunter. I stand alone. And if they keep coming, I will never stop killing.
Belial gets some.
I cast off these petty illusions! Behold...the true vision of the Lord of Hell!
Badass Grandpa: The male barbarian looks to be a few decades older than the other heroes, but his age has apparently not diminished his asskicking ability.
Enchantress: Tell me, are you considered handsome in your homeland?
Barbarian: Heh. I am old now, but I am strong. And that's all that matters.
The Scoundrel gets one of these once he hits a certain level.
Some of the male Wizard's higher-level armours have this as well.
Bad Powers, Good People: Leah, despite being a nice person, has some rather destructive powers she can't quite control. She has them because she is Diablo's daughter.
Bag of Sharing: Your personal stash allows you to transfer the gear between your characters easily. Gold and artisan experience are also bound to your account.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: One of the "boss preview/warning" of sorts near the end of Act IV shows what seems to be Imperius as the next boss, with earlier scenes highlighting a conflict between him and the Nephalem. Unfortunately, Diablo pops in and dispels the upcoming fight, neutralizing Imperius and becoming the next target for the hero.
Bald of Awesome: The Stranger (Including once his memories are restored!), and also the male Monk and Witch Doctor.
Leah's outfit, although it's only really noticeable in the cutscenes.
The Enchantress, until she gets to a high enough level.
The female Witch Doctor's outfits.
Batman Gambit: Let's face it, Diablo was pulling a Gigyas-level one throughout all three games. While some events could be of the Gambit Roulette sort, the fact that Diablo was willing to wait millennia for everything to come together arguably excuses that.
The wizard's come in Red and Blue flavours, with the Red one having an option to also target all enemies within a radius regardless of where the main beam is pointed, which can make for a really nice Laser show in a clustered battle.
Diablo also has the lightning-hose ability he had in Diablo II.
Some of the mighty 2-handed swords that the barbarian can equip are absurdly huge.
If you equip the Enchantress with a nodachi or Executioner Sword, when she has it on her back it's as long as she is tall.
Bittersweet Ending: In contrast to the previous 2 games, III actually has a unambiguously good ending, with Diablo and the other Lords of Hell being vanquished forever. However, this comes at the cost of many good peoples' lives, such as Deckard Cain and Leah. Also, while the Nephalem might have destroyed Diablo/Tathamet, Heaven lies in ruins, much of Sanctuary has been ravaged by demons, and worst of all, Adria is still at large and the Black Soulstone fell from the heavens, presumably back to Sanctuary, so there is nothing preventing Diablo/Tathamet possessing another body.
Sequel Hook: But there's still room for expansions, and Blizzard has stated the game will have a few expansions, and Metzen saying that Leah's revival would be a major plot point in an expansion. Therefore the ending is still open ended, as Adria is still out there and we never see the Black Soulstone being destroyed, meaning that, through dead, the legacy of the Prime Evils could still have an influence on Sanctuary. Not to mention that Eirena is the only companion whose storyline reaches any sort of genuine conclusion by game's end — Lyndon still needs to free his brother and try to reconcile with him, though the player character pledges to help, and Kormac has come to the decision that he needs to confront and destroy his corrupt Templar Order, but doesn't get a chance to follow through before the game ends.
Bi the Way: The Enchantress will innocently flirt with your hero regardless of which gender you choose. She also seems to harbor a similar affection for Leah.
Black and Grey Morality: The Angels of the High Heavens are not always the kind and benevolent beings you would expect; many of them are Knight Templars who see humanity as an abomination and believe it should be eradicated and do nothing when Sanctuary is attacked by Belial and Azmodan (which led to Tyrael going down directly into Sanctuary to help humanity after seeing the inaction of his brothers). But the forces of Hell are much worse.
Anything killed by some of the Barbarian's or Monk's special attacks is flung away, inversely proportionally to its size...sometimes in combination with exploding into Ludicrous Gibs. Many players have been amused by reducing the soft bits of their opponents to liquid and watching their bloody skeleton go flying, and watching a goatman's head go flying off-screen.
Elite Mooks sometimes can do this, if they have the knockback ability.
The Dark Thralls. Part of their transformation spell involves having long metal spikes shoved into their spines (which Abd al-Hazir comments on at one point) and their final form is a twisted, mutated monstrosity.
The Tormented Stingers are actually human sacrifices. As Cain notes:
The demons twist their victims into the Stingers' distinctive forms by slicing open their chests and viciously mutilating their legs. Maddened by pain, these creatures can poison their prey with a single strike.
Bond Villain Stupidity: Azmodan announces the location of his assault to Leah in a dream, for no real reason other than to gloat. The result? The assault is stopped cold by a garrison of 1000 men, and then turned back in record speed by the forewarned Hero. The invasion literally doesn't even make it out of sight of Arreat Crater.
Justified since as Lord of Sin, he's full of pride...and that he likely wasn't trying to speak to Leah, but rather the facet of Diablo within her.
Lampshaded with the achievement "He Thought He Was So Clever".
Boss Subtitles: Unique enemies have a subtitle under their health bar in place of the list of randomized attributes other special enemies have. For those of them that appear randomly rather than at predetermined points in the plot, these are more often hilarious than not. For example, you can run into:
Break the Haughty: Kormac, the Templar. Follow his dialogue every single chance a new one appears. He finds proof of his previous memories, and due to him remembering the extremely abusive ways that his order treated him, he has both a minor Heroic BSOD and a mild case of Faith Heel Turn. He doesn't become evil, but he does realise he's being too high and mighty, and mellows out and becomes a nicer, more human person in general by act 4, and vows to have a very stern word with his order, to put it mildly.
Despite the events of the past two games, nobody seems to believe Deckard Cain's accounts. Even Leah admits that she's skeptical of some of his writings.
In act III after repelling Azmodan's initial assault, you can find Tyrael talking to a messenger, with the messenger saying that the king of Westmarch's response to Tyrael's request for reinforcements is that he won't send real men to fight imaginary demon lords. Tyrael's response is "Maybe he'll believe when his kingdom burns down around him."
Catch Phrase Interruptus: Shown in the initial demo, where the Barbarian cuts Cain off in the middle of his catchphrase, who then complains that no one listens to him.
Climbing Climax: Act IV takes place in the High Heavens, and the Very Definitely Final Dungeon is the Crystal Arch which is a double set of towers rising high above the rest of the celestial landscape. The area for the final boss fight is fittingly called the Pinnacle of Heaven.
Wretched Mothers, Retching Cadavers and Spewing Horrors can also produce multiple zombies that are their own size. The lore states the sludge they vomit is liquid remains, which forms new zombies.
Act 2 introduces the Accursed family of Undead (basically quick zombies that burst into poison clouds when slain), which can be spawned continuously from piles of dead corpses that can (and should) be attacked like actual targets.
Cluster F-Bomb: No actual F-bombs are dropped, but overall this game has more cursing than either of its predecessors.
Maghda and her Dark Coven are perhaps the most monstrous practitioners of this in the setting, using both magic and more physical tortures, including flaying people alive, to fuel their Black Magic.
Leoric engaged in quite a bit of this when he was still alive and insane, if the Halls of Agony are anything to go by.
The Inquisitors of the Templar Order do this to "cleanse" and "purify" convicted initiates of sin and they don't really care if the person is guilty or innocent — as Kormac's example proves, they're more than willing to pile false sins upon an innocent if they consider him a potential asset to the order.
Combat Stilettos: The female Demon Hunter is wearing these in her announcement trailer.
Comet of Doom: The Fallen Star, which kicks off the game's plot...and which turns out to be a now mortal Tyrael falling from the High Heavens.
The game brings many items from previous games back; some of them are in-game callbacks and some lampshade how they were treated in previous games (Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Stone of Jordan). The player character even has a chance of finding the Anvil of Fury (acquired during a sidequest in the first game) at the remnants of Griswold's forge in the ruins of old Tristram, and picking up the sword "Griswold's Worn Edge" from it.
There is a barbarian skill named Call of the Ancients which summons three ancestral spirits to fight alongside the barbarian. Veteran Diablo II players will recognize these ancients as the same ones that had to be fought before gaining entrance to the Worldstone Chamber that housed Baal in Act V. This particular act revolved around the barbarians and their homeland.
A random event in Act 2 involves meeting a necromancer who turns out to be a student of Diablo II's necromancer.
In Act 1 you can find the corpse of Warriv, an NPC from Diablo II who transported you between acts.
Sir Gorash, the elite Blood Knight you fought on the final level of Hell in the original Diablo, is mentioned in Lachdanan's journal as one of the knights that was overcome when Diablo brought Leoric Back from the Dead as the Skeleton King.
In Act 2 it's possible to come across and disrupt a ritual being performed by fallen at the Shrine of Rakanishu, another early Diablo II boss, and to receive Rakanishu's Blade from it.
Loot a bookshelf in the Cathedral levels in Act 1, and Identify/Town Portal scrolls pour out. Would have been useful 20 years back...
It's possible to find the corpse of Bishibosh, an early boss from Diablo II, inside the Den of the Fallen, which appears to be a Fallen Burial Ground.
Upon entering one of the random micro-dungeons in Act IV, Kormac exclaims "The sanctity of this place has been fouled!", which the hero says as he enters the first dungeon in Diablo.
During Act IV, it's possible to find the ghost of Marius, who will rebuke Tyrael for not protecting him.
Enchantress: I feel as if you are my elder brother. Is that wrong?
Barbarian: No. But I will not speak to you regarding matters of love.
Enchantress:*flustered* About...! I was not... That is... Well, I do not know what to say!
Cooldown: You can spam most direct damage spells but everything else usually has a cooldown, e.g. crowd control, movement, defensive, or the uber nuke spell. Potions and skill swapping also have cooldowns.
Copy And Paste Environments: Of course, given dungeons are assembled from tiles. Some tilesets decidedly show less variation than others. This is actually lampshaded.
Covetous Shen: What a fascinating place this is. Look at all this wonderful architecture! You could walk all the way around the world and never find its like! Except for this part. I've seen this somewhere else before.
There's a mention of Zhakarum falling in the first act — a reference to the faith that was corrupted by Mephisto and turned towards evil in the second game. One of Cain's journals that can be found in Act IV also mentions this.
While not a "church", per se, it's revealed that the Templar order Kormac belongs to will abduct anyone who seems like they might be a valuable fighter and brainwash them through Cold-Blooded Torture to turn them into living weapons against the demons.
Corrupt The Cutie: Leah seems to be following in the footsteps of Star Craft's Kerrigan and Warcraft III's Arthas, Kael'thas, Illidan and Sylvanas. Seems to be a Blizzard tradition.
Cosmetic Award: By earning achievements, you will unlock new sigils, accents, and shapes for your personalized banner.
Cosmic Keystone: The Crystal Arch, source of all the angels' power. Diablo very nearly succeeds in destroying it.
Council of Angels: The Angiris Council, composed of the five Arch Angels: Imperius, Tyrael, Auriel, Malthael, and Itherael.
Crapsack World: The life of the average citizen in Sanctuary is pretty bad. Even without demons destroying your town, there is an abundance of bandits, dangerous wildlife, and crazy/incompetent rulers waiting to kill or eat you.
Through judging by the ending, it seems that it becomes a World Half Full following Diablo's defeat.
Critical Hit Class: This is mainly the only build viable in higher difficulty games. There are magical items with the ability to increase critical hit chance, others with the ability to increase the damage on a critical hit, and items with both (mainly the so-called Trifecta, if they also have increased attack speed). Accumulating these items, you can, for example, get a 50% chance of dealing 400% of damage. Also, the game incorporates some special effects that only activate when dealing a critical effect. With all these factors combined, this becomes a Game Breaker.
Curbstomp Battle: Imperius vs. Diablo. Imperius is very much on the receiving end.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Veterans of the first two games will take a while to stop keeping a finger on ALT all the time since loot is clearly labelled on screen for some time after pressing the button.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Studying these is why the Wizard of III got into trouble. It's also why they can use Arcane and Time magic while none of the other playable mage-classes of the other two games could.
Darker and Edgier: While previous games refrained from killing off characters with any semblance of plot importance, here Cain dies in the very first act, and Adria turns out to be a traitor, sacrificing Leah to cause Diablo to rise again. On the other hand, it's also the first game in the series in which the heroes are depicted as being literally superhuman, as opposed to just being extraordinary individuals. Oh yeah, and you actually win this time.
Kormac the Templar serves the Templar Order to atone for a sin so great he had to be given amnesia. Later we find out there was no sin, and the Templars abducted, tortured, and brainwashed him so he would serve them.
Lyndon the Scoundrel lost the only woman he truly loved to his brother. Then he accidentally gets his brother arrested and thrown into jail and is trying to get enough gold to buy his freedom.
Eirena the Enchantress was tasked along with her sisters by a Prophet to hibernate until it was their time to awaken and help the player on their quest. She wakes up as a Fish Out of Temporal Water, and finds out that none of her fellow sisters made it.
Haedrig the Blacksmith saw his own father get murdered in front of his eyes, and lives with the stigma of being the descendant of the man who allegedly betrayed and murdered King Leoric. Oh, and his beloved wife becomes a Zombie Infectee and he's forced to put her down.
Demon Hunters are drawn from the ranks of the survivors of horrific demon attacks that claimed their homes and families. The PC among them not only had his or her family and village wiped out by The Legions of Hell, but the other survivor, his or her sister, was driven to madness by the experience and presumably took her own life.
Daylight Horror: Many of your foes are faced in broad daylight, in all four acts. Kormac even lampshades this:
"I do not understand how evil walks in the day. Should it not fear the light?" *PC-themed response* "But the light is both a literal and figurative enemy of evil!"
Deader Than Dead: Diablo, and quite possibly all of the other Evils that have been fused with him. Until the next sequel, anyway.
Or rather, the next expansion, as Adria's still out there and Diablo claimed that he will call on her aid in the future. Furthermore, the Black Soulstone doesn't dissolve when Diablo dies; it just falls back into Sanctuary.
The Player Characters definitely have their moments at times, especially the Wizard.
Lyndon the Scoundrel usually has something snarky or sarcastic to say, no matter the situation.
Even the villagers get in on the act sometimes:
Male Villager: Did you see that stranger next to old Cain? I was listening to him talk. I'd bet he comes from Westmarch.
Female Villager: Oh, really? So people from there usually travel by falling star? Use your head. If he's from Westmarch, I'm empress of Caldeum.
Even Tyrael can bust out the snark on occasion. If he happens to be one of your NPC followers and you stand still for too long, he'll say "I will just stand here, watching the world crumble around us, while you decide on a course of action."
Demon Slaying: As with every other Diablo game, you're going to be doing this a lot. The primary ranged class in the game, the Demon Hunter, is especially dedicated to doing this.
Despair Event Horizon: Everyone comes damned close to crossing this at the very start of Act IV following Leah's death and Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil. The angels especially because of Auriel's capture by Rakanoth, the Lord of Despair. Only after you kill Rakanoth and free Auriel does hope return to everyone.
Azmodan tries this, through a combination of shock-and-awe tactics and aggressive taunting. It's less than effective.
Diablo, not surprisingly, is better, tormenting the characters with illusive shades of people they've killed or failed in the past. It helps that he has the demonic personification of Despair as one of his lieutenants.
Determinator: Your character never shows any sign of wavering in any NPC dialogue and expresses no doubt that he/she can perform supposedly impossible campaigns such as almost single-handedly taking on Azmodan's entire army. Even Tyrael loses faith and has to be told to man up after Heaven is invaded and their angelic hosts are broken and corrupted. Fallen angels, demons — your character doesn't really care. They will all be your loot pinatas.
Barbarian: Our foes are endless.
Scoundrel: Do you tire of it?
Barbarian: No. It does not matter how many stand in my way.
Development Hell: You can visit it. Seriously though, it was in development for 11 years, including multiple reboots and the closing of Blizzard North in 2005.
It is possible during replays to temporarily have two of the same companion at once. They can speak with each other - the Templar addresses his alter ego as a fellow member of his order; the Scoundrel recognizes his alter-ego as being from his guild, and the Enchantress addresses the other enchantress as one of her sisters.
If you have Leah in your party and go into the back room of the Inn in New Tristram, she will ask, "What are we doing in my room?". She will also complain about you reading her diary.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In past games this was already true because the Demon Lords were Physical Gods and the personification of primal aspects (can you truly kill Terror?). Now it's even more applicable as Diablo's master plan to manifest as the physical incarnation of all Evil succeeds. As the Prime Evil he is able to turn back the angelic host and breach Heaven's walls for the first time in history. But he's still vulnerable to a good right hook.
Justified since the Worldstone's destruction triggered the return of humanity's original power, which is supposed to be greater than the power of the angels and demons. The heroes are the first of the new Nephalem.
Die, Chair! Die!: The game is jam-packed with destructible terrain. Ruined walls will crumble and furniture will splinter from your spells going off near them.
There's even an achievement the barbarian can earn for destroying 2000 objects using the Whirlwind attack.
Dirty Coward: Mayor Holud. He gets better...just in time to get slaughtered by Diablo.
Disability Superpower: Tyrael in act IV. He may be less powerful as a human, but he's not affected by the corruption Diablo causes to the Crystal Arch.
Distressed Damsel: Inverted in the first act. It's the young and female Leah who wants you to rescue the elderly and male Deckard Cain. She does get captured along with her uncle later in Act 1...and again by Belial's minions in Act 2. Both times, she gets out of her own mess by unleashing the hidden power that she holds within her on the mooks surrounding her. She isn't nearly so successful at this in Act 3 due to her own mother being the bad guy this time and the strain from holding the Black Soulstone together throughout the act having weakened her.
Door To Before: Dead end dungeons and caves have a magic stone on the last floor that teleports you to the entrance so you don't have to run back or portal to town.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Captain Rumford's ghost appears during the finale, despite the fact that the player never actually sees him die. The last time the player sees him, they're bound for Wortham, and later on in the act his corpse is found outside the town gate.
Dummied Out: The Mystic, who was going to be a player Artisan. Her model, voice work, and recruitment mission still exist in the form of the NPC Karyna you rescue from the Spider Queen, but she no longer follows you after.
The big bosses tend to require a certain amount of running around avoiding damage. Players who had nimble hands when Diablo 1 came out in their 20's are 16 years older now and due to everyone aging differently some find the need to run around in a game darn frustrating as they are entering their 40's.
An interesting twist in that the levels are only easy until the randomized mini-boss generator pumps out something that puts the real bosses to shame. Indeed, despite their lower number of hit points, Hell and Inferno mode elites, rares, and uniques are much more dangerous than the actual bosses of the game due to the fact that at each higher difficulty level, they gain an additional added trait, and more powerful traits only appear at higher difficulties. This makes them exponentially more difficult, as many of the powers become much, much stronger in combination. Teleport and Fast in particular make many of the other traits much, much worse, because it makes it much harder to run away from enemies who leave trails of fire or who hurt you if you come between you and their friends. It also allows for the fun of invincible enemies you can't get away from, or enemies who deal damage over time if you stand in one place who can prevent you from moving. By comparison, most of the bosses are easy.
Enemy Civil War: The Dark Exile and Azmodan vs. Belial in the interim between Diablo 2 and III. Tyrael points out that the disunity between the Great Evils is their greatest weakness and if they ever get their act together everyone is screwed. This is why Diablo, as the Prime Evil, can walk all over Heaven in Act 4.
Guardian Towers have the ability to summon even more monsters depending on their element.
Escape Rope: The Town Portal returns, with changes. It's no longer useable by other party members, it has a five-second casting time which is canceled if interrupted, and it transports the caster immediately to town as soon as casting is complete. This is to prevent instantly teleporting back to town as soon as anything mildly threatening appears on screen, or pre-emptively opening a portal as an escape route before tackling a difficult boss, as many players did in previous Diablo titles.
Essence Drop: Monsters periodically drop crimson Health Globes upon death. The developers wanted to move away from Diablo's traditional potion spam gameplay.
Evil All Along: This is pretty easy to assume with Adria's betrayal. However, it takes on a new layer with a bit of dialogue between the Enchantress and the PC, coupled with a comment in a journal entry by Maghda which you get after you kill her. The implication is that Adria and Maghda may have led the Coven together prior to the events of the first game, with a rift between them leading to Adria coming to Tristram while Maghda stayed with the Coven. Kormac comes to to suspect the same thing as his storyline dialogue progresses.
Evil Laugh: Every time Zoltun Kulle vanishes at the end of a conversation, he lets out an evil laugh just to remind you that he's in no danger of becoming a good guy.
Evil Plan: Diablo's multi-century plan to become the Prime Evil involved turning Izual the angel to his side so he can learn how to corrupt soulstones, employing Adria the witch as a servant and mother of his child so he will keep a physical anchor in Sanctuary while his brothers just die and go to the abyss, getting Baal to corrupt the World Stone in order to force Tyrael to destroy it, and making Adria help the Diablo III heroes contain the spirits of Belial and Azmodan in the Black Soulstone before using Leah, the aforementioned child, as his vessel to be reborn as the Prime Evil.
Evil Sounds Deep: Virtually every NPC who's even remotely evil is guilty of this. Of course the actual lords of hell take the cake.
Experience Booster: Experience Shrines, again, as well as weapons that give experience per kill, and rubies adorned on helmets which grant a % experience boost.
Exponential Potential: You are limited to six skill slots and 3 passive slots. However, each class has between 20-30 active skills and every skill has 5 rune variants that change its properties, in some cases dramatically altering your entire strategy. And then there's the 10-15 passives as well. And all the different types of gear you can find that enhances what skills you choose.
The Extremist Was Right: Zoltun Kulle, while initially grateful to the player for his resurrection, refuses to give them the Black Soulstone once he finds out it has been tampered with in his absence. He warns the player character that someone is using him or her for their own plans and they're better off finding out what exactly is going on before using it.He has to be killed soon after. Two acts later, it turns out this was all a gambit by Adria to resurrect Diablo.
Fake King: Hakan II, the child king of Caldeum, turns out to be Belial in disguise.
Fake Difficulty: Several randomly-generated enemy combinations found on higher difficulties are nearly impossible for certain characters unless they have gear far more powerful than one player can be expected to find on their own.
Fake Longevity: There are four difficulties that must be played in order and each requires playing through every act again. A Diablo tradition.
Fake Ultimate Mook: Demon Troopers/Raiders from Act III may look big and imposing compared to the other enemies you fight in the area, but they're actually pretty weak in terms of durability, and their attack is very slow.
Tyrael willingly becomes this shortly after the Angiris Council (specifically Imperius) refuses to help Sanctuary.
Unlike many real world religions, Diablo's demons are explicitly not fallen angels. However, angels can be corrupted and fall to darkness, which is what happened to Izual and many of the enemies you face in Act 4.
Falling Chandelier of Doom: In the Cathedral, you can drop these on your enemies. The chandeliers project a shadow on the ground and are supported by a nearby chain. You even get an achievement if your characters kill 666 enemies with these. There are other places where you can kill/injure enemies with the environment as well.
Fantasy Pantheon: Two of them, at least. Ivgorod has a faith of "one thousand and one gods", with the Monk being a preacher of that faith, while Xiansei (homeland of the Wizard) has a pantheon of fifty-nine gods, of whom only one, Zei The Trickster, is mentioned. He's noted as having been "exiled" from the other gods and roams the world disguised as a mortal. There's implications that Covetuous Shen is actually his latest mortal disguise.
Fartillery: One of Ghom's attacks involves toxic gas. Listen to the sound his corpse makes after you kill him, too.
Final Death: Hardcore mode gives you one life before facing permanent character death. Not for the faint of heart.
Fire Keeps It Dead: The villagers of New Tristram are starting to burn the dead, since the town is starting to be attacked by undead. Again.
Fish Out of Temporal Water: Eirena was a part of an enchanter sisterhood which was put in a magic-induced sleep 1500 years ago due to a prophecy claiming that their aid will be needed in present times. All other members, however, were hunted down and slaughtered.
Flash Step: The Monk has several skills that utilize this, especially the aptly named Seven-Sided Strike, that dishes out seven hits to up to seven enemies with blurring speed.
The wizard gets better eventually; by the time of Act IV, s/he admits to Shen that after all s/he went through, s/he doesn't know what to believe or not anymore.
This also applies to Leah and Abd al-Hazir.
Flunky Boss: Iskatu from Act IV, who constantly summons shadow vermin at a rapid rate.
Forever War: Heaven and Hell and the Eternal Conflict. Diablo-Tathamet nearly puts an end to it in a single day.
Diablo:Our long war...ends today!
In the opening cinematic, the last thing Leah sees in her dream is Diablo as he appears after Leah becomes his vessel.
Several of the proclamations from the priest in New Tristram drop hints about plot details, such as the Skeleton King's resurrection and eventual defeat and Tyrael's fall from Heaven and the restoration of his power.
From Bad to Worse: The dead are rising, the animals have been corrupted into foul beasts, political leaders are being possessed, and the end of times has started. Not a good day, but not too unusual for the Diablo universe either. Sure, Cain dies, but he was pretty old anyway. But then Adria betrays you and uses Leah as a vessel for the Prime Evil which leads to Diablo invading Heaven itself and amassing an army of corrupted angels.
You can prevent equipment from showing up on your characters by coloring it with "Vanishing Dye".
There are achievements for defeating various bosses with nothing equipped - and a separate one for defeating a Horny Devil naked. Too bad making all your equipment invisible with Vanishing Dye doesn't count for that...
God Mode Wizard exploit, which made a wizard impervious to damage. It was quickly patched.
A day after the immortal Wizards glitch was made public, a new glitch was discovered, which allowed Barbarians to have almost permanent access to a rune that gives 8% life per enemy they walk into. The effect normally only works during a short charge.
Prior to Patch 1.04 a bug existed with Champion packs in which the minions have "Invulnerable" ability will not die. Normally when the yellow (boss) of the pack is killed, the minions die (as there is no other way to kill them anyway). But if the boss is killed away from the minions (by luring the boss away from the pack), the minions will not be killed thus creating a group of immortal monsters in that area. With Patch 1.04 the "Invulnerable minion" affix was removed.
General Failure: Your character is informed several times that Azmodan is an amazingly cunning commander. Literally nothing goes right for his invasion, however, especially when the hero shows up and rips through his forces like wet toilet paper.
Subverted with a skill build that was present for a short time after release before being silently nerfed. Energy Armor with the Force Armor rune reduces all damage you take to only 35% of your maximum health. Combine this with low max health and health regen that instantly restores that small amount of lost health and you create a wizard that doubles as the best tank in the game.
God Is Dead: Anu was a God of Order, while Tathamet was the Prime Evil and God of Chaos. Their fight to the death created the universe and their corpses became Heaven and Hell.
God of Evil: Tathamet, the original Prime Evil, whose body is now the foundation of the Burning Hells and whose heads became the seven Great Evils. Adria manages to revive Tathamet, or rather a Diablo-dominant reincarnation of Tathamet, by inserting the Black Soulstone into Leah.
God Was My Co Pilot: Maybe. Covetous Shen sure drops a lot of hints that he may be a trickster god in disguise. Then again, he may just be messing with your head. Then again again, isn't that just what a trickster god would do? Then againagain again...
Grand Finale: Diablo III has been stated to end the current storyline, and thus it is expected that the expansions to this game would tie up remaining loose ends.
Gratuitous German: The Diablo III logo, but you need a very high resolution to read it.
Grim Up North: Act III, in the frozen wastelands around the remnants of Mount Arreat.
Guide Dang It: In the game's default settings, each active skill slot can only be used for a single category of spells. What the game doesn't make clear to you, however, is that there is an option to allow you to put whatever skill you want into your skill slots.
Hailfire Peaks: Act 3, which begins with you outside in the middle of a full-scale blizzard, and ends with you descending deep into the molten pit of Arreat Crater.
The humans of Bastion's Keep also lose hope while Auriel is imprisoned. With Malthael (Archangel of Wisdom) disappearing before the game begins, it's possible characters who make poor decisions or miss the obvious do so because wisdom is gone from the world.
The Hedonist: Azmodan's gimmick, according to Book of Cain. His turf of Hell is about excessive pleasure to the point of revulsion.
Hell Invades Heaven: In the finale, Diablo, upon his rebirth as the Prime Evil, launches a full-scale assault with all his demonic forces on the High Heavens, seeking to destroy the Crystal Arch and plunge both the Heavens and Sanctuary into darkness forever. Because Diablo has become the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, the angels do not have a chance in Heaven or Hell of stopping him, meaning that you, as the Nephalem, have the task of stopping Diablo and destroying him once and for all.
Hell On Earth: Naturally, but it gets worse when Azmodan arrives with most of the armies of Hell from Mount Arreat.
The Hero: No matter which class you play as, your character is an altruistic good guy who protects the innocent, fights against evil, and struggles to make the world a better place. Even the Demon Hunter, who is driven by their hatred and desire to kill demons, won't hesitate to help a person in need.
Heroic BSOD: Tyrael has one when he sees the destruction that Diablo is visiting upon the High Heavens.
Heroic Sacrifice: Tyrael sacrifices his own divinity so that he can help the mortals of Sanctuary without interference from his fellow angels. That may also be a case of Fridge Logic, for, when Tyrael sacrificed his divinity, he did so because his fellow angels were about to punish him for having destroyed the Worldstone (in the previous game events) - which contained humanity's Nephalem powers, that, once released, are supposed to make humanity stronger than either demons and angels, and which Tyrael shall now share.
Holy Halo: Invoked by the armor of Imperius, the Archangel of Valor, which has a fancy metal ring floating over his head.
Horny Devil: Not only do the Succubus demons return to tempt mortals with their exposed assets, but their new matriarch Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust, shows up, and she sounds very excited when describing her anticipation of killing you.
Humans Are Special: The original humans, the Nephalem, were born of both angel and demon blood which caused them to control unfathomable power that surpassed both sides' strength. They were never meant to exist in the first place, which lets themdefy fate. Both the Angels and Demons realized this once they discovered the existence of Sanctuary and wanted sway them over to their side so they can finally win the Eternal War. Inarius, however, fearful that the Nephalem would overthrow him, tuned the Worldstone to strip them of their limitless power. With the Worldstone being destroyed by Tyrael at the end of Diablo 2's expansion, Lord of Destruction, the humans are slowly regaining their former Nephalem power.
Tyrael even admits that he is surprised by and admires humans' abilities to carry on living, even in the face of almost certain annihilation. He decides that he would rather stay a mortal than become an angel again.
Humanity on Trial: The Angiris Council once did this. Some feared humanity would be used by Hell against them, others thought they were a blasphemy of creation due to their demonic taint and should be wiped out on general principle. Tyrael was originally in the "kill them all" camp but cast the deciding vote for humanity after witnessing a human sacrifice himself for the greater good.
Husky Russkie: The male Monk. The female is a little less husky, but still has the accent.
Hybrid Power: All humans on the world of Sanctuary are the descendants of the Nephalem, offspring of renegade angels and demons. The Nephalem had power that potentially far outstrips their parent races, and in fear of them the angels tuned the Worldstone to diminish their power, resulting in the mostly ordinary human race.
Leah, early in Act I: "I'm told (my father) was a great warrior who was lost when Tristram fell to the demons." Later it is revealed that Leah's father is Prince Aidan, the eldest son of King Leoric and the Warrior from the very first game, who became the new host of Diablo, the Dark Wanderer, in Diablo II.
Insistent Terminology: When the hero first meets the jewelcrafter, and he introduces himself as Covetous Shen.
Hero: Your name is Covetous?
Covetous Shen: Covetous Shen.
The only PC who doesn't ask this is The Wizard, who is actually from Xiansai, and who instead asks if Shen was named by his enemies.
I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: You'll visit such lovely tourist destinations as the Fields of Slaughter, the Halls of Agony, the Sanctum of the Betrayer, the Edge of the Abyss, and the Towers of the Damned and the Cursed.
Imperius. He lives though, and you can see the hole in his armor in-game afterwards.
Several angels after Diablo tramples over Heaven.
Impersonation Gambit: Belial successfully impersonates the young emperor of Caldeum after he dies so he can slowly but surely corrupt the Jewel of the East; however his gambit fails when the heroes manage to catch on and slay him.
Impossible Item Drop: Don't think too hard about how or why a swarm of insects is carrying plate armor, or where a demoness wearing only a thong hides a broad sword before you kill her.
Especially obvious when looting a corpse will spawn a sword larger than the body it was hiding in
Azmodan is played up by several characters as a tactical genius. His tactics include Zerg Rushes, occasional anti-hero public service announcements, threatening the heroes while telling them exactly where his forces are coming from, and threatening his subordinates with You Have Failed Me. In other words, exactly like every other boss in the game. This is even lampshaded in a dialog with the Templar.
Templar: They say that Azmodan is the greatest commander of all the Burning Hells. Barbarian: His minions fall like twigs in the wind. Some commander.
Belial is supposed to be a master of lies. While posing as the emperor, he claims to have found Belial's identity...but won't tell you without even giving you an explanation as to why he won't tell you. Now how many players were legitimately fooled by this?
Another exchange goes along the lines of "I need new clothing. These old ones are getting too small." She also has some rather Les Yay-laden exchanges with a female monk and other female classes.
Interface Spoiler: Search through the achievements for NPC conversations. One of Tyrael's Act IV conversations is entitled "Adria's Betrayal".
The NPC conversations are full of them. Cain has none after Act I, spoiling his death for many (as why else wouldn't he be there?), and the very existence of Adria's achievement gives away that you meet the witch. Neither Adria nor Leah have any dialogue in Act IV, indicating that they don't accompany you any further... or worse. This is less of a spoiler, though, given that Act IV of the previous game had taken place in hell, where few NPCs would go.
In the Blood: Leah is the daughter of Diablo and can, under extreme stress, explode in a lightshow of red and black magic which kills everyone around her. Despite this, Leah has a pure and noble heart — she only turns into the Prime Evil when Adria uses the Black Soulstone to flood her body with the souls of the seven Great Evils.
Invisible Monsters: Belial's minions are able to turn invisible to get into close range to you, after which they reappear. It gets very annoying because you also can't hit them when they're doing so.
Item Crafting: Plays a big role, allowing you to turn any useless magic items you find into crafting materials which you can then use to craft your own equipment, although often with random attributes. You can also spend gold to train the blacksmith, which allows you to craft more varied and higher level equipment.
It Has Been an Honor: In Act IV, given the players' odds at succeeding protecting the High Heavens and repelling the Prime Evil's assault, both Lyndon and Kormac sincerely believe they won't live to see Diablo vanquished. Before the final battle, they'll confess in party banter how it's been a good ride, and Kormac even confesses how he's been wrong about you and thinks you a great leader and a friend.
It's Up to You: Initially averted. You enroll several characters to help you and they often follow you around and fight with you — Cain, Leah, Tyrael, Adria, the Artisans, the Followers, and Zoltun Kulle. But when Heaven is invaded the angels are powerless to stop Diablo. The Angel of Fate points out that only a Nephalem can save them because their destiny is not written in the scroll of fate whereas it says angels are doomed. When Diablo begins to corrupt the Crystal Arch, every angel is depowered and can't help. When you rush to confront him your follower is imprisoned in a bone cage and implores you to go on without him. Annoyingly, Tyrael simply stands back and refuses to proceed further, despite the fact that he is fully capable of doing so and powerful enough to be a major asset. Why they didn't have him get trapped as well, who knows?
Jerk Ass: Kormac the Templar can come off as this if you play a Barbarian or Witch Doctor, in which case he will bluntly call them "uncultured savages."
It varies; sometimes the barbarian and Kormac get along rather well. In particular, Kormac praises the barbarian for being honorable and incorruptable. Also, Kormac never calls them this to the hero's face: he brings up that he used to think that way before changing his mind because of the hero's example.
Just Friends: Through NPC dialogue it is obvious that Kormac the Templar is infatuated with Eirena the Enchantress. Eirena seems to be oblivious to it, though, and Kormac is too shy to just tell her how he feels.
Kaizo Trap: Elite Mooks with the "Molten" ability will leave behind a fireball when they die, which explodes in a radius for massive damage. Better not pick up that loot yet...
Karma Houdini: Adria, who betrays you and resurrects Diablo by sacrificing Leah, manages to escape. This raises the possibility of this being resolved in an expansion pack.
Kick the Dog: As you close in on Diablo in the final act, he uses the apparitions of those who died during (or even before) the game to taunt you. The very first one he uses? Leah.
Despite appearances, Leah is not necessarily an example of this. Covetous Shen, who's possibly a god, and even if he's not is very old and has possibly seen more than even Deckard Cain or Tyrael suggests she may have survived in some form, and unlike other times Diablo is defeated, her corpse isn't left behind. On top of that, Blizzard has teased her resurrection as a plot point for the expansion(s).
Knife Nut: The lowest ranks of the cultists merely run toward the player character brandishing daggers.
While not strictly land mines, the desert has venomous plants that explode once you get near, after giving a warning.
Throughout Arreat Crater and its associated subzones.
Large Ham: An ensemble cast of some of the largest hams in the series. Even the player characters can get pretty hammy at times. The Templar, however, takes the cake through his sheer pervasiveness.
By all that is holy! Do you see that enemy over there?
That was a worthy foe!Glorious!
Black magic bars our way, but the will of a Templar is stronger!
Tyrael is pretty damn hammy in the flashback to how he left heaven... And it is awesome.
You cannot judge me! I am justice itself!
Lawful Stupid: This is how Tyrael sees the Angiris Council; because of an ancient pact and having an ancient scroll which they believe to be able to foretell everything, they will not interfere and thus put both themselves and humanity in danger. That is why he became a mortal, willingly.
Lighter and Softer: The somewhat more saturated palette of this game compared to its predecessors elicited accusations of this from the fans. Blizzard decided to mock the accusers back by releasing a shirt looking like this◊, and then going even further and creating a level in the actual game with the same theme - see the Sugar Apocalypse entry.
Light Is Not Good: Imperius embodies this trope, not caring about mortals in the slightest. He was the main agitator among the Council for extermination of humanity, and since Malthael, the Aspect of Wisdom, was absent from the Council, his vote was counted against humanity in absentia, with Auriel and Itherael voting for humanity's survival. Tyrael's final vote thus saved humanity from annihilation.
Lightning Bruiser: The Barbarian can become one with the speed boost blessing, especially if he/she already has movement speed boosts.
Limited Wardrobe: The Blacksmith and the Jeweller, Covetous Shen. Especially noticable with the latter, as he still wears his desert-faring clothes in the cold Bastion's Keep. The player can question him on this after Shen advises him to wrap up warm, and he instantly lampshades and justifies it.
Player: Then why are you still wearing the same clothes you wore in Caldeum?
Love at First Sight: If Kormac the Templar is your follower the first time you encounter Eirena the Enchantress, he will remark that she is "beautiful." In subsequent conversations between the two characters it's evident that Kormac is interested in her romantically.
Lyndon comments on this when traversing the Keep depths to reach the larder in Bastion's Keep.
Why do they even have these cellars? It would take a soldier several hours just to get down here and back again if he needed something. He'd need a damn compass!
A conversation between two guards in the hold of the keep suggests it might not be malevolence, exactly:
Guard 1: I just found a dusty wine bottle stashed in a hole in the wall.
Guard 2: This place was built by Kagus Deel, famed drunken architect. He has stashes all over the keep.
Mana: The game has permutations based on the class.
Barbarians build Fury with several of their basic and combat-initiating abilities, and also by taking damage. Fury can be expended in much more powerful skills, though a passive ability can be chosen to grant highly increased damage with a maxed-out Rage orb.
The Demon Hunter is unique in using two resources for their skills. Hatred fuels offensive abilities and quickly replenishes, but a more limited and slowly regenerating pool of Discipline is required to use vital defensive and tactical skills.
Monks gain holy Spirit through their combo attacks. Spirit does not decay over time, and the Monk may choose when and how to expend it with his myriad of offensive and supportive abilities.
Witch Doctors continue to use the Mana Meter, though its regeneration rate is relatively higher than most other games. Mana-siphoning abilities and "investing" mana into Summon Magic help to keep the Witch Doctor casting.
A Wizard channels a constant flow of Arcane Power into their spells. Their most powerful abilities can consume nearly the entire pool at once, though Wizards also have costless "Signature" abilities to deal moderate damage in the meantime.
Meaningful Background Event: In Acts III and IV you can see defenders fighting demons in the distance; in particular, in Act III the Siegebreaker Assault Beast is very prominent, laying waste to soldiers, so it's no surprise when you get to Azmodan's front lines and fight him.
Metal Slime: Treasure goblins drop a lot of gold and items but flee from the player and if not killed in short order will disappear through a portal. Although they don't attack, following them can be dangerous if they lead you to a giant pack of hungry monsters.
The Minion Master: Witch Doctors are capable of summoning various creatures alongside them.
Mistaken for Subculture: When the secret level turned out to be full of purple unicorns, many assumed it was inspired by the Brony subculture. It was actually the result of an early controversy regarding "too bright" color design in screenshots, mocked in thisPenny Arcade strip.
Considering you can encounter unique monsters in Whimsyshire named Midnight Sparkle, Rainbow Western and Unique Nightmarity, it's pretty clear that bronies influenced them to some degree. At the very least, Blizzard saw the resemblance and decided to throw in a few references.
The Mole: It turns out that Adria has been serving Diablo since she first met Aidan, who had attempted to contain him within his own body, and had conceived Leah with him for the sole purpose of using the poor girl as a vessel for Diablo's return as the Prime Evil, in accordance with Diablo's grand plan.
Money Spider: You'll discover riches from spider eggs, cow corpses, angelic vases, ghosts, and bees.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: A random event in the Fields of Misery involves a farm besieged by Leapers. Once all the leapers have been killed, a man comes out of the farm cellar, telling you that him and his wife have been trapped down there by the leapers for hours, and that his wife would love to thank you for rescuing them. He leads you into the cellar, and introduces you to his wife...a skeleton sitting in a rocking chair. He says that she's been unwell of late, but his love will see her through! Then her head falls off. "Oh, she's nodded off."
Mythology Gag: The Gibbering Gemstone, one of the items necessary to open Whimsyshire, is a clear reference to the Chat Gem in Diablo 2's chat lobby. Its flavor text is as follows:
Chatty Gem You feel like talking to someone. It seems to be active, but it is difficult to tell.
Adria is being held prisoner by Goz'turr the Torturer.
Certain combinations of monster pack Affixes, especially in Inferno, require a lot of effort to take down depending on your character. (for example, Vampiric+Molten+Plagued+Extra Health for melees or Arcane Enchanted+Vortex+Mortar+Frozen for the ranged) It's either you kill it or skip it.
Near Villain Victory: Act 4. Diablo and his demons have besieged heaven and are easily winning. All hope seems lost, and they seem destined to win... until the player comes along and defeats them.
Diablo is literally one step away from victory after you beat him in his Realm of Terror- he stomps the Crystal Arch and cracks it. If he had stomped another time, the Arch would have broken, the heavens would have be destroyed and he would have won.
New Game Plus: Just like in the other Diablo titles, after finishing the game on one difficulty, you can access the other difficulties with your upgraded character.
Probably lampshaded by the Enchantress, if you bring her into Act I catacombs which is only possible on second walkthrough.
Enchantress: Is it not curious that we spend so much time killing what should already be dead? Player character:What? Enchantress: I mean... nothing.
The hero unintentionally helps bring Diablo's resurrection due to getting duped by Adria.
Tyrael's fall awakened the Skeleton King.
The Angels and Demons that created the world of Sanctuary. They were just renegade angels and demons that wanted peace. Yet their off-spring, the Nephalem (ancestors to the human race,) turned out to be so powerful that they were dangerous, which created all the conflicts in the whole game's history.
Baal's corruption of the Worldstone. Tyrael's destroying it led to the reawakening of humanity's nephalem power, which culminates in the PCs being able to defeat the last Lords of Hell and then Diablo.
Azmodan comes right out and shows Leah where he's going to invade, destroying his chance at a surprise attack and giving the hero the opportunity to stomp his ass.
Scoundrel: Angry naked women are attacking me? This is my summer in Westmarch all over again!
Not So Different: Some characters, such as Zoltun Kulle, argue that the angels are no better than the demons, and both sides would destroy humanity if they felt like it. Even Deckard Cain fears that this may be the case.
Angels. Demons. I fear their conflict will soon engulf the world of men. And when it does, what hope do men have when even the wrath of angels cannot be quenched?
Numerical Hard: First three difficulties. Inferno throw in a bit more, but still save tendencies.
Oblivious to Love: Eirena the Enchantress seems to have no idea how Kormac the Templar feels about her. The player character has to make it clear for her.
Eirena: The Templar's so strange around me at times.
Barbarian: He's in love with you.
Barbarian: You never noticed?
Obviously Evil: Zoltun Kulle. Intentionally non-spoilered due to how hideously obvious it is and how often Tyrael and the Templar point it out. It's not a case of if he'll betray you, it's when. Too bad the claims that suggest he's betraying you prove to have been sound advice.
You encounter the ghost of Leoric's queen carrying around her own severed head by the hair. Later in the level, you get to watch a spectral reenactment of her execution by guillotine while Leoric and the Archbishop watch on.
The Demon Hunter can do this to their enemies if Bola Shot is selected and a killing blow is struck with it.
One-Man Army: No matter which hero you choose, you will singlehandedly kill thousands of enemies over the course of the campaign.
One Stat to Rule Them All: Every offensive skill scales from damage determinating your main needs. Vitality comes close to second to balance survivability.
Belial does this in the final Act 2 fight, transforming into a giant version of himself that takes up half of the screen.
Wizards can pull this off with their Archon ability. It turns them into a being of pure power, with extremely powerful melee attacks, powerful AOE abilities and a devastating, upgraded version of Disintegrate.
Dark Vessels, who can transform into Dark Thralls. However, the transformation ritual takes a long time to perform, they're helpless while they perform it, and until they do transform, they have such low health that a character with strong enough attack can kill them before they transform.
Our Angels Are Different: Diablo angels wear heavy armor, hoods, and have permanently shadowed faces. The only halo around is Imperius's, and it's made of steel. Their most striking feature are enormous flowing tentacle wings made out of glowing energy which can be used to manipulate objects as well as fly. Angels themselves are said to be made out of harmonic vibrations and light.
Many angels don't have a rosy view of humanity. Mankind itself was created by the union of a demon and an angel; one of them saw humans as slaves and worshippers and the other was the demon.
Percussive Maintenance: You need to have repairs made to Leoric's crown so you can access the crypt of the Skeleton King. What does Haedrig do? Whack it a few times with his hammer.
Pity the Kidnapper: A Bastion's Keep soldier and his wife reminisce about the time barbarians kidnapped her. He was frantic until they returned her with an apology. She simply reasoned with them... and the leader still sends her a bundle of hides sometimes.
Physical God: You. Yes, your character is one of the first new nephalem, beings who are said to surpass Angels or Demons in power, in addition to being Immune To Fate.
Plot Armor: Your NPC followers can not die. If they take too much damage in combat they will fall to their knees for a few seconds before getting back up at full health. This also applies to quest-specific followers like Leah and Akana.
Poor Communication Kills: Zoltun Kulle. If he actually explained things to you for once instead of him being totally mysterious and Obviously Evil then the game might have ended a lot differently.
Justified in that he was playing you as much as anyone was, and to explain it to you would fry his own plans as well. The only reason he dies before anyone else is because he tipped his hand first.
Power Floats: When the Wizard uses the Archon ability, he/she floats around rather than walking.
Power Limiter: Turns out that the Worldstone served this purpose. Now that it's gone, humans can look after themselves against both angels and demons. Thanks, Tyrael!
Purely Aesthetic Gender: Gameplay-wise, it doesn't matter if your character is male or female. The only real difference between male and female characters is appearance, voice, and how certain NPCs behave towards you.
Random Drop: Every item. It's possible to get an extremely powerful weapon from a Mook or even a Barrel.
Random Event: Much more so than the previous games. Such events include sudden ambushes, short sidequests, NPCs needing rescue, or even an enemy's ghost complaining that you killed him.
Randomly Generated Levels: As in Diablo II, but not quite as random as it was. While there are different things every time, and different events to come across, the layout is less random (such as a zone always branches off in the same direction every time), and the Copy And Paste Environments tend to always be oriented in one direction and can get repetitive. Whether this is good or bad varies by individual player tastes. Some players enjoyed never knowing if the next zone was north, south, east or west, while some players are glad they always know a general direction to head in.
Random Number God: Every item is randomly generated, including legendaries, and the quality of dropped items is not based on killed monsters, meaning you will hardly get item with stats you actually need. Elite bosses are also randomly generated and mostly dangerous only if they get skills unpleasant for your class.
Reconstruction: Whereas the first two games in the entry irrefutably ripped apart the conventions of Heroic Fantasy with a bloody meat cleaver, Diablo 3 is a surprisingly warm-hearted reminder of why we love stories about heroes fighting demons: these tales appeal to the inner desire to make the world a kinder and gentler place.
Red Herring: Black Mushrooms can spawn in the Cathedral. Their description even refers to the trope; it is in fact a quote from the original Diablo, spoken by Deckard Cain when asked about the Black Mushroom quest. They may seem useless, but you'll need them to get to Whimsyshire.
Red Shirt Army: The defenders of Bastion's Keep. By the time Azmodan's invasion is over, less than three hundred of them remain out of an original one thousand. It doesn't help that their uniforms are red as well.
Regenerating Mana: The primary magic-using classes, the Wizard and the Witch Doctor, regenerate their Arcane Power and their Mana, respectively. The Demon Hunter relies on two regenerating magic reserves called Hatred and Discipline, the former of which recharges faster than the latter. The two melee classes, on the other hand, have to build up their supply of power (Fury for Barbarians, Spirit for Monks) through melee attacks on enemies rather than just standing around.
Religion of Evil: The Triune cultists worship their dark masters and perform unholy summoning incantations to aid them. In Diablo 3, you fight the Dark Coven, a remnant of that religion which is led by Maghda and in the past was led by Adria and Mephisto's son, Lucion.
Retcon: The goatmen, known as the Khazra, were originally classified as demons in the first two Diablo games. In Diablo III, it is revealed by Abd Al-Hazir that they are actually humans who were transformed by Vizjerei magic into their monstrous goatlike forms. Doesn't stop one major clan (the Blood Clan) from throwing in with Azmodan and Diablo later.
Riddle For The Ages: Who or what exactly is Covetous Shen? Is he just a simple traveling jeweler with a lot of stories to tell, or is he secretly a god in disguise? Shen himself drops some hints, but ultimately just dances around the question.
Michael Gough reprises his role as Deckard Cain for the 3rd time.
Lani Minella returns as Adria the Witch.
Rousseau Was Right: Yes, even in this universe, love, courage and hope are still the greatest powers of all.
Rule of Symbolism: Like The Bible, there is a divine entity who willingly and intentionally abjures everything about him that makes him better than mortal, in order to be able to save humanity from the ancient machinations of a primal evil whose primary form was a seven-headed dragon. note Even better, the most even way to distribute the ten horns among the seven heads would result in four one-horned heads and three two-horned heads. Three of the seven archdemons that Tathamet splintered into had power over the other four...
Sand Worm: Rock Worms and their variants. Watch out when you hear the ground crumbling, as they love to pop up right next to you when you least expect it.
Saved for the Sequel: All the Lords of Hell are mentioned in Diablo but only Diablo is fought in the game. Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, and Baal show up in Diablo 2. Finally, 15 years after first being mentioned, Azmodan and Belial make their appearance in Diablo III.
Save Scumming: Happens in game. Diablo sired Leah as a "backup" body to possess should anything go wrong. It did work.
Scary Scorpions: The Tormented Stingers may look like scorpions and sting like them, but they are actually made from human sacrifices whose chests have been sliced open and their legs mutilated, while maddened by pain. Look at their corpses and it becomes evident.
There's a golden chest in the middle of a room filled with corpses/a somewhat creepy grove lined with "trees"/several other situations. Is it safe?
There's also the "Jar Of Souls" on an altar surrounded by a massive load of skeletons on the floor. Most of the player characters comment on how the Jar of Souls is obviously a trap, and the Witch Doctor even goes so far as to say that it's a trap they're more than willing to spring in order to put the souls to rest.
An NPC says "don't disturb the (spider) eggs." Naturally, most players immediately disturb the spider eggs.
Screw Destiny: Nephalem are stated as being the only beings capable of this, since they are not mentioned in the Scroll of Fate. Proved true when the hero averts the destruction of the angels at the hands of Diablo, which was prophesied in the Scroll of Fate.
Seen It All: There are a few examples, but one particular standout is Marta, the old soldier's wife at Bastion's Keep in Act III. She's completely unfazed by anything up to and including demons bursting through the wall in ambush not twenty feet from her.
After betraying you, Adria manages to escape to fight another day; Imperius is clearly up to no good; Malthael is missing; and the developers have explicitly hinted how Leah isn't gone forever.
There are also more potential hooks such as Kormac's desire to reform his Order, Lyndon's brother still being in jail, Eirena still not knowing what happened to the Prophet, and Covetous Shen's search for the Jewel of Dirgest.
One of the most important: the Black Soulstone is seen plummeting back to Sanctuary in the final cinematic, implying Diablo may be Not Quite Dead...
Seven Deadly Sins: Azmodan's lieutenants include Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust; Ghom, the Lord of Gluttony; and Rakanoth, the Lord of Anguish. Others may appear in expansions.
Shoot the Medic First: Kill the Fallen Conjurer/Prophet/Firemage first unless you want them to keep reviving the grunts.
Socketed Equipment: Socketed weapons and clothing/armor pieces return, allowing the player to improve their stats with gems.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: You start by killing zombies and mutated wildlife. Soon enough you're battling skeletons, hellspawn, undead mages with a lust for immortality, living demonic siege engines the size of a house, fallen angels, and finally the manifestation of all evil.
Soul Jar: The Black Soulstone, like the other Soulstones in the series, is this.
The noblewomen in Caldeum; one is standing outside the Searing Sands Inn, one is inside the Inn, and one is part of the group that's yelling at the guards.
The female Wizard's outfits in a lot of the official art. Amusingly, she even lampshades it in a dialogue with the Enchantress.
Stuff Blowing Up: There is a very high number of explosions in the game. Besides various player skills and spell causing explosions, monsters tend to blow up when killed as well. Sometimes this does damage to other monsters nearby, or to the player.
Belial has two mouths, one on each side of its head. Possibly a StealthVisual Pun (two-faced).
Diablo, once resurrected, has an extra mouth in each of his shoulders.
Training from Hell: Kormac explains that the training to become a templar begins with a process of "purging sinfulness". It starts with being chained to a wall, starved and beaten continuously for three days straight. Then the inquistors start whipping the trainee bloody. Needless to say, it's very effective at wiping out all memory of who they were before. The heroes generally don't approve of this — the Monk, in particular, is outraged upon hearing it. And then it turns out that the Templars don't do this to criminals, like they claim, but simply grab any good fighter, brainwash them through Cold-Blooded Torture, and then tell them they were criminals who had to be punished "for their own good" and need to obey the Templars without question to redeem themselves.
Two Faced Aside: The Scoundrel has a personality that can easily apply these.
Unusual Uninteresting Sight: All of the player classes are a bit strange-looking, but people in the setting are used to adventurers. The Witch Doctor, however, is so far outside the cultural context of any place he visits that it's a wonder he's not taken for a cultist, especially when he has a horde of zombies following him around.
Defied in act II, Your character outright refuses to let any word Zoltun Kulle says get to them; even though there are truth in his words, he's still a mad mage with a god complex. Later on, Emperor Hakan II asks to see the Black Soulstone, and the player character immediately outs him as Belial without even leading him on.
Leoric, the Skeleton King. The buckets of hitpoints, lethal cleave attack, and ability to summon Mooks meant the player needs to utilize dodging, defense, and mitigation to succeed.
Players who roll through the first two acts on Normal while stacking offensive spells will die at Belial, since the nature of his attacks demand damage mitigation and movement skills to avoid being melted.
Warm Up Boss: The Wretched Queen, who's basically just a stronger version of the Wretched Mother enemies and requires little effort to destroy.
The Male Barbarian was supposed to be the same guy from 2, but this idea was scrapped by Blizzard, possibly because if it was the same guy they would have to explain why the game doesn't start him out at level 40+ and fully decked out with high level magical gear.
A number of features that were mentioned in demo videos never materialized in the game, such as obstacles that required certain class abilities to navigate, in-game cinematics, additional NPC allies, as well as entire dungeons.
What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out what happened to the heroes from Diablo 2 after they were sent away to safety by Tyrael. However:
A Necromancer turns up in Act II and mentioned how his mentor who trained him helped stopped Diablo twenty years ago.
In the Wizard's short story on the Diablo III website, it is revealed that the Assassin killed the Sorceress.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Lampshaded by a journal entry by a cultist talking about hearing of a hero coming who cut down his allies like they were children and that now he can't sleep at night out of fear.
When Trees Attack: The Wood Wraiths and other treelike enemies of the game are explicitly not trees, but monsters who took the form of trees to better ambush prey. The fact that they bleed growing green blood supports this claim.
Whip It Good: While not necessarily a whip, Auriel uses a giant cord-like ribbon wrapped around her body in this fashion.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. The zombies. Yes, seriously. At least, the ones who rose in the wake of the fallen star. They are explicitly those who were murdered or slaughtered by the demons from the first two games, awoken by Tyrael's uncontrolled power, which promised them justice.
World of Ham: Okay, from the High Heavens, we have the Archangels Tyrael, Imperius, and even Itheriel and Auriel when they speak. From the Burning Hells, we have the Three Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal. And so on and so forth with the player characters and among their followers. Even the funny Ghost of the Cow King himself is hammy...or rather, beefy.
You Are Too Late: In keeping with Diablo tradition. But ultimately subverted. The PC arrives at the climax just barely in time to stop Diablo.
Belial's One-Winged Angel phase has got to be this, as the moment he's defeated, all damage to the surroundings that happened during this battle is immediately undone. It helps that his epithet was 'The Lord of Lies'.
The Book of Cain supports this, saying that Belial's skill in deceit rises above trickery, into challenging the perception of reality itself. Literally, he makes your mind believe that all that was real.
Diablo's Realm of Terror is another debatable place.