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Videogame: Diablo III
"Not even Death can save you from me."

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 , and introduces four new classes: Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and Demon Hunter.

The game was given an Expansion Pack, Reaper of Souls, which introduced a new act, a new class, a new level cap, powers and more. A console version for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was released on September 3rd, 2013 with a PlayStation 4 version to follow in 2014. The console versions allow offline play, don't have any functionality (instead using the console platforms' online services) and don't feature any sort of auction house. The Auction Houses for the PC version were also permanently closed on March 18th, 2014.

This game features examples of:

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    A - E 
  • Absolute Cleavage: Asheara's outfit looks like it could've come out of Jennifer Lopez' closet.
  • Abstract Apotheosis: The Archangels of the Angiris Council represent and act as embodiments of Valor, Justice, Wisdom, Fate, and Hope. At the end of the game, Tyrael, formerly the Archangel of Justice, takes on the mantle of Wisdom, as its previous holder, Malthael, is out wandering the void.
  • 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). Version 2.0 patches have removed the cap on these Paragon levels entirely, though increasing them now gives players a small boost to some other stat instead.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers beneath Caldeum are sprawling labyrinths filled with hellish beasts.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: The Emperor of Caldeum, Hakan II, is only a boy. However, he is actually Belial in disguise.
  • Action Bomb:
    • Fallen Lunatics are pretty much suicide bombers. Their bloated bodies are filled with toxins that are explosively released when they run up to you and slash their bellies with their knives.
    • Grotesques will explode and release more enemies on death.
  • Action Girl: The female members of each class, although the most clear examples of the trope will be the female Barbarian, Monk and Demon Hunter.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The position was effectively reversed by the Auction House massively simplifying player trading: at any difficulty level but Inferno (the highest), most item treasure that drops can be ignored as players on higher levels will be getting much better items as "junk" and selling them off for tiny amounts of gold. This wiped out the value of several in-game crafting mechanisms.
    • Reversed from patch 2.0 onwards. The player needs to salvage normal (white) items for a crafting material that is used in crafting most equipment, and the Auction House has been shut down.
  • Adipose Rex: Azmodan, the highest ranking demon alive, is extremely fat due to being the lord of Gluttony and Sloth, among other things.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Slaughtered Calf Inn, where you first meet Leah.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: In the world most of the magical equipment you come by (barring some made using ancient relics) was forged by the demons for use in their wars. The events of the first game created a bustling trade from adventurers dredging the items up from the demons of the cathedral, while most traders in this game admit to getting their goods by stealing, looting corpses, or digging them out of the ground.
  • Agent Scully:
    • Leah. Despite everything she has personally witnessed, she still remains skeptical of Cain's warnings about the Prophecy of the End Days until his death. This has been parodied by Penny Arcade, and OMF Gcata also leveled this complaint during many of The Gamestations Podcasts, notably #12 and #13. 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 Monks Know Kung-Fu: Monks have an Eastern Orthodox appearance and speak in an eastern European accent, but use attacks a a fighting style more similar to stereotypical East Asian martial arts. This is less a case of not doing the research, though, and more a case of deliberately combining things in an unusual way.
  • All Swords Are the Same: The game plays this arrow-straight with all its characters, but the Monk stood out in particular for a while. No matter what equipment a monk has (bare hands, punch daggers, a sword and shield, dual maces) they always attack with their fists - only occasionally hitting enemies with a sword pommel or the back of a shield. Even more amazingly, the Monk has access to special staffs - that they'll keep on their back the whole time they're fighting enemies! This was eventually fixed in a patch, where the Monk will at least use fist-weapons and staves for certain attacks.
  • All There in the Manual: The Book of Cain seems to contain a lot of stuff that never made it into the games.
  • 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.
  • All Your Powers Combined: It is revealed that the Seven Great Evils were once one incredibly powerful being of evil known as the Prime Evil, Tathamet, and that upon his death at the hands of Anu, his remains became the Burning Hells and each of his heads became the Great Evils. During the final act of the game, Diablo uses the Black Soulstone with all seven Evils inside to become Tathamet reborn, with Diablo in control due to his host being his own daughter by way of the Dark Wanderer. During the final battle, Diablo uses attacks and status effects that were previously possessed by the other Great Evils as well as his own attacks.
  • Amazonian Beauty: The female Barbarian, a red-headed warrior who is incredible tall and muscular much like her male counterpart, and looks like a more buffed version of Red Sonja. The two main differences are that she's a lot younger than the male barbarian, who's an old man, and her armor sets, especially in the official art for the game tends to be slightly more sexualized. Of course the latter two make her no less of an intimidating looking woman.
  • 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.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: One of your partners is part of a zealous organization that does this to its recruits - former criminals who agree to having their memories wiped so that they may seek redemption. You meet him when you're dungeon crawling in a place where one of his companions is hiding, having just turned traitor. Turns out the guy betrayed his organization after gaining the ability to regain his lost memories, and had been horrified to realize that he was just some Average Joe who signed up for a job. Your partner eventually does the same thing, finding the same thing. Subversion! ... Maybe. It's unclear whether the organization actually does take in former criminals that way.
  • Amnesiac God: The Fallen Star in a rather short-lived example. Your character's whole reason for travelling to New Tristram was to find out where the Fallen Star landed and just what the hell it actually was. Upon finding the epicentre of the destruction, you find an amnesiac man lying in the glowing crater. After realising that he arrived with a sword, you're sent out to find the pieces and have them reforged before returning the weapon to "The Stranger". Upon receiving his sword, he instantly regains his memories, realising that he is, in fact, Tyrael, the former Archangel of Justice who intentionally shed his angelic power in order to aid humanity, something he was otherwise forbidden from doing.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Black Soulstone was constructed by Zoltun Kulle and has the power to absorb the spirits of both angels and demons.
  • Ancient Tomb: The game has you revisiting the old ruins of the Tristram Cathedral, which includes its share of tombs, including the Crypt of the Skeleton King where you throw down with the resurrected title monster who is barring the path to the Fallen Star that takes up the first part of the game proper.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: This little gem from early on:
    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.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Leah, niece of Deckard Cain, starts off as a genuinely good character. Then she finds out that her Mom is an evil witch, and her dad is the wanderer from Diablo II. She becomes corrupted by the soulstone after capturing a few more demons in it (thus becoming an even more powerful version of) Diablo herself.
  • Angel Unaware: Tyrael, after briefly losing his memory in Act I. The Non Player Characters have a much harder time guessing his identity than a Genre Savvy player, even Deckard Cain who met him before.
  • Animate Dead: The website gives an interesting justification: instead of animating individual skeletons (which might be damaged, too small, etc.), skeletons are actually amalgamated bone dust and dirt, held together by the magician.
  • Another Dimension: The Diabloverse has a whole bunch of these in addition to the main world of Sanctuary:
    • The High Heavens (where angels live).
    • The Burning Hells (where demons live).
    • The Unformed Land (where the dead go, at least according to the Witch Doctor).
    • Pandemonium (where a lot of battles between angels and demons went down and where Tyrael spent 20 years reforming himself after the Worldstone's destruction).
    • The Shadow Realm (where Zoltun Kulle's body was placed).
    • Various pocket dimensions, including the Terminus and Diablo's Realm of Terror.
    • Wherever Trag'Oul hangs out.
    • Whimsyshire! The land of sunshine, rainbows, and cutesy animals that will pulverize you if you're not at a high enough level.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The most powerful demons and angels are masters of some aspect, such as Hate, Destruction, and Terror or Justice, Hope, and Valor.
    • However, the finale shows it's possible for angels to change what they personify.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Numerous, compared to the previous games in the series.
    • 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.
    • As of the "Version 2.0" update/patch, you now also automatically pick up health potions. That patch also narrowed down health potions to only one type that heal sixty percent of maximum health, as opposed to having to constantly upgrade between potions that healed a set amount once a player reached the potion's level cap.
    • 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 in the original game and one more in Reaper of Souls.
    • 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.
    • Up to one hundred health potions can stack into one slot, as opposed to previous games where every individual potion took up a slot in your inventory.
    • You can take gems out of Socketed Equipment.
    • You no longer have to carry around scrolls of identify or town portal. Just one click, and you cast the appropriate spell for free. You also eventually gain a Book of Cain that will identify all your items at once with one click, but you have to be back in your safe zone to use it.
    • There are no skill trees or skill learning anymore. Leveling up simply unlocks skills and runes that you can choose to put in your six skill slots. Skills can be switched out of these slots at any time at no cost. Thus it is not possible anymore to find yourself stuck after making a wrong choice of skills to level up.
    • In addition to the left and right mouse buttons, players have a hotbar of four skills that can be respec'ed on the fly, rather than having to hotkey important skills and throw them onto the left and right buttons in sequence in the middle of combat. The trade off is that skills can't be swapped out during cooldown, limiting the player to 6 skills per fight.
    • This is more of a returning feature than a new one, but any plot-relevant NPCs accompanying the players have unlimited hit points.
    • As of Reaper of Souls, you can reroll up to one stat per item (within certain limits) for an in-game cost of gold and salvaged materials.
  • Anyone Can Die: Not only does Deckard Cain die at the end of the very first act, but Leah, arguably the main heroine of the game, not only dies, but has the most gut wrenching death in the entire series.
    • If you play on Hardcore mode, this applies to the player character as well.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Several lore books in the game are in this style, including a record of Lachdanaan's final moments.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • The Archivist was announced as a new class, having the character play a Deckard Cain-like old geezer whose dialogues are senile rantings.
    • They also announced Diablo III blankets and pillows and a Deckard Cain GPS voice pack to go with it.
  • Arabian Nights Days: Both Diablo II and this game have desert cities with this motif.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Happens in this game, spoofed in this Penny Arcade strip.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: You go to Westmarch in Reaper of Souls and what you see of its nobility doesn't paint a good picture. One of the surviving nobles blames the poor for the fact that there are demons rampaging through the city, while another yells at his wife for forgetting to bring the jewelry. When she protests he replies with "I'd rather be dead than poor." Apparently King Justinian isn't like that, however, and only appears to be apathetic to the peasants to pacify the nobles, who threaten him with revolt in order to get him to do what they want.
  • Aroused By Their Voice: Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust and concubine to Azmodan, found in Act III and voiced by none other than Claudia Black.
  • Arrows on Fire: Besides the various Demon Hunter skills, the soldiers at New Tristram and Bastion's Keep shoot these en masse. Considering what they're dealing with, it's quite appropriate
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: ...However, despite the above trope:
    • 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.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: The series has fun with this trope. All three games end up revealing that Angels and Demons have fought each other since the beginning of time. However, things changed when a number of individuals on both sides got tired of the conflict and created Sanctuary and Nephalem, and humans are descended from them. Then you have both sides trying to figure out what to do with this third group, since they have the potential to be more powerful than both sides, actually possess free will, and they are Immune to Fate. In fact, this game shows that demons can come back from being killed, even if it takes 20 years for them to do so. Of course, when a Nephalem kills Diablo at the end, Tyrael is quick to say that evil has been defeated forever and the eternal conflict is finally over. The Nephalem points out "Don't be so sure. True evil never dies," and Tyrael responds "Time will tell." In Reaper of Souls, Adria notes that Diablo always finds a way to come back.
  • 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.The PC insists that he already is a good person.
  • Auction: Up until March 18, 2014, the game offered players an auction house for selling items found during adventures. One version used in-game gold, the other used cold hard cash and required a Pay Pal account. Blizzard got a cut, of course, and the cash version was not available in Hardcore Mode. Player reaction to the shutdown has been mixed.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The Demon Hunter class can Dual Wield single shot hand crossbows like a pair of semi-auto pistols without ever apparently reloading. The Rapid Fire skill lets them fire like fully automatic machine guns.
  • Autosave: The game autosaves when entering a certain place.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Destructible objects in the environment which may be used against enemies, such as chandeliers that can drop on their heads and cauldrons of boiling tar you can spill. Lining up monsters to be killed by these objects can be more of a hassle than it's worth, so generally players will only use these with fortuitous timing and/or grouping.
  • Awful Truth:
    • Templars of the Templar Order are convicted criminals who are tortured to "cleanse" them of their sins and then mind-wiped so that they can be turned into weapons against the darkness with purpose and clarity. When Kormac, your follower who hails from this order, comes across the journals of Jondar, a turncoat Templar who you help him kill when you recruit him, and reads the "key words" that act to restore his memory, the Awful Truth is revealed. It turns out the Order doesn't really give a damn about the guilt or innocence of its initiates, and will gladly pile false sins upon an innocent, as they did to both Kormac and Jondar, if they deem him to be a worthy asset to the Order..
    • And then it all got worse. It turns out that the real reason Adria wants the souls of all seven of the Great Evils put into the Black Soulstone isn't so that she can destroy them all forever in vengeance for what happened to Tristram — it's because Adria pledged herself to Diablo's service long ago and seeks to bring about the rebirth of her master as the Prime Evil, the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, in accordance with Diablo's grand plan. And the vessel that she uses to bring about this rebirth? Her own daughter Leah, whose true father turns out to be none other than Diablo himself by way of the Dark Wanderer, a.k.a. the Warrior from the very first game who got himself possessed by Diablo after sticking the fragment of the demon lord's soulstone into his head.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Every class can wield one.
    • The Templar can wield one-handed axes, while the Enchantress can use one- or two-handed axes.
    • Many enemies use axes. Skeletal Executioners carry axes so large they have to drag them.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • 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.
    • Everyone's favorite Damage-Sponge Boss Izual is back...except he's not just a Damage-Sponge Boss anymore!
    • 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). A Fter all, she killed her first demon when she was only thirteen!
  • Badass Beard: The Barbarian and the Monk sport these.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Tyrael gives an epic one to Imperius and the Angiris Council shortly before willingly stripping himself of his angelic powers and become a mortal so he can protect Sanctuary.
      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:
      Demon Hunter: 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.
      Belial: 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.
    Enchantress: Oh... I was merely curious.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • The Scoundrel gets one of these once he hits a certain level.
    • Some of the male Wizard's higher-level armors have this as well.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Averted in this game. Destroying the Cosmic Keystone turned out to be a good thing since its real purpose was to seal humanity's true power. The newly empowered heroes end the reborn Prime Evil's reign of terror forever. However...since the release of Reaper of Souls, it remains to be seen if the trope will be played straight after all.
  • 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.
    • The Witch Doctor has scores of horrific powers, and a fascination with the macabre. However, he or she is genuinely nice, heroically inclined, a Warrior Therapist and a lot more personable than the stoic other classes.
  • Bag of Sharing: The game uses mechanics similar to Guild Wars' Xunlai Chests. 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.
    • Reaper of Souls reveals that Imperius and his minions being immobilized wasn't actually Diablo's doing, but Malthael's during his own attempt to kill the Nephalem.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Tyrael is one after he voluntarily fell from grace to help humanity.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Stranger (Including once his memories are restored!), and also the male Monk and Witch Doctor.
  • Bald of Evil / Beard of Evil: Zoltun Kulle.
  • Ballistic Bone: In the Demon Hunter trailer, the Demon Hunter uses the tooth of a slain demon as an arrowhead for one of her bolts, which is the first to get loosed against the demonic horde that is after the only survivor of a village massacre.
  • Barbarian Hero: One of the playable classes.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Barbarians have a great deal more backstory in this game. The Barbarians believe themselves to have a god-given mission to protect their territory, which houses a way to a plane of hell. This causes frequent clashes with the more civilized people who have no idea what they're guarding, and just see them as aggressive and territorial beyond reason.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The Monk uses punches and kicks for his special attacks, even when carrying weapons.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Leah's outfit, although it's only really noticeable in the cinematics.
    • The Enchantress, until she gets to a high enough level.
    • All of 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.
  • Beam Spam:
    • The wizard's come in red and blue flavors, 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.
  • Beard of Barbarism: The Barbarian of Diablo III, in stark contrast to the bald and clean-shaven Barbarian of Diablo 2.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Zombie bears, an extremely powerful Witch Doctor skill.
  • The Beastmaster: The Witch Doctor has a few creepy-animal-based attacks, such as summonable toads and throwable jars of spiders.
  • Bee Bee Gun: The wasp enemies fire out a stream of small homing wasps at you.
  • Belly Mouth: Ghom, a minor boss sports such a mouth. A voracious eater, it is implied that captured soldiers were either eaten by Ghom or feed to others to fatten them up before Ghom ate them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Hand of the Prophet are a group of girls who served under a powerful Vizjerei lord prior to encountering the aforementioned Prophet. Eirena, one of them, is quite friendly throughout the nephalem's campaign, and yet she was thirteen at the time she and her sisters murdered their lord, his buddies, and the greater daemon the Vizjerei were summoning.
  • BFG: Urzael's main weapon fires exploding firey orbs. The noises it makes and the way he holds and fires it are very obviously patterned after a rocket launcher. Though he also uses it as a flamethrower.
  • BFS:
    • 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.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Azmodan wants so badly to be the Prime Evil. Too bad his competition is Diablo.
  • Big Good: The archangel Tyrael is the closest thing the world has to one of these, and is especially cemented in this game, where he renounces his status as an archangel so that he can aid humanity against Hell directly. After becoming the new archangel of Wisdom, he may be the biggest good in the series period...which turns out to be appropriate in Reaper of Souls, where the former archangel of Wisdom is now the Angel of Death.
  • Big Red Devil:
    • Diablo is a mix between this and Godzilla. But if the first ever trailer for the game is any indication, his original design was much closer to this.
    • The most powerful of Diablo's Elite Mooks also took this form: the Balrogs from the very first Diablo, the Megademons from Diablo II, and the Oppressors from Diablo III.
  • 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. See Sequel Hook below for more details.
  • Bi the Way: The Enchantress will innocently flirt with your hero regardless of which gender you choose, and 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 to 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.
  • Black Mage: The Witch Doctor.
  • Black Magic: Any magic used by demon cultists and summoners, such as that used by Maghda's Dark Coven, which is fueled by torture and sacrifice to their demon master Belial.
  • Bladder of Steel: The game is not paused while online and there's a significant delay to Town Portaling to a safe zone. You must stand still for 5 seconds without getting hit. You also can't leave the game immediately due to a 10 second timer for that. To make matters even worse, some boss fights don't let you escape at all, so if you're in the middle of a boss fight and something comes up, you're in deep trouble.
  • Blood Knight: The Templar seems to indulge in this; no reason he can't enjoy purging demons from the land, right?
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: This game plays it in-between the two first games, with hell consisting of a dry, bony landscape paved with what turns out to be the skin of flayed demons.
  • Blow Gun: The Witch Doctor uses one for their starting ability.
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • 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.
  • Body Horror:
    • 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 turned into scorpion-like creatures.
      Cain: 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.
  • Body of Bodies: The Unburied are undead abominations composed of the bodies of humans thrown into mass graves without a proper burial which decomposed together into one hideous being bound by foul magic.
  • 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., and lampshaded with the achievement "He Thought He Was So Clever".
  • Boring Return Journey: This game makes the Waypoints much more numerous, so you are generally not far from one if you just press onward. Optional dungeons also now have a teleporter at the end that will take you back outside.
  • Boss Banter
  • 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:
    • "Haxxor, Wielder of Giant Axes"
    • "Dreadclaw the Leaper, Rodent of Unusual Size"
    • "Growlfang, Bite Much Worse Than Bark"
    • "Vicious Gray Turkey, Delicious Armored Beast"
    • "Larson the Strange, Eater of Vegetables"
    • "The Crusher, Just Passin' By"
    • "Chupa Khazra", with Khazra being a race of goatmen.
    • "Dargon, Traitorous Cur"
    • "Digger O'Dell, Must Be Shoveling Off", the ghost of a gravedigger.
    • Nightmarity, Generosity in Death.
  • The Blacksmith: Haedrig. He even speaks in a thick accent like his predecessor, Griswold.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Jondar. Not that Kormac cares...]]
  • Break the Cutie: Leah suffers this throughout the course of the game. During the course of Act I, she's proven completely wrong about the demons and is forced to watch as her beloved adoptive uncle Deckard Cain is tortured and killed by Maghda right in front of her. Things begin to look up for her in Act II when she finds out that her mother Adria is still alive. But then comes Act III, and the start of things going From Bad to Worse for her. First, she personally goes through a hellish vision from Azmodan to lure her to Arreat Crater, during which he reveals to her that he knows of her plan to trap the Great Evils in the Black Soulstone and that he's sending an army of hellspawn to get it so that Azmodan can become the Prime Evil. And then she's forced to keep the Black Soulstone together with her power throughout the course of the act so that the Evils cannot escape, which is incredibly painful and draining for her. And this is all before she gets betrayed by her own mother, who uses the aforementioned soulstone to use her as a vessel for Diablo to be reborn as the Prime Evil himself. Poor girl...
  • 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.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory / Real Money Trade: The Real Money Auction House made this possible, to much controversy, until it was shut down.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Pox Faulds are legendary pants that, when surrounded by at least 3 enemies, emit an aura of poison damage. The buff is a picture of a skunk, it's called 'Stinky' and the description is 'You were frightened, so you resorted to the most primitive of survival tactics'. Any ally close enough will get a similar buff noticing how someone near him/her smells.
  • Broken Angel: Tyrael is a self-inflicted case. He tore off his own wings to become a mortal when he could no longer tolerate his fellow angels' refusal to protect Sanctuary from the demons.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Tyrael loses his angelic powers. While his sword does grant him some residual power, even as a mortal, he remains a skilled commander and fighter on the battlefield.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Butcher, the first boss. There's even an achievement for finishing him off while he's stunned from the charge.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hilariously subverted, where a random citizen in Caldeum tries to rob the Barbarian. The Barbarian's reaction is to ask him to get a closer look, then think again about what he is doing. Cue the would-be robber awkwardly backing off saying he was just kidding.
  • The Bus Came Back: Adria, the Witch in Tristram from the original, makes her reappearance in III after not even being mentioned in II.
  • The Butcher: He's back, as the final boss of Act I...and with new powers to boot, including a harpoon, a ramming move, and the ability to set the floor ablaze.
  • Camp Straight: Surprisingly, Covetous Shen. He even has a lisp! He Really Gets Around too; one of his dialogue options talk about the many, many wives he's had. But never more than two at once!
  • Carry a Big Stick: Leoric has a flanged mace that's broader than his shoulders. Considering that he's already ten feet tall, that's saying something.
  • The Casanova: Lyndon.
    Hero: Do you miss that girl?
    Lyndon: What girl?
    Hero: The farmer's daughter.
    Lyndon: I miss all farmers' daughters.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Lyndon, again. When the PC tells him that women don't like him as much as he thinks they do, he replies "Well, we all have off days." He also tries to hit on all the female PCs and Leah, and gets shot down.
    Lyndon: [to the female Monk] Do you ever think an amazing woman like you and a guy like me could ever become more than friends?
    Female PC: No.
    Lyndon: You're missing out...
    Female PC: No, I'm not.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • 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."
  • Cast from Hit Points: Succubi invoke this with a debuff that makes any resource-costing ability take off health as well.
  • 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.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Well, a door behind the falls in this case.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: The Angiris Council rules the High Heavens.
    • Imperius is the Archangel of Valor, who believes in "blood for blood" when it comes to demons, and is probably the biggest jerk on the council, especially when it comes to humans.
    • Tyrael is the Archangel of Justice, and one of the only angels who actually gives a damn about humanity, to the point that he becomes one in III to aid humanity directly against Hell.
    • Auriel is the Archangel of Hope, and the other main proponent for humanity. Without Malthael, she's the one tasked with keeping the Angiris Council together.
    • Itherael is the Archangel of Fate, who is in charge of angelic records and divining the future of Sanctuary.
    • Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom and once the leader of the Angiris Council. He disappeared soon after the Worldstone did, and his whereabouts were unknown until he resurfaced as the Angel of Death in Reaper of Souls, having gone evil and seeking to destroy humanity and the Nephalem.
  • Celibate Hero: Kormac, though he seems to have a hard time restraining himself around the Enchantress. Lyndon finds this hilarious, which really irritates Kormac.
  • Chain Lightning: The Wizard's Electrocute ability does this, and can be upgraded with one of its runes to target more monsters.
  • Chaos Architecture:
    • Tristram Cathedral. Previously a dark catacomb, it has become a sprawling underground complex complete with things like balconies. One wonders how the enormous open cavern doesn't collapse.
    • Old Tristram, the Cathedral, and Adria's hut are also much farther from each other, and in different spots.
    • Justified in the case of the Pandemonium Fortress in Reaper of Souls; it's outright stated that the Fortress changes to match the state of mind of its occupant, so Deckard Cain's detailed notes on its layout (from II) are completely useless now that Malthael is in charge.
  • Chaste Heroine: Eirena, to the frustration of numerous characters.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: One of the very first quests has you exploring the abandoned home of Leah's allegedly long-dead mother Adria.
  • 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.
  • Clowncar Grave:
    • Zombies and an Iron Maiden.
    • 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 (along with Reaper of Souls) has more cursing than either of its predecessors.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • 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 (the old torture chambers of King Leoric) are anything to go by. In addition to having many people (up to and including his own queen) executed out of paranoia brought on by Diablo's attempts to take over his mind and the evil whisperings of Archbishop Lazarus, he had quite a lot of people tortured. The Darkening was not a fun time to live through.
    • 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 and Support: The classes.
    • Combat: Barbarian and Monk
    • Balance: Demon-Hunter
    • Support: Witch-Doctor and Wizard
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
    • Gharbad the Weak is Gharbad the Strong.
  • Cool Big Sis / Brother: Eirena the Enchantress quickly comes to liken the Player Character to an older sibling.
    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.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Barbarian, definitely. He can still twirl Whirlwinds and he's probably pushing sixty!
  • 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.
  • Copy Protection: Blizzard eventually admitted that the "always online" requirement was partially due to copy protection. While the game sold well, the game got a huge amount of negative publicity. Many people could not play the game when it came out due to server overload, leading to the infamous "error 37" Memetic Mutation. The game's console ports have offline play, but the PC version still requires a constant Internet connection.
  • Corrupt Church:
    • 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 StarCraft'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.
    • In Reaper of Souls, one of the new NP Cs has a Transmogrify ability that lets you change the appearance of your weapons.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Crystal Arch, source of all Angels and their power. If it is destroyed, Angeldom will cease to exist and both Sanctuary and the High Heavens will be cast into darkness forever. 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.
  • Creepy Cathedral: The Cathedral from the first game is revisited in a limited capacity in the first act, where you make two trips — one to rescue Deckard Cain, and the other to destroy the Skeleton King and get to the bottom of the star that fell upon the cathedral.
  • Creepy Good: The Witch Doctor, who, in addition to summoning creatures such as spiders, poisonous frogs, or zombie dogs and bears, is a Nightmare Fetishist, but is portrayed as one of the nicest characters amongst the playable classes.
  • 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.
  • Crosshair Aware:
    • Most of Belial's attacks in his One-Winged Angel form have a green circle that appears on the spot that will be hit.
    • Elite Mooks with the Mortar, Molten or Frozen abilities now show the point and radius of their explosion moves, allowing the player to anticipate and avoid them.
  • Cry into Chest: At the end of Act II, Leah has just been through a hellish vision courtesy of Azmodan, the last of the Evils that you have to take down, who reveals to her that he knows about the plan to trap him and his brothers in the Black Soulstone, and has sent all of his legions to the mortal realm from Arreat Crater to capture it. After relaying the info about the above to Tyrael after he breaks her out of this vision, she breaks down in his arms.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The High Heavens, in contrast to the classic Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Cue the Sun: When you defeat Diablo for the third and final time, the dawn slowly breaks over heaven itself.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Imperius vs. Diablo. Imperius is very much on the receiving end.
  • Cutting Off The Branches: The game mentions the role of "heroes" in the events of the second game, but The Book of Cain specifies that all five of the original character classes were involved in defeating Diablo the second time.
  • 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 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.
  • Dare to Be Badass: The Demon Hunter trailer ends with one of these.
    You have a choice. Hunted... or hunter.
  • Darkest Hour: The start of the final act is one of these in spades. To recap: Diablo is back courtesy of Adria pulling the mother of all betrayals. Leah is no more thanks to Adria using her as the vessel of said rebirth. Diablo has become the Prime Evil, the sum total of all Seven Great Evils in one being, thanks to the Black Soulstone that you so helpfully put the Evils into for Adria. And Diablo and all his forces are now running roughshod over the High Heavens themselves, with extra despair points due to Auriel, the Archangel of Hope, being taken prisoner by Rakanoth, the Lord of Despair. Only when you free her do things begin to look up, though you still have a lot of demonslaying to do!
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Dark Is Evil:
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Witch Doctor is both a creepy Nightmare Fetishist and one of the more friendly and kind characters.
  • 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.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Many of your camp followers are carrying their own rather heavy baggage.
    • 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.
    • Covetous Shen the Jeweler is a happy-go-lucky guy who's had multiple wives, seen the world, recently acquired a crucible that allows him to create the most fantastical stat-boosting gems that the heroes can obtain, and has spent entire decades chasing a madman sorcerer trapped in a jewel that feeds off its owner's life force and even their personal life until they die without anything. It's implied that Shen has seen this happen multiple times after the jewel nearly obliterated his own life.
    • 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, including much of Act II, the siege of Bastion's Keep in Act III, and the battle in the High Heavens in Act IV. Kormac the Templar, one of your followers who has a serious case of Black and White Morality, is definitely troubled by this.
    Kormac: I do not understand how evil walks in the day. Should it not fear the light?
    PC: [some statement contradicting this line of thought].
    Kormac: But the light is both a literal and figurative enemy of evil!
  • Deader than Dead: The ending of the game implies this for Diablo, and quite possibly all of the other Evils that have been fused with him, but Reaper of Souls reveals that Diablo's essence is still inside the Black Soulstone, although the changes Malthael intends to make to the Soulstone as part of his plan may alter the Evils in some manner.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • The Player Characters definitely have their moments at times, especially the Wizard.
    • Lyndon the Scoundrel usually has something snarky 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."
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: "YOU HAVE DIED. YOUR ITEMS HAVE LOST 10% DURABILITY." Compared to II, where you left your equipment and corpse behind as well as losing money, this is pretty much nothing. The console version makes it even more a slap on the wrist, giving you the option to resurrect right at your corpse if you want. Hardcore mode, however...
    • Becomes more of a Death Is a Stab In The Wrist if you're using Legendary or other expensive equipment. If you use equipment with the Indestructible perk, the stab is against an armored wrist, but most one-space inventory items don't have this perk.
  • Death Seeker: The Barbarian.
    Scoundrel: What will you do when this is all over?
    Barbarian: Death awaits me. There is nothing else.
    Scoundrel: That's quite a... dark... outlook.
  • Defector from Decadence: The game enjoys this trope:
    • Tyrael does this to the Angiris Council after a loud argument regarding his actions in the prequel (namely saving humanity from certain doom.) He strips off his armor and falls from the High Heavens to Sanctuary. He eventually rejoins them, though as a mortal.
    • Subverted with Kormac the Templar. He was taken in as a criminal by the Order, magically and physically tortured until his memories were repressed, and told he had been redeemed at their hands. This trope is set up when he finds out he was actually an honest soldier of Westmarch and the whole "redeemed criminal" stuff was a facade. However, he stays faithful to the order and vows to clean it of those responsible. Eventually double-subverted; upon learning that the orders to torture non-criminals came from the top, he (with the help of the PC) killed the Order's leadership, and vowed to release his "brothers" in the order from their indoctrination.
    • Deconstructed (?) with Kormac's former templar brother Jondar. He had a similar revelation at some point, but it left him heartbroken and in a mentally weakened state. Then he was discovered by, and persuaded to join, the demonic Coven.
  • Dem Bones: The ''Diablo III'' information states that the undead are not from a single corpse. Instead, they essentially turn a corpse into bone powder and reconfigure it into a skeleton. When you raise any skeleton, it's really like you're raising a thousand tenths of a percent of a thousand different skeletons and sticking them together.
  • Demonic Possession: Leah is possessed by Diablo when Adria smashes the Black Soulstone into her chest and revived not just Diablo but the overall Eldritch Abomination Tathamet. Ho boy. Heaven got invaded thanks be to that.
  • 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Can happen with the random item generator - you'll run into weapons such as the Cruel Sledgehammer of Cruelty or the Reptilian Viper.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Pretty much 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—your character doesn't, though. 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.
  • Despair Gambit:
    • 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.
  • Despair Speech: Most of the people still alive in Bastion's Keep at the beginning of Act IV have these to give following Leah's death and the unleashing of Diablo as the Prime Evil upon the High Heavens, but the most poignant of all is Haedrig's.
    Haedrig: I thought I could make my wife's death mean something. It doesn't matter now, does it?
    Player: It does matter. You are here now, and we might still turn the tide of this battle.
    Haedrig: Right. I'm sure that's a comfort for Leah now that she's gone too. I've been a fool. You don't get to make things right. This world isn't made for redemption.
  • 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.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • 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.
    • All the artisans (Haedrig, Shen, and Myriam) have dialogue for parts of the game before you would have met them for the first time. Similarly, your followers have dialogue for segments of the game before they would have joined you.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Blizzard has revealed that the destruction of the Worldstone also blew up the entire mountain, destroyed the barbarian capital and turned the continent into a wasteland. By the way, the Worldstone not only kept the demons out but also the angels because some of them view humanity as a taint on creation and are quite eager to destroy it. Instead of just the Prime Evils raising an army, a full scale demonic AND angelic invasion involving every character from either side with a name is about to occur. On the plus side, the Worldstone had acted as a power limiter on humanity, and some humans are regaining their ancestral powers to become the new nephalem—most notably, your character.
  • 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. You even get an achievement for physically punching him! It's 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.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Adria conceived Leah with Aidan while he was possessed by Diablo. And she knew it. Adria had consensual sex with the Lord of Terror. Just to make it a bit more Squicky, he only gradually gained control of Aidan through the first half of the events of Diablo II; his human host was mostly still in control before he left Tristram. One can only guess what was going through his head at the time...
  • Die, Chair! Die!: The game takes this to a whole new level, it's jam-packed with destructible terrain. Ruined walls will crumble and furniture will splinter from your spells going off near them. You can even get small experience bonuses if you destroy enough of these pieces in quick succession, and some achievements give bonuses for doing this (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.
  • Disappears into Light: Inverted when Tyrael decides to make himself mortal. His head (previously a void hidden under a hood) materialises from bright motes as he does so.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The first major boss of the game is the Skeleton King, who is faced halfway through the first act and is largely unrelated to the rest of the game's plot (unfortunately for the characters in-game, he's literally barring the way to that plot). Then the player must face Belial and Azmodan before the real Big Bad is finally revealed to be Diablo himself once again.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The game has this in Act III if you went into the game completely blind. The PC descends into Mordor? Check. Boss fight against the Big Bad who had been pretty built up for a good portion of the game? Check. However, after you beat Azmodan Adria betrays you and you go to the High Heavens for the real final dungeon and to face Diablo.
  • Disintegrator Ray: One of the Wizard's powers is one of these. It gets ridiculously powerful in his/her Archon Form.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Sword of the Stranger in Act 1, and Zoltun Kulle's body in Act 2.
  • 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.
  • The Ditz:
    • Covetous Shen. It's heavily implied he's Obfuscating Stupidity, and just refuses to give straight answers...and might in fact be a god.
    • Eirena the Enchantress, who has lived a rather sheltered life and is also a Fish Out of Temporal Water. As a result she is almost childlike in her innocence about many things.
  • Divine Conflict:
    • The Creation Myth in the series is how the ultimate good Anu and the Prime Evil Tathamet battled each other for millenia, their remains eventually becoming the High Heavens and the Burning Hells respectively.
    • The archangels Tyrael and Imperius come to blows over Tyrael's involvement with the mortal realm, leading Tyrael to renounce his angelic position.
  • Divine Parentage:
    • The Nephalem were the ancestors of the humans of Sanctuary, born from the union of renegade angels and demons, but who were weakened into their current human state by the Worldstone when Inarius got frightened by how powerful the Nephalem were. With the Worldstone destroyed, humanity is beginning to get its former power back, and the Player Character of Diablo III is among the first of the new Nephalem.
    • Leah is the daughter of the witch Adria and the Dark Wanderer, a.k.a. Aidan from the first game, who became possessed by Diablo after sticking his soulstone into his own head. The magical power she wields comes direct from the Big D himself, and she is eventually used by Adria with the Black Soulstone to bring about Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil, the sum total of all seven Great Evils in one being.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Monk and Witch Doctor classes (regardless of gender) have several shoe and boot options which leave them barefoot. The Witch Doctor's default appearance in particular is barefoot. By applying the vanishing dye, any shoe or boot options can leave them barefoot. The Monk in particular voluntarily lives in Barefoot Poverty as part of his/her least, before the game starts.
  • Doomed Hometown: Demon Hunters are survivors of towns or caravans destroyed by demons.
  • 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.
  • Doppelgänger Spin:
    • The Wizard has a spell that summons 2 (sometimes 5) duplicates to run around the enemies casting spells (for 0 damage) from her current build. When she starts the spell, she even moves into a random position.
    • There is also a monster trait that enables a similar attack, often flooding the field with clones.
  • 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.
  • Drop the Hammer: The angelic troopers carry large warhammers.
  • Dual Wielding: The Barbarian, naturally, and the Monk. The Demon Hunter can dual wield Hand Crossbows.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Finally averted in this game, where after 2 games and one expansion that ended with no visibly good future for anyone Diablo III ends on an uplifting note with the player killing Diablo after he becomes the God of Evil by merging with the other evils. There's no hints of getting rewarded, buy hey, at least the leaders of hell are gone. That is, until Reaper of Souls reveals that Diablo's essence is still in the Black Soulstone.
  • Dummied Out: The Mystic, who was going to be a player Artisan. She was supposed to be an NPC who could infuse items with targeted enchantments, but was removed late in development. 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 Mystic Artisan profession returns in the Reaper of Souls expansion. The character this time is Myriam, and her recruitment takes place in the fifth act.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The game doesn't have many traps of the classic variety, but a common baffling feature of dungeons is skeletons inside barrels. Who put the skeleton in there? Why hasn't the skeleton broken out? If the skeleton put himself in there so he could ambush you, why does he always wait to show himself until you've broken open the barrel and the skeleton is directly in the path of your weapon? Also, coffins that pop up out of the ground in a field for no apparent reason and open to release a skeleton.
  • Dying Town:
    • New Tristram.
    • Caldeum, according to Abd al-Hazir.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The more players there are in a game, the stronger the monsters are to compensate. The "Version 2.0" patch also did this to the monsters, though the player can choose to make them even stronger by increasing the difficulty in exchange for more experience and loot drops.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • The Armored Destroyer enemies enter battle by attempting to smash down on top of you. This doesn't do any damage, but they are temporarily invulnerable after landing.
    • The Unholy Thrall's, Corrupted Angel's and Oppressor's charge attacks can come from off-screen. The latter two can even stun the player.
  • Easter Egg: When the player enters one of the Defiled Crypts in the Act I graveyard, it's possible for them to end up in Development Hell instead.
  • Easy Exp: One can earn bonus experience by destroying objects, reading tomes, or stringing together kill streaks or killing many enemies in a single attack.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Hell and Inferno difficulties are very guilty of it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Invulnerable Minions is far beyond Up to Eleven. Not only Exactly What It Says on the Tin, those minions feel similar to a Advancing Wall of Doom with what you need to kill just behind it. Quitting the game to change up the elite pack spawn might be necessary to get rid of it. This mod has been expunged in 1.0.4.
  • Elemental Powers: The Wizard uses Fire, Ice, Lightning, Arcane and Time — the Sorcerer and Sorceress of the last two games used Fire, Ice, Lightning.
  • Elemental Punch: The Monk class has a number of elementally infused punch attacks, and in fact starts with an electrified attack called the Fists of Thunder.
  • Embodiment Of Virtue: The leaders of the Angels represent different virtues. Tyrael unsurprisingly is Justice. In Diablo III, Tyrael's commitment to his virtue is so powerful that he renounces his position and powers to become mortal rather than abide by his fellow Angels' decision to abandon humanity to the demons. At the end of the game, Tyrael takes up the position of Wisdom instead, having gained some during his journey, confident that mortals can handle Justice just fine on their own.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: The game contains a wealth of lore on monsters and the world that can be discovered in-game through lore entries. The two most frequent authors of such are Deckard Cain who dies early in game at the hands of Maghda and Abd al-Hazir who it's implied met a similar fate at the hands of Magdha's coven in Caldeum after witnessing a particularly gruesome ritual. Lorath adds quite a few descriptions in Reaper of Souls, as he is one of the few to witness Malthael's soldiers and lieutenants in action and survive.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • Tomb Guardians have the ability to summon undead.
    • Certain Cultists can summon Hellions.
    • Guardian Towers have the ability to summon even more monsters depending on their element.
  • The Engineer: The Demon Hunter class, which, while mostly focused on archery and shadow magic skills, also has several abilities that give it an Engineer vibe. For instance, they can drop an automatic sentry ballista, hurl grenades of various kinds, and set complex traps to slow and damage foes. One of their passive abilities, which improves their Sentry and traps, is even called "Custom Engineering."
  • 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.
  • Ethnic Magician: The game has a white Barbarian, a black Witch Doctor, and an Asian Wizard.
  • 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 Chancellor: Chancellor Eamon, in contrast to Archbishop Lazarus, was very much The Good Chancellor, who tried his best to save lives when the Darkening was going down, but was accused of being this by the people, resulting in his death when King Leoric fell.
  • 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 Matriarch: The game gives us Adria, the Witch of Tristram. Despite being the secondary protagonist's birth mother and a traditional aid to the player character, she allows them to destroy two Demon Lords and their armies before betraying the player, killing several allies and using her own daughter as the vessel for her dark master to be reborn as the embodiment of all evil. She performs a double-bluff in some respects, as she is openly a harsh and unpleasant individual, and is not depicted as particularly charismatic or powerful - an average spellcaster at best. She is, however, a cruel liar, and uses her record of trauma and tragedy to draw suspicion away from her true agenda.
  • 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.
  • Expansion Pack: Reaper of Souls, which adds a new act, a new class and many more.
  • Experience Booster: Experience Shrines, again, as well as weapons that give experience per kill, and rubies adorned on helmets which grant a % experience boost. Reaper of Souls adds Pools of Reflection, which give you a 25% boost on top of all other boosts, which lasts about half a level for your character (but the boost is lost if your character dies).
  • 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.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Lampshaded if the player as a barbarian woman takes the desert enchantress Eirena to the chilly north:
    Eirena: I fear my dress is not particularly appropriate here.
    Hero: Or anywhere else.
    Eirena: Whatever do you mean?
  • Exposition Beam: Tyrael shows Leah the events that led to his self-exile, including the part where he tore off his own wings.
  • 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.

    F - J 
  • Faith Heel Turn: Jondar, a former knight who turned necromancer when he discovered the corruption within his holy order. Kormac, in his quest to figure out what it was Jondar discovered, asks the player character to kill him if he shows any signs of turning bad like Jondar did.
  • 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 King: Hakan II, the child king of Caldeum, turns out to be Belial in disguise.
  • Fake Longevity: In the initial release, there were four difficulties that had to be played in order, and each required playing through every act again. A Diablo tradition. Later averted when this system was changed to allow variable difficulty from the get-go (though unlocking Torment requires playing through the game at least once).
  • 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.
  • Fallen Angel:
    • 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.
    • As of Reaper of Souls Malthael has become the Angel of Death, and has gone quite evil, seeking to steal the Black Soulstone and bend the Seven Evils within to his will.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the Diablo universe, humans are descended from the Nephalem, who were born from the union of angels and demons who were tired of fighting the Eternal Conflict and created the world of Sanctuary, which humans now call home. Many demons prefer to expunge humanity to the last — Belial tells you that Azmodan will "exterminate you and every last one of your misbegotten kind" when you reveal him for who he really is, and Azmodan himself calls you and humanity in general "creation's greatest sin." The angels aren't that much different — while a number of angels aren't fond of humanity (Imperius in particular would rather purge Sanctuary because "demons had a hand in making it exist"), some are, with Tyrael, Itherael and Auriel voting to spare Sanctuary from annihilation. Imperius was flat-out against; Malthael abstained (mainly because he was absent from the council due to Worldstone-related matters when the vote was made), but it was counted against. Zoltun Kulle, twisted though he may be, even lampshades this.
    Zoltun Kulle: Angels are no better than demons. Did you know that they once voted on whether or not to eliminate all of mankind? Only one vote spared us from extinction.
    Player: Tyrael. It had to be Tyrael.
    Zoltun Kulle: Yes. Whatever else he may be, he is the aspect of Justice... and there is no justice in murder.
  • Fantastic Romance: Humanity was birthed by renegade demons and angels falling in love. This did not turn out well.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The series does this pretty unabashedly. For example, the Monk's design is a strange mishmash of Russia and China, with some trace elements of India for flavor.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Taken to ridiculous levels with the Demon Hunter, who fires homing missiles and rockets on fully automatic from bows and crossbows alike.
  • 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.
  • The Fatalist: Itherael, justified for he is fate itself.
  • Fat Bastard: Azmodan and Ghom.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Leah being turned into Diabio/Tathamet's vessel via Adria magically forcing the Black Soulstone into her body. Illustrated by the following NPC exchange:
    Child: Mum, what happened to Leah? Is she dead?
    Mother: I hope so, love.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three available followers: Templar, Enchantress, and Scoundrel.
  • Final Death: Hardcore mode gives you one life before facing permanent character death. Not for the faint of heart.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: All the Prime Evils have this. In the previous games, their eyes glowed but didn't seem to be actual fire.
  • 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.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: The hell you visit in Diablo II has overall a lava and rock motif, while the heavens you visit in this game has a water and crystal motif (at least, before Diablo starts corrupting them). This is especially notable at the part where you must take some portals from the heavens to hell: the contrast is quite evident there.
  • First Town: The game starts you off in Tristram again (New Tristram, to be precise, though you do get to explore the old town during the early parts of the first act) before you Get on the Boat.
  • 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.
  • Flat Earth Atheist:
  • Flaying Alive: The Dark Coven led by Maghda are quite fond of this and other methods of Cold-Blooded Torture and Human Sacrifice, as evidenced both in the Halls of Agony and in Alcarnus.
  • 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!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • 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...
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • 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 and 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.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The game has Leah, Deckard Cain, Tyrael, and Adria occasionally join in the fight against evil directly, accompanying the human players and their NPC companions on their quest and taking the fight directly to the enemy. To avoid being a slow-paced Escort Mission, this trope is applied. This also happens when the player first meets each of the Companions throughout the story; the HUD distinguishes invulnerable characters by simply not giving them a health bar display.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In a break from tradition, your hero rather gratifyingly twigs to the boy Emperor's real identity as Belial before handing over the world-destroying Macguffin. Not that it helps in the end.
    • All the times you come upon a chest at a choke point, and your hero comments, "This looks suspicious." Most players will grab it anyway and just fight their way through the horrors to come.
  • Get on the Boat: The game does much the same thing for the first three acts, taking the caravans from New Tristram to Caldeum (Act II) and then to Bastion's Keep (Act III). The fourth act has you using the portal Diablo opened up to the High Heavens to go after him. And much like the other game, you also have waypoints from place to place.
  • Giant Spider: Of course, most games can't resist them.
    • In particular is the Spider Queen Araneae, bred by Archbishop Lazarus and released into a cave decades before.
    • The witch doctor has weaponized cat-sized spiders and can toss pots full of them as a basic ability.
  • Gimmick Level: The game has Whimsyshire, an extension of a previous Take That to complaints that the more colorful visuals in III would "ruin the atmosphere" of the game and series.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: If you equip Eirena with a Wizard Staff (as she is when you first encounter her), she's a fairly typical Black Magician Girl / Hot Witch. But she can ALSO be equipped with huge, two-handed Morningstars, Warhammers, and a selection of BFS's ranging from Naginata longer than her to Claymores and Greatswords that are probably HEAVIER than her. And most of the time, she wields them all one-handed.
  • Glass Cannon: To hammer home the point about the Wizard class being one, said Wizard even has a passive skill that increases all damage by 10% but reduces all of his/her defenses by 15%, explicitly named after the trope.
    • 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 and Satan Are Both Jerks: Two members of the Angiris council are highly antagonistic towards the heroes: Malthael's contempt for anything that has even a drop of demon blood leads him on a crusade to exterminate humanity. Imperius saw the resurgence of Diablo as largely humanity's fault but after getting throughly beaten by Diablo, he is reluctantly persuaded by Tyrael to at least allow the heroes to fight in his stead. According to the final cutscene in Reaper of Souls, the defeat of Malthael seems to cement his opinion of the Nephalem as a danger to angels, making him a likely antagonist in the next expansion.
  • 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.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The tendency continued in this game—the divine Angiris Council refuse to get involved in the war between human and demons at all until the heavens themselves are invaded by Diablo. Once again, only Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice, is interested in lending a hand—and he is put on trial for 'breaking the rules' and chooses to discard his immortality and become human rather than be forced to sit on his hands like the rest of the angels. While there's quite a bit of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero involved in the ending, one cannot help but imagine that things would've never gone that far if the angels had been willing to lend a hand instead of forcing the humans to adopt untested and risky methods of demon-slaying in a desperate bid for survival...
  • 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 again again again...
  • Gold and White Are Divine: With a touch of light blue.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Attacks by demons in the series are said to be enough to "leave one's mind in ruins," as evidenced by the Demon Hunter's sister from Diablo III and every PC except the Barbarian from Diablo II, though the latter takes a while to drive them completely bugnuts.
  • The Good Chancellor: Chancellor Eamon stayed in Tristram and tried his best to save what lives he could when the Darkening was going down. Unfortunately, the people viewed him as having some kind of hand in King Leoric being driven mad (though Lazarus was more to blame for that than anything else), resulting in his death when Leoric fell.
  • 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.
  • Green Hill Zone: Act I takes place in and around New Tristram, which was a farming community before being overrun with the walking dead. That may not sound very friendly, but considering that the subsequent zones are a burning desert, a frozen wasteland, and the war-ravaged ruins of Heaven, the gloomy rain-soaked New Tristram seems positively welcoming.
  • The Grim Reaper: The game has Malthael, the archangel of death. He's an extremely powerful, black-robed angel who dual wields two hand-sized scythes and eats souls. Not to mention that he leads an entire army of soul-eating angels called "The Reapers".
  • Grim Up North: Act III, in the frozen wastelands around the remnants of Mount Arreat.
  • Ground Pound: Gameplay trailers show improved ground-pounding effects for the Barbarian's Leap. Hordes of mooks can be thrown back in an expanding ripple from the point of impact.
  • Guest Star Party Member: The game does this with all your companions before you have the option of having them join you for real. Other NPCs also join you from time to time, such as Leah, Adria and Tyrael.
  • 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.
      • Subverted by a patch that added tutorial popups for this option after the player completes the game on the lowest difficulty.
    • The game continues its predecessor's proud tradition of lying character screens: and the in-game character screen both give inaccurate damage/second information, and don't necessarily agree with each other.
      • Attacks that can run continuously, such as Arcane Torrent, never specify how long it takes for them to do the listed damage or consume the stated amount of mana or equivalent. Despite the skills running continuously, the mana consumed/second is equal to the listed cost times the number of attacks per second, even though the latter has no bearing on how these skills work or deal damage.
      • Before patch 1.0.8, items on the Auction House only listed changes to base stats or damage, so you needed a calculator or 3rd-party site to figure out whether an item would be an improvement over your current equipment. Damage/second comparisons were added in 1.0.8, but even now, there's no way to account for skill-specific damage boosts and the impact on damage reduction/dodge chance still has to be done by hand.
      • Proc coefficients are one of the game's worst offenders. They are less than intuitive and integral to many builds, but are mentioned nowhere in the game or's official guide.
      • If a weapon has a chance of causing a secondary effect, the listed chance is misleading: Each skill has a hidden proc coefficient, and the actual probability of the secondary effect occurring when you use that skill is (proc coefficient) * (base chance).
      • A handful of runes and passive skills have "a chance" to trigger and provide some beneficial effect when you land a critical hit. Same deal as above, except even the base chance isn't even given.
      • Proc coefficients can vary even within a skill based on the rune used, and some skills even have a coefficient of zero.
      • Life on Hit has a different proc coefficient than all other effects, and the third hit of the Monk's primary skills has a different proc coefficient from the first two.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: While the game allows players to choose the gender of any class they play, this trope is reflected in the iconics of each class — the Barbarian and the Monk, the primary melee fighters among the Nephalem, are male; while the Demon Hunter and the Wizard, the primary ranged attackers, are female, with the odd one out being the Witch Doctor.
  • 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.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Tyrael VS Imperius.
    Imperius: You will now answer for your transgressions!
    Tyrael: You cannot judge me! I am Justice itself!
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Inferno mode is meant to be a challenge only the most skilled and dedicated can hope to defeat, available only upon beating Hell mode and reaching max level.
    • Come patch 2.0 onwards, Torment difficulty is available upon reaching max level, and it is further divided into sub-levels.
    • Hardcore Mode, which implements permanent character death.
    • And now players can elect to make the game even harder from the very start of the game by activating "Monster Power", an option that increases monster damage and health, compensated by bonuses to gold and loot rewards and experience points. The option scales from 1, for those who want a little extra challenge, to 10, for the clinically insane.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The best items and monster affixes can only be found here.
  • Have You Seen My God?: It turns out that the supreme deity behind the universe is dead. Anu, the god in question, 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.
  • Healing Potion: Overhauled from previous games; they now have a cooldown and are meant to be used as a last resort. Healing Globes take their place as in-combat healing.
  • The Heart:
  • Heaven: The High Heavens are finally explored in this game. Unfortunately, when you do explore them, they're in the midst of a full-scale invasion by all the forces of the Burning Hells, spearheaded by Diablo who has become the very embodiment of Evil itself.
  • The Hedonist: Azmodan's gimmick, according to Book of Cain. His turf of Hell is about excessive pleasure to the point of revulsion.
  • Hell: This game ups the ante by having you stave off an assault by Diablo's demons upon the High Heavens by journeying to Hell and destroying the gates Diablo is using to invade before battling your way to the Crystal Arch to stop Diablo from destroying it and plunging everything into darkness forever.
  • 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.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • The first preview of the Demon Hunter class from seems to be this trope wearing a hood.
    • Tyrael invokes this in regards to Zoltun Kulle, whose efforts to create the Black Soulstone drove him to murderous megalomania.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Though it was obvious judging by the cover and the title, Diablo turns out to be the real final boss, despite being apparently dead in the second opus and the third one focusing essentially on demonlords Belial and Asmodean for all the first part of the game.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This trope pretty much summarizes the plot and ending. The attempt by Baal to corrupt the Worldstone in Lord of Destruction [unseals the powers of the Nephalem, the angel-demon hybrids from whom humanity is descended, allowing humans a chance to rise to the ancient power of their ancestors. Diablo's own plan to become the Prime Evil combined with the act of asshattery mentioned earlier gets all seven arch demons Deader than Dead.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The Witch Doctor class is quite clearly this trope played straight: they can summon walls of zombies, conjure poisonous frogs and scare monsters with a giant ghostly totem.
  • Holy Halo: Invoked by the armor of Imperius, the Archangel of Valor, which has a fancy metal ring floating over his head.
  • Hope Bringer: Auriel is the Archangel of Hope, so this trope is natural to her - several characters, angelic or otherwise, have their spirits renewed once she is freed from Rakanoth's clutches.
  • Hope Crusher: Rakanoth, one of Diablo's minions, is called the Lord of Despair. He sought to drive both the High Heavens and Sanctuary into despair by capturing Auriel, the Archangel of Hope during Diablo's invasion of the High Heavens, and only after destroying him and freeing Auriel is hope restored to both.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: The game has one in the person of Auriel.
  • 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.
  • Hot Wings: The Archangel Imperius has them.
  • 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.
  • 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 them defy 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.
  • The Hunter: The Demon Hunter class is a ranged class that is dedicated to Demon Slaying. They're typically recruited from among the survivors of villages ravaged by The Legions of Hell, and they're primarily motivated by vengeance against demons in general. The Player Character among them lost a sister to demon-induced madness after the two of them survived the destruction of their village.
  • The Hunter Becomes The Hunted: The Demon Hunter. Usually survivors from demonic invasions themselves, they're recruited by more experienced Hunters and devote their lives to chasing and killing the creatures of the burning hells, using a variety of ranged attacks and traps to accomplish their goals.
  • 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.
  • I Am Legion: Diablo becomes this, and even says it.
    • Further invoked by his abilities which reference to the other Evils, such as if you read the various curses he casts on you, they have names like 'Curse of Destruction' or 'Curse of Hatred'.
  • I Am the Noun:
    Tyrael: You cannot judge me. I am Justice itself!
    • Justified as being the Archangel of Justice, he actually is the personification of the virtue.
  • I Am Your Opponent: Kormac the Templar drops this line almost verbatim when he uses one of his skills to taunt enemies into attacking him instead of you.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno.
    • Come patch 2.0, it becomes Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment.
  • 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.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: The Cow King, when letting you into Whimyshire.
    'Ghost of the Cow King"This is no time to be silly. The level of sparkling happiness and rainbows awaits you!"
  • Immune to Fate: The Nephalem (those who have awakened humanity's original power as angel/demon hybrids) are not mentioned in the Scroll of Fate and thus are the only ones capable of averting anything that is written in it.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Many of the cultists' victims.
    • 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.
  • Infallible Babble:
    • 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.
  • Informed Ability:
    • 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? Even the Player Character catches on.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Becoming a member of the Templar Order involves being chained to a wall and beaten and starved for three days, then whipped. The inquisitors who carry out this Cold-Blooded Torture tell the initiate that he is reliving his transgressions and everything that brought him tainted joy (since according to Kormac, your Templar follower, every Templar was once a convicted criminal) and that the whip removes the joy and his sin, leaving him "pure", then he is thoroughly indoctrinated into forgetting his former life so he can have a single-minded focus on his mission. As it turns out, the Templars don't really give a blessed damn about the guilt or innocence of an initiate, and will readily pile false sins upon an innocent if it means recruiting a good warrior into the Order, as happened to both Kormac and Jondar.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl:
    • The Enchantress, the Stripperiffic mage who wants to steal away Leah.
      Enchantress: I fear my dress is not appropriate here.
      Wizard: Is your dress appropriate anywhere?
      Enchantress: I don't know what you mean.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Instant Runes: Many of the Monk's powers manifest runes when used.
  • 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.
    • Subverted by the conversation achievements for Tyrael, which use the portrait of his angel form instead of his human form, to preserve the identity of The Stranger.
      • On the other hand, the conversations listed include ones from before The Reveal, so it's not hard to make the connection.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The male Barbarian and any of the followers, as he is old enough to be completely gray-haired and -bearded.
  • Interrogating the Dead: A subplot involves you contacting the spirit of a long-dead mage for information. But he refuses to answer your questions unless you help bring him back to life.
  • 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.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: See It's Up to You. Averted if you're in multiplayer, though. Especially egregious because Tyrael simply stands back and doesn't come in to help you for no apparent reason.
  • 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.
  • Joke Level: Topped with Whimsyshire. After going through the steps to unlock it, the player is teleported to a mystical land of dancing flowers, smiling clouds, and lots of rainbows. Also doubles as a Take That, Audience! after all the complaints that the early screen shots weren't dark enough.
  • Just Eat Him: Savagely averted in the debut gameplay trailer, where the Siegebreaker warbeast picks up the male Barbarian and bites his head off. Unfortunately this was cut from the final version.
  • 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.
  • Just Hit Him: Averted in the debut gameplay trailer, where the Siegebreaker warbeast (in one of the most brutal PC deaths around) picks up the male Barbarian and BITES HIS HEAD OFF. It's an image that will stick with you for long.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Tyrael wants justice to be done into Sanctuary, and, after three games, succeeds.

    K - O 
  • 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 state of affairs continues until Reaper of Souls, where she shows up as Act V's second major boss, allowing you to finally give her the asskicking you've been wanting to give her since her betrayal at the end of Act III.
  • 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.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Can be invoked by the player. While the subtitles will show the entirety of any mook banter, if you kill the speaking mob before the audio of the banter has finished, the audio will cut off.
  • Killed Off for Real: Deckard Cain, the old Horadrim mage whom has helped you throughout the entire series, is killed towards the end of Act One. Also: Belial, Azmodan, and finally Diablo himself if Tyrael's words are anything to go by.
    • 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).
  • Killer Rabbit: The enemies in Whimsyshire. Cute unicorns, teddy bears and pink flowers that will hand you your ass quickly if you're not careful. They're also the highest-leveled enemies in each difficulty level.
  • Kill One, Others Get Stronger: The "Avenger" ability that some Elite Mooks can have is basically this.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The game lampshades this: if Leah is in your party and you enter her room at the inn, she will react uncomfortably. She'll be downright appalled if you read her journal, which is an absurdly oversized book sitting on her desk. (Journals and correspondence can often be found on corpses and among people's possessions, and contain material which, while not usually indispensable to gameplay, usually deepens the plot. Also, there are achievements based on reading enough of them.) She'll also object if you take her into Cain's house while he isn't home.
  • Knife Nut: The lowest ranks of the cultists merely run toward the player character brandishing daggers.
  • Knight Templar:
    • The Demon Hunters are just as dark and brutal as the demons they are sworn to destroy.
    • The Templar, who murders an innocent man who was clearly Brainwashed and Crazy in cold blood.
    • Angels as a whole can be considered this as well, especially Imperius.
  • Lady-In-Waiting: Queen Asylla's handmaidens were slaughtered during Leoric's madness and rose as the Wretched Mothers.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Part of the backstory of The Rogue, Lyndon. Exactly how much SUCCESS he has with women is anybody's guess, but he's definitely eager to flirt with anything in a skirt... or a fur bikini... or a skimpy mage-robe... he's not picky, really, and doesn't even wince at being shot down. If you chastise him for his womanizing, he claims that he's only ever met one woman 'worth keeping'. Further digging into his past reveals that he originally turned to crime in order to fund his attempts to woo her, and that she wound up marrying his goody two-shoes brother instead. The pain in his voice is audible whenever she comes up in conversation, turning his otherwise Loveable Rogue demeanor bitter in a split second...
  • Land Mine Goes Click:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: The game has numerous references to the heroes from Diablo II. Most of them are generic mentions of a "band of heroes" in Deckard Cain's journals. The most specific it ever gets is when you meet a necromancer who says his mentor helped defeat the Prime Evils twenty years ago.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The game has lava landscaping in several non-Hell areas, including Leoric's dungeons and the lower levels of Bastion's Keep. You can't fall into the pits, but a typical trap has periodically-erupting lava underneath a grate floor. Don't be standing there when it goes off.
  • Level-Locked Loot: The game has "reduced level requirement" as a possible random ability on some gear, making level 60 kit that you can wield at (say) level 46 that still has the stats of level 60. The gap between 46 and 60 is a lot bigger than that between 32 and 46...
  • Level Up Fill Up: Both your health and mana is restored on leveling. This game even takes this further where you shoot off an aura that damages your enemies on Level-up.
  • 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?
    Shen: Oh, well, it's quite simple. I just put a few fire opals in my pockets and under my shirts, and I never get cold! As good as a pair of long underwear.
  • Locked In The Dungeon: While the game involves plenty of dungeon-crawling, the prime example of this trope occurs in the final part of Act I, where you have to storm the Halls of Agony, King Leoric's old torture chambers, in order to find and rescue the Stranger you found at the impact zone of the Fallen Star, who has been taken there by Maghda and her Dark Coven. Since this is the Diablo universe, the Coven has turned the Halls into a site for Human Sacrifice and Cold-Blooded Torture of their many victims, with all the horrificness that this implies, and the place is loaded with undead and demons for you to kill in addition to the cultists, as well as the ghosts of those who were put through hell and executed down there back when Leoric was still alive and insane.
  • Loincloth: Among the PC classes, the Witch Doctor's attire generally includes a loincloth, and the Barbarian's starting outfit is little else. Many NPCs wear loincloths as well (especially the demons).
  • Lost Forever: The developers are considering introducing a setpiece revolving around a collapsing dungeon full of treasure that players have to make a decision on whether to run and save themselves or collect the loot and potentially die. Given the random nature of the game, whatever items are in the dungeon will probably be lost if not picked up then. Please, somebody stop them.
    • Considering that all loot in the Diablo series is randomly generated, any items that get lost when the tomb collapses could probably be found anywhere else. Based on experience with the actual dungeon at Blizzcon, the true value was that the tomb was extremely abundant in Resplendant Chests (like, 2 in every room), which are guaranteed to drop a rare item and 2-5 magic items. Plus everything resets when you quit and come back, so you have a chance to go again if the entrance randomly appears.
    • In the majority of Hack and Slash games with a Random Number God, any piece of gear with a specific combination of stats can be considered Lost Forever if the player fails to notice it while sifting through Vendor Trash or accidentally gets rid of it, due to the chances of the same stat rolls lining up being less than one-in-a-million. Wonder why hacking is so attractive in online play?
  • Loveable Rogue: Lyndon, the Scoundrel.
  • 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.
  • Luck Stat: Magic Find, Gold Find, and Critical Hit Chance.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • Every enemy in the game can be exploded or dismembered in some way. Any enemy killed with a critical hit will explode (and the gibs themselves will be on fire/frozen/glowing with magic energy depending on damage type), all Unique monsters will explode when killed, some breeds of monsters explode no matter what... etc. This feature was so popular that shortly after the game's unveiling, Blizzard gave in to fan's demand that corpses stop fading away, just so they could see the aftermath.
    • The Monk has a technique called Exploding Palm - enemies struck by this explode when killed by DOT. Omae wa mo shinderu...
  • Lull Destruction: The followers will invoke this by jumping into random conversation every minute or so in the middle of battle, and complaining loudly if you stand still for about half a minute. Some of these talks establish character and plot, but many are reused from act to act.
  • MacGuffin: The game, of course, continues the trend.
    • Act 1, To enter the lower levels of the cathedral, find Leoric's MacGuffin in one of the cemetery crypts. Later on, send the player off to locate the three shattered sword pieces of an angel's MacGuffin, but wait... to gain access to one of the rooms that a sword piece is in, you need to side-track and find the two Orbs that will open the door in the nearby forest.
    • Act 2, Shen's introduction has him finding an item. Then of course there's Zoltan Kulle's long side-tracking task of finding the pieces of his body that must then be put together in his hidden library to make a full MacGuffin. The Act then introduces the Black Soulstone MacGuffin which apparently houses all the souls of the defeated evils from Diablo II. Belial's MacGuffin is then placed in it at Act's end.
    • Act 3, The Black Soulstone is seen throughout the Act. Once Azmodan's MacGuffin is placed in it at Act's end, the plot behind the Black Soulstone will then start-up the events for the next Act.
    • Act 4, Diablo itself, is the MacGuffin; being the second rendition of the Black Soulstone.
  • Mage Marksman: The Demon Hunter favors Automatic Crossbows and using Black Magic against the demons themselves.
  • Magic Is Mental: The game uses Wisdom as the attribute governing mana and magic damage.
  • Magic Missile Storm: The Wizard's Arcane Torrent skill fires small pinkish/purple filaments at a targeted location, bombarding any enemies in the vicinity.
  • Malevolent Architecture:
    • Lyndon comments on this when traversing the Keep depths to reach the larder in Bastion's Keep.
      Lyndon: 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 Fury 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.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: The Prime Evil (as opposed to the Prime Evils, which are merely the three most powerful of the Great Evils) is the embodiment of all seven Great Evils in one being. The original Prime Evil was Tathamet, from whose body the Burning Hells and the original Great Evils sprang, but in this game, Diablo is reborn as the Prime Evil, and the reason he is able to be dominant over his brothers in this form is because Adria used Leah, her own daughter by him by means of his last host, as his vessel.
  • Master of Disguise: Belial and his minions are these.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: The third game introduces Imperius the Archangel of Valor. "Imperius" is clearly a differently spelled "imperious", which means "domineering, overbearing, arrogant; urgent; (obsolete meaning) imperial or regal". Interestingly enough, "valor" means "value; worth; strength of mind in regard to danger; that quality which enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; prowess; intrepidity; a brave man; a man of valour; arrogance". When you think about how Imperius tried to stop Diablo all by himself, and that he seems to be unbelievably arrogant, well, his name and title says it all!
  • Mercy Kill: Early on, you have to help New Tristram's blacksmith, Haedrig Eamon, kill his wife Mira and everyone else who's been bitten by the zombies attacking the town. The page quote is the Demon Hunter's response to Haedrig's question about how he could kill his own wife. Later on in the game, when Leah is possessed by Diablo himself following Adria's betrayal, the final battle is essentially this for Leah as well as a final reckoning for the Prime Evil.
  • 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.
  • Meta Power-Up: The game has some very high level items that increase 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). There are also similar items at lower level. +1-2 XP per kill, +x% chance of magic drops, more gold.
  • 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 this Penny 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 Multiplier: The game has Gold Find and Magic Find.
  • Money Sink: The game has auction house fees and high repair costs for top-tier items, as well as a few scattered one-time costs: artisan training, storage space increases, and access to the gag level on higher difficulties. Crafting also serves this purpose, with the blacksmith taking the place of gambling in Diablo II and the jeweler upgrading gems which level to level have a linear power boost for an exponential cost increase.
  • Money Spider: You'll discover riches from spider eggs, cow corpses, angelic vases, ghosts, and bees.
  • Mook Horror Show: The game has a scene where the men in Maghda's Coven are hinted to see your character fighting them as this when you go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against them following Deckard Cain's death:
    Coven Member: He's/She's unstoppable! No mortal could slaughter our brethren with such ease!
    • A journal you find in Act II called "The Feared Hero" confirms that the remnants of Maghda's coven are scared shitless of you:
      Dark Cultist: We camp, lying in wait for a hero of incredible prowess. My gut churns with the suspicion that we are simply fodder. I have heard tales of this hero wading through our ranks, slaughtering us as if we were children. I will not sleep again tonight, I fear.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Carrion Nests return from Diablo 2, and will produce all the Carrion Bats you could ask for.
    • There are Iron Maidens that will endlessly spit out zombies until destroyed.
    • In Act 3 there are 100 foot tall Hell Bearer demons which will grab onto the side of the ramparts and vomit out demons until slain.
  • More Dakka: The Demon Hunter's Rapid Fire ability does this.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Belial's human disguise is more or less just a shrunken version of him with human features; he doesn't even bother to try and change his wardrobe much.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Several events, such as what happens when you decide to touch the Jar Of Souls.
  • Multishot: The Demon Hunter has a skill that's actually called Multishot. It shoots a large burst of multiple arrows in a conical spray in front of him/her, damaging any enemies in it.
  • 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."
  • My Greatest Failure: Deckard Cain has much to regret, as shown in his dialogue:
    Deckard Cain: I am the last of the Horadrim. I couldn't always claim this. In fact, if I had turned to the Horadric teachings sooner, Diablo could have been stopped before his reign of terror began.
    Player: You cannot believe this.
    Deckard Cain: When the first signs appeared, I did nothing. I had shrugged the old tales off like they were so much fantasy, and Tristram — no, the world — has paid dearly for my arrogance.
  • 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.
    • Messerchmidt's Reaver has a description lampshading its popularity in the first game's final stages:
      This mighty weapon once hewed its way through the demon-infested catacombs beneath the old Zakarum cathedral in Tristram. Could it be the weapon the warrior Aidan used to defeat Diablo all those years ago?
    • The description of the Stone of Jordan lampshades its status as common currency in the late levels in Diablo 2.
      The Stone of Jordan is far more valuable than its appearance would suggest. Men have given much to possess it.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
    • 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.
  • Neck Lift: If you get caught in Diablo's Bone Prison attack during the final showdown, he will do this to you and drain your health before slamming you to the floor with authority.
  • New Game+: Just like in the other Diablo titles, after finishing the game on one difficulty, you can access the other difficulties with your upgraded character.
    • Largely averted come patch 2.0. You can access nearly all difficulties from the start. Only Torment is locked until you have at least 1 character at max level.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • 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.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Templar, of all people, gets a moment to weird out the Witch Doctor, of all people:
    Kormac: I must thank you.
    Witch Doctor: Why?
    Kormac: When I became a Templar, I dreamed of invading the Hells themselves. This is all I ever wanted.
    Witch Doctor: Sometimes, you worry me.
  • Ninja Looting: With random drops for each player in multiplayer modes. In fact, it's impossible to steal another's loot because you can only see the gold coins and items that are meant for you.
  • No Arc in Archery: Most projectiles just travel in a straight line with no concern for gravity, and are limited only by an Arbitrary Maximum Range.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Kormac the Templar (noble) and Lyndon the Scoundrel (roguish), two of your three followers. Kormac is a noble paladin type who falls hard for Eirena, your third follower, while Lyndon is a quite unrepentant rogue who is not nearly as good at attracting women as he thinks. This being Diablo, the two have Hidden Depths — Kormac is revealed to have been lied to and brainwashed by his order, while Lyndon is doing everything in his power to pay off the Merchant's Guild and get his brother out of prison.
  • Noble Savage: The witch-doctor and the barbarian both fit this. The templar almost quotes the trope name in a bit of dialogue towards the end of the game.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Diablo's final death in the "Destroy Diablo" objective in Diablo III is essentially you giving him a much deserved hero on villain example.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: It's brought up as possibly the reason the forces of Evil have never managed to defeat the forces of Good. And why all the hosts of heaven can't stop Diablo when all of the Great Evils are contained within him.
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: The ancestors of humans are half-angel half-demon hybrids called the Nephalem. It turns out your character is the first of the new Nephalem.
  • Non-Human Undead: The game gives us the Witch Doctor class, who can raise zombie dogs and the "Gargantua", who is made from an undead bear.
  • Noob Cave: The old Tristram Cathedral, the main dungeon from the very first game, which you take two trips through — one to rescue Diablo regular Deckard Cain, and the other to find and destroy the Skeleton King, which has been resurrected by the power of the Fallen Star that fell on said cathedral, and which you have been tasked with getting to the bottom of.
  • Noodle Incident: The Scoundrel seems to have a lot of these.
    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.
    Cain: 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.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Shen, possibly. Even if he's not a trickster god, he seems to know more than one would expect.
  • 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.
    Eirena: What?!
    Barbarian: You never noticed?
    Eirena: No!
  • 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.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Female Demon Hunter attire.
  • Offing the Offspring: Adria, in the cruelest betrayal of the entire series, kills her own daughter Leah by shoving the Black Soulstone into her chest and using her as a vessel for Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil.
  • Off with Her Head!:
    • 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.
    • Malthael does this to two Horadrim in the cinematic trailer for Reaper of Souls
  • Oh Crap: During the Reaper of Souls epilogue, Tyrael has a subtle one, realizing that you have bested both the Demons' and Angels' greatest forces, and that as a mortal, even you are susceptible to corruption, hoping that you will be able to withstand the temptation should it present itself.
  • Old Soldier: The male barbarian was meant to be the same Barbarian Hero from the second game in the series, albeit 20 years older and sporting a gray beard.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The Demon Hunter has several abilities that work like this. The Elemental Arrow, regardless of rune, is basically Area of Effect damage in a line, and some runes make that line narrow enough to resemble this. Some other shots can be modified by runes to hit multiple enemies in a straight line. However, it's unlikely to be a one hit polykill unless your character greatly outlevels the content or your targets are a very weak type of enemy.
  • One-Man Army: No matter which hero you choose, you will singlehandedly kill thousands of enemies over the course of the campaign. You and your companion get to save both Sanctuary and the High Heavens from Belial, Asmodean, and eventually Diablo himself! Lampshaded near the end of the first act, when the player character interrupts a coven meeting. The cultists can't believe that a single person is causing them so much trouble.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Every offensive skill scales from damage determinating your main needs. Vitality comes close to second to balance survivability.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • 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.
  • One-Woman Wail: The cinematic trailer unveiled in June 2008 features a One-Woman Wail.
  • Ontological Inertia: At the start of the game, five of the seven Lords of Hell have been trapped within the Soulstone, with a sixth joining them at the end of Act II. Despite the most powerful of their number being absent, the Legions of Hell are just as credible of a threat to both Sanctuary and the High Heavens.
  • 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.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Toward the beginning of Act III, Tyrael sends for reinforcements from a nearby king. His response is that he will not send real men to fight imaginary demons.

    P - T 
  • The Paladin: The Templars of the Templar order also qualify as paladins, but they take a more Knight Templar-ish stance because of their brainwashing by the order. Kormac, the Templar who accompanies you, is quite fervent about protecting the innocent, but he's not forgiving of betrayers of the order and even less forgiving about betrayal by the order itself.
  • Parental Betrayal: Leah's mother Adria, in one of the cruelest betrayals of the entire series, reveals herself to be Diablo's high priestess before shoving the Black Soulstone, with all seven Great Evils inside, into Leah, who she had for the sole purpose of using her as the vessel for Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Physical Heaven: The fourth act has you battling demons in the High Heavens themselves to stop them from destroying everything.
  • Physical Hell: You head there to close the rifts that are allowing Diablo's forces to invade Heaven.
  • Piņata Enemy: The Treasure Goblins qualify as this sometimes, but if you don't kill them quickly, they'll open a portal and escape you.
  • 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.
  • Pivotal Boss: Belial's One-Winged Angel form.
  • 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 Adria.
  • 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.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Dark Coven, whose Black Magic is fueled by human suffering and sacrifice, usually with Cold-Blooded Torture involved.
  • 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!
  • The Power of Hate: The heroic version of this comes in the form of the Demon Hunters. They are primarily fueled by hatred for the demons, to which they have lost friends and family. Unlike the scions of Mephisto, this hatred is tempered with discipline instilled in them through the training that every Demon Hunter receives.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The barbarian.
  • 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.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Malthael does this in the Reaper of Souls trailer when he sees human Tyrael.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Enemies (and their chunks) go flying when the killing blow is strong enough.
  • Rain of Arrows: Dual-wielding Demon Hunter. Awesome, but Impractical thanks to stupidly low chance of Random Drops for hand crossbows with decent damage rates.
  • 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.
    • The above only applies to outdoor areas. Caves, dungeons, etc. still play the trope completely straight.
  • 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.
  • Real Is Brown: The game was announced and early screenshots and interviews state that they want it to have a rich color palette with natural areas with a variety of greens, oranges, and blues. Fans started a petition against this, believing wholeheartedly that Real Is Brown.
  • Real Soon Now: Blizzard Entertainment is of course the king of this trope, having done this with very many of its games. For instance, after the game was announced in 2008, it was almost 4 years before a release date was announced.
  • 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.
  • Recruitment By Rescue: Two of your companions are recruited this way:
    • You rescue Kormac, the Templar, from a demon cultist magical torture ritual and help him get his gear back from said cultists. You then have to help him take down a rogue Templar turned necromancer.
    • When you come across Lyndon, the Scoundrel, he's in a bit of a fix — the Thieves' Guild of some major city wants a relic that his friend has, and has sent a group of assassins to kill her and take it, and you have to help him fight them off.
    • Karyna, the lady you rescue from the Spider Queen, was also planned to be a companion (before her role as a "mystical" companion was taken by Eirena the Enchantress in Act II).
  • 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.
  • Replay Value: They have put a lot in to make sure each time you play you run into different optional events and challenges each time. However due to the fact that the main directions you go in the main questline are set (rather than not being sure if you should go north, east, south or west like in Diablo II), the player base is torn.
  • 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.
    • From a plot point of view, Diablo III retcons a retcon from II, namely that nobody in Tristram knew the identity of the Wanderer. In I, Ogden greets the player warmly and refers to the fact that they lived in Tristram some time ago. In the manual for II, Deckard Cain muses that the Wanderer was a stranger to Tristram and barely socialized with anyone during his stay. In III it's revealed that the Wanderer was actually the firstborn son of Leoric, who hardly would have been a stranger to Tristram.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Not only do you get items from Random Drops, but you get Exp bonuses for breaking lots of objects in quick succession.
  • 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. Given that he may or may not be a Trickster god, nearly any hints against him being such could be construed as deliberate misdirection. Meaning he's either just a Cloudcuckoolander of a man who happens to know a little more than you'd expect, or a trickster god who's very good at what he does. The expansion promises to answer the question.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Your hero goes on one at the beginning of Act II to avenge Cain's death at the hands of Maghda.
  • Role Reprisal:
    • Michael Gough reprises his role as Deckard Cain for the 3rd time.
    • Lani Minella returns as Adria the Witch.
  • Room Full of Zombies: There's a scene where your character must go in a room like this with a blacksmith in order to assist him in disposing of the infected, including his own wife.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Yes, even in this universe, love, courage and hope are still the greatest powers of all.
  • Ruined Forever:
    • Diablo III won't have skill points?! Diablo III will have an auction house?? Etc. Ironically, when later it was announced that the PVP arenas are replaced with a PVP closer to original, a good chunk of the fanbase was complaining the same.
  • 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 
  • Sand in My Eyes: The innkeeper in New Tristram says he has something in his eye when talking about the recently deceased Cain.
  • Sand Worm: This game once again features desert locations with giant worms, this time the far more traditional Rockworms and their variants, which can swallow players whole and spit them out. Watch out when you hear the ground crumbling, as they love to pop up right next to you when you least expect it. The Cave of Burrowing Horror has the corpse of a truly immense specimen winding through the floor. This game also features the dinosaur-like Dune Threshers swimming through the sand like sharks.
  • Satan: Not literally, but Diablo "becomes" Satan with the Black Soulstone, which combines the souls of the seven Prime Evils into Tathamet, the personification of all evil in the Diablo universe.
  • 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 worked.
  • Scary Black Man: This is what human!Tyrael looks like.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: The barbarian has some body armor with horns that protrude from the body in positions that would be really likely to stab him in the arms.
  • Scary Scorpions: The Tormented Stingers may look and sting like scorpions, 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.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • The Desolate Sands area, with parched, cracked ground, tar pits, and multiple Ribcage Ridges.
    • Azmodan's realm, which looks like hell. In particular, the towers of the Sin Hearts and their massive chained-and-tortured demon inhabitants.
    • Heaven after Diablo and his demons invade it.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • You finally get to see the Silver City and High Heavens, and they are amazing. They become Scenery Gorn after Diablo attacks, though after his death it is slowly restored by the sun as it breaks through Diablo's cloud cover.
      • The high heavens look a lot like the Vortex Pinnacle from World of Warcraft.
    • The Hidden Camp area gives you a rather breathtaking view of Caldeum, the Jewel of the East, in the background.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The game has this to a lesser extent, though in a rather strange way. Act 2 is more difficult than the first act, with multiple ranged enemies doing nasty things to you, but the start of act 3 is laughably easy, with masses of easy-to-kill enemies trying to swarm you (and failing) while dropping lots of gear. Midway through act 3 you start fighting enemies with an obnoxious ranged attack, but then after that point they go away and the act goes back to being easy again. This repeats itself as you go through the difficulty tiers. Eventually you reach Inferno mode, the most difficult mode when you are at level 60 and the enemies are very powerful, and the elite and unique mobs (the most dangerous - and valuable to kill - enemies in the game) get FOUR random buffs per group. The game is EXTREMELY difficult at this point (particularly before the patches repeatedly made Inferno mode easier), but it doesn't get any WORSE, either - once you get the gear you need (which is quite hard to do, and likely to cost you piles of money in repair costs due to dying constantly) it becomes progressively easier to kill the inferno mode enemies. As you get more and more gear your damage goes up and the damage you take goes down, and the enemies don't really get significantly deadlier. This eventually culminates in reaching Act 3, when the enemies drop the best loot in the game at the highest rate that they ever are going to (act 4 enemies, though tougher, don't drop better loot), the enemies are easy to mow down, there aren't as dangerous of enemies to have to fight elite versions of (for most of it anyway), and you are powerful enough you can beat them. The net effect is that the game becomes EASIER after that point, as you continue to get better gear but the enemies fail to increase in difficulty alongside you.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • 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.
    • Treasure Goblins. Lots of loot and they don't fight back, but they are very hard to kill, and love to lead you into huge ambushes of tough elite and boss monsters.
    • In the expansion, there is a golden chest which, when triggered, shuts the gates around you, summons a horde of enemies, and drops a note from a boss saying he knew you'll be greedy enough to open it.
  • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Tyrael refused to go along with his fellow Angels' non-interference policies. When his superior Imperius tried to punish him for it, Tyrael finally had enough and tore off his own wings so he could help Sanctuary as a mortal.
    Tyrael: "You cannot judge me, I am Justice itself! We were meant for more then this, to protect the innocent! But if our precious laws bind you all to inaction, then I will no longer stand as your brother."
  • Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: Zoltan Kulle was killed and his head, body, and blood sealed in different location to ensure he never returned.
    Lyndon: People say I'm bad, but no one's ever had to imprison me and dismantle my body parts. A little context would be nice.
  • Secret Level: Whimsyshire, a land that seems ripped straight from Care Bears with smiling clouds, purple bears and unicorns.
  • 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.
  • Sequel Hook: There are a lot of dangling plot threads that leave the game wide open for future expansions: Imperius is clearly up to no good; the developers have explicitly hinted how Leah isn't gone forever; 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. Also, only two of the Sin Lords are encountered in the game (Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust and Ghom, the Lord of Gluttony). Assuming that there's a Sin Lord for each of the seven deadly sins, the other five may show up in an expansion. Reaper of Souls puts paid to three of the most major plot threads: Tyrael and the Horadrim try to hide the Black Soulstone, but Malthael returns and seizes it to use it as a weapon to trap all demonic essences, including the souls of every human in Sanctuary, in order to end the Sin War once and for all. Also, Adria is confronted and killed.
    • Reaper of Souls ends with the souls of Diablo and the rest of the Prime Evils escaping the Black Soulstone in the aftermath of Maltheal's death, and the not so subtle implication that Imperius' anger and fury is driving him mad.
  • Seven Deadly Sins:
    • Azmodan's lieutenants include Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust, and Ghom, the Lord of Gluttony. Others may appear in expansions.
    • The Adventure Mode in Reaper of Souls adds special legendary items only available in the Horadric Caches given as rewards for completing all bounties in an act. The legendaries that are available in the Act 3 Caches are all themed after one of the Sins: Envious Blade (Envy), Insatiable Belt (Gluttony), Avarice Band (Greed), Overwhelming Desire (Lust), Pride's Fall (Pride), Boots of Disregard (Sloth) and Burst Of Wrath (Wrath).
  • Shared Life Meter: Champion packs of enemies with the Health Link modifier share a single common health pool. This makes the individual champions seem very robust, since the damage they take is shared between the entire group, effectively tripling or quadrupling the hit points of any single monster. The effect has a fun side effect though, since when the shared health pool is emptied, all of the Champions will die in rapid succession, sometimes almost simultaneously.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Calduem, ruled by Hakan II, with a similar style of architecture to Lut Gholein (though the city is much larger in story), with Arabic like clothing and names, dangerous animals in combat areas, and numerous sand colored ruins.
  • Shipper on Deck: Damn near everyone in your entourage, and the player character him/herself for Kormac and Eirena. Myriam in particular gives a couple nudges regarding this.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The barbarian will have this as an attack.
  • Shoe Slap: In one of the lores, Abd al-Hazir mentions the time when his tent was ransacked by some quill fiends that he had to beat off with a shoe.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Kill the Fallen Conjurer/Prophet/Firemage first unless you want them to keep reviving the grunts.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The archangels Imperius and Tyrael both have this. Tyrael loses one when he becomes mortal. When he reforms the Horadrim, they all have a single, large shoulder pad each, most likely out of respect for Tyrael.
  • Shout-Out: Enough of them to fill an entire page.
  • Shrunken Head: The Witch Doctor can use shrunken heads as a charm for their powers.
  • Sidetrack Bonus: Exploring off the beaten path can lead to optional quests or new dungeons full of loot. This game seems to have taken this trope to heart, as every nook and cranny is almost guaranteed to have a little something at the end, if only a pittance of gold or a worthless item. And that's not speaking of the optional dungeons dotted about at random, each of which has a huge, glowing chest at the bottom.
  • The Siege: Act III has you defending the fortress of Bastion's Keep in Arreat against a full-on demonic deadly onslaught of the forces of Azmodan.
  • Skill Point Reset:
    • PC skills and their runes can be freely swapped around.
    • The skills of the followers can also be reset, if you want to try different ones.
    • Subverted somewhat by the fact that there are no points to spend in the first place, however...
    • The new Paragon system awards points to players who continue to gain experience while at the level cap. Just like skills and runes, these can be reallocated at any time.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Quite surprisingly for the Grand Finale of a Gothic Horror/Dark Fantasy game series, Diablo 3 is quite possibly the most uplifting and idealistic installment in the franchise yet. With heartfelt sincerity, it reminds the player that no matter how ugly and sad the world may become, there is always hope and it is worth believing and fighting for.
    • Perhaps demonstrated in the game's art style which is slightly more saturated with color and light/dark contrasts than previous games which were muted and dark on semi-dark contrast.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The game revisits the frozen north with Bastion's Keep, which is under siege by The Legions of Hell.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The Halls of Agony in Act I have giant meat-cleaver like blades that fall at regular intervals.
  • Smug Snake:
  • Smug Super: If his/her quotes are any indication, the Wizard is this.
    Wizard: I'm so good I astound myself!
  • Smurfette Principle:
    • Auriel, the Archangel of Hope, is the only female member on the Angiris Council.
    • On the other side of the fence, Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish, is the only female Evil. She is also the weakest of the seven...
  • Snake People: Belial's minions, the Deceivers, are these.
  • Socketed Equipment: Socketed weapons and clothing/armor pieces return, allowing the player to improve their stats with gems. Far more forgiving here. Once you find your jeweler, Covetous Shen, you can both combine gems that drop from monsters and treasure hoards into higher-stat gems by using his Crucible, and you can have gems removed from weapons, armor and other items for a nominal fee, which is VERY helpful, because creating the higher-end gems becomes hideously expensive later on.
  • 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. It becomes the Soul Jar of all seven Prime Evils thus making it the Soul Jar of the original Prime Evil Tathamet.
  • Space-Filling Path: The game has at least three needlessly twisty paths - between Old Tristram and Adria's Hut, on the way up to the Desolate Sands, and a long straight path at the start of Zoltan Kulle's sanctum - which are all, barring movement speed increasing buffs, exactly long and twisty enough to last the length of an attendant party member's exposition.
  • Spider Swarm:
    • One level has you going through a cave full of spiders that follow this trope under every aspect. The Witch-Doctor is delighted.
    • Talking about the Witch-Doctor, one of his/her spells actually involve summoning swarms of spiders. At higher levels, it can summon a Spider Queen that spawns armies of smaller spiders.
  • Spread Shot:
    • There are skills and runes that allow the Demon Hunter and the Wizard to fire out a spread of multiple projectiles.
      • Multishot: One of the Demon Hunter skills is even named Multishot. It fires a large spread of arrows in front of them.
    • The Scoundrel can learn a skill that gives him multi-projectile shooting.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • The Wizard can be this, and has a lot of Skills devoted to mitigating it.
    • The cultists are hilariously squishy, and you might barely notice them as you step over their corpses unless one manages to transform into an Unholy Thrall.
  • Stat Sticks: The Wizard's and Witch Doctor's weapons and off-hand items. Monks' too
  • The Stoic: Many of the PCs can come off as this at times.
  • Stripped to the Bone:
    • The Oppressor demons have this as their normal death animation.
    • The witch doctor's locust swarm will do this to just about anything it kills, turning groups of enemies into little more than a pile of bloody bones.
    • Inverted with the Golgors, who assemble from a skeleton.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • The default outfits of all the female Player Characters are basically rags tied around the chest and waist. The only exception is the female Crusader, who wears a full-body garment.
    • The female Witch Doctor's outfits never stray away from this. She even lampshades it in one of her dialogues with the Enchantress.
      Eirena: Do all women dress as you do where you come from?
      Witch Doctor: Some wear less.
    • The female Wizard's outfits in a lot of the official art. Like the female Witch Doctor, she lampshades it in a dialogue with the Enchantress.
    • The clothes of the noblewomen in Caldeumnote  make them look more suited for a harem than anything else.
  • 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.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Just like its predecessors, this game has loads of randomly generated loot. As is tradition, you can expect oh... maybe five to ten percent of that to be of any use to you.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: The Demon Hunter has been shown in her BlizzCon promo video to have some very stylish armor with the rather out-of-place addition of Combat Stilettos.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Most of the cast of Diablo II is either dead or insane come Diablo III, including Warriv, everyone in the city of Harrogath, and the Sorceress (who was killed by the Assassin). And Deckard Cain himself, who survived the first two games, dies early on in the game.
  • Sugar Apocalypse / Take That / Tastes Like Diabetes: What you bring to Whimseyshire in the hidden level.
    • Apparently, this was a developer reaction to people complaining that the new art style of D3 was too cartoony and bright.
  • Super Mode:
    • The Wrath of the Berserker ability temporarily transforms the barbarian into a 10 foot tall juggernaut that boasts improved damage, health, and speed.
    • The Wizard's Archon spell temporarily turns them into a creature of pure magical energy that moves fast and has powerful melee attacks.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes:
    • The Demon Hunter sports a glowing pair of these when she has a hood on, signifiying someone who has stared into the soul of a demon without going mad.
    • The mortal Tyrael sports a pair of these, signifying his former angelic status.
    • Leah also sports a very creepy pair of these after her body is taken over by Diablo as the Prime Evil.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Act 1 has you running around collecting the pieces of an angel's mighty sword.
  • Take That: Shortly after the game was announced, a number of fans took umbrage at the "colourful" outdoor scenes, which included realistically rendered rainbows in waterfalls. The response of Lead World Designer Leonard Boyarsky was this.
  • Take That, Audience!: When the first trailers and screenshots of Diablo III were released, there was a lot of backdraft over the game not being "dark enough", to the point everyone thought the game was going to be a Lighter and Softer cash-in. Blizzard's response? Whimsyshire, the game's new cow level, which has you fighting your way through a Tastes Like Diabetes landscape of rainbows, smiling clouds, dancing flowers, and unicorns. The Secret Level "Whimsyshire" is a Take That to people who were critical of some of the design aspects of Diablo III, as well as a Shout-Out to the original Cow Level.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Don't worry that there's a siege happening at this very moment. Take all the time you need messing with your stash.
    • No matter how much you idle, Diablo won't be able to corrupt the Crystal Arch until you reach him.
    • Averted with the Crumbling Vault, in which you have a limited time to find the treasure room until it closes forever!
      • (At least until you remake your game and it spawns again.)
  • Taking You with Me: The game has certain elite enemies that explode upon death.
  • A Taste of the Lash: The Templar Order does this to convicted criminals that they want to make into new Templars after first beating them for three days. The purpose of this, according to your follower Kormac, who went through the process himself, is to strip away everything that brought the initiate tainted joy, to cleanse and purify them of sin. Needless to say, your Player Character doesn't see things that way. As it turns out, the Order doesn't really give a damn about an initiate's actual guilt or innocence, and the Order's Inquisitors will gladly pile false sins upon an innocent if they deem him to be a useful asset to the Order, which is exactly what happened to both Kormac and his former comrade Jondar.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The game has waypoints, huge tiles on the ground that allow you to travel instantly between levels once you've activated them.
  • Teleport Spam: Diablo himself picks up this trick in the final battle.
  • Temple of Doom: The game continues the tradition of trap and monster-filled desert and jungle tombs.
  • Thanatos Gambit: In the animated short movie "Wrath" about the background, Diablo sets a trap for the Angiris Council, the real purpose of which is to provoke Imperius into killing him while he's helpless (as the others point out, it would be better to imprison him because killing him will only result in his eventual reappearance) to create disunity between the angels.
  • Thigh-High Boots: Part of the female demon hunter's default outfit.
  • Three Strike Combo: All of the Monk's Primary attacks work like this, releasing a powerful blow on the third strike. They can be mixed up, using two strikes from one technique and the third from another, or any other combination.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: No one does it better than the Barbarian.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Bosses and elites on the Inferno difficulty had acquired enrage timers as well, one of many factors that contributed to the game's Broken Base. This was removed in patch 2.0.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: What you get when you team up a female monk and the enchantress follower.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Leah is this. She was a good and nice girl until her mother betrayed her and the entire team including an angel to bring back the Prime Evil Diablo into full power.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Izual, who was a mere Damage-Sponge Boss in Diablo II, has gotten a lot more dangerous in Diablo III.
  • Too Many Mouths:
    • Belial has two mouths, one on each side of its head. Possibly a Stealth Visual Pun (two-faced).
    • Ghom has four: One on his head, one on each shoulder, and one on his gut.
    • Diablo, once resurrected, has an extra mouth in each of his shoulders.
  • Torture Technician: The Inquisitors of the Templar Order are essentially this, in charge of "cleansing" new initiates of their sins by beating and whipping the living daylights out of them. They don't particularly give a damn about the guilt or innocence of the initiate, and will gladly pile false sins upon an innocent if they feel he would make an asset to the Order, as happened with Kormac, your Templar follower who was put through this.
  • 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.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: The Jar of Souls event has a response line from all of the player characters worthy of the Admiral himself, but the Witch Doctors suggest that they willingly spring the trap in order to free the souls contained in the jar from their torment.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Most of the player classes (particularly the Witch Doctor, Barbarian, and Demon Hunter) seem to have unlocked their Nephalem potentials in reaction to the deaths of loved ones. The Monk and Wizard, by contrast, may have done it through practice and meditation.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: Adria, the Witch of Tristram sends you on a questline involving the Black Soulstone, which takes up the better part of the second act and all of the third, involving resurrecting the ancient Horadric betrayer who first created it, wresting the Stone from his hands, and then using it to trap the souls of the remaining Great Evils, Belial and Azmodan. The other five Evils were already marked and drawn into the stone by Adria herself. Now, why would Adria be so hell-bent upon getting all seven of the Great Evils into that stone? As it turns out, she's the agent of Diablo himself, and seeks to use the stone to resurrect him as the Prime Evil, the embodiment of all seven Evils in one being, in accordance with Diablo's grand plan. And the vessel that Adria uses for her master's resurrection? Her own daughter Leah, whose father is none other than the Dark Wanderer, Diablo's old host.
  • Trick Arrow: Many Demon Hunter skills.
  • Turns Red: In the premiere gameplay video, the Barbarian fights the Thousand Pounder mini-boss. At half health, he turns black with glowing tattoos and becomes much faster.
  • The Turret Master: The Demon Hunter has an ability to drop a sentry turret.
  • Two Faced Aside: The Scoundrel has a personality that can easily apply these.
    Lyndon: Fair price indeed! [aside] You're getting swindled!

    U - Z 
  • The Undead: Standard for the Diablo series. You mainly encounter them in the first act, but they also show up in lesser numbers in the next two acts.
  • Underground Monkey: The game will probably be the same. Trailers indicate that it will also allow monster subtypes to vary in size.
  • Unequal Rites: The description of the Wizard on the website suggests that she's an outcast from the mage clans for her willingness to use "forbidden arts," and even calling herself a Wizard instead of a Sorceress is considered crass.
  • The Unfought: You never get to fight Adria or Imperius in the original game. However, Adria shows up as a boss in Reaper of Souls and Imperius is heavily implied to be an antagonist in the next expansion.
  • Unidentified Items: Ordinary enchanted items are recognizable immediately, and the player can simply right-click on a a Rare or Legendary item and wait a few seconds to identify it. A patch introduced a Great Big Book of Everything that identifies everything in the inventory at once.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: Tristram Cathedral was dark and claustrophobic in Diablo. In Diablo III, it looks like one giant cavern, with the player running around on rooftops.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Barbarian has Wrath of the Berserker, essentially a Super Mode for the character that allows him or her to attack faster and harder.
  • Unusually 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • 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.
    • Played straight in act III; see Wham Episode below.
  • Using You All Along: The entire quest-line involving the Black Soulstone, which takes up the majority of the second and third acts and involves the killing of the final two Great that Adria, who it turns out is a servant of Diablo, can use it to resurrect her master as the embodiment of all seven Great Evils in one being, in accordance with his centuries-in-the-making Evil Plan to destroy the High Heavens and end the war between Heaven and Hell once and for all.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The undead and Maghda's Dark Coven early on, the demons thereafter.
  • Vendor Trash: Poor-quality (gray and white) items are barely worth picking up past very low levels, and are mainly only good for selling off to the local merchants.
    • Averted in "Reaper of Souls". All crafted recipes require components that come from salvaged normal items and inferior items (white and gray respectively) and there are some specific recipes that requires you to have a specific level 70 normal item to craft.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • The corrupted Silver Spire, complete with blood falls, lightning, and the corpses of angels staked to walls.
    • The final battle with Diablo takes place atop the Crystal Arch, the very heart of Heaven itself.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: The first fully 3D entry in the series. Ironically, both cinematic and gameplay graphics are stylized in an attempt to look like painted 2D visuals.
  • Viking Funeral: Pyre variant, for Deckard Cain.
  • Villain Has a Point: The game has your main character as his allies forced to negotiate with the ghost of Zoltum Kulle, an Obviously Evil villain who makes no attempt to hide the fact he is using you to be revived. During your cooperation, he passes most of the time explaining your character that he actually is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who want to awake Humans' true power, and that your own allies are manipulating you for their own purpose. At the end of Act III, it turns out one of your allies, Adria, was indeed using you to prepare Diablo's resurrection.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Several times in the game.
    • Maghda has one when the player character points out that Belial may just be using her as a decoy.
    • Belial himself has one when players get the Black Soulstone, and another couple while the player fights him.
    • Cydaea drops the "sexy villain" routine when you knock her down to about 1/3 her HP, screaming "I will break every bone in your body!" or "I will enjoy playing with your corpse!"
    • Diablo himself has one when you defeat him in the realm of terror; around the middle of the boss fight with him, he loses patience and uses one of his ultimate attacks on your character: traping you a Realm of Nightmare where, according to him, no one ever managed to escape from. When you still manage to get out of it, he completely loses it:
      Diablo: "NOOOOO! This wretched light must be eradicated!"
  • Wackyland: Whimsyshire, which also doubles as a Take That at the Fan Dumb that loathed the less dark artstyle Diablo III took.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • 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.
  • Walking Spoiler: The true identity of the Stranger that fell from the sky is not revealed until the very end of Act I, where it turns out to be a newly-human Tyrael who has sacrificed his angelic status to aid humanity directly against the last two Lords of Hell. He plays a major role in the rest of the game, serving as the de facto leader of your small party and even taking up his sword, El'druin, to battle alongside you at certain points in the final two acts.
  • War Memorial: In the Festering Woods near New Tristram you can find a memorial to the Last Stand of the Nephalem, and then re-enact it against undead enemies.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Wretched Queen, who's basically just a stronger version of the Wretched Mother enemies and requires little effort to destroy.
  • Warp Whistle: Waypoints allow instant travel to any other unlocked waypoint. The game has a "waypoint" in nearly every zone (including towns and enemy lairs), which can instantly teleport the player to any other waypoint in the act. 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. Unlike Diablo 2 they are not permanent from game to game and depend on what quest you select, and you can no longer travel by waypoint back to previous acts, however.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Wasps will shoot small, slow-moving, explosive versions of themselves at you.
  • We Can Rule Together: Zoltun Kulle offers this repeatedly to the player character in Act II.
  • Weirdness Censor: Pre-release information says that the majority of the world has shrugged off the events that happened 20 years ago, and are unaware that demons were responsible for the havoc caused. This is rather odd, because in the second game, the minions of the Prime Evils seemed to rampage across most of the known world, and most of the NPCs you talk to seemed aware of the cause of the problem.
    • Even in one of the novels, a necromancer comments that their seers suspect that Baal is responsible for the destruction of Mount Arreat in the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. Not only do the necromancers usually seem more aware of what's going on than the rest of the world, but Baal was anything but subtle during his assault. Baal wasn't exactly skipping merrily to the summit, though. He killed cities and possibly kingdoms that were in his way. Who's left to say what really went on besides some reclusive, not terribly credible barbarians?
      • In the absence of forensics science, evidence of the Prime Evils rests entirely on eye witnesses. The demons weren't exactly leaving a lot of those... and most of them would likely be thought insane by anyone who hadn't been involved in the previous conflicts. Marius is a clear example of this, narrating his misadventures with the wanderer from inside an asylum cell.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zoltun Kulle, a powerful sorcerer who created the Black Soulstone to imprison demons...and angels, whom he regarded as little better. His ultimate goal was to force the angels to unlock the power of the nephalem, the powerful precursors to humans. While his methods were far too extreme (and led to him being sealed in multiple cans, he did have a few points in his favor; while he wasn't entirely right about the angels, he wasn't entirely wrong, either... and his repeated warnings about you being a pawn of someone else's plans were ones you really should have listened to.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Deckard Cain's death. It didn't help that the intro featured a Red Herring where Cain was hit by a meteor...and lives.
    • Adria's betrayal given the foreshadowing:
      1. Adria and the person who may or may not at the time have been possessed by Diablo had a child.
      2. It appears she knowingly had a child with Diablo.
      3. The other player characters of the first game have turned evil.
      4. You're Properly Paranoid.
  • Wham Line:
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The barkeep remarks that naming the town New Tristram was probably a bad idea since the old one was burned to the ground by demons.
  • 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 may have killed the Sorceress.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Lampshaded by a journal entry you can find in the middle of a mook camp in Act II 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. One of the mooks writes about how long time they've been camping waiting for you, the stories he has heard about how strong is your player character, asking himself if they even have a chance to stop you, and wondering if they are not being used as cannon fodder by their superiors.
  • When Trees Attack: Subverted: 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 and, in fact, have nothing to do with plants. The fact that they bleed growing green blood supports this claim. The fact that they fight with exploding weeds does not.
  • Whip It Good: While not necessarily a whip, Auriel uses a giant cord-like ribbon wrapped around her body in this fashion.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Some of the zombies will turn into crawling torsos when damaged; some of them start off that way.
  • Witch Doctor: One of the new classes is the Witch Doctor, which appears to be quite similar to the Necromancer in Diablo II, who also have many similarities to witch doctors.
  • A Wizard Did It: The goatmen or Khazra turn out to have been created by the Vizjerei by magical corruption of captured umbaru tribesmen, and their previous lore as demonic lieutenants of Baal, the Lord of Destruction, turns out to have been nothing but Vizjerei propaganda meant to cover up their misdeeds.
  • Wolverine Claws: Some of the Monk's fist weapons feature blades, including one legendary weapon that's a homage to Wolverine.
  • 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: 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!
    • 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.
    • Tyrael is pretty damn hammy in the flashback to how he left heaven... And it is awesome.
      Tyrael: You cannot judge me! I am justice itself!
    • Every evil character is a ham, with special mention to Azmodan.
  • Wutai: Xiansai, where both Covetous Shen and the Wizard hail from, and is quite Chinese in general motif, but is never visited in-game.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The entirety of the first two games and the first three acts of the third. It was all a grand plan by Diablo to merge the 7 evils with himself as the head.
  • You All Look Familiar: A lot of NPCs share the same models, especially the soldiers in Act III.
  • You Are Already Dead: One of Monk class' skills, Exploding Palm, causes the target to explode if it is killed by Damage Over Time. Given that Diablo III is chock full of Shout Outs, the reference to Fist of the North Star was no doubt intentional.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In one random dialogue, Lyndon the Scoundrel questions whether killing the Lords of Hell would be enough to make him a good person. The hero of the game says no. He already is.
    Lyndon: If I keep killing demons, I might actually become a good person, right?
    PC: I don't think so.
    Lyndon: Seriously?
    PC: You already are a good person.
  • 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.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The Scroll of Fate dictates the fate of everything in existence. The only ones who can fight fate are the Nephalem (the player characters) since the Scroll of Fate doesn't mention them. Their fate is unwritten. This is good news for Heaven, since the Angels are otherwise destined to fall to the Prime Evil.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Of course. Otherwise it would all be over by as early as Act II.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:
    • 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.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Malthael does this to the Horadrim at the start of Reaper of Souls.
  • You Will Not Evade Me:
    • Elite Mooks with the Teleporting, Waller, Jailer, and Vortex abilities can do this to you.
    • The Butcher has a move where he pulls you into close range with his meat hook.
    • The Barbarian's Ancient Spear move allows you to do this to your enemies as well.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Act I starts off as this, thanks to the Stranger's fall reanimating those slain by Diablo's forces.

You do believe me, don't you?

DiabloFantasy Video GamesDisciples
Diablo IIIBM Personal ComputerDigital: A Love Story
StarCraft II: Heart of the SwarmCreator/Blizzard EntertainmentHearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Tiny-Headed BehemothImageSource/Video GamesBeard of Barbarism
Diablo IIMature RatingDoom
DestinyPlay Station 4 Divekick
DiabloAction RPGDink Smallwood

alternative title(s): Diablo 3
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