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  • Kaizo Trap: Elite Mooks with the "Molten" ability will leave behind an explosion when they die which deals a massive amount of fire damage. Rush in to pick up that loot too quickly, and you'll end up blown to pieces.
  • Karma Houdini: Played straight in the main game, but averted by Reaper of Souls. Adria, who betrays you and resurrects Diablo by sacrificing Leah, manages to escape. She shows up as Act V's second major boss, allowing the nephalem to finally give her the asskicking you've been wanting to give her since her betrayal.
  • 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.
    • The very first thing you see a Death Maiden doing in Reaper of Souls is ripping out the soul of an innocent woman trying to escape Westmarch and turning her and the dead around her into Reapers to send after you, with the cold "Those with demon blood must die." It quite nicely sets the tone of both the expansion and the Reapers' mission.
    • Throughout the second major boss battle of Act V, Adria will make mention that your character must be angry at what she did to Leah, then dismiss that as a worthless thought.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Several random events involve "cursed chests", which glow with a red light and trigger an attack of enemies when you click on them, who must be defeated to open the chest.
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  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Can be invoked by the player. While the subtitles will show the entirety of any mook banter, if you kill the speaker before the audio of the banter has finished, the audio will cut off.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Towards the end of Act I, Deckard Cain, the old Horadrim mage who has helped you throughout the entire series, is killed by Mahgda and her minions. The nephalem makes it their personal mission to kill Mahgda as revenge for Cain's death.
    • Despite appearances, hints are dropped about the fate of a character killed in Act III. 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 Leah may have survived in some form. And unlike other times Diablo is defeated, Leah's corpse isn't left behind. On top of that, Blizzard has teased her resurrection as a plot point for the future.
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  • Killer Rabbit: The enemies in Whimsyshire. Cute unicorns, teddy bears, and pink flowers 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 blue Elite Mooks can have. It makes all of their stats increase as more of them fall. They also grow in size, with the last one left being the biggest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Surprisingly Averted by the Crusaders; while the real-world bunch had a rather checkered past, Sanctuary's Crusaders are noble, likely because they were founded to fight the corruption that the Zakarum faith had succumbed to. The playable Crusader is about as far from The Fundamentalist as it's possible for a holy warrior to be, and he/she is one of the nicest of the character classes.
  • Kubrick Stare: Some classes combine their Death Glare in the ending cinematic of Reaper of Souls with a Kubrick Stare, such as the female Monk and female Crusader.
  • 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, mines are placed by Azmodan's troops. Getting too close triggers them, and they explode a few seconds later.
    • Pandemonium Realm is littered with mines which, when triggered, beep in escalating frequency before exploding.
  • Last Chance Hit Point:
    • Every class has an available passive skill that saves the hero if they take mortal damage, through different means such as knockback or Mercy Invincibility. These skills have a 60-second cooldown, so if you can't get away as soon as they activate, you're toast.
    • Patch 2.6 added in an ability for each hireling that saves the player from death when they hit zero HP. This ability causes the player to gain a few seconds of Mercy Invincibility (Templar), momentarily disappear to escape (Scoundrel), or knock back enemies to give some breathing room (Enchantress). Each of these skills has a 120-second cooldown, and cooldown reduction doesn't affect it, so a player can't just hope for their hireling to save them every time.
  • Lawful Stupid: Defied. 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, the angels will not interfere with humanity. Thus, they put both themselves and humanity in danger. That is why Tyrael became a mortal, willingly. In his own words, "if [their] precious laws bind [the angels] to inaction," then Tyrael will no longer stand with them.
  • 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.
    • It's possible to subvert this requirement with the Gem of Ease. At level 25, the gem sets the required level of anything it's socketed in to Level 1. Since this also gives a flat experience boost per enemy kill, using the equipment with a level 1 character will have them jump twenty or thirty levels in the span of a few minutes.
  • Level Scaling: After patch 2.0, the monsters' stats are based on your level, which can be exploited to level up new characters very fast if you have a friend who can do some Twinking). They don't catch up to your gear improvement, though, and there are skills, passives, and items that can only be used at higher levels, so Low-Level Advantage is averted in this regard.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Both your health and mana are restored on leveling and your cooldowns are reset. 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 the 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.
    • In general, Angels in Sanctuary falls into two camps. On one side, there's the tolerant or more believing in humanity and their potential (such as Tyrael, Auriel, Itherael and The Prophet that trained Eirena). On the other side, there's the extremely short-sighted, concluding that they're all evil abominations because they have demon blood (Malthael and Imperius), or just seeing some bad examples of humanity and then generalizes that they're all like those bad examples (Urzael). The game has shown that there have been more tolerant Angels. However, the intolerant ones tend to have a high position, so people mostly take Angel's 'faces' based on the intolerant ones and overall painting a negative light on them. Not to mention, the Angels' goal to win the Eternal Conflict is to rule over creation on their own design of order, so the Angels used to be this until Inarius did his stitch, then Uldyssian impressed the tolerant Angels.
  • 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 noticeable 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 horror 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).
  • Loveable Rogue: Lyndon, the Scoundrel. He claims to be "the most honest thief you'll ever meet," because while he may be a petty thief, at least he'll tell you that to your face. Then you find out his backstory of sending money home to save his brother and his girl that got away, and Lyndon becomes even more sympathetic.
  • 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 and Gold Find determine how many items/gold coins you receive, and how often.
  • 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 mou shindeiru...
    • The legendary sword Sever has the special ability "Slain enemies will rest in pieces". Any killing blow is converted to a critical and has its damage artificially inflated, ensuring the most gibs possible.
  • 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, the 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 attacks 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 counter. Fury will naturally deplete instead of increase, encouraging them to seek out the next monster to smash.
    • Crusaders gain Wrath through basic attacks and Provoke, which can be expended in a variety of stronger spells; Wrath also regenerates over time. The class also features numerous skills that have no Wrath cost, only being limited by their cooldowns.
    • 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.
    • Necromancers harvest Essence from their foes with their basic attacks, which can then be used to fuel other spells. Essence does not naturally deplete, but it also does not naturally regenerate, so Necromancers must be careful not to deplete their resources too quickly. Certain skills are Cast from Hit Points and may or may not require Essence as a secondary cost. Still, other skills depend on the presence of enemy corpses; these generally don't require any Essence to cast.
    • 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. Arcane Power regenerates rather quickly, and several abilities further mitigate casting costs.
  • 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, able to take the face, form, and voice of anyone they want.
  • 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 valor; 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 say 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.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Isendra and the male Wizard.
  • Metal Slime: Treasure Goblins drop a lot of gold and items, but flee from the player. If not killed in short order, they will disappear through a portal. There are several varieties of them in Nephalem Rifts: goblins focused on just gems, gold, crafting resources, and Blood Shards are frequent. There's also the "Insufferable Miscreant" variant that teleports and is even harder to kill, but always drops a legendary item if the player can kill it.
  • 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 the lower levels. +1-2 XP per kill, +x% chance of magic drops, more gold.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The Crusader introduced in Reaper of Souls has a passive ability that lets them equip a two-handed weapon in one hand at the cost of 15% of their movement speed.
    • Golgors and Mallet Lords are big, slow demons that both give plenty of warning when they're about to attack, but will hit you hard if you don't get out of the way.
  • The Minion Master:
    • Witch Doctors are capable of summoning various creatures alongside them.
    • Monks get the Mystic Ally ability, which summons what is basically an ethereal version of themselves that, just like the Witch Doctor's minions, stays summoned until it is destroyed.
    • The Demon Hunter has the Companion skill, which puts an animal companion by their side. One of the endgame armor sets for the Demon Hunter causes all the runes to be active for the Companion skill, which means every variant of the skill is active. This leads to a Demon Hunter with a crow, bat, giant spider, boar, wolf, and two ferrets running around at all times.
    • The Necromancer has a heavy focus on summoning minions, even more than the Witch Doctor.
  • 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 stats, increasing the amount of gold and the quality of items that drop. A few Legendary items can also generate extra loot, most notably the "Boon of the Hoarder" gem that causes monsters to periodically drop a shower of gold upon death.
  • 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.
  • Monstrous Scenery:
    • The Towers of Sin areas have multiple giant demons chained up and serving as part of the tower's foundations. Cydaea, the demon general who controls the towers, boasts about the enjoyment she gets from torturing them.
    • The Siegebreaker Assault Beast serves as a boss fight late in Act 3. When fighting demons on the walls of Bastion's Keep at the start of the act, you can sometimes see it on the battlefield below, fighting its way through the keep's defenders.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • The game has a scene where the men in Maghda's Coven are hinted to see your character fighting them like 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.
  • Mood Dissonance: During Rifts, Whimseyshire's tileset and enemies are viable candidates for the Rifts' Randomly Generated Levels, and the game need not pick the two together. Meaning you could be going through Whimseyshire while a bunch of bloodthirsty demons are trying to maul you, or encountering brightly-colored teddy bears in the burning streets of Westmarch.
  • 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 who will grab onto the side of the ramparts and vomit out demons until slain.
  • Morality Pet: Lorath becomes one to the nephalem in Act V, having to remind them repeatedly to get information out of Adria before beating her to a fine pulp.
  • More Dakka: The Demon Hunter's Rapid Fire ability shoots a steady stream of arrows like it's a machine gun.
  • 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.
  • Mugging the Monster: A dispossessed noble in Caldeum, Rasheed has been surviving by robbing people. Unfortunately for his mugging career, he tries to do a one-on-two+ stick-up on a Physical God, their high-level companion, and possible summoned creatures. Luckily for him, the Nephalem realizes that he's just a desperate nitwit rather than a hardened criminal so they let him off with just a warning.
  • 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 he 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 of Diablo 2.
      The Stone of Jordan is far more valuable than its appearance would suggest. Men have given much to possess it.
    • During the final boss fight of the main game, Diablo stops the fight part of the way through to force you to fight his shadow in the Realm of Terror, represented as a black-colored Diablo. In Diablo II, if you sold too many (Or enough, if you're actively looking for a fight) Stones of Jordan to vendors on Hell difficulty, typically gained through a duplication glitch or very excessive farming, then Diablo - with far beefier stats and a black color palette - will spawn in the vicinity. Later on, during the "Infernal Machine" quest in III, the concept is revisited with a slightly more faithful stipulation in the Realm of Fright, with a Diablo bearing his original design acting as the boss of the level after killing 1000 enemies.
  • Myth Prologue: The game begins with Deckard Cain recounting the Prophecy of the End Days, involving a war between Heaven and Hell, shortly before a big meteor, the First Sign of said prophecy, hits the cathedral that he and Leah are in and blasts him deep into its depths.
  • 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.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Although it's not as revealing as her outfit in Diablo II, Asheara's outfit looks like it could've come out of Jennifer Lopez' closet.
  • 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 been 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.
  • Nephilim: "Nephalem" are the offspring of angels and demons, more powerful than their parents. Puny Humans are the Depowered version thanks to the Worldstone nerfing them. Your character is a "new" Nephalem that has emerged thanks to the Worldstone's destruction.
  • New Game Plus: Just like in the other Diablo titles, after finishing the game on one difficulty, you can access the other difficulties with your upgraded character.
    • 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.
    • A second form of New Game Plus called "Adventure Mode" is unlocked after beating Act V. It's a sort of Open World Sandbox mode where the emphasis is on acquiring loot over everything else. Rather than replay through the Acts over and over, Adventure Mode unlocks all the waypoints in every Act and allows the player to hunt down bounties, which are tasks to complete such as killing tough monsters or surviving certain world events. Upon completing enough bounties, the player can enter a Nephalem Rift, a challenging randomized dungeon that contains a huge amount of loot at the end. Completing enough of these rifts opens the door to Greater Nephalem Rifts, which are timed challenge dungeons that ask you to clear them as fast as possible. Clearing them fast enough unlocks the Urshi vendor, who will let you upgrade your Legendary Gems for a price.
  • 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. He then proceeds to announce every sneak attack and infiltration he tries in the actual battle, dooming each in turn.
  • 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 Face Under the Mask: All angels have this, as revealed when Tyreal removes his own hood when becoming human and a head forms in the place of the now-missing hood.
  • 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, who 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:
  • Nostalgia Level: The ruins of Old Tristram are one of the locations, and the 20 year anniversary saw The Darkening of Tristram special event where you can basically replay the original campaign... and get Diablo's Soulstone as a socketable gem you can insert in your head(slot).
  • Not-Actually-Cosmetic Award: Pets. In-game texts explain that they don't fight for you nor do they die. What the game doesn't tell you is that they'll collect gold for you.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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: The Torment difficulties range from I to XVI. The only difference between the difficulties is that enemies have much higher stats the further you go. But higher difficulties also means better loot.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Shen, possibly. Even if he's not a trickster god, he seems to know more than one would expect.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Overall this game (along with Reaper of Souls) has more cursing than either of its predecessors. This may be partly because the creators Did Not Do the Bloody Research, as many minor characters are Westmarchers and speak with British Accents.
  • 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, not to mention Steve Blum doing his best "couldn't possibly be mistaken for anything but a villain" voice. 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.
    • A rune for the Necromancer's Grim Scythe ability has a chance to instantly decapitate enemies with low health.
    • 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.
    • In Reaper of Souls, Adria transforms (or is transformed) into a monstrous demonic form with huge skeletal wings that are used to both walk and fly.
  • One-Woman Wail: The opening cinematic features a brief one after it cuts from Leah crying out “UNCLE!” to the title screen.
  • 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.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Of the two game modes, Campaign and Adventure, only Campaign mode is initially available, and while you can revisit any previous area that's part of the current Act, you can't travel to areas of previous Acts (for example, in Act II you cannot go back to New Tristram and the surrounding region). Once you complete all five Acts, Adventure mode is unlocked for all current and future characters under your account; Adventure mode lets you freely travel to any Waypoint in the game, with randomly-selected "Bounty" quests made available as an incentive to explore all of Sanctuary. Averted in the console ports, where Adventure is available from the start.
  • 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 is 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.
  • Our Gods Are Greater: Different cultures worship different gods, and their existence is confirmed in-game what with Covetous Shen being a Trickster God. But in the grand scheme of things, it seems the gods are actually lower ranked than either Angels or Demons.details 
  • 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.