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Headscratchers / Diablo III

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    Secret Level 

  • I've not been to the secret unicorn level myself yet, but what I read about it makes me wonder if Blizzard tried to create a parody of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
    • I remember seeing teddy bears on youtube playthroughs of it. It's more a parody of the sugary kiddy-genre in general than any one series, as well as mocking their critics who felt their expanded color repertoire in the previous game made it more kiddy despite the increased gore. Besides, Diablo 3 had been in development for nearly 11 years, they probably had something like this planned for years.
    • It's cause people criticized the game for looking "too kiddy" despite the earliest gameplay footage showed a barbarian being split in half and the game is full of gore. Course, they probably decided why not when My Little Pony became popular again.
    • It does have references to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Why else would a Champion Monster there be called "Midnight Sparkle: Nightmare is Magic"?


    Azmodan's Messages 

  • Why does blizzard have Azmodan send a message (found on a messenger demon) to the effect of "We've successfully snuck into the keep. Stay quiet, and they'll never know", than proceed to tell the player anyway? Either one on its own would make sense (sneaking under the keep would show a flash of the tactical skill Azmodan theoretically has, telling the players fits with Azmodan's tendency to announce all his other moves), but doing both at the same time makes little sense. Closely related, I do wonder whether the writers themselves actually intended for Axzmodan to be a skilled commander, or themselves planned for it to just be reputation.
    • Well, it kinda makes sense as he's the lord of Sin. One of the biggest sins? Pride. So while he's got the premise down, his pride gets the better of him, and he just has to gloat. As for how he can be such a skilled commander with that mentality is a whole other question. Perhaps it's the Nephalem monkey wrench?
    • I'm gonna second Nephalem Monkey Wrench. I mean, while there is a great deal of pride involved in such a showcase, what general accounts for a One-Man Army single handedly decimating your forces. Hell, to his credit, I can see the taunts as his way of trying to "lure" you into your doom...I mean each of these hints ultimately leads to his generals.
    • I think that's definitely right. Remember that Azmodan's revelation that he's infiltrated the keep is immediately followed by his demons bursting through the door from the lower levels. You then have to fight through three levels with one of the highest enemy densities in the game, presumably ready to follow up the initial assault. A keep compromised to that extent really shouldn't be able to hold so his message is crowing that he's won. Which he would have if not for the player.

    Leah's skepticism 

  • Leah's skepticism about Cain's research is a big headscratcher. How can she not believe in all this stuff when she lives in Sanctuary, a world that seems to be constantly overrun with supernatural vermin? But if you pick apart her actual dialogue on the subject, it's possible that there's no contradiction. At one point she reminisces about having to drag her uncle away from some dusty old tapestries he was studying, because they were about to be attacked by an army of skeletons. In other words, she absolutely believes in the supernatural because she's experienced it first-hand.

    Is it possible that the only thing she doesn't believe in is the potential for the Evils and the Angels to have another battle in Sanctuary? Her uncle's crazy theories all lead to the idea of another possible apocalypse. The moment when she starts believing seems to be when she gets proof that the stranger who fell from the sky is an actual honest-to-goodness angel.
    • The thing Leah specifically disbelieves is the End of the World prophecy, which is reasonable; demons have been invading Sanctuary almost constantly for millennia, so why should this invasion be different?
    • Also keep in mind that Leah was recently born when Baal was defeated. Leah grew up in a world that had calmed down, and even Tristram was safe to loot. It would be easy for her to think her elders were exaggerating the past. For the sake of gameplay, each Diablo game takes place in a crazy time in Sanctuary's history, but relatively normal generations have gone by in their history (and even in Diablo 1 the danger was just underneath Tristram and even the people living there were a bit skeptical of the full scope).
      • Deckard's words about her skepticism bear this out. He understands Leah's skepticism quite well, because unlike Cain himself, she has never seen anything like Diablo and his brothers.

    Not-So-Wise Tyrael 

  • After the final battle with Diablo, we can see him being thrown down from the High Heavens, dissolving into dust until only the Black Soulstone remains, which will prosumably fall down to Sanctuary like Tyrael did at the beginning. Now considering that the witch Adria just disappeared after summoning Diablo with the stone and an offspring of Diablo, who says that the Dark Wanderer didn't have more than one child, so that she can just pick the Soulstone up from where it has fallen and repeat the process? Wouldn't it have been smarter for the Angels to hold onto the stone? Truly the last deed of Justice, not the first deed of Wisdom.
    • The Reaper of Souls trailer shows that Tyrael has retrieved the Black Soulstone and sought to hide it.
    • A lot of players have erroneous assumptions about the topography of the series' cosmos. Sanctuary isn't directly below the Heavens, like the ground beneath the clouds. If it were, the angels wouldn't have had so much difficulty finding it. It seems to be a planet on a distant realm far from the Heavens, and possibly on another plane of existence. When the Soulstone fell from Diablo in the end cinematic, it didn't fall to Sanctuary; it probably landed on another platform lower in the Heavens.

     Tyrael's Humanity 

  • How exactly did Tyrael become mortal? It's not like all angels have a "become human" button somewhere on their armour. Humans are explicitly the spawn of angels and demons, so to become one he'd need demonic influence. Just stripping his wings might remove his angelic power, but it shouldn't have made him human.
    • Actually, an angel succumbing to demonic influence doesn't turn them into a human, it turns them into a Corrupted Angel. So even with demonic influence, Tyrael would be, at best, a demon himself. As for exactly why he becomes a human instead, I dunno. He is clearly the first angel who has ever removed his angelic powers, so there is no precedent for how that magic works. It seems that his angel powers are what grant him immortality (mostly immortal, at least, his body can be destroyed, but he'll eventually reform). So, perhaps, with that gone, he just sort of defaults to human, because "not-immortal" = "mortal". Sorry if that's kinda WMG, but again, we don't know exactly how it works, there's no precedent.
    • The why is fairly simple. It's a combination of fully releasing himself from the oath that prevents him from interceding directly on humanity's behalf, and just being sick and tired of the Angiris Council's inactivity as Sanctuary, and humanity with it, are slowly being destroyed by the forces of Hell. One can assume most of his actions prior can be explained either as loopholes, or just a premise of "easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission." Hell, it was a spat with Imperius that prompted the "Screw this and screw you" reaction of stripping himself of his angelic status.
    • Considering that Malthael spared him after examining his soul, it seems that he has a human's appearance but not the demonic taint. Answering "how?" and "why" probably needs more info than we have.
    • Seeing as how he's still huge and capable of doing badass things with his sword and stuff, it's possible that he isn't technically human, but some sort of half-crippled human-like thingy.
    • Pretty sure the word you're looking for is "mortal". And indeed, it's basically confirmed by Tyrael himself later—he's mortal now, but not nephalem; he lacks the demonic influence common to all humans.
    • I think that although the cinematic implied that an angel stripped of its powers becomes a human, he instead used his angelic powers to transmute himself into a mortal that only looked like a human, for some reason stripping off his wings (which are the main part of an angel's body in Diablo) to do so.
    • This is explained in a roundabout manner in Reaper of Souls. Angels can change their inherent nature and outward appearance. Malthael's angels changed when they changed their nature from Wisdom to Death. By accepting Death, they became the twisted forms of the Reapers, their appearances and bodies changing shape to reflect that altered state. So, when Tyrael chose to become a mortal, his body simply changed shape to match that state and to reflect what he'd chosen to become. There are obvious and clear physical changes, as he needs to eat and his mind changed so that he has to deal with his emotions like a mortal does.

    Monk Spirits 

  • What exactly are the Monk's (and other classes) gods and spirits? When we go to the High Heavens, we only see angels and such. It's possible, one supposes that say Ytar is an angel or non-existent, but both Monk and Witch Doctor both get (or believe they do) get their powers from said beings. One could say that perhaps they're just channeling their nephalem powers (they being the first generation born after the worldstone's destruction), but then where did their predecessors get their power? And it still doesn't explain who beings like Ytar actually are.
    • The angels don't exactly seem to be the gods of humanity. Anu and Tathemet are nearly confirmed as being real (but dead) gods, with their corpses becoming the angels/high heavens and the demons/hells respectively. So if the high heavens are a dead god's corpse, it makes sense that we don't see other gods living there.


    Bastion's Keep deaths 

  • How did all the characters at Bastion's keep actually die in act 3-4? (There's no actual battle that occurs, so it makes little sense for the soldiers to get killed unless they went to watch the transition event and got killed as part of that process.)
    • Is this as you enter Act IV? Well, Adria is a powerful witch serving Diablo and a traitor, so I wouldn't be surprised if the guards were celebrating when she suddenly attacked.
    • Assuming they weren't outright used for some manner of blood magic to make this work. Hell, I'm pretty sure the circle Leah and Adria were standing is was drawn in blood, so...yeah...

    Khazra Staff 

  • Seriously, why the hell do you need to get it? I mean it's not like you use it to barter safe passage, as they open the gates and rush you as soon as you arrive with it, so why not just smash the gates in the first place, and charge through, aside from the fact that they needed to justify a speed bump to force you to explore the area?
    • If we have to explore why the hero isn't able to smash these gates down, we'd have to explore why the hero can't smash any similar gates down. (Quite frankly, I don't think about that, and neither should you.) Really, the way I saw it, the hero's possession of the staff provoked the khazra into attacking (to take it back). I seem to recall at least one of the khazra shouting "the staff is ours!" or the like.
    • There's no in-universe explanation for this, simply because its existence as a dangling thread is due to production difficulties: Getting the staff was SUPPOSED to be part of getting the Mystic artisan, in the form of the young woman you rescued from the spiders, but things got messed up and they had to cut the Mystic from the initial release - leaving the first part of her quest dangling in the form of the Khazra Staff. It took until Reaper of Souls for them to get the Mystic all sorted out, so apparently, it was really hard...

     Inarius' Fate 
  • What is the deal there? I mean that is a seriously wild Retcon, going from an extraordinarily proud angel who bungled an assault on Mephisto, and ended up being mutilated into being the progenitor of Overseers while being trapped in a mirrored room to being a refugee with Lilith, and the progenitor of humanity itself. I mean I could see making a tale up as a cautionary tale to other angels, but, I seems to be lining up to be the worst kept secret ever if that's the case.
    • ...He did. That was what happened. The notes that were left behind may have been picked up by someone else and scattered in different places.

     Legendary rain 

  • So... what's all this I've been hearing about "Legendary rain" or "Guaranteed legendaries"? Because I've not found a single legendary and I've invested about 40 hours into the game (Post 2.0, I have roughly 65 logged from 2012). Only about 20 of those were on Torment. Does the RNG just hate me that much or am I extremely unlucky?
    • Yeah, it seems like the RNG does just hate you. Even on Normal difficulty, I've been getting legendaries every few hours. Diablo himself dropped four of the things! It's a little ridiculous, honestly. I got absolutely no legendaries for the first year-and-a-half of owning the game, then 2.0 comes out and I get ten within a couple days.
    • Apparently it hates me - I'm playing with my friends who're flat out tossing legendaries out. I've gotten five. Why on earth do I have such terrible luck?!
      • I'm guessing this HS was written ages ago (it's 2.6.0 as of this writing), but if you're still stumped by chance: Crank the difficulty up and do Rifts. A lot. If you want a light show of Legendaries, do a Greater Rift, since loot is withheld until the boss is killed, at which point it's guaranteed to explode into a cluster of legendaries.

    Legendary crafting materials 

  • Do legendary crafting materials (See: Forgotten Souls) count towards a "Legendary" count? I'm practically bleeding Forgotten Souls.


     Malthael's brilliant plan 
  • For being the previous Aspect of Wisdom, Malthael's done some incredibly stupid things during the Reaper of Souls expansion. His idea to bait the Nephalem and lure him/her to Pandemonium was ultimately what gave the Nephalem the power to defeat him in the first place. Why did he not simply hunt down the Nephalem right away? He/she wouldn't have been able to touch Malthael at all, and all of Sanctuary would have been his for the taking. But no, not only did he set himself up for ultimate defeat better than any of the good guys could have hoped for, he also shattered the Black Soulstone and took the powers of the Prime Evil for himself in a last ditch attempt to destroy the Nephalem! That monumental hypocrisy aside, his death released all Evil back into the world. Dear god, someone get that Idiot Ball away from him.
    • It could be possible Fridge Brilliance: Malthael wasn't always the Archangel of Wisdom, and in fact may have never truly been Wisdom. He started out as Death; in essence, Reaper of Souls sees him returning to his 'true' form, so it stands to reason he'd make some unwise decisions.
    • He also didn't exactly 'bait' the Nephalem to Pandemonium - if anything, he did his best to hide there, effectively seeking out the single-most remote, isolated, and well-defended location in all of Creation - and then attempting to destroy the only way to get there. Reaching him required you to first seek out an extremely powerful witch capable of tracking the location of the stolen Soulstone using a (from the looks of it) VERY demanding Blood Magic ritual, then beat Malthael's strikeforce to the gate (by minutes at best), then powering up some insanely powerful siege-weaponry to even get inside. One might argue that it was still unwise for him to hang around directly on top of a source of power that could be turned against him, but it's never made clear if that 'Power of Death' thing has ALWAYS been there, or if it's simply manifested there because it's where Malthael is - if it's the later, it would've formed ANYWHERE he tried to hide, and Pandemonium Fortress was basically his best bet for both staying hidden and keeping the Nephalem from reaching him in time.
    • Pandemonium Fortress is explicitly said to alter itself to match the nature of whoever controls it, which means that simply by being in there, Malthael brought the soul prison that the Nephalem could draw upon into existence within the fortress. Unless he completely abandoned the fortress, there was nothing he could do about it.
    • A touch of WMG here to add, but it's possible that the Power of Death is there specifically TO power him up. The only reason it reacts to you is because there's a soul in there that reacts to the playable character, who then gets as many spirits as possible to unify and help you out. Prior to that, it was Mathael's and Malthael's alone to help bolster himself.
    • There may be a far simpler explanation as to why Malthael acted as he did during Act V. Diablo was corrupting him from within the Black Soulstone, in a manner quite similar to how Mephisto corrupted the Zakarum back in Diablo II. Malthael is merely an archangel, albeit the most powerful one in creation. But Diablo is the sum total of all Seven Evils in one being, and his power to corrupt has only grown since becoming the Prime Evil, enough to affect even angels. It cannot be a coincidence that Malthael's plan for destroying humanity involved tuning the Black Soulstone to rip out the demonic essence of every human and absorb it into the stone. Where do you think all of that demonic essence went? Straight to Diablo himself. Everything that happened in Act V was part of Diablo's plan to be freed from the Black Soulstone, and with more power than he has ever had before.

    How is Fate a virtue for Itherael to embody? 
  • How is Fate a virtue for Itherael to embody? Each of the archangels are supposed to embody one of the primary virtues of Anu. The other four are all traits one can cultivate, but fate is the predetermined order of events. How is that a virtue? Is Itherael meant to embody a more fatalistic outlook contrary to Auriel embodying hope?
    • The Angiris Council does not embody virtues. They embody pure aspects of Creation. Valor, Wisdom, Justice, Hope, and Fate are the big five pure aspects of creation, so an angel on the Council chooses to embody one of those aspects.

    Malthael abstains 
  • Just how much of a Kangaroo Court is the Angiris Council? The game constantly reiterates that humanity was one vote away from destruction, but the numbers just don't bear that out. Itherael, Auriel, and Tyrael all voted to spare humanity, but Imperius was the only member to actively vote in favor of extermination; Malthael chose to abstain instead. We're told that Malthael's vote (or lack thereof) was counted against humanity, but that make absolutely no sense; Malthael was still leader of the council, so Imperius shouldn't have had the authority to count Malthael's vote in his favor, leaving us with a three-to-one vote in favor of letting humanity live.
    • The vote was to decide the fate of a world and race who were partly demonic in origin. Heaven and Hell have been locked in a war of annihilation for eternity, with their default policy being to destroy anything that is of demonic origin(with the exception of the World Stone). So while its unfair for Humanity it does make sense to count any vote that wasn't directly in support of making an exception as against.
    • "Malthael abstaining" was a simplification of what actually happened, probably to keep the story moving. The Angiris Council originally decided to destroy humanity upon learning of their existence, but reconvened when they became aware of humanity's potential for nobility and sacrifice. Malthael didn't cast a vote and Tyrael was expected to vote against humanity, which would have resulted in a tie and thus the carrying out of the council's initial plan.
    • Also, bear in mind the nature of the vote. It was a vote on sparing humanity, so a non-vote could be considered tantamount to agreeing/not being opposed to the plan.

    The stability of the Black Soulstone 
  • During Acts II and III, much fuss is made about how the Black Soulstone is flawed and was never meant to hold so many demon lords for so long. Throughout Act III, the Great Evils are constantly straining to escape, held back only by Leah's magic. Yet between Acts IV and V, it's calmed down enough that the new Horadrim only need to guard it from external threats, and neither Tyrael nor Malthael seem worried that the demons will escape while it's under Malthael's control.
    • When Adria pulled the Betrayal, the Seven Evils became one. And if Diablo is known for anything, it is patience.
    • Also, there's the possibility that by thrashing Diablo, we weakened him enough for his host to wrest back control and suppress the Evils...

    Imperius vs Malthael 
  • When Imperius tells you about stopping Malthael, he says that he has "not the heart to do this". What exactly could he have done against a being who at that point was much more powerful than Diablo (who had swatted Imperius aside like a fly only recently)?
    • Its not that Imperius could have taken him down, its that he was unwilling to fight his brother Malthael. Imperius would have likely ran into the same problem that Tyrael and the Nephalem had and been beaten. On the other hand Imperius would have likely sent Heaven's armies to besiege his stronghold. While Malthael is invulnerable his forces are not.

     Leah's Fate 
  • So what exactly happened to Leah after Diablo died? Did she just cease to exist? Or did her soul leave and go to Heaven? Or something else?
    • In general, what happens to a person after they die in the Diablo universe is fairly unknown. We know their souls persist in some form, since your player character can meet a long-deceased loved one in Pandemonium Fortress. We also know it’s possible for souls to be forced into servitude maliciously, as Malthael does throughout Act V, but usually only at the moment of their deaths, which is why you see the Reapers harvesting and raising new minions so aggressively. Leah is a special case, though. Unlike Diablo’s other hosts in the games, her body was not left behind when Diablo was killed; we see his body disintegrate, leaving the Black Soulstone behind. This may be partly due to her demonic heritage, but even that is a bit ambiguous - her father is Diablo by way of Prince Aidan, so it’s not clear if she was a human with special powers or a true half-demon or what. Given the unusual strength of her power and her unique heritage (Diablo isn’t one to stay dead forever, after all), it’s possible she’ll come back in some form in the future.

     Witch Doctor? 
  • I know this isn't that important but isn't "witch doctor" seen a derogatory term (or at least a slang term) these days? Why not call him a shaman instead?


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