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For more information on the Diablo franchise, see Diablo Wiki.
Diablo I logo

Diablo I logo

Diablo II logo

Diablo II logo

The Diablo franchise is another game universe, this one totally RPG and not Strategy, created by Blizzard. It is not related to the Warcraft universe in any way, nor are there significant contributions from that universe to this one. Although, there have been some rumors of more linkage.

Many people suspected that the Diablo franchise was dead when Blizzard closed the studio, Blizzard North, which created it after the release of the last Diablo II. The franchise is still around as Diablo III was announced on June 28 at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France.

Humorous references to Diablo in Warcraft

Warcraft III and World of Warcraft contains some in-game humorous references to Diablo, such as [Cow King's Hide].

  • Diablo II contained a secret level where one had to battle hordes of insane bovines, including the extremely powerful Cow King. This level was built into the game after a fake screenshot was posted of a secret cow level supposedly in the first Diablo game. A saying once existed in the loading screen tips in World of Warcraft that said "There is no cow level" (The saying was also a cheat in the game Starcraft which caused you to automatically win the round.).
  • In reference to his demonic form in Frozen Throne, one of Illidan's gag quotes is "Wings, horns, hooves...what am I saying, is this Diablo?"
  • Another common humor reference to the Diablo franchise is mention of Wirt, and his wooden leg. Wirt was originally an NPC character in the first Diablo game, filling both the role of a rare-item vendor, and a quest giver. It is believed Wirt was killed when Diablo's minions overran the NPC town of Tristram. In Diablo II, it was a requirement that the player combine Wirt's leg with a Tome of Town Portal in order to gain access to the Secret Cow Level. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, an item called "Wirt's other leg" could be found in one of the campaign levels after defeating The Butcher, a giant abomination named after an early boss in the original Diablo. [Wirt's Third Leg] is an item available in World of Warcraft.

Influence on and differences from Warcraft

Humorous references aside, many spells and abilities in WC3 and WoW were inspired by skills in Diablo II, namely auras and the idea of passive skills. The RPG elements of Diablo were significant in the development of WoW, as it meant that Blizzard already had experience in building an RPG. Here are some of the similarities that players may notice between games:

  • Barbarians featured a variety of buffs in the form of battle cries, which may have inspired the warrior's Shout abilities. (One of which was the ability Shout in Diablo.) Most if not all of the shouts in WoW have a counterpart shout in Diablo.
  • Barbarians in Diablo II could dual wield two handed weapons, identical to the Titan's Grip of warriors in WoW.
  • Barbarians in Diablo II have the skill Whirlwind identical to the Warrior skill Whirlwind.
  • Several of the mage's spells are taken directly from the sorceress, including Mana Shield, Frost Nova, and Frost Armor.
  • The rogue's combo point system is similar to that of the assassin's charge system in which players could accumulate charges and unleash finishing moves whose powers depended on the number of charges the player had. The assassin also featured a series of damaging traps, like the hunters of WoW.
  • Druids from Diablo II could shapeshift into werewolves and werebears.
  • Paladins in Diablo II had numerous auras. They also had the Charge ability, which now belongs to the warrior.
  • The necromancers in Scholomance and Stratholme use the Bone Shield spell and can raise skeletons, both of which Diablo II's necromancers had.
  • The Bone Shield ability of death knights has a similar animation and function as the Bone Armor spell of necromancers in Diablo.
  • Socketed items were first introduced in Diablo II and later applied to World of Warcraft.

Like in the Warcraft universe, Diablo features demons, but unlike Warcraft, Diablo's demons are ruled by devils, come from Hell, and fight a war against actual Angels. The motivations of the demons are probably the same, but the more traditional nature of Heaven and Hell make the world of Diablo extremely different from that of Warcraft. Religion becomes a conflict (references are made to Mage Wars and Inquisitions), and humanity become pawns in a greater conflict between Angels and Demons. In the World of Warcraft, the fight for fame and glory can be tied in to a quest to save the world from the evils of the Old Gods or the Burning Legion. In the world of Sanctuary, no quest for prestige and riches can occur without facing the minions of Hell.

Diablo references in World of Warcraft

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