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The glossary contains short descriptions of, and links to, common terms, phrases and game concepts relevant to Diablo 3.



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You can help by adding phrases already in the wiki, or creating new one. Both this Glossary and the Abbreviations and Acronyms list need filling out. Even a single link is a great help.


[edit] A

  • Achievement - account-based system tied to a player's Blizzard Account ID, tracks achievements in all Blizzard games to determine "Blizzard Level".
  • Active skill - skills cast or used directly with the mouse button or hotkey.
  • Adventure - semi-random mini-quests that doesn't tie into the overall plot.
  • APS - How many attacks dealt per second (attacks per second).
  • Area of effect - general term for effects, skills, spells or abilities that will affect an area, and the inhabitants of that area, rather than a single target. Also known as Splash Damage or Line Damage. Also known as AoE.
  • Arena - dueling arena, not yet added by blizzard.

[edit] B

  • Battle.net - Blizzard's online match-making component for several of their game franchises. Also known as Bnet.
  • Blocking - Action of blocking physical and magical attacks.
  • Bowazon - Familiar term for an Amazon who specialises in Bow and Crossbow (Diablo II).
  • Brawling - Diablo 3's form of pvp at the moment.
  • Breakpoint - found in 2D games, and refer to how fast animations for attacking, spell casting, hit recovery, and many other things are displayed in frame-based games such as Diablo II.
  • Buff - generally a non-permanent attribute added to a unit, affecting it directly or indirectly for a period of time in a positive manner.

[edit] C

  • Caster - type of class or monster, capable of using ranged magical spells, or spell-like abilities from a distance.
  • Character customization - configuring your character through choices to appearance and gender when first creating a character and developing it within the game through skills, ability selections and items worn.
  • Characters - collective term for both playable classes and non-player people (merchants, quest givers, townsfolk) within the game. can also be termed, "Chars".
  • Checkpoint - point that once reached will serve as a respawn point, usually stairs or entrance to the current level.
  • Class-specific Quest - quests offered to a specific class and no other class has access to them.
  • Cookie cutter - RPG term that refers to a set of character customization options (a "character build") which is very popular. E.g. Hammerdins in v1.10+.
  • Cooldown - a set length of reload time implemented to prevent spamming of a spell or ability or drinking of potions.
  • Critical hit - special types of hits dealt to monsters (and other players in PVP) via weapon or spell which deal bonus damage. Also known as Crit.
  • Crowd control - RPG term for killing or managing large amounts of enemies at once.

[edit] D

  • Debuff - generally a non-permanent attribute added to a unit, affecting it directly or indirectly negatively for a period of time.
  • Destructible - term for parts of the environment that can be destroyed by spells or other attacks by player characters such tables, chairs, doorways, and stair railings.
  • DPS - Damage per second.
  • Dueling - consensual PvP combat, as one on one or Free For All battles with multiple characters engaged at once.
  • Dupe - abbreviation for "duplicate." Creating a usable copy of an original item, either for personal use or trade. It's essentially counterfeiting.
  • Diablo Drought - period of time in which very little new information is released by the Diablo III team or their community manager.
  • Drop rate - general RPG term for the chance a monster will drop a given item.

[edit] E

  • End game -- The play style and activities engaged in by players after the initial joy has begun to fade. The D3 team has given much thought to how they might keep players occupied and happy at this late game stage.
  • ESport - games played competitively at amateur and professional levels. Diablo III is not being developed with this in mind.

[edit] F

  • Free For All - multiplayer PvP games in which every player is fighting every other player, rather than taking turns or working in teams. Also known as FFA.


[edit] G

  • Gambling - spending a large amount of gold at an NPC merchant on an item that you do not know what it does until it's purchased.
  • Guild - a group of players who regularly play together.


[edit] H

  • Hardcore - mortal characters. Once dead, always dead. No respawn. Confirmed for Diablo III. Also known as HC.
  • Hell Difficulty - the hardest difficulty in the game where monsters' hit points and damage is increased and the best better quality items can drop. Can only be played after normal and nightmare difficulties have been completed.


[edit] I

  • Iterative - means to repeatedly go over elements of the game, as a development team, changing and building on to improve the game.


[edit] K


[edit] L

  • Ladder - official ranking of characters measured by experience. Not confirmed as being in Diablo III.

[edit] M

  • Magic find - magical property found on some items which increases the odds of finding higher quality items. Also known as MF.
  • Mudflation - online RPG game term for game economy fluctuation from exploits or poorly designed patches.
  • Mule - secondary character used to store more items than one alone can store in inventory and stash.


[edit] N

  • Nerf - usually refers to changes in a patch where a class, race or other classification of the game has been lowered quality or efficiency.
  • Nightmare - 2nd level of difficulty a character can play, once normal difficulty has been completed. Monsters' hit points and damage is increased and better quality items can drop. Also known as NM.
  • Normal - the easiest difficulty a character must play before advancing onto nightmare and then hell.


[edit] P

  • Passive skill - skill that adds bonuses all the time once points are placed into them. Not used directly for attacks. They are the opposite of Active Skills.
  • Player Killing - non-consensual PvP, usually in the form of an ambush by the PK (Player Killer). Also known as PK.
  • Player vs. Environment - involves fighting computer-controlled enemies. Also known as PvE. The terms PvE and PvM (Player vs. Monster) are used interchangably.
  • Player vs. Monster - involves fighting computer-controlled enemies. Also known as PvM. The terms PvM and PvE (Player vs. Environment) are used interchangably.
  • Proc - Chance of a skill or item effect to be activated under certain circumstances.

[edit] Q

  • Quest - a set task to achieve a goal and be rewarded with experience, gold and/or items, not necessarily mandatory.


[edit] R

  • Red target outline - A feature newly added before Blizzcon 2009, this shows a glowing red outline around the currently targeted monster. Opinions vary on whether it's a useful visual or eye-pollution.
  • Reroll - starting a new character.
  • Respec - deleting stats that you can on your existing character to reassign points to skills, proficiencies or attributes.
  • Rush - process of using a higher level character to "rush" or "turbo" one or more lower level characters through the game. This is a useful tactic in most RPGs since characters earn higher rewards from higher level monsters.

[edit] S

  • Scripted Event - randomly generated small, quest-like actions when the monsters or NPCs behave in an unusual fashion that's been programmed in advance.
  • Signature skill - most important, visual, significant skills possessed by each playable character that help define it. Passive skills can never be signature skills.
  • Smart Drop - Items having a chance of rolling, either from loot or crafting, possessing the appropriate stats for the character class. Not guaranteed.
  • Stash - chest or storing place where a player can store items and gold.
  • Synergy - skills that boost other skills or that are boosted by other skills. Generally affect one or two skills rather than an entire skill tree.

[edit] T


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