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


The Diablo franchise is another game universe created by Blizzard Entertainment. It is a dark fantasy action role-playing game franchise. 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.

Diablo II

Diablo III

Diablo IV

Many people suspected that the Diablo franchise was dead when Blizzard closed Blizzard North (the studio that created it) after the release of the last Diablo II. The franchise continued as Diablo III that was announced at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008 in Paris, and eventually was released 2012. Diablo Immortal, a mobile-only game in the franchise, was announced at BlizzCon 2018. Diablo IV was announced at BlizzCon 2019.

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 needed to 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 was an item available in World of Warcraft.

Influence on and differences from Warcraft

The Helm of Domination, as seen in the Caverns of Frost in Diablo III.

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:

  • The Barbarian of Diablo II features a variety of buffs in the form of battle cries, which most likely inspired the Warrior's Shout abilities. (One of which was the ability to 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 has. The Assassin also features a series of damaging traps, like the Hunters of WoW.
  • Druids from Diablo II can shapeshift into Werewolves and Werebears.
  • Paladins in Diablo II have numerous auras. They also have the [Charge] ability, which in WoW 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 have.
  • 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.
  • The Murkalot pet is themed after the new Crusader class in the Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls.
  • Thunderfury also exists as a blade in the Diablo setting.
  • The Mage Clan Wars possesses many story similarities to the War of the Ancients
  • The Mythic+ system is based on the Greater Rifts from Diablo III.
  • The Threads of Fate leveling mode in Shadowlands is similar to Adventure Mode in Diablo III.

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 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 becomes pawns in a greater conflict between angels and demons. In World of Warcraft, the fight for fame and glory can be tied into 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.

In terms of visual style, Diablo is on the opposite end of the visual spectrum from Warcraft.[1]

Diablo references in World of Warcraft

Vanity Items
  •  [Tyrael's Charger] was a reward for participating in WoW's Annual Pass, which also rewarded players who signed up for 12 months of WoW with free Diablo III and beta access. This item is no longer available.
  •  [Fetish Shaman's Spear] looks like a Fetish Shaman from Diablo II. It is obtained by purchasing Diablo III: Collector's Edition. He's got some neat animations--constantly babbling, bouncing around, and occasionally breathing the Diablo III trademark.
  •  [Tyrael's Hilt], summoning mini-Tyrael, was a gift inside the Paris Worldwide Invitation 2008 goody bag. It was made in limited quantities and the code can still fetch quite a bit of cash.
  •  [Diablo Stone] summons Mini Diablo, <Lord of Terror> as a reward from the Collector's Edition of WoW's launch. The pet will occasionally levitate and spit fire into the air.
  •  [Murky's Little Soulstone] is a WoW-Diablo hybrid--a murloc from a corrupt soulstone. He likes to breathe a lot of fire and smoke, as well as make typical murloc grunts with a demonic accent.
  •  [Treasure Goblin's Pack] looks like the in-game Treasure Goblin who drops piles of gold and amazing items. It is obtained by purchasing Reaper of Souls.
  •  [Murkalot's Flail] is another WoW-Diablo hybrid--based on the new Crusader class coming in Reaper of Souls. This was a reward for BlizzCon 2013.
  •  [Eaglehorn Long Bow]: named after The Eaglehorn, a unique bow from both Diablo I and II.
  •  [Staff of Jordan],  [Sash of Jordan],  [Grand Staff of Jordan]: References to the Stone of Jordan, one of the most important items in Diablo II, which was used to socket items when no quests were available. They were collected in stacks and used as a form of currency.
  •  [Dal'Rend's Sacred Charge],  [Dal'Rend's Tribal Guardian]: Best known to players now as the namesake for the heirloom  [Venerable Dal'Rend's Sacred Charge], it's a tribute to a weapon set in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Bul-Katho's Children, which also consists of a Sacred Charge and Tribal Guardian.
  •  [Butcher's Cleaver] from Shadowfang Keep's Razorclaw the Butcher has exactly the same name and weapon type as the loot drop from Diablo I's Butcher.
  •  [Doombringer]: it's lacking good stats, but it's named after Doombringer, a two-handed sword with great stats in all three Diablo games.
  •  [The Ziggler]: this low-level BoE dagger references The Diggler from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, a dirk effective in early levels too.
  •  [The Needler] could be a reference to the Halo weapon or The Needler from Diablo I.
  •  [Heaven's Light]: named after Heaven's Light from Diablo II, one of two unique Mighty Scepters in the game.
  •  [Grim Reaper]: named after Grim Reaper war scythe from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, which also was a weapon that was best at lower levels with a damage proc.
  •  [Gargoyle's Bite] is a low-level BoE with additional armor, named after Gargoyle's Bite from Diablo II, a winged harpoon with life leech.
  •  [Glacial Spike] is a removed item that used to be a reward from the Sunken Temple mage class quest. The Diablo II version had a cool proc that caused an AoE explosion and froze enemies in place--the WoW version had Frosty Zap, a chance to restore mana when casting Frostbolt.
  • Stone Cairn Lake in Elwynn Forest is a lake with an island at the center that has five stones arranged around a memorial. This is most likely a reference to the Five Cairn Stones, an area in Diablo II where you open a portal to Tristram in Act I.
  •  [Cow King's Hide] is a reference to the Secret Cow Level, the Moo Moo Farm, in Diablo II, which contained Hell Bovines and the Cow King.
  • One of the loading screens for WoW has "There is no cow level" as a tip.
  •  [Tristam Legguards] is named after Tristram, one of the most important locations in all Diablo games.
  • Mists of Pandaria added a series of achievements that references the Templar's dialogue when attacking rare spawns:  [A Worthy Opponent],  [Could We Find More Like That?],  [Glorious!].
  • Kaganishu, a kobold in Borean Tundra, is a play on Rakanishu from Diablo II. Similar to the Diablo boss, the nearby NPCs will scream out his name in all caps in combat.
  • Razorclaw the Butcher in Shadowfang Keep references the iconic early boss of the same name in Diablo I, brought back as the Act I boss in Diablo III: The Butcher.
  • Tyrael Flamekissed is a General Goods vendor at the Shattered Sun Offensive.
  •  [Maiden's Anguish], formerly used by rogues to brew poison, references Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. She was the first act boss in Diablo II and had a nasty Poison Spray ability.
  • Wirt's Third Leg was named after Wirt, an annoying vendor in Diablo I who would only sell you one expensive item--after you paid 50g to view it. His leg was amputated and replaced with a wooden leg after an attack on his village. In Diablo II, Wirt is dead and his corpse has a ton of gold (for taking all that money in Diablo I) as well as his leg, which is used to open the Secret Cow Level. In Diablo III, you'll need to buy Wirt's Bell as one of the steps to access the new secret level, Whimsyshire.
  •  [Stay Awhile and Listen] is a reference to dialogue from Deckard Cain in Diablo I.

Diablo/Warcraft announcement at BlizzCon 2011

Main article: Annual Pass

It was announced that players who committed to a full year monthly (that is committing to pay every month for a full year) subscription to World of Warcraft would receive:


External links