Diablo® III

Nephalem powers

One thing all the player classes have in common is some sort of inhuman "super" form where they are basically in godmode.

Wiz -> Archon
DH -> Vengeance
Monk -> Epiphany
Barb -> Wrath
Crusader -> Akarat's Champion

So were all Nephalem less like fleshy humans and more like big glowing angry energy beings?
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05/19/2014 12:19 PMPosted by qynvi
One thing all the player classes have in common is some sort of inhuman "super" form where they are basically in godmode.

Wiz -> Archon
DH -> Vengeance
Monk -> Epiphany
Barb -> Wrath
Crusader -> Akarat's Champion

So were all Nephalem less like fleshy humans and more like big glowing angry energy beings?


No most nephalem looked like normal humans through and through. Those forms are just examples of how powerful our characters are. They're stronger than some of the strongest nephalem in history. In fact, the strongest nephalem and the only one that's arguable is Uldyssian. Aside from him none come close.

Itherael:" Only once in the history of sanctuary has there been a Nephalem as powerful as you. His name was Uldyssian." This was in act 4. In the expansion.. we're even stronger.
Edited by Reslin#1758 on 5/19/2014 1:40 PM PDT
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Witchdoctor is sad that he apparently doesn't count.

Apart from that, the OP might well be on to something. We have plenty of evidence that the ancient nephalem were human in appearance, and there are plenty of possible explanations for that which I won't go in to right now, but it does stand to reason that at least the initial generations of nephalem might have had a bit more variation before settling into the human form (mind you, I say this without having read anything outside the game that might alter this perspective). A lot of transformation powers result in forms that are reminiscent of mixes between two or all three of human, angel and demon, so it's possible that some of the really early nephalem really did look like that. In the meantime, being able to take on a more direct reflection of their mixed ancestry through one of these forms might be an aspect of being nephalem - not necessarily one they all have, but being able to assume, even for a limited period, such a form that better reflects the angelic and/or demonic portions of their heritage may be a nephalem trait.

In regards to what Ithereal said - We don't know if Ithereal is looking at our current power or our potential power. He may have already accounted for RoS and any later expansions by making his judgement on what he saw we could become, not necessarily what we are now.
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05/21/2014 11:53 PMPosted by Draxynnic
Witchdoctor is sad that he apparently doesn't count.

Apart from that, the OP might well be on to something. We have plenty of evidence that the ancient nephalem were human in appearance, and there are plenty of possible explanations for that which I won't go in to right now, but it does stand to reason that at least the initial generations of nephalem might have had a bit more variation before settling into the human form (mind you, I say this without having read anything outside the game that might alter this perspective). A lot of transformation powers result in forms that are reminiscent of mixes between two or all three of human, angel and demon, so it's possible that some of the really early nephalem really did look like that. In the meantime, being able to take on a more direct reflection of their mixed ancestry through one of these forms might be an aspect of being nephalem - not necessarily one they all have, but being able to assume, even for a limited period, such a form that better reflects the angelic and/or demonic portions of their heritage may be a nephalem trait.

In regards to what Ithereal said - We don't know if Ithereal is looking at our current power or our potential power. He may have already accounted for RoS and any later expansions by making his judgement on what he saw we could become, not necessarily what we are now.


His wording applies at that time and moment.

"Only once in the history of sanctuary has there been a Nephalem as powerful as you. His name was Uldyssian."

This doesn't imply in the future. It's present tense. This is directly a comparison he makes about you as you're about to fight the prime evil. Not to mention the Nephalem are not part of the scroll of fate. He can't read our fate so there's nothing he can "Foresee" about us. He even states as much. In Act4 we were about as powerful as Uldyssian. By the time Act 5 rolls around we've surpassed him and become the most powerful mortal in all creation. Both now and in the past. We even for awhile became an aspect of death. Uldyssian never became an aspect of anything.
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You've completely missed my point:

How is he judging our power?

Is it by our deeds up to that point? Because to put it frankly, they're not actually all that impressive at that point. We've killed a couple of Lesser Evils and a few demonic lieutenants. The Diablo 2 characters that carved through the other two Lesser Evils and the three Greater Evils had defeated more powerful enemies at that point in the storyline. It's only after the defeat of Prime Evil Diablo that we can say we've defeated a greater foe than faced by the D2 characters.

Is it by looking at the spells we've cast and the abilities that we've manifested? In this case, you may be right - even if at this point the most impressive foe we've defeated is a Lesser Evil, Ithereal might be able to observe that the powers we've used represent more power than any nephalem since Uldyssian.

Or has Ithereal looked at our aura or some other means of establishing what our inner power is and judged from that how powerful we are, without taking into account whether we've learned to fully utilise this power yet?

After all, Leah had a lot of power, but without the knowledge of how to use it (and Adria having little interest in teaching her to become anything other than Diablo's vessel) she generally wasn't a particularly impressive fighter. Now, the PCs obviously are powerful fighters, but (magic items excepted, and that's not our power, but that of our gear) is our power actually growing over the course of the story, or are we just learning to harness it better? If the latter, than Ithereal could well have been judging our full potential and not our current capabilities, and thus with the exception of gaining the aspect of death in order to be able to fight Malthael, than all of the advancement we make in Act V has already been taken into account in Ithereal's estimation of our power - we already had that power within ourselves, we just needed the additional experience to unlock it.

It's not a case of reading the scroll of fate to see how powerful we'll become, it's a case of looking at the power within us to judge how powerful we can become.

Point is, we don't know on what basis Ithereal is making his judgement on (we can rule out a few possibilities, like the Scroll of Fate as you say and, as I surmise, basing it on achievements because at that point our achievements were still less than those of the D2 characters) and thus we don't know if he's talking about how powerful we are now or how powerful we have the potential to be once we've fully harnessed our powers.
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In diablo power is not some arbitrary term that denotes multiple meanings. It never has been. It's been a very simplified term that usually exemplifies the characters raw power. Itharael isn't judging us based on our accomplishments but what he's seen us do. Diablo 2 had a completely different theme than diablo 3 for a reason. It's implied that the entire ordeal was a brutal struggle in which the heroes risked life and limb in a grim battle that threatened to consume them. Diablo 3 is a completely different theme.

Given our character's voice, actions, and dialogue it's implied everything we did was EASY. We mock the lords of hell, our characters practically laugh at their pathetic attempts, and our characters straight up tell Azmodan he's not even the least bit threatening.

Our characters were crushing the lesser evils and their armies beneath their heels. Our heroes show no signs of stopping when they learn what Diablo has become, mock him, and even crush him just like the rest. Itharael has been around to see the power of Uldyssian, he also saw what the heroes of Diablo 2 were like. We're on a completely different playing field than everyone but Uldyssian.

What do I mean by it's simple? In diablo 1 the heroes fought diablo. The heroes that beat Diablo became Blood Raven, Horazon, and Aiden became the host of a more powerful Diablo. The heroes in Diablo 1 were weak compared to the heroes of diablo 2. The heroes of Diablo 2 likewise are weak compared to the heroes of diablo 3. In diablo 2 the demon lords use a combination of the soul stones and powerful hosts to become more powerful than ever and yet again in diablo 3 Diablo consumes his brothers and sister to become more powerful than all of them combined.

Power is a straight contrast in the diablo series. In each series the protagonists are more powerful than they were previously and the villains are even stronger than the villains earlier in the story. I mentioned it before in another thread but to put it simply.. Diablo is best compared to Shonen anime like Naruto, Bleach, and DBZ. There's no evidence that Itharael means anything other than exactly what he stated. We're more powerful than any previous Nephalem save Uldyssian and we have evidence to believe that this is the case. We defeated the Prime Evil, a bigger accomplishment than any Nephalem before us.

Then we proceeded to stomp on Malthael who was even stronger than that.
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Comparing back to Diablo 2 - while all the NPCs were all doom and gloom, the same is true of the NPCs in Diablo 3. It's been a while, but as I recall the Diablo 2 PCs were silent protagonists - it's hard to know whether they had the same easy confidence in victory that the D3 PCs do (but note that their outward confidence may have been a facade - they're putting on a good face for themselves and the people looking up to them, but that doesn't mean they actually genuinely feel that it's easy).

But that's neither here nor there. Fundamentally, I think you're making an assumption - that Ithereal can only judge our power based on what we've already done - and basing your position based on that assumption. You may be right, but my position is that the assumption might be wrong - Ithereal may be able to see the power within us and be judging us on that basis, including powers that we may not have learned to unlock yet.

I haven't read the books, but from another thread, Uldyssian is described as destroying demons with a thought. None of our characters can do that - we need to physically strike the enemy, either directly, through some conjured energy, or through manipulating the environment. Now, that could well be because our methods are actually better - throwing a fireball into a platoon of demons could likely kill them faster than individually thought-destroying them one by one - but it could also be a case that while we have the potential to develop the same powers, we're not actually there yet.
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05/26/2014 08:44 PMPosted by Draxynnic
Comparing back to Diablo 2 - while all the NPCs were all doom and gloom, the same is true of the NPCs in Diablo 3. It's been a while, but as I recall the Diablo 2 PCs were silent protagonists - it's hard to know whether they had the same easy confidence in victory that the D3 PCs do (but note that their outward confidence may have been a facade - they're putting on a good face for themselves and the people looking up to them, but that doesn't mean they actually genuinely feel that it's easy).

But that's neither here nor there. Fundamentally, I think you're making an assumption - that Ithereal can only judge our power based on what we've already done - and basing your position based on that assumption. You may be right, but my position is that the assumption might be wrong - Ithereal may be able to see the power within us and be judging us on that basis, including powers that we may not have learned to unlock yet.

I haven't read the books, but from another thread, Uldyssian is described as destroying demons with a thought. None of our characters can do that - we need to physically strike the enemy, either directly, through some conjured energy, or through manipulating the environment. Now, that could well be because our methods are actually better - throwing a fireball into a platoon of demons could likely kill them faster than individually thought-destroying them one by one - but it could also be a case that while we have the potential to develop the same powers, we're not actually there yet.


I read the books. He can destroy the demons as if it was a thought but not literally by thinking about it. He was just extremely powerful capable of contesting the armies of both heaven and hell. I'm pretty sure our characters are capable of the same feat. While the protagonists are silent in diablo 2 they did release a book of diablo and there has been some comments on the fights. The tone, even from the npcs, isn't that grim. Just the general npcs. Look at deckard cain's thoughts in Diablo 2. Look at Tyrael, adria, etc thoughts in diablo 3. Especially our characters. The tone in d3 is very different from D2 through and through.

Now, Uldyssian could warp reality but that's just how his powers are. Our characters can do amazing things in their own right. Such as the wizard creating black holes.
Edited by Reslin#1758 on 5/28/2014 9:19 PM PDT
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