"Life is an ethereal armor. One moment it's here. Then, just when you get used to it, it's gone."— Cassia(src)
Life (also often called Health, or Hit Points) represents the maximum amount of damage that a character or monster can withstand. Taking damage causes Life points to decrease (when all forms of protection are bypassed). When Life reaches 0, the character (or monster) dies.
In the original game, Life does not regenerate naturally; when character suffers an injury, they do not recover from it without external effects. However, wounds also cannot worsen over time (although one can equip Constricting Ring to constantly lose Life), the character cannot die of bleeding or otherwise lose Life outside being under attack by monsters or walking into traps. Once all Life is lost, the character dies, and game ends (unless someone revives them later).
To heal back to full health, one must talk to Pepin in town, or drink Healing Potions and Rejuvenation Potions. Regular potions heal random 1-100% of Life, while Full potions heal 100% Life. One may also use spells or Life Steal to recover from wounds. Some Shrines and Fountains may replenish Life as well.
In Diablo II, life can be replenished by the use of Healing Potions and Rejuvenation Potions. Healing potions heal over time, while Rejuvenation potions act instantly.
If the character is left idle, Life will regenerate over time, but this process is very slow.
In Diablo III, you can heal to full life by talking to a priest (symbolized by a heart on your map). Armor and Resistances play in determining how long you can stand against the minions of Hell and increase your Toughness. Recovery (a.k.a. Healing) meta-stat shows an approximate average amount of Toughness (not Life) that is regained per second from all sources.
One can increase base Life by getting either Vitality or + Life % attributes from items and Paragon levels. Vitality can be rolled on any items in game, while Life % can only be rolled on helms, amulets, shoulderpads, chestplates and rings. The total bonus to Life % from items is limited to 108% (200% with the help of legendary items). Amethyst gems in a helm socket may also add up to +23% Life (up to double with the aid of Leoric's Crown). One should be careful about increasing Life over Armor and Resistances, though; while a higher amount of Life allows them to take more punishment than gathering protection might some of the time, it is also much harder to replenish a great deal of said Life in the field. This last point is seen in an easier form if you choose to not go with a passive skill that grants a form of healing based on your Life. To name an example, a Barbarian with skills like Warcry could use the passive skill Inspiring Presence, which grants him/her and nearby allies a bonus to Life Regeneration that improves as their Life maximum reaches new heights.
Necromancers (and, to a minuscule extent, Witch Doctors who take the Blood Ritual skill) can attune most of their skills to drain Life upon cast, in addition to normal Mana or Essence cost, in exchange for empowered effect. This will never actually kill them, reducing to 1 Life instead or simply preventing the cast if not enough Life is available, but may leave the characters vulnerable to attack if overused. Blood for Blood skill can be used to sometimes remove the cost that would otherwise be drained from Life.
Note that resource cost reduction effects will not reduce Life cost of skills that consume it. Moreover, Life costs of skills bypass all forms of protection (even damage immunities), unless specifically stated otherwise.
There are many ways to regain lost Life in Diablo III:
- Life Steal (% of damage dealt goes to Life; removed in Reaper of Souls)
- Life on Hit (heals fixed amount of Life for each attack)
- Life per Kill (heals a fixed anount of Life for each enemy killed, regardless of how tough that enemy was)
- Life Regeneration aka Life per Second (heals fixed amount of Life per second)
- Life per resource spent (heals fixed amount of Life for each point of primary resource consumed by skills)
- Certain skills (like Templar's healing or Breath of Heaven)
- Healing Potions (instantly heal 60% of maximum Life, cooldown of 30 seconds)
- Health Globes (drop from monsters, heal 10-15% of maximum Life)
- Healing Wells (restore 100% Life when used, but need 60 seconds to recharge)
- Pools of Reflection (restore 100% Life when used, but do not recharge)
- Leveling up (fully restores Life and all resources)
- Speaking to a priest in town (marked with red heart on the map) (fully restores Life)
|Diablo I||Diablo II||Diablo III|
|Strength — Damage |
Dexterity — Attack Rating • Armor Class • Block
Vitality — Life
Magic — Mana
|Strength — Damage |
Dexterity — Attack Rating • Defense • Block
Vitality — Life • Stamina
Energy — Mana • Mana Regeneration
|Strength — Damage • Armor|
Dexterity — Damage • Armor
Vitality — Life
Intelligence — Damage • Resistances