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Once I am in a game can I see what difficulty it is set to in any way without having to go kill something and see what level loot it drops?

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@Flyto why did you delete your answer? – l I Mar 7 '14 at 12:01
@z- if you look (s)he instead updated the old accepted answer. – Blem Mar 7 '14 at 12:53
he did that after literally 1 second after my comment lol. – l I Mar 7 '14 at 12:55
up vote 7 down vote accepted

UPDATE: As of Diablo 2.0, this is no longer the case. The difficulty can be seen in the top right of the screen, next to the clock, while playing.

The only way I'm aware of is at the character select screen:

Diablo 3 Character Select screen, with quest and difficulty highlighted

You can change the difficulty (assuming you've unlocked them) by going to the Select Quest screen, and changing the difficulty of the quest you're going to start.

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Also, pressing Escape displays a nice closeup of your character and a brief overview of the parameters of the game on the right. – Nigralbus Mar 7 '14 at 12:57

This seems like something that really should be able to be checked in-game, but after going though all of the menus and tooltips that I could think of, I'm concluding that no, it is not possible. The only way to check is by leaving the game (Esc -> Leave Game).

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