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When you get up to level 50+ or Hell mode (or both), you start seeing a lot of gear with the name "Balor" on it (like this).

What in the world does "Balor" mean in this context? (Both lore-wise and gameplay-wise, if there's any gameplay effect).

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Balor looks like it just means various things to various RPGs from the past, who knows which context was picked for this name. Prefixes on base items mean nothing, it is just the name of the item (like "Leather Gloves"). – Resorath Jun 4 '12 at 19:19
Yeah, apparently - just weird, because everybody knows Leather or Chain but when this started popping up I was like "that word is everywhere and I don't know what it means" – lilserf Jun 4 '12 at 21:02
up vote 6 down vote accepted

"Balor" is just the name for a particular class of item, and doesn't provide any special benefits. Each class of gear has its own adjective, and it's just there for flavor.

It's origins are likely from Dungeons and Dragons, where Balor is a type of demon:

In the original Dungeons & Dragons pamphlets, this breed of demon was known as "balrog", but the name was revised in subsequent supplements to simply "type VI demon" so as not to infringe on J. R. R. Tolkien's copyright. In second edition AD&D, the name "type VI demon" was revised to "balor," taking the name of the greatest individual of their rank as the name for the entire breed. Also in second edition, balors now had vorpal swords.

So, you might think of these as "Demonic Gauntlets" or somesuch.

Balor is also a god from Celtic mythology, although the D&D Balor doesn't have much in the way of relation to this.

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I believe that it is referring to the tier of the armor. Balor armor, for example, refers to a tier around the levels 53-54.

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