Diablo fans have a reputation for being one of the most hardcore segments in the gaming community–now a new generation seeks the action-RPG battles. It’s been nearly twelve years since Diablo II’s release, and as such, newcomers may not be aware that one of the most challenging decisions occurs seconds after booting the game. Creating a character and choosing a class can prove daunting and even frustrating. It doesn’t have to be, friends.
In hopes of making your decision easier, we’ve crafted a character guide that highlights both the advantages and disadvantages that each class faces, along with some basic tips to get you started.
Don your armor, warriors.
This is a straightforward hack-and-slash class. Players can get away with making more mistakes with the Barbarian than with other classes due to the health boost it receives. The ability to equip shields and heavy armor further complement the Barbarian’s natural ability to soak up damage. The class’ combat aptitude lets Barbarians wield any melee weapon in the game, ranging from one-handed swords and axes (which may be dual-wielded) to more powerful two-handed weapons that plow through waves of enemies. Each class has a resource that allows it to use special attacks; in this case, the Barbarian uses Fury. With each punishing blow they take and deal, Barbarians acquire Fury which opens the door to monstrous abilities like Seismic Slam (a chaotic wave which knocks enemies back) and Hammer of the Ancients (which punishes close-range enemies).
Tip: Barbarians have very short-range attacks and are therefore effective when they are up close and personal to brutes–this leads to some difficult situations. This often results in enemies surrounding the Barbarian and sometimes suffocating the ruffian. Abilities like Ground Stomp, Leap, and Seismic Slam are crucial during these moments, as they each push enemies back and give you breathing space.
Monks are very similar to Barbarians in that they don’t have the long-range capabilities. They differ, however, by relying on speed and not heavy armor. Their hands are their primary means of offense, but they can use staves and dual-wield blades. Monks can perform devastating combos that also carry special properties. Combos increase Spirit (the Monk class’ resource), which opens offensive and evasive abilities. Monks also have access to mantras, special energy fields that grow stronger depending on the number of enemies you defeat. They affect both the monk and its allies, and are extremely helpful in keeping the monk out of trouble. Players looking for creative combat solutions should pick up the monk, as there are countless numbers of ways to obliterate enemies.
Tip: Aggression is mandatory for the Monk’s success. Monks, at early levels, chase your targets down and pick away at stragglers, killing any chance enemies have at surrounding you. Also, don’t be afraid to spend Spirit; Monks have some of the best mixes of defensive and offensive abilities early on. Blinding Flash is your go-to ability if you’re being overwhelmed. At later levels, use Seven-Sided Strike the minute you’re surrounded, as it causes you to dash between enemies causing 777% of damage while getting you out of trouble.
The Wizard is the master of control. The class relies almost entirely on its resource, Arcane Power. Wizards are excellent at long- to mid-range combat and are offensive beasts; they have powerful area-of-effect attacks that slow enemies down while dealing damage. Elemental spells that single out enemies help Wizards take out stronger enemies. Yet when a Wizard runs out of Arcane Power, it has protective spells that cost little to cast. Staying mobile and not taking damage is a survival essential. This class best suits players who love to manipulate the battlefield and control space.
Tip: Wizards control large amounts of space and can destroy groups of enemies. The key is to draw enemies out and bait them into large groups. Then combine Slow Time with any number of spells and enjoy the devastating results.
The Witch Doctor class is my personal favorite and one of the more creative classes in the game. Featuring an incredibly useful pet-summoning ability, Witch Doctors never venture alone and have various ways to distract demons. The pet options range from fire bats to the brutal gargantuan. Summoning pets comes at a price however; these grueling summons cost large amounts of slowly replenishing Mana. This is when Hexes come into play; Hexes help lower enemies defenses and cause damage over time, often weakening enemies enough for pets to pick them apart. Playerswsho like playing a support role and enjoy company will have fun with the Witch Doctor.
Tip: Don’t over-summon, and make sure you support your pets; the longer they’re alive the more mana you can recover without pressure. When you’re surrounded, use Horrify and watch your foes away. Use that free time to regroup or summon new pets.
This is probably the most complicated class to play. That said, Demon Hunters have a nice selection of tools that make them extremely deadly. Demon Hunters are strictly long-range fighters who use crossbows. They also have the ability to use stealth and surprise enemies by attacking from shadows. Their resource is also a bit complicated; their offensive abilities cost Hatred while their defensive ones cost Discipline, leading to some tactical decisions. Demon Hunters can also employ traps to keep enemies at bay; some of which slow enemy progress and create distance. The Demon Hunter is ideal for creative players that want to wreak havoc in many ways.
Tip: Always create distance between you and enemies. The Vault ability is great for staying mobile and escaping enemies’ grasps. But using Entangling Shot with Caltrops will keep enemies moving at a snail’s pace, making it easy to kill larger enemies.
Diablo III will cater to a multitude of play types, as the in-depth skill tree allows each class to feel unique and will complement a number of styles. Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll spend less time deciding what class you want to play and more time questing.
See you online.