What class do you think will be joining us next around the Diablo 4 campfire?
December’s developer blog for Diablo 4 gave us all sorts of goodies and tidbits on the player skills tree, stats, and itemization, with the latter as the focal point of the blog (and the most requested topic of the year for D4 news). And don’t get me wrong, I was all in for Lead Game Designer Joe Shely’s deep dives into item qualities, affixes, and more. But the part that keeps me up at night is actually Game Director Luis Barriga’s closing sentence in the post intro, where he teases the next developer update to take place during February’s BlizzConline.
Cue: My utter delight and the start of my countdown to the event because Barriga just basically promised me a new class drop. Well, the community and not just me, but still.
For context, the campfire scene presented us with the first three of the five classes coming to the next Diablo title — the Sorceress, Druid, and Barbarian. We later found out, initially through BlizzCon 2019 panels and elaborated on in September 2019’s quarterly developer blog, that each will have a gameplay mechanic unique to the class. But we have gotten nothing on what the other two classes will be, and dang it, Blizzard, I want to know!
The Sorceress is making a return as the classic caster, and their Enchantments mechanic converts skills from active abilities to passive (and significant) buffs. Barbarian will clearly cover the all-out melee berserker with their new Arsenal system. Our own Matt Rossi originally described Druid as a Hybrid, with pets in addition to magical and physical melee DPS.
The first significant gap I’m seeing is a ranged physical DPS — could we see the return of Diablo 2‘s beloved Amazon or a variant of the (extremely fun to play) Diablo 3 Demon Hunter? After all, Reaper of Souls features a dialog between Tyrael and one of his Horadrim about scouts sent to the Skovos Isles. While that didn’t turn up much of anything in the current game, it could be a fantastic way to return the Amazons or (bear with me now) a Demon Hunter-Amazon lovechild. The mobility and versatility of a Demon Hunter combined with the magic and melee options of an Amazon? It would also solve the lore questions surrounding an isolated, matriarchal society. I dub this class the Hunter/Huntress, and I want to play it now.
The next gap has more possibility, but I’m betting on some form of “holy warrior” in the face of Lilith rising. Previous games have given us the Paladin (Diablo 2), the Monk (Diablo 3), and the Crusader (Reaper of Souls). With the emphasis on dark and gritty, this is not your classic tank that shines with faith and never doubts. No, I’m picturing more dented, well-worn armor, someone haggard by decades spent pushing back the darkness encroaching Sanctuary and the endless demon armies. We’ve seen Kehjistan on the maps for D4; perhaps this will be a new fighter, inspired by the direct teachings of Akarat (instead of giving into the face of the inevitable like others, say, in the cinematic).
Don’t get me wrong; I would love to see the Necromancer return, especially with the potential inclusion of Rathma in the story. Or maybe I am blowing a single sentence way out of proportion, and they’re going to give us a refined version of the class selection screen instead of an actual class announcement. Regardless of the announcement, I am clearly here for all we’ll get and tracking the days until February 19th. Now let’s hear from you! What do you think is coming next to the future of Sanctuary? What would you love to see join the already-impressive line-up?
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