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BlizzCon > DiabloFeb 22, 2021 4:00 pm CT

What class will we see after the Rogue in Diablo 4?

Before I saw the Diablo 4: What’s Next? video during BlizzConline, I was of the opinion — based on what was said at BlizzCon 2019 — that we would be getting five playable classes for Diablo 4 in total. But since hearing Game Director Luis Barriga and Art Director John Mueller say repeatedly during that video that “There’s always room at the campfire” when discussing the game — and that iconic point of light in the darkness that serves as the character class-selection pane for the game — I’ve been wondering. Now, it’s true that currently on the official site there’s only one silhouette left around that campfire, indicating that we’ll probably only see five classes at launch.

But Diablo 4 aims to be a much larger, more sophisticated game with more open-world elements than its predecessors. We’ve been told that the Greater and Lesser Evils — menaces like Ba’al, Mephisto, and Diablo himself — will not be showing themselves immediately when the game comes out, leaving center stage for Lilith and her plans for Sanctuary. So it’s entirely possible that there’s already a road map for future content and expansions for the game, and we might indeed see more than five classes before it’s all said and done.

But if we assume that we’re getting five at launch, that still leaves us with the question: Which one is next? What will that fifth class for Diablo 4 be, and when will we find out about it?

Clearly I do not actually know. But I’m great at pretending I know.

What does Diablo 4 need from its next class?

Right now, we have a pure melee in the Barbarian, a shapeshifter ranged/melee hybrid in the Druid, a pure ranged magic class with the Sorceress, and a hybrid melee/ranged with the Rogue. What does the game need? What role isn’t being filled? The Barbarian and Druid provide tankiness, the Sorcerer/Sorceress has moves to escape and evade damage and keep their distance, and the Rogue is able to switch between the ranged and melee approaches and evade damage with a variety of tricks. With the Rogue basically filling the roles that both Amazons and Assassins filled in Diablo 2 and the Monk and Demon Hunter roles from Diablo 3, what’s next? What have other Diablo games provided that this game doesn’t yet?

Two possibilities come to mind for me: the summoning-minion approach of the Necromancer or Witch Doctor, and the divinely powered fury of the Paladin or Crusader. Now, the Necromancer and Crusader both appear in Diablo Immortal, and the Paladin will be making their return in Diablo 2: Resurrected But that doesn’t mean much — clearly the Druid will be in Resurrected as well, and the Barbarian’s in both Immortal and Resurrected, as well as having appeared in Diablo 3 — at this point the Barbarian is the class that’s appeared in the most Diablo games, with appearances in D2, D3, and Diablo Immortal as well as Diablo 4. So there’s no reason a class couldn’t appear in Resurrected and Immortal and not still appear in Diablo 4, and there’s a significant storytelling aspect of this game — the return of Lilith, the mother of Sanctuary as well as the direct mother of Linarian/Rathma, the inspiration for the Priests of Rathma that all Diablo Necromancers come from.

On the other hand, since Lilith is the big bad and it may be that Rathma’s helping her, Necromancers might end up on the wrong side of this whole thing. Might be kind of hard to play one if they’re the baddies, although you could get some mileage out of a rogue Necromancer — not a Rogue (capital R) Necromancer, that would be way too powerful — taking arms… and legs… and all sorts of disembodied parts and fighting against their own order.

A brand-new class would be the best option for Diablo 4’s fifth class

Right now, we don’t really have any new classes in Diablo 4. The Rogue hearkens back to Diablo,  while the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid were all in Diablo 2. A case could be made for the Sorcerer in Diablo also appearing since we can play as a male or female character of various classes, and if that holds true for the Sorceress, that would be a Sorcerer and a Diablo alumniBoth Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 had new classes — everyone in Diablo 2 was new compared to Diablo and Diablo 3 had the Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor and Wizard although a case could be made for the Wizard just being a rogue Sorceress/Sorcerer. Not a Rogue Sorceress, that would be overpowered as heck. And the Crusader was a new class, but it came after launch and it fills that holy warrior role from Diablo 2 that the Paladin held.

So if we were going to get a new class, what would it be?

I think there are some classic fantasy role playing class options we haven’t gotten to see yet in Diablo. We’ve never had a straightforward Cleric/Priest in Diablo — one that directly channels divine magic not as a holy warrior, but more directly. You could draw from games like WoW with the cloth caster type, or go for a more giant-spiked-flail-and-heavy-armor aesthetic which ultimately draws from sources like Dungeons and Dragons, which in turn get their notion from actual religious figures in the medieval period who went to war while priests like Bishop Odo of Bayeux.

The original Diablo expansion Hellfire was the first appearance of the Monk which we later saw in Diablo 3, but that expansion had two hidden classes — the axe-wielding Barbarian which we later saw fully realized in Diablo 2, and the Bard, which we’ve never seen in any Diablo game. Frankly, there’s a lot that could be done with a Bard — whether drawn from the “uses music to create magic” side of the class or the “deceptive poisoner and assassin” type, depending on how much opportunity there is for dirty tricks and chicanery in a Diablo game.

But in the end, I expect one thing.

Either a Paladin, a Crusader, or a Templar will (likely) be Diablo 4’s fifth class

I would be excited for an entirely new class, but I suspect that we’ll get some variety of the holy warrior/zealous avenger archetype, using the established Paladin, Crusader or even the Templar classes from Diablo 2 or Diablo 3. I think we made a decent case for this earlier, and I suspect that since Diablo is a game where everyone kind of does a lot of up close and some far-away damage you could justify a heavily armored class that drags down holy fire to burn their enemies or purifies evil with pure holy zeal.

And of all the possible class options, I think such a class — call it a Zealot for now, since there are so many ways to make it work — fits well in the desperate, destroyed Sanctuary of Diablo 4 the most, considering that we’ve heard that Malthael killed so many people at the end of Diablo 3 that Sanctuary never recovered. A class that embodies hope, the power of faith against darkness, and taking up holy arms against the sorry state of the world feels like a good match.

But in the end, as I said earlier, I have no idea. I’m just really good at pretending I do. Whatever the fifth class of Diablo 4 turns out to be, there’s always more room around the campfire.

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