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DiabloMar 4, 2021 4:00 pm CT

Which classes are in Diablo 4? We now know four of the game’s five classes

Before this year’s BlizzConline, we knew of three playable classes in Diablo 4: Sorceress, Druid, and Barbarian. Then, at BlizzConline we found out about the return of the Rogue, last seen in the original Diablo game and making its return in Diablo 4. Though the game will have five classes on launch and we don’t yet know the final class, we know enough about these four talk to a degree about the four classes that have been announced so far.

So far, each class hearkens back to the game’s earliest lore with a tie to the long-vanished Ancients, who were the original Nephalem. Each went their own way, and most serve as archetypes for specific classes. While that doesn’t necessarily mean all of the game’s classes will have a close tie to old lore, the game’s focus on Sanctuary’s origins with the return of Lilith means we may see more Ancients — and the classes that followed them.

But before we start speculating, let’s run down the classes we do know about and what each can do. These are all of the classes that will be in Diablo 4.

The Barbarian: A warrior powered by raw fury

The Barbarian is fury unleashed. They use their Fury resource to generate the power for explosive attacks that can damage multiple foes at once and wield an arsenal of weapons to rain destruction on the battlefield. Barbarians are all about raw power, tapping into the rage and aggression of their bloodline.

In the game’s story, Barbarians were long set apart as the guardians of Mount Arreat and the Worldstone before the coming of Baal destroyed their way of life, and that destruction has left them a rootless people but even more in touch with that primal anger. Using a big hammer or mace to shatter the ground around them, switching to a pair of fast axes to carve up anything close, then finally bringing out the giant claymore to impale an enemy and rip it in half, Barbarians are the brutal up close melee fighters of this game.

The Druid: Protecting nature at all costs

  • Class type: Hybrid (magical DPS, physical melee DPS, pets)
  • Class resource: Spirit
  • More Druid info

Sanctuary’s Druids aren’t (necessarily) peacekeepers: they’re happy to bring pain pain to those that would destroy Sanctuary and its wild places. Masters of natural power, Druids have a lot of options when it comes to their chosen task, with more flexibility than any of the other classes (so far). Druids can summon companion animals to fight alongside them, unleash the power of storm and rock do wreck havoc from afar, or transforming their very bodies into bestial forms to lash out against their enemies. If you think of the Barbarian as embodying raw fury, the Druid literally channels all of nature’s outrage.

Play a Druid if you want to call an unkindness of ravens to swarm an area, run into battle accompanied by fearsome wolves, transform into a half-bear giant to maul groups of foes, or call down lightning and hurl exploding boulders into the fray. This class is all about using the power of wounded Sanctuary itself to lash out against the monsters and fiends that have so thoroughly abused it.

The Sorceress: Harnessing the power of the elements

Every Diablo game to date has had a mage type-class, and this is the third time Sorcerer (Diablo 1) or Sorceress (Diablo 2) has made the cut. (Diablo 3 deviated from the Sorcerer by introducing the Wizard, but it was much the same.) In Diablo 4, the Sorceress is an elemental caster, hurling fire, frost, and lightning at her enemies. Each element has its own strengths: fire does burning damage over time, cold freezes enemies in place, and lightning focuses on AOE. The Sorceress is a bit of a glass canon, so you’ll have to learn to weave the elements together to keep your foes at arm’s length.

Lore-wise, the Sorceress class harkens back to Esu, founder of the Zann Esu Clan which delved into the occult secrets of Sanctuary. Like the other Ancients, Esu was a Nephalem, born of the demonic followers of Lilith and the angelic allies of Inarius, though we don’t know whether Esu the direct offspring of Lilith and Inarius. But while we know little of Esu, we do know that the Zann Esu Clan has been practicing their magics for eons, and the Diablo 4 Sorceress likely follows this tradition.

Play a Sorceress if you want to sear your foes with fire, freeze them in place when they get too close and then convert your very form into living electricity that leaps around the battlefield, destroying your foes.  It’s a versatile class that uses magic as its weapon.

The Rogue: Skulking in the shadows, at home in the darkness

  • Class type: Hybrid (melee DPS, ranged DPS)
  • Class resource: Combo points, builders and spenders
  • More Rogue info

The Rogue is the most recently revealed class, and most of what we know comes from the Rogue section of the Diablo 4: What’s Next video to get a real sense for what the class is capable of doing. But in that section, we heard about three Specializations that Rogues get: every class in Diablo 4 is designed around a unique gameplay mechanic, and for the Rogue, this is wrapped around Specializations.

The first is Combo Points, which allows you to build up your attacks and unleash a magnified rampage of stabbing, generating resources with builder attacks and then spending them on big finishes. This works well with the Rogue’s ability to switch between an up close melee fighter with a sword or daggers, and a long-range damage-dealer with bows and crossbows. Rogues can go back and forth between these playstyles seamlessly, taking advantage of the their high mobility.

Then there’s the Exploit Weakness Specialization, which focuses on precise attacks that require careful timing. These builds have a higher skill cap, but can burn down a target with ease. And they can be even more deadly with imbues, which allow Rogues to infuse their weapons with elemental magic, like frost, poison, and so on, which add specific damage types to their attacks. Their final Specialization is Shadow Realm, which is about controlling the fight. These Rogues can draw targets into another plane of existence so you can limit how many things you’re fighting, turning a large pull into a smaller, more manageable group.

The Rogue is intended for the player who wants to use a finesse, hit and run, melee then ranged then melee again style of combat.

Diablo 4 Ashava World Boss

Diablo 4 still has one unannounced class

But those are just just four classes out of five. So what’s next? What’s the last class going to be? And are we going to be limited to five? The Diablo 4: What’s Next? video hints that “there’s always room at the campfire” so it’s possible there might be more than five. But who else might show up in sanctuary?

  • Necromancers: Rathma‘s possible involvement means that Necromancers may actually be the enemies this time around, and as such not playable. But if Rathma and Lilith aren’t actually the bad guys of Diablo 4, Necromancers would definitely be yet another group with strong ties to one of the Ancients.
  • Assassins: Before the Rogue reveal, I would have put the Assassin at the top of the list, but the Rogue provides that entire class feel and brings the pedigree of the original Diablo along with it. It’s possible, but it’s hard to imagine what an Assassin might bring that would distinguish it from the Rogue.
  • Crusaders: Both Crusaders from Diablo 3 and Paladins from Diablo 2 would bring a kind of holy warrior class back to the game, though these two classes had very different methods. Perhaps a Zealot class that welded the two playstyles together and let you pick between their styles as you saw fit? No idea, but one or both might be a nice addition to the game.
  • WarriorSimilar to the Assassin, it’s a little hard to imagine what the Warrior would bring that the Barbarian doesn’t already, but with the Sorceress and Rogue both basically being returns to the original game, Diablo, then it becomes more plausible that we could get this class. A heavily armored combatant who makes use of weapons and shields to soak up damage and return it in a lethal fashion, there are all sorts of ways we could bring back that kind of more disciplined, less explosive combat style.

Of course all of that assumes we aren’t getting a wholly new class — the long rumored but never introduced Bard class, perhaps? Or others that we haven’t even though up yet? But for now, Diablo 4 has Sorceresses, Druids, Rogues, and Barbarians, oh my. That quintumvirate brings many different ways to destroy your enemies and I can’t wait to get to play them.

Originally published 12/11/2019, updated 2/20/2021

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