What is the new class in Diablo 4: Vessel of Hatred? We have some guesses
Diablo 4‘s first expansion, Vessel of Hatred, will have an entirely new class. And it won’t just be new to Diablo 4: it will be a class that’s brand new to the franchise, never before included in the last 25+ years of the game. So, what could the Diablo 4 expansion class be? Let’s explore some possibilities!
The dev team doled out a few specific details during the BlizzCon 2023 interviews and presentations:
- It’s an entirely new class to the Diablo franchise.
- The class will be thematically appropriate to the expansion, tying into the deep, haunted jungles of Nahantu.
- Reinforcing statement 1, the class is”definitely not Witch Doctor.” (Sorry, Diablo 3 fans.)
First, a brand new class to the Diablo franchise eliminates some classic possibilities:
- Diablo‘s Warrior
- Diablo 2‘s Amazon, Paladin, and Assassin
- Diablo 3‘s Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, and Witch Doctor
- Diablo Immortal‘s newly-added Blood Knight
Remember that every class in Diablo 4 returned from a previous title — notably, everyone except the Rogue is present in Diablo 2! And arguably, those not included in D4 have overlapping themes with included classes. The Warrior of Diablo and Barbarian of later iterations are similar in abilities. The Amazon’s bow builds, Assassin and Demon Hunter, have collectively distilled into Rogue. Notably missing? the Crusader and Paladin are not yet represented in-game — perhaps this could be bypassed by introducing a Templar (more thoughts below!).
Now, looking at the matter of thematic appropriateness, arguably, only the Witch Doctor thematically “fits” into what we know about Nahantu as a densely-foliaged jungle region. However, there are some unique considerations when including Mephisto’s history with the region — specifically, Production Director Tiffany Wat noted a few times that the gates of Nahantu have been closed since Mephisto last swept through 72 years prior in Diablo 2. That’s 72 years for Mephisto’s corruption to work insidiously through the populace, from residents of Kurast to the remnants of the Zakarum faith in the Holy City of Travincal.
I polled the Blizzard Watch Staff for their ideas, and of course, they delivered!
- Bard. Resident Diablo lore buff Matthew Rossi reported “multiple” indicators pointing toward Bards; for example, pointing to the Wandering Bard coming in the Midwinter Blight as a harbinger of the class. However, that does make me wonder whether the development team would count the unpublished Bard class in the files of the original Diablo Hellfire expansion as part of their “existing classes” list.
- Spear-wielding Javazon. Fellow writer Sara Hanson hopes for a new take on the Amazon from D2, themed around the spear-wielding Javazon builds as stealthy defenders of their beloved territory.
- Warlock. Cory Taylor is hoping for the chaos of a caster fully powered by demonic or angelic energies, such as a Warlock slinging infernal fires.
- Blood Knight. Rob Flanagan hopes that Diablo Immortal‘s Blood Knight will slip under the franchise restriction, having technically been released after Diablo 4.
- Priest or Vampire. Phil Xavier could picture a Priest or holy caster of some sort, with ties to the Zakarum and dedication to keeping demons in the Burning Hells; alternatively, he envisions someone along Vampiric lines who learned to harness the Season 2 powers more fully.
- Adventurer. Editor Anna Bell imagines a pith-helmet-toting, whip-wielding adventurer, legally distinct from Indiana Jones but bearing all the charm of Hearthstone‘s Reno Jackson.
Personally, I’m amazed the Paladin and Crusader are out of the running, but this does fit with my earlier ruminations on disillusioned Zakarum Clerics. We’ve seen through Sister Octavia’s efforts that there are members of the Church of Light willing to push against Prava’s edicts. Now, picture similar people locked behind gates, striving to heal the corruption of hatred strewn about decades earlier, and this struggling child comes in bearing the soulstone of the same Prime Evil. It’s either the recipe for a huge crisis of faith or a chance to redeem your faith after almost a century of staring down your collective failures.
We know so little, but that doesn’t stop us from wondering! According to BlizzCon’s Diablo 4 Campfire chat, we’ll learn more in the spring of 2024. Personally, it’s not going to get here fast enough!
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