Diablo classes review

Looking back at the original Diablo, it is still a source of inspiration when it comes to character design.

Mostly because of production constraints, Blizzard has opted for a very minimalist approach to character design. It boiled down to the three classic RPG archetypes:

Role: melee, bruiser, tank (Riftforge equivalent: Guardians)
Summary: Excellent defense, moderate but sustained damage to a single target

Role: fast movement, burst damage (Riftforge equivalent: Raiders)
Summary: Burst physical damage with highly positional combat, speed is her defense (kiting)

Role: magic, nuker, AOE (Riftforge equivalent: Rangers)

Summary: Versatile skills with AOE and nuking choices, highly dependent on mana, very fragile

In the sequel (Diablo II), Blizzard added the logical hybrids:

Paladin (warrior sorcerer)
A warrior with some AOE spells (auras)

Necromancer (rogue sorcerer)
A ranged damage dealer specializing in damage over time spells (poisons)

Assassin (warrior rogue)
A melee class with high burst damage (combo moves)

Obviously absent is the healer class, a staple in every recent MMO. However, as I have written before, there’s no place for a dedicated healer in a game that is mostly about single player. Also worth mentioning is the fact that because of the combination of bosses and hordes of minions, both single target and AOE damage are required for quick progression.

Diablo classes, art circa 1996

    • Jack Swirl
    • November 7th, 2011

    Could you make an article about the Diablo III classes? The full game will be released in a couple of months and I am really looking forward to know more about the game. I heard that the barbarian will be there.

  1. April 28th, 2011

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