With the launch of D3 just around the corner, many of you may have yet to decide what character to build. Should you go with the Monk or Barbarian for a melee character? Or should you play a magic-focused character in the Wizard or Witch Doctor? We’ll go through the list of characters available to you in Diablo 3 and try to help you answer those questions; as well as provide some tips for playing each character. This is based on the final versions of the CBT and should provide some insight into what the final game will be like.
The classic melee class brought over from Diablo 2, the Barbarian is a walking juggernaut on the battlefield. The best option for someone playing a Barbarian is to rush into battle and take your enemies out with strong melee attacks. The attack skills for the Barbarian at lower levels have a very clear distinction between skills for crowd management and skills for single target damage, and players should take the chance to switch skills before boss fights to deal damage effectively. The Barbarian will have the ability to stunlock single enemies early into the game.
The monk is a fast, high damage melee attacker focused on crowd control. Often incorporating knockbacks and debuffs, the monk performs well against mobs but is less effective against high health boss targets. To compensate, attacks hit faster than other classes, allow you to chain debuffs on a single target, and attack skills tend hit for increased damage.
The witch doctor is a mixed class, with the ability to control large numbers of pets (Dogs, Gargantuans, Spiders) on the battlefield and assist them with ranged attacks. What is interesting is that players can also opt to rely on powerful short ranged attacks and debuffs to more directly engage enemies instead of pets or confuse enemies and make them attack each other. The range of options available to the Witch doctor makes it the most interesting class to watch as individual builds are likely to vary.
(Author will be rolling a witch doctor on launch day)
The obligatory magic wielder in all fantasy games, the wizard is more akin to the Demon Hunter than the Witch doctor. The wizard is a focused damage dealer, with very few attacks (at least in the CBT) that deal AOE damage. As you level you do gain more AOE attacks, but those typically deal less damage than single target spells. Wizards also have a large number of highly effective defensive spells, ranging from freezing nearby enemies in place to several armor modes. Will you be donning a robe and wizard hat?
The demon hunter is a class highly reliant on debuffs and evasiveness for its combat effectiveness. With multiple debuffs among the active skills and the ability to set traps, the demon hunter most benefits the player who can react quickly to any given scenario. That being said, to balance the multiple debuffs and high damage output, the demon hunter has the least health, and cannot survive a toe to toe fight with boss mobs, ranking with the wizard as one of the hardest classes to fight a boss with due to the need for constant kiting.
This particular Diablo puts a lot of emphasis on multiplayer gaming, and playing with friends will make the game spawn both more and harder to kill monsters which give more experience upon death.
Weapons are also largely non-class specific, so feel free to use a battleaxe as a wizard if it gives you a better damage output than your wand!
See you in Sanctuary!