The Classes of the Diablo series are an array of types, one of which is selected by the player for use in the game world. Each class is unique in the sense that they have proprietary graphics, skills, and voices.
In Diablo I, each class had much more in common than in subsequent games. Each only had one unique skill, but provided many differences in graphics, attribute distribution, and voice-overs.
- Warrior - The staple melee fighter had the maximum strength out of the three and could
- Rogue - The fast and deadly ranged fighter, she could lay siege to her enemies from a distance, and also disarm traps in the labyrinth.
- Sorcerer - The magic user, the perfect candidate to learn all the spells in the game, with maximum magic and the ability to recharge his staves.
In Diablo: Hellfire, only one class was added, the Monk. But soon, two more unfinished classes were found in the game files. Only the Monk's official artwork can be seen here.
- Bard - A jack-of-many-trades who can dual-wield weapons.
Note: The Barbarian and the Bard are test classes. They are only made available by editing certain game files.
Canonically, the Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rogue have been given the names of Aidan, Jazreth, and Moreina respectively. All three worked together to defeat Diablo, while it was Aidan specifically who plunged Diablo's soulstone into his forehead. The three heroes appeared in Diablo II under the monikers of the Dark Wanderer, the Summoner, and Blood Raven respectively.
At least two conceptions of the game's class system existed prior to the final version that was implemented in the game.
In the original design document, the player would be presented with a choice of class and race. 5-6 human races would be offered (hill people, forest people, etc.), each with advantages and disadvantages. The player would then have a choice of class, namely fighter, thief, or magician. All the characters would be able to use weapons and cast spells, but advantages would exist based on the nature of the class—the fighter would gain more attacks, the thief would move faster and have stealth advantages, and the magician would be able to cast more powerful spells. The magician would be able to choose from one of four schools of magic. After making the choice, the game would provide the character with basic statistics in the form of strength, magical aptitude, dexterity, and vitality. The player could also choose a pre-set character, skipping the character creation process. The idea of sub-classes was also mentioned.
A different take on the characters also existed prior to the game's release. It has been stated that it was originally intended that the game would only have a single class (represented by the warrior), where players could distribute attributes to their liking and thus take the character in whatever direction they wanted. The division of the character into the warrior, rogue, and sorcerer archetypes occurred late during development.
In the original design document for the game, the player character had a set backstory. In this version, the hero lost his family and home to raiders. With nothing left save vengeance, the hero would track them to a crypt with a labyrinth beneath it before descending into the depths.
In Diablo II, each class was made unique complete with unique skillsets for each class as well as many new gameplay options.
- Amazon - Skilled with the spear, and bow, she is a very versatile fighter.
- Barbarian - He is unequaled in close-quarters combat, and mastery of weapons.
- Necromancer - Summoning undead minions and cursing his enemies are his specialties.
- Paladin - He is a natural party leader, Holy man, and Blessed Warrior.
- Sorceress - She has mastered the Elemental Magics -- Fire, Lightning, and Ice.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
- Assassin - Schooled in the martial arts, her mind and body are deadly weapons.
- Druid - Commanding the forces of nature, he summons wild beasts and raging storms to his side.
Canonically, all seven heroes partook in the events of the game. The five heroes of the original game were working together by the time Deckard Cain was rescued, and the Assassin and Druid characters had joined them by the game's fifth act. In the aftermath, it is known that the Necromancer, identified as Xul, took an apprentice, the Sorceress has been identified as Isendra, who trained Li-Ming and the Amazon, identified as Cassia, returned to Skovos and became the war-matron. It has been speculated by the game's developers that the rest of the heroes also passed their skills on to the next generation. As of December 2013, Blizzard Entertainment is looking into the possibility of exploring the Diablo II classes in further short stories.
"One of the great things about Diablo 1, but one of the problems with Diablo 1, is that, from my hardcore nerdy perspective, you could make so many different builds, because everybody could do everything. But from kind of a general audience view, they were overwhelmed with all the possibilities. So we wanted to narrow that down into classes, yet still give a lot of flexibility within that class to kind of customize yourself and make you different from everybody else. And that's really the concept behind it. It was, "I'm going to make my character very different, even though I'm a Paladin and you're a Paladin, my Paladin plays very different from your Paladin, because of the choices I've made." That was really where the idea came from, and this was just a way to organize that idea."
The idea of five classes was hammered out over several months. During development of the game, it was originally intended that the classes be archetypes (albeit with slight differences from standard RPG classes) that boiled down to the roles of fighter, rogue, and spell caster, based on a sub-class principle. The rogue would branch out into sisters of the Sightless Eye order and hunters/rangers. The fighter would branch into a templar/paladin or berserker, and the spell caster into the sorceress or necromancer. Blizzard North decided against the idea because multiple genders would mean animating a total of 10 models, that, combined with the game's component system, would make the task too large to undertake. The game's skill trees were effectively a way to formalize class pathways/builds, and make it easier for players to specialize their character. Development of the classes was carried out on the fly;balance concerns were addressed at the end of development.
As part of the development for the Necromancer of Diablo III, Team 3 looked at the classes of Diablo II, paying special attention to the parts of classes that might not have been as fleshed out thematically as they could have been.
In Diablo Immortal, classes are referred to as "Adventurers." Adventurers can join the Immortals and Shadows factions. The classes' appearances can be customized to an extent; this includes facial features. Post-launch, the class appearance system will be upgraded, so players can change their customization options with a cooldown. Eyes, hair, nose, mouth, forehead, and other elements can be customized.
At launch, the game will feature the following classes:
Players can switch from one class to another. All the player's progression, paragon, rank, and item quality transfer to the class the player switches to. Specific legendary properties will not transfer. This feature will be implemented post-launch. However, there's a cooldown in switching between classes, as the developers did not want players to alternate class based on in-game activities. The cooldown will be somewhere between once per week and once per month.
The player character of Immortal has been referred to in the singular, albeit allying with "other mortal champions." Comments from Lieutenant Dunn establish that many adventurers are active during the time frame of the game, though aren't aligned with the main hero(es).
When choosing the game's classes, the classes of Diablo II & III were looked at. Six were chosen from Diablo III as it was felt that they represented the franchise "very well."
When Diablo III was initially released, it had five unique classes—like its predecessor. All five classes can be played as male or female characters.
- Barbarian - Brute force makes a successful return, the Barbarian devastates foes with mighty power.
- Witch Doctor - Deemed the successor of the Necromancer. The Witch Doctor uses death, disease, curses and undead minions to swarm his would be opponents and drain their health and inflict impeding statuses on them.
- Wizard - Manipulating the primal forces of the storm, arcane and even time itself, the Wizard is not afraid to destroy all in the path to victory. Successor of the Sorceress and Sorcerer.
- Monk - A religious warrior of the light, they are masters of the martial arts and speed.
- Demon Hunter - A stealthy warrior, specializes in crossbows and launching explosives with a focus mainly on ranged combat.
- Crusader - A middle-ranged melee class with a combat style centered around shields, flails, and spells (introduced in Reaper of Souls).
- Necromancer - A re-imagining of the class from Diablo II, available with the Rise of the Necromancer pack.
- Archivist - A fake class that was a 2009 April Fool's joke by Blizzard but makes an appearance as a unique monster in the full game.
- Necruid - A joke "leaked" class, a 2014 April Fool's joke, rumored to appear in the second expansion, a hybrid of Necromancer and Druid. Ironically, the Witch Doctor became that hybrid, fulfilling the same role in game.
The hero(es) of Diablo III is/are referred to as "the Nephalem". Details such as gender and class have been left ambiguous, though various characters are canonical representations of the game's playable classes in a narrative sense.
For Blizzard Entertainment's version of Diablo III, the designers intended that each class correspond to a classical fantasy archetype. Blizzard wanted to do new classes as much as possible, or at least, do new twists on former archtypes. The Barbarian was the first class developed, and served as the baseline against which all future classes would be compared. Class skills and sets were designed before their lore, thus deciding which classes were added to the game was primarily a gameplay-based choice. The class design intended that there be 3-5 iconic skills for each class. Angels will not be playable classes in the game due to them not being nephalem. It was decided that the classes be actual individuals with backstories, whereas the previous games had depicted archetypes rather than actual characters.
During development, it was originally intended that the Barbarian be the same individual as the one from Diablo II. This led to issues in the game in that things had to be explained differently to the other characters (newcomers) as opposed to an experienced character. It was later decided that the Diablo III heroes should be unique to the game itself, and thus the characters were made separate.
The Amazon and Druid have been considered for inclusion in the game per the 'hero pack' model, but for now, they have been passed over in favor of the Necromancer.
Players can customize the appearance of their character. This includes gender, the character's face, their hairstyle, and facial hair (beards and eyebrows). Players can also add jewelry, makeup, and body markings such as tattoos or body paint. The color of the character's skin, eyes, hair/facial hair, and body markings can be adjusted. Some elements will be class specific, to support the classes’ unique backgrounds, but many will be shared between classes allowing more possibilities to mix and match.
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