The Wizard is a long-range caster and is a glass cannon-type class. It is similar to the Sorceress class of Diablo II, as well as the Sorcerer from Diablo I. With the proper skill combinations the Wizard also has quite extensive Crowd Control abilities while simultaneously still being a heavy damage class.
Wizards have three class-specific item types: Wands, Sources and Wizard Hats. They rely on Intelligence as their primary core stat, and use Arcane Power as a resource. Important Wizard attributes include Intelligence, all resistances, reduced cooldowns, bonus elemental damage for skills, critical hit / critical damage, Arcane Power on critical hit, Area Damage.
Clever use of some of the Wizard's skills can put significant damage on enemies at a range that other classes can't even begin to target. Hydra can be cast almost anywhere within sight, including a far away area several layers below yours which is completely beyond the attack range of any normal skill of any class, and can attack enemies up to a further 60 yards away from it.
Wizards have five class sets in-game:
- Chantodo's Resolve (60 minor weapon set, 2 items)
- Tal Rasha's Elements (60 full set, 7 items, 6 are required to complete it)
- Firebird's Finery (70 full set, 7 items, 6 are required to complete it)
- Vyr's Amazing Arcana (70 full set, 6 items)
- Delsere's Magnum Opus (70 full set, 6 items)
The Wizard's damage output is significantly greater than any of the Followers, unless provided with better gear than the Wizard itself. As such, it is generally redundant to base a Follower around damage output (e.g. Lyndon).
Kormac is an excellent choice as a companion for the Wizard due to his multiple healing abilities, his AoE stun with Charge and his power regeneration with Inspire (if chosen over the also useful Guardian ability) to directly counter the squishy nature of the Wizard.
Eirena is also quite viable due to her multiple crowd-control abilities and her buffs that can boost both the attack and the defense of the Wizard.
They also have a very limited ability to enhance their allies, but some of their attacks make enemies more vulnerable to damage, benefitting all members of the group. Almost all Wizard skills are oriented at maximum damage output; even defensive skills may be turned into damage boosters. In a group, Wizards rely heavily on other classes for protection, but when uninterrupted by enemies' counterattacks, can devastate large areas in a blink of an eye.
Many Cold, Fire and Lightning damaging skills are variants or remakes of those of the Sorceress class: barrages of molten fire, deadly storms and freezing icefalls. Hydra, Blizzard, Teleport, Meteor, Frozen Orb and many other skills make their return. The Arcane skill branch is entirely new, focusing on Arcane damage, illusions, uncontrolled energy and temporal manipulations. Only these four damage types are used by Wizards, which makes them highly favor the gear that can increase damage done by specific damage types. Moreover, Wizards are the only class to use Arcane damage for their skills. The pinnacle of the Wizard's mastery over the arcane energy are their Archon form of the star-aligned energy, and cosmic Black Holes.
Most, if not all of the Wizards' skills can hit more than one enemy at once, making Wizards lethal for hordes of lesser enemies. Many of their skills also become more potent as they are continuously cast against the same target, and many are channeled: while sustained, they grow in power, compensating for the danger of standing in one place. In return, Wizards' Crowd Control capabilities are tied closely to elemental damage: Stun effects for Lightning skills, Chill or Freeze for Cold, and Slow for Arcane.
Many defensive abilities of the Wizard grow in power and are released more often if the Wizard is under fire, making the enemies' own attacks help the hero survive.
Popular Wizard Skill combinations include:
- Orbiter (Arcane Orb + Triumvirate + Unstable Scepter)
- Hydromancer (Hydra + Serpent's Sparker)
- Mad Runner (Mammoth Hydra + Apocalypse + Blazar + Teleport + Illusionist + Firebird's Finery)
- Sunbeam (Firebird's Finery + Convergence + Deathwish + Hergbrash's Binding + Mantle of Channeling)
- Snowpiercer (Ray of Frost + Light of Grace)
- Maximum Archon (Archon + Magic Weapon + Evocation + Vyr's Amazing Arcana or Firebird's Finery + Fazula's Improbable Chain + The Swami + Chantodo's Resolve + Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac)
- Stand Your Ground (Unwavering Will + Audacity + Elemental Exposure)
- Endless Tide (Prodigy + Surge of Power + The Shame of Delsere + stacking Arcane Power on Crit)
- Bomberman / Bomberlady (Meteor + Tal Rasha's Elements + Nilfur's Boast + The Grand Vizier + The Smoldering Core + Convention of the Elements + Elemental Exposure + Primordial Soul)
- Blazer Disco (Conflagrate + Mirrorball)
- Chronosphere (Arcane Orb or Energy Twister or Explosive Blast + Magic Missile or Shock Pulse or Spectral Blade + Slow Time + Crown of the Primus + Delsere's Magnum Opus + Triumvirate or The Twisted Sword or Wand of Woh + Gesture of Orpheus)
- Ice Baby (Crystallize + Halo of Arlyse + Frost Nova + Audacity + Ancient Parthan Defenders)
The Wizard was the second class developed for Diablo III. The term "Wizard" was used as a means to "get out of our [Blizzard's] comfort zone," rather than primarily trying to distinguish the class from the Sorceress. Specifically, the developers wanted to do something from the fire/ice/lighting combo of the Sorceress, and making a different class was part of the mental shift. Inspiration was taken from magical abilities from Dungeons and Dragons, hence the existence of abilities such as Disintegrate and Magic Missile. The Wizard went through many artistic concepts before a final version was settled upon.
During Blizzcon 2010, Blizzard stated that the meteor skill of Sorceress would return as a Wizard skill.
Until the complete revamp of the skills in patch 2.0, Wizards had skill runes with Physical and Poison damage, as well as Blood magic in their arsenal; this was removed to only leave 4 elements under their control.
- The female Wizard is voiced by Grey DeLisle, while the male Wizard is voiced by Crispin Freeman.
- The Wizard's dodge animation shows them waving their hands to the left, implying they use telekinesis to avoid the attack.
- Their quest log during the Caverns of Araneae questline suggests that the Wizard in-game (regardless of gender) is afraid of spiders.
- ↑ 2013-12-05, BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Gameplay Systems + Crusader Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-02-24
- ↑ 2014, Most Popular Wizard Builds The top Diablo III Wizard builds and skills at level 70 in Reaper of Souls. Diablo Somepage, accessed on 2014-06-25
- ↑ 2017-01-25, Diablo 3 Post-mortem with Jay Wilson Part 3. Diablo.net, accessed on 2017-02-19