Diablo 3 has had quite the comeback since its shaky launch. Blizzard slowly but surely picked up the pieces, responding to fan criticism to create the Diablo 3 that everyone wanted. The Auction House? Dead. The loot? Fixed. The difficulty? Balanced. The Diablo available now is a much more complete experience, and one that any fan of the originals would be happy to spend a few hundred hours playing.
The expansion looks to add even more, including a new class in The Crusader. Will that be the last expansion? Will the Crusader be the final character added to the game? It's entirely possible, but that's not going to stop us from talking about other classes we'd like. Hell, with the Auction House going down, Blizzard might be looking for new ways to monazite the game, and we wouldn't be against spending $5-$10 on a new class or two. Here are some we'd gladly pay for.
Some argue that Diablo 3’s Witch Doctor is essentially an evolution of the Necromancer from Diablo 2--and that's a claim we dispute wholeheartedly. Though both have summons and spooky spells, we believe that there was something special about the gloomy (some might say emo), white-haired D2 character, and it’s something we think we’d like to see return in Diablo 3.
If Blizzard adds the Necromancer into the game, we think he should be more focused than he was before. The class was spread too thin in D2, with an assortment of complicated spells, golems, debuffs, and summons. Strip all of that unnecessary fluff away (or make it less of a focus) and bring it back to the core necromancy experience: raising armies of the dead. Skeletons, zombies, corpses of fallen foes--the Necromancer should be surrounded by shambling undead at all times, protecting him from enemies while dealing damage back. He should still have some spells and debuffs (Corpse Explosion and Bone Spirit are a must), but they should totally be secondary to his main role as *lightning crash* LORD OF THE UNDEAD HORDE *lightning crash*.
The Druid, much like the Necromancer from Diablo 2, was extremely complicated. Besides being able to transform into bear and wolf animal forms, he could also summon critters to fight by his side and cast crazy spells (that were absurdly underpowered; “lol elemental druid ftl” and so on). Also like the Necromancer, we believe that the class could be streamlined and improved, and brought to Diablo 3 with more of a focused skillset.
Tear away his elemental spells (seriously, throw ‘em right away) and cut off the summoning completely – the druid should be all about changing into animals. He could turn into a werebear to get a huge armor and vitality boost, a rampaging wererhino that charges and stomps on enemies, or into a werewolf in order to gain some increased attack speed and lifeleech. Each form could have its own abilities, specialized to the animal he shapeshifts into, making the Druid more flexible than the other classes in the game.
Plenty of characters in Diablo 3 have summons, from the Witch Doctor’s fetish army to the Demon Hunter’s gold-hungry ferret. But only a few abilities in D3 are actually built around stationary constructs (like the Demon Hunter's unexciting Sentry). That’s the niche the Artificer should fit in. His bread and butter could be creating different kinds of machinery and turrets that do the fighting for him, while he runs around maintaining them and planting complex traps. He’d still have access to staves to beat back enemies that wander too close, but they should take a back seat to building awesome structures.
In a way, he could almost work like the Engineer in Team Fortress 2--creating buildings that help his team, while placing and repairing devastating, upgradable turrets in key locations. These would function like hyper-powerful versions of the Demon Hunter’s Sentry, with the added bonus of being able to place several different types at the same time. It’d be tricky, but if done right, the Artificer could provide an awesome deploy-and-protect D3 experience.
The Monk might have auras, and yeah, they’re pretty darn righteous--but you know what they don’t have? Blessed hammers. “Hammerdins” became synonymous with the holy warriors known as Paladins; their ability to create a swirling vortex of ethereal golden mallets was legend. And who remembers Fist of the Heavens? Calling down pure holy vengeance in the form of a devastating bolt of light was utterly invigorating, often decimating mobs in a single hit. We also got to mimic The Flash when spamming Charge to cover ridiculous distances in an instant, then bash our target’s head in with a Holy Shield-enhanced Smite. Paladins were the original sword-and-board warriors, and we miss ‘em dearly.
To differentiate itself from the Monk as much as possible, a Diablo III-era Paladin could be portrayed as an overly fanatical religious warrior, similar to the Scarlet Crusade in World of Warcraft--or, better yet, the same Order that the Templars Kormac and Jondar hail from. Though they may slay demons and protect the innocent as a result, who knows how long it’ll be until their devout faith drives them over the edge?
Demon Hunters are basically a merger of the Amazon and Assassin classes from Diablo 2, combining tricky traps with sustained ranged damage. But to be honest, we miss the “Javelin and Spear Skills” tree from the Amazon’s old talents (affectionately known as Javazons). Wielding a spear-and-shield combo meant we could Jab at enemies at point-blank range, then hurling an electrified Lightning Fury spear across the room that arced out and fried any and all unwary demons. The very notion of a long-distance attacker brandishing a shield was quite unique--you could kite enemies knowing that you wouldn’t die in one hit if they actually caught up to you.
Porting over the Amazon wholesale to Diablo 3 wouldn’t make sense, but perhaps a new class, like "Dragoon" or "Lancer" could take its place. With javelin abilities that emphasize poison and lightning, as well as D2's awesome Dodge, Avoid, and Evade passives that let the Amazon duck under and around incoming projectiles, these javelin-flinging jockeys could introduce quite the varied playstyle.
What if some demons didn’t feel like obeying Belial, Azmodan, or Diablo’s will? What if they thought they could take over Hell for themselves, or wanted to bridge the gap between the Nephalem and the underworld, as Tyrael did with the High Heavens? This could be the basis for the most compelling Diablo 3 plotline yet--a devil who fights his former comrades for ulterior motives. Imagine the conversation possibilities--Kormac wondering how the hell you came to the Light, or the Enchantress recalling having seen you millennia ago as one of her master’s targets. Also, partying with the Demon Hunter could get a bit awkward. We picture this creature looking something like Diablo 3's Fallen Ones, but feel free to imagine it as your favorite in-game baddie.
Things would really get interesting when it came to the Outcast Devil’s abilities. Without limitations on human form or mundane magic, we’d want the Outcast to transform his or her body at will, shifting an arm into a barbed, long-range tentacle or temporarily morphing into a nightmarish beast akin to the Barbarian’s Wrath of the Berserker. Add in a host of hellfire-based spells, and you’d have an awesome melee-magic hybrid fighter.
Classic classes rule
Those are but a taste of what Blizzard can do with additional classes in the Diablo 3--it'll be interesting to see which route they take. Which class archetype, plotline, or abilities would you like to see added to the game? And please, no Gold Farmers or Librarians.
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