Diablo classes, in my opinion, fall into 5 archetypes:
- Naturalistic (Druid, Witchdoctor)
- Arcane (Sorceress, Mage)
- Primal (Barbarian, Amazon)
- Holy (Monk, Paladin)
- Unholy aka Edge (Demon Hunter, Necromancer)
Call them what you want, but it is easy enough to get behind the concept I think. They are pretty baseline archetypes for the fantasy genre (picture the classic DnD party: Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Rogue).
What also matters in Diablo, as it is a loot driven game, are equipment classes. Mainly armor class. Even though personalized loot counteracts the necessity of balance here and armor classes are not *really* a thing in Diablo as a deadset system, the fantasy of it is still going to be respected I think. This is a pretty straightforward scale from light to heavy.
Lastly, gameplay fantasy. Do you want to hit stuff or cast spells? Be right in the tussle or control from the backline? You'd want to serve options for all options in this admittedly quite simple 2×2 matrix.
Let's look at an example, the monk: It satisfies the Holy archetype, wears light armor, and is a martial leaning hybrid in close quarter combat.
Now, what are we still missing in D4?
We are still completely missing 2 of Diablos most thematically important archetypes, Holy and Unholy.
From the concept art it seems like we have 1 lightly armored (Sorceress) 1-2 medium armor wearing (Druid surely imo, Barbarian with a question mark) and 0-1 heavily armored class (Barbarian). That would leave us with 1 more heavy armor class and 1 class between medium and light.
Regarding playstyle we have a pretty balanced mix so far, so I expect 1 melee class and 1 ranged class to still happen. Also one more spellcaster and one more martial leaning class.
Looking at all the criteria above i just pulled out of my behind and what classes we had in D3 and will have in D:I, here are my predictions:
The Priest and the Duskknight (names pending™ ).
The Priest would be a ranged, medium to light armor wearing spellcaster. Possible skill tropes would include prayers with passive and active component, holy spells which smite or even convert foes, zone control via sanctified ground and temporary ascendency.
The Duskknight would be a melee, heavily armored martial hybrid. Possible skill tropes include crippling curses, temporarily empowering your own weapon attacks with various effects and possibly corpse interaction.
Swapping the range on these 2 (resulting on something like a Warcleric and Darkspeaker?) is a possibility, but I decided against that, as those would maybe resemble Monk and Necro a bit too much.
Do you have any thoughts regarding this? Who is on your wishlist?
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