All Diablo 4 Classes and how they work
One of the most exciting things about any new Diablo game is the classes that you can play. In Diablo IV, you play from five different classes: Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, and Sorcerer. Whether you like slinging spells or poison arrows, these characters all mix classic player classes as well as new and exciting mechanics. For example, each class has one or more special systems that augment and personalize the way you play them. So, with all these old and new abilities, let’s break down every Diablo IV class and how they work.
A Diablo IV Barbarian is your classic melee warrior. All Barbarian builds are about heavy damage, powerful weapons, and buffs. Much like their Diablo II and III counterparts, Diablo IV Barbarians can give themselves CC immunity and use group or solo shouts to increase damage, resistance, speed, etc. There are two Barbarian subclass routes in their Diablo IV skill trees that players can either fully commit to or mix and match:
- Warlord– which focuses on defense, party bonuses, and bleed damage
- Berserker– a subclass all about reckless offense, max damage output, and self-buffs
Related: The best Barbarian skills and abilities to get first in Diablo IV
Meanwhile, the new Diablo IV mechanic for Barbarians is the Arsenal System. The Arsenal System makes it so that Barbarians can switch between multiple weapons. In a Barbarian’s Arsenal, you can equip two two-handed weapons and two one-handed weapons. You can switch these weapons in and out throughout combat, including during the middle of a boss fight.
Diablo IV’s unique, hefty blend of spells and tanking is the Druid. This character excels at shapeshifting as well as earth and storm magic. You can focus on any of these as your main method of combat, or use all three in your build.
- Shapeshifting– The Druid has three different forms: human, Werewolf, and Werebear. Unlike the Diablo II Druid, your shapeshifting is now a more short-term spell
- Earth Magic– The major feature of earth magic is Crushing Blows, which apply the Vulnerable debuff to any enemies hit. Vulnerability makes an enemy take 30% additional damage from attacks
- Storm Magic– This brand of magic applies large, AOE storm effects to the space around you and deals heavy, continuous damage
Related: Diablo 4 beta details – dates, rewards, and specifications
While Barbarian, Rogue, and Sorcerer have well-defined special mechanics in Diablo IV, Druid’s are a little less certain at the moment because they aren’t available in the Beta. However, there has been discussion of Druids being able to buff themselves by hunting down animal spirits and benefiting from their boons.
In all of Diablo IV, Necromancer is likely the most complex character skill tree. Most characters have two or three directional subclasses, but Necromancer has four. Each one completely changes what kind of Necromancer you’ll be. The four different classes of skills for Necromancers are:
- Bone– All about trapping spells, detaining and directing enemies with prisons, walls, etc.
- Darkness– A reinterpretation of the poison/curse playstyle in Diablo III. Darkness either does over-time damage (like a lingering poison) or big burst attacks
- Blood- Drains enemy life as you battle and explodes corpses
- Army- You raise an army of the dead, from skeleton warriors to mages to golems. Easy to mix with other playstyles.
Like the Druid, the Necromancer was not included in the Diablo IV beta, so their special bonus mechanic isn’t fully official. However, their Book of The Dead System is likely that special mechanic. The Necromancer’s Book of The Dead lets players customize their skeleton army. These skeleton options include:
- Skeletal Warriors
- Skirmishers: increased damage but reduced life
- Defenders: a shield and bonus Life
- Reapers: scythes, slower attacks, more damage, and AOE
- Skeletal Mages
- Shadow: they deal Shadow damage
- Cold: they deal Cold damage
- Bone: they deal Bone damage
- Bone Golems: tank units
- Blood Golems: life-steal units
- Iron Golems: stunning, charging units
With so many character classes in previous Diablo games, Diablo IV uses the Rogue as a way to combine the best features of several popular classes, including Amazon, Assassin, Demon Hunter, and the classic Rogue itself. Rogue skills fall under three subclasses:
- Melee– These skills are a collection of slashes, backstabs, and assassin-like assaults
- Ranged– Ranged skills are all about piercing shots, volleys, raining arrows, and other archer staples
- Combat Augments/Tools– Litter the battlefield with traps, create a killbox with turrets and grenades, or use the shadows to disappear completely
Related: The best Rogue skills and abilities to get first in Diablo IV
The Rogue’s special mechanics are two-pronged. They’re a little less unique, but they also offer a wide range of versatility. To start, Rogues have their own sort of mini-Arsenal, like Barbarians. They can switch between ranged or melee weapons at will. Meanwhile, they also have their Imbue System. This system lets you imbue your attacks with poison, shadow, or cold damage, turning your rain of arrows poisonous or freezing your enemies with every stab. It really encourages Rogues to multi-skill and create complex, unique builds.
Diablo IV’s Sorcerer/Sorceress is a classic high-risk, high-reward Glass Cannon. Like the Sorceress of Diablo II, the Sorcerer is all about using the elements to deal damage and defend yourself. Subsequently, the Sorcerer’s skill tree is split into three elements, each with its own special effects:
- Fire– These spells can place the Burning effect on enemies, doing damage over time
- Cold– Cold attacks accumulate cold stacks on the enemy. When they reach 100 stacks, the enemy will be frozen for a duration
- Lightning– Electric spells leaves behind a ball of Crackling Energy that can be collected and restore Mana
Related: The best Sorcerer and Sorceress skills and abilities to get first in Diablo IV
The Sorcerer’s special class mechanic is the Enchantment System. Six Sorcerer skills will be placed in the typical active slots. Meanwhile, three more skills can be placed in Enchantment slots. This means that a Sorcerer can integrate up to nine different skills into their build. If a skill becomes an Enchantment skill, though, you can’t use it like your other skills. Instead, its active ability will transform into a passive effect that assists you whenever you’re in battle. However, already passive skills cannot become Enchantment skills.