Everything We Know about Diablo 3
More character customization options are available in Diablo 3 than D2, with helms, body armors, gloves, boots, pants, pauldrons, and vambraces all affecting your character’s appearance. A dye system will allow players to select between 15 different colors for individual armor pieces.
Diablo 3 will ship with five classes: the Barbarian, Demon Hunter. Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. For the first time in the series, players can select their character’s gender.
While in Diablo 1 and 2 every character employed mana as a resource for skill use, each Diablo 3 class uses a different resource system.
The Barbarian is the only returning class from D2 and plays similar to its predecessor. Its resource is Fury, which quickly depletes outside of combat. In combat, some attacks generate Fury, others consume it. Taking damage also generates Fury.
The Demon Hunter combines elements of D2′s Assassin and Amazon, built to be a ranged combatant and capable of dual-wielding crossbows. With D3′s most complex resource system, the Demon Hunter uses both Hatred and Discipline, represented by a single orb split down the middle. Hatred (red) regenerates rapidly, while Discipline (blue) regenerates slowly and is required for every defensive maneuver, requiring judicious use.
The Monk is a melee martial artist and takes the place of D2′s paladin as D3′s holy warrior. If the Barbarian is a maul, the Monk is a rapier, more fragile — and more agile. Spirit is the monk’s resource, which slowly replenishes over time and can also be generated by using specific attacks or by pulling off combos, similar to D2′s Assassin.
The Witch Doctor is a mixture of D2′s Necromancer and Druid, with the ability to summon undead monsters and inflict hexes and curses upon foes. It’s the only class to retain Mana as its resource, with a deep pool that regenerates slowly.
The Wizard is similar to D2′s Sorceress and D1′s Sorcerer and uses Arcane Power as a resource, which regenerates much more quickly than mana but has a smaller pool.
Diablo 3′s Followers are similar to D2′s Mercenaries — NPCs that travel with and fight alongside your character. Three followers are available: the Enchantress, the Scoundrel, and the Templar. Players can only have one follower accompany their character at any given time.
The Enchantress is a ranged support spell-caster that buffs a player’s defenses and weakens enemies in various ways.
The Scoundrel is similar to D1′s Rogue. He uses ranged weapons, boosts party damage, and cripples and poisons enemies while evading their attacks.
The Templar is a holy warrior similar to D2′s paladin. He’s a melee tank clad in heavy armor that protects players through healing and by drawing enemy fire.
An incarnation of runes play an integral part in the Diablo 3 skill system, though it bears no resemblance to D2′s runes. Called “skill runes,” they unlock as a character levels up and are no long a physical object that players pick up and put in weapon sockets. Each skill has five skill runes to unlock, and each rune augments or completely alters the base skill in a significant way.
Each class has at least 20 skills, and since every skill has six variations — including the base skill with no rune applied — this means that every class has approximately 120 skill permutations.
At least one new skill or skill rune will be unlocked upon every level-up, with skill runes beginning to unlock at level 6.