Blizzcon 2010 kicked off with new announcement for Diablo 3, as expected, and we've got all the details on the new Demon Hunter class, the new Skill system, the revamped Runes, and brand-new Traits, and the addition of the Talisman, which will keep inventory whiners happy. And by inventory whiners, I mean myself. I got so tired of playing Tetris in my inventory and Horadric Cube in Diablo 2. What about you?
"Demon Hunter." Did any of you have that in the Diablo 3 final class bingo? I sure didn't, which is why I was caught completely off-guard by the announcement at Blizzcon this morning. Although last year we were guessing that they might introduce a ranged class, so it should be that surprising. Maybe I'm just impressed with how sexy and dark they've decided to make her. "Don't worry ladies," Blizzard assured the audience, "We're working on a male version right now and he'll be equally as attractive."
Keep reading to learn more about the Demon Hunter, and stay tuned for much more Diablo 3 news during BlizzCon.
So, about that Demon Hunter. Now that she's (and eventually he) has been introduced, don't you want to know more about her? Why did Blizzard feel the need to include her? Well lead designer Jay Wilson explained the "We needed a ranged attacker, and she definitely fills out our arechtypes. We wanted a dark character that was almost an obsessed anti-hero." They definitely like the "bounty hunter" vibe, and this girl is a hunter with a passion for revenge. They told us that when she goes to sleep at night, she "Dreams about killing demons." That's fairly obsessed.
On the most basic level, the Demon Hunter is your conventional ranged class character. She can wield bows and crossbows, and she's the only character that can dual-wield pistol-crossbows. Which yes, is as awesome as it sounds. She also uses a lot of gadgets and traps, and she has some Shadow Magic skills as well. According to Blizzard, she likes to dabble in anything that will make her more adept at killing demons. Her eyes glow, which indicate that she's been a little dipping into the dark arts in search of more ways to make with the killing of the demons.
Visually, the Demon Hunter actually started life as a stoic looking archer armed with a bow, but as with most things at Blizzard, it went through several changes. They wanted the character to have an "edge" and to be cool, so he morphed from being a genteel Ranger with a bow, to a Demonic Demon Hunter, to a half-demon Demon Hunter, to a muscular-armed crossbow carrier, to the current iteration as a very sultry female, barely clad in battle gear. The character had melee aspects, daggers, short swords, fist weapons, and more, but they decided to go back to basics and redesign the character to be mysterious, medieval, and definitely human. Because they didn't want the townspeople recoiling every time you tried to buy something.
The character is definitely a reaction to the brighter colored Monk and the Witch Doctor, and she's a lot darker than any of the other characters. According to Jay Wilson, she's also the only character that "gets it" in the game. Meaning the Barbarian, the Witch Doctor, the Wizard, and the Monk all fight for their own various reasons and causes, but the Demon Hunter is fighting because she doesn't want the forces of Hell to invade and destroy everything. She knows the stakes, and that's why she's prepared to do anything to make sure those demons bleed.
Customizing the Demon Hunter means upgrades to her scarf, legs, and arm guards, and they showed off a base level character, to one entirely tricked out, and there's a lot of variety inbetween. They do this for all the characters as they starts modeling them, and they decide what to focus on. For the Demon Hunter, it's: silhouette, attitude, readability, strappy, and gadgety. Based on the images we saw, it looks like they succeeded. Especially in the strappy arena. One of the title cards they tossed up for the character during the presentation was "Kick ass in high heels!" I'm not sure how that will translate to the male version.
Oh, and also, this lady packs grenades. What more do you want?
Blizzard likes to tease (torture?) their fans with reveals at BlizzCon, which means we got to peek behind the curtains at more of Diablo 3's innards. That included looks at some of the new skills from the Demon Hunter:
- Bola Shot: This is one of the Demon Hunter's skills, and it sells two themes, gadgets and ranged. She launches a bola that arcs towards an enemy, and then - kaboom. It "feels tactical" according to the Blizzard developers.
- Vault: This is how the Demon Hunter avoids attacks, and it ties in with her shadow magic. It's basically a high acrobatic way to move around in dangerous environs.
- Spike Trap: The Demon Hunter sets the spike in a strategic location, and waits for it to springs. This one has a sense of preparation, and is definitely tactical as well. This one ties her shadow magic into her gadgets.
- Grenades: Grenades are ranged Demon Hunter weapons that can bounce off walls, floors, and even around corners. It's clever and with planning can be a devious tool.
- Multishot: This skill revitalizes the Diablo II classic Multiple Shot, which was one of the skills used by the Amazon. As you'd expect, it allows the Hunter to nail multiple targets.
Stay tuned for more, where we talk about the new Trait system, the revamped Skill sets, the new and improved Runes, and the Talisman. Trust us, you'll love the Talisman.