We've put together this Diablo 3 Beta Wizard guide to get you up to speed on the most magical class coming to Blizzard’s upcoming action role playing game. This handy guide gives you all the most important info on the Wizard from the Diablo 3 beta at a glance.
You Should Play A Wizard If: If you love standing far away from enemies and blowing them up from a distance, then the Wizard will be perfect for you. Wizards are generally described as a glass canon class, as they deal tons of destructive damage but can't take too much direct fire from enemies as they're rather low on health compared to some other classes.
Background: Officially, Wizards are renegade spell casters who "use their bodies as vessels for arcane energy, forsaking the more careful path favored by other magic users." They don't care about the caution and safety that mages and sorcerers learn in the academies throughout Sanctuary. Instead, they use arcane power to disintegrate, burn, and freeze their foes while also having the ability to manipulate light and time to teleport, create illusions, and deflect oncoming attacks.
Some of the key features of a Wizard include area attacks, protective spells, elemental mastery, and endless energy. Area attacks are spells that can hit large groups of enemies at once and punish them for standing close together. In Diablo 3 many of the enemies come in packs, and the Wizard excels at taking these large packs out quickly. Protective spells are basically what the Wizard uses as defense. They can encase themselves in ice or diamonds to absorb damage, or they can create mirror images to confuse their enemies. Protective spells also allow Wizards to snare and slow down enemies if they happen to somehow get their hands on you.
The main feature that you'll be using when it comes to Wizard is their ability to master the elements. Having power over flames, lightning, ice, and wind Wizards can use these elements to target their foes' weaknesses and destroy them. Finally, with the Wizard's endless energy and ability to quickly regenerate their arcane power they can almost cast their weaker spells if they find themselves in a pinch.
How You Play A Wizard: There are quite a few ways to utilize your Wizard to his/her maximum potential. In order to do so you need to keep in mind two main things: equipment and spells. I'm not going to break down every piece of equipment nor go over each spell for the Wizard. Instead, I'm going to give you a basic breakdown of the unique equipment for Wizards and point out some staple spells that you'll be using during the Diablo 3 beta.
Wizard Equipment: Wizards have a few pieces of unique equipment that they can use including wands, orbs, and wizard hats. Wands are rather traditional and Wizards use these enchanted sticks to direct their force at their targets. Orbs on the other hand are what Wizards use in their off-hand to provide themselves with extra damage and power. Wizard hats, aside from being extremely stylish, add damage and come with other random enchantments and properties that add to a Wizard's damage.
Wizard Skills: In order to use their spells, Wizards use a resource called Arcane Power rather than Mana. Arcane Power regenerates very quickly in D3 and is described as an intense energy. Wizards direct it as if it's an extension of their own bodies.
Wizards have 25 available skills in total in Diablo 3 and they're divided in to three different types: Signature, Offensive, and Utility skills. Signature skills include those like Magic Missile and Electrocute. They cost one less Arcane Power every time you gain a level. Offensive spells are heavy damage dealing abilities like Disintegrate and Arcane Orb that can take out many foes with a single blast but they cost more Arcane Power. Utility skills don't deal much damage but instead they keep a Wizard alive longer with skills like Diamond Skin and Mirror Image.
Only six skills can be active at a time. You start out with two active skills at level one and you unlock the ability to use an extra skills at levels 6, 12, 18, and 24. Wizards also get their choice to equip a variety of passive skills at levels 10, 20, and 30.
In the Diablo 3 beta all characters can only level up to 13 so you only get access to a few skills. Plus, all of the enemies are so tuned down that all of the spells do massive damage. Keep in mind that this will undoubtedly change when the game is released but for now, as you're making your way through the Diablo 3 beta, there are a few spells that are a bit more potent than others.
- Magic Missile: Unlocked at level 1, this signature skill launches a missile of magic energy causing 110% weapon damage. It's your classic Wizard spell that you can use early on to easily take one enemy out at a time.
- Electrocute: Unlocked at level 6, the signature skill Electrocute makes lightning arc from your fingertips dealing 150% weapon damage and jumping to hit up to two additional enemies. It's a great spell for attacking large areas of enemies for massive damage and uses very little Arcane Power.
- Disintegrate: Unlocked at level 12, this offensive spell costs 20 arcane power per second and thrusts a beam of pure energy forward, dealing 150% weapon damage per second. This is like a laser beam of death that does ridiculous damage on the beta right now. You literally turn every to dust in seconds with this ability, and it's amazingly fun to use to destroy full rooms in seconds.
Passive Wizard Skills: In the Diablo 3 beta you can also equip one passive skill at level 10. Your choices are Power Hungry, Temporal Flux, and at level 13 you can equip Glass Cannon. Passive Skills are just that: abilities that you don't have to cast but grant passive advantages to your Wizard.
Power Hungry allows you to gain 30 arcane power whenever you are healed by a health globe. Temporal Flux slows enemies by 24% for two seconds whenever you deal Arcane damage. Finally, Glass Cannon increases all of your damage by 20% but decreases your armor and resistances by 10%.
Personally I swap between Power Hungry and Glass Cannon depending on what I'm fighting. If it's a large room of enemies that are going to be dropping lots of health globes then I'll use Power Hungry to be able to use more spells against them. If I'm just going to be fighting one boss I'll use Glass Cannon to get the most damage I can out of my Wiz. That said, in the beta everything dies so fast anyway that it doesn't really matter which Passive Skill you use!
At the moment the Wizard is one of my favorite classes to play in the Diablo 3 beta (followed very closely by the Monk if you were wondering). I love how much damage they do and how fast their Arcane Power regenerates. On top of that, I find that their passive and offensive skills to be quite an interesting evolution of the Sorceress from Diablo 2. I'm not sure if I'm going to play a Wizard main when Diablo 3 launches in early 2012 yet, but I know that it's definitely a top contender.
What do you think about the Wizard in the Diablo 3 beta so far? Let me know in the comments below, and tell me how you set up your Wizard's skills if they're different than the ones that I used.