Diablo 4 Classes
Today we’re going to discuss new master mechanics coming in Diablo 4 with the introduction of monster families. If only Diablo 3 could have introduced the Diablo 4 classes they have geared for release, it may have helped sway the countless number of negative remarks and ratings it received. Regardless, with Diablo 4 on the horizon, we couldn’t be more excited.
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We learned at Blizzcon in 2019 in the world and lore panel that the monsters in Diablo 4 will be classified into families. These Diablo 4 classes take a much more dynamic and complex approach to the game which is quite exciting for some of us Diablo nerds. These monster families, such as the fallen, will return once again to terrorize sanctuary. We also learned about the drowned, who are a new threat to the plague of the shores of this world.
This article will also introduce us to the cannibals. In Diablo 3, monsters were classified into categories such as Demon Unholy, Undead Humanoid or Wildlife. In Diablo 4, the vast and seamless world that was created necessitates a slightly different approach to world building and storytelling, requiring sanctuary to be built as a living, breathing character, especially through its creatures. Having everything from serene Ocean cliff sides to the gaping hole of hell itself. Every monster has been reimagined in a darker, more gritty art style.
Each encounter has been handcrafted from the ground up, including demons, act bosses and every skittering critter you can crush under foot. There will be paid tributes to some Hallmark gameplay, such as fallen shamans resurrecting other fallen, but to have these creatures feel more sophisticated and robust.
In Diablo 4, they have designed what are called monster families and archetypes. Each family will have a different combat style and feel. For example, the drowned families have five members in various archetypes such as Bruiser, Range Combat, Melee Combat, Swarmer and Dungeon Boss. Each archetype will play a different role in combat. Swarmers will strike in groups that will make AOE attacks feel more satisfying. Bruiser’s are large monsters with high amounts of health which will make your dots feel really good. The melee combat units will act as shields by standing in the way of projectiles for their range counterparts. This will provide the player with positioning dilemma’s if they want to focus down the range units, and each encounter with the drowned will be slightly different in regards to player positioning and choice of attack.
These very combat experiences are the power behind the monster families. I really hope that the team working on Diablo 4 will really knock this out of the park. This is going to bring a much needed dynamic to the ARPG genre that I feel will greatly benefit the combat. As you guys know, most isometric ARPG’s just zoom through everything fast and especially the more you creep up in power. I like the idea of this design giving more challenge to the combat and keeping it more engaging since we will have to grind through the levels multiple times. Whether or not you are looking forward to the new Diablo 4 classes, they are certainly a breath of fresh air.
What does this mean for the cannibals combat design specifically? How is their story conveyed through combat? The cannibal family has four members. They each have their own unique weapon and a significantly different silhouette or stance that helps differentiate them from one another. There are two standard melee combatants, one wielding a two handed great sword cleaver which delivers a slow, sweeping frontal attack, and the other using a lightweight halberd which allows them to leap players from a great distance and Crash down with a devastating attack.
The Bruiser uses a spiked club in each hand to deliver intense blows that will stun the player if they aren’t paying attention. By contrast, the duel axe wielding swarmers can unleash a flurry of frontal attacks that will quickly kill if left unchecked. However, this is a less binary pass fail than the Bruiser’s stun attack. If the player finds himself surrounded by a flurry of swarmers getting hit by the Bruiser’s dazing blow will remove all possibility of escape. It’s a combination of attacks like these that will make the family so deadly.
Diablo 4 Gameplay
This synergy through families is very interesting. I know it can provide very dynamic group and solo play where your group comp will matter and your builds for solos and group will have to reflect things like this. If they nail this correctly, that is. I’m glad they’re going for this approach personally instead of just having big health pools with enemies attacking you, and mind numbingly AOEing them down. Earlier it was explained how different master archetypes will play different roles in each encounter. For example, players who effectively kill ranged monsters will need to learn how to reposition their accompanying melee attackers so that a cleverly dropped area of effect ability will target both clusters of enemies.
This makes for interesting on the fly decision making and skilled players will be able to spot the optimal positions for these attacks very quickly. By design, the cannibal family has no ranged units. Instead, they spring at the player with supernatural swiftness. Some may close the gap by leaping over obstacles and would be competitors, while the others will slip early and definitely maneuver through monsters to get first blood. This provides a very different experience and gives players less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, thus making compact with these flesh eaters feel frenetic.
The need to prioritize enemies to take down can lead to a nice degree of critical thinking that is not normally found in most ARPGs. Such as a high damage dealer mob that is very squishy and can die easily but is being blocked by a beefy high health enemy that you’re going to have to figure out the quickest way to get past the bigger mob and eliminate the high damaging enemy. If this can withstand power creep in high tier in game play, I think it’ll be a nice addition to the combat that more ARPGs should implement.
Not only this, but the team at Diablo did say during Blizzcon that there will be a vertical play that will come into effect as well. This could open up so many possibilities to approaching monster packs and add a nice flavor to combat. That has me excited to see what they can do with it. So I want to know your thoughts on how the new combat mechanics will shape up. Do you think this will be a great dynamic to the combat in Diablo 4 if they implement it properly? Or do you prefer the way things are now? Either way, the new Diablo 4 classes will be tons of fun. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to upgrade your desktop or gaming laptop so that it can handle the Diablo 4 release, whenever that date may be.
Diablo 4 Release Date
As of right now, the exact Diablo 4 release date is unknown, but it is scheduled to hit the shelves in 2020.