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Diablo 3 Column: Favorite Diablo III Classes (So far!)

By Michael Bitton on May 21, 2012

There are five classes to choose from in Diablo III, but I’ve got a couple of clear favorites, and the order of these picks has surprised even me. I tend to gravitate towards the bow-using ranged class in just about every MMO or RPG out there, but I’m not playing the Demon Hunter in Diablo III. In this week’s The List, we’re taking a look at my favorite class picks in Diablo III (so far).

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5. Demon Hunter

What the heck? This is my least favorite class in Diablo III? For shame! I played the Demon Hunter in beta and was thoroughly disappointed in what is otherwise and awesome looking class. As it would turn out, I’m no more impressed with the class now that the game is live. I’m not a huge fan of how magic-y the Demon Hunter’s abilities feel, for one. I kind of feel like I’m playing a Wizard shooting magic out of my bow or crossbow; it’s pretty lame. The particle effects just don’t have the right punch and the sound effects are equally lame. Caltrops are a little circle on the ground with a spiked ball at the center? Blech.

Don’t even get me started on the clunky movement abilities. For a squishy class that’s all about mobility it’s not so hot when abilities such as Vault have a noticeable delay before activating.

4. Monk

I’ve always been a huge fan of martial arts classes and I don’t actually dislike the Monk in Diablo III at all. It’s a pretty flexible class that can easily switch from an ass-beating badass to a team support role. Monks can use a variety of weapons, including their signature Daibo, and of course, fist weapons. This class actually might have been my favorite if not for another class we’ll discuss later in the list…

3. Witch Doctor

I outright dismissed this class when Diablo III was announced. I’m not into the whole Ace Ventura voodoo motif, so I was mostly turned off by the outward appearance of the class. However, having played alongside a friend of mine who mains a Witch Doctor, I’ve come to appreciate the serious variety in spell effects and functionality that the Witch Doctor brings. It’s a visually interesting class to behold and there are simply tons of ability options to choose from.  I’m definitely going to have to give this class a closer look.  Also, you can create a tower of zombies as a Witch Doctor. SOLD!

2. Wizard

I mostly split my time between my Wizard and Barbarian at this point and I really enjoy all the cool things the Wizard can do. If you want to play the straight up mage character raining destruction from the skies or shooting electricity from your fingertips the Wizard hits all these notes perfectly. But what really got me excited about the class was the fact Blizzard went out of their way to ensure that the ‘Battle Mage’ style of play was also a possibility as a Wizard. Wizards feature a number of melee-centric abilities that when put together in a build create an obvious synergy for those seeking a more melee-focused magic user. Spectral Blade + Energy Twister + Frost Nova + Explosive Blast == AWESOME!

1. Barbarian

I mentioned the Barbarian in part one of our Diablo III review-in-progress, so it should come as no surprise that this class tops my list. It’s true, as a Conan and general swords ‘n’ sorcery fan, I enjoy Barbarian-type classes, but playing one in Diablo III really wasn’t high on my list pre-launch. I continue to be surprised with how visceral and brutal this class is and the moment-to-moment combat is simply exhilarating as a Barbarian in Diablo III. Every other class simply pales in comparison when you’re cleaving monsters into all manner of pieces after leaping into the air and crashing down upon them. It’s gory and fun, and if anything gets away you can bull rush through groups of enemies or snatch them back to you with a Scorpion-like spear attack. 

This class just gets better and better the more I play it and the gear and warpaint that go with it really seal the deal.

What’re your picks and why? Share ‘em in the comments below!

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