Diablo 3 A Hero Emerges
By Joe Iuliani
The big reveal this year at Blizzcon 2010 was that of the fifth Diablo III class, the Demon Hunter. The Diablo III panel, headed by designer Jay Wilson provided insight to the process of how the team arrived at this class decision. The presentation was rounded out by members of the Diablo III team: Christian Lichter, Paul Warzecha, Leonard Boyarsky, Wyatt Cheng, Kevin Martens, and Julian Love.
Jay started the panel asking the question: "Why the Demon Hunter?"
It turns out that this class fills out the game's archetypes as a ranged class. The character fits the Diablo universe as she is an "almost obsessed anti-hero", with a bounty hunter-like vibe (it should be noted that the Demon Hunter will be both genders for the full release of the game). This will be a conventional ranged class.
The Demon Hunter will also use gadgets and traps to "prepare for a fight". Shadow Magic is another element of the class, it gives the feeling that this class will dabble in whatever helps the hunting of demons.
The original concept was that of a traditional woodland ranger. The team decided that this class must feel swift and deadly. There was something missing from the traditional ranger, so they decided to add a melee aspect to the class. The Demon Hunter will be able to equip herself with short daggers, swords, and fist weapons. With this in mind it was back to the basics. The new direction would create a character that was dark, mysterious, "medieval" and of course ranged. An original concept was that of a demonic Demon Hunter. The idea was scrapped in favor of keeping the classes human. A part demon concept was also considered for a moment. The part demon concept art was a bulky design with a demonic arm, it looked strong but slow. It was also decided that the townsfolk of the Diablo universe would recoil from such a creature. Those images, I’m sure you’ll understand, also detract from the overall feel of a ranged character... The overall most important part of the class.
Gearing up the Demon Hunter was the next challenge for the developers. What makes her visually distinct form the other classes? The key parts to the Demon Hunter's gear will be her scarf, light leg armor, and arm guards.
Once a look was decided upon, the character was subject of numerous posing tests to capture the appropriate feel. Aspects such as the character's silhouette, attributes and readability were taken into consideration. What does that mean exactly? Essentially, how will the Demon Hunter stand apart from other game elements? You can be sure to see the scarf trailing behind the Demon Hunter as she sprints across the screen. The final visual aspect taken into consideration were the tools of her trade: bows, crossbows and the ability to duel wield. From pose to pose while shooting, the Demon Hunter will be kicking ass in high heels.
Demon Hunter Lore
Where does she come from?
The Demon Hunter will have a diverse background, unlike other classes she isn't born into her role, rather she is made into role. She will have a thirst for revenge.
What drives her?
She is an obsessed hero. They glowing eyes are a testament that she is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals, even dabble in the demonic and shadow arts. Her goal is to stalk and kill demons. She inspires to strike terror in demons the way they have terrorized humans. Unlike others she realizes the true stakes of the conflict with the demons.
Demon Hunter Skills
* Bola shot: a ranged attack with small time delay resulting in an explosion, usually that of an opponent's head.
* Vault: an acrobatic shadow themed movement skill.
* Spike Traps: a combination of gadgets and shadow skills. The use of traps adds to sense of preparation the Demon Hunter employs.
* Grenades: with the use of Diablo III's 3D engine, grenades can be bounced of walls and around corners allowing for some clever planning.
* Multi-shot: what would a Diablo game be without revitalizing this classic? It speaks for itself, as you progress in the skill you shoot more arrows.
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Re: Diablo 3 A Hero Emerges
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