The original Diablo included a bow-wielding Rogue, but she didn’t reappear by name in Diablo 2 or Diablo 3. Over 24 years later, she’s finally making a comeback. The Rogue will be one of the first available classes in Diablo 4, joining the previously announced Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid. Blizzard revealed the news during the BlizzCon opening ceremony today (with a trailer that I’ll drop into this post as soon as it’s available standalone).
In the original Diablo, the Rogue was a ranged combat expert. That’ll be one possible build with Diablo 4’s Rogue, but series regulars will also recognize shades of the Assassin from Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and the Demon Hunter from Diablo 3. If you want to go with daggers, traps, and shadow magic, those will be viable options.
Earlier this week, I briefly spoke to Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga about the class. It’s a high mobility class, as you’d expect, with several abilities that involve movement, such as the Dash melee ability.
“You dash forward, hit everything in your way,” says Barriga. “It’s not the most damaging ability, but because you move so much with it, it’s a very versatile ability. It lets you reposition, it lets you enter combat, it lets you wait for the enemies to do their big attack and then move in, and then get out of the way.”
It’s also possible to take the Diablo 1 “keep away” approach with a ranged build, and although Diablo isn’t the sort of RPG that involves stealth in the typical way (you’re there to kill everything), the Rogue does have some sneaky flavor. There’s an ultimate ability called Shadow Realm, for example, which is literally used to escape into the Shadow Realm. It can also be used to separate enemies into manageable groups by pulling only some of them into the shadows with you.
Fans of Diablo 3’s Demon Hunter won’t be able to exactly recreate their old characters as Diablo 4 Rogues, but some of those abilities (or abilities similar to them) will be available. The Diablo 2 Assassin’s Combo Points system will also be available as a Rogue specialization. Combo Points are gained by using certain abilities, and spent with certain other abilities, which get an effectiveness boost from them. It’s a system that keeps players cycling abilities, and it’s also seen in World of Warcraft’s Rogue, as well as Valeera in Heroes of the Storm.
Another Rogue specialization is Exploit Weakness, a new “high skill, high reward” system which “lets you take advantage of more twitch-based gameplay,” says Barriga. He didn’t explain exactly how Exploit Weakness works, but suggested that it’s all about quick aiming and thinking, rather than the rhythmic play encouraged by Combo Points.
As someone who almost always picks a rogueish character in RPGs—the thieves and assassins are always the coolest—I’m glad to see her show up again in Diablo 4.
Diablo 4 was announced at BlizzCon 2019, but no release date was set back then, and no date has been announced here. It’s expected to be in development for a while longer, and will feature a big open world which contains other players, with horses to ride and PvP zones to brave. We’ll continue to update our guide to everything we know about Diablo 4 so far as we learn more this weekend.
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