The open beta for Diablo 4 is live this weekend and many more players are about to jump into the anticipated upcoming game. If you’re a veteran of the series, you may already have a class in mind but for newcomers, the burning question is which class should you pick. Unlike last weekend’s closed beta, the open beta will give players access to all five available classes in the game: Druid, Necromancer, Sorcerer, Barbarian and Rogue. We’ll take a brief look at each to decide what suits your playstyle the most.
Before you choose a class in Diablo 4, you may want to consider each classes strengths, attributes, skills and weaknesses. Some are more powerful in melee combat while others excel in ranged combat or a blend of the two. Furthermore, the beta level caps at 25 meaning we don’t really have a concrete “worst to best” classes breakdown yet until we get our hands on the full game. For now, we’re treating all classes as perfectly viable.
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The Sorcerer is a recurring class in the Diablo franchise for a good reason. This mage utilises a variety of deadly lightning, fire and ice spells to unleash ranged havoc on enemies without ever needing to get up close. Unleashing powerful magic with AoE attacks is the primary playstyle of the Sorceress though with some setbacks. Since your primary means of offence is magic, using powerful spells depletes your mana (magic meter) so you’ll want to always be cautious of that.
The Sorcerer isn’t built like a tank to take much damage either, making it a squishy class to play as, especially in the initial hours. With enough investment and points poured into preferred skills, though, the mage class slowly evolves into one of the most devastating options if you’re looking to deal massive elemental damage while keeping a safe distance. It’s a good starting pick though also one of the more complex ones as soon as you start getting into builds.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Barbarian. Instead of relying on magic, the Barbarian class prefers melee combat and striking enemies by dual-wielding weapons, using big hammers and a range of hard-hitting weapons. In Diablo 4, the class now has a Fury gauge that slowly builds up during combat. Certain powerful moves require Fury to use so it’s a case of managing your health and Fury in between the action.
On that note, the Barbarian’s biggest setback – at least in the current betas – is its survivability. While some might find the close-ranged fighting satisfying (and it is), the class is currently being frowned upon for its inability to survive encounters, particularly against bosses with ranged attacks. Getting up close to a boss might shred your health, requiring you to always be on the move and chugging potions. I’m sure with more viable defensive builds, you can mitigate these issues but for now, the Barbarian might be Diablo 4’s glass cannon.
Balancing agility, close and long-ranged combat, the Rogue class is a solid choice if you’re looking for an all-rounder. With bows, daggers, magically imbued weapons and stealthy tactics, the Rogue is a great option for crowd control and versatile combat. The classes adaptability is its biggest strength, capable of using more lethal combat options than most classes while also having certain assassin-like spells including poison at their disposal.
However, the Rogue’s varied arsenal may not be to everyone’s taste. Primarily using daggers requires you to get up-close and personal with enemies on a few occasions. They don’t hit as hard as the Barbarian nor have the magical prowess of the Sorcerer, so you’ll have to be mindful of those minor drawbacks. Otherwise, the Rogue is a good starting option and could become extremely powerful with more build opportunities.
The Druid is the shapeshifter class of Diablo 4, capable of transforming into either a tanky, towering bear or vicious, fast-hitting werewolf. The class also commands nature’s elements of earth, wind and storm to unleash some awesome, powerful bursts of magic. It’s by far the flashiest class in terms of cool and unique abilities – plus turning into a bear and werewolf to slay demons is something straight out of a heavy metal album cover.
It goes without saying that the Druid is a master of nature and has a deadly pool of skills to use. However, if Diablo 2 is an indication of what Druid will be like in Diablo 4, then there are a couple of downsides. Since it requires decent defence for its melee combat, it can be a bit of a slog to build something sturdy without getting shredded in the early hours like the Barbarian. It gets harder to manage on higher difficulties so consider that before you jump in.
The final class you’ll have access to in Diablo 4‘s open beta is the Necromancer, which really needs no introduction. If you want to summon hordes of the undead to fight alongside you and destroy enemies with an army, this is the class for you. The upside of the Necromancer is not only its handy conjuration abilities but its high damage output. Since it can summon mobs with increasing power and defence, it can sustain tough battles by simply hanging back and blowing up some corpses for big damage.
Like the Sorcerer, though, the Necromancer requires a bit of investment and unlocking specific skills before it really grows into a worthy option. The initial hours may not be kind to you since you won’t have the classes best abilities right out the gate but with enough time, you can evolve it into an extraordinary conjurer commanding legions of the undead. If you want to become the protagonist of Solo Leveling, look no further.
Diablo 4 launches on 6 June 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.