Diablo III Hands-On - The Demon Hunter

We jump right into the new ranged class announced at this year’s BlizzCon.

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Blizzard announced the fifth and final character class for Diablo III at BlizzCon 2010, and not surprisingly, it's a ranged class called the demon hunter. When we jumped into the demo, we took a few seconds to check out some of the demon hunter's basic equipment. Her (only the female version of the class is available at the moment) equipment included dual crossbows, some fairly light armor, and a section to equip prayer beads. These beads function much like smaller trinkets, giving small bonuses to various attributes such as accuracy, and several can be equipped at once. Later in the demo, we found some really nice slotted armor and some other nice items to beef up our demon hunter. As far as attacks and skills go, there were quite a few available early on, giving us a pretty good taste of how a demon hunter can hold her ground when the enemies start piling up.

Naturally, the class has a standard ranged attack, and while seeing the female demon hunter dual-wield crossbows and pump arrows into enemies is cool, it wasn't the most effective attack in the demo level. We quickly looked for an alternative and discovered her entangling shot. Diablo III describes this as "a sticky adhesive that deals 120 percent weapon damage," but as the name suggests, it also entangles enemies--up to three of them. This makes this particular skill useful early on when facing moderate numbers of enemies at once. But when we discovered her bola attack skill, we found that it was even more useful against larger and stronger groups of enemies. When you fire the bola, you'll see a red circle that quickly constricts around the target, indicating the amount of time before it explodes. If any enemies are standing nearby the target, they will take a little bit of the splash damage as well. Granted, the countdown period before the explosion means you have to be careful to not get trapped by faster-moving enemies, but even if you do, the demon hunter has an acrobatic solution to that problem in the form of a vault skill.

The vault enables the demon hunter to perform cartwheels and other such speedy gymnastics maneuvers to evade enemies as well as any traps that might be present in a level. It's not a free skill, however--it takes quite a bit of mana, so you have to make a choice in some tough situations: Do you use your mana for some of your attack skills and try to fight your way out, or do you try to vault away, regroup, and potentially risk grabbing the attention of more foes? Thankfully, we discovered some new skills after gaining a level, so we didn't have to answer that question too often. Upon entering the skill menu, we saw options for grenades, a fan of knives, a spike trap, and a couple of others, but what caught our eye was the purchase-new-skill option, which opened up the multishot skill. Given how useful it was in Diablo II, we went with the multishot--an attack that showers a barrage of arrows in the general direction of a target. We initially started using it in combination with the entangling shot, but later found that the bola’s ability to also slow down enemies made it a better partner.

We were using all of these skills and attacks in the context of a mission to confront King Leoric--a name that should sound immediately familiar to those who played the original Diablo, in which he was also known as the Skeleton King. But first, we had to travel through the Halls of Agony, a dungeon filled with numerous torture devices, fire pits, massive guillotines, and all kinds of enemies ready to do horrible things to you. In fact, there was quite a diverse range of creatures in this rather imposing dungeon, including hulking demon-like foes. But the ones that gave us the most trouble, at least initially, were the more powerful zealots that were capable of teleporting, making it difficult to completely evade them. We also encountered some zombie-like enemies, which--when we used our bola attack against them--caused them to burst into two, but the torso was still alive and attacking.

Eventually, we made our way out of the dungeon and found ourselves in a new outdoor area called the Highlands Passage--mostly a long crumbling bridge being pelted by foul weather. Meeting us at the bridge was a non-player character named Kyr, who asked us to cross the bridge with him to kill a specific character named Dargon. We battled across the bridge and weaved our way through some cliffs before encountering Dargon and his group of enemies, but they didn't pose much of a problem. Kyr thanked us for our help by offering to sell us some of his finely crafted items, and we then made our way into some tombs where we found a ghostly queen who asked us to go on yet another quest where we encountered shielded skeletons capable of blocking our attacks as well as a creature named horror that explodes and releases what appears to be eels. Yeah, it's disgusting.

Unfortunately, that's where our brief time with the demo ended. We didn't reach the final encounter with Leoric (yet), but we did get a pretty good feel for the demon hunter class. It feels a little more defensively oriented in the early going, but a quick peek at some of its later skills revealed that a much more offensively minded strategy is also certainly possible. Either way, we're eager to jump into the demo a little more and see what else we can discover.

Discussion

216 comments
rhutchinson101
rhutchinson101

The difficulty involved in getting this game is pissing me off no end. No demo. i mean WTF. NO DEMO are we all such C****s that we just don't deserve one.Even buying it digitally it takes up to  three days to verify WTF. The moneys out of our accounts with disgraceful haste There are no high street shops selling this game I've looked . Greedy shabby lot you've turned out to be. 

brain56
brain56

Little? We're talking about a little game called Diablo III? Oh, gimme a break.

Lexandru
Lexandru

The acting part was terrible in Demon Hunter movie. To bad that the WoW influence is so present. I'm a big fan of D1 and D2 and wanted to get in the next installment the same dark atmosphere, visceral, clean cut graphics not the cartoonish piece of ... . To me it is evident that the guys that made the previous games have left a long time ago Blizzard and this is just World of Diablo.

valdarez
valdarez

Diablo has definitely lost it's Gothic and dark look. Definitely leaning towards the cartoony / WoW look now. :(

Matws
Matws

i'll sure miss the amazon

rugripper40
rugripper40

@archurban why is it everyone gets so mad about whats written in these threads...who cares man...topic is diablo 3 i know...game is really really kool.....but as a parent i like to see where peoples heads are at....seems you are a very disgruntal person...or very controlling...nothing proper about that mate....lol....and btw i guess cursing makes you feel important...guess what you have not impressed me one bit

archurban
archurban

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

goeyguy03
goeyguy03

i know jfk was assassinated (nov 22nd '63 -- a day i couldnt possibly forget, hint hint), thats why i said nov wasn't such a great time ... though, IF he had been alive, the notion is that he would NOT have signed the bill as Johnson did immediately entering office. as for being a history buff.. well, most may not know that Lee H. Oswald was a CIA op, and also lived Russia for several years, married a girl there and was a highly visible and well know target on both sides. glad your bro avoided it. one of my best friends is a Canuk, loves his hockey!! :) thank god for Canada!

rugripper40
rugripper40

@goeyguy03 said meds sounds like a great idea! got any recommendations doc?.....that comment is funny as hell man thats probably how i would have answered back...lol then goeyguy03 said... your butt was on its way to Nam. my pops had to go in '68, I was 5. he served 2 tours (over 100 sorties) as a chopper pilot before getting shot down by small arms................sorry to hear that man...god bless him.........yeah man my bro hes 7 yrs older then me and almost got drafted...papers were sent to him and before he got shipped out...the war ended...that was a rough time back then goeyguy3 3 said... is that jfk was never going to sign the Nam bill.....btw if u didnt know...john f. kennedy was assassinated in the early 1960s so i doubt very much if hes going to sign any bill of any nature...lol....and the draft went like this....you registered at the post office and when the government pulled your number out of their ass...you needed to report to where ever they told you too...but back in the 1960s people fled to canada and dodged the draft..hence the name draft dodgers was made a household name like butter and milk.....thats why we have so many canadians now....lol....rock on man.....im not a history buff at all...i lived it,thats how i know...how about you????....lol

HuntaKila
HuntaKila

Never liked diablo and it won't change with the 3rd part. The only thing seems nice to me is lot of blood and other stuff coming out from all theese creatures but it's boring anyway. I couldn't play for longer than 10 minutes in previous part. Graphics in 3rd is just some kind of a joke when we got Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Oblivion, Gothic...

irishdude199210
irishdude199210

i've never played diablo so i cant comment on it but let me say this; goeyguy03 and rugripper40, you're conversation is hilarious :D oh, apart from goayguy03's father dying, sorry man :(

hidraaa
hidraaa

If it's good like the first two parts it's going to be the hit of the year

goeyguy03
goeyguy03

61 eh, u got a couple years on me then.. yah, 63 wasnt such a great year for america, especially nov. from what i heard over the years, is that jfk was never going to sign the Nam bill... sounds like motivation if u ask me... obey? u been around long enough, u should know by now... but if u really dont know then maybe u had a bit more freedom growin up... most probably dont know, but back then we had the draft, and that meant if you got "requested", your butt was on its way to Nam. my pops had to go in '68, I was 5. he served 2 tours (over 100 sorties) as a chopper pilot before getting shot down by small arms... also in nov. so people who hated the war.. hated my pops.. go figure. didnt play much pong, mostly baseball.. meds sounds like a great idea! got any recommendations doc? how about the steroids from duke nukem? they should put that in Diablo... maybe a couple tabs or rocks? put that in a cutscene!! lol

rugripper40
rugripper40

@goeyguy03....lmfao...i was born in 1961 how bout you...pong and space invaders in the late 60 s were my first video games...how about you....you make no sense to me at all...and obey what???...you need meds my friend

goeyguy03
goeyguy03

my age ... lol. Ive been playing Blizzard and Id Software games since u kiddies were getting ur diapers changed, lol. (amazed you actually came up with the word "retort"... haha). anyways, i liked the "Holy" powers with the Paladin, but he didnt wield some stupid cross or thow water... it's too "cliche" and lame. he still had a "shield", a "hammer" .. mine had the Barnar Star, which was so badass i got bored beating the crap outta everything in nitemare. but u boyz dont work for Blizzard so i got nuthin to worry about... u want that crap in your game, go make your own... just cuz u think it's cool, doesnt mean it goes against the "premise of the game".. u didnt make it, so dont act like u know what fits and what dont. just say what like or what u dont like, cuz thats all the power u got ... dont push **** on other people, all you need to do is OBEY!

EtherUnion
EtherUnion

FOR GODSAKE!! RELEASE IT ALREADY!! How many years i have to wait this game? almost all my friends have 2 kids now!!! btw BOLA = BALL in my native language :p

ben_ster
ben_ster

@goeyguy03 LOL im going to jump on the band wagon for this one and retort you as well!!! WHAT THE HELL (hehe) WOULD YOU FIGHT THE DEVIL WITH? That clenched fist of yours perhaps? seriously dude... I don't think your too familiar with the diablo series. remember the paladin... he prayed, he used "holy" tools - like the holy shield, and blessed hammer and holy bolt do you not see the profusion of HOLY in this game? if your gonna make a point try to make one that doesn't go against the premise of this whole series hahaa

rugripper40
rugripper40

and this game isnt a fairy tale???..imao....your showing your age my friend.....and what do you suggest to be the perfect weapon in diablo 3???....maybe they will put it in if you ask them to...lol goeyguy03 Posted Oct 29, 2010 2:34 pm ET u guys are missing the point... its not about "genre" ... holy crosses and water don't do jack squat against demons (let alone wannabe vampires, aka From Dusk Till Dawn) ... this aint no fairy tale, so i dont want to see pu$$y powers used in a games Blizzard makes. keep it serious

goeyguy03
goeyguy03

u guys are missing the point... its not about "genre" ... holy crosses and water don't do jack squat against demons (let alone wannabe vampires, aka From Dusk Till Dawn) ... this aint no fairy tale, so i dont want to see pu$$y powers used in a games Blizzard makes. keep it serious.

rugripper40
rugripper40

lmao....diablo means the devil unless ur italian then its a sports car...lol.....what do you want in a dark fantasy rpg game...pokemans and kirby s....give me a break goeyguy03 Posted Oct 28, 2010 3:02 pm PT prayers and holy water and crosses? that sounds pretty lame... im no religious fanatic and dont want to see that crap in a game or anywhere else for that matter.

nooblet69
nooblet69

Ugh, they keep rubbing it in our faces I am ready for the game now !

nooblet69
nooblet69

Ugh, they keep rubbing it in our faces I am ready for the game now !

Devchi
Devchi

Honestly, goeyguy03; Im no religious fanatic too. Actually, Im an atheist. But I fail to see any problem with crosses and holy waters. In fact, they make perfect sense. After all, it's a demon hunter hunting... demons! By the way, hottest character of all the five females. Dont even need a male one! (just kidding)

Elazul_Stice
Elazul_Stice

@goeyguy03 your joking right...your not? wow you dont want to see holy water and crosses in a game called diablo. where the forces of heaven are fighting against hell...where you literally...travel to hell...and fight the devil.Where in the prvious game we watched tyreal...an ANGEL ...fight against the devil... dont get diablo 3 pal, i dont think you get it

goeyguy03
goeyguy03

prayers and holy water and crosses? that sounds pretty lame... im no religious fanatic and dont want to see that crap in a game or anywhere else for that matter.

Mikelangelo1
Mikelangelo1

In my opinion all character classes in Diablo 3 are pretty much the same as in 2. A warrior, a mage, a summoner(witch doctor), monk (who fights using staffs) and a ranger... Only the names of the skills are deferent. All caracters have area damage skills, even the barbarian (sismic slam or smthng like that). I was expecting something more creative from blizzard this time. Like a priest (excorsist) class lets say, someone who fights with chants, holly water and crosses... the enemy is the Devil after all...

Ravenchrome
Ravenchrome

That is in-game cut-scene, Foolish eyes.... CG is way different,,,,

Hoplite32
Hoplite32

The cutscenes in Diablo II were fantastic so i hope the ones in Diablo III (If there are any) are better than this.

Scotterius
Scotterius

That voice actor who plays the hunter sounds really familiar. Farseer from Dawn of war Soulstorm? Dark Crusade?

rugripper40
rugripper40

i guess because diablo was never in 2d...its a 3d rpg adventure and the gameplay looks awesome TedBundyFan Posted Oct 26, 2010 5:43 pm ET Why people have reported hughnguyen comment? There's nothing wrong with it! Is it because Diablo fanboys don't respect his right to say that 2d graphics turns him off?? I just don't believe this!!

TedBundyFan
TedBundyFan

Why people have reported hughnguyen comment? There's nothing wrong with it! Is it because Diablo fanboys don't respect his right to say that 2d graphics turns him off?? I just don't believe this!!

kotetsu2k2
kotetsu2k2

@Hijackedbyganon that is EXACTLY what i thought when i saw the demon hunter the first time. I'm like Oh ok, sylvanas with crossbows and more clothes. They could at least make her less clothed, jeez.

Hijackedbyganon
Hijackedbyganon

they could have at least made the female look less like Sylvanas I mean she even has glowy red eyes sometimes.... still pretty cool.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

maybe you haven't seen the d2 cut scenes in a while, but they definitely aren't better in terms of graphics. also, i didn't see 2d graphics anywhere.

v4mpiRaz
v4mpiRaz

waitingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Ryo_sanok
Ryo_sanok

I want this game so freakin' bad!!!!!

sircyrus
sircyrus

@omegazx100 Because Blizzard designs primarily for the PC. They don't want to have to sacrifice or compromise on design decisions to account for the consoles. PC and consoles are traditionally different styles of gameplay. Studios have been trying to blur that line with an increase in the number of multiplatform games over the past 5-6 years, but these games routinely fail to impress on the PC. There's a reason for that, and it's because you can't make a game that appeals to both groups. So the PC users tend to get the shaft.

hughnguyen
hughnguyen

2-D graphic is kind of a turn off.

DeathI2ow
DeathI2ow

I liked the gameplay part but dear lord that cutscene was cheesy and just awful to watch... Diablo2 cutscenes looked better. Anywho game looks promising and demon hunter class seems pretty BA but please blizzard no more crappy rushed scenes

silverwind23
silverwind23

it's official, chicks with red glowing eyes turns me on.

jay19x
jay19x

i waiting it for too long!!!! love it from 1 and 2

omegazx100
omegazx100

again why isn't this on the xbox 360 & PS3 system why isn't this on those why the PC then those system why why the gameplay look like (untold legends series & lara craf game with the grafic from darksiders) again why isn't this on those system come on Blizzard quit holding back your work & bring it the other system

ilidiandemon
ilidiandemon

I want a character that looks like Illidan :D

kamoteus
kamoteus

cant wait for this game to come out

rugripper40
rugripper40

i figured all of what you said Rizion89....starcraft ghost looked kool,too bad....warcraft 4 ,as an rts, u never know really...if not too bad...starcraft 2 came out of nowhere and so did diablo 3...i still have hopes but waiting for diablo 3 is like waiting for the messiah to come...lol....why remake only 2 of the trilogy...sttarcraft,warcraft,diablo....you know what im saying...wow to me isnt anything but another mmo like evercrack with the blizzard universe....cant stand them...but thats me.....like the orcs said in warcraft 3... " ready to build"

Rizion89
Rizion89

@rugripr40 Stracraft: Ghost was canceled a few years back, and I'm not 100% but I believe there's been word that Blizz may not go back to Warcraft as an rts; so it will stay as a mmorpg. However, there is a big rumor that they are working on an all new mmorpg that is not related to any of their other titles. However, this is once again just rumors an not 100% accurate. Wait until E3 for any more big announcements.

rugripper40
rugripper40

thought they were going to announce ship date at blizz con....guess not....they can pop off exp after exp of wow but starcraft 2,released now, and diablo 3 take forever...dont get it.....wheres warcraft 4 on pc and starghost,think thats what it was called...been waiting for that for 8 yrs it seems...lol, on consoles???