Sep 282011
 

Those of us who were lucky enough to have gotten into the Friends & Family beta have had a few weeks to get a feel for each of the classes. Many more of us will be starting our experience now that the closed beta invites have started going out. And while we can’t get passed level 13 repeatedly playing through the first part of Act 1, we can start to see which classes we enjoy the most.

Each of the five classes have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but how do you know which one will be the best choice for you in PVP? Some of us already have our favorite niche classes but when you’re getting ready to jump into the arena, you’ll want to find the class that best fits your playstyle and/or complements the composition you plan on running.

To help do exactly that, here is a quick breakdown of each class based on the current beta build (0.3.0.7447).

Barbarian:

Description: This stoic warrior uses tremendous physical strength to crush foes. The Barbarian moves aggressively, unleashing a multitude of attacks on enemies. Tough and unyielding, the Barbarian excels at close-range combat. Fury drives the Barbarian’s assaults and is generated in the thick of combat by dealing and receiving damage.

Strengths: Loaded with gap-closing abilities and hard-hitting attacks, the Barbarian is great at keeping pressure on your opponents. They also have several powerful cooldowns, both offensive and defensive, that can be used if you get focused or need more damage for the enemy kill. A very solid all-around choice for PVP currently.

Weaknesses: Some of your gap-closing abilities generate fury, however, they also have 10 second cooldowns. If poorly timed/used, you will likely find yourself fury starved and/or being kited. Your ability to utilize your mobility will make or break this class for you.

Demon Hunter:

Description: Ranged weaponry and shadow manipulation make this vengeful hero an elusive stalker of demons. The Demon Hunter uses a variety of traps and escape skills to evade the grasp of foes. Lethal and evasive, the Demon Hunter inflicts terrible punishments on adversaries and slips out of their range before they can react. The Demon Hunter’s attacks and tactical skills are powered by the dual forces of Hatred and Discipline. Hatred is rapidly regenerated but Discipline is slowly recovered.

Strengths: The Demon Hunter has everything needed to kite like a pro. With traps, snares, cartwheels, and backflips, they have multiple abilities to keep melee characters away.

Weaknesses: The current implementation of their dual-resource system will be undergoing a drastic change soon, due to issues with burning through those resources too quickly, which will likely result in having resource-generating abilities in your rotation. However, resources aside, your ability to win battles will depend on your kiting skills as they lack defensive abilities. When the revision has been completed, we’ll be sure to review the changes in its own update.

Monk:

Description: A holy warrior who attacks faster than the eye can follow, disabling enemies with precision blows. Holy and elemental magic infuse the Monk with the ability to heal and to deliver crippling damage to adversaries. Fast and agile, the Monk gets in close to enemies to execute withering attacks before quickly moving away. The force of Spirit powers the Monk’s abilities. Spirit is gained through the Monk’s primary attacks.

Strengths: With their versatility and great synergy with mantras and group heal capabilities, Monks will be highly desired additions to many arena comps. In addition to their offensive pressure, they have defensive utility as well.

Weaknesses: The only gap-closing abilities Monks have require Spirit. So if you aren’t able to get in close and punch the enemy with your Spirit-generating skills, you will likely find yourself hopelessly kited. Additionally, your main mobility skill, Dashing Strike, needs to be used with the enemy targeted as it is very inefficient if used to get around the map (you come to a complete stop before and after the ability is used and it will burn through your Spirit in a hurry).

Witch Doctor:

Description: A manipulator of the forces of life and death, this unorthodox caster wields the power of nature in unsettling ways. With a wide range of offensive spells to choose from, the Witch Doctor doesn’t shirk from the fray. A master of spirits, the Witch Doctor draws upon exotic forms of magic to summon creatures from beyond the grave. The Witch Doctor utilizes the power of Mana to cast grim spells.

Strengths: The Witch Doctor is a great support class with multiple crowd controlling abilities and snares, giving you many kiting options. They also have several different pets and DoTs skills to choose from, keeping outgoing damage up while on the move.

Weaknesses: Without many defensive abilities, Witch Doctors are susceptible to being focused or gibbed. To compensate for this, several of the skill and runestone choices in your build will likely be survival or crowd-control abilities- such as the build posted by Blasphemery yesterday.

Wizard:

Description: A master of the temporal and elemental energies powering creation itself. The Wizard can inflict, withstand, and avoid damage with a vast and formidable array of directed and area spells. Powerful but fragile, the Wizard must be cunning to survive, deflecting all manner of attacks in order to unleash frozen havoc and flaming ruin on enemies. The Wizard draws on Arcane Power, a quickly regenerating resource, to cast spells.

Strengths: Wizards can put out substantial amounts of burst damage and have several abilities to limit or control their opponents movement. They also have one of the best movement-based ability in the game: Teleport (which can be used very effectively for both offense and defense).

Weaknesses: Wizards do not offer much in the way of group synergy other than their high damage output and will need to be spot on with their defensive cooldowns to avoid being a glass cannon.
Conclusion: At this point of the game (which really doesn’t give us much to really base things on), the Barbarian seems to be the strongest class, followed by the Wizard. However, the other three classes have plenty of potential to give them competition for the top spots so don’t base your decisions on that. We’re dedicated to bringing you the latest news so if anything changes we’ll be on top of it.

Which class are enjoying the most or most looking forward to and why? Let us know in the comments!

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