"My family was butchered by hellspawn. To witness such a thing is enough to leave your mind in ruins. The madness killed my sister, and left me frightened and alone. Until I was rescued. Rescued by survivors, who had joined together to rid the world of the creatures of Hell. They saw in me the strength to resist the demons. And they forged me into a weapon. Now, I am ready. A meteor has fallen in Tristram, and the dead have risen in its wake. I will send them back to their graves. Once, I was hunted. Now...I am the hunter."— A Demon Hunter(src)
The Demon Hunter is the fifth Diablo III class. It is based around ranged combat.
"Rage. Hate. Fear. They all feed upon one another. A demon hunter learns how to direct hate. But such a balance is precarious. And when that balance is lost, the cycle begins: Hate begets Destruction. Destruction begets Terror as Terror begets Hate."— Josen(src)
Demon Hunters are relentless vigilantes who execute their infernal targets with an arsenal of ranged weapons at their full disposal. They crouch and take aim far from danger, relying on bows and crossbows, deadly traps, and projectiles to swiftly bring an end to the creatures that haunt their world. With sweeping blasts of shot, wide salvos of arrows and timed explosives at their disposal, Demon Hunters excel at devastating groups of foes who cluster together. Hunters’ pinpoint accuracy also allows them to deal with stronger monsters at a distance: they can snipe at key targets or fall back while snapping off kill shots at advancing foes. However, Demon Hunters’ focus on ranged combat and limited melee-weapons training leave them in danger when they’re cornered or surrounded. Evasive skills like defensive rolls and jumps, as well as targeted attacks that hamstring and slow enemies, are as crucial to survival as any arrow or bolt in a hunter’s quiver.
In the year 1270, the Demon Hunters were just starting to form. Sworn to the destruction of the creatures of the Burning Hells, the Demon Hunters are few in number—only in the hundreds and do not owe their allegiance to any one king or country. Rather, Demon Hunters are those who have lost their homes and loved ones to demonspawn. When their homes are burned down and their families butchered by demons, most newly scarred refugees give up on living – but a few bury their dead, band together, and swear vengeance. It was from one such act that the creed of the Demon Hunters was created.
There is something in all Demon Hunters that gives them the strength to resist the demonic corruption that would drive lesser men to madness. They hone this power, for their resistance to this taint enables them to use the demons' power as a weapon. Yet they dare not dream of victory, or, even less likely, peace. They cannot hope to return to their former lives, and are perpetually at war within themselves, striving to balance their hatred for demons with the need of discipline. But still, they hunt, hoping that if they can save even but one life from the forces of Hell, the world will be better for it. Haunted by their pasts and fueled by vengeance in the present, they can do nothing else.
Demon Hunters are feared by some of the same people they aim to save. Some say that Demon Hunters are no better than the demons they hunt, that they bring death and destruction with them. And indeed, sometimes, a Demon Hunter loses their ability to control their fear or hatred, and consequently lose themselves to their violent impulses. Criminals among the Demon Hunters are given three days worth of food and water and banished. Many Demon Hunters' eyes glow with hellfire, due to peering into demons and seeing vengeance.
The Demon Hunter order is currently based in the Dreadlands. This is so they can live and train without the interference of any nation that would worry over having such a group camped within its borders. Additionally, the abundance of demons and other foul creatures in the area gives recruits plenty of opportunities to hone their skills. At any given point in time, over half of the Demon Hunters are operating outside the Dreadlands, hunting down hellspawn wherever they may be found in Sanctuary. Few traditions exist within the order, as every Demon Hunter must walk their own path. However, a master can still train an apprentice Demon Hunter, and may even pass on their armor to their apprentice—an honor that few apprentices would refuse. The Demon Hunter order is led by the Order-masters; only those who fully temper their hatred with discipline earn the right to bear their sigil. Trainee Demon Hunters are referred to as neophytes.
Tactics and CapabilitiesEdit
— Esche Maithe(src)
Demon Hunters train to hold back the darkness with unconventional combinations of weaponry and fighting styles that only they can employ. They are masters of the hand crossbow – quick-reloading, fast-firing ranged weapons that they use to turn demons into their temporary quivers. Demon Hunters are so adept in the hand crossbow’s use that they can dual wield them. Other elements of their arsenal include longbows, grenades, and hand-thrown weapons. When hunting packs of demons, Demon Hunters rely on traps to deal with their foes. Demon Hunters can also wield apocryphal magics, to sneak through the shadows and deal with their prey, or escape their foes' notice.
Fledgling Demon Hunters wear light, flexible leather to guard their wrists and throat, and hoods to hide their faces and blend in with shadows. As they grow in skill, they may don more protective armor, that also allows them to store more of the gear on which they rely to hunt their foes. Demon Hunters can also wear armor worn by demons, and can even wear demons' flesh in an effort to sow chaos and death among their foes. Fear is one of the greatest weapons in a Demon Hunter's arsenal, and whenever possible, they use this to make their foes break ranks so they can be picked off.
The Demon Hunter was revealed at Blizzcon in 2010. The Demon Hunter was introduced as a character built around ranged combat. They can dual-wield crossbows, launch explosives, place traps, and cast shadow magic (which complements their dark nature). Due to these capabilities, this class is apparently a combination of both the Amazon and Assassin classes from Diablo II. Blizzard made the Demon Hunter darker than the other classes as they wanted a character that would have a different feel from the others.
Demon Hunters mostly use Physical damage, with a portion of Fire skills, but can tune their skills to deal Lightning or Cold damage. Some, very few, runes were originally dealing Poison damage as well, but were changed to Cold after patch 2.1.2.
Unlike the other classes, the Demon Hunter uses two resources – the fast-regenerating Hatred (used for offensive skills) and the slow-regenerating Discipline (used for tactical skills and evasion). The class resource orb is divided in two halves accordingly – the left half (red) represents Hatred and the right half (blue) represents Discipline. Demon Hunters are very poor at absorbing damage, but have the largest assortment of skills that allow evading it altogether. In group, they deal very high damage from considerable range, supporting their allies by Slowing, Immobilizing and Stunning enemies.
Three types of Demon Hunter-exclusive items exist in game: Quivers, Hand Crossbows and Cloaks. Demon Hunters typically use ranged weapons in combat, although some custom builds for melee combat exist as well. Demon Hunters can dual-wield Hand Crossbows, but not any other weapons.
There are five Demon Hunter class sets in game:
- Danetta's Hatred (60 minor weapon set, 2 items)
- Natalya's Vengeance (60 full set, 7 items, 6 are required to complete)
- The Shadow's Mantle (full 70 set, 6 items)
- Embodiment of the Marauder (full 70 set, 6 items)
- Unhallowed Essence (full 70 set, 6 items)
SkillsEditThe Demon Hunter's dual resources grants them access to a wide variety of offensive and defensive abilities, making them uniquely suited to deal with a large variety of situations. Hatred fuels offensive abilities while Discipline fuels the Demon Hunter's tactical abilities. Both ability types must be used in tandem to exploit the maximum efficiency of the class.
The Demon Hunter's split resources can be a double edged sword however. Exhausting all of one does not leave them completely helpless, but locks them out of half of their skillset, greatly reducing their capabilities. Learning to balance the two resources effectively is a key pillar of mastering the Demon Hunter.
The Demon Hunter's Active Skillset is divided into six sub-categories: Primary Attacks, Secondary Attacks, Defensive Maneuvers, Hunting Skills, Devices, and Archery Skills. Many of these require a ranged weapon to be equipped. Rockets are a special mechanics of the Demon Hunter skills, providing independent fire support when necessary.
Popular Demon Hunter skill combinations:
- Pet Zoo (Wolf Companion + Embodiment of the Marauder + The Cloak of the Garwulf + Zoey's Secret)
- Rocket Man / Rocket Lady (Ballistics + Shooting Stars or Rocket Storm or Arsenal or Spitfire Turret)
- I Am Vengeance (Vengeance + Rain of Vengeance + Natalya's Vengeance + Visage of Gunes + Dawn)
- Strafing Rain (Strafe + Rain of Vengeance + Natalya's Vengeance + Crashing Rain)
- Thin the Herd (Ambush + Loaded for Bear + Sharpshooter + Manticore)
- Team Fortress (Sentry + Embodiment of the Marauder + Bombardier's Rucksack + Custom Engineering + Cluster Arrow)
- Marksman (Archery + Ambush + Steady Aim)
- Acrobat (Vault + Tactical Advantage + Danetta's Hatred + Impale + Chain of Shadows + Omryn's Chain + Caltrops)
- Blue Hatred (Multishot + Yang's Recurve + Unhallowed Essence + Dead Man's Legacy + Elemental Arrow + Kridershot + Wraps of Clarity + Hunter's Wrath + Bastions of Will)
- Melee Assassin (The Shadow's Mantle + Impale + Fan of Knives + Smoke Screen + Shadow Power + Vault + Vengeance + Karlei's Point + Lord Greenstone's Fan)
- Suicide Bomber (Grenadier + Grenades + Loaded for Bear or Cluster Bombs + Personal Mortar + Sticky Bomb + Demolition + The Demon's Demise + Valla's Bequest)
- For detailed guides, visit Icy Veins Demon Hunter section
"For the demon hunter, sexy was a word that we focused on."— Non Thareechit, animator(src)
The Demon Hunter was the last class developed for Diablo III's base game, and it was intended that the class reflect the series's dark themes. The developers always knew that the game's fifth class would be a ranged one. The earliest designs depicted a woodland hunter, but the character was deemed to lack an edge. Revisions showing him with a pair of swords were popular, but this drifted away from the class's original intent. A desert ranger class was also explored, but the designers ran into artistic problems—his cloth clothing made him look too bulky, and as more gear was added, the problem only got worse. Thus, it was decided to reboot the class's development.
In the revised concept, the hero was designed to have a gothic feel. The designers wanted the class to have a unique insight into the coming demonic invasion, and began exploring how the class might wield demonic artifacts and runes against his foes. With this "hunter of demons" taking shape, the demon hunter class was thus settled upon. The idea was pitched to make the Demon Hunter half-demon. However, the idea was not followed up. Jay Wilson saw the character as "more Batman than Blade," and the presence of demonic limbs made the Demon Hunter look like a melee-based class.
Physically, the class was meant to be quick and agile. The legs and body were free moving, while a cape was added to symbolize the enigmatic nature of the demon hunters. Further inspiration was taken from characters such as Boba Fett, Van Helsing, and even MacGyver. An early idea for the class was to have the Demon Hunter stand on the shoulders of the Barbarian, shooting from atop him/her.
Known Demon HuntersEdit
"You are so dedicated! You cling to the idea that you can rid the world of demons, when it is demonstrably untrue!"— Abd al-Hazir(src)
- Ordermaster Valla (current leader of the Demon Hunters)
- Aidan Longcollar
- Aoron Gunes
- Cie Wyrtam
- Esche Maithe
- Kairo Nontooth
- Kee Morse
- Kovan the Merciless
- Lidra (formerly?)
- Natalya (formely an Assassin)
- Oliver Manyhair
- Tully Yates
- Tyla Shrikewing
- Val Amark
- Zoey First-Blood
- The Demon Hunter is the first class to ever use two resources to fuel their abilities.
- The male Demon Hunter is voiced by Robin Atkin-Downes. Some sources give Anna Graves as the voice for the female Demon Hunter, however Laura Bailey is provided in the game's credits.
- Demon Hunters are a class that also exist in Blizzard's Warcraft series. The class also makes an appearance in Heroes of the Storm, as represented by Valla.
- A Demon Hunter skin is available for Sombra in Overwatch as a reward for attending or purchasing a virtual ticket for BlizzCon 2018.
- ↑ 2018-11-03, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Q&A Liveblog. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Writings of Abd al-Hazir: The Demon Hunters
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Classes: Demon Hunter, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2013-07-03
- ↑ Diablo III, Danetta's Spite
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Hatred and Discipline
- ↑ Diablo III, Kormac Dialogue
- ↑ Book of Cain
- ↑ Heroes of the Storm, Valla Master Skin Lore
- ↑ Heroes of the Storm, Demon Hunter Warbanner
- ↑ Heroes of the Storm, Valla Ordermaster Lore
- ↑ Diablo III, Marauder's Carapace
- ↑ Diablo III, Marauder's Spines
- ↑ 2014, Most Popular Demon Hunter Builds The top Diablo III Demon Hunter builds and skills at level 70 in Reaper of Souls. Diablo Somepage, accessed on 2014-06-25
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 2017-01-25, Diablo 3 Post-mortem with Jay Wilson Part 3. Diablo.net, accessed on 2017-02-19
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 The Art of Diablo III
- ↑ 2010-11-06, BlizzCon 2010: The Art and Design of Diablo III. The Escapist, accessed on 2013-07-03
- ↑ 2010-10-26, Jay Wilson Interview @ Blizzcon Program. Incgamers, accessed on 2013-07-03
- ↑ 2011-11-29, Diablo III feature: Blizzard's plans to satisfy their fanbase and still deliver a fresh experience. PC Gamer, accessed on 2014-11-10
- ↑ 2018-09-12, BlizzCon 2018 Virtual Ticket: Sombra Demon Hunter Legendary Skin. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-09-14