This guide won’t be for the players who rush into the thick of battle, AK-47’s blazing. This will instead be for the gamers who prefer to camp with the sniper rifle and take potshots from a distance at unsuspecting schmucks turned the other way. You know who you are.
Those who feel a certain degree of kinship to the sniper’s creed of self-preservation through guerilla warfare will probably gravitate towards Diablo III’s new Demon Hunter class, which relies primarily on cunning, dexterity, and mobility to see them through the toughest of dungeons.
Built for Speed
As the spiritual successor to the Rogue of Diablo and the Amazon of Diablo II, the Demon Hunter is gifted with improved physical dexterity and agility as primary attributes. Their dexterity allows them to utilize tricky range weapons like bows and crossbows, while their agility allows them to dodge attacks and evade entrapment.
The majority of this character’s arsenal mostly consists of tricks and creative manipulation of weaponry to get the job done. With their arrows and bolts, early standard attacks include ricochet shots that bounce off numerous targets and chain shots that link two enemies together, effectively slowing them down. For the most part, the majority of Demon Hunter tactics involve doing one of two things: slowing down the enemy or getting the heck away.
However, Demon Hunters are not restricted to just physical skills, as they also utilize what is known as “Shadow Magic” to enhance their self-preservation and stealth. Just like the Rogues and Amazons of yesteryear, Demon Hunters represent something of a compromise between the brute physical force of the Barbarian and the strategic subtlety associated with magic-based classes.
An Internal War
The Demon Hunter’s source of power comes from the internal control and mastery of two seemingly opposing forces, which means that it is the only class in the game to have not one, but two resource meters. The red resource meter on the left is for Hatred, and the blue resource meter on the right is for Discipline.
Hatred is the fuel required for some of the Demon Hunter’s more destructive attacks. Early Hatred-based skills include “Impale,” a throwing knife technique that inflicts great damage on a single target, and “Rapid Fire,” a technique that fires shots out of your bow like a Gatling gun at a nominal cost per shot. The Hatred meter refills itself over time, but each successful standard attack will contribute much more.
For Demon Hunter warriors, Hatred that remains unchecked will lead foolhardy decisions that will place them in unnecessary danger, so the good Demon Hunter tries to provide balance through Discipline. The Discipline resource is primarily used for defensive techniques, such as physical traps that hurt and deter enemies or abilities that increase mobility and evasion. Like Hatred, it also refills naturally, albeit at a much slower rate.
We’re Right Behind You. Way Behind You.
The abundance of offensive and defensive options of the Demon Hunter may seem inviting to some, but daunting to others. Thus, mastery of the Demon Hunter hinges on the balanced and conscientious usage of your character’s numerous abilities, and that emphasizes the necessity for effective multi-tasking. Know exactly which skills you’ve equipped, which hotkey they’re attached to, and when to use them.
Of course, mobility around the battlefield is also a skill that the Demon Hunter user must incorporate in his or her multi-tasking, as it is tantamount to suicide for the Demon Hunter to become mired in melee combat. Getting trapped or cornered by monsters should be avoided at all costs if you are a Demon Hunter who ventures into the dungeons alone.
As an alternative, find a good close-quarters teammate to help you in the game, like a Monk or Barbarian. Let them do all the dangerous fighting while you stand back and pelt enemies from a distance. Make sure to laugh as you do so.
And lastly, although standing still is to be avoided, unnecessary movement can be even worse. If you aim to attack an enemy, but instead click the ground next to it instead, your Demon Hunter will walk towards your intended target, which is a legitimate worst case scenario.
To avoid this, hold the “SHIFT” key as you click on your target, and your character will fire from a fixed position. Do not click too often, however, as one click too many will still cause your character to walk forward.
For more class-specific strategy, be sure to check out our other Diablo 3 class mini guides!
More to come!