Back to Basics: Class Resource Systems

Back to Basics: Class Resource Systems

Whether you’re intimately familiar with the realm of Sanctuary, or it’s your first time playing a Diablo game, it’s high time we brush up your knowledge of class resources. Managing resources like Fury (barbarian) or Mana (witch doctor) will be an integral element of your performance, and your ability to obliterate the demons and ghouls running rampant.

Live and Let Die
The importance of a resource like Life cannot be stressed enough. While the undead walk the realm of Sanctuary, you’ll find that deceased heroes aren’t nearly as effective. Your Life Orb will become less full as you take damage, and an empty orb makes for a dead hero.
When sending the minions of Hell back from whence they came, you’ll want to be on the lookout for Health Globes. These crimson orbs have a chance of dropping from nearly all creatures and will instantly restore a percentage of your Life when you walk over them. In addition, as with previous Diablo games, you’ll be able to carry Health Potions in your inventory. But use them sparingly! They have a rather lengthy cooldown.

Barbarian: Unleashing the Fury
Barbarians are battle-hardened, close-combat warriors. To that end, they use Fury as their resource to unleash devastating melee attacks against their foes. Fury is gained whenever the barbarian lands a successful attack, as well as when he or she is struck by an opponent. This resource depletes over time whenever the barbarian isn’t fighting, so you’ll generally want to make sure you’re at the forefront of the action, building up Fury to use stronger abilities. Fury is also gained steadily with attacks such as Bash and Cleave, while larger bursts of Fury can be generated by mighty abilities such as Leap Attack and Ground Stomp. Meanwhile, Fury-consuming abilities range from more defense-oriented skills like Threatening Shout, which reduces the damage of nearby enemies, to deadly attacks like Whirlwind, which continuously does massive damage as long as Fury persists. By managing both Fury generation and use, the barbarian can become the most brutal melee hero on the battlefield.


Demon Hunter: Balancing Hatred With Discipline
Hell-bent on seeking vengeance, the demon hunter is an agile adversary who uses advanced combat tactics to exact deadly attacks. As such, the demon hunter must manage a duo of resources: Hatred and Discipline. Hatred is a very quickly regenerating resource used to fuel an array of the demon hunter’s offensive abilities in the heat of battle, while Discipline regenerates much more slowly over time and affords the use of tactical skills, when the moment is just right for controlling opponents. For example, a Hatred skill like Bola Shot wraps around your target, exploding shortly thereafter to do heavy area-of-effect damage. On the other hand, through extensive training and careful preparation, the demon hunter uses Discipline for skills which can provide a means of keeping distance from enemies, or entrap them. Smoke Screen, a skill for the most disciplined of hunters, allows you to vanish out of sight for a brief period of time, costing a percentage of Discipline to use. The demon hunter can use their Hatred of the damned to deal direct damage, and Discipline in combat tactics to lure them into well-laid traps, hunting them mercilessly until they’re driven back to the Burning Hells.

Monk: Attuning to the Spirit
Similar to the barbarian, the monk excels at close-quarters combat. Unlike the barbarian, however, the monk doesn’t benefit from being hit by foes and cannot afford to take nearly as much damage. Instead, the monk can use Spirit to release a series of lightning-fast attacks and precisely orchestrated defensive skills, to the point of artistry. Spirit is generated through use of melee attacks and select special abilities, and does not degenerate until used by a skill that costs Spirit. This allows for powerful and poetic combos, often leaving monsters bewildered in their last breath. For instance, Spirit can be used to activate the mystical Seven Sided Strike, allowing you to dash swiftly from enemy to enemy exacting seven fluid, yet abusive attacks. Other skills, however, are available to help generate Spirit. Fists of Thunder is one of these: a series of extremely fast punches deal Lightning damage to enemies and have a chance to interrupt incoming enemy attacks. It’s within the Spirit of the monk that a truly deadly hero is beheld.

Witch Doctor: Tapping Into Mana
The witch doctor carries the classic feel of a dark spellcaster, using voodoo and vile summoned creatures to keep fiends at more than an arm’s length, slaughtering them in the process. As a witch doctor, you’re a veritable one-man army, using Mana to summon animated grotesqueries to aid you in combat. Mana will slowly regenerate on its own, but the witch doctor also has key skills designed to replenish his reserves, such as Mana Steal or Spirit spells (combined with powerful passive skills) that can return Mana whenever cast.  Along with summoning minions, Mana powers the relentless damage-dealing skills and elusive defensive magic at your disposal. Firebomb, for example, lobs an explosive skull, dealing substantial area-of-effect damage to enemies within its blast radius. Meanwhile, a spell like Horrify can be used to cause foes to flee in fear for a short period of time. Better yet, defensive and offensive capabilities can be combined in devastating spells like Mass Confusion, which incites paranoia in adversaries and can lead them to attack one another. Using Mana, witch doctors are the ultimate purveyors of unsavory magics, which affords them the pleasing opportunity to instigate mayhem on the battlefield.

Wizard: Controlling the Arcane Power
Similar to the witch doctor, the wizard is a powerful magic user who obliterates evildoers, often from a distance. Unlike the witch doctor, however, the wizard relies less on summoned creatures, and doesn’t perform wicked spells or use Mana. The wizard instead draws from Arcane Power to use spells of varying disciplines. Arcane Power is a fast regenerating resource and allows you to perform spells such as Ray of Frost, which projects a beam of ice that blasts the first enemy it hits with repeated Cold damage, also slowing movement and attack speed. Arcane Power fuels capable defensive spells like Energy Armor, which increases your Defense for a short period of time at the cost of lowered maximum Arcane Power for its duration. Other spells can be used with Arcane Power to allow the wizard to escape, or stay out of the grasp of the damned. For instance, Teleport lets you jump through the ether to a selected location, while Slow Time invokes a bubble of warped time and space, slowing the movement and attack speed of enemies and their projectiles. Ever attuned to the Arcane forces of their realm, wizards dominate opponents with deadly damaging spells, an array of ethereal magic to keep villains at a safe distance, and elegant defenses to mystically mitigate incoming damage.

Maximizing the Devastation
While the fundamental rules of each resource are set in stone, how they’re strategically spent can be greatly customized through passive skills, which can drastically alter how quickly and efficiently your resources generate or regenerate. Through the use of specific skills, as well as the near unlimited combinations offered by skill runes, you can fine-tune your character’s power through resource management and control. Now the choice is yours. Pick your favored class and learn to maximize the benefits of the resources at your disposal, rendering you an incredibly powerful hero and deadly foe of the forces of darkness.