Ex-Blizzard artist Phroilan Gardner has posted some more little-seen early Diablo III artwork on his blog today. This time he’s got six awesome images of the Demon Hunter, from the early days, when the class was still being concepted as a ranger/archer type. Here’s his quote:
Here are a few early concepts for the Ranger which eventually lead to the Demonhunter class in D3. I can’t wait to play this class the way it finally turned out. In my opinion it’s the closest thing to a Gothic-fantasy styled character in the current Diablo hero lineup.
I traded a couple of emails with Phroilan last week, after he posted that awesome Viper concept art, and while he wasn’t willing to go on the record (no surprise there) about anything from his Blizzard days, he did assure me that all of the artwork that had been/was going to be posted on his website had been previously released by Blizzard in some form or other. That’s true of these ranger concepts; we had them on the DH wiki page already, since they were amongst the dozens of early DH pieces shown during the Gameplay panel at Blizzcon 2010. We even featured them in an art update, but since the images were screens taken from the Direct TV video feed of the Blizzcon panel, they were fairly low quality.
Not so with these new pics, all of which are full size and awesome. It really shows the amount of great artwork the Blizzard artists turn out, that stuff this cool was done years ago, for a class concept that changed entirely. Imagine the vaults of material they must have for the early design of other characters, monsters, environments. It must beggar even the considerable amount they do release (all of which you can see in our various concept art galleries).