Blizzard has posted eight screenshots featuring the Demon Hunter. All of the shots are from the Act One dungeon shown in this year’s Blizzcon demo. This dungeon was called King Leoric’s Torture Chamber (or something like that) and it’s similar in layout to the dungeon we saw in the 2008 Blizzcon demo. It’s a bit higher level; characters start off down in the dungeon rather than on the surface,
I had a chance to play the character today, and along with the screens here are some first impressions. A much more detailed report will follow later this weekend, after I’ve had some more time with the character, and we get reports in from other fans at the show as well.
The demon hunter starts off at level 9 in the PvM demo. She’s fairly limited in skills, with her points spent in Bolo Arrow, Entangling Arrow, and Vault. When I reached level 10 I stuck a point into Grenades.
She’s obviously an archer, but with the three skills available she plays more like a mage than a D2 Bowazon. All of her skills fired arrows that were more spells than arrow attacks, she had no multi-target attacks, and no way to hit enemies in the back row. It felt like a very fast, (very fun) low level mage, who had only single-target spells.
Click through for much more first hand info, and a detailed run down of her available skills, as well as the rest of the new screenshots.
Bolo Arrow fires what looks like a blurry Frisbee. It’s actually two bombs on a string, which whirl around and wrap around the neck of monsters, as seen in the Demon Hunter cinematic. In practice it’s like Explosive Arrow with a time delay fuse; you hit monsters and deal tiny damage with the impact, but then about 1.5 seconds later the bomb goes off and deals substantial fire damage. This skill was fun and effective, but not great to stack on a single target, since you could shoot them 5 or 6 times before the bomb started going off, and usually 2 or 3 would kill anything short of a boss. Thus wasting almost all the damage of your last 3 or 4 shots. I found it most effective to hit monsters with one or two Bolos, and then move on to shoot somethign else, trusting them to die when the time delay ran out.
Entangling Arrow worked very differently. It’s largely a debuff; each shot ensnares enemies with a black chain that glows purple, and greatly slows their movement for several seconds. The arrow can hop between multiple targets, chaining them together for the duration. The damage dealt by the arrows is negligible though, so this was almost purely a defensive skill.
Vault was the last Demon Hunter skill the pre-made demo characters had, and it was useful to rush through the dungeon or to escape from boss packs. It was a fast moving cartwheel that covered about 1/2 the screen. It’s seen a few times in the DH cinematic. This skill allows the DH to pass through any monsters in the way, though it’s stopped by obstacles such as walls or doors or the huge, chopping cleaver booby traps that filled this year’s demo dungeon.
Grenades I enabled with a skill point from leveling up to 10, and they worked like nothing in Diablo 3. At level one it threw out 3 grenades, which spread out slightly, to where you very seldom hit the same monster with two of them. About 1 second after they were thrown, the grenades blew up, dealing decent splash damage to anything there. It was very hard to hit an individual monster though, since the grenades moved very quickly and bounced off of enemies and obstacles. Especially if the monster was nearby.
Grenades was best used against mobs, since you could throw them very quickly, scattering 9 or 12 of the grenades across the mid-range of the screen, dealing good AoE to everything in the vicinity. They could be thrown quite a distance also, well off the screen, though aiming that way was just about pure luck. It would have been awesome in the arena, though. The second level of the dungeon in the demo featured numerous jail cells, which often had half a dozen skeletons and skeletal shieldmen in them. They were lots of fun with Grenades, since the bombs would bounce off the walls and stay where you wanted them to, then detonate with great effect.
Much more on the Demon Hunter later this weekend, after I get some more play time. I was a big Bowazon fan in D2, and this char was immediately one of my favorite in D3, even with the very limited skill options available.