One of the character/item issues in Diablo III that’s going to take a lot of getting used to (at least for D2 players) is the fact that there are so many Class-Specific Weapons. It might be more accurate to call them class-excluding weapons, since it’s not that there are many items that are specially for one class, with unique inherent bonus stats, like the item types added in the D2 expansion. Instead, many (most?) weapon types can be used by some classes, but not by others. Here’s a tweet from @Diablo today on this issue.
Is the Barbarian the only class that can equip 2 handed axes?—Grug
No, the Witch Doctor can as well. And… Wizard I believe?—Diablo
Great! The same for 2handed Maces?—Grug
Yes. The witch doctor can wield all two handed weapons.—Diablo
This topic first came up two days in a row back in July 2009, and stirred substantial debate then. It returned in March of this year, with Bashiok offering much more detailed explanations about why creating additional character animations would be so much work. Here’s part of Bashiok’s explanation from the first of those posts.…we do now have some restrictions on weapon types usable by each class. It Related to this article