The fourth class has now been revealed by Blizzard, the Archivist. Expanding on the character of Deckard Cain, we will all be able to ask people to stay a while and listen. Here is what Abd al-Hazir has to say about the class in his 41th entry:
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In my writings, I have recounted stories of the barbarians and their endless battles with the demons of the frozen north, and devoted pages to the wizards of Caldeum who harness the primal forces of reality. But the might of these heroes is nothing compared to the power of the archivists of Westmarch. These brave souls wade into battle wielding tome and quill, armored not in ensorcelled plate or links of chain, but in the knowledge of generations past. These archivists fight not only for our future, but for our past as well.
I first encountered an archivist in the ruins of the great city of Travincal. While exploring one of the long-abandoned temples, I was drawn by the flickering of faint torchlight through a distant doorway, and then, as I crept nearer, by the sound of a voice. There was a feeling in the air of danger near at hand, an electricity that made the hairs on my neck rise. I inched forward, breath caught in my throat, grateful for the safety of the hallway’s long shadows. Then I saw him.
He was surrounded, the looming shapes of his foes bearing down upon him. His hair was unkempt and frazzled, his calloused hands cut and stained. But he had an air of supreme confidence, of a submerged violence that threatened to explode into being. He leapt forward, his hands grabbing for the leather bindings of his nearest enemy.
The archivist’s eyes searched for an opening, a weakness. His hands wrenched suddenly about his adversary and a sickening crack pierced the still air. Its spine broken, the book lay unmoving in the archivist’s now gentle grip. As he lifted its lifeless form into the dim light, the pages of the ancient tome fell open, the secrets of the text laid bare. I remember the words he read, the religious fervor of his voice: “Here begins the first chronicle of the life of holy Akarat, prophet of Zakarum….” And on the shelves that stood all around him, tome after tome waited.
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I have the utmost respect for the archivists, these warriors of myth and legend. We know their names: Alimet Two Quills, master of illumination with both left and right hand; Morienne the Scrivener, a midwife whose poetry stole the hearts of kings and brought tyrants to tears; and Salazar Cid, the Master Transcriber of Gea Kul, whose bombastic penmanship is known in all the lands of the Twin Seas and beyond. But these are only a chosen few. The members of their honored fraternity are many, and their numbers grow every day.
In the dark days that I fear are yet to come, much will be decided by sword and axe, with steel and spell, but I believe that in scroll and tome our survival lies.
Bashiok has also made a few additional insider tips on the Archivist!
His design stems from you guys, the players, so it’s really about “fan service” if you will. At BlizzCon and WWI we were receiving question after question “Can we play as Deckard Cain?” and “Please let me play as Deckard Cain” and “Deckard Cain should be a playable class” and on and on. So we thought, obviously we can’t have you play as Cain, he’s an important part of the story already, but what if we take the essence that is Cain… ‘eau de Deckard’… and make a new type of character class. And we’re really proud to be able to offer a first glimpse to you today, and say thank you for your loyal support.
He has a much stronger focus on lore, learning, research, and knowledge. He’s obviously quite frail but he does carry some interesting spells into battle. All of his spells, as well as discussion with NPCs is carried out through the Radial Dialogue Tree, which is one of the major game systems we’ve been hinting at for a while now. It allows the archivist unprecedented control over his spells, as well as the inflection of his speech, body language, grammar, and cantankerousness which all figure in to a successful conversation. It’s an amazing new system that no one has tried before, and really sets Diablo III apart as the premiere action-RPG of this lifetime.
Is there a way to prevent dying at the end of Shush? Also, are you going to include new element – paper damage?
Shush has been extremely controversial internally, we weren’t actually going to show it off because it’s still so early in design, but we felt it was an important enough part of the class to give an idea of the direction the skills are heading.
It’s a powerful spell. Bottom line. You can see it in the video, it causes terrible, terrible damage to anyone within view of the archivist. To balance it, after Shush has ended, you explode. You do have a few seconds to continue playing though before exploding, and that can be extended with skill points. Also any creatures killed by shush will only drop health globes. It may seem a bit harsh but I’ve been playing and using it for a while now, and I can say plays out really well and it’s a lot of fun.