There’s been a lot of talk about the relative strengths (and weaknesses) of the classes in Diablo 3, as exposed by the highest Greater Rifts each class can clear. It’s easy to glance at the DiabloWikileaderboards and see that the highest Grifts cleared by Demon Hunters are the highest of any class, but it’s only like 41 vs. 39 or 38, which doesn’t seem too out of balance.

    To get a better sense of the overall distribution, it’s interesting to check out the entire top 1000 per class, rather than just the top 1, or top 10. And when you do that, you get some very enlightening results. A guy on Reddit ran a program to compile all the results and averaged them out, and here are his results turned into table form. Greater Rift Leaderboards Show Diablo 3 Class Imbalance?

    These figures derived by taking all the top 1000 leaderboard clears for each class, and adding them together to create an average.

    Americas Server

    SoftcoreSeasonal SCHardcoreSeasonal HC
    Demon Hunter38.6434.5522.2923.59
    Witch Doctor32.9426.5423.6219.35

    European Server

    SoftcoreSeasonal SCHardcoreSeasonal HC
    Demon Hunter38.5835.5126.4527.44
    Witch Doctor33.3928.0325.9822.25

    There are a lot of interesting tidbits to be seen there, comparing the classes, and the seasons, and the Hardcore vs. Softcore. For instance, check out Wizards vs. WDs, for HC vs. SC. Wizards can do several levels GRs in softcore, but it’s obviously a dangerous playstyle, since in Hardcore the Wizards are well below the HC Witch Doctors. Also, note that the seasonal hardcore Demon Hunters are actually *higher* than the non-seasonal, on both realms. (And for Monks in EU.) Way to power level up there, guys!

    What do you think of the distribution now, and what does it say about relative class balance? It’s worth quoting (again) what John Yang said about DH’s during the recent dev live stream.

    John Yang: Players are noticing that the Demon Hunters are clearing 2 or 3 tiers above everyone else in the Greater Rift Leaderboards. That is a slight problem. We’d love all classes to be within 1 or 2 GR tiers from each other.

    Some people have pointed out that Demon Hunter’s damage output is not too far higher than everyone else. The problem is they have really good sustain, (via Sentries) and they can do damage while being out of range or line of sight. And they’ve got Smoke Screen for invulnerability and can cheat death via their new passive.

    So it’s not that DHs have OP higher damage; they’ve just got the best “pets” now, and can throw out a bunch of Sentries and let them deal huge damage while the DH shoots to add more damage, or just ducks and dodges while the Sentries do the dirty work. WDs have good pets as well, but their damage doesn’t scale up high enough to work well on the higher level Grifts, and they aren’t as autonomous as Sentries.

    The melee chars should be a good comparison also, and judging by their GR clear levels, the Monk, Crusader, and Barb are pretty well balanced at this point. There’s more difference between the melee classes in Hardcore, and especially in Seasonal Hardcore. Is no one playing HSea Barbs, or do they require gear that’s really hard to find, or what?

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