The History of the Crusader

Blizzard continues trotting out profile pieces focusing on key features of Reaper of Souls. Last week they covered the Blood Marsh and its soundtrack, and reading and listening made me melancholy since that was one of my fave areas in Act Five and I want to go explore it now.

Today they’ve got another feature up, covering the DiabloWikiCrusader class with lore and history and such. The most common fan question regards the difference between the Crusader and the DiabloWikiPaladin of Diablo II, and here’s a quote on that issue:

Rakkis and the founding of Westmarch.

Rakkis and the founding of Westmarch.

During the reign of Emperor Tassara and shortly before General Rakkis’ historic march to the West, a priest by the name of Akkhan sensed a foul taint growing within the Zakarum church. This taint, unknown to Akkhan at the time, was caused by no other than that of the Prime Evil Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, his darkness steadily seeping from the soulstone which lay beneath the Temple of Light in Travincal.

Determined to redeem his beloved faith, Akkhan sought out the most devout, talented warriors and issued them a sacred mission: find a way to cleanse the Zakarum of decay and corruption once and for all. These warriors traveled to the east, directly opposite the Paladins traveling with General Rakkis, following the rumored path Akarat took in the last days of his life before disappearing.

And so the Crusader order was born.

All the content and illustrations in this article came from the Book of Tyrael, which is well worth a look if you’re into the game and the lore. We discussed/reviewed it on The Diablo 3 Podcast #119.

Looking forward… how do you guys feel about the Crusader? In the clan chat people are constantly talking about their eagerness to play the class, how they’re storing up STR gear for him, how they want to leap into a lvl 1 Crusader on day one of Reaper of Souls, etc. Is that your plan as well? Let’s vote, because numbers.

Your Crusader play plans for Reaper of Souls?

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Update: Blizzard added another article answering Crusader lore questions from Twitter.


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  1. The Crusader reminds me more of that iron wolf merc from Diablo2, a guy with a sword and board who launches magic spells……

    • I was hoping for something much more ruthless with the sword play on this character, I just want to picture a knight is blood and gore soaked armor just slaying with expert swordsmanship.

      Just not a fan of the whole mage image thing that class has going on. I am sure the class will be fun though.

  2. I’d think everyone would unlock Adventure mode ASAP so they can level their Crusader without subjecting themselves to another helping of D3V’s plot.

    • The Act5 I’ve seen actually looks and sounds good. So it gets one chance, just one. Any hidden footprints or inns or talking heads or constant n bombs and it gets the skip all cutscenes again.

  3. I figured I would wait to play Crusader until I at least had a strength hellfire ring and maybe some other goodies for him. But it might be more fun not to rush him too much and just enjoy watching him grow and gear up. In any case, I’ll play through Act 5 first with my Barbarian for the story.

    Not sure what to make of the Crusader based on reports and Blizzard’s announcements. The lack of the 30% damage reduction surprised me. I, too, was hoping for a blood-soaked terminator, insanely pissed off, smashing things all over the screen with his flail and shield while blows bounce off him. This thing about him being more of a magic user is… odd.

    • No, its not odd, a crusader is similar to a paladin, which means he has alot of holy/divine on him, so a magic warrior and no bloody terminator makes alot of sense

      • Well, I considered the Paladin a melee class supported with holy/elemental damage and auras, which is basically what the Monk is in D3, minus the shield skills. The Crusader looks somewhat different, and it’s hard for me to conceptualize in my head how he plays since I wasn’t in the beta or anything. The idea of “mid-range” or “artillery” as opposed to simply melee or ranged is hard to get my head around.

    • The suggestion is that the Crusader with a shield and various means to raise his blocking % quite high would be OP if he had 30%, or even 15% damage reduction.

      Remains to be seen if that comes true in play, of course. My Crusader play in the beta felt very tanky but a little underpowered in damage. The spenders were good but he was slow and the generators were not to my liking. (Zeal is very meh, sort of a lame Frenzy, and I loved that skill in D2.) Other players had a different take though, and some of the Crusader’s legendary gear might be necessary to really unlock his fun potential, for me.

  4. No, its not odd, a crusader is similar to a paladin
    If my crusader can skill zeal with an aura and slam away at everything around him, sporadically shield charging into the next group of enemies at rapid speed, I’ll be down with blizzard letting him make nice magic builds as well.

    If I can’t replicate that, I’ll be reasonably dissapointed. I enjoyed my auradins.

  5. QUOTE

    No, its not odd, a crusader is similar to a paladin, which means he has alot of holy/divine on him, so a magic warrior and no bloody terminator makes alot of sense

    And a Paladin is the archetypical tank…. Even the casters in D2 had Holy Shield.

  6. Keen to at least get my main char to the end of the game then I’m right onto playing that Crusader!

  7. Going to finish A5 once before delving into a Crusader. Mainly for unlocking the mystic and have her available for the early game.

    But I think I can stomach playing through the story with a Crusader, as im hearing he is getting his story retroactively added to all npcs in the earlier acts. So they got new things to say to him.

  8. I, Clavdivs, The God declare that I WON’T be buying RoS at this time. Vanilla 2.0 is a step in the good direction, and from what The God heard, RoS is too.

    But overall Blizzard behaviour regarding D3V was unexpected in the worst way, so divine being will boycott RoS for a while, until ironed out – no more paid betas for this God, thank you.

    Crusader class doesn’t look like anything special, but not bad either. The plague of all classes is limited build choices, easily solved by balancing and adding more skill buttons (even one!). From that point of view, instead getting one new class with two viable builds, we could had existing classes with new 3-4 builds per class, much more interesting.

    In a while, The God will probably grace Blizzard with buying expansion, but heavenly wisdom demands that they work for their money more!

  9. I’m not massively interested in the class, but come on, I gotta have a level 60 Crusader. Because new and shiny.

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