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In some games, notably MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, each character build has a specific role in PvE situations like dungeons and raids.

The developers have said that—at higher difficulties—players in a party can spend up to an hour wiping to a single boss. This made me wonder if there will be concrete class roles like there are in other RPGs; for example, a barbarian using a specific set of abilities or gear would necessarily have to take the role of the "tank".

Is this how it works in Diablo 3, or are class roles more fluid? More to the point, can any build fit the "healer", "tank", or "DPS" roles with minimal effort?

Also, is there any room for Crazy/Viable Builds ? This Last question is answered on the Video posted in the answer bellow.

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Each class may fit specific roles (monk can heal, barbarian for defense), but they are not set in stone. This may depend on build style, difficulty, as well as classes being used. There's a video of the developers saying that there will be many possible builds, rather than focusing on one optimal build. TL:DR - Some classes fit better as a role, but not set in stone. –  Domocus May 13 '12 at 23:08
    
Please stop adding excessive tags to this question. The question is about Diablo 3, not the series as a whole. –  StrixVaria May 14 '12 at 22:09
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1 Answer

up vote 19 down vote accepted

An enormous focus in Diablo 3 has been placed on increasing the number of viable builds.

While each class may excel at some things that the other classes don't (Witch Doctor seems to be best at area control and damage over time, Wizard seems to be best at ranged AoE, etc.), no one class is supposed to be relegated to a specific role. No class has to be the healer, because each class is a fully functional independent unit, capable of sustaining itself and providing its own support.

That doesn't mean that you can't play as a pure support hero, though, if you really want to. Healing and defensive Monks look to be quite powerful based on their skill descriptions.

The distinction here is what the developers call 'viability'. Are there going to be emergent optimal builds that are just plain 'better' than other builds? Almost certainly. Does that mean that all the other builds are completely invalidated because of that? Absolutely not.

I am very bad at remembering where I hear a certain piece of information, but to paraphrase something said by either Bashiok or Jay Wilson: If the optimal builds are 5% better than the crazy wonky viable builds that people are using, that's perfectly fine. Some people love doing all the mathcraft to come up with that 5% advantage. It's only if there turns out to be some significant advantage that actually hinders the utility of other builds that they have a problem, and those problems will be addressed in balance patches if they emerge. The viability of creative builds is the main focus of the skill system by the devs.

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Thats great news. I really love non cookiecutter builds. In Diablo 2 i used to Play Rabies/Fury Druid and a Nova Sorcerer with Infinity on a Voulgue, also, a FoH pally using Full Griswold set with 5/5 facets. –  Marcello Grechi Lins May 13 '12 at 23:52
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@MarcelloGrechiLins Same here. I plan to try out every single skill and rune as I level a character to make sure I know how they all work when I want to come up with ridiculous ideas later on. –  StrixVaria May 13 '12 at 23:53
    
I Almost Cried on : "Go There, Have Fun, Be Free and Make The Diablo Character You Want to Make" –  Marcello Grechi Lins May 14 '12 at 0:04
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+1 for ridiculous ideas :D –  Albort May 14 '12 at 0:15
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They also upped the difficulty of even the beginning of the game based on feedback from the open beta. –  bwarner May 14 '12 at 14:06
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