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While there is no strong "role" for classes in Diablo 3, you can't deny that each of them is especially good at something. The barbarian can receive a lot of damage (tank), the demon hunter can perform long range attacks (archer) and the witch doctor summons lots of minions (necro).

Wizards and monks purposes are less obvious to me. I thought that the wizard's main strength would be the ability to deal lots of damages (either with area damages spells, or simply with high damages spells). I've been playing Diablo 3 with two friends from the beginning, and their monk and demon hunter seem to kill mobs as fast as I do. Moreover, they have a far better vitality.

We have the same kind of stuff and the same level. I maxed my intelligence with the gems system; also I tried several sets of spells and runes. Am I missing something ?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The wizard needs some time to become really effective. A friend of mine complained about his wizard the same way you do until he hit lvl 25 and got the meteor skill.

The archon ability also boosts your damage tremendously while giving you a lot of sustain. Not to mention Teleport and the different armor types like ice armor and diamond skin which are powerful tools in the wizards's skill set to keep him/her alive while dishing out damage.

Try to experiment with different combinations and really use every rune at least once to know what your character is potentially capable of. If you find that the wizards is not working at all it might just not be your playstyle.

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Nice answer, but I'm close to level 60 (58), and my stuff seems up to date (while not the best of the best). And I'm keeping dying an not dealing enough damages in Hell mode... –  Anto May 26 '12 at 23:28

To me, a Wizard is a great ranged AOE character due to many strong AOE abilities such as Disintegrate, Arcane Orb, Blizzard, and Meteor.

In addition, many of the Wizard's abilities are great for slowing mobs and have fairly short cooldowns (Blizzard, Frost Armor, Frost Nova, etc)

Of course, you don't have to build your Wizard this way (Melee Wizard anyone?), and other ranged classes can build ranged AOE dps as well, however I believe ranged AOE dps is what the Wizard excels at.

(Monks are a different story. They usually excel at a high-dodge build (rogue?), or as a heal-tank (palidin?))

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Barbarian: Nice skill synergy with str, sta, life steal variants and criticals. Due to this the barbarian is best used as an hp tank or burst dps.

Monk: High resistances and dodge paired with various crowd control and healing abilities make the monk best suited for an avoidance tank/cc role. You could also play him as an support role due to the party buffs/cc. In my opinion, the monk isn't suited for pure dps.

Demon hunter: Single target dps/cc. I'm not saying that the class isn't suited for AoE. It is, however not as well as an wizard. Believe it or not, there actually is an tank spec for the demon hunter out there. However it's not as good as barbarian/monk tanking (due to the natural 30% dmg reduction of the 2 classes). Cluster/stun grenades and jagged spikes on caltrops paired with an high life/hit work wonders :).

Wizard: Pure and simple: AoE DPS and crowd control. Huge variety of multi-target spells with the ability to slow with cold and arcane.

Witch doctor: This one is hard to categorise, since it appears to be a bit of everything. However, in my opinion, the witch doctor is best suited for crowd control and dps. He has many great abilities to keep enemies occupied and many good damage over time spells.

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