Diablo IV for now has five classes announced, Sorceress, Barbarian, Rogue, Druid and Necromancer, with each having multiple builds and several specializations available to them. At early levels you will be mostly unlocking all of the desired skills and passives while clearing Dungeons in the open world to also unlock special legendary powers called Aspects (categorized in the Codex of Power menu in game), that you will be able to infuse into rare or legendary gear at the Occultist NPC.
Around level 10+ you will also unlock access to Mounts which will greatly increase your travel speed as you explore the immense world of Sanctuary.
Your first character will start from zero, and by exploring the world you will gain Renown points, which will unlock rewards such as shared account-wide Skill Points, Paragon Points, Gold and other things that will allow to further empowering your builds, while around Sanctuary (usually in dead-end zones or in “secret” places you will reach by climbing or performing other actions in the world map) you will also find special Altars of Lilith which will grant permanent attributes bonuses to all the characters in your account (usually +2 to a stat or +8 life). For these reasons I would suggest exploring as much as you can with your first main character, complete all secondary quests too if you can, all Dungeons you come across and take your time to explore even those zones that will apparently be empty by looking at Map Icons, but will often hide an Altar of Lilith or treasure chests, in general the open world exploration will be a vital part of the Diablo IV experience. Let’s now take a look at the various classes, each one having a unique class mechanic or “specialization”:
Barbarian – Mighty unstoppable warriors, Barbarians can become extremely tanky and hard to kill in PvP just like in PvM, while suffering a bit in the early game compared to casters and other builds (since you won’t have much resource cost reduction or regeneration, you won’t be able to Whirlwind the whole time for example, not until later on at higher levels once your gear looks good and has the proper stats) but they can get Berserking buff increasing their damage and movement speed, Fortify buff (which acts as an actual “fortification” of your Life, for example if you have 100 Life and keep attacking until you get 100 as Fortified Life amount, when you take damage the fortified Life will be subject to additional Damage Reduction effect and thus your survivability and effective Life will be much higher than normal) and even gets passives to further increase the damage reduction effect from the Fortify status. Although they are extremely good at melee combat, they also got few but powerful area of effect attacks such as Call Of The Ancients and can deal damage while moving, apart from also equipping 4 weapons at once (2 handed bludgeoning weapon like hammers, 2 handed slashing weapon like great swords, and dual wielding 1 handed weapons like swords or daggers) and also provide some party buffs and enemy debuffs with shouts.
Barbarian specialization is the “Arsenal”, he will gain Arsenal levels based on the weapon he is using, for example fighting with Axes or Swords will increase their relative Arsenal level, bestowing further damage and other kinds of offensive/utility multipliers.
Sorceress – The iconic Sorceress is back in Diablo IV with an interesting kit made of classic spells and a few new spells too. Frozen Orb, Hydras, Meteor and other iconic spells are part of her strong kit. In order to maximize her damage potential several passives tied to skills or elemental damage are available to her to further specialize the chosen build, for example cold sorceress will be able to create Life shields based on the cold damage she dealt while under one of her Frozen Armor skills, which in correct scenarios can lead to very powerful and tanky shields, while also dealing extra damage to chilled enemies and even more damage to frozen enemies. This is just an example of how based on the element you choose, you will have to invest in several passives in order to maximize the power of your build. Teleport on the other hand is nowhere as useful early on as it was in the past Diablo games. The Hydra is also a very popular skill mained in the Beta for leveling since it is really strong even as a 1 point wonder early on. Sorceress specialization makes her put selected skills into “Enchanted Skills Slots” (up to 3 by leveling up enough) which further adds special properties and damage to the selected skills.
Rogue – Spiritual successor of the D2R Assassin and D3 Demon Hunter, the Rogue might look generic at first compared to Barbarian or Sorceress, but in reality it is one of the strongest if not the strongest class in the game. Although its kit isn’t full of magical flashy spells or heavy hitting direct skills, he can specialize into rendering enemies Vulnerable easily since the very beginning of the game, to then execute a deadly “burst window” on a Vulnerable enemy with one of his multi-hit attacks, which really shine when executed while stacking all sorts of damage multiplier (critical damage, lucky hit effects, overpower damage, vulnerable damage and all other sources of damage multipliers from gear stacks together). He also can specialize into Traps which I enjoyed using early on but they honestly felt like falling off while climbing the difficulty levels and world tiers. Finally, he also has a unique set of skills called “Imbuement Skills” which adds properties to the 2-3 subsequent attacks who will hit a target and range from Poison, Cold or Shadow Imbuement. By reading the tooltips, it wouldn’t look like Shadow Imbuement is one of the strongest skills in the game, but it actually is. Basically Shadow Imbuement won’t just add Shadow damage to the attacks tied to it, but will cause the enemies afflicted with such skill to cause a Corpse Explosion dealing massive damage to enemies and enabling one of the strongest builds in the game, the Imbuement Rogue. Afterall Corpse Explosion has always been one of the strongest skills in Diablo and it looks like it is true once again for Diablo IV as well.
Rogue unique class mechanic or specialization is called simply Specialization and will let you choose between three types of gameplay affecting effect, one being that primary skills will generate “combo points” that add properties to other skills based on how many combo points you have when you cast them, another reducing Ultimate cooldown by few seconds every 100 Energy spent, and the last being Inner Sight which will mark an enemy and if you hit marked enemies you will gain progress to your inner sight bar close to Energy, when it will be filled up to 100% you’ll have few seconds of skills costing zero resources.
Necromancer – Necromancer is another iconic Diablo class, for now we are not allowed to talk in detail about it, but we can just say that their class specific mechanic will be the Book of the Dead, and they’ll obviously have the options to choose Summon build, Master solo build, Blood necro, Bone necro and such builds as it was for the precedent titles.
Druid – Druid also is still under confidential NDA so we can just say that its class specific mechanic will involve different summons and a very unique way of leveling its specialization.