Update: 10/22/10 -The fifth class has been announced. Read about it here.
…has yet to be announced, but it is likely to be unveiled in October of this year, at Blizzcon 2010.
The popular theory right now is that Blizzard will add an archer to Diablo 3; be it a Rogue, Hunter or some other sort of ranged damage dealer who fights with bows, crossbows and the like.
This speculation is based upon some compelling facts:
a) There are no ranged classes in the game apart from the Wizard.
b) There are no classes in the game with enhanced skills for using ranged weapons.
c) It’s believed that in the initial game play trailer from WWI 2008, a bow was seen to drop.
It’s been stated that the fifth character was actually one of the first to be sketched out by Blizzard artists, suggesting that it’s likely to be based upon a popular RPG character class. It’s also been said that there will be no other Diablo 3 characters resurrected from Diablo 2, apart from the Barbarian, yet the fifth character is hinted at being very similar to and/or inspired by a character from an earlier game in the Diablo series.
Being that there will be no other characters brought back from Diablo II, this leaves only the first Diablo game for speculation.
The Warrior: It won’t be the warrior, because the Barbarian and Monk classes already have a firm grip on melee combat. The fifth character will fill a niche that is not already being filled by the other four classes.
The Sorceror: This wouldn’t be a likely choice since it would be redundant with the existing spell caster – the Wizard.
The Rogue: Bingo! The fifth character class in Diablo 3 may not be called by this name, but it is widely believed that a ranged, weapon-using (e.g., bows, crossbows and possibly guns) damage dealer will be the fifth class. Archer classes also happen to be very well cemented within the RPG game play model. It would be almost inconceivable for Blizzard to launch Diablo 3 without a class that uses a bow.
Given these clues, it’s hard to deny that the fifth Diablo 3 character will be an archer class.
But… I suppose we won’t know for sure until this year’s announcement at BlizzCon. Oh… the anticipation!