We caught up with Blizzard's Rob Foote (lead game producer) and Matthew Berger (senior designer) to talk about the work that's going into the Necromancer that will launch in Diablo III sometime during the second half of 2017.
"This May it will be five years since Diablo III came out and this month it's three years since Reaper of Souls came out, and a lot goes into making a class," said Foote. "Honestly, it's probably one of the most intensive features we can develop. It starts with an idea and the idea for the Necromancer was so strong. So once we have that we have to lay out the over 20 skills that go along with it, then there is five runes for every single skill, then you've got to layer on four sets on top of that as well as a host of complementary legendaries. And it ends up being quite a lot of work."
Blizzard are adding voice acting and lines for both the male and female Necromancer for the entire game (act 1-6).
"She has a different outlook on things than all the other classes," explains Berger. "She is all about balance, very big picture. At the end of the day we have to make sure Sanctuary is saved, so if some people die along the way that's not as a big a deal. Her approach to things is different. She's also used to dealing with undead all the time, and skeletons, and bringing things back from the dead. And it's harder to sort of interact with your regular peasant in the world of Sanctuary, and it's a little off put-ish."
Blizzard are not quite done with the Necromancer, but once it's all there they'll first let players test it out in PTR (Public Testing Realm):
"We're never going to get it all [in terms of balance]," says Berger. "As soon as we feel the Necromancer is complete, we're going to bring it out on the PTR and then the players are going to surprise us."
The interview also covered some of the new skills that were recently unveiled including the Blood Golem and the Blood Nova.