Debuted at the last Blizzcon, we've known the fifth class for Diablo III is the demon huntress. Until now, we have yet to see hide nor demonic influence of her male counterpart. The above concept art should give you a good idea of the general gist of things. As with any Diablo screenshots, however, it should be noted that what we see when we see a face-forward depiction, versus what we will see in an isometric view while in-game are very different (in-game screenshots are at the bottom of this post).
Looking at the design, the first thing I notice is body-type. In numerous interviews, there is mention that this is a class about maneuverability, which ties in with his ranged and gadget/trap focus. They want him to move around a lot, and have a wiry look to him--names referenced were Clint Eastwood and Trent Reznor. Yet, he still retains the pronounced hour glass figure the huntress has (albiet, not as skinny). Considering the other male figures we've seen thus far, it's nice to see a bit of variety on that front.
The added bits are what will really distinguish his silhouette, though. Cloak and hood, with the demonic arm--a bit spikier than anything we've seen from the other classes. As for appeal? In an interview with DiabloFans, they revealed their own 'vetting' process:
DiabloFans: Did you have a quality assurance team of women to make sure that he's visually pleasing?
Christian Lichtner: Yeah, we actually sorta do because our team is made up of girls and guys, obviously, because every voice matters at Blizzard. We get a lot of feedback from all different artists on the team, and designers, and programmers, so everybody has a say in these things, especially when it comes to class design. It's so important to try to get classes that really appeal to a wide variety of fans, and the community itself. We want to make sure that we hit sort of different themes and also make sure that we are really in-line with the fantasy of each class. We have a ranged that isn't just ranged, it's more like ranged with a little twist to it. So we definitely do that, I know it sounds like a joke question, but actually we do. And yeah, the girls on the team definitely have very strong opinions on what they think works and what doesn't and it's very valuable to us.
While the twist and Nitzschean "stares into the abyss" angle are enough to make me yawn when it comes to figures in games (see: most sequels in a franchise with a male protagonist), variety, again, is what makes me intrigued in seeing this. Especially as they mention in the same interview that there is no set resource system (each class theoretically will have their own--it's still in development), but they want to play with the ideas of the demon hunter's two sides: hate-driven attacks (quick bursts of damage) versus discipline (measured, calm, and prepared).
Further, in talking with GamePlanet.co.nz, they revealed that something that's being kicked around at the moment is the possible use of quivers. That is not to say picking up bolts and arrows and flooding your inventory as in Diablo II, but instead allowing the quivers to be an item that gives you various stat bonuses. Of course, that idea could go in many different directions, and I'm sure they will iterate, iterate, and iterate.
So, what are your thoughts now that you've seen all the sexes of all classes--swayed any one direction or another? I'm always a mage, so the wizard or witch doctor are my go-tos, with being torn because I want to play the female version of the latter so as to channel some Grace Jones. When I get around to the demon hunter, it'll likely be the male version, however--I find it hard to believe the huntress is vaulting in high heels.