Crusader Skill Design Q&A

Crusader Skill Design Q&A

Last week, we asked followers of @Diablo to send us their burning questions about Crusader skill design.

After pouring through all the wonderful tweets we received in response, we then worked with senior game designer Andrew Chambers to provide answers to some of your most popular inquiries below. Check it out!


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Answer: Hopefully you'll feel just as awesome, just in a different way! We took a lot of the Paladin's gameplay into consideration when developing the Crusader class. We knew there were some gameplay styles we wanted to bring forward, such as using Blessed Hammer or Fist of the Heavens, and some that we didn’t, such as auras. As we walked down the path of adding skills to his kit, we realized that even though we were being very true to the original skills when we brought them forward, they worked in new and interesting ways when combined with his other skills. For example, it’s a lot of fun to use Falling Sword to get into the middle of a mass of monsters, and then drop a bunch of Blessed Hammers. 

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Answer: We tried to make him split down the middle as much as possible.  His generator skills are evenly split, his spender skills are evenly split, with Blessed Hammer more of a "mid-ranged" ability.  You really don’t have to kit yourself out entirely one way or the other, in fact sometimes it’s better not to.  If, for example, you have an item that increases the damage that Punish (a melee generator) deals, you can tie it with Blessed Shield. Punish increases your block chance, and the damage Blessed Shield does is increased by your block chance as well. 

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Answer: Flails are his class weapon, and those have good solid ratings across the board, so we'd recommend those, but it can depend!  If you want to be able to spam as many Blessed Hammers on screen as possible, you may want a super-fast Dagger. Or, if you want Shield Bash to hit really heavily, you could try to find a really slow 2-Handed Mace. The Crusader is a Medieval Knight who is heavily trained in the art of war, so he can wield almost any weapon he finds.

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Answer: To be clear, the Heavenly Strength passive on the Crusader allows him to wield a 2-Handed Weapon and Shield, not two 2-Handed Weapons. We felt that we had to allow this ability for a few reasons. First, the Shield is a defining characteristic of the Crusader, and many of his skills actually require a shield to be used. If Crusaders were forced to choose between those skills or 2-Handed Weapons, that would just feel crappy. Secondly, as the Crusader cannot Dual-Wield 1 handed weapons, this gives him a unique edge and makes him stand out amongst the other classes. 

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Answer: We actually had that damage reduction in there very early on, but as the class progressed and we played him more, we realized that he was very capable at ranged AND always wore a shield, so we didn’t feel it was necessary.  It also fits his fantasy of being this ridiculously armored walking tank. He doesn’t need no silly damage reduction!

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Answer: Most dominantly it would be his potent ranged capabilities.  Not to take anything away from the Barbarian, but the Crusader excels at being able to kill monsters at ranged, even if he is still surrounded by monsters.  With abilities like Fist of the Heavens and Heavens Fury, he can smite his enemies from the sky, no problem.

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Answer: Vengeance Paladins were all about playing around with monster resistances, and buffing your own elemental damage.  Though there's not a direct type of gameplay with the Crusader (our monsters don’t really have resists like they did in D2), but there's a lot of synergy between his skills that you can explore.  For example, it can be a lot of fun to use Judgement to root all enemies in a location, then cast Heavens Fury, Split Fury rune on the location, Steed Charge into the middle of them, cast Provoke to gain a big stack of Wrath Resource, and unleash crazy on them all with Sweep Attack.

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Answer: Blocking doesn’t interrupt your own attack in Diablo III, you merely gain the benefit of the mechanic.

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Answer: Crusaders can only duel-wield a single 2-handed weapon, and shield. The shield is iconic to the Crusader, and falls perfectly in line with his story of being a knight all too familiar with the battlefield.

One more time, just to hammer this home, the Crusader can't dual wield 2-handed weapons (come on, so OP,) he can only wield a 2-handed weapon and a shield.  Mechanically this was done to allow the Crusader the option of wearing his shield and still having weapon options.  As for the Barbarian, we don’t have any plans to allow that right now, but wouldn’t say it’s completely out of the question for the future.

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Answer: Yes! Blessed Hammer! Combine this with his generator skill, Justice, and his Laws of Valor—which grants you increased damage. Throw on the Blunt passive to top things off, which increases the damage of Justice, and you’ve got a super potent build reminiscent of the Hammerdin.


Thank you to everyone who sent us questions! For more information on the Crusader class, be sure to

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