There seems to be a lot of COMS and CONS going on at the moment, because while GDC/GAMESCOM winds down this weekend, BLIZZCON is kicking into high gear. With BLIZZCON 09 currently belching news into the gaming ether of the internet, one can expect some long-awaited updates on their upcoming games. For instance, they’ve just revealed the fourth character class for Diablo III: the Monk.

The new class harks back to the Monk from the Hellfire expansion for Diablo I, and will have a number of similarities such as adept hand-to-hand combat skills and a reliance on speed over armour as a means of avoiding damage.

That's him on the right, looking all focused and deadly

That's him on the right, looking all focused and deadly

The new class has a very Shaolin Monk, kung-fu bad-ass vibe going for him, just without the Buddhist precepts of “do no harm to living things” and “violence does not solve any problem”. Without those pesky religious guidelines to hold the Monk back, he’s free to dispatch demons with a whole lot of special moves and holy vengeance.

A lot of the Monk’s special attacks will have a number of sequences to them. For example: the Exploding Palm attack has three sequences that can be chained together. The first and second strike do damage dependent on the attack skill level, but the third strike adds a damage-over-time effect to the target. Should the enemy die during this damage-over-time, then it explodes in a gooey, red paste, wounding enemies around it. But this is where things start to get really cool: each sequence from one special attack can be combined with a sequence from another special attack, which makes for a tonne of different attack combos. The official Monk class page on the Diablo III website has videos of five of these attacks; be sure to check out the Seven Sided Strike attack, it looks great.

Seven Sided Strike to the nuts: guaranteed to ruin any demon's day

Seven Sided Strike to the nuts: guaranteed to ruin any demon's day

With focus on speed and close-up attacks, the Monk will be a fairly fragile class. Combine this with the ability to interchange special attack sequences with others, and you’re looking at a pretty technical character class that should keep hardcore Diablo fans occupied for some time as they try to master the nuances.

If all of this isn’t cool enough, then don’t forget that you get to choose the gender of your character in Diablo III, which means: kung-fu nuns. Awesome.

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