While Diablo 3 featured the Wizard, Diablo 2 brought us the Sorceress and in Diablo 4 the class makes a return.
The Sorceress was revealed at BlizzCon 2019 and is Diablo IV’s true mage class. This latest incarnation of the class, like other returning classes, will likely follow in the same mould as the original which was described by Blizzard as:
A rebellious woman who has wrested the secrets of magic use from the male dominated Mage-Clans of the East, the Sorceress is an expert in mystical creation ex nihilo. Though somewhat lacking in the skills of hand-to-hand combat, she compensates for this weakness with fierce combative magic for both offense and defense. Solitary and reclusive, the Sorceress acts based on motives and ethics inscrutable to most, and sometimes seems capricious and even spiteful. In reality, she understands the struggle between Order and Chaos all too clearly, as well as her role as a warrior in this battle.
The Sorceress’ main abilities in Diablo 2 focused around cold, fire, and lightning and development in Diablo IV looks to be remaining faithful to the elemental tour de force.
The Sorceress Skill Tree
On 29 December 2020, Blizzard revealed a major change to the way in which skills and passives would be presented to the player. Blizzard showed a revamped Sorceress skill and passives tree which can be seen below.
- The square skills are where players add skill points.
- The round nodes can be activated to augment the skills players have unlocked
- Along the branches are also passive nodes which can be activated.
- At the bottom of the tree in the root system, there are nodes that can be activated to provide “powerful effects”.
- Blizzard has stated that players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node. By end-game, only 30-40% will be filled.
- Minor Destruction Skills – Zero cost mana & mana generator skills dealing all types of elemental damage
- Major Destruction Skills – Higher cost mana skills dealing all types of elemental damage
- Defensive Skills – Skills to remove the sorceress from danger or envelope her in protective elements or destructive barriers
- Conjuring Skills – Direct and Area of Effect elemental damage
- Mastery Skills – High damage at a high mana cost
- Ultimate Skills – Offering immunity on very long cooldowns
Certain Talents can affect an entire category of skills, for example points in Align the Elements talent reduces the cost of all Mastery spells.
Minor Destruction Skills
|Lightning||Lightning||0 mana||Launch a bolt of lightning that deals X damage and bounces to nearby enemies, dealing 30% less to each enemy hit.|
|Fire Bolt||Fire||0 mana||Hurl a flaming bolt, dealing X and burning nearby enemies for X bleeding over 8 seconds.|
Requires a slashing weapon.
|Frost Bolt||Cold||0 mana||Throw a bolt of frost at an enemy, dealing X and Chilling them.|
|Arc Lash||Lightning||10 mana||Unleash arcing lightning that shocks enemies in front of you for X and then returns to you, restoring X mana.|
Major Destruction Skills
|Charged Bolts||Lightning||18 Mana||Release 6 bolts of lightning that course along the ground in an erratic pattern, dealing 18-22 damage each.|
|Fireball||Fire||30 mana||Hurl a ball of fire that explodes on contact, dealing X damage to nearby enemies.|
|Ice Shards||Cold||18 mana||Launch 5 shards that deal X damage each.|
Deals X% more to Frozen enemies.
|Incinerate||Fire||20 / second||Channel a beam of fire, burning enemies for X damage. Damage increases by X per second, up to X.|
|Chain Lightning||Lightning||35 mana||Unleash a bolt of lightning, dealing X damage and jumping to X nearby targets.|
|Frozen Orb||Cold||40 mana||Unleash an orb that Chills and expels piercing shards for a total of X damage, and then explodes into Frost Bolts.|
|Flame Shield||Fire||29 seconds||Engulf yourself in flames for 2 seconds, burning nearby enemies for X per second.|
|Ice Armor||Passive||After not taking damage for 5 seconds, ice accumulates on you, absorbing X damage|
|Blizzard||Cold||40 mana||Summon a frigid blizzard that deals X damage and Chills enemies over X seconds.|
|Teleport||Lightning||22 seconds||Transform into lightning, becoming Immune and surging to the target location.|
|Frost Nova||24 seconds||Unleash a torrent of frost, Freezing nearby enemies.|
|Lightning Spear||Lightning||20 seconds||Conjure a crackling spear of lightning that seeks out enemies for 6 seconds, dealing X damage per hit.|
|Ice Blades||Cold||20 mana||Conjure ice blades for 12 seconds that rapidly slash enemies for X damage and Chill.|
|Hydra||Fire||20 seconds||Summon a three headed hydra for 12 seconds. Each head spits fire at a nearby enemy dealing X damage.|
|Firewall||Fire||40 mana||Creates a wall of flames dealing X damage to enemies over 8 seconds.|
|Nova||Lightning||Passive||After spending 145 mana, you unleash a burst of lightning that deals X damage.|
|Meteor||Fire||40 mana||Summon a meteor that strikes the target location, dealing X damage. The ground burns for X damage over 3 seconds|
|Ball Lightning||Lightning||60 Mana||Conjure a ball of lightning that slowly moves forward zapping enemies for 25-31 damage.|
|Deep Freeze||Cold||60 seconds||Encase yourself in ice, becoming Immune for 4 seconds. For the duration, you emanate Chilling waves that deal X damage. This freezes enemies X% longer than normal.|
|Inferno||Fire||30 seconds||Ignite a roaring inferno that pulses in and out of the target area, burning enemies for X over 8 seconds.|
|Conduit||Lightning||90 seconds||You become lighting incarnate. While in this form, you are Immune, nearby enemies are continually shocked for X damage and you can surge quickly between locations.|
The Sorceress has access to four talent trees.
Universal Talent Tree
|Potent Warding||Elemental damage and resistances are increased by 2% per point.|
|Devastation||Critical strike chance is increased by 2% per point.|
|Align the Elements||The Mana cost of your Mastery spells is reduced by 5% per point.|
|Precision Magic||Increase your non-physical resistances by X%.|
|Inexorable Reach||Targets hit by Spirit skills become Vulnerable for X% of the damage dealt.|
|Elemental Attunement||Elemental critical strike reduce the cooldown of your Defensive skills by 5% per point.|
Fire Talent Tree
|Char to Ash||Fire damage is increased by 6% per point each second, up to 30% per point. This effect resets when you take damage.|
|Soulfire||Fire damage is increased by 4% per point after standing still for 1.5 seconds. Moving cancels this effect.|
|Blaze of Glory||Fire critical strike damage is increased by 3% per point. In addition, burning enemies deal 2% less per point to you.|
|Burning Resonance||Hit Effect: Damaging a burning enemy has up to a 25% chance to restore 2% Mana per point.|
|Devouring Flames||Each source of burning on an enemy increased the direct damage of your fire spells by 2%, up to 2% per point.|
|Endless Pyre||Burning effects deal an additional 15% for each second the target remains burning , up to 75%.|
|Conflagration||Your direct fire damage deals an additional 30% damage to burning targets.|
Cold Talent Tree
Lightning Talent Tree
Sorceress Enchantment System
Revealed on 29 September 2020, the Enchantment System hooks into the skill slots the players use for every class. However, with the Sorceress, skills can also be placed into an Enchantment slot. If you place a skill in the Enchantment slot, you can no longer use it as an active skill, but your character instead gains a secondary bonus power.
A skill can now be placed into the empty slot giving the following result.
Below is an example of this system using the Meteor skill. Meteor allows you to call a fiery chunk of rock from the sky. If you choose to slot it as an Enchantment, you won’t be able to control your Meteors, but they’ll fall onto enemies periodically. This skill is still under development and may be different in the final game.
The female mage clan ofis one of the oldest of the ancient clans, although little is actually known about them. Centuries ago, the fourteen powerful covens of Esu witches convened for the first time in generations. What they discussed is not known, but the witches left behind their former lives and, as a group, disappeared into the Eastern Jungles.
The exact location of their community is a mystery. Until recently, their only contact with the outside world occurred during the recruitment missions. Once every seven years, the Zann Esu visited certain families across Sanctuary. These families had one thing in common — they each had a seven-year-old daughter. Always good-natured and polite, the Zann Esu visitors would meet the girls, ask a few questions, and then leave. A select few of the girls were visited a second time and offered apprenticeships. The families of those chosen enjoyed good fortune for many years after.
The Zann Esu, or Sorceresses as they are generally known, are on a quest for purity, the pursuit of the perfect magic. They feel the other disciplines of magic are haphazard and have instead chosen to focus strictly upon elemental magic. They mold the base elements into whatever magical forms they need — threatening all other magic disciplines with obsolescence. In order to achieve perfection in these elemental transmutations, they choose only those daughters of Sanctuary with the highest level of attunement to the magical elements.
The Sorceresses believe that it is through the search for perfection that they will attain ultimate purity and ascend to their destined role as the most powerful mages in Sanctuary. For centuries they have studied in secret, perfecting their art and bidding their time until the Emergence of Evil. Then, they will face their greatest challenge, either proving the purity of their magic or fading from existence.
The Zann Esu oracles have decreed that the time of the Emergence is at hand. The destruction of the Prime Evils is to be the great test of their clan. Recently, Sorceresses have appeared mysteriously throughout Sanctuary to do battle with the minions of evil wherever they are found. – Compiled by Flux
Archive updated 29 September 2020
Prior to the September 29 2020 developer update, the skills and passive trees were presented to the player in a typical Diablo style. When looking at the tree further, Blizzard decided to change the tree to include both skills and passives in a single tree (see above). Blizzard did not discuss the skills themselves or skills that would be removed or added at that time. Below is the original tree designs prior to that developer update.