Bare in mind, this is before I did even a google search of a possible fifth class. So I broke down each class and what I'm speculating they'll bring to the table based on previous classes. Then I'm making my prediction on what the fifth class will be based on said speculations.
> BARBARIAN: The Barbarian is, believe it or not, going to bare a striking resemblance to the "Barbarian" class of Diablo II. I'm fooling of course, the Barbarian needs no explanation, since it's the same class (derr). So check off "Barbarian" on the Diablo II class list. One down, six to go.
> MONK: I'm mostly speculating here, but based on everything I've seen and read about the Monk, they strike me as a definite Assassin/Paladin hybrid. They will probably have the greatest restorative abilities of all the classes, as did the Paladin in D2 with rarely-used skills like Prayer and Meditation. As for the Assassin aspect of the Monk, look no further than their adept martial arts abilities. Barring traps and summoning blessed hammers to cyclically revolve around them, the Monk's similarities to the Assassin and Paladin are hard to deny. Say goodbye, Assassin and Paladin. Four classes to go. EDIT: I forgot to mention, I expect the Monk to have a variety of meditation abilities, which would be similar to the Paladin's auras in D2, which is another possible strong similarity between them.
> WITCH DOCTOR: When you're talking Witch Doctor, the similarity to the Necromancer of D2 literally explodes from him (diseases, summoning, curses probably, etc.). But I think the Witch Doctor is essentially another hybrid of two D2 classes, the other class being the Druid. Now, obviously, Witch Doctors probably won't summon wolves (but they WILL summon some pretty bad ass things I bet) or be able to shape-shift into a werewolf or werebear, but I still sense a strong Druid-like undertone in the Witch Doctor, mainly in that both classes have strong ties to the natural world. Although the Druid may not live on in the form of Witch Doctor skills, I think the Witch Doctor will have a sleuth of nature-based abilities, so the Druid will live on to an extent. Therefore, Druid and Necromancer are covered. Two classes to go.
> WIZARD: Obviously a re-imagined Sorceress (or Sorcerer, for that matter). I envision the Wizard as a class that is skilled in elemental and arcane magics. So yeah. Sorceress from D2 is covered. One class to go. But what? That's all four classes! Whaa?!
So far I've shown; at least to myself; that every class from D2 will live on whether it be in an obvious or symbolic nature in the four announced classes. But there is that one last class that remains un-lived on, so to speak. The AMAZON. It's obvious, yes, obvious, that the fifth class will be some version of an Archer/Hunter/Ranger/Amazon-hybrid.
The announcement will be interesting. If they go with an Archer, that sort of limits it to merely a bow-using class. Ranger could be seen as a dagger-wielding, bow-using rogue-like class. However, my official guess, having done next to no research on the topic, is that the fifth class will be THE HUNTER (or something very, very similar to a Hunter).
Diablo III, whether you like it or not, is going to have many similarities to WoW. This isn't a shocking revelation, it's merely common sense. And it's something I wholeheartedly embrace, as many aspects of WoW such as the elaborate talent system should transfer wonderfully to Diablo 3, even though Diablo 2's skill branches are basically the precursor to the talent trees. Oh well, to my point. I think a Hunter class in Diablo 3 would have many similarities to the Hunter class in WoW. Again, something I would strongly embrace. Let me explain:
As it is, there is no class that will likely utilize ranged weapons. The most prolific of all ranged weapons are bows and crossbows. Therefore, the class needs to be a class that could specialize in these weapons. However, the class also has to be more versatile. A Hunter class would have tons of versatility, depending on what direction Blizzard decides to go. You have the companion pet pathway to go down, you have the ranged weaponry pathway, you have a survivalist path you could go with, not to mention traps. Yes, TRAPS! The Assassin could live on in more ways than martial arts with a trap-using class. You would lose the Javelin/Spear aspect of the Amazon however, but it's not beyond reason that Barbarians will be able to specialize in thrown weapons. After all, they ARE masters of weaponry.
SUMMARY: I've mindlessly droned on far too long. As it is, every class but the Amazon appears to live on in some way with the four announced classes. The Amazon is left basically untouched so the fifth class will touch on some aspects of the Amazon, probably the bow/crossbow. I predict it will be a Hunter since it would cover that base and also allow versatility and a variety of directions to go on. I think it will have many striking similarities to the WoW Hunter class, because, you know, it's obvious. However, the vast similarity to the WoW class probably in itself means I'm dead wrong. They wouldn't want to essentially copy a class from WoW and throw it into a completely different world. But I still believe the fifth class, if not a Hunter, will be strikingly similar to a Hunter.
Edited by Metalcorej, 13 October 2010 - 01:20 AM.