Witch Doctor (Diablo III)
"He dispatched his opponent with terrifying precision, assaulting his victim's mind and body with elixirs and powders that evoked fires, explosions, and poisonous spirits. As if these assaults were not enough, the witch doctor also had at his command the ability to summon undead creatures from the netherworld to rend the flesh from his enemy's body."- Abd al-Hazir
The Witch Doctor is a ritualistic voodoo fighter. Hailing from the deep jungles of Sanctuary, the Witch Doctor practices his dark arts. Meditating to access the "Unformed Land" he calls upon the spirits of the past to strike fear and horror in his adversaries. He is even able to reanimate the dead in both human and inhuman bodies to command. Time in the jungle has also allowed this tribalistic warrior to use powders and elixirs in the form of fire and poison to unleash upon the demons. While never doing much of the actual fighting themselves, the Witch Doctor is a formidable foe against the demons that have invaded his home with the spiritual aid of others.
The Witch Doctor belongs to the Tribe of the Five Hills within the Teganze jungles. Many inhabitants of Sanctuary deny their existence, be it form the the tribes reclusiveness or the mere fact that people do not want to believe in these ritualistic inhabitants that will raise the dead from their graves. Through ritualistic and sacrificial ceremonies, the Witch Doctor enters the Mbwiru Eikura where they access their Gods in this unformed land. Believing that this alternate reality is the true nature of Sanctuary, the Witch Doctor draws their strength from this place.
"I came upon this rare display as I ventured deep into the interior of the dense Torajan jungles that cover the southern tip of the great eastern continent, in the vast area known as the Teganze, with the goal of seeking out the tribes that reside there. This area is extremely secluded, and heretofore unseen by foreign eyes. I was fortunate to befriend the witch doctor I saw in battle, and, through him, his tribe: the Tribe of the Five Hills.
The culture of the umbaru of the lower Teganze is fascinating and perplexing to those hailing from more civilized walks of life. For instance, the Tribe of the Five Hills frequently engages in tribal warfare with both the Clan of the Seven Stones and the Tribe of the Clouded Valley, but these are matters of ritual and not of conquest. I had heard tales that these wars are waged in order that the victors may replenish their supply of raw materials for the human sacrifices that their civilization revolves around, and when I timidly asked my hosts more about this topic, I must admit their laughter made me fear for my safety. However, through stumbled attempts at communication of such complex topics as what constitutes heroism and honor in their society, I gathered that only those taken in battle are considered worthy of the ritual sacrifice, much to my relief.
Upon further discussions with my hosts, I discovered that these tribes define themselves by their belief in the Mbwiru Eikura, which roughly translates to "The Unformed Land" (this is an imprecise translation, as this concept is completely foreign to our culture and language). This belief holds that the true, sacred reality is veiled behind the physical one we normally experience. Their vitally important public ceremonies are centered upon sacrifices to the life force that flows from their gods, who inhabit the Unformed Land, into this lesser physical realm.
The witch doctors are finely attuned to this Unformed Land and are able to train their minds to perceive this reality through a combination of rituals and the use of selected roots and herbs found in the jungles. They call the state in which they interact with this other world the Ghost Trance.
Alongside the primacy of the belief in the life force and the Unformed Land, the second most sacred belief of the tribes is their philosophy of self-sacrifice and non-individuality, of suppressing one's self-interest for the good of the tribe. This idea, so foreign to our culture, struck me as something I wished to delve into much more deeply.Unfortunately, there was intense social upheaval among the tribes due to an incident involving their most current war (inasmuch as I could discern in the ensuing bedlam), and the charged atmosphere warranted my quick departure before I could ask anything further of my hosts." - Abd al-Hazir
The Witch Doctor was one of the two first classes to be unveiled with the announcement of Diablo III at the 2008 WWI. Along with the iconic Barbarian, the Witch Doctor was shown to showcase the diversity of the classes. Despite the Wizard being further in development, the Witch Doctor was shown to have a skills ranging from summoning the undead to casting pure horror in his victims. Soon after, many commented on the many similarities of this class's mechanics to the Necromancer of Diablo II. Blizzard responded by stating that the classes will definitely play differently and possibly leave room for the return of the Necromancer if they wanted to.
Although the Witch Doctor was one of the first classes shown, many of his skills were still going through a lot of change. Not only the looks of the skills but major mechanics were still being worked out. One original concepts for the class was that the Zombie Dog (then named mongrel) skill could have the summons be imbued with a poison or fire skill. However, through testing, they found this mechanic to not have much control and players rarely got the effect they wanted. They changed the system with the involvement of skill runes.
- Only the female Witch Doctor's voice was heard, and although it was not confirmed yet, it seems that she is voiced by Lani Minella, who voiced Adria the Witch and Wirt the Peglegged Boy in Diablo, and Blood Raven, The Countess, Andariel, Malah and the Ancients in Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Her voice is also very reminiscent of that of Eve Brent, who voiced Akara in Diablo II.