Diablo 4 is live now for those who preordered one of the special editions, and rather than meandering through Sanctuary—stopping to smell the corpses here and there—some players are racing through the game in an effort to be one of the first to reach level 100.
Some of those racers are well-known streamers whose progress is being tracked by website Diablo Builds, which is streaming coverage of the race on its Twitch channel. The competitors are divided into normal and Hardcore mode players, the latter of whom have to start over if their characters die.
I'm not planning to play Diablo 4 like it's a speed math competition, but I was curious to know which of the five classes the most competitive players are betting on to get them through 100 levels, so I looked at the streams of 25 players who've appeared in the continuously updating leaderboards on the Diablo Builds stream, including both normal and Hardcore players, and wrote down their classes. The big winner so far is, drum roll: Rogue.
I'd assumed that Sorcerer would be the most popular—I guess I just always bet on wizards—but it did convincingly take second place. Here's the full spread of class choices for the level 100 racers I catalogued, which include the likes of Kripparrian, wudijo, shroud, and Zizaran:
- Rogue: 9
- Sorcerer: 6
- Barbarian: 4
- Druid: 4
- Necromancer: 2
Three of those Barbarian players are in the Hardcore mode race, presumably on account of the big health globe that comes with the tank archetype. On the flipside, the two Necromancers only appeared in the normal mode race. They are played by one-handed streamer OMFGoddess and Diablo 2 speedrunner MacroBioBoi, who recently completed an unprecedented pacifist run in that game.
If the general population of players also avoids the Necromancer, now you know how to stand out: Be a goth kid. But it's possible that regular players will gravitate to graveyard summoners more than these streamers. After the first open beta, Blizzard said that Necromancer had been one of the two most popular classes, although that might be explained by the class having been unavailable in the previous beta.
I can't say definitively that Rogues are easier to level than the other classes, but if I were going for speed, I'd jump on the bandwagon. It isn't too late to try to be among the first to reach level 100, and if you're one of the first thousand players to do it in Hardcore mode, Blizzard will put your username on a statue. Personally, I recommend getting eight hours of sleep and just chiseling your Battle.net name into a rock yourself.
For my class, I'm taking the middle road with a Druid: Not one of the popular kids, not one of the outcasts, just a brawny nature lover. I'm down to hang out with the goth kids if I encounter any out there.