Call of the Ancients is a Rage Barbarian skill unlocked at Level 25. The Barbarian summons three ancient protectors to fight for him.
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Call of the Ancients in action.
The Barbarian's ancestors aid him by rejoining the battlefield.
You can see images of all three of the Ancients by clicking the following links. They are not embedded in the page yet since many fans consider higher level skill visuals to be a spoiler. Click at your own risk.
This skill summons the three ancestors that the player was charged with fighting in act five of Lord of Destruction: Talic, Korlic and Madawc. They deal a percentage of the weapon damage that the Barbarian is capable of inflicting, presumably increasing with level.
The following Barbarian passive provides a benefit to Call of the Ancients, runed or not:
Call of the Ancients debuted at BlizzCon 2010, although it wasn't seen in anything other than the skill pool. Bashiok made a quick comment on the skill:
It's a top tier skill, so you can't buy it until somewhere around the end of Normal or maybe beginning of Nightmare. They're fairly short lived, at least at their base skill. I will admit it's pretty nutty, especially when it's planned that each of them (probably through runes) will use various barbarian skills themselves. But, I do think the flavor and vibe works. The barbarian calling upon the spiritual protector's of his homeland and people which now lay, along with the majority of barbarian society, in the afterlife, if not simply ash at the bottom of a fiery chasm. It makes good sense that they would be easily summoned to assist in redemption, honor, what have you, of the barbarian people.
Skill tiers were removed for the July 2011 Press Event, allowing skills to unlock steadily from levels 1 to 30. Consequently, all skill levels were adjusted and Call of the Ancients became a level 27 skill.
The Diablo III Beta started in September 2011, and while it ran, all of the skills continued to undergo extensive iteration. Skill changes varied from changing the levels the skills are unlocked, to changes in resource cost, damage, and even function. A few skills were removed altogether, and a few new ones were added. Also, the entire skill system received an overhaul with the Beta Patch 13 update in February 2012, with physical runes replaced by rune effects that automatically unlock at various levels for the different skills.
Call of the Ancients was moved to level 25 for the beta. With the Patch 13 changes, it was classified as a Rage skill (but stayed at level 25).
Talic, Korlic and Madawc were previously seen in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. They weren't allies, however; the player had to fight them to gain access to the Ancient's Way.
Call of the Ancients can be seen in action on video here:
You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery: