Glass cannon

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This page is about the generic RPG term, "glass cannon."

The term "glass cannon" refers to a character who deals out huge damage but is unable to take much in return. This term most often applies to mages or archers, who tend to have very high killing power in the Diablo series, but very low hit points/blocking/defense, and other survival boosts.

  • The primary glass cannon class in Diablo III is the Demon Hunter who has a wide variety of huge damage-dealing skills, and several fast movement escape skills, but little in the way of defensive or tanking abilities.
    • Wizards were assumed to be glass cannons during Diablo III's development, but they actually have a number of strong defensive skills, making them a fairly hardy class.

Diablo 2 Bowazons were also renowned glass cannons, with their huge ranged attack damage but low defense, hit points, and no blocking. Sorceresses filled much the same role in Diablo II, using Teleport to stay just out of reach of enemies while bombarding them with powerful magical attacks.

Melee characters can be glass cannons as well, though they should probably get a different term, just since "cannon" is associated with ranged attacks. The Diablo Hellfire Monk was something of a glass cannon; he could hit multiple enemies at once, very quickly, for very high damage, killing much more quickly than the Diablo Warrior. But the Monk had much lower hit points, and was only effective when using a staff, thus depriving him of the defensive bonuses provided by a shield.