A summoner or spawner class or monster (also known as pet class in reference to classes), is capable of using magical spells, or spell-like abilities, to conjure or spawn some sort of monster or NPC as a "pet" that fight or perform some sort of task for the summoner. A summoner monster or class is generally also considered a caster.
The summoned creature is generally called "pet", "minion" or "spawn".
A summon, spawn or respawn is what you get from a summoner, or some sort of effect in the game that makes a unit appear or re-appear, usually after death.
Summoner or Pet Classes
In Diablo III, the following classes are considered "summoner" classes or "pet classes":
- Witch Doctor - Spell caster with some random bits thrown in for ranged and close combat, and a few "summoning" spells to spawn "pets"
- Other classes - Many players are expecting some sort of additional "pet class" to be announced by Blizzard.
The Wizard will be able to summon a Hydra to protect her, but it's not really considered a summoned pet.
Old Summoner or Pet Classes
In Diablo II, there is primarily one summoner class:
- Necromancer - Pure caster. Calls corpses or inanimate objects army to fight for him. Also uses spells.
- Druid - The summmoner calls forth beasts from the wild to aid him in the coming battles.
The Amazon can summon a Valkyrie, if she has gone down the right skill tree, but it's not the Amazon's primary function to summon creatures.
In Diablo I, all classes could summon a Golem or a Hydra but those spells are not really considered a summoned pet.
Summoner Type Monsters
Monsters that can summon reinforcements are also called "summoners" or "spawners". Their selection of summons varies, and they are usually also casters. They are generally not referred to as "pet monsters" like the class versions. Here are a few examples of summoner monsters:
"Respawn" usually refers to FPS games, where players die frequently, and experience a few seconds delay before being welcome back in the game - respawning. this is usually done on certain respawn points.
- Diablo I let a player who died choose to respawn in town, with all possessions still laying on the dungeon floor. The other option was to have a friend cast resurrection on you.
- Diablo II had a similar functionality. You could respawn in town and go retrieve your corpse, leave the game, and take a big penalty (but keep stuff), or have a friend rez you.
- Diablo III will feature a Checkpoint system, and the death penalty will be a lot less harsh. Gameplay will encourage staying alive, but you won't lose experience or other things if you die, and it's not clear whether or not resurrection will even be available.
Related articles include:
- Caster - Almost all summoners are also casters.
- Ranged - Some summoners also use ranged spells or abilities.
- Melee - Close range combat, the alternative for some summoners.
- Death - How respawns work in the Diablo III.
- Checkpoints - More on respawning.