A caster or mage type class, character, NPC or monster, is capable of using magical spells, skills or spell-like abilities to accomplish tasks rather than brute force and melee combat. It's generic names for people who use magic, or has abilities that seems to work like magic.
They are usually not excluded from melee, but they generally prefer (through AI or player choices) and excel in ranged spellcasting. This is the classic definition of a caster. Many spells used by casters are ranged, uses an Area of Effect or both.
In some cases the term caster just refers to a character or monster who are executing a skill or spell.
In Diablo III, the following classes are considered "caster" classes:
- Wizard - Pure spell caster. Has melee spells, but don't physically hit monsters often.
- Witch Doctor - Spell caster with some random bits thrown in for ranged and close combat.
- Monk - Melee-caster hybrid which -in terms of magic- mainly uses defensive and supportive magic.
In Diablo II, there is primarily two caster classes and one hybrid:
- Sorceress - Pure spell caster. Can hit in melee, but it's virtually suicide.
- Necromancer - Pure caster (summoner). Calls corpses or inanimate objects army to fight for him. Also uses spells.
- Druid - With one summoner tree and one Elemental. The summmoner calls forth beasts from the wild to aid him in the coming battles. The elementalist calls forth devastating fire, cold and magic spells
All other classes uses mana for their skills and spells, but are more melee oriented.
In Diablo I, all classes can use all spells, but only the Sorcerer excels in spell usage.
Monsters that can cast spells are also called "casters". Their selection of spells varies but they are usually only able to use a few spells per type of monster. Here are a few examples of caster monsters:
- Goatman Shaman - Frost Nova is one known spell. They are likely able to use other offensive and defensive abilities.
- Dark Cultist - Can cast a Firebolt type spell, and summon Dark Demons for assistance.
A caster monster spell can be a spell used by a character class, a spell only used on scrolls or staves, or a custom-made spell for that monster. They include offensive and defensive spells.
- Offensive spells include effects such as a Firebolt, Fireball, Frost Nova or general player debuffs.
- Gameplay-changing skills, primarily Area of Denial effects.
- Defensive spells are usually buffs, healing or resurrection spells.
Related articles include:
- Melee - Close range combat.
- Ranged - Overlapping casters to some degree.
- Summoner - Overlapping casters to some degree.