Blizzard tore the veil on Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for Diablo III. The big question for me is, will the Reaper reclaim the lost interest of the massive Diablo following? Blizzard conjured none other than Malthael, the Angle of Death, to summon the lost souls of Sanctuary back to its dark battle.
A tale of death
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, the ancient artifact containing the essence of the Prime Evil. It is now up to the Nephalem to track down Malthael and thwart his plans, a journey that will take them through the legendary city of Westmarch, across the fetid swamps of the Blood Marsh, and into the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress.
In addition to expanding the story of Diablo III with an all-new, action-packed Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players forging ahead with their existing Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.
The expansion also builds upon several key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments, horrific new monsters, epic new quests, and substantial updates to the loot experience. The redesigned loot system in Reaper of Souls focuses on rewarding players with even better treasure through targeted “smart drops,” new and improved multi-level Legendary items, and a third artisan, the Mystic, who can augment an item’s power and appearance.
A new Adventure Mode has been added as well; with all Waypoints unlocked in this mode, the entire world becomes the player’s battlefield! Included in Adventure Mode are two new game features, Bounties, a randomized objective system, and Nephalem Rifts aka Loot Runs, a randomized dungeon system, provide fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re looking for new ways to test their might. Diablo III’s Paragon progression system will also be receiving several updates for the expansion, adding even more endgame character advancement and replayability.
In Reaper of Souls, players will be able to experience the world of Sanctuary through two different games modes: Campaign Mode and Adventure Mode. In Campaign Mode, players reprise their pivotal roles as the heroes of Sanctuary in this latest chapter of the continuing Diablo saga. All quests, cut-scenes, in-game movies, and NPC dialogue will be available and progression is intentionally linear. Campaign Mode is very similar to how Diablo III plays currently.
Adventure Mode is Diablo III’s new sandbox mode, where players have the freedom to explore and play the game however they like. All waypoints are now unlocked, soplayers can go where they want, when they want. The waypoint list has been replaced with a waypoint map, a metaphor for the world that serves as a guide for Bounties and a checklist of completed gameplay options. The world is literally your battlefield! Adventure Mode also includes the aforementioned Bounties and Nephalem Rifts.
The Crusader class- Your shield is your fortress
Crusaders are righteous warriors who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank with a plethora of mid-range melee abilities, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.
The Crusader class will only be available to players who purchase the expansion.
Game difficulty changes
In Reaper of Souls, the game difficulty settings have been updated to Easy, Normal, Hard, Torment, Demonic and Apocalypse. Similar to the way the tiered settings and Monster Power work in Diablo III, higher difficulty levels present more powerful enemies who will potentially reward players with more powerful loot! Unlike the previous tiered difficulty system, though, players are not required to defeat the game on a lower setting in order to unlock a higher difficulty setting. These settings can be selected at any time, for both Campaign Mode and Adventure Mode, making it more convenient than ever to find the level of challenge that’s right for you!
Updates to Paragon system
Three significant changes made:
- There is no cap on Paragon levels. Players can now earn as many Paragon levels as they please.
- Paragon levels are now account-wide per game type. Normal characters on an account will share a Paragon level. Similarly, all Hardcore characters on an account will share a Paragon level. Any Paragon experience you gain on your Normal or Hardcore characters will contribute to your account’s “Normal Paragon level” or “Hardcore Paragon level.”
- Players will now earn Paragon Points each time they level up. These points can then be spent to boost up various stats in four different categories: Core Stats, Offensive, Defensive, and Adventure. All characters on your account have their own version of the allocated points, which can be reallocated at any time.
These changes are intended to be released as part of a pre-expansion patch and will be made available to all players.
This is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players through the legendary city of Westmarch to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress
Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of powe
- The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard
- New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes Ø Redesigned loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades
- Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries
- Customize your hero’s appearance and augment your items’ power with a new artisan, the Mystic
- Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability
- Battle a new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes
- Never stop exploring with Adventure Mode, where all waypoints are unlocked so players can do battle in any setting
- Engage in Nephalem Rifts, formerly known as Loot Runs, to test your mettle in 10-20 minute dungeons consisting of randomized areas, monsters, and bosses
- Take on Bounties for fun and rewarding objective-based challenges
- Connect with your allies like never before with all-new updates to Diablo III’s social system, including Clans and Groups
Check out the latest Reaper of Souls trailer.
Blizzard also release a gameplay trailer, "Ultimate Evil Edition" for the PlayStation 4.
Are you returning to Sanctuary to take on Death? You have until 2014 to contemplate your fate.
Source: Games Press
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