As a fan of the Diablo franchise from the beginning, I can hardly wait to experience the upcoming changes to the Diablo 3 universe. The question remains, however, whether or not new content will offer enough improvement to the existing universe to encourage both new and old players alike to buy the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion set to go live on March 25th.
The Crusader brings a whole new character class and abilities to the Diablo 3 universe. His skills focus primarily on the midrange mêlée attacks and his shield is used as part of his weaponry. This character’s fighting style and holy attributes remind me of the Paladin class from Diablo 2. If the Crusader lives up to all the hype this class should be as popular now as the Paladin was back in the glory days of Diablo 2.
Adventure mode appears to be the most promising addition to the game overall. All character classes will benefit from a “play as you see fit” gaming area. You can play alone or with friends, farm items or complete bounties, the choice is up to you. Traditional campaigns need you to play until you advance to the next checkpoint, however, adventure mode provides you the freedom to play for how long or little you consider necessary. You can collect rift fragments after completing goals and should you collect all the required pieces you can enter special dungeons. These “rift dungeons” provide totally random environments, monsters, unique loot, and bosses.
Act V will offer players an extra campaign complete with new goals, follower, and the Angel of Death. The city of Westmarch has the feel of a city with merchants, your player stash, and artisans. The difference lies in the city’s random environment and the total random quality applied to the whole Act V playing area. The idea behind the random environments is to increase the replay-ability of the game as a whole for players who like quests as opposed to adventure mode’s “play as you wish” environment.
What Blizzard refers to as “Loot 2.0” promises a better experience while gathering items found during gameplay. The original system didn’t always give the best items to the character who found them. Some magical weapons were better than legendary weapons. These were two major flaws in the old loot system in Diablo 3. All items have been improved significantly across the board. Now legendary items are guaranteed to be the best and each character class has the best odds of finding class specific items with proper attributes to fit the needs of that individual playing style. Not to mention the developers added a bunch of new items to the game to offer a better gameplay experience to everyone.
The overall difficulty of your gaming experience has been changed as well. Most players will want to begin on Normal difficulty until they gather some magical gear, preferably unique items with good attributes. The next levels of difficulty include Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment. Torment has a range of difficulty from 1-6. Included with the difficulty settings are Paragon levels, which grant bonuses to characters experience and attributes based on difficulty level. Each level above the Normal setting is granted bonuses to both experience and gold earned while slaying monsters in the Diablo 3 universe.
Please take a moment and consider all the information presented to you over the course of this article. Do you see yourself purchasing a copy of the expansion pack and suiting up to fight the forces of evil? Have you decided Blizzard is no longer worth the hassle and you’re ready to move on? As the author of this article I feel it is only fair to share that I pre-purchased the expansion and plan to dust off the rust to rejoin the heroes against the forces of evil once more.