“Or This Is How Diablo III Should Have Been from the Start”

With the introduction of Reaper of Souls, a few things are noticed as soon as you fire up the game. You see that not only do you have access to a new Act (V) but you’re also given access to an Adventure more that will be unlocked once you beat the game and you’re given access to a new class, the Crusader. You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the addition of Loot 2.0 or the removal of the RMAH (Real Money Auction House) as those features were handled before the actual release of the game but yes I’ll agree they are part of the game, fair enough.

So how does Reaper of Souls feel? Being an old school Diablo player I can safely say that the changes made in the expansion are exactly what was needed to make Diablo 3 fun again, in fact, these are the changes that should have been implemented in the original game from the start. Thankfully Blizzard has listened to its fans and has learned their lesson. 

So why do I say that the game is fun again?

Game Name: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Platform(s):  PC (reviewed), PS4, Xbox 
Publisher(s): Blizzard
Developer(s): Blizzard
Release Date: March 25, 2015
Price: $39.99 (Standard Edition), $59.99 (Deluxe Edition)

*NO SPOILERS HERE FOLKS. If you want to know what happens, you’ll just have to play the game*

 

Adventure Mode
As mentioned Adventure Mode can only be accessed after one beats the story mode for Reaper of Souls, otherwise they would never complete the game. That’s a pretty bold statement but here’s why I say that. In Adventure Mode players the main goal is to kill enemies. All cut scenes and dialog are removed and the focus here is to loot, level up and to destroy all in your wall. In addition, once you access Adventure Mode on one character, it will also carry over to all of your classes, despite the level. Of course, anything you gain in Adventure mode doesn’t just apply to that mode and will also carry over to the main game.

Also included in this new mode are Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Bounties are randomized objectives with a catch. You’re not told what the rewards are though most of the time the rewards are either gold or a blood shard or loot. On top of that if players complete the bounties of each act they will also receive a Horadric Cache that can include scaled gear, items, Rift Keystones, Fragments and gems. On the flipside, Nephalem Rifts are a randomized dungeon  that consists of random areas with a catch that you’ll need to run bounties first to collect Rift Keystones as the rifts require 5 to open. 

Once in a rift it will toss in creatures that may or may not be native to that dungeon, so be on the watch. In addition will include a progress bar that starts are 0% and once you hit 100% a Rift Guardian will appear that must be killed. Lastly, you’ll be glad to know that in a Nephalem Rift that Legendary drop rates are increased by 25% and that can be multiplied by which difficulty you select.

bounty-map_RoS

Best of all is that Adventure Mode runs are fairly short, usually around 10-15 minutes, meaning you and a friend can do them again and again and again…..

Key Changes
Typically with the introduction of a new an expansion, there are bound to be changes to the original game. In this respect, Reaper of Souls is not immune to this and has brought forth several changes in Diablo III. The Paragon system has been updated and no longer awards gold. It still awards points to boost stats once to hit level 70. Thankfully, there is still no level cap with this. 

Nephalem Valor has taken a permanent vacation and in its place are is Pools of Reflection that provide a 25% bonus to experience. In addition, it can stack up to 10 times. Nephalem Glory which allows players to deal more damage with lightning bolts, while increasing moment speed. They’ve even added a new element called Cursed Chests, which starts a new event that players must complete waves to earn bonus chests or other various awards for completing them.

Character Classes were also reworked and have received new passive abilities that are gained at level 61 and 70.

Gone are the original difficulty levels (Normal, Nightmare, Hell, Infernal) and they have been replaced with Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment (1 – 6). With the difficulty increases monsters hit harder and are more damaging but at the same time, the gold, experience, and item rewards are also increased as a trade off. In short, the higher the difficultly the better loot you get the faster you level.

The Mystic
Myriam Jahzai is a Mystic that you cross paths with early in the expansion and you may remember her from the original Diablo 3. She is an NPC that joins ranks with the Blacksmith and the Jeweler, one that provides two unique services to the player; The ability to enchant and transmogrify gear. Don’t like that bonus on your equipment? Visit the Mystic for a chance of a new bonus / passive but beware, sometimes what you end up replacing may also be one of the several choices you get back in return.

 In other words, enchanting is a gamble and it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. In addition to enchanting gear, the Mystic can also Transmogrify gear. The process will allow you to change the appearance of your gear and can be enhanced by training the Mystic and by finding items throughout your journey.

The Crusader Class

Crusader_RoS

The Crusader joins the original cast of the Monk, Mage, Barbarian, Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter and is definitely catered to those who like a traditional tank-like class. Not only does the class look amazing in all that huge hulking armor it’s not just a pretty face, not by a long shot. 

Similar to the Barbarian, the Crusader uses e strength as their primary stat,but there’s where the similarities end. In addition to being able to cast ranged spells, it seems that Blizzard took a page from their other popular game, World of Warcraft and has endowed the Crusader with the ability to wield a massive two-handed sword (Titans Grip) in one hand while still holding a massive shield in the other hand. Like I said, very much tanky.

Melee isn’t the only trick either, as the class brings tons of ranged damage, AOE damage and the class even has a freaking horse that can be ridden into battle. How can you not love that? At first I wondered if the class would be similar to the Templar which we only got to use as a companion but I’m happy to see that Blizzard was able to make the class stand out and honestly I’ll be surprised if the Crusader doesn’t turn out to be one of the most played classes if not the top played class.

Definitely Check this out Diablo III fans

Blizzard has made several key changes to the Diablo 3 world with the addition of Adventure mode, the changes introduced with Loot 2.0, the removal of the Real Money Auction House and introducing the Crusader class (which is tons of fun if you like tanky classes). These changes have actually made the game fun again and it shows. Adventure mode allow will bring hours upon hours of play time and it’s only going to get better.

The key goal was to extend the life of the original Diablo 3 and based on what I’ve played it definitely seems like Blizzard succeeded with Reaper of Souls expansion. However, the made changes made can be a little overwhelming at times. It’s left up to the player if that ultimately ends up being a good or bad thing

Pros:

  • Increased level cap to 70
  • Finally got rid of the Real Money Auction House
  • Introduction of Loot 2.0, Bounties and Nephalem Rifts have made Diablo 3 fun again
  • Beautiful music and visuals
  • While not included in the game as of yet Blizzard intends to introduce “Endless Dungeons” via the upcoming 2.1.0 patch.

Cons:

  • The story mode in the expansion is way too short and most players will blow past it in a few hours.
  • Blizzard has yet to introduce PVP into Diablo 3 and while players had hoped it would make it’s way into Reaper of Souls, it didn’t.
  • The tons of changes made seem overwhelming at times
  • Diabloe III is back and better than even
Overall
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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.