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Diablo 3 Expansion Announced: Reaper of Souls 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-you-SEE-that-expansion-over-there?! dept.
Today at Gamescom in Germany, Blizzard announced the first expansion to Diablo III, titled Reaper of Souls. The story will follow a fallen archangel called Mathael who has returned as the Angel of Death. The level cap will increase to 70, and the expansion will bring a new playable class to the game called the Crusader, whom they described as a "natural walking tank." Reaper of Souls will also bring vast improvements to the loot system; in addition to having a better chance to find good, useful gear for the character you're playing, the items themselves are getting an overhaul to make for more interesting gameplay. Instead of being simply loaded down with combat stats, legendary items will include unique ways to modify how your character functions. They're also implementing something the community has been asking for since shortly after the game came out: randomized dungeons. Further, the Paragon leveling system, put in place after launch as a way to provide character progression after reaching the level cap, will be made account-wide, rather than on a per-character basis. A new profession NPC has been added as well: the Mystic, which lets players reroll one of the stats on a powerful item. As you might expect, Blizzard did not mention a release date. The Reaper of Souls opening cinematic is available on YouTube, as is a brief gameplay video.
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Diablo 3 Expansion Announced: Reaper of Souls

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  • by WarJolt (990309) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:15PM (#44633773)

    Gamer don't normally allow themselves to be disappointed twice.

    • Expect high sales (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Piata (927858) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:28PM (#44633949)

      Gamers are stupid. Blizzard has been on a downturn for a while but people will still line up in droves for this. If you need any further proof, look at Call of Duty. Exact same engine, almost indentical gameplay, loaded to the brim with shitty DLC that's made irrelevant by next year's installment and it STILL sells 10 - 15 million units.

      Look how long it's taken for people to abandon EA. It's been years since they were considered the worst company ever and they are just now starting to feel that wrath. If Blizzard and their brands fall, it will happen at a slow and steady pace.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        *click* *click* WTF?!? *click* *click* am not stupid! *click* *click* this game takes *click* *click* *click* *click* smarts! *click* *click* *click*
        • by Anonymous Coward

          What input device sound effects are associated with more intelligent gaming? *clack* *bzzt* *whrrr*?

      • by lgw (121541)

        Sure, except that only a small percentage of people who bought D3 are still playing it. I'm sure those still playing it will mostly buy the expansion, but those who were disappointed not so much.

        I thought it was an OK game - played it for several nights, and can't complain about the hours of entertainment I got for my money, but it fell well below the "buy the sequel" bar. There is no shortage of new games, and in any case I'd find going back to D2 single player more fun than a D3 expansion. Heck, if I co

        • Heck, if I could find that expansion for D1 that added nightmare and hell difficulty, I'd play it - D1 was a neat (if simple) roguelike.

          Multiplayer on D1 allows you to do just that

          • D1 on the Psone allows you to do that in both Single and Multiplayer. No need to trick the game by starting a Multiplayer game then starting in single.

            • Yes, considering that PSX emulators are almost perfect nowadays that would be a good idea. But when D1 was launched on PSX originally, it was horrible -- the load times were awful, the almost-an-entire-memory-card save file too.

              • Oh god the load times! The PS2's fast-loading feature does help with that, though texture-smoothing doesn't. The PS3's virtual memory card feature also helps...though you get no help with load times.

                Good game though, one of my favorites.

          • by lgw (121541)

            With the monk class and the 2 new areas?

          • by Onuma (947856)
            Actually, you could (at one point, at least) effectively increase the difficulty level in Single Player by starting a local/nullmodem multiplayer game, then backing out of it and going into single player instead. It wasn't quirky, and it didn't *TELL* you that you were in a higher difficulty...but as soon as you fought the first monsters you knew it wasn't normal anymore.

            And the "Hellfire" expansion (released by Sierra) also added those difficulties, as well as the ability to walk really fast in town.
      • Look how long it's taken for people to abandon EA. It's been years since they were considered the worst company ever and they are just now starting to feel that wrath.

        Hah! Really? There are previews for Sims 4 now and I guarantee you it will rake in the cash for EA once it's released - particularly since its main audience are generally not dedicated gamers who peruse gaming news sites and probably aren't aware of EA's behavior.

        Not to mention, stuff like the latest Humble Bundle being all EA/Origin stuff, wh

      • But actual hardcore gamers (you know, those that are not unlike gamer from 1999) don't fall for that crap. Most Diablo II gamers stayed away from Diablo III, or played it very little. The same applies for Starcraft/Starcraft II.

        Blizzard's former audience has moved on to other companies.

    • by dyingtolive (1393037) <{brad.arnett} {at} {notforhire.org}> on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:29PM (#44633957)
      I swore Blizzard off after the first D3, and then was pleasantly surprised when no one I knew liked Heart of the Swarm. I will pass on this one as well.

      Something interesting I noticed a few weeks ago is that the only game I've enjoyed that I paid more than $20 for in as long as I can remember is Payday 2.

      I think I'm officially off the Triple-As.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wrong. Gamers don't normally hold grudges.

      If the game's good, the message will spread "omg they fixed it" and people will flock (back) to it.

      If it's not, ah well. Some will still play it, just like how some people still play farmville or candy crush saga (and pay for it too)

      Holding grudges (to a dev, to a company, to a publisher, to a platform, etc) is a thing for nerds (so I don't expect this comment to be well received here)

    • Blizzard no longer targets hardcore gamers, but just average users who like videogames. It's a much larger audience, has lower expectations, and, above all, allow themselves to be dissapointed over and over (EA? *Sims*? Any game which has had over 3 releases in the last 5 years?)

  • "Crusader" (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:15PM (#44633779)

    ... may want to rename that class for the Middle East...

  • by stewsters (1406737) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:18PM (#44633823)
    Randomized dungeons are a good sign. The devs need to go play some roguelikes and less WOW for a few weeks before working on it. That may detoxify them enough to fix it.
    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      I like the changes to legendaries, or at least the idea they are floating for it. One of the fun things in D2 was items that could change the way you played your character in a huge way. Although in the case of the Enigma runeword it was kind of game breaking.

      • by JDeane (1402533)

        Enigma was awesome!!! Of course getting a legit one was pretty much a pipe dream. (by legit I mean making it with non duped runes.)

        I can only imagine the number of runes one would have to cube to get Jah and Ber...

        • by Whorhay (1319089)

          I played on and off for probably a total of a year over the course of two ladder seasons. And I actually saw a Jah drop once in the throne room. Of course I was half way across the room from it and the hammerdin bot probably auto picked it.

        • by Rakarra (112805)

          Enigma was awesome!!! Of course getting a legit one was pretty much a pipe dream. (by legit I mean making it with non duped runes.)

          That was my problem with Diablo 2 -- all the good stuff was (mostly) only available through cheatery. Were real drop rates modified by the expectation/reality of duping bugs?

          • by JDeane (1402533)

            Enigma was awesome!!! Of course getting a legit one was pretty much a pipe dream. (by legit I mean making it with non duped runes.)

            That was my problem with Diablo 2 -- all the good stuff was (mostly) only available through cheatery. Were real drop rates modified by the expectation/reality of duping bugs?

            I have recently started playing Diablo 2 LOD on the ladder again (about a week ago.) and the drop rates seem to be higher. I have already found a Pul, not that it's a very high rune but I am only level 84 right now and I have been soloing everything. (no public games.) about to finish up act 5 in hell mode and start farming Baal. That's when I will know if they have really changed the drop rates or not.

            But my gut feeling is that if you still wanted Enigma on the ladder you would be farming runes for months

    • It's sad that "randomized dungeons" are the new thing, when Diablo II had those out-of-the-box over a decade earlier.

  • And the mobs will still have 5 more HP than the damage of the weapon you brought into the level.

  • Deja Vu? (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:22PM (#44633859)
    I seem to remember playing this class in D2 but it was called a Paladin at the time.
    • The devs finished watching Super Shark and wanted to work in a walking tank to their story. Who can blame them?

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1698008/ [imdb.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Alok (37687)

      I remember randomized dungeons in D1, and good loot systems in both D1 & D2.

      Unfortunately most of the 'new to D3!' stuff is a rehash of things that used to exist in the former games, but at least they are working to bring it up to par in those departments.

    • by Sabriel (134364)

      Yes, and in the dev talk they say that's where they drew part of their inspiration from; the "lore" is basically that the Crusaders are an offshoot/subgroup of the original Paladins.

  • I would have expected an announcement like this to be at Blizzcon, but I guess they already have Legacy of the Void and World of Warcraft XPAC5 on the docket.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hope this slashvertisement paid the bills!

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:35PM (#44634049) Journal

    Any word on offline single player? No offline single player, no sale.

    • Yeah, they aren't doing that. Blizzard stopped being a company I was interested with starcraft 2, and haven't started again since.

    • That's what the PS3 version is for.

    • by pulski (126566)

      Any word on offline single player? No offline single player, no sale.

      With the inclusion of a real money auction house, I'm glad it's online only. An offline mode just opens the game up to hacking, item duping/creation, etc. If an end user's PC is generating loot drops, they can be manipulated. When it's done server side, it can't.

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        in D2 you had an online char and an offline char. there is no reason they cant do the same with D3. I was one of those dumb enough to pre order it many many months before release, beat it through within a few hours and havent picked it up since. Hell I STILL put D2 in from time to time
        • in D2 you had an online char and an offline char. there is no reason they cant do the same with D3.

          Well they "could" do it, but really don't want to. If they just sold the game in the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, and Korea they probably would...it's the rest of the world that's the problem.

          They probably saw the vast differential between Battle.net accounts and game sales...decided to "try" to fix the problem because they simply can't trust PC gamers outside of a few counties to not pirate the thing in massive numbers.

          Console gamers they can trust more, so allow the consoles to have offline multiplayer.

          In

      • by Hatta (162192)

        With the inclusion of a real money auction house, I'm glad it's online only.

        Which is of no value to anyone except Blizzard, who takes a cut of all those transactions. How about providing us a game that's actually well balanced, and doesn't require players to fork over cash to win?

    • by dnaumov (453672)

      Exactly how often are you in front of your gaming PC without internet access? Serious question.

      If I found myself in this situation, my first concern would be getting back internet connectivity, gaming would be somewhere pretty damn far down the list. That being said, I find it pretty hard to end up without internet access unless it's deliberate. If my VDSL is down (which happens never) or if I am travelling, I can just connect use my iPhone's connection (99% of the country has mobile coverage). Even planes

      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @07:18PM (#44637179) Journal

        Exactly how often are you in front of your gaming PC without internet access? Serious question.

        That's not the point at all. I refuse to buy a game that can be taken away from me at any point with no recourse. I still play 30 year old games on my Tandy, and I hope to be around to play games from today 30 years from now.

        I object to disposible culture in the strongest possible terms. If this practice becomes acceptable, future generations will be unable to benefit from their cultural heritage. What if the works of Shakespeare and Bach were dependent on a third party service that disappeared 10 years after release?

        • I refuse to buy a game that can be taken away from me at any point with no recourse. I still play 30 year old games on my Tandy, and I hope to be around to play games from today 30 years from now.

          I can understand your point...but Blizzard had to do "something" about the discrepancy between Diablo 1 and 2 accounts/games on Battlenet and the actual number of copies sold.

          Since they had experience with WoW...they went for a required online connection.

          In other words, the real blame is on the pirates in .br, .hu, .hr, .ru, .ua, .ro, .pl, .cn, .th, and their enablers in .fi and .se.

          • by Rakarra (112805)

            I can understand your point...but Blizzard had to do "something" about the discrepancy between Diablo 1 and 2 accounts/games on Battlenet and the actual number of copies sold.

            Did they really? I mean... why? It's not like they received any revenue from Battle.Net accounts. It all came from actual game sales.
            I think the "no single-player" decision is an anti-piracy move and nothing more.

            I can tell you what they could have done to increase Battle.Net usage: make the BNet servers more stable. Nothing like running away from monsters and finding new areas of the screen are just black because you've gotten desynced and then disconnected from the server. Happened often to me and to anyo

  • by Azure Flash (2440904) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @02:44PM (#44634141)
    You're already reaped my soul with Diablo 3. I had to Exile myself to repair the damage you've done to my soul.
    • You're already reaped my soul with Diablo 3. I had to Exile myself to repair the damage you've done to my soul.

      "legendary items will include unique ways to modify how your character functions" is one of the ~10 innovations that make Path of Exile so much better than D3, and given Blizzard's track record I'm confident that the D3 expansion implementation won't be nearly as interesting or fun as the feature it's cloning from PoE.

      • Actually, unless I'm misunderstanding you, that's a key feature of D2 that D3 was missing. I remember collecting runes to build weapons that gave me all sorts of cool abilities from other classes.

        • by Quirkz (1206400)

          I remember collecting runes to build weapons that gave me all sorts of cool abilities from other classes.

          I remember playing for dozens of hours collecting runes but never getting enough of them to spell any good words. Not sure if it was bad luck, not playing at high enough level, or just not grinding another few hundred hours. I never seemed to get all the pieces to any of the good sets, either.

          • Sounds like D2. I played for hundreds of hours, farming the high end caves, and managed to build enough wealth on battle.net to trade for pretty awesome gear. But it was a long haul. Very fun, though.

            • by Quirkz (1206400)

              I didn't like playing online, so I couldn't trade to complete things. The runes and sets were deeply unsatisfying because of that.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @03:00PM (#44634339) Homepage

    I won't be buying this expansion because D3 was such a huge disappointment, I don't see any expansion ever making it fun. I think my highest level character was 37 -- I stopped when I got to Hell difficulty, because there seemed no point in playing the exact same content over a third time. Meanwhile it didn't seem possible to progress without spending real-world money. Blizzard lost me with this game.

    But on a related note, I have a question. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is bringing out the new Everquest Next which looks amazing. But I swore off of Sony in 2000 after being a guide in the original Everquest. The guide program was so corrupt, and the John Smedley administration was so disrespectful of the players, that I swore never to buy another Sony game. Has Sony improved? After more than ten years I'd be willing to give them another chance if I hear that they're not the pure evil they used to be. (I know EA is still pure evil, but I haven't heard anything lately about SOE.)

    Blizzard has probably lost me for ten years. We'll see if they still try to trick players into spending money, and whether they re-discover what makes game fun.

    • by Lithdren (605362)

      As a Planetside 2 Player, I have no complaints about SOE. I played the original Planetside and I didn't care for them much at that time, but they do seem to listen to their player base well. Each game of course has a seperate team, I get the feeling SOE is more of a management company, with all these smaller game groups under them, unlike something like EA which rules with an iron fist.

      I'd sugest keeping an open mind, maybe hang out in forums and follow up on it. If something comes up that starts soundin

    • by Alok (37687)

      EQ Next is going to be free 2 play, so what is the harm in trying it out? It looks really interesting, I definitely plan to play - never played EQ at all so it will be a completely new world & lore for me. If they start pushing microtransactions heavily etc., its not a big loss to stop once the game is no longer fun.

      • The point of avoiding a bad game producer is not just to hit their bottom line. If they're playing mind games with their players, I don't want to be involved with them at all. I also don't want to inflate their player numbers, even if I'm not a paying customer.

        That said, I might give EQ Next a try. It sounds like they may have learned their lesson about how to treat their players.

  • Wonk wonk wonk... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Urthas (2349644)
    ...oh, please. All of you saying that you're done with Blizzard, and "fool me once...", and that you won't buy RoS are not fooling anyone. You will ALL buy it. Maybe not at first, but you will. And you know it.
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Meh. I didn't even buy D3; the pre-release announcements already scared me off. I have a number of friends who won't buy the addon, though. They all own Borderlands 2, which is a better Diablo than Diablo 3 is, despite being a different genre.
  • Anyone who gets to level 60 (or I guess its now level 70) can now work at getting Paragon levels, and use the points for Vit on ALL characters? This means that HC has far less risk for those who have a whole lot of extra Vit compared to the plebs who don't have a higher level char.

    Of course, there's already big differences depending on what equipment you can afford or got lucky to find, but I wonder if this could make people lose interest in the HC scene (or conversely, some will buy the expansion just so t

  • It took them this long to create some new backgrounds and generate some new random names/states for monsters, armor, and weapons? They must have been sleeping on the job.

    I am a huge Blizzard fan, but Diablo 3 was NOT worth $60. I definitely won't be getting DUPED this time. heh.
  • I know they've probably been working on this for a long time and they just want a return on that investment, but I think it's going to hurt them in the long run when it's revealed to be yet another lackluster Blizzard offering.
  • Raper of Wallets!
  • by aoism (996912)
    Blizzard will have to pay me to play this. I gave up on WoW after Cataclysm, but was looking forward to D3. The game was fun for a week. Once the cap was hit, it was just grinding and filling up your inventory with worthless loot. I gave them a chance after every patch that they promised to make it better. The Paragon system was interesting, though the initial time to get to level 100 was some astronomical amount of effort. It still didn't change the fact that at 100000% MF, you'd still have an inventory
  • by GoJays (1793832) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @05:26PM (#44636107)

    ...It's called Torchlight 2.

    The real Diablo 3 in my books.

    • Disagree 100%. I've played Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, and Borderlands 2. IMO the FREE Path of Exile is by far away the true spiritual successor to Diablo 2. The only Pay-To-Win they have is that you can buy, colorize, and rename your stash tabs which is a god-send compared to the crappy 4 tabs D3 offers.

      Diablo 3 is an epic failure for one reason: itemization. Precisely, the total lack of it. One of the things that made D2 so great was the multiple tier economies:
      * chipped gems,
      * pgems
      * set items
      * run

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        Fond memories of my axe throwing barb in D2. He was one of the very few out there that would kick some ass in pvp. Throw Axes had no sockets. The unique was terrible. I spent countless hours gambling rares to get the ones I had.

        D3 was sorta okay fun for a little bit, but the total lack of diversity just made the game too dull. I enjoyed having an actual unique character that was fun to play and of my own creation. D3 ruined that.

      • by Whorhay (1319089)

        I'm not sure that I could agree anymore!

        I would add though that even with the itemization they did have the drop rates for items that were useable was so poor that progress became incredibly slow. Once you had made all the economical gear upgrades possible you still wouldn't be able to move to Act two on Inferno. And that meant you were stuck with something like a 1 in 10000 chance of finding an upgrade or goood sellable item when you actually found an iLevel 63 piece of gear. In an Act one run maximizing c

  • That matters for some of us.
  • by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @06:54PM (#44636941)

    I'm a casual gamer. I don't mind shelling out some money for a weekend or two of fun. I bought Diablo 3 and at first it was, okay, but not on par with Diablo 2. I often ended up dying or at least being very annoyed when network lag interfered with playability, and of course there is no offline mode. That was annoying. But the real problem came when my account was de-activated randomly one day. Well crap, that's strange, but I had the serial and the login and password for my account, how much of a hassle could it be? Several e-mail exchanges and numerous broken help pages later, they finally decided they needed a copy of my driver's license! WTF?

    I might consider another game from Blizzard in future if they ever manage to implement a level of DRM that doesn't inconvenience me, their customer, quite so much with poorer gameplay and stupid bureaucracy. I tossed Diablo 3 in the trash, sent an e-mail explaining why, and bought a better game (for less money) from their competitor.

    Blizzard has done nothing to address what was wrong with Diablo 3 for this customer.

  • I love how "the items themselves are getting an overhaul to make for more interesting gameplay" is reserved to a for-pay expansion! "Interesting gameplay" as if it's a minor enhancement! Also, make no mistake, there will be 3 more expansions after this, each taking the level cap 10 points higher, till 99. You know, you gotta milk that cow!
  • As long as Blizzard is making money off the auction house I'm not playing D3. I gave them the benefit and bought it once, but there's no way I'm falling for freemium-in-disguise again. I'd much rather pay a monthly fee and have the game actually be balanced correctly. D3 was fun for a while, and had some good innovations, but it also had some glaring flaws and the auction house alone would've overwhelmed any good qualities it had. When there's a profit motive to making the game worse, you can count on a me

  • They turned a good stand alone game, Diablo 2 into a semi MMO grind. With a real money auction house and short content.

    They basically sucked all the fun out of the game.

    Blizzard changed about 3 or 4 years ago when they wanted to implement Real ID. They wanted to make WoW a Facebook of sort. Ever since it's all been about how to extract more money from their game than making a game shine on it;s own merits.

    The day of the stand alone game is over. They all want you connected. You;re a revenue stream.

    It's all

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