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Diablo 3 Expansion Reaper of Souls Launches 166

Today Blizzard released the first expansion to Diablo 3, titled Reaper of Souls. The expansion continues the story with Act 5, which includes trips to Westmarch and Pandemonium. The level cap goes up to 70, there's a new class: the Crusader, and a new crafting NPC: the Mystic. The Mystic lets players reroll specific stats on their gear and change how the gear looks. The loot system has seen a drastic revamp, and Blizzard recently shut down the game's controversial auction house so they could have players find better and more interesting gear by fighting monsters. There's a new type of gameplay called Adventure Mode, which unlocks all waypoints and lets players go wherever they want, unrestricted by the campaign progression. This includes completely randomized dungeons, which can pull art and monsters from almost anywhere in the game. They've combined Adventure Mode with the Bounty system, which opens up randomized objectives scattered throughout the world. Blizzard has confirmed that the first major content patch after the expansion will bring ladders and leaderboards.
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Diablo 3 Expansion Reaper of Souls Launches

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  • by Korveck ( 1145695 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @02:47PM (#46576305)
    I was playing Act IV, not knowing the exact time of RoS launch, and was surprised by the announcement that RoS had launched. I left the game after killing the Key Warden and created a new game for Act V. There was no need to log out. The server was stable. I don't think I ever experienced an expansion launch as smooth as this one.
  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:09PM (#46576533)

    I bought Diablo 3 and I got about what I expected from it - 60-ish fun hours. I expect I'll get about the same from the expansion pack. At under a buck and hour it's cheap entertainment. That's how video games worked for most of my life.

    What got me was seeing people putting in hundreds of hours, and then complaining on the forums about how some aspect of the game annoys them. "Blizzard better fix this or I'm done with Diablo!" I don't want to come off like an aging hater. You know, "Kids today with their..." But it sure feels like the stereotyped sense of entitlement we ascribe to millenials.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:20PM (#46576649)
    My friends and I were rabid Diablo II fans. I played through DII and it's expansions with many characters and genuinely enjoyed playing with friends. I refused to buy DIII, though I have played the X360 version as well as PC version. My friend did buy DIII and gave me the rundown on why he doesn't care the least about it anymore. Here's a collection of reasons:
    1. Always online., while useful for chatting, is Blizzards answer to Steam for their 4 games. You can no longer play with friends in a LAN party, or via home to home without stopping by a Blizzard server that isn't guaranteed to be there in 10 years.
    2. Incessant grind-fest. While the Diablo games are known for mowing enemies down for hours on end, in order to get to the maximum level pre-expansion you need to beat the game 3 times in a row. It gets tiresome the first time you do everything again. Try levelling more than one character and maintain your sanity... go on... try. D2 had pacing such that you would hit the level cap somewhere in your 3rd play through, though you could certainly grind at a lower level to give yourself better stats in the 2nd or 3rd run. This, in addition to (3)
    3. The maps are not truly random. Many dungeons have a set organization, as you may expect from a scripted story. However, compared to DII, there aren't many "random dungeons" littered along the countryside, and those that are there are much more boring than their DII counterparts.
    4. Loot and the botched Auction House. One of the big problems in DII was endless grinding for new great stuff, Blizzard tried to fix this by creating a real-money Auction House (and net themselves a little profit, much like microtransactions) and create a way for players to spend money instead of hours trying to find that new weapon. Only problem was it wasn't well received and, from what I recall, heavily abused.
    5. Different Dev Team = Different Game. A lot of the original folks behind D1 and D2 went on to form Runic Games and develop Torchlight. The DIII dev team was trying to emulate and expand on that successful formula of D2. From the few hours I played and the reports of friends, it sounds like DIII was hurting in the story and gameplay departments compared to it's predecessors. It just didn't feel "fun" in the way the others did.

    That said, I spent my money on Torchlight 2, which I still find enjoyable and more creative than DIII.

  • by Remus Shepherd ( 32833 ) <> on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:35PM (#46576807) Homepage

    Through Normal difficulty, Path of Exile is an amazing game. The character build paths are numerous and distinctive, the item/gem mechanics are interesting, and the skill tree is a genuine work of art. It beats D3 soundly.

    But after the end of Normal, PoE starts to seem a little lackluster. I finished Normal at level 35, and I won't see any random maps until the end of Merciless at about level 65. So that's 30 levels -- and two full playthroughs -- to go with no new content. Add to that the fact that character builds that worked at level 35 will probably fail at high level, and specific unique items may be required for high-level builds. I just don't feel compelled to stay with the game. The high-level PoE game looks very intimidating and not very fun.

    That's not to say D3 is any better; it's still grinding the same content with very little fresh loot. And D3 (plus the expansion) is expensive while PoE is free. I just wish there was more to do at high levels in both games. Adventure mode sounds like a step in the right direction.

    For casual players who don't intend to play through either game the expected three times, I heartily recommend Path of Exile. The new D3 content doesn't make up for the flaws in D3 -- the characters, skills, and combat mechanics are still poorly designed and lack the appeal of D2. PoE has that appeal, plus some innovative charm of its own.

    For the heavily invested type of player who loves the grind...I don't know which to recommend. I'm not that type of player.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Remus Shepherd ( 32833 ) <> on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:42PM (#46576867) Homepage

    D3 character builds were set by the game design and are very limited compared to D2 character builds.

    In D2 I had a crossbow-using Necromancer. That's flat-out impossible in D3. A Witch Doctor (the D3 Necro class) can't even pick up a bow, if I recall correctly.

    They severely limited player choices, while giving them free respecs. This destroyed replayability. A character of any class in D3 plays the exact same as any other character of that class. (Or could after a quick respec.) This is a fundamental problem with D3 that the expansion doesn't fix.

    It does sound as if the expansion fixes the loot/drop rate fiasco, at least. That's a separate issue, and one that is more important to some players.

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:49PM (#46576937)
    there are Legendary [orange/brown] and Set [green]items
    I assume that is what you are talking about.

    Playing for 40 hours without a drop is supposed to be impossible.
    There is a timer called "safety net" that is ticking away any time you are in combat killing monsters. If you get a legendary or set item, the timer goes to 0. If the timer gets to 2 hours, your chance to get a legendary item steadily ticks up until it is at 100%, then you get a drop, then it goes back to 0.

    the most you can play (actually play, not just sit there) is just over 2 hours before getting a legendary. If not, you should record a video of you playing for 5 hours straight with no drops and put it on the youtubes, because you are bugged.

    Blizz claims most people will not have to rely on the safety net, only the truly unlucky... but my experience is, you can set your watch by the 2 hour gap between legendaries.
  • Re:no thanks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by crashcy ( 2839507 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @04:26PM (#46577319)
    While online only is not much of a problem for me (thanks Google Fiber), your comment comes across as a celebration of a lack of choice.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner