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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Promises Mayhem, Randomness

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Diablo III has been criticized rather harshly in some quarters for basically doing nothing to expand on the original design and its boring and repetitive nature. It got so bad at one point it spawned an epic online meltdown between present and former developers.

For its first expansion, "Reaper of Souls," Blizzard seems to be taking the criticism to heart in the form of a game that will be far less repetitive and far more brutal. It won't hesitate to throw 30 monsters at you at once, but you will have tricks up your sleeve as well.

A panel led by Joshua Mosqueira, game director, offered up a good look at the forthcoming expansion. A major portion of "Reaper of Souls" will be Adventure Mode, which will let players jump through any portions of the game and skip cinematics and other nonsense.

Right now you can jump to any portion of the game but you must save the game to the player menu and then select the campaign you want. Adventure Mode lets you skip all that by simply jumping to that portion of the game. You can assemble a few levels into a multi-step adventure and avoid saving the game and choosing the new play location.

One of the bigger problems of multiplayer is each player will act on his or her own agenda and run off, so the parties are often separated. A new feature called Bounties gives the players a common goal, so they stick together to get the bounty, whether it's killing a monster or finding treasure. There will also be missions where players are sent into dungeons to clean them out of every living creature.

Blizzard also showed off the Nephalim Rift, where they took all the dungeons in the game and totally randomized them. First, they raised the depth limit (or lowered, depending on your point of view) of a dungeon from two levels to ten. Second, when you go into these rift levels, they are completely random. One may be a root cellar, the next an old crypt, the next an outdoor zone. You never get the same rift twice.

Second, they brought in monsters from the four Acts that comprise the Diablo game. So you might have undead from Act 1 attacking you along with demons from Act 5. And these dungeons will throw a random number of monsters at you. Some levels might be very sparse, then next one drops 30 on you at once.

Not to worry, for these random dungeons you will get special buffs to do insane damage. One shown off features chain lightning zapping eight monsters at once.

"Diablo III: Reaper of Souls" has no official release date. Blizzard also let players get their first look at "Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition" for PlayStation 4. It will feature the main game plus the "Reaper of Souls" expansion. It also has no release date but looked solid from the non-stop gameplay that was going on.

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  • -4 Hide
    MD1987 , November 9, 2013 1:13 PM
    It sounds very promising. And with some fresh ideas on the dev team I really think Blizzard will deliver on this one.
  • -2 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , November 9, 2013 1:49 PM
    Diablo 3 was ok, beat it in about 3 days. It was fun, but too easy...
  • -4 Hide
    thebigt42 , November 9, 2013 1:52 PM
    do I keep my char or start all over???????????????
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 9, 2013 2:02 PM
    Quote:
    Diablo 3 was ok, beat it in about 3 days. It was fun, but too easy...


    You sure you did all 4 difficulties? Because unless you went to the RMAH and bought all Inferno class gear, Inferno was, at release, hard as hell and self found was near impossible.

    Quote:
    do I keep my char or start all over???????????????


    You will keep your current character just have ACT V open for you.

    My problem is why is it taking so long? The answer? The console version. They have focused more on it, hence why the console version is out, with a better loot system at that, and RoS will also hit for the consoles the same day.

    The last major update to the game (not including any small fixes but had gameplay changes or new content) was in May and there is no patch planned until at the very earliest March 2014, when they kill the AH and add some of the new loot features.

    The rumor is that the Expansion, which will be what contains most of the new stuff people actually want, is May 2014 so a year before the game may actually become decent compared to now where very few people will consistently play it.
  • 2 Hide
    Spencer Castillo , November 9, 2013 2:47 PM
    "Diablo 3 was ok, beat it in about 3 days. It was fun, but too easy..."

    I'l be impressed if you reach inferno act 3 in 3 days which i highly doubt.

    I played diablo on the first week of the release and unlike now, inferno was very hard to beat. I actually reach inferno act 1 after a week of playing, many players were able to reach sooner but im on a full time job so i can only spend 6 hours a day playing diablo. it took me one weekend to finish act 1 and a whole week reach act 3.
  • 3 Hide
    Eisbrecher34 , November 9, 2013 5:30 PM
    Too bad that now that Path of Exile is officially released I have no use for D3...
  • -1 Hide
    MD1987 , November 9, 2013 5:37 PM
    Quote:
    Too bad that now that Path of Exile is officially released I have no use for D3...


    I played PoE. Yeah, it's neat. But the skill tree isn't all that exciting once you realize that it's mostly +stats filler nodes with a couple almost mandatory ones depending on your class. And combat just feels clunky and slow.
  • 2 Hide
    Eisbrecher34 , November 9, 2013 10:44 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Too bad that now that Path of Exile is officially released I have no use for D3...


    I played PoE. Yeah, it's neat. But the skill tree isn't all that exciting once you realize that it's mostly +stats filler nodes with a couple almost mandatory ones depending on your class. And combat just feels clunky and slow.


    Well PoE has been in the making for 7 years so they never had D3 to compare against. That being said though, as a D2 fan I enjoy the slower and clunkier combat because it feels more like D2. Add to that the gem / skill system (colors, links, levels, etc...) and a good balance on loot I really have nothing to complain about. Oh and its free ;) 

    As far as the +stats comment goes, I don't know how high of a level you have gotten to, but it becomes a pretty precise science by the time you get to merciless. That is when the game truly shines because you either live or die by your skill tree, not really so much what your equipment is, which is the exact opposite of D3.

    In the end I kind of liked D3, and hopefully these changes may make it a bit more fun, but other than the fact that it is a lot more refined and looks a little nicer, when it comes to core game play and D2 nostalgia, PoE is much more fun to me.
  • 2 Hide
    timw03878 , November 9, 2013 11:30 PM
    Unless they up the player limit per server I'll pass

    4 is just too shitty.

    Never bought this pos and glad I didn't.
  • 1 Hide
    mazty , November 10, 2013 2:48 AM
    Why on earth would I pay for an expansion of a broken game? All this expansion will do is separate the gamers from the blizzard fanboys.
  • -1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , November 10, 2013 3:34 AM
    RMAH doesn't exist on xbox360, and I heard this was coming for a PC update soon. I wonder if this expansion adds that (or rather removes RMAH...LOL). You can play the xbox360 version totally offline and never connect once for anything. It was said this was coming to the PC version, which may finally get me to purchase. If I have to connect to the net ONE time. NO PURCHASE :)  I want nothing to do with Blizzards servers (or any other COMPANY servers or any game that depends on them to live forever), nor steam etc. I may go steam once steamOS is up and running great, but it's only because it won't be IN WINDOWS. I refuse to use steam IN windows. But SteamOS avoids that. I can dual boot that and finally enjoy some steam games :) 
  • 2 Hide
    ssddx , November 10, 2013 5:35 AM
    the console version of the game is broken.

    act IV in hell mode master 1 is harder than inferno master 2. at first i thought they introduced some new game update to increase the difficulty until i realized it was bugged.

    the console version now has some pretty extreme lag. this is likely a psn issue though? not sure.

    why oh why can we not search for people playing a given difficulty level (eg inferno) with all difficulty levels. it can be a complete pain to actually find a game with all of the random joins and resetting the current levels.

    d3 is chock full of worthless skills which you cannot use since it is very unforgiving at higher difficulty levels. essentially you are stuck running 2-3 builds if you actually want to live.

    ----

    overall d3 is a fun game however the major flaws are almost too much to bear.
  • 4 Hide
    joditas , November 10, 2013 11:20 AM
    The engine D3 is using is really lacking. It doesn't look that great yet the resources it consumes are rather high, especially at CPU front. It doesn't have dynamic lighting and to me that's one of the biggest factors hurt how the game looks and feels. D1 and D2 though are 2D, they have that gritty and shadowy atmosphere, which really fit the game's lore well. I don't think the engine even uses modern shader, which can also limit how the game looks. The art direction and monster design are WoWish. They don't look scary and even humorous in some cases. It seems the staff have been influenced heavily by WoW and can't come up something really hideous and disgusting.

    Not a fan of the new skill paradigm but I can live with it. The problem is for a system like this, it basically encourages you to play around with all the skills based on situations, yet it penalizes you by cancelling Nephalem Valor when changing skill. The mere 6 skill slots also contribute the game's repetitiveness. You don't have room for "fun" skills, or mix and mash with lots of different skills, all the 6 have to be the bare minimum you have to use just to survive.
  • 2 Hide
    fedelm , November 10, 2013 11:57 AM
    is it OFFLINEsingle player yet? No?

    Well then you can fuck off, Blizzard.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 10, 2013 4:19 PM
    The Nephalim Rift seems to be a clone of the Shadow Vault in Torchlight - random maps and monsters recycled from other areas.
  • 2 Hide
    joaompp , November 10, 2013 10:41 PM
    still waiting for gamepad support on the PC, no reason why only the PS3 version gets it, and no I will not play it on the PS3, the visuals look like a PSOne game, it's pretty bad.
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 10, 2013 10:49 PM
    Quote:
    RMAH doesn't exist on xbox360, and I heard this was coming for a PC update soon. I wonder if this expansion adds that (or rather removes RMAH...LOL). You can play the xbox360 version totally offline and never connect once for anything. It was said this was coming to the PC version, which may finally get me to purchase. If I have to connect to the net ONE time. NO PURCHASE :)  I want nothing to do with Blizzards servers (or any other COMPANY servers or any game that depends on them to live forever), nor steam etc. I may go steam once steamOS is up and running great, but it's only because it won't be IN WINDOWS. I refuse to use steam IN windows. But SteamOS avoids that. I can dual boot that and finally enjoy some steam games :) 


    Um what? Steam is one of the best things about Windows. SteamOS wont even have the majority of good games since its Linux based and hence will use OGL.

    There is no reason to not use Steam in Windows. And SteamOS is just Steam Big Picture Mode.

    Quote:
    The Nephalim Rift seems to be a clone of the Shadow Vault in Torchlight - random maps and monsters recycled from other areas.


    Bingo.

    Quote:
    still waiting for gamepad support on the PC, no reason why only the PS3 version gets it, and no I will not play it on the PS3, the visuals look like a PSOne game, it's pretty bad.


    The PS3 has it because its a console that mainly uses the gamepad.

    And unless they completely change the UI to match the console, which even with RoS it doesn't look like it, I doubt it will add support.

    I think there are apps you can use to use a gamepad but honestly it probably wont work as well as the PS3 version.
  • 0 Hide
    Vorador2 , November 11, 2013 8:35 AM
    Sorry, but they already had their opportunity and squandered it.

    Bought the game on launch. Worst 60$ i've ever spent.
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , November 11, 2013 1:00 PM
    the entire game was weak sauce and lame with all the stuff removed from diablo 2.

    i would rather have had diablo2 with updated graphics and bug fixes to make it work on vista, 7 and 8 instead of all of the other changes made.

    this was the worst remake ever.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , November 11, 2013 3:49 PM
    Just funny how new Bliz Game Director is undoing nearly everything Jay Wilson put into D3. Cant believe Jay is involved with Project Titan!
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