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.