What's the best way to get customers back into your game before the expansion pack launches? Give them +50 percent bonus XP for weeks, allowing them to beef up their characters. That's what Blizzard is doing with Diablo III, which is scheduled for a good dose of Reaper of Souls on March 25.
"This hefty XP bonus gives your heroes a leg up on the new Paragon Leveling System, which just went live in patch 2.0.1," reads Blizzard's blog. "The new Paragon Leveling system not only allows ALL of your characters to share and contribute towards a single account-wide Paragon level, but it also grants bonus ability points with each Paragon level gained, which can be discretionally assigned to your character’s stats."
The blog also points out that the pre-expansion patch introduces Loot 2.0, which promises better gear. As an example, Blizzard reports that a Wizard is more likely to find items with Intelligence or bonuses to Wizard skills than a Barbarian. The difficulty system has also been revamped, consisting of Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment. There are also significant skill updates to all five hero classes.
The new patch actually went live six days ago, adding Pools of Reflection that provides a 25 percent bonus to experience, the Nephalem Glory buff, and new hero stats such as Toughness, Healing, Splash Damage, Cooldown Reduction, and Resource Cost Reduction. Crafting has also received several quality of life changes.
"Plus, for the first time ever, Diablo III players can rally their allies with Clans and Communities, making this the ideal time to get your old adventuring group back together and dive into some serious loot hunting," reads the blog.
Just yesterday Diablo III lead content designer Kevin Martens said that the new Adventure Mode (sandbox) is the primary feature of the expansion, meaning that gamers won't be required to play the story over and over again. That's good news considering that right now each new character must endure the storyline.
"As good as Act V is, once you get into Adventure Mode and you see the promise of everything random that Diablo does; that makes replayability the point of the game. It's not linear anymore so you're experience is different every time you come in," he said.
Enough talk. It's time to level up a few characters.