Early this morning at Gamescom, Blizzard unveiled the speculated Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion set. Lots of new things will be introduced in their update to the game, with most importantly a new act of the story and a new class, the Crusader, being added. The story picks up after the defeat of Diablo as Tyreal attempts to hide away the Black Soulstone, which imprisons all 7 of the Prime and Lesser Evils within it. As it’s being placed for safe keeping, the fallen Angel of Death Malthael appears and steals the stone to use for his own purposes, wounding Tyreal in the process. The Crusader class is a direct callback to Diablo II‘s Paladin class. In fact they are paladins from the same order, but from a special forces group and have a few of the paladin’s old abilities. The class is described as a plate wearing mid-range melee class that focuses on heavy use of a gigantic shield and flails in combat. I’ve personally already fallen in love with the class, as the archetype is probably my all time favorite to play and they’ve also made the combat in my style as well. My wizard is as good as shelved as soon as this expansion hits.
Also part of the expansion are some systems changes. The level cap will be increased to 70, bringing new skills and runes with it, while the Paragon leveling system is changing to be an account wide alternate advancement system that buffs your stats on all characters per point assignments. Paragon levels will no longer have a cap on them as well. It is still unclear as to how exactly this will work, but hoping to see it explained in detail in the coming days. “Loot 2.0” is being introduced; the general idea is less drops but better and more class relevant drops. Boss mobs will always drop a class appropriate legendary the first time they are killed. Legendaries themselves are also changing as they’ll now have augments to the way abilities work, similar to runes. The third artisan, the Mystic is also being added back in after being scrapped in the late beta of the original release. She brings with her the ability to “enchant” or re-roll stats on an item, as well as transmogrify gear to look like other gear so you can always have the specific look you want for your character.
A final new feature was also mentioned: “Loot Runs” designed for endgame players that take roughly 15-20 minutes. These runs are completely randomized with location, weather, mobs, and bosses and apparently have a multi-tiered system of some sort as well. I can see this being extremely popular with loot and gold farming alike. Of course there’s going to be plenty of new monsters throughout the entire expansion so we can look forward to that as well.
The overall tone of the expansion and art seems much more dark and more of a throwback to Diablo and Diablo II, which long time players and detractors of the original Diablo III art will hopefully appreciate. There’s currently been no mention of a beta, but you can be sure they’ll do something like that at some point. Also lacking in mention was a collectors edition but that can also be expected as Blizzard always does one for their games.
No specific release date was given but it is slated for 2014. Keep your eyes open for more info as the game continues development and check in with Constantly Calibrating to hear me talk about in more detail over the coming months!