By Ben Barrett on August 21st, 2013 at 12:00 pm.
There is a siren on my desk that I keep in pristine condition. Every night I polish and clean the surfaces and check the wiring before heading to bed with a satisfied sigh. Its purpose is simple: whenever Blizzard release a new cinematic, it alerts me to this fact. Me and most of the neighbourhood. About an hour ago it went off again, as the legendary developer officially announced the new Diablo 3 expansion at gamescom. All the details and that unparalleled talent for beauty in the deeps below.
They could sell me dog mess in a box with production like that. Some might say they already did.
So what’s new in the somewhat controversial RPG? Basically: everything. There’s a level cap upgrade to 70, adding new skills and runes to existing classes. To get you there is the whole new act, centered around the region of Westmarch, a gothic-inspired fallen city. Within which you’ll find new enemies, upgraded loot and an entire new character class, the Crusader, based around the Diablo 2 (and everything else) Paladin. Check him and his home out below.
The endgame is the focus of mechanical changes this go round. Complaints from the community are that it is a dull grind fest with little support, even after attempts were made to lengthen interest. Now they’re taking a new route, foregoing the BILLIONS OF DROPS mentality in favour of lesser numbers, but attempting to use fancy algorithms to tailor what’s received to your character. In addition, enchanting makes a return, allowing unwanted affixes to be altered on otherwise useful items. There are also new “Loot Runs”, entirely randomised 15-20 minute dungeons that are designed to maximise both fun and goods received. Meanwhile, the Paragon system is being altered to be less grindy, but also have no cap, allowing infinite progression for those who want it.
That teaser site will likely get an upgrade soon, so keep an eye on it for more details.