Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls Sets Scythes On Release

By Nathan Grayson on December 20th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls‘ closed beta is now in full swing, and that colloquialism makes it sound like everyone’s singing and dancing along to big band music instead of hacking and slashing. If only that were the case. If only. But the clickity clacking Second Coming Of Loot is inching ever closer to completion, so Blizzard’s seen fit to issue a release date. That’s how game development works, doncha know. So then, got plans for March? Well, CANCEL THEM. Or don’t, because letting videogames dictate the pace and structure of your life probably isn’t very healthy.

Reaper of Souls will launch on March 25th. It’ll come in two flavors: standard and digital deluxe. The former is simply the expansion sans bells and whistles, and it’ll run you $39.99. The latter, meanwhile, will weigh in at a beefy $59.99, which is maybe kinda too much for a spectral hound minion, a pet in another game (WoW), and some character portraits for yet another different game (StarCraft II). In fact, I would go so far as to say that’s a terrible deal. Yikes.

At least the expansion itself is nicely content-rich. Among other things, it offers the Crusader class, a whole new Act to play through, Adventure mode and its randomized Nephalem Rifts, and the much-discussed Loot 2.0 system. However, despite the upcoming removal of Diablo III’s vilest devil, the Auction House, Reaper of Souls won’t include any sort of offline functionality. Blizzard somewhat dismissively tried to explain why during BlizzCon, but I personally found its reasoning to be more full of holes than a hot air balloon filled with porcupines. Most talking points crashed and burned, but Blizzard stood by them.

That in mind, I suppose all we can do at this point is hope the newly revamped game justifies the hassle. I’m not happy about it, but it is what it is. Is anyone here playing the beta at the moment? How is it?

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41 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Auru says:

    Been playing the Reaper of Souls beta, the best thing about it is there is just more ‘game’ to it.. with the enchanting, wider range of affixes.. crazy build bending legendaries and so on.. I felt like I made more meaningful choices in my first few days of playing my max level monk on RoS beta then I had made in the past 6 months of D3 vanilla.

    That said, I really wish they had gone further.. nephalim rifts are really cool with the varied enviroments and enemies, but feel a bit weak (kill 50 enemies.. kill boss) I’d love to have seen more random objectives.. rift wide bonuses or debuffs (like the map system in other.. well known ARPG’s!)

    Adventure mode is glorious if you despised D3′s constant cutscenes and the need to remake entire games to change region, it’s the kind of mode where you can throw on some good music.. chill out and just enjoy what was always without a doubt the best part of D3, the fun.. fluid combat.

    I am not sold on buying this expansion, despite playing beta.. I really wanted to see Ladders make it into the expansion.. and just have blizz throw caution to the wind and redo the stat system entirely (because it’s still awful)

    Well that turned into a ramble.. lets see how much the game changes from now till March, knowing Blizz and Blizz ‘betas’ … I doubt we will see much difference :)

  1. SillyWizard says:

    A hot air balloon filled with porcupines wouldn’t be full of holes, it would be full of cooked porcupines.

  2. Auru says:

    Been playing the Reaper of Souls beta, the best thing about it is there is just more ‘game’ to it.. with the enchanting, wider range of affixes.. crazy build bending legendaries and so on.. I felt like I made more meaningful choices in my first few days of playing my max level monk on RoS beta then I had made in the past 6 months of D3 vanilla.

    That said, I really wish they had gone further.. nephalim rifts are really cool with the varied enviroments and enemies, but feel a bit weak (kill 50 enemies.. kill boss) I’d love to have seen more random objectives.. rift wide bonuses or debuffs (like the map system in other.. well known ARPG’s!)

    Adventure mode is glorious if you despised D3′s constant cutscenes and the need to remake entire games to change region, it’s the kind of mode where you can throw on some good music.. chill out and just enjoy what was always without a doubt the best part of D3, the fun.. fluid combat.

    I am not sold on buying this expansion, despite playing beta.. I really wanted to see Ladders make it into the expansion.. and just have blizz throw caution to the wind and redo the stat system entirely (because it’s still awful)

    Well that turned into a ramble.. lets see how much the game changes from now till March, knowing Blizz and Blizz ‘betas’ … I doubt we will see much difference :)

    • derbefrier says:

      yup the skill system is the big thing for me. you can make all the cool loot you want and add all the extra content you want as long as they keep that stupid ass perk system(its not a skill system) I wont buy it. I wont lie I do like the sound of some of the changes, but they mean nothing if the game is still so dumbed down it gets boring before you even hit the level cap.

      Path of Exile will still be the best online arpg out there as far as customization and depth. They are constantly adding new skills and shit and in my opinion theres just no way D3 can compete with that. Not that there are not drawbacks to PoE’s approach. desync causes issues for many ( ranging from barely noticeable to unplayable depending on what seems about a bajillion variables) and while the last time I played D3 there was some noticeable lag it wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it can be in PoE. I can agree D3s combat is more fluid and pretty to watch but also loses something since to achieve this they had to dumb down combat mechanics so they wouldnt have the latency and desync issues a more complex simulation like PoE has. and dont forget since they do add new skills rather frequently balancing changes can often break characters which leads to lots of rage every so often.

      I tell ya if GGG just said to hell with it and sold a offline, LAN, direct connect only version of PoE D3 wouldn’t stand a chance in hell but thanks to its many technical issues I am sure more than a few people will run back to D3 for a few months once this is released, but i wont be one of them.

      • Moraven says:

        Its so fun to have all that customization and options until you learn there is 2-4 cookie cutter builds and the only way to reset your skill tree is to remake your 100 hour character.

        I feel the opposite of D3 skill system. I can try any amount of builds, be able to kill stuff and have fun doing it. And I can change it nearly on the fly. Now add in new and more items that buff certain skills, you will be able to get loot that enhances your favorite skill set.

        • Horg says:

          ”Its so fun to have all that customization and options until you learn there is 2-4 cookie cutter builds and the only way to reset your skill tree is to remake your 100 hour character.”

          As someone actively playing PoE, I cannot stress enough how wrong this is. If you are interested in trying out PoE, research the game yourself and don’t let comments like this put you off.

          • Moraven says:

            And by researching you get the elitist replies that sucks for you and this is not the game for you. That I am supposed to research a build before I start playing a character.

            The “official” stance from the developers is there will never be a full respec option and actions have consequence. They are aimed at that hardcore D2 crowd.

            They offer minor respec items but that gives you no room to do a full respec unless you remake your character.

            And apparently offering respec items in the store is Pay to Win. I can play many hours and get stuck with a dead end character. If I ever want to try a different spec with the same class, I am supposed to reroll a new character. Sounds like fun releveling a character just so I can try a different build.

          • Horg says:

            I think we’ve found the blizzard shill guys.

          • Moraven says:

            Just pointing out that a few less customization options is not a bad thing. Both type of systems have their strengths. But so many think any deviation from D2 system is a sin.

            I would play PoE further if I knew I could respec whenether. Frustrating in D2 when early skills were worthless and you would play with no point allocation for 30 levels. Titan Quest did not have respec until the expansion. Although you paid in game gold. I just do not find it fun to regrind the first 30-50 levels again. And people complain about MMOs all the time…

          • Asurmen says:

            I think we’ve found the PoE fanboy guys.

    • Moraven says:

      Ladder system strings have been datamined. Its going to happen. But who knows when. I am sure they are not in a rush since it really only appeals to a minor subset of players.

      You pinned it right on the head. Instantly I was having fun once I loaded up beta and did not feel like I was playing the same game.

  3. Freud says:

    Looks like Blizzard has addressed pretty much every real problem with the game and the gameplay was already miles ahead of the competition. Hopefully they’ll stick to the decision to have the best items being bound to account, to promote playing over trading.

    As for still complaining about D3 being online for the umpteenth time on RPS, while being completely silent about Path of Exile having completely broken netcode leading to desynch deaths being more common than deaths due to player mistakes is expected. Because Grinding Gear Games are the good guys and Blizzard are the bad guys.

  4. Shezo says:

    Not mentioned in the article, but if you’re fortunate to live in europe, D3 will cost you 40 euros.
    Almost 50 bucks for damn expansion.
    Thanks satan i will be getting expac 3 weeks after release for 25 bucks.

    • RaoulDuke says:

      I’m afraid UKers don’t get off any better, £32.99 for normal and £49.99 for “deluxe”.

      Image as grabbed from my own battle.net account upgrade page –
      http://s11.postimg.org/6yis2tekj/D3_Ro_S_Price.jpg

      edit – Which I just checked on xe.com is $54 and $81 respectively, I’m playing the PTR right now and loving it + plan to buy the expansion but I won’t be paying more than £25, I paid £32 for the flucking vanilla game!

  5. chiablo says:

    $40 is a pretty bitter pill to swallow for what is essentially a fix to make the original game what it should have been from the beginning… fun.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      To be fair, some of the Reaper features are being patched into the base game (like the improved loot system.)

      It still feels like a grossly overpriced expansion but that’s become par for the course from greedy ActiBlizz.

  6. DeathRow says:

    It baffles me why people are already pre-ordering this game. Blizzard has proven to be consistently incompetent with this game. They’ve made mistake after mistake but I do acknowledge that they have been trying to make it better(closure of AH) but at this same time they’ve been trying to make it worse(nerfing popular builds) which takes them ages to implement.

    I will be waiting at least a few months before jumping into this game. Blizzard is already in my list of game companies that I do not trust when it comes pre-ordering.

  7. strangeloup says:

    I’ve been enjoying vanilla D3 an awful lot since getting it on the PS3; they’ve done a very nice job with the interface, it plays well on a pad, has local multiplayer, and doesn’t require you to be online or have the auction house.

    Apparently this expansion will make its way to consoleland too, but as far as I know there’s been no further word on that other than “it is definitely a thing that will happen at some point”.

  8. SillyWizard says:

    I wonder how many comments here have been consumed by Horace so far? (I’m wondering this, of course, because I bone-headedly tried to use the verboten word in a comment on an article about the verboten subject. Yay.)

  9. Amakir says:

    Blizzard are dead to me.

  10. huldu says:

    Yeah… that RoS, I’ve watched a few streamers play it. It seems “fun” for a few days, a week at most, then you’re bored – really bored. I’m sure if you have a solid fanbase of over 10k watching you on twitch you probably could keep playing it. It just seems to be the same game, but somewhat better, if they released this instead of the original d3 things might have been different.

    • Moraven says:

      And the D2 that everyone remembers is with all the additions that came with the expansion, not the base game.

      RoP gives you a lot more options to do demon slaying along with an improved loot system. More ways to have fun, loot is more likely useful and more loot stats to experiment different builds with.

  11. Moraven says:

    People with the base game still get loot changes among other changes.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Judging from the PTR, you also get the option to autoskip cutscenes. Finally. Not as good as adventure mode in RoS, but still.

  12. Lars Westergren says:

    Do they still have the limitation that you have to play through every character on “normal” before you can select a harder difficulty? I tried playing it coop with some friends, we finished one playthrough but were thoroughly sick of it after that. We play games to have fun and be challenged. A mandatory 20 hour tutorial is not challenging and not fun. FF13 gets flak for it, so should D3.

    We are giving Path of Exile a try this weekend, I tried some today. So far it seems a lot better.

    • Arathain says:

      They’ve actually had selectable difficulty for most of this year, in that Normal, Nighmare etc. still existed, but you had 10 difficulties within those runs that you could change any time.

      However, the expansion does away with that completely. Each area scales to your level, and there are also difficulty levels that can be changed any time. The hardest difficulties are unlocked at high character levels. It’s a total change from how they were doing things.

      • Moraven says:

        As Arathain has said, there is dynamic difficulty now. There are different options now to make it more difficult for you level.

        Rewards for running on each difficulty:
        Normal – No rewards
        Hard – 75% Extra gold/xp
        Expert – 100% Extra gold/xp, Bounties award double currency
        Master – 200% Extra gold/xp, Bounties award double currency, New legendary recipes can drop
        Torment – 300% Extra gold/xp, Bounties award double currency, New legendary recipes can drop, New legendary items can drop, 250% bonus legendary drop rate
        Torment I-VI – Additional gold/xp/legendary drop rate per slider tick

        Torment requires level 70.

  13. Aikei says:

    Plans for March? Really? Does anybody here actually have any plans for four months in the future?

  14. JohnnyPanzer says:

    Woah… That is one expensive frickin’ patch!

    • Arathain says:

      I get where that sentiment comes from, although I think it’s a bit unfair. They’re providing a whole new act, a new character class with all the diverse skills that entails, new skills for each existing class, a whole new mode for playing the game, revamped loot, revamped difficulty along with a bunch of other features (the Mystic, bounties, rifts, cursed chests, more items and what have you).

      I’m not arguing that the price seems a little high for an expansion, and I understand that some may feel that it fixes some mistakes, and fixes shouldn’t be charged for. I think, however, that there is most definitely enough content to call it a true expansion.

  15. Brifyinutly says:

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    http://www.Rush64.com

  16. bill says:

    Those are truly ridiculous shoulder pads! If he raises his arms he’s going to impale himself through the scalp.

    And how does he put on sweaters?

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