Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls Beta (Kinda) Begins

Every time I write about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, I cannot resist the urge to blast “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult. Then I begin having flashbacks to the original Prey, a game that, incidentally, made me far happier than vanilla Diablo III. But hey, seasons don’t fear the Reaper seems to be kinda on the right track, so that’s encouraging. Now, though, it’s time to keep it from catching aflame (or going up in smoke; I forget how it works in Hell) and careening madly off a cliff by lending a hand during the game’s beta phase. It just opened up to Blizzard’s friends and family (and also “valued media contacts and key members of the Blizzard community”), but others won’t have to wait too terribly long to take a crack at it. An invite-based closed beta will kick off before the year is out.

Here’s the plan, per Blizzard’s big bad beta buh-announcement:

“Our Friends and Family Beta is just the first step of public testing, and by the end of the year we will be moving into Closed Beta. Since our Reaper of Souls Closed Beta test will also feature all content in the expansion (again, excluding the final boss fight), invitations will be extremely limited. However, we’ll continue handpicking community members to invite to the Closed Beta and bringing in additional players through opt-ins to ensure that all of our features like the Crusader, Mystic, and Adventure Mode get the testing they deserve.”

When the Reaper of Souls closed beta begins, Blizzard will also roll out patch 2.0.1 to the public test realms. That’ll give everyone – you, your grandmother, your cat, Kanye West – access to Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, a new difficulty system, clans, communities, and re-balanced classes. So hurrah for that.

If you want to put your name in the Unnecessarily Spiky Hat Of +17.5 To Early Access-ness for closed beta, simply log in to Battle.net and opt in via your Beta Profile Settings. By no means does that guarantee you entrance, but it’s probably still worth a shot.

So there you go. Oh, did anyone make it into the friends and family phase? If so, it’s worth noting that you’re not under any sort of NDA. Let loose with your impressions. May they fly straight and true.


  1. Syra says:

    I prefer the HIM version of not fearing the reaper…

    • N'Al says:

      GET OUT

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      Really looking forward to the loot overhaul and slowing down the combat to make it more strategic.

      I wish more games would figure out that slower = more strategy = higher skill ceiling.

      There’s a reason chess masters don’t play speed chess very much.

      • Tinman says:

        As much as I think a slower game has the capacity to teach newbies to play faster than a fast game does, I completely disagree with you.

        A faster game will have more interactions and more changes to an ongoing strategy than a slower game will. Strategy is not the only component defining player skill. There are reaction times, micro management, prior knowledge, threat assessment, mechanical dexterity etc. Someone who can play a faster game better than someone else is much closer to to skill ceiling of that game, and a game that is faster has a higher skill ceiling.

        Compare Call of Duty to Quake III: Arena. You don’t seriously think CoD has a higher skill ceiling because it is a slower game …. right?

    • Geebs says:

      Every time somebody mentions that bit of Prey I mentally start playing back “You’ve got another thing coming” instead

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    MY Impressions?


    • The Random One says:

      Mhe = “I’m so apathetic towards this I can’t even be bothered to spell ‘meh’ correctly.”

  3. Skeletor68 says:

    Really looking forward to RoS now, but think I will avoid the beta and even Loot 2.0 until full release. Path of Exile is sweet though, so will definitely keep running with that for now and alternate between the two later. Happy ARPG times!

    Torchlight is great, has beautiful music etc. but for reasons I cannot understand has never fully pulled me in. I think I like the down and dirty of D2 and PoE too much. I suspect it’s my own problem.

  4. kael13 says:

    Watched a spot of gameplay on Twitch. Looks like a lot of welcome changes. Excited to try out the new difficulty and loot systems.

  5. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    “Blizzard will also roll out patch 2.0.1…access to Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, a new difficulty system, clans, communities, and re-balanced classes.”

    Ugh. Some of these games make it feel like you need to take a 3-week course to understand where to begin. I just want to play a game, man. I still haven’t played D3 and the more fixes, tweaks, overhauls, systems, and rebalancings the less I want to even bother.

    • Skeletor68 says:

      D3 really isn’t complicated unless you are a serious min/maxer. Just pick a character, throw some funny clothes on and have fun blasting monsters around the place. No hardcore builds needed like in later stages of Path of Exile.

      I’m glad I have the option of both type of games now!

      • frightlever says:

        Game must have changed a lot since I played, which was last about two months after launch. Back then there was usually one viable build per character to finish all difficulty levels.

    • Tinman says:

      If you want to play it, just play it! The incoming systems are not complicated and are replacing old systems anyway. Assuming you were not on or can get off the jabberwocky hate bandwagon all the cool kids like to ride, there is no better time to play than right now! By the time you hit 60 the new patch will probably be out and you can reap all the benefits of the new replacement systems.

      Just keep in mind that paragon 2.0 is really only going to reward the dedicated players who get to max level and play it then some. For your average joe who killed D1ablo in normal difficulty at level 25 before quitting, he will not experience paragon 2.0 until he hits 60 in vanilla, and 70 in RoS. Putting the work in now will mean you will have a better experience in the long run.

  6. Screamer says:

    I’m tired of Blizzard and their DRM polices. I doesn’t really matter how good RoS is, none of it can compensate for lag in a single player game, or only being able to play when they let me.

  7. derbefrier says:

    Unless they replaced the perk system with an actual skill point system of some kind I won’t bother. Way to simple for me otherwise. Goddamnit now I am pissed off. Think about how big a dissapointment this game was.

  8. huldu says:

    Nice to see Blizzard still uses the idea of overpowered abilities and what not during the “beta”. It’ll be fun to see them nerf *everything* a month or so after release once they’ve sold enough expansions. The crusader is so op compared to the other classes, I’m not even sure where to begin. It has to be op as well, otherwise they won’t sell any expansions. Beside that It’s pretty much the same game, the class feels like a blend between various existing ones and a little from D2. Haven’t got a chance to test the adventure mode yet, but I’ll get into that when I get time to do so.

    • Moraven says:

      Its a beta… for testing.

      And is not like Riot who has a PTR for new champions and still release them OP to help sell them.

  9. Moraven says:

    I plan to play some this weekend. No time to play it yesterday =/

    It looked great at BlizzCon from the limited demos. I look forward to trying all the Adventure Rifts and what not.