Close to two years have passed since Blizzard released the third installment of the Diablo saga. After a long wait of more than ten years, the fans of the franchise got to experience a whole new chapter that for many was quite disappointing. The expansion set on the other hand, aims to fix some of the problems and transform the game into something that the public demanded: a hack and slash game that delivers and lives up to the name and legacy left by Diablo 2.
What Has Changed?
Hack and slash action-RPG games are not supposed to be complicated. Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls brings back some of the traditional role playing game mechanics. The new Paragon system allows players to allocate points into various stats such as strength, agility, intellect or even movement speed or critical hit chance. Also, unlike the previous model, Paragon levels are not capped to 100 and they are account wide. Leveling with one toon means that all other toons will have the same Paragon level.
Another obvious change is the raise of the level cap which went from 60 to 70. Players will grind for experience in a whole new act, fighting against Malthael, former Archangel of Wisdom that went missing and returned as the Angel of Death. Monster slaying will take place mostly in Westmarch, a new area and in the Pandemonium Fortress (zone present also in Diablo 2 in the fourth act.
In terms of crafting, Blizzard introduced a new NPC referred to as the “Mystic”. Using new crafting materials, the Mystic gives the players the option to reroll certain stats in order to obtain a better item suited for their build. The ones that do not like the appearance of their items can also run to the Mystic and try out the new Transmogrification feature that was borrowed from World of Warcraft.
Difficulty levels received their share of reword. Instead of Monster Power, players have 5 adjustable settings that scale to provided more challenging content. These difficulty levels are paired with the two new player modes: Campaign and Adventure. Campaign is straight forward but Adventure mode becomes unlocked after the player slays Malthael and completes the campaign. In Adventure mode, all waypoints are unlocked and additional loot can be found by completing certain challenges.
The New Playable Class: The Crusader
The Crusader will raise a nostalgic feeling. He is quite similar to the Diablo 2 Paladin. Equipped with a shield and a mace or flail, the Crusader plays and feels like a paladin. Skills such as shield slam, healing abilities and many others make it a successful reincarnation of the old playable class.
All these changes make Diablo 3 a much more enjoyable game. There is always something to do, a piece of gear to grind for, Paragon level experience runs and so on. The new Loot 2.0 makes the game even more enjoyable especially since the Auction House and Real Money Auction House have been taken down.
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls shines from many perspectives. It is visually stunning, the cinematics are breathtaking, it is fun to play, it is no longer a pay-to-win game and farming for hours for upgrades is much more rewarding. Adding the fact that the new social features such as the clans and bonuses for joining a group endorse the online co-op mode, Reaper of Souls represents the game that everyone was expecting to be delivered 2 years ago. It does justice to the franchise and most likely will get the veterans back into the fields of justice.