// Diablo III: reaper of souls
HANDS–ON WITH THE DIABLO III: REAPER OF SOULS BETA
We took a dive into the closed beta to find out how the world of Sanctuary has changed.
Reaper of Souls takes place shortly after the conclusion of Diablo III’s main campaign. With Diablo, the Prime Evil, defeated by the Nephalem and imprisoned within the indestructible Black Soulstone; Tyrael and the angels of the High Heavens surmised that the best way to prevent the stone’s corruption from taking root again was to hide it away forever, never to be found.
However, Malthael, formerly known as the Angel of Wisdom, now the Angel of Death, has stolen the stone, and commanded those loyal to him to destroy humanity. Unlike previous Acts, players will need to fight against both the corrupted angels, under Malthael, and the remnant demons of the Burning Hells.
Beginning in Westmarch, the once proud city has been reduced to a charnel house. Malthael’s forces continue to harvest the
SINCE THE RELEASE OF DIABLO III IN 2012, BLIZZARD HAS CONSISTENTLY LISTENED TO FAN FEEDBACK OF ITS POPULAR ACTION RPG, AND HAS RELEASED COUNTLESS PATCHES TO IMPROVE THE GAME. LAST YEAR AT GAMESCOM, BLIZZARD ANNOUNCED A MAJOR souls of its citizens, leaving their dead bodies free for vengeful spirits to possess. The assaulted city was a grim place, with bodies of the dead strewn at every corner of the city, only to be reanimated as mindless ghouls.
Like the rich environments in Diablo III, the ghostly streets of Westmarch are fill with randomized events too. To reflect the grim situation of the city, many of the events usually require players to save citizens and soldiers from turning into ghouls.
Other locations in Act 5 were similarly grim. The Bloodmarsh is a swamp filled with deadly creatures that feed on festering bloated bodies, but buried beneath is a long, forgotten ancient civilization, whose hallow halls are filled with blood demons and swarms of scarabs. Another location that players EXPANSION TO DIABLO III, NAMED ‘REAPER OF SOULS’. SET TO BE RELEASED ON MARCH 25, 2014, WE TOOK A DIVE INTO THE CLOSED BETA TO FIND OUT HOW THE WORLD OF SANCTUARY HAS CHANGED, WHILE SMITING THE UNDEAD BACK TO THEIR GRAVES.
THE SOULS OF THE DEAD WILL FIND NO REST
will visit is the reality-bending Pandemonium Fortress, Diablo II players may remember their brief visit to the location, but now have the chance to fully explore the twisted realm, which are filled with demons and other terrors.
SMITE WITH HOLY ZEAL
Reaper of Souls introduces a brand new character class, known as the Crusader, essentially a walking impenetrable fortress who doesn’t hesitate to put enemies to the sword. At first glance, the Crusader class may draw comparisons with the current Barbarian class, especially on how they are able to tank damage. While the Barbarian concentrates on dominating in melee and supplement themselves with stat-boosting shouts; the Crusader prefers to drop holy lightning or even throw their armor at the enemies. To support their allies, Crusaders can consecrate the very ground they are on to heal themselves and allies.
That is not to say that Crusaders are slouches in combat; tell that to one who wields two-handed weapons with one hand. This allows Crusaders to lay the pain on enemies without sacrificing defense because of their shield and heavy armor. The only
“THE CRUSADER PREFERS TO DROP HOLY LIGHTNING OR EVEN THROW THEIR ARMOR AT THE ENEMIES. TO SUPPORT THEIR ALLIES, CRUSADERS CAN CONSECRATE THE VERY GROUND THEY ARE ON TO HEAL THEMSELVES AND ALLIES.”
downside to this ability is a slightly slower attack speed.
Like other classes, players can choose to build their characters differently. Some may prefer to play the Crusader as a mid-range attacker who lobs hammers at their foes. Others may prefer rushing headlong to unleash his zeal upon their enemies. We, on the hand, prefer playing like Captain America, throwing our shield at enemies. It just looks cooler.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES
Another significant change that players will come across in Reaper of Souls, besides the main campaign, is the new Adventure Mode. Being a direct answer to the game’s lack of endgame content, Adventure Mode lets players freely choose where they want to explore, as all waypoints are unlocked even between different Acts. With the majority of the story element removed, players can concentrate on what is most important, killing monsters and finding better loot.
Adventure mode also has two new optional features: Bounties and Nephalem Rifts.
Bounties provide players with optional and randomized objectives to complete. Some Bounties task players to slay a unique monster or boss, clear a dungeon, or even complete specific events. Each Act will have their own set of randomized bounties, letting players explore and conquer whichever Bounty that strikes their fancy.
Nephalem Rifts (previously known as Loot Runs) are completely randomized dungeons that are designed for players to complete within 10-15 minutes. If players are looking for extremely unexpected challenges, this is the mode for them. To access these Nephalem Rifts, players will need to bring a Rift Keystone to any town hub and click on the nearest Nephalem Obelisk.
Everything from the layout of dungeons to the type of encounters are completely unknown. It is possible for monsters from different Acts to appear in a completely different maps. Of course, when players complete these Nephalem Rifts, they will be handsomely rewarded with gold, experience and loot. For players who want an unhinged experience of Reaper of Souls, they will surely find a challenge within the Nephalem Rifts.
“NEPHALEM RIFTS (PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS LOOT RUNS) ARE COMPLETELY RANDOMIZED DUNGEONS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR PLAYERS TO COMPLETE WITHIN 1015 MINUTES. IF PLAYERS ARE LOOKING FOR EXTREMELY UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES, THIS IS THE MODE FOR THEM.”
The City of Westmarch is undersiege by the forces of Malthael, the Angel of Death.
Crusaders are tough mid-range melee class characters that use both sword and magic to unleash their zeal upon their enemies.
Fueled by Wrath, Crusader skills heighten their battle senses and imbue their weapons with Holy properties to deal more damage.
The Mystic Artisan allows players to reroll specific item attributes and even change the look of your equipment. For a price.