Quantcast
Impressions: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Beta - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls  




Impressions: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Beta photo
Impressions: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Beta

2:30 PM on 12.19.2013

A marked improvement with a new Act


Despite the raging financial success of Diablo III, many fans were not impressed. Whether it was the decreased amount of high quality loot, the poorly-thought-out auction house, or the over-streamlining of character progression, there was a lot to complain about.

Having said that, I still enjoyed Diablo III for what it was completely devoid of any influence from the auction house. Over that period of time however I noticed that a lot of my friends were dropping out from the game like flies, so Blizzard had to do something eventually to help save and improve the game. Step one is removing the auction house, starting March 2014. Step two seems to be the expansion Reaper of Souls, which comes with a few major changes of its own.

But is it enough to bring back jaded Diablo fans?

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC [tested], PlayStation 4, Mac)
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release: March 25, 2014

The first big addition that Reaper of Souls brings is a brand new story Act -- the Fall of Westmarche. Functioning as Act V of the campaign, it takes place after the core game ends, so I transferred my level 60 Demon Hunter over and had a go at it. The Act starts off with a bang, as the former Archangel Mathael (and now, Angel of Death) is attempting to drain the life of everything in Westmarche. Tyrael joins the fight of course, and from there (without spoiling too much), it's an all-out war against a harbinger of Death who is overstepping his boundaries. I don't want to spoil anything story related, but it's about on par with a typical chapter from the game, both in length and quality.

As for the new cast, you'll battle against wraiths and other turquoise-colored ghastly creatures, most of which can be found in the gallery here. There's also a new town (the Survivor's Enclave), and a new vendor that you'll meet over the course of Act V's tale -- Myriam the Mystic. Myriam can customize pieces of equipment to look like other gear (transmogrification in WoW), or re-roll certain stats on existing gear. In other words, she merely facilitates more customization -- not an Earth-shattering change, but a welcome one.

The next piece of the puzzle is an increased level cap -- raised from 60 to 70. With the new cap comes new abilities, passives, and runes, and thus, new chances for customization. Although the "cookie-cutter build" problem from Diablo III still persists a bit, I think the new options do bring a lot to the table, and will allow for a certain amount of differentiation between players. The new skills aren't going to fundamentally change the game, but you do have more options for builds. All characters now share Paragon XP (post max-level experience), which is a nice touch for building alts.

As stated above, the auction house is being removed entirely from the game in March 2014. Not only is that music to my ears (much less the thousands of other fans who couldn't stand it), but it also comes with the addition of the "Loot 2.0" system. Straight-up, this new mechanic ensures better gear consistently, and if my time with the beta was any indication, it actually works.

Immediately after entering the first area of Act V, I earned a unique from the first patch of mobs that surpassed my currently equipped gear. The way Loot 2.0 functions is that it not only presents more unique and interesting gear, but it also removes needless trash like most normal and magic items, so in the end, you're getting better options without having to micro-manage a ton of stuff. Expect Hardcore runs to have a lot more viability.

As an added bonus Legendaries are vastly improved, and treasure demons give better loot now pretty much guaranteed, which makes them more enticing again -- not to mention the amazing boss loot I got. As a side note, players cannot trade items to each other unless they were actually at the loot drop point, and a two-hour timer adds a further limitation on that. In other words, character progression feels more isolated, and not based on purchases or outside influences -- interesting.

Another change (you can tell Blizzard is trying here) is the removal of Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno modes. No longer do you have to beat the game three times to get the difficulty you "want," -- you can just change it to Normal, Hard, or Expert right out of the gate. You get bonuses the higher you go, which is incentive for toughing it out. The beauty of this system is that players can custom tailor the experience to their liking at all times, and if they hate it, just quit out of the game and tweak it.

"Bounties" also allow you to go on tasks over the course of every act, and force you to kill certain bosses or enemies. You'll earn Blood Shards for your trouble, which are a new currency that can net you powerful loot in the form of randomized Horadric Caches. "Rifts" are even cooler, as they essentially randomize areas to create new experiences. Enemies and bosses are also randomized, which is a nice touch. Both of these go a long way in preventing "Mephisto or Alkaizer runs" and other repetitive tasks.

Then you have the other big addition of content outside of Act V -- the brand new Crusader class. It's very similar to the Barbarian, but more defensive minded, and similarly structured to Diablo II's Paladin. It has lots of shield-based abilities, and some holy powers like a spirit hammer that give it a more caster-like flavor. Its initial core ability generates more defense the more you attack, making it an obvious choice for tanking tougher bosses whenever possible.

To be blunt, I wasn't all that impressed by the Crusader, even after I unlocked a decent amount of their abilities. It was fun, for sure, but not all that different to the melee classes already presented -- at least, when you compare how different the Wizard and the Witch Doctor are as casters. It's neat to see a melee character that also has spells at their disposal, but then again, that's what the Monk was for in the core game. I'll be interested in seeing if further tweaking goes into the Crusader by the time the live version hits.

Reaper of Souls was a ton of fun, even if it doesn't change up the core Diablo III experiences all that much. All of the little tweaks make the game feel more enjoyable overall, and the removal of the auction house is a big clue that Blizzard isn't ready to give up on the game. I will say though if you absolutely hated the skill system and the fundamentals of Diablo III, you may not find solace with Reaper of Souls.





Diablo III's patch 2.1.0 brings seasonal challenges, Greater Rifts photo


Diablo III sold 20 million copies worldwide photo


Diablo III on PS4 will have exclusive Shadow of the Colossus outfit photo


The Last of Us creatures infect Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4 photo


Diablo III's higher Legendary drop rate is now permanent photo


Reaper of sales: Diablo III expansion has sold over 2.7 million photo


Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls photo


This new Reaper of Souls trailer shows off every change photo


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls collector's edition detailed photo


You can download part of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls now photo


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls



2:00 PM on 08.28.2014
Diablo III's patch 2.1.0 brings seasonal challenges, Greater Rifts

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has a new update, titled patch 2.1.0 -- and it comes with a lot of changes. "Seasonal" characters allow you to restart the game with a new build, which can earn you special items, leaderboard plac...more



8:30 PM on 08.05.2014
Diablo III sold 20 million copies worldwide

Diablo III has been performing rather well for Activision Blizzard. Since it released in 2010, Diablo III has sold over 20 million copies worldwide on all platforms. That's combined with Reaper of Souls too. Activision a...more



2:15 PM on 06.11.2014
Diablo III on PS4 will have exclusive Shadow of the Colossus outfit

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will be getting a Last of Us tie-in, but that's not the only Sony property that made it in. According to Game Informer, a Shadow of the Colossus transmogrify outfit will launch with the game ...more



8:49 PM on 06.09.2014
The Last of Us creatures infect Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4

Well, this is certainly a strange reveal. The various forms of infected from The Last of Us will be crossing over into Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PlayStation 4.more



2:30 PM on 05.22.2014
Diablo III's higher Legendary drop rate is now permanent

For Diablo III's second anniversary, Blizzard introduced a temporary one-hundred percent boost to PC and Mac players' Legendary item drop rate. Which was great -- the buff, not the fact that it was for a limited time. From th...more



3:00 AM on 04.04.2014
Reaper of sales: Diablo III expansion has sold over 2.7 million

In its first week of availability, the first Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, has reaped 2.7 million sales. Uhm. I mostly just wanted to write "Reaper of sales." I don't have anything else to say. Good job to Blizzard for responding to fan feedback with a $40 expansion that everyone went out and paid for, apparently. Path of Exile is free if you like click click click click games.more



2:00 PM on 03.26.2014
Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

After the classic that was Diablo II, expectations for a follow-up were at an all-time high. Although it could never really meet those expectations, Diablo III was a fine hack and slash, and I ended up replaying it time ...more



11:00 AM on 03.19.2014
This new Reaper of Souls trailer shows off every change

After all this waiting, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is dropping next week. But before you drop your cash on it, you can watch the video above to see what exactly has changed. For those of you who haven't been keeping ta...more



11:00 PM on 01.29.2014
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls collector's edition detailed

Blizzard has detailed what comes with the collector's edition of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. On top of the game you'll get a behind the scenes DVD and Blu-Ray two-disc set, soundtrack, artbook, and mouse pad. As for digital ...more



10:00 PM on 01.20.2014
You can download part of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls now

Those of you playing Diablo III via either the Battle.net desktop client or the game's launcher may, from this week, notice a 6GB background download initiate. That's quite big, and for good reason, because that download...more




Real Time Strategy

4:00 PM on 11.15.2014
Early Access for Satellite Reign begins this December

It's an undeniably wonderful time to be a PC gamer if you're a fan of the cyberpunk genre. The last few years have produced a slew of high-quality titles on the platform with even more still on the smog-choked horizon. ...more



11:00 AM on 11.14.2014
Dungeons II takes a humorous approach to being the bad guy

Being the bad guy has its perks. With an entire force of orcs, goblins, and other nasty creatures at your bidding, more gold you can count, and a near infinite supply of dark magic at your disposal -- it seems like you've got...more



8:00 PM on 10.03.2014
Bring about the apocalypse in Uber's next real-time strategy game

[Disclosure: Uber Entertainment's Brad Nicholson used to be a writer here. Also, he's got huge guns.] Human Resources has a fun core concept for a real-time strategy game, and it's right there in the name: humans, not minera...more



View all Real Time Strategy






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more