Diablo III Reaper of Souls – A week in review
So it has been a week since the official release of Reaper of Souls. The expansion has brought a whole slew of changes with it, including some in the pre-patch. If you’re looking into picking a dungeon crawler up, now would not be a bad time – if you are comfortable with a stripped down multiplayer experience.
The biggest changes with Reaper of Souls are the following:
- New Class – Crusader
- Act V – Westmarch
- Loot 2.0 – AKA Look piñata mode
- Auction house has been shut down
- Items are now account-bound
- Adventure Mode
I will get into each of these changes below, as well as some personal opinion.
The Crusader class
All the destruction of the Barbarian class that you loved, with about double the survivability. The Crusader’s skills are in 6 categories, each with fun little quirks that remind me of the Paladin of Diablo II, including a Blessed Hammer skill! They also have the ability to wield new Crusader-only shields and Two-Handed maces, so you can seriously bring some justice. I’m partial to the crusader because of how mine looks.
Act V – Westmarch
I’m not going to get into the details much, as I would like to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. The bottom line is, this is a really fun act that has a TON of zone events that happen. It reduces the monotony of the zone, though later parts of the act tend to be a little long.
This revision happened slightly before the expansion was dropped, and it is very refreshing. This loot system was exclusive to the console version of Diablo III for quite a bit, and it actually feels rewarding to do MF (Magic Find) runs. I have found almost two tabs full of Legendaries since the expansion dropped – 300% more than I found running Inferno on my Wizard at release.
It has finally been closed! Too bad they took too much with it as well – more in next paragraph on that.
Items are now account bound
So a HUGE change in the dynamic play of Diablo III is that items are not dropped bound to you. They can be traded with someone in your party at the time of drop within a 2 hour window. Even this has limitations, however, as some items cannot be traded such as Legendary recipes and crafting materials.
Blizzard has added transmogrification at long last, and in a great way. You will unlock an NPC through your journey in Act V that will allow you to train them – the same way as the artisan and blacksmith were trained in the past – to turn any items look into any other white item or item you currently own. When a legendary drops, you permanently unlock the look for transmogrification as well. Weapons, shields, and off-hands can also have their look modified. The price of everything is fair, 500 gold for armor, and 50,000 gold for a weapon. Gold drops like hot cakes in Act V and higher levels, so that won’t be a worry for you.
The same character that performs transmogrification can also reforge a single stat of an item for you. You choose the stat’s position (you can also view what other stats can take that slot’s place) and it will give you a random selection of 3 stats available in that pool of available stats. I love the system, though it gets pricey to reforge Legendary items, as gold cost increases and requires legendary crafting materials. Sometimes it feels cheaper to craft a new one than to continue trying to reforge the gear that you have been working on. All-in-all it is a very welcome change to the feel of the game.
This is probably my favorite part of the expansion. Adventure mode unlocks after you beat the campaign on any character, on any difficulty, at any level. It always annoyed me that you could not move between acts as you could in the previous Diablo installments. Adventure mode lets you freely move between acts via waypoints and gives you five miniquests per act that reward you with rift keys. These rift keys let you open Nephalem rifts which are randomly-generated zones with randomly-generated monsters that don’t normally belong in that map. The end boss’ drops rivals that of an act boss kill minus the guaranteed legendary.
All in all – I am really enjoying the new expansion. I feel that Blizzard missed a huge opportunity with party play, however. I can no longer find an item that would be an upgrade for a friend and save it for him for when he gets on. Hopefully, Blizzard will put more of a social aspect back in to the game.