Cynthia Hall (Blizzard Quality Assurance Analyst II) tweeted she is currently selling the Avatar Reinment cosplay costume she crafted in 2007. She is also selling some high-quality gloss posters of herself in cosplay costumes such as the Diablo III demon hunter, wizard and the Malthael Angel of Death costumes.
The Avatar Reinment is sold for $149 and the posters for $10. Check them all out at her official store page.
Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview Panel. Your panelists are: Josh Mosqueira (game director), Kevin Martens (lead designer), Stephen Wong (senior gameplay programmer), Jesse Maccree (senior level designer), Joe Shely (senior game designer), Julian Love (lead technical artist), Tim Linn (lead interior environment artist), and Zaven Haroutunian (level designer).
Mosqueira: Hey, how you guys doing?
[People scream with happiness]
Mosqueira: Are you guys ready to face Death? Awesome isn’t that cinematic just awesome, we’re really excited to be here, umm my name is Josh Mosqueira, I’m the game director, and it’s a great honor to be here with you guys today, we’re going to show you some of the cool new things we have in store for you guys for the ”Reapers of Souls” .
We got a great panel for you guys today, but before we get in to meat and potatoes of Reapers of Souls, I want to take a few moments to talk to you guys about what Reapers of Souls means to us.
What of our high level goals we had when we started the project; and for us it all starts with epic heroes, where you are the Barbarian or Demon Hunter or the Monk or the brand new Crusader, You’re a knight in a battlestar armor, you guys are playing heroes which are bigger than life and you are facing the forces of darkness.
In “Reaper Souls”, we’re celebrating the dark gothic hearts. It is at the root of Diablo, and we have a sleuth of new monsters for you guys to kill and loot; and Joe and Julian, up here, are gonna talk to you about how our monsters are designed to live to die, and we’re not only introducing new monsters we’re also introducing brand new villain to the world of Diablo in the form of Malthael — the angel of death, and Tim and Zaven are going to talk to you guys about Pandemonium — the final battleground where you guys are going to be confronting Malthael, and trying to stop death; but we’re not just stopping there, one of the most important goals for us is we wanna make sure that there was, an end game for everyone.
The Diablo III: Storm of Light pre-order has a discount price of only $10.67 for Kindle (many mobile apps available) and $10.74 (37% Off) for the paperback.
The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.
Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind….
Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the Soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before the Heavens fall to ruin?
Two hours of raw gameplay playing Adventure Mode in a Crusader class level 35-42. Adventure Mode for me is very fluid and enjoyable. I feel the campaign mode is long and less fluid. Campaign mode can be monotonous long before the 1000th time going through it.
Adventure Mode on the other hand is completing a random Bounty at a time. You choose which Bounty to tackle, and which area of Sanctuary or High Heavens you want that Bounty to be at.
Some are short, others even shorter. It feels like the perfect gameplay experience for someone who doesn’t have 2 hours to play, but 20 minutes or 40 minutes. You complete as many bounties as you wish in the time-frame you wish, and you know you will be done before the time you need to go take a shower to go to college or to your job, or to the movies with a friend.
Best yet is the rewards. Every bounty you gain a Horadric Cache, monsters might drop them too. The bigger ones are sold by the Horadrim for 100 Blood Shards. Some have a chance to drop a Legendary item. The way this new mode is designed will likely make players level 70 go this route to gear up. It’s so fun to open the Horadric Cache and see this bunch of loot come out. Even if your leet Legendary didn’t drop, lots of Blacksmith materials pop for you to craft stuff.
Watch the 2 hours video below. (720HD available with full screen)
Note: On Tuesday or earlier, I’ll take video of the Crusader at level 70. I am level 61 right now. Working hard on it. I’m also going to gather all the Crusader skills in a list and add short videos of each skill+rune variant. Stay tuned.
Disclaimer: This video shows gameplay in the Friends & Family beta testing. It doesn’t represent the content to be seen in the final product as things might change or be removed.
When playing in Adventure Mode, you will have the opportunity to loot a Rift Keystone from an elite monster.
These can be used at the Nephalem Obelisk near the Main Camp. Usually you can see it on the mini-map at the town or main camp as a obelisk icon.
A yellow portal opens. Click it and your character will be teleported to a random dungeon.
A progress bar will appear on the right side, just beneath the mini-map. It goes from 0% to 100%. As you kill monsters, that bar increases. At 100% the Rift Guardian will spawn near you.
Below is a video I took of my Crusader level 26 entering a Nephaelm Rift. The video is about an hour long. You can skip everything after I kill the Rift Guardian. I stayed a while to clear all the five dungeon floors. If you see me smashing monsters with Fist of Heavens, I heard a few hours later that the ability is bugged. Supposedly hits 10 times harder than intended. If you are playing beta, I don’t recommend exploiting bugs. Might get banned.
The feedback I have heard so far is that Bounties look more appealing and rewarding than a Nephalem Rift. As usual, the developers listen to fan feedback, and chances are there will be significant changes. Remember, this is still Friends & Family beta. Nothing seen in this video is final.
In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, players have two Game Mode options to play a game. You can choose the linear progression Campaign Mode, or you simply choose the non-linear new Adventure Mode.
Now what exactly is Adventure Mode? It is Awesomeness-in-a-nutshell. Ok, that’s a generic answer, so let’s go into a more detailed one. When you select Adventure Mode, you are given the option to play in private or public games. The text displayed says: “Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot!”
When you launch the Adventure Mode game, none of the quests you usually get in the Campaign Mode are available. You are given free choice to do what you want to do. Nothing is linear. That is you choose your bounty dungeon, the location in Sanctuary or Heaven you wish to go to. Teleport there. Kill monsters. Complete the bounty. Reap your reward. Move on to choose the next bounty.
Adventure Mode is what hardcore players really needed for a change of pace. In Adventure Mode you also get access to the Nephalem Rifts which is kinda crazy sending monsters of all random types at you in a single wave.
Adventure Mode is also perfect for leveling up. No need to go back and forth completing quests and wasting precious time to gain gold, experience through quests in order to level up. I created a Crusader class character at level 1. I chose Adventure Mode and picked a bounty quest location on the map.
Starting an Adventure Mode doesn’t mean there isn’t characters talking or quests. Just they are completely different than what you would usually see in the Campaign Mode. And you even get an intro tutorial to Adventure Mode.
Tyrael (with voiceover acting) welcomes you when you join your first Adventure Mode.
Tyrael: “Greetings, Nephalem. Though you have defeated many powerful foes, there remains much to be done. This is a map of Sanctuary and the realms beyond.”
Tyrael: “From here, you can select a region to view it in greater details. This map displays the different places you can go within the region. Locations marked by an exclamation point have bounties for you to undertake. Bounties are the many tasks and challenges which require your attention. In return for completing them, you will be rewarded with powerful items. Good luck, nephalem. Sanctuary has need of you.”
As you can see in the image above, you can navigate back to the Sanctuary map by clicking the globe located at the top-left corner. Hovering your mouse over one of the quest exclamation point over a waypoint in the map will show you the title of the bounty. A horned-skull icon represents a mayor boss like Zoltun Kulle, Belial and Maghda.
The rewards system is very different to what you would see in the Campaign Mode. When you choose a bounty in the map it doesn’t tell you what the rewards will be, but when you complete the bounty objectives you will get a Bounty complete window informing you what the rewards were. Usually Gold, Experience, a Horadric Cache and a Bloodshard.
In Adventure Mode, the Inventory displays two currency options: Gold and Bloodshards. The Bloodshards can be used to buy from Lorath Nahr (the Horadrim disciple) or from Kadala. Both of these Horadrim stand next to Tyrael in the main camp.
Lorath sells a Greater Horadric Cache which contains a random loot when opened.
Kadala sells an assortment of four options: 1-Hand Mystery Weapon, 2-Hand Mystery Weapon, Mystery Orb or Mystery Mojo.
This in fact looks exactly like it does — Gambling is back and it doesnt’ cost you gold, but Blood Shards instead. On my first 2-Hand Mystery Weapon purchase I got a Bow.
Adventure Mode Gameplay Video
This video lasts about one hour and forty minutes. I started a level 1 Crusader on Adventure Mode in Normal difficulty. Before the end of the video, I was level 12. Basically, players can skip a lot of content and simply focus on the main bounty objectives. For example, if the objective is to kill everything in the second level of the Cathedral of Tristram, if I wished I could skip everything in Level 1 (where possible) and slip into Level 2 to sort of finish the Bounty as quickly as possible. Disclaimer: What you see in Family & Friends beta will not reflect what will be seen in the final build of the launched game. Things might change through multiple iterations. Secondly, the video will show a few bugs like the rockworm that swallows my character. It can’t be attacked and doesn’t do any damage to my character. As soon as you see the rockworm in the video, jump to minute 11:00 to skip that part.
The profile UI has been simplified a bit re-arranging where we used to see personal info about our characters. This is a look at the Profile’s Career Page — before and after.
The Profile page for each individual character has been also simplified drastically. Unless the current state is a placeholder, a lot of graphics have been trimmed out. Likely to enhance server stability, but that’s speculation on my part. This is how it looks on Diablo III vanilla and how it looks on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls will introduce several UI changes which alter the way you usually create a new game. For example, in Diablo III you would usually hit the Resume Game or Change Game buttons to start a game.
When you change a game, you will notice the level difficulty tab at the bottom. This is what you usually see in Diablo III when you wish to change a game and the difficulty:
It might get a bit confusing for people, if they don’t look at the bottom options some people might start a normal difficulty game instead of an Inferno or Nightmare game. So the Diablo III Team learned something there. The UI was setup in a vertical visual navigation; and that may cause problems. So the Diablo III Team came up with a horizontal navigation UI instead which simplifies how players visualize their options with a numbering system: 1, 2 and 3. Easy to understand. More user-friendly. This is how the UI looks like now in Reaper of Souls:
Option 1 is Game Mode: You have two options – Campaign Mode or Adventure Mode. In this case, I’ll choose the Campaign Mode.
Option 2 is Options: This tab allows you to change the Act (I-V), Sanctuary location and quest you wish to create a game in. Example: The Fallen Star, Bastion’s Keep, Beneath the Spire, Westmarch, etc.
Option 3 is Type: This tab offers two options. The difficulty (Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, or Torment) and the type of game (Public or Private). The Difficulty button opens a new window with a mosaic that allows you to choose any difficulty mode. Torment difficulty is available at level 70, by the way.
I was invited to the Friends & Family Beta of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment. Many thanks, Lylirra (Diablo III Community Manager). Big hugs.
I’ll begin with a Crusader character and see how things fare. This is an F&F beta testing, and things you might see in the livestream are not final, might be changed throughout many iterations. There might be bugs and service interruptions. Beware spoilers, too.
My YouTube account got livestream capability enabled a few months ago, so I’ll debut and experiment with it a bit. I’ll attempt to livestream around noon EST / New York. Keep in mind I am on a slow ISP, and might need to experiment with Kbps settings.