Battle.net Launches Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Pre-Orders and Release Date is March 25, 2014

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Battle.net has launched the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Pre-Orders page, and reveals the official release date: March 25, 2014.

The Standard Edition costs $39.99, while the Digital Edition (which includes the digital goodies found in the Collector’s Edition) available for $59.99.

Thanks to awesome contributor Kuangtu for sharing the find.

Update: Blizzard Entertainment has now posted the official announcement.

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Closed Beta Has Begun

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls closed beta has launched. It is no longer Friends & Family-only. Several invites will be issued over the next weeks in waves. In the meantime, double-check your Battle.net account to see if you got an invite or make sure your opt-in is set to participate.

Reapers, and Westmarch, and Crusaders, oh my—the Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls™ Closed Beta has begun!

Invitations to this next phase of our public test are now being delivered to nephalem worldwide. If you’ve been invited to the Closed Beta, we’d love to hear all about your adventures on the forums, watch your live streams, and see screenshots and videos of your experiences in Sanctuary. Please keep in mind that Reaper of Souls is still in development, which means that all content in the Closed Beta is subject to change and isn’t necessarily representative of the final game.

For additional information about the Closed Beta including how to participate, copy over characters, and provide feedback, read on below!

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BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A Panel Transcript

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A panel. The panelists are: Leonard Boyarski (senior designer), Michael Chu (game designer/writer), Brian Kindreagan (lead writer), Valerie Watrous (game designer/writer) and Justin Parker (historian)

Kindreagan: Hey, BlizzCon! I’m Brian Kindreagan and I’m the lead writer on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. And I’m gonna ask everyone on our panel to introduce themselves before we get to the questions. So let’s start with Leonard.

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Boyarski: I’m Leonard Boyarski, and I’m senior world designer.

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Chu: Hey, I’m Michael Chu and I’m game designer and writer. And you can probably blame me for some characters like the Monk, Witch Doctor Covetous Shen and Zoltun Kulle.

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Watrous: Hi, I’m Valerie Watrous and I’m a writer on Diablo. I work mostly on dialogue and characterization.

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Parker: Hello, I’m Justin Parker. I’m the historian or one of the historians. We mostly work with the world that’s gone before and trying to keep continuity as best we can.

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Kindreagan: So, Justin is the surprise last minute addition to our panel. So that he can help with the some of the really deep Diablo history if we get into that. So, OK, let’s open it right up for some questions. If you have any questions, call me up.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Gameplay Systems + Crusader Panel Transcript

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III: Gameplay Systems and Crusader panel. Your panelists are: Josh Mosqueira (game director), Kevin Martens (lead game designer), Paul David (senior artist), Nicholas Chilano (lead animator), Andrew Chambers (senior game designer), Nicholas Eberle (senior technical artist), Wyatt Cheng (senior technical game designer), Travis Day (game designer), and Steve Shimizu (lead gameplay programmer).

Mosqueira: Good morning Blizzcon, How you guys doing?

[People scream with happiness]

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I brought the whole gang with me today, because there is a lot of you guys out there. I mean I have lot of really cool things for your guys today. So what are we covering today? This is the gameplay panel.

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So yesterday we talked a lot about some of the big new features that you are gonna expect with Reaper of Soul’s adventure mode . But today we are doing a deep dive on the few of the very core things that are at the heart of Diablo.

And those start with epic heroes. So the guys here are gonna talk to you guys about “The Crusader”. Our knight in battlestar armor. What was our process behind, how we come with his skills, his look and how we are fulfilling that fantasy. But “The Crusader” may be the star of Reaper Souls but all of the five classes are getting brand new skills. And why here we are gonna talk to you guys about what you are gonna expect.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Crusader Skills (Videos)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

This is a list of all the Crusader class’ skills: Primary, Secondary, Defensive, Utility, Laws, Conviction and Passive Skills. Added video clips of how each skill looks along with any of the five different runes.

Note: These skills are from the Friends & Family beta build, and might change throughout multiple iterations. These skills, visual effects and animations are not representative of what you might see in the final product.

Skills:PrimarySecondaryDefensiveUtilityLawsConvictionPassive


Primary

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Bounty: Rewards Change

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

A few days ago, a hotfix was deployed to alter the Bounty rewards system. There are 25 bounties throughout Sanctuary. 5 Bounties per Act. Before this hotfix, you would get a Horadric Cache per Bounty (25 caches for all 5 Acts).

This was awesome, because you got a whole lot of loot. However, there were several problems I quickly noticed. I would spend a lot of time emptying my bags, and clicking caches, and collecting them from the ground, and then emptying again my bags, and so on.

Add to the equation that Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is meant to be a cool experience playing with four friends. Each of them were going through these 25 bounties and each of them emptying their bags, and clicking their caches, etc.

You want to play and kill monsters. You don’t want to spend that much time emptying bags and doing all that process. Another problem I noticed was that I wouldn’t use Blood Shards for gambling or for Greater Horadric Caches. Nephalem Rifts were sort of meaningless. I heard people say they would rather do bounties than to do a Nephalem Rift. I agreed.

So the Diablo III team heard the feedback, and this was the hotfix applied:

  • Completing individual bounties will no longer reward a Horadric Cache.
  • Completing all five Bounties in an Act now also provides Blood Shards.

Now you only get a Horadric Cache when you complete all 5 bounties in an Act — instead of 5 Horadric Caches as it was before. You are still getting Blood Shards on each Bounty, though. So now Blood Shards are more abundant than the Horadric Caches, giving them a bit of a more value as a currency to buy Greater Horadric Caches (which cost 100 Blood Shards); or to gamble.

With Nephaelm Rifts, they had no reward. They didn’t have as much value other than a challenge. I had piled up over 60 Rift Keystones. With the hotfix, Nephalem Rifts now grant a Greater Horadric Cache. When you click those, a bunch of loot falls to the ground. There’s a chance for a Legendary to pop, some yellow items, and materials for the Blacksmith, Jeweler, and Mystic.

I had stopped playing Diablo III a long time ago. Mostly helping with beta testing or PTR testing, adding content to the website for each of those. I missed many new features introduced in past patches. Playing Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, it feels like the Diablo III team has brought new breath and life to the gameplay experience.

To keep track of the latest hotfixes, visit the official forum to read Nevalistis’ latest updates.

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BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Transcript

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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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” .

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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.

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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.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Adventure Mode Gameplay as Crusader lvl 35-42

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Nephalem Rift on Crusader lvl 26

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

When playing in Adventure Mode, you will have the opportunity to loot a Rift Keystone from an elite monster.

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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.

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A yellow portal opens. Click it and your character will be teleported to a random dungeon.

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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.

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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.

Blizzplanet | Diablo III: Reaper of Souls F&F Beta – Adventure Mode Gameplay as Crusader (Video)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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!”

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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.

Adventure Mode

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.”

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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.”

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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.

Rewards

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.

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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.

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Kadala sells an assortment of four options: 1-Hand Mystery Weapon, 2-Hand Mystery Weapon, Mystery Orb or Mystery Mojo.

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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.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls F&F Beta – Profile UI

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Pages:Game Settings UI | Profile UI

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.

Pages:Game Settings UI | Profile UI

Diablo III Reaper of Souls F&F Beta – New Game Settings UI

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Pages:Game Settings UI | Profile UI

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pages:Game Settings UI | Profile UI

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls PS4 – Screenshots

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Here is a glimpse into some of the Crusader’s skills and passive skills; and some of those abilities in action.

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls PS4 – Fact Sheet

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

PlayStation®4 players can now experience the full adventure of Blizzard’s epic action RPG, Diablo® III, and the upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls™ . . . all from the comfort of their couch in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition! Take on the role of one of six powerful character classes— Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, or the all-new Crusader—and embark on a dark journey through Acts I-V to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient and sinister forces. With the new DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller and a custom-designed console interface, players will be outfitted with touch pad functionality and new social features as they engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and acquire items of incredible power.

For more details, visit http://www.diablo3.com/console

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GAME FEATURES

  • The complete adventures of Act I-V, which takes players from the besieged town of New Tristram to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress
  • Six powerful character classes to choose from: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and the all-new Crusader
  • Newly designed loot system and offline gameplay mode designed to take advantage of the fast-paced action of the console platform
  • Hardcore mode for players who seek the thrill of constant peril that comes with the possibility of permanent death for their character
  • Direct character control and new DUALSHOCK®4 functionality such as color-coded player indicators for same-screen coop and touch pad shortcuts to keep players in the action
  • Seamless cooperative play featuring four-player online co-op and four-player local co-op games
  • PlayStation® Network support, which will allow you to connect with friends, send game invitations, and access voice chat
  • All the new and exciting features coming with Reaper of Souls™:
    • Customize your hero’s appearance and augment your items’ power with a new artisan, the Mystic
    • Battle a new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes
    • Never stop exploring with Adventure Mode, where all waypoints are unlocked—the world is your battlefield
    • Engage in Nephalem Rifts, formerly known as Loot Runs, to test your mettle in 10-20 minute dungeons consisting of randomized areas, monsters, and bosses
    • Take on Bounties for fun and rewarding objective-based challenges

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Screenshots

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

The following screenshots show several gameplay Crusader abilities and new monsters, Enchanting UI, Nephalem Rifts & Rift Guardian bosses.

In addition, a few Reaper of Souls new locations such as the Westmarch Chapel, Bloodmarsh, and the Pandemonium Fortress and their respective monsters.

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Gameplay Videos

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Blizzard Entertainment provided the press a brief gameplay video featuring the monk battling it out against the Siegebreaker, Halls of Agony, the High Heavens, Southern Highlands, and other areas of Sanctuary.

The Siegebreaker part shows how some of the new features work. Loads of demons rush at players right in the middle of the Siegebreaker event, upping the difficulty a few notches.

New Game Mode: Adventure — Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot! You can adjust difficulty.

The video shows a new Waypoint map that allows you to see all of Act I waypoints as a map. Some of the locations, for example, Caverns of Araneae or Halls of Agony Level 3 will display a blue question mark which denotes a Bounty quest which lets you earn bonus reward which includes Experience (XP) and Gold.

The example reward shown was 340,000 Experience and 136,000 Gold.

A Nephalem Obelisk may be found next to Cain’s House. It allows the entry to Nephalem Rift events.

The video below also shows Clan Channel Information, News, Roster and Settings UI. Each Clan member can be given a rank or privilege setting.

The new game systems: The Mystic Enchanting UI and Transmogrification and the updated Paragon System.

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – FAQ

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

What is Reaper of Souls?

Reaper of Souls™ is the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III—a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

What is the story of Reaper of Souls?
Following the defeat of the Prime Evil by the Nephalem in Diablo III, the mortal realm of Sanctuary should have entered an age of hope and prosperity. Instead, this event has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, one more sinister than any demon.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, the ancient artifact containing the essence of the Prime Evil. It is now up to the Nephalem to track down Malthael and thwart his plans, a journey that will take them through the legendary city of Westmarch, across the fetid swamps of the Blood Marsh, and into the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress.

More after the break…

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BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Fact Sheet

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power whose malevolent purpose has yet to be revealed. Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. Should this dark power be unleashed upon the world, the results would be catastrophic.

Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield, this new playable class charges into battle wielding a range of cruel and punishing weapons and employing powerful battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds might and versatility to any party of adventurers.

For more details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls

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GAME FEATURES

  • Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players through the legendary city of Westmarch to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress
  • Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of power
  • The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard
  • New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes
  • Redesigned loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades
  • Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries
  • Customize your hero’s appearance and augment your items’ power with a new artisan, the Mystic
  • Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability
  • Battle a new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes
  • Never stop exploring with Adventure Mode, where all waypoints are unlocked so players can do battle in any setting
  • Engage in Loot Runs to test your mettle in 10-20 minute dungeons consisting of randomized areas, monsters, and bosses
  • Take on Bounties for fun and rewarding objective-based challenges
  • Connect with your allies like never before with all-new updates to Diablo III’s social system, including Clans and Groups

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

BlizzCon 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Concept Art

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Blizzard Entertainment released new concept art of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Among this collection of images are landscapes of the Pandemonium Fortress, the Crusader, and Malthael’s minions.

Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.

Blizzplanet Interview – Micky Neilson & Matt Burns Discuss Diablo III: Book of Tyrael

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzplanet Interviews, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Interviews

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-cover-full-sizeMontoya and I had a blast interviewing New York Times Best Selling author and Blizzard Lead Publishing Micky Neilson and Blizzard Associate Publishing Developer Matt Burns.

We asked a few questions about the Insight Editions’ Diablo III: Book of Tyrael which is currently available at a bookstore near you and online.

I recommend buying Diablo III: Book of Tyrael and reading my recent review which has a list of content.

I also recently posted photos of the booksigning of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael held at the 2013 New York Comic Con where I met Joseph Lacroix (DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice artist) and Doug Alexander (Senior Art Editor in Creative Development at Blizzard Entertainment).

Note: Added a transcript at the below the video embed. The interview lasted about 24 minutes. (Added Sub-titles to the video through YouTube CC/Closed Captions)

Transcript

This is Medievaldragon from Blizzplanet. We’re here to interview Micky Neilson and Matt Burns about Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. We also have Montoya from Blizzplanet.

Hi, everyone!

(Everyone says Hi)

Let’s start with the first question here.

MD: Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions published Diablo III: Book of Cain as a primer to Diablo III mythos. Where does Diablo III: Book of Tyrael fit in Blizzard’s grand design? What is the purpose?

Neilson: There was a lot of reasons for doing Book of Tyrael. Probably the main reason was — because we did Book of Cain and we came up with a ton of amazing content, and all kinds of great ideas and everything else, and backstory and characters and all this juicy stuff, and then we figured — you know, ok — we’ve a certain number of pages to be able to tell up this ending and we just didn’t have enough room for everything.

So the biggest thing for Book of Tyrael was — Ok, we’ve got all this amazing information that we want to share with people. Let’s do it in a follow up book and let’s see what other opportunities we have to convey this information. So that was one of the big ones; and then of course, tying into upcoming game content and having something that’s going to serve us to bridge to the next expansion — you know — that was also a big consideration. Matt do you want to add to that? (More after the break)

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Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Next-Gen MMO, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

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The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 
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Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Novel Tie-in

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed more details of Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon. The novel tie-in bridges the events of Diablo III and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

To make it even more exciting, it ties with what fans will find in the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. That’s not enough? Gee, how about mixing Jacob and Shanar from the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel into the novel? That’s an awesome lore cocktail of geekiness.

Nate Kenyon debuted writing for Blizzard Entertainment with Diablo III: The Order and StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres

Check out more about Diablo: Storm of Light at the following Blizzard Entertainment web page.

Continuity

  • Jacob of Staalbreak, Shanar the Wizard and Gynvir the Barbarian hail from the pages of the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel by writer Aaron Williams & artist Joseph Lacroix.

  • Zayl the Necromancer can be found in the pages of Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak.

  • Mikulov the monk hails from the pages of Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon


Diablo: Storm of Light

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?

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Diablo III: Reapers of Souls – Necromancer NPC Confirmed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Vaeflare and Grimiku confirmed in the official Diablo III forums there will be a known Necromancer NPC in the expansion. There are few Necromancers that can actually be a reference here for someone we are familiar with.

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

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Speculation

  • Nameless Necromancer: This is the playable Diablo II Necromancer. To my knowledge none of the Diablo II playable classes had a name. However, the nameless Barbarian in Diablo III is the same we met as a playable character in Diablo II. We got to meet the original heroes of Diablo I in Diablo II actually. The Rogue in Diablo I (member of the Sisters of the Sightless Eye) was actually Blood Raven in Diablo II (Act I). The Warrior in Diablo I turned out to be The Dark Wanderer (aka Leoric’s son: Aidan) in Diablo II. Lastly, the Sorcerer in Diablo I turned out to be The Summoner in Diablo II (Act II, The Arcane Sanctuary). Thus, it might be possible for the Diablo II Necromancer to make a cameo in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

  • Zayl the Necromancer is a well-known necromancer who has never been in-game. He has appeared in Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by Richard A. Knaak.

  • Kara Nightshadow is another well-known necromancer from the pages of Diablo: Legacy of Blood (also reprinted in the Diablo Archive). She helped Norrec Vizharan (the mercenary treasure-hunter who found the armor of Bartuc the Warlord of Blood).

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GamesCom 2013 interview – Josh Mosqueira talks about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Return of Pandemonium Fortress & Necromancers

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Featured Stories, GamesCom 2013

Blizzard Entertainment scheduled Blizzplanet, Millenium.org, InDiablo and GamersOrigin to sit together with Josh Mosqueira to interview him about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Blizzplanet correspondent Arthur Lorenz (known as Handclaw) was there to participate in this private round of questions with the press.

  • The Crusader was originally going to be a Darker Paladin, but later the class took a life of its own into something different.
  • Bloodmarch is an area outside Westmarch where the Black Soulstone was meant to be buried.
  • The Pandemonium Fortress — where the Worldstone had rested for milennia — will be revisited in this expansion.
  • The Necromancers are not too happy with Malthael the Archangel of Wisdom Death upsetting the balance by raising the dead.
  • No new Follower/Companion, but they have extra lore background, new features, and side-quests.
  • The developers see how well the Hellfire Ring (obtained through the Infernal machine event) has been received by the players, and they are currently experimenting with account-bound items to extend that experience.

BlizzCon New Class Speculation

The developers didn’t want to spoil too much about the Necromancers topic (asked by Handclaw); but it is obvious there is more than meet the eye. One of the developers mentioned the Necromancers are all about balance, and what Malthael is doing at Westmarch definitely affects the balance.

In an MTV interview with Jay Wilson a few years ago (August 5, 2008), he mentioned the Necromancer:

Wilson: I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”

 

It might be possible to see Necromancer NPC or a Necromancer class. The Crusader might or not be the only class for this expansion. They just want to keep some big surprises for BlizzCon. Another possibility is that the ripples of damage upon the balance wrought by Malthael might be like a kick on the wasp’s nest for the Necromancer. Maybe the second expansion will place the Necromancers in a bigger role than before considering the Diablo: The Sin War and Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow Lore.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we could see Zayl the Necromancer and Kara Nightshadow (Diablo: Legacy of Blood) — both from Richard A. Knaak’s novels. Note: Legacy of Blood and Kingdom of Shadow are reprinted in the Diablo Archive (752 pages).

UPDATE: A fan linked to this article, and got a blue response:

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

GamesCom 2013 Interview

In this GamesCom 2013 interview, the developers also talk about Nephalem Runs and Loot 2.0. Bare with us — GamesCom is the biggest gaming convention in the world. The recording is noisy. You might need to adjust the sound volume.

Why the Crusader, and where did the inspiration for the Crusader come from?

For a few reasons. We had an idea of having a sort of very heavy armored character, so we explored that for a while and we thought of the angle of make it a sort of a dark paladin sort of class and that idea took a life of its own and we went very far with it, and it became something really different at this point. So, way we describe it is a warmachine-made man, what if a modern armored division tank was an evil warrior? So we came up with this idea of a mid-ranged melee character, he wears heavy armor, he crushes his enemies, he has a big heavy flail and he has a shield which is as much a weapon as it is a defense mechanism. In addition he has a lot of holy wrath based damage, that he does, so he has some ranged abilities, too. So it‘s a neat mix of ranged and melee and he has become very different from the paladin at this point. He has become the Crusader.

 

We already know that you are going to patch Loot 2.0 before the expansion gets released. Are you considering to add any other features like the Paragon 2.0, and such before the expansion is ready?

Yea, we are considering all of the features, and tinker out which is more appropriate. Anything that is broadly systemic like that tends to be added in the game anyway. There is no reason for us not to give it up free. Probably a lot of more stuff will be free before the expansion goes live.

 

Will there be any new companions or any new content for the Templar or the Scoundrel?

There is a lot of new content for the old companions. We didn’t add a new companion. We have this idea that more is not better. Better is better. It’s how we say it. We figured we did not do enough to make the existing companions deep — we had a lot of grand plans for them in the first game; We are giving them a lot of more stories, they are actually getting side-quests — in Act V as well. So they are getting richer back stories. You get to meet, for example, the Scoundrel’s brother.

That’s new. No one knows about that yet. That’s our official leak for today’s interview.

 

Can you explain Nephalem Trials?

The idea for the Nephalem Trials takes a lot of inspiration from the Jar of Souls event from Act I. We wondered how to create this kind of micro-challenges to help us survey the pace of gameplay, the idea is that when you explore the world you come across a Nephalem portal, you jump into one of these Nephalem Trials. There are many different variations — one of the classic ones — you end up fighting waves and waves of enemies and you have a time limit. Depending how well, how many monsters you kill within the time limit you will be rewarded with a number of resplendant chests. So it’s a cool way to add a challenge to the game and add some variety.

Storywise, players met some of the Nephalem spirits that have been left behind in the world of Sanctuary, in the first game. At certain point, all humans were Nephalem. All humans had powers. The first generations of humans ever born had that. Eventually, they lost their powers, and as they were losing it, the leaders left behind guardian spirits for if in the future the Nephalem arose again, they could get guidance. These are the spirits that help you run these trials.

 

The new expansion adds a new Act with a new story, How much gameplay time takes to play through the whole story?

We haven’t finished the Act yet. We are not done making it yet. So it’s hard to say exactly how long it is, but I think more than ever, the game doesn’t end when you kill Malthael and defeat him. The replayability has been quitely expanded. Loot Runs is the first time we are talking about here at GamesCom.

Loot Runs is just one of the systems by the way, and the way that it works is extensively random dungeons. We take every single tile that is in the game, including all the new exterior ones are now randomized in Act V. We combined those in about 15-minute long dungeons at multiple levels with a variety of monsters.

With this monsters you need to work together, you need to change your tactics, very dense populated. Random boss fights and random loot. We take the promise of Diablo’s randomness, make that within a 15-minute chunks to add more end-game gameplay.

 

Almost all items we saw in this expansions are account-bound. Is this because of enchanting or is there another reason for that?

That’s something that we are experimenting with. The Hellfire Ring is something we believe responded really well. So we are seeing how to extend that system. We hope to hear some feedback from players here at GamesCom.

You get better items, but it’s your better items.

 

What variation of environments are we going to see in the expansion — we have seen some like Westmarch, Bloodmarch — what can we expect?

We were just sorta teasing some of the zones, but we can’t mention them. So I’ll cover the Bloodmarch.

The Bloodmarsh is an area outside of the city of Westmarch. It’s a very cool area, it’s one of our more fun and dangerous looking zones we have in the game.

Actually you see some of it in the opening cinematic, where the Black Soulstone is buried. Where Archangel Malthael comes and steal it from Tyrael. It’s underneath the Bloodmarch, and it does exist in the game right now.

The other area you will be exploring is the Pandemonion Fortress. It’s sort of the heart of creation, and that’s going to be a really great counterpoint to the more gothic feeling of Westmarch. The players will really love the journey from Westmarch to the Bloodmarch to the Pandemonium.

It’s a place where the angels and demons have fought over forever.

 

A lot of people are missing the darker side of Diablo II in Diablo III. Is the expansion going to be darker?

Dark side. I mean, Diablo III opens with a zombie apocalypse. It’s the end of the world, and meteors falling, and the armies of Hell are coming. Explain dark side.

For many years now we have really wanted to do a city tileset. A random city. So it all works with the same Diablo randomness, but still feels like a real city.

We actually tried to do that for a while, in Diablo III’s development, but we put it aside. As soon as we began work on the expansion, that was the first thing we tackled. So apart from the fact that it was a city, we didn’t know whether we wanted to do Westmarch years ago; and Death as the villain, has sort of made it definitely very grim and dark. That was heavy and gothic anyway before Death arrived and invaded it.

It’s a marshal city. It’s founded by the Paladin order when they were on their first grand crusade bringing their Zakarum faith to the west with fire and a sword.

It was founded by Rakkis. The soldiers of Bastion’s Keep are actually from the city of Westmarch. So we knew that we wanted to do Westmarch for a while, and not in response to anything in particular from Diablo III.

It’s not a reaction, but more than anything else an opportunity for us. When we started thinking about the expansion, they wanted Westmarch, another wanted the Crusader. When the team came across the idea of really focusing on Malthael the Angel of Death kinda rocked everything together and really allowed us to deliver — not just a gothic setting — but sub-apocalyptic and anti-apocalyptic that’s happening. It helps put everything together. The complete package.

The whole expansion is not the same color scheme. It’s not the same heavy gothic feel either. We just mentioned two of the other zones, and variety is a very important part of the game. It’s about replayability.

For us gothic doesn’t necessarily mean just round, black and gray. Gothic is more about the feel.

 

Are you going to make improvements to the Battle.net?

We are working on a lot of improvements. We didn’t announced any one yet. We are still working on them, and want to know a little more about — be sure — before we can talk about them, but there is a number of improvements to Battle.net and social services coming.

 

Given the theme of the new expansion, with Malthael being the Angel of Death, will we meet any Necromancer? … because it sounds like it would fit quite a little.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but … (at unison) MAYBE! **MAYBE!!!***

Obviously, bad things are happening. There’s a lot of death, and I think the necromancers are drawn to death.

Necromancers are about balance. If the army of death are taking over the world, that’s not balance anymore; and they need to do something about it.

 

Regarding the cinematic, Tyrael is hiding the Black Soulstone with the Horadrim. Are we going to know more about the Horadrim?

Yea, before the expansion ships, you are going to know more about the Horadrim. Tyrael has refound the Horadrim order. So they are a new Horadrim. The character that you meet at the beginning of the demo, he is a new Horadrim character that we spent a lot of time getting to know as well. So the Horadrim has been reborn. Cain passed that mantle down to Leah, and then we all know what happened with her. So, that didn’t work. Right? — the Kevin Marten yells: “SPOILERS!!!”

Josh Mosqueira says: “I didn’t specifically say what happened to Leah.”

Kevin Martens responds: “Oh shit!”

Josh Mosqueira finishes: “She’s not taking over the Horadrim. Let’s just say that.”

 

Note: That was a bit confusing. Are they considering Leah’s fate at the end of Diablo III a spoiler, or are they fooling around because Leah is coming back from the … death. Coughs … Malthael is rising the dead. Or because the Necromancers bring her back? Hard to decipher their code-talk.

Special thanks to Arthur Lorenz aka Handclaw (Blizzplanet contributor) who interviewed the Diablo III team at GamesCom, and thanks to the Blizzard US/EU PR teams.

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Fact Sheet

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, whose malevolent purpose is yet to be revealed. Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action-RPG Diablo® III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. Should this dark power be unleashed upon the world, the results would be catastrophic. Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice — the Crusader. Clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield, this new playable class charges into battle wielding a range of cruel and punishing weapons and employing powerful battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. As a nigh unstoppable force of armored destruction, the Crusader adds strength and versatility to any party of adventurers.

For further details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

GAME FEATURES

  • The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk, and Demon Hunter

  • Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of power

  • Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress

  • Two new game modes: Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials provide fun and rewarding objective-based challenges

  • Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability

  • Newly designed loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades

  • Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries

  • New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes

  • A new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes

PUBLISHER: Blizzard Entertainment
DEVELOPER: Blizzard Entertainment
GENRE: Action RPG
PLATFORMS: PC
RELEASE DATE: To Be Announced

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Concept Art

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

The concept art of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls show new monsters serving Malthael including the Seraph, the Wraith, and the Brute. Among the images you will find a few iterative concept artworks of Malthael, a Horadrim, and a scene titled “Tomb of Rakkis”.

Now this Tomb of Rakkis is definitely interesting in a few ways. Rakkis was the king that brought civilization to Westmarch, and brought the Zakarum religion to the region.

The Diablo III: Book of Cain says the following about Rakkis.


Westmarch

Founded by Rakkis, Westmarch was named in honor of the Zakarum warlord’s great crusade and marks the farthest western point of his conquest.

Rakkis was loved by the peoples of the west and did much to bring civilization to the surrounding lands, including the building of roads and churches and necessary infrastructure for the burgeoning territories there. In time, Rakkis’ heir Korsikk, continued his father’s rule and built Westmarch into a bastion of the Zakarum faith.

Ever wary of attack from the northern barbarians, Korsikk founded the impregnable Bastion’s Keep to safeguard all that his father had thought to build.

In the present day, Westmarch is a kingdom that thrives on commerce and maritime trade. Influence from the Zakarum faith has waned of late, and Westmarch is now a forward-looking civilization. Indeed, one might say that it remains one of the healthiest, most vibrant kingdoms left in our troubled world.

 

Now the thing is — Malthael, is now known as the Archangel of Death. He has arrived to Westmarch to begin there his purge of Sanctuary — as he sees humanity as the biggest faction of demonspawn. Malthael is bringing the dead back to life to serve as his minions in the purge of Sanctuary.

The concept art of the Tomb of Rakkis evokes an intriguing question. Will players fight a resurrected Rakkis as an enemy dungeon boss?

D3_Exp_Gamescom_Westmarch_LH_006-01

GamesCom 2013 – Crusader Class Skills and Runes

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

We have sneak peek screenshots of the Crusader class’ skills and runes.

Primary Skills

  • Punish
  • Scourge: Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Scourge your enemies, surrounding them in threads of hallowed power. The threads cut and bleed enemies they attack to, and will seek out new enemies to latch onto and punish.

  • Justice
  • Slash

Secondary Skills

Blessed Shield: Cost 25 Wrath. Hurl a celestial shield through the air, smashing it into enemies and ricocheting it between them. Requires Shield.

The Fist of the Heavens doesn’t have a description but one of the screenshots below shows one of its runes, Well of Retribution: Create a well of holy lightning at the target location that will electrocute nearby enemies.

Other secondary skills include: Blessed Hammer, Shield Bash, and Sweep Attack.

Passive Skills

  • Indestructible
  • Wrathful
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Against All Odds
  • Finery
  • Heavenly Strength
  • Holy Cause
  • Vigilant
  • Long Arm of the Law
  • Stand Your Ground