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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