You may remember that Diablo 3 didnt have the best start, complaints about the Real Money Auction House and always online aspect were two of the main complaints. The other was the loot, it was easier to purchase your loot in the auction house than find it in New Tristram. Despite these things Diablo went on to sell 12 million copies in 2012 and was the best selling game that year.
I too was one of the 3.5 million people that purchased the game in the first 24 hours. Since then I have chopped, vaporised, melted and froze enough demons to last a life time. I have also tried the many Hack n Slash games that have come out since Blizzard made it cool again to repeatedly run the same levels in search of that special item. Diablo 3 manages to capture a feel to the game that other games in this genre seem unable to replicate. That is why with every slight iteration that they have made, I came back and played some more. Now with just under a month until the first expansion, Blizzard has updated the game to version 2.01 and what an update it is.
So the most important change, the loot system. Blizzard are calling it “Loot 2.0″ we are calling it “about bloody time.” The key features are that loot will now be far more likely to contain stats that are relevant to the class you are playing, what a novel idea, finding items that you can use. Legendary items are now bound to you account, unless your in a game with other players in which case you can trade with the for 2 hours. How does this translate to actual gameplay? I have spent around 4 hours with the new system and I have to say I am impressed, drops seem more tailored to my class and the items seem to have a better balance of stats. In those 4 hours I have found 4 legendary items, each of them forced me to think about my current gear. Not to mention they look awesome. Lets be honest if your going to save the world from a demon army controller by non other than Daiblo herself(?) then you want to look and feel pretty damn good doing it. Diablo 3 does an excellent job of this. The full loot changes can be found here
Classes have been reworked as well. Don’t worry your barbarian will still be able to wield to types of melee weapon, but his skills and rune will have changed in some way. I would take Blizzards advice here and just jump in and give it a go. When I played my Monk and Demon Hunter the changes seemed subtle rather than wholesale. I did enjoy changing my skills around and seeing the changes in action, and with no Nephalem buff to lose your free to do this as often or as little as you like. A full list of the class changes is here
So Nephalem Valor is out and Nephalem Glory is in. Wait what? Nephalem Glory now comes bottled for your demon slaying convenience, but no longer grants extra magic or gold find. Instead players now get a damage buff that causes golden lightning bolts to attack nearby enemies, Zeus would of been proud. This buff can stack up to three time to deal additional damage. Players also recieve a small movement speed buff. These Neph globes dont seem to drop that often and its hard to quantify just how much additional damage they actual provide. Again though they have been extremely well animated and its pleasing to see the golden lightning bolts sure towards your foe. Nephalem Glory and other changes can be read about here
Next up we have cursed chests, these things look absolutely awesome. You wont confuse these with the regular boring chests. Oozing red blood, opening one will start a random dynamic event that if you complete, will grant you a second resplendent chest or random shrine buff. Easily one of the best new features and I get genuinely excited when I see one. These aren’t easy either, I have failed a couple of the challenges so be ready when you start one.
Difficulty modes have also had some seen some changes, with users now able to select from a clear stylised screen. Normal Hard and expert are all available right from the word go. Feel that demon is being cleaved a little to easy, simply exit to the menu and up the difficulty. You can also lower the difficulty from in game, so I would suggest starting on a higher setting and scaling back until you think its right. Master unlock after ActIV and Torment, with is MP style slider, after you reach level 60. Full changes here
The last feature of note is the new Paragon levelling system. Paragon levels are now unlimited and are also available on every character. Every new Paragon level lets you add a point into one of 5 categories, Core, Offence, Defence and Utility. This makes rolling a new character considerably easier, especially if you have a level 60 character with quite a few paragon levels. Each class has its own options within the 5 categories, below is an example of my 2 day old wizard.
With less than a month until the launch of Reaper of Soul, 24th March, Blizzard have made some significant changes to get people excited again for this game. Reaper of Souls is available for pre-order now with in game bonuses priced at £32.99 direct from Blizzard
Full Patch notes can be found here