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Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Expansion (2014)

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Expansion Review

  

  Once again we are drawn back to the world of Sanctuary in the Diablo 3 expansion Reaper of Souls.

 

  A few years have passed since the defeat of Diablo in the high heavens by the Nephalem and their allies.

 

  Tyrael has built a new order of Horadrim and fearing the power of the Black Soulstone has decided to hide it away from both mortals and angels alike.

 

  As the expansion opens Tyrael and the Horadrim are confronted by the long missing angel Malthael who proceeds to attack the group and claim the Black Soulstone for his own.

 

Malthael

 

  Tyrael sends forth Lorath Nahr to find the Nephalem, it is time once more for the Nephalem to take up arms and fight to save the world of Sanctuary.

 

  Reaper of Souls is an expansion to Diablo 3 and is required to play it.

 

  The expansion adds one new chapter to the Diablo 3 story line (much as Lord of Destruction did for Diablo 2).

 

  The story focuses on the invasion by Reaper Angels that Malthael has sent to lay waste to the kingdom of Westmarch. The Nephalem tries their best to hunt down Malthael and his followers while protecting the survivors of the invasion.

 

Church in Westmarch

 

  The story culminates with an assault on the Pandemonium Fortress that once housed the Worldstone on another plane of existence.

 

  A lot has changed in the game since it's initial release and the expansion has brought about some very positive changes.

 

  First we have a new melee warrior class known as the Crusader.

The Crusader

 

So what is in the arsenal of the Crusader?  

 

  Weapons

    One-Handed

      Axes

      Daggers  

      Maces

      Spears

      Swords

 

    Two-Handed

      Axes

      Maces

      Polearms

      Swords

      Flails

  

  Armor

    Helms

    Pauldrons

    Chest Armor

    Bracers

    Gloves

    Belts

    Pants

    Boots

   

  Off-Hand

    Shields

    Crusader Shields

 

  Skills

    Punish

    Shield Bash

    Slash

    Shield Glare

    Sweep Attack

    Iron Skin

    Provoke

    Smite

    Blessed Hammer

    Steed Charge

    Laws of Valor

    Justice

    Consecration

    Laws of Justice

    Falling Sword

    Blessed Shield

    Condemn

    Judgment

    Laws of Hope

    Akarat's Champion

    Fist of Heavens

    Phalanx

    Heaven's Fury

    Bombardment

  

 

  Passives

    Heavenly Strength

    Fervor

    Vigilant

    Righteousness

    Insurmountable

    Nephalem Majesty

    Indestructible

    Holy Cause

    Wrathful

    Divine Fortress

    Lord Commander

    Hold your ground

    Long Arm of the Law

    Iron Maiden

    Renewal

    Finery

    Blunt

    Towering Shield

      

Crusader in Westmarch

 

  What makes the Crusader shine is his ability to tank and aggro enemies with his skills while also assisting his allies with buffs. The Crusader is a valued ally to any party.

 

  The most unique passive for the class is Heavenly Strength which allows the Crusader to wield a two-handed weapon in one hand while using a shield in the other.

 

Table flip D3 RoS

Haters gonna hate.

 

  The downside to the Crusader class is that it is very gear dependant on the highest difficulty levels and suffers greatly in the resource management department.

 

Mystic

 

  A new NPC known as the Mystic has been added to the game. The Mystic serves the same purpose as the Ethereal Transmogrifier from Blizzard's other game World of War Craft.

 

  The Mystic allows you to create illusions that change how an item looks based on items that you have already discovered in the game. Gone are the days of looking like a demonic clown... unless you are into that kinda thing.

 

  Another boost that the Mystic brings is the ability to gamble away one stat on an item for a chance at a new stat. You are limited to chaging one stat on an item and there is no guarantee that the new stat will be better but you do get to see the list that the replaced stat is gambling from.

 

  A new sand box type mode of play has been added to the game called Adventure Mode which can be accessed once you defeat Malthael in the normal story mode.

 

  In Adventure Mode you can complete randomly generated quests called bounties in each act that will reward a character with a Horadric Cache, once they complete all bounties for that act.

 

  Some legendary items are unique to the Horadric Cache's and also what act the cache is from.

 

  Along with gold, gems, and magic items the cache can also hold rift key fragments.

 

  In every town is a new obelisk that can be activated by the Nephalem ghost Orek, five rift key fragments are required to open the rift.

 

  Each Nephalem rift is a randomly created dungeon made up of layers from previously visited areas throughout the game, along with randomly generated mobs.

 

  As you kill mobs within the Nephalem Rift a small meter is filled that eventually summons the Rift Guardian boss.

 

  Rift Guardians drop treasure, crafting materials, and blood shards which are a new currency in the game.

 

  Nephalem rifts reminded me of an old school Diablo like game on the Sega Genesis called Fatal Labyrinth.

 

Fatal Labyrinth

Yes I know that I am getting old...

 

  In each town is an NPC named Kadala who will exchange different amounts of blood shards for a chance at a randomly generated item. You at least get to select the item type to gamble on but it could be anything from a worthless unenchanted item to a legendary item.

 

  One of the more shocking changes that Blizzard made before the launch of Reaper of Souls was the removal of the real money and gold auction house.

 

Dying Horadrim

How gold farmers feel about the removal of the auction house.

 

  This was actually a very smart move on their part as the auction house always detracted from the fun of the game. Why hunt monsters when you can just pop over to the auction house and get the custom item of your dreams?

 

  Another change was the severe down grading in usefulness of items with the magic find stat and the removal of Nephalem Valor.

 

  I am a little on the fence about this decision, on one hand it was a pain sacrificing stats to maintain 300 magic find but on the other hand it was exciting trying to reach and maintain five Nephalem Valor.

 

  The last change to the game was in the removal of monster power and the revamping of the difficulty levels. On this account Blizzard was spot on in their revamp as monsters now scale to your level and you are not forced to grind away at ridiculous difficulty levels to obtain upgrades to run those difficulty levels.

 

  There is now a slider in place once you choose the highest difficulty in the game known as Torment that can increase or decrease the dangers and gold/exp that you receive from defeating mobs.

 

Tyrael tries to hold Malthael at bay

 

  Overall the expansion brings a lot of balance changes but not a lot of content. I feel the expansion should have come with at least one more class and a slightly longer Act 5.

 

  The most important thing that the expansion brings is the amping up of the fun factor of playing Diablo 3 and that in my opinion makes it worth the price.

 

  Final Verdict for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls 9.5/10 Very pricey for the amount of content that has been added but Reaper of Souls greatly improves upon the fun factor of Diablo 3.

 

~Professor

 

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