We’ve got a few tips to share with you that will help ease your transition back into D3.
Players who have chosen to temporarily self-exile themselves from the world of Sanctuary will be shocked to know that the realms of Hell are now a decidedly different place. The recently launched Reaper of Souls expansion has left virtually no pile of diseased corpses unturned, overhauling everything from the experience system, to loot, skills and beyond.
Equal parts exciting and confounding, the new Diablo III will take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’ve been out of the game for a few months or more. But fear not stalwart hero of Sanctuary, for we’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the most sweeping changes.
1) The game difficulty settings have been entirely revamped, and for the better.
Gone are the days of laboring through the same tedious content over and over again. In Reaper of Souls there are ten new difficulty settings: Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment 1 – 6. Monster Power is a thing of the past, and minions now scale to your level.
Also, players are no longer required to traverse the entire game world three times before accessing the highest difficulty settings. Feeling masochistic? Start the game on Torment 6. The higher the difficulty level, the more experience and gold bonuses you’ll receive. Find that proper balance between difficulty and speed and you’ll hit level 60 in no time.
Insider tip #1: On any difficulty level higher than Normal, it’s possible to reach level 70 or at least come close in one play-through.
2) The Newest Class: The Crusader
The first addition to the Diablo 3 hero line up is the Crusader. Much like D2’s Paladin, the Crusader is a sword and board tanky style badass with some righteous caster abilities thrown in. There’s a lot to cover on this latest hero, so check out our Crusader class overview post for an in-depth look.
3) Adventure Mode & Bounties
Perhaps the most exciting and rewarding feature added in RoS is the new Adventure Mode Bounties system. Once you’ve completed the game in Campaign Mode, you’re able to unlock the game’s new Adventure Mode which is a primary aspect of Diablo 3’s new end game.
Adventure Mode features a completely unlocked world where you can freely travel to any waypoint within any of the acts, with the added bonus of mini quest “bounties” which you are given the option to complete. A bounty is a random side quest which sends your hero on a mission to kill a unique, maybe a boss, clear a dungeon level, or successfully complete some sort of event. Completing a bounty rewards you with experience, gold and other goodies, plus…if you tackle and complete all of the bounties within a specific act, you will be rewarded with a special Horadric Cache which has the possibility of containing a host of Legendary items.
4) Nephalem Rifts
When you participate in Adventure Mode Bounties you will earn Rift Keystones which are used to unlock Nephalem Rifts. These rifts are portals which open into completely randomized worlds, and can contain any combination of maps and mobs available within the game. Nephalem Rifts are the new hotness when it comes to grinding Paragon levels and farming Legendaries.
Each rift instance contains a gang of champions, rares, uniques and one random rift boss who emerges after you’ve slain a majority of the rift’s evil inhabitants. The rift boss is summoned once you’ve downed 999 monsters, which usually takes around 10-20 minutes, depending upon the difficulty level you’re playing in.
Nepahlem Rifts provide great opportunities for not only gaining experience, but also for farming Legendaries. While in a Nephalem Rift, Legendary drop rates are increased by 100%.
5) The Mystic
The newest artisan to join the caravan is Myriam Jahzia, the Mystic. The Mystic gives you the ability to re-roll a stat on a piece of gear, as well as Transmogrify your armor. Transmogrification is the process of cosmetically altering your gear to look like some other item of your choosing. It offers no value to character power, but it’s fun for those who enjoy aesthetic customization and personalization of their characters.
As mentioned, the primary function of the Mystic is her ability to enchant pieces of your gear – enabling you the possibility to change a less desired stat for something more desirable. The enchanting process is randomized, meaning her enchants roll much in the same way that stats do on loot drops. You may not always get exactly what you want, and sometimes the results will exceed expectations. Enchanting gear has a cost attached to it, and it becomes more expensive each time you attempt to re-roll a stat; however, you always have the option to retain the current stat if luck doesn’t happen to be on your side.
Do note that once you enchant a piece of gear, the stat that you re-rolled is the only stat you can ever change on that item.
6) Thanks to infinite Paragon Levels, the real leveling doesn’t start until you’ve hit 70.
Earlier iterations of the Paragon leveling system were a mere novelty compared to what Reaper of Souls has in place. Originally capped at Level 100, players can now earn infinite Paragon levels. And each time you earn a new level, you’ll receive a point to spend in one of four categories (Core, Offense, Defense & Utility).
Effectively allowing you to further customize your character, Paragon points are a much needed nuance that fills a huge void. Better yet, Paragon levels are account-wide, meaning that every time you create a new hero, you’ll have that many points to spend.
Insider’s tip #2: Players who have achieved Paragon level 100 or more and who equip their new characters with a Hellfire Ring should have no trouble blitzing through the game’s first 20-25 levels. Equip a helm socketed with a high ranking Ruby for even swifter leveling.
The one drawback to the new Paragon leveling system is that you’ll no longer gain organic stat and Magic Find bonuses upon leveling up. But that’s OK, because thanks to Diablo III’s new loot system, you won’t really need MF.
7) Loot 2.0 is a go. The Auction House is no more.
Diablo III’s much maligned loot system is a thing of the past. In its stead is a new “Smart” looting system. In short, Loot 2.0 is designed to significantly decrease player reliance on purchasing goods from the Auction House by making drops more relevant. That’s good news, considering the AH has been permanently removed from the game.
Listed below are just a few facets of Loot 2.0:
- Most drops will be tailored specifically for your character. In addition, smart drops will feature attributes that, for lack of a better phrase, now make sense. For instance, Barbarian set pieces will preference Strength over Intelligence, and Demon Hunter specific items are less likely to provide bonuses to Wizard skills.
- Stats have been categorized into Primary and Secondary categories, effectively eliminating the chance of stats competing with one another.
- Roll ranges have been tightened dramatically, decreasing the frequency of “crap rares.” That being said, upgrades in Diablo III are now more of the incremental variety.
- A slew of new item affixes have been added. Our favorite: Some shrines will now spawn an enemy champion.
Insider Tip #3: Hover over an item and press Control. You will be able to view the stat ranges of your item. Just don’t throw the keyboard across the room when you find out that awesome new Legendary belt could be a lot better.
8) Inventory is significantly easier to mange
Most of the inventory related annoyances that plagued the vanilla version of the game have been addressed. There is now only one type of health potion, which always heals for 60 percent of your maximum life. The number of crafting reagents have been consolidated into one tier, and because gear drops at a lower frequency, return trips to the vendor will be fewer and far between.
9) The Kitchen Sink
It’s a little exhaustive to try and touch on everything that has been introduced with Patch 2.0 and Reaper of Souls, but the above list covers some of the most notable changes.
Other more subtle changes to D3:
- Some boss battles – Maghda comes to mind – have been reworked, making for far more dynamic and interesting encounters
- Mobs will occasionally drop Power Globes which provide your character with a temporary speed and a damage boost in the form of golden lightning bolts. A Power Globe’s duration can be extended by collecting Health Globes, so kill quickly!
- Guaranteed Legendary drops for Act end bosses* have been added, which can be repeatedly obtained if you reset your campaign’s quests. *More info on that can be found here.
- Nephalem Valor is gone, which makes acquiring a shiny new Hellfire Ring that much easier.
- Rares and Champions feature all new affixes.
- For those who ran a Whirlwind build, don’t be shocked if your Barbarian isn’t nearly as invincible as he/she used to be.
- Clans, communities and other new social aspects of the game have been added.
- The secret Cow Level has returned to the game for Reaper of Souls. However the only way to access it is through a rift (and there is no way to control where rifts go) so your chances of reaching the Cow Level are poor. Moo. However, there is a chance for a Cursed Cow Chest to spawn in Whimsyshire, which can indulge your desire for a bovine battle.
And so on, and so forth…
Adhering to the age-old adage, “better late than never,” Blizzard is redefining one of its flagship products, and thus far we like what we see.