Reaper of Souls begins the story after the events of Act 4 where the Nephalem (players) must stop Malphael from using the Blackstone after he has stolen it. You will embark on an adventure in the City of Westmarch which is full of Diablo lore, monsters, intimidating dungeons, caves, zones, new events and of course shiny loot. At the beginning of the act you will witness the nasty doings of Malphael who has reaped the souls of innocents and turned them into an army of the undead against the Nephalem.
Act 5 is a lot more gothic than previous acts in Diablo III. Best way to describe it is to compare it to Act 1 where players have encountered zombies and the undead. However, this time around it’s much more darker and is kind of similar to Diablo 2. Act 5 also features huge zones such as the Blood-marsh, that is full of nasty monsters called Bogans. Bogans are a brand new enemy type that have a unique AI system that has never been done before in a Diablo game. For example, a flying bat will turn a small Boggit into a Tusked Bogan that is much stronger than the small one.
The third type are the Bogat Trapper. These annoying creatures place traps to slow down and ambush you while their friends are on their way to help them out. The new AI system is impressive and it was fascinating to watch monsters work together in such a unique way against the user player.
"One of the coolest dungeons you will encounter in Reaper of Souls is Ruins of Corvus. Ruins of Corvus consists of Phantasms, Blood Golems, Scarabs and new dungeon events that award players with resplendent chests and mini-boss fights."
Another unique and beautiful zone that came to mind was the Battlefields of Eternity. Battlefields of Eternity is somewhat similar to Act 3 exterior zone area, but the scenery has been taken to a completely new level in terms of art style and graphics. From a lore point of view, it’s one of the most unique places you can ever visit in this expansion. This area features great monster designs not only from an artistic perspective, but also gameplay where you have to use strategy and figure out the best way to counter them.
It wouldn’t be a Diablo game if Reaper of Souls didn’t feature new dungeons such as Ripotstry of Bones which is a sewer-themed dungeon that is full of furnace traps, giant vermin rats and cursed chest events. One of the coolest dungeons you will encounter in Reaper of Souls is Ruins of Corvus. Ruins of Corvus consists of Phantasms, Blood Golems, Scarabs and new dungeon events that award players with resplendent chests and mini-boss fights.
Reaper of Souls also brings in a new playable class which brings in an interesting style of play to Diablo III. This new class benefit a lot from their shields, they’re also able to use two handed weapons and shields at the same time thanks to one of their passive skills that players can choose.
Best way to describe this new class is that it is literally a walking tower that you don’t want to be next to, they’re very hard to be taken down, especially if you build yourself strictly tank without much damage. If you don’t enjoy tanking you may also go more of a DPS or better yet a hybrid.
"The Adventure Mode adds so much more replay value to the entire game. It's unique, exciting and fun, especially for hardcore players. This what is what truly makes Diablo 3 so much better than what it used to be. My biggest issue with the game was the loot itemization and replay value, thankfully all of this is now fixed thanks to Adventure Mode and the new Loot 2.0."
Another big feature of Reaper of Souls is the Adventure Mode along with the revamped loot system called Loot 2.0. Adventure Mode is a completely new way to play Diablo III. You’re able to play Adventure Mode once you have beaten Act 5 on any of your characters (separate from hardcore/soft-core characters). In Adventure Mode players are able to go to any act at any given time and complete bounty missions that award blood shards, Horadic Caches, gold and experience.
There are total of 5 bounty missions that you can do in each act which is a total of 25 bounties in a single game until reset. Completing all bounties will award players with Horadic Caches that grand a ton of loot, rift keystone fragments, gems and a chance of a legendary item when you open them. The missions themselves can range from killing a boss such as Skeleton King, completing a spawned event or killing a certain number of monsters in a particular area.
Once the players have acquired at least 5 keystone fragments they’re able to open up a rift portal that consists of different multiple leveled dungeons that contain random monsters and environments. In the rift the players have to defeat as many monsters as possible to fill up a progress bar on the right side of the screen, once the bar is filled, the rift will spawn a random Rift Guardian boss that can contain different powers. As far as the blood shards go, those can be traded in for random gear at a town vendor with a chance of a legendary. However, to be completely honest, majority of the time you never really get anything good. I feel like they could do much more with the blood-shards and find better ways to make use of them.
The Adventure Mode adds so much more replay value to the entire game. It’s unique, exciting and fun, especially for hardcore players. This what is what truly makes Diablo 3 so much better than what it used to be. My biggest issue with the game was the loot itemization and replay value, thankfully all of this is now fixed thanks to Adventure Mode and the new Loot 2.0.
Loot 2.0 now drops better items that are more tailored for your character. The legendary items also have a tad increase in drop-rate than they had back in vanilla Diablo III and majority of them were also revamped to be more useful and have special stats that can lead to new builds for each of the classes. However, some of the legendary items are still useless as they were back in the day and just feel like they don’t belong in the game at all because they’re just worse than rare (yellow items) and no one will ever use them.
"Reaper of Souls is a fantastic first expansion for Diablo III. It has greatly improved the game and just made it a lot more fun and much more replay-able than it was before. There is now more incentive to farm gear thanks to Loot 2.0 and the Mystic, despite the fact that some legendary items still need work."
The Mystic is a new crafting artisan who enchants and transmogrify your gear in Diablo III. This is one of the best things to ever happen to Diablo III. Have a piece of gear that’s almost perfect, but has a stat that is useless and you want it to be rerolled into something else? The Mystic will allow you to do just that at a price of certain mats and gold depending on the quality and level of the item you’re trying to enchant. Mystic can also transmogrify your gear and it works in a similar fashion as it does in World of Warcraft.
Once you find a piece of gear that you like, you unlock a transmogrify option for it. Players also don’t even have to keep the item with them anymore if they’re trying to save up their precious inventory slots. Got a cool looking legendary one-handed sword that you’d like to have for looks, but not the stats? Well, now you can transmogrify it for a specified amount of gold.
Last but not least, the paragon system has also been revamped and now allows for a much better character customization. As players level up in paragon levels they’re able to choose where they want to put in their points that they can earn from each level. There are a total of four categories including Core, Offense, Defense and Utility. You will be able to cap everything out at 800 paragon expect for your main stat and vitality because those are infinite and have no caps. It’s an interesting design and gives the players more reason to play the game and make their characters more powerful over a long periods of time.
The game features new social aspects with the clans and communities features. Clans work similar as they do in World of Warcraft, while they don’t give any gameplay benefits but they do make the game much more social and interactive than it was before. Communities are more general and broad than clans. Want to meet someone that lives in the-same state as you? Well, try to find a community that’s around your area and make new real friends. I am not sure how far will this feature actually go but it’s an interesting addition nonetheless.
Reaper of Souls is a fantastic first expansion for Diablo III. It has greatly improved the game and just made it a lot more fun and much more replay-able than it was before. There is now more incentive to farm gear thanks to Loot 2.0 and the Mystic, despite the fact that some legendary items still need work. Adventure Mode is super addicting, random, fun and most of the time feels rewarding with the exception of the useless blood-shard currency that doesn’t really do much.
This game was reviewed for the PC.
Loot 2.0 is a great revamp for the most part, Act 5 is a ton of fun, Adventure Mode is addicting and has great potential for future content, new paragon system is great.
Some legendary items still need tweaking, blood-shard currency from Adventure Mode currently seem to be uninteresting and useless.
I am sure Blizzard will find ways to improve the new systems even more in future patches, but as it stands now they're small issues that hurt the experience just a small bit. In reality, there is nothing to fear, this is a great addition to the game and we are looking forward to seeing how Blizzard will move on with the universe in Diablo III. As for now, I don't know why you're still reading this, go get the expansion and begin your epic loot hunts in Adventure Modes.