Reaper of Souls Adventure Mode Hands-On Report from Blizzcon

I’ve had a chance to play a couple of hours on the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls demo already this morning, and had a great time. I did the Campaign Mode first, which is identical in function to the game today. In this Blizzcon demo you start off at the beginning of Act 5, and you can pick a a premade level 32 character of any class. I chose the Crusader, of course, but I’ll save a report on that class until I’ve had time to play a bit more. What I can offer you now is a quick RoS DiabloWikiAdventure Mode Hands-On Report from Blizzcon.

Adventure Mode selection.

Adventure Mode selection.

I’ve played three full Adventure Mode games so far (twenty minute time limit each), and it looks much as you see it teased in the new RoS trailer. It’s a full open world; all 5 acts and every waypoint is available in every act. You can jump from one to the other, or right from the dungeons to another one on the map, in any act, without returning to town. You can go anywhere you want; you could full clear all 5 acts in the same game, or just do your favorite few levels in each Act, and there are no quests or cut scenes or dialogues at all. (You can talk to NPCs and such, but Artisans and hiring Followers are disabled in the Adventure Mode (for Blizzcon demo I guess?), so they only talk when clicked on.)

The obvious thing to do when you start up in Adventure Mode is to hit the zones with Bounties active. Those appear with an ! icon on each Act’s waypoint map for random bosses, or a Diablo’s skull icon (like you see on the map in boss battles now) if the boss is a quest type boss. (That seems to be a new change since the footage in the Blizzcon RoS demo movie, which only shows the ! icon for all Bounties.)


Added Friday night: Just to clarify some things in this, since they shared more details about this game mode in Friday’s panel and it clears up some stuff I couldn’t tell just from playing it. (Full transcript here.) I also replied to a bunch of questions in the comments to this post:

  • The current difficulty modes, Normal/NM/Hell/Inferno are not in Adventure Mode. It’s flat difficulty, scaled to your character’s level. (Multi game scales to game creator?)
  • You can start Adventure Mode any time with a character (maybe not from lvl 1, but certainly by 10 or 20) and do not need to grind through all of Normal, much less up to Inferno, to play it. You can level up entirely there instead of Campaign Mode, if you wish.
  • There are 25 random bounties per game, 5 per act. The panel mentioned “Complete an Event” and “Clear a Dungeon” as bounty types, but I saw none of those in the demo. All were kill monster or kill boss type.
  • Bounties will sometimes drop DiabloWikiRift Keystones, which are used to open DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts. I never saw any drop (not enabled in demo?) but the demo chars have 10 of them in inventory, so there was a Rift open in each game (yellow portal in town, it was the same in all 5 acts in each game.)
  • I did 2 DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts and it was very fun with the randomized levels and monsters. The Rift dungeon levels are medium-sized, packed with random Elites, and they go 1-10 levels, though both games I got at least 4 (didn’t go deeper because time, plus I got enough kills to release the Rift Guardian on lvl 4 both times.) Full article on Nephalem Rifts coming later today.

Click through for much more on Adventure Mode and related topics… 


Bounties are Purple bosses, from random half-trash dudes with big names, all the way up to Act Bosses. The goal of a bounty is to find that boss and kill him or her (or it), which earns you their normal drop, plus a substantial exp and gold award. I was pulling 20k gold and 50k exp per Bounty in Normal at level 32, and Bounties are *very* farmable. I did 6 of them in one 20 minute game, once I sort of knew what I was doing, and that was with a Crusader in the junky pre-made equipment.

I thought they were so farmable that I brought it up with DiabloWikiJason Regier, when I happened to bump into him in the lunch line in the press room just before I stated writing this post. (Of course the Bliz employees eat in the press room; it’s where the food is.) He agreed that Bounties were very farmable, and that it encourages a different type of gameplay, but that it’s intentional and under control. I’ll sample it a bit more before I form opinions on whether it’s balanced or not.


Finding the Bounty

The Bounties I experimented on ranged from “almost instant” to “two levels down” in terms of how findable they were. The easiest one was a random Purple Wraith in the Festering Woods, who attacked me as I appeared on the Waypoint. That’s just luck in the monster’s location, and I might have needed to explore the whole level to find him, but you get the idea. Other Bounties might require more searching, but their icon shows up on the map once you’re within a few screens of them. That’s what makes them so farmable; even with the slow premade character I was racing through levels just looking for the icon on the map, and with a powerful character in good gear, with a movement skill, Bounties will be farmable at a very rapid rate.

The clues even point you to the right sub-level. I got Digger O’Dell for a Bounty in the DiabloWikiCemetery of the Forsaken. That’s a very small area and I figured I’d find him in three seconds. What I found instead was the quest target icon on one of the three crypts, with Digger located randomly down in that level.

Other bosses might take a level or two to find as well, depending on how close the waypoint is. I don’t recall the exact level, but in Act Three I got a random Purple for a Bounty on one of the levels of the never-ending Staircase, and the quest icon was on the stairs down from that level, with the boss (a jumbo-sized Phase Beast) on the next level down.


Adventure Mode Transportation

Choose your Adventure (Mode).

Choose your Adventure (Mode).

Moving around on the Adventure Mode map is super fast. When you click one of the waypoints, with a Bounty or not, on the Adventure Mode waypoint map, your character instantly teleports to it. Well, that’s instantly if you’re in town; if you’re in the dungeon (like you just killed a Bounty) your character goes into the Town Portal casting animation and requires 5 seconds of uninterrupted casting. But then you pop straight to the chosen waypoint location; no stop in town required, even if you switch acts.


For instance, you can finish a bounty in the Weeping Hollow (I got DiabloWikiMira Eamon and Mange there in 2 different games, and there’s a new waypoint in the Weeping Hollow right at the end of the bridge out of Tristram), open the Adventure Mode map, decide to do the Butcher via Leoric’s Torture Level 3, click the waypoint, and your character will go into the Town Portal casting motion, and if you are uninterrupted for 5 seconds you will appear on that waypoint, just as if you’d selected it from town.


The difficulty for Adventure Mode is flat, or nearly so, much as Inferno difficulty is in the game today. I wasn’t playing on Inferno though, not with the premade demo characters.

There was no option in the Blizzcon demo to select a difficulty — either the old DiabloWikiMonster Power or the new Difficulty options — and the pre-made characters were level 32 (to start, I leveled to 33 each game) and the game was on Normal. Yet from Act 1 to Act 5 the monsters felt about the same. It was a little easier in Act One, but that’s also true in Inferno today.

One interesting thing; the random Elites all had two DiabloWikiBoss Modifiers, and this was on Normal difficulty. I saw two new ones (Poison Enchanted and Frozen (sp?) Orb), but whether bosses had one of the new ones or two old ones, they all felt harder than I’m used to. I don’t know if they’re turned up in RoS or if I was just noticing the undergeared demo character (or both) but my hit points were constantly going much lower than I expected. The hardest one I got was in a Nephalem Rift (article on that coming up later) and it was a DiabloWikiMolten Electrified.

I don’t even notice that combo in the game today, but either the Molten was stacking on the DiabloWikiElectrified or they turned the damage of those affixes way up, but I had to retreat twice during the battle, running back a screen or three to find some Health Orbs I’d left behind (benefit of having no pickup radius on the demo char).

Some of the bosses are buffed as well. The normal random ones had two modifiers, but the purples were tougher than before with additional properties. The hardest boss I got the whole time was the Rift boss in the Nephalem Rift (an Angel type with two entirely new abilities), but all of the Bounty bosses were quite active with multiple affixes in action, some of them unlike any I’ve seen in the game previously.

The most noticeable was DiabloWikiIskatu, the boss you get right at the start of Act Four. He was very quick to reach (obviously) with just a dash through the portal from the opening waypoint of Act Four. (There was no sign of Tyrael and Imperius arguing beside it, as in Campaign Mode.) Once into the area things looked the same as now, but once Iskatu appeared it got much spicier. Meteors kept slamming down (randomly, I think), dealing high damage to me or any of the little black shadow things in the area, and Iskatu repeatedly cast Desecrator under my feet.

I didn’t get to test out Bounties on quest bosses or Act Bosses yet, but I expect they’ve been upgraded as well.


That’s all I can think to say after a few quick games on the show floor. I’ll have more observations after playing more today and tomorrow, and we should get some official info about this from one of the D3 panels. For now I can say that it’s a very fun play mode. It seems to be almost exactly what players have been asking for; longer games, all acts accessible, all the bosses active, no dialogue or cut scenes to slow things down, etc. I can easily see players getting their Nephalem Valor stacked up (assuming it’s still in the game; it is not present in this demo) and then doing every Bounty in all five acts, plus clearing out some of the other good leveling zones, plus all the Key Wardens (assuming they are present in this mode; I didn’t check yet), plus hitting a few Nephalem Rifts.

If you guys have any questions throw them into comments and I’ll try to answer some when I have a minute.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.


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  1. can you travel between acts?

  2. “But then you pop straight to the chosen waypoint location; no stop in town required, even if you switch acts.”

    It’s right there in the words that were written, but not in the words that weren’t read.

  3. Do the six new difficulty tiers replace Monster Power, or Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno mode? If they replace the traditional difficulty tiers, will all monster’s levels just scale to your character, with what Adventure mode appears to do in this demo?

    Is there still a delay between selecting a way point and your character appearing at the way point like in the current release? In the current PC version, there is about a one second delay after the map appears, where there is a flash of light before your character actually teleports on to the waypoint.

    • Monster power is out, replaced by the 0-5 diff thing we’ve seen in datamining. I think Sat’s panel will go into detail on that. Norm/nm/hell/inferno are still in, but subject to change. I got to talk to Kevin Martens and Wyatt Cheng at dinner for about 10m and we were debating that.

      The theory now is that you can just do adventure mode to level up, from lvl 1 if you want (AFAIK, at least you don’t need to get to higher than 10 or 20 to start Adventure Mode, much less complete Normal), so you don’t *need* to grind 3 diff levels to get to the end game anymore. You could just level to 70 in Adventure and then do Inferno, since you just need to exceed the minimum level req.

      • Ugh, then that system isn’t really all that better, is it? The old MP system could have replaced N/NM/H/I, now they’re just “consolidating” monster power and nothing more. That’s disheartening. At some point (next expansion, and whatever is after that) they look at the new Warlords of Draenor leveling skip. WoW needed it a hell of a lot more than Diablo, but leveling still sucks out loud.

  4. Sounds like a fun way to spend some time. I definitely like the bounty idea so far.

  5. Are random dungeons/events still in Adventure Mode? Crumbling Vault, any new types of stuff that makes you do SOMETHING other than smash things ASAP. How hilarious would it be if there was a quest where you had to kite a wounded monster from point A to point B w/o killing it?

    • Yes. It seemed to be identical in structure to the current game. I wasn’t doing side dungeons since I had limited play time and was going right for bounties, but the dungeons and such were there.

      I’m not sure how something like The Warden works. Currently you have to free the six prisoners before he pops up in the center of the dungeon. I asked Jason Regier and he wasn’t positive of the latest change either, but he thought the Warden would just be there right when you entered the dungeon, but you would not see Queen Asylla or the need to free prisoners.

  6. Random Quests can also appear as bounties but I assume they spawn a monster to fight.

    Jar of Souls is shown as a Bounty in the features trailer, as well as the Ore collection quest.

    Also, I think you’re confusing our current Normal with the new 6 tiered version of Normal which is basically an MP level. It doesn’t look like their are any alternative difficulty modes like Inferno, rather everything is one mode with 6 tiers (Normal is actually the second tier).

    • I’m kind of curious, too. Not so much on the player side, but what about the monsters? Are all monsters a flat level across a difficulty? If not, is that true in level 6? Is everything flat ONLY in Adventure Mode?

    • The panel (hours after I wrote this article) talked about complete events and clear dungeons as bounties, but those aren’t enabled in the demo. At least I saw none in my 3 games, looking over all the acts. Every bounty was kill a monster.

      • played several more NRs this morning and did see 1 clear dungeon bounty. and did it. haven’t seen a complete event yet.

  7. Bounties: Random quests to kill bosses, complete events, kill unique monsters, clear dungeons.
    Rewards are xp, gold, items and BoA materials used for opening Nephalem Rifts
    Nephalem Rifts: Random dungeons, taking monsters from different acts and adding them together in randomly created areas. 1-10 levels in each dungeon.
    Each level can have different rules like more minions spawning, various buffs, special bosses etc.

    Sounds like they are doing both of these features right so far. Which is cool.
    Throwing monsters together from multiple acts? Check.
    Bounties being both about bosses, clearing areas etc, adding different types of challenges into the same game session? Check. Even though nothing prevents people from just doing the ones they want to do, and then start a new game with new quests I guess.
    Adding totally random areas together in an “endless dungeon”? Check.

    • Seems that Blizzard, for as bad as they can screw it up, they are equally adept at fixing it.

      • And it’ll only have taken them two years by the time the expansion is released.

        Obviously they’re adding a lot of new content in RoS too, but so many of the changes since 1.0 are just fixing glaring problems that every fan immediately pointed out.

  8. Any new randomization of areas that you noticed?

  9. QUOTE

    And it'll only have taken them two years by the time the expansion is released.
    Obviously they're adding a lot of new content in RoS too, but so many of the changes since 1.0 are just fixing glaring problems that every fan immediately pointed out.

    Agreed. But like you say, it seems like there is a lot of content coming in RoS. Let’s give them a chance and at least the benefit of the doubt. I am liking the Adventure mode and the Bounties from what we know so far. That by itself might just get a lot of people back into the game.

  10. It all sounds very interesting, and the combat demos with the Crusader looked smart too. It felt quite thoughtful.

    On a different note, seeing the various D3 classes in HotS made me realise one thing: We’re never getting PvP in D3, HotS *is* the D3 PvP. Pre-made characters in each class, they have loot but not loot you’ve farmed, just loot you buy during the battle in the typical MOBA fashion. We all knew using our existing characters wouldn’t work in PvP, and Blizz didn’t want to have to balance skills for PvP and PvE (and nor did I want them to, really). This solves all those problems.

  11. Blizzard just put up their Adventure Mode first look page:

    What’s up with all those Treasure Goblins at hte end of the short vid they posted?

  12. It sounds like you can get ‘random stuff’ in each dungeon you enter. Like getting a buff, getting high monster density etc (I wonder if monster density will be reduced outside of nephalem runs then…). I think all those goblins were this levels random specialty.

  13. Well done Flux. Thanks for taking your time to write this 🙂

  14. did they just remove the normal, nightmare, hell and inferno difficulty and made it so monsters level correspond to your char level? im still having hard time to understand this.

    • Those are not present in Adventure Mode. Just in Campaign mode. Adventure mode is flat difficulty and scales to your level. How it handles multiplayer games with differing levels I don’t know.

  15. Is the new waypoint system only in adventure mode?

  16. Try to get an answer on if they have improved the gemcrafting, if they have increased the stashsize and also ask how many character slots we get(I want 12 soft and 12 hardcore so we can have 1 of each gender)

  17. flux please ask if ladders are going to be released the same day as ros

  18. Ello Flux and nice hands-on review.

    I just did the “A unique collection” achivement, actually spent 38 levels of paragon points, hunting down the last 10 uniques on my DH on mp0 inferno.

    With this new game mode, it seems that it would be a lot easyier to hunt down these, because you automatically gets a notification to go hunt “mange” etc.

    Thats corretly understood? 🙂

  19. New game modes. Fresh with dumbed down UI for console.

    Thanks Blizzard!

  20. “When you click one of the waypoints, (…) on the Adventure Mode waypoint map, your character instantly teleports to it”

    Quick question: does computers on BlizzCon has ssd disks?

  21. Awesome info, thanks Flux!

  22. Thanks for the info, Flux. Did you talked with the Devs about Nephalem trials? Are they still in the game? They talked about them in Germany but they said nothing about them at Blizzcon as far as I know.

  23. One thing that I’m not sure was touched on, as it wasn’t mentioned in the bounty section, was that you can click a small icon in the bottom right of the screen. In the demo it was a small question mark over a sack of gold. Clicking on this provided a list of potential rewards, listing all the the unique/legendaries that could be given as a reward for completing an entire act worth’s of bounties.

    Illusionary Boots was listed, for example, stats and all in their current iteration.

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