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    The Nephalem Trials feature got postponed, and apparently cancelled, but lives on through the new feature of Cursed Chests. These were tossed into the Reaper of Souls Beta (and the PTR) without much explanation, though they had some tantalizing datamined text strings relating to Uber Diablo walking the earth.

    I’ve seen a few in testing, but don’t feel like I understand them very well yet, since they spawn a wide variety of play experiences. The basic concept is always “click chest to trigger an onslaught of enemies,” but how many enemies, what type of enemies, and what the reward will be varies widely.

    The first one I saw was basically tacked onto an existing event. It’s one you find in a cellar in Westmarch, where that Necromancer from the Act Two desert appears and gives a new version of his “the spirits are restless I must sooth them because balance” speech. Then lots of dudes spawn and you kill them, because the only restful spirit is a dead one. I’d seen this mission before in Act Five, but the first time I saw it after the patch… it had a Cursed Chest attached.

    Talk to Necromancer to trigger Cursed Chest event.

    Talk to Necromancer to trigger Cursed Chest event.

    In this instance I could not open the chest or start the Cursed Trial by clicking it. There wasn’t much documentation at all, and after getting nowhere clicking the chest I headed up to poke at the Necromancer. He then did his speech and lots of demons appeared, and after I wiped them out, just like usual if done before the Cursed Chest, I got credit and reward for the event. The only difference was the chest turned glowing blue afterwards and I got a couple of additional drops from it. Nothing more than I’d have expected from a normal chest, though.

    Click through for three more illustrated Cursed Chest experiences, and share your own CC adventures in comments as we work to figure out this new game feature.

    Cursed Chest of the Dead

    I found a more interesting Cursed Chest in the Weeping Hollow. There it was a special separate event and told me to click it and destroy all the undead before the timer ran out. As you can see in shot #2, I did not succeed, since I was on Master difficulty with insufficient gear, and my WotB was on cooldown.

    cursed-chest-of-the-dead1cursed-chest-of-the-dead2

    The event spawned a bunch of assorted undead, and I got through most of them, but not all. Afterwards the Cursed Chest turned into a normal brown chest and dropped a potion and some gold, or something forgettable like that.

     

    Cursed Chest of the Executioners

    Another Cursed Chest spawned in the Panda Fortress. This one was a Chest of the Exeuctioners, and it was not a timed event. Activating it caused many Executioners to appear, at first just two or three at a time, but as I battled them more and more materialized at once, with a Purple boss at the end.

    cursed-chest-executioners1cursed-chest-executioners2

    Executioners are one of the largest and nastiest monster types you get in Act Five; picture Golgors but much faster and with a leaping stun attack. This was a fun event and at the end I got the golden chest. Sadly for the Cursed Chest movement, golden chests are terribly nerfed in Reaper of Souls and hardly worth clicking unless you’ve got a huge fetish for stacks of gold and maybe a gem or two.

     

    Cursed Chest and Shrine: Wave Event

    I’ve only gotten one Cursed Chest so far that was the big one; the real thing. This type appears to be quite rare, and presumably if I’d done it all in time I might have gotten the big one, with Uber Diablo spawning. I did not, alas.

    The event opened differently, as you can see in the screenshot. There was a Cursed Chest beside a Cursed Shrine, and you can see the info in the tooltips. The Chest was not clickable; I had to click the Shrine to start it, and when I did about six Lacuni Huntresses appeared all around me. They attacked at once, and while I was still finishing them off another dozen or so appeared.

    I battled them, while the progress bar/timer was rapidly dwindling, and after I killed all that I could see, nothing happened. It took me a few seconds to notice that two more of the kitties were standing at the bottom of the screen, spawned on the other side of a hole in the ground. Not until I ran down towards them did they see me and attack, and by then the timer had run out.

    I didn’t get to see the third wave, and I have no idea how many waves there would hve been. Obviously at least three, probably four, with Lacuni Warriors mixed in and maybe a purple as well.

    My reward was just the blue chest, which dropped nothing special. After the event the shrine became a clickable shrine as well, though I don’t remember which type if was; just one of the usual ones, though. Not a Nephaelm Rift super shrine Pylon, alas. Maybe it would have been if I’d finished the whole event in time?

     

    Conclusion

    Hard to judge from just a few sightings, all four of which worked differently. Cursed Chests can clearly come in a variety of flavors, with events timed or just survival, and enemies dangerous or quite easy. More testing is needed, and it’s likely that Bliz is tweaking them during the beta testing along with everything else.

    Have any of you guys found your own Cursed Chests, with or without a Cursed Shrine? How did it go?

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