Update: MANY additions to this post Wednesday morning. Scroll down for screenshots, cinematics, ninja videos of the presentation, full Loot 2.0 details, the official HQ videos, the D3RoS press release, and much more. All in this one post for handy viewing.

    Official D3:RoS logo.

    Official D3:RoS logo.

    Blizzard kicked off their Gamescom press conference with a new cinematic revealing the Diablo 3 Expansion: Reaper of Souls. There’s also new gameplay footage, news of the new class the Crusader, the official RoS press release, and much more.

    • The new class is the DiabloWikiCrusader, a strength-based brawler. This sword and shield user is affiliated with the Diablo 2 Paladin and is described as a “mid-range melee” fighter. Video shows him using numerous flashy-graphic magical attacks, many of them Monk-like at a glance. The skills Shield Bash and Fist of Heavens were demonstrated during the press conference. Also Shield Flare, which can be used to blind your enemies. The Crusader is playable in the Gamescom demo!
    • The Archangel DiabloWikiMalthael is the main villain of the expansion. Returned from the void as the Reaper of Souls, with his wings turned skeletal. Malthael wants to end the Eternal Conflict by destroying all demons and he’s not fond of humans either. He can turn the dead against the living.
    • The Expansion is set largely in DiabloWikiWestmarch, an area not too distant from Tristram. It’s described as very gothic in design and levels in the streets of Westmarch and in the Temple of the Zakarum are being shown. These areas will be playable in the demo at the Gamescom event, so fans will get to see it and we’ll have video shortly.
    • RoS adds many new forms of the End Game, with changes to the Paragon system and new types of loot runs.
    • Max level is raised to 70. New skills and runes for all classes.
    • DiabloWikiParagon 2.0: Paragon going account wide, so all chars will benefit. No longer a cap on max Paragon. Unknown how this will affect max Magic Find and Gold Find.
    • DiabloWikiLoot 2.0: Fewer total items will drop, but they’ll be of better quality, much as the DiabloWikiconsole is promising. Josh Mosqueira gave a hypothetical example of drop changes: D3C sample drops: 256 white, 399 blue, 275 yellow, 1 legendary. D3X sample drops: 73 white, 266 blue, 83 yellow, but some Smart Drops. And 6 legendaries, which will be build-changers.
    • A new item feature is “Smart Drops,” items that will drop with stats tailored to the class you are playing.
    • Enchanting will allow you to reroll an affix on a Legendary or Rare item via the DiabloWikiMystic.
    • A new Artisan will allow you to transmogrify your items, as detailed in a recent blue post.
    • Loot runs are shorter dungeons, 15-20 minutes and completely randomized.
    • It’s due for release in 2014.

    Loot 2.0 will go into D3C as well as D3X, in a free patch. Translated from Polish B.net forum:

    It’s likely that when the expansion comes out (or shortly before that) there will be a 2.0 patch.
    Wuluxar: Changes to the game systems will come in a patch preceeding the release of the expansion – they will be available to all players, including the ones that don’t have the expansion (of course for free).



    We’ve got 20 screens from the gameplay trailer, showing the Crusader, new areas, new dungeons, new monsters, and more. Click to the Gamescom 2013 Gameplay gallery to see them all, and we’ve got another gallery of Cinematic shots coming soon.

    One interesting thing you can note in some of the gameplay video; they show several current dungeons in Acts 1-3 with new color palates and new monsters in them. For example: glowing skeletons in ZKs tombs and Corrupted Angels in Leoric’s, and more new skelies in Act 3 Keep. I like this idea; nice that we’ll have fresh-feeling content through all the acts, rather than just the new Act 5.


    Cinematic Images

    Holyknight turned loose his love for the artwork and selected more than 50 images from the RoS cinematic. The stills can all be seen in the Reaper of Souls cinematic gallery, and a few of them are excerpted below.


    The videos have arrived!

    Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Intro Cinematic:

    Click through for the gameplay video and some more stills from the presentation, plus the full Loot 2.0 discussion, shaky-cam footage of Josh narrating the action in a gameplay video.

    Reaper of Souls Gameplay Teaser:

    Shaky cam of Josh narrating some Act 5 gameplay footage.

    Loot 2.0 Presentation

    Stills from inside the theater and shots of the powerpoint presentation. Interesting tidbits abound.


    Official Press Release

    Diablo ® III: Reaper of Souls ™ Unveiled

    Upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time playable at gamescom

    “Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all . . .”

    COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, whose malevolent purpose is yet to be revealed. Announced today at gamescom, Diablo®III: Reaper of Souls™,the upcoming expansion to Diablo III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

    Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished after the events depicted at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. It now falls to the players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world.

    Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Driven by a centuries-long quest to cleanse the corruption blighting their beloved Zakarum faith, Crusaders are warriors of righteousness who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class in Reaper of Souls uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.

    “From the beginning, Diablohas always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Soulsexplores the darker notes of that conflict,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options. We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls,and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

    In addition to taking the story of Diablo III from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress in Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players continuing on with their existing Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Monk characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.

    The expansion also accentuates the key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments to explore; epic new quests; horrific new monsters to defeat; and substantial updates to the loot experience, enabling players to further customize their characters with new and improved multilevel Legendary items, new Blacksmith and Jeweler item-crafting options, and more.

    Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes— DiabloWikiLoot Runs and DiabloWikiNephalem Trials —are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.

    Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is playable on the show floor at Gamescom, and Blizzard will be revealing further details about the expansion at BlizzCon and beyond as development progresses. For further information related to today’s announcement and all the latest news about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

    With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

    About the Diablo Universe

    Widely regarded as a benchmark for the action–role-playing game genre, Diablo(1996) introduced players to the dark, gothic world of Sanctuary and placed them at the center of what would be revealed to be a conflict between the angels of the High Heavens and demons of the Burning Hells over the fate of the world and its inhabitants. Diablo II(2000),along with its expansion, Lord of Destruction(2001), and several content patches that followed, took the series to new heights and depths, with an elaborate multi-act story, bold new character classes, and an intricate skill system. In Diablo III(2012), players return to the world of Sanctuary to again confront the Lord of Terror, supported this time by a vibrant cast of characters who join them in battle and aid them in other ways. With the upcoming release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,players will face a powerful new adversary, uncover his dark plan for humanity—and take the fight to him in a desperate bid to save Sanctuary once more.

    About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

    Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

    *Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

    Thanks to Eurogamer.net for live stream details. Also to Matthew Poland for spotting other news tidbits. Also to Arreat.de and JudgeHype for photos of the powerpoint.

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