PCGamer Reaper of Souls Preview


PCGamer have today made the DiabloWikiReaper of Souls preview from their September UK issue available online.  This was based on the playable build at DiabloWikiGamescom in August and therefore doesn’t contain information regular readers won’t already know. Nevertheless it’s an insightful read.

I tried out Reaper of Souls’ new class, the DiabloWikiCrusader: a hulking mass of Teutonic iron armed with a flail, a shield and a fanatical love for reducing evildoers to mulch. He plays like the Paladin’s brawnier brother….Blizzard describe him as a ‘mid-range melee’ class, but there’s a bit of wizard in his DNA.

It didn’t take long to adjust to the Crusader’s combat style. Of the skills available in the demo, few targeted just one enemy. I would circle an incoming mass of monsters to get them to clump up, zap this ball of creatures with Fist of the Heavens, scatter most of them with Falling Sword and then finish anyone left with Consecration. I’d occasionally hit a few creatures with the flail when they got close, but much of combat was about managing kill zones. I’d spread out multiple bolts to engage hordes of small enemies, and stack them onto one spot to take out generals or super-powered mobs. It’s easy to imagine the Crusader serving as the central rock in a co-op group, throwing out righteous spells to thin enemy ranks and dive-bombing bosses with his explosive bellyflop.

Read the full PCGamer Reaper of Souls preview with screenshots.

Thanks to Ericbrighteyes for the news tip.

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  1. What a load of crap, you can practically hear the coins chinking in the background. Gaming journalism, what a joke.

    • What’s a load of crap?

      • I imagine about focusing on kill zones, as the enemies all seem to move the same, straight at you and that’s where you kill them. Almost instantly, or you kite. Not much else in the way of tactics.

        If you can one hit a pack, you do. Cool downs let you do it to the next pack you see. If you’re deliberately waling past packs to get them to group up to save a click on your AoE, just to kill more in one hit, you’re wasting time and effort.

        That, I think is the BS Mel is referring to. The combat ain’t that deep.

        • Until you get to that point, the combat is actually pretty deep. When I played Wizard and didn’t play Archon or CM, I had to focus hard and use abilities wisely depending on Elite abilities. With a lot of abilities, you have to constantly watch the floor, and use good timing; with frozen this is especially true, because if one nova hits you, there’s a good chance that another nova will spawn on you while you’re frozen. Other mechanics can be dodged or used in creative ways: for example, Waller can stop charging enemies from one-shotting you, and you can use walls and corners to stop yourself from being pulled by anticipating the pull and hiding behind a wall. You’ll be pulled to the wall, but not to the enemy. Clutch tactics like that make D3’s combat the deepest of any ARPG I’ve played (for the record, I’ve played D2, D2 mod Median XL, D3 and Path of Exile).

          That said, on lower MP, or with extremely high DPS, the game does become exactly as you described it. I agree that this is boring, which is why I tend to prefer running Acts I and II. A lot of areas in Act I have a lot of different enemy varieties (Khazra mob you, giving bulls prep-time to rush you, while trees drop poison fields), and Act II has disappearing enemies, meaning a squishy Wizard like me has to be careful of triggering too many enemies at once. Act II also seems to like to spawn multiple Elite packs in the same general area, and while I tend to die a lot in 2-3 Elite pack fights, the fight is always memorable, fun and extremely challenging.

          My way of playing is certainly not the most efficient, but it is a way that preserves the combat, which as I’ve said is fairly deep. (Un)fortunately, when playing in the most efficient way in D3, the combat is usually about as dull as it was in D2, and I hope that the changes we see in RoS will help change that a bit. I doubt it will happen, but at least I can hope.

          • On this note, I have to say Time bubble + wave of force is quite possibly the coolest combination of spells to play keep away with. Time bubble slows projectiles and using wave of force knocks all projectiles caught in the bubble back as well as the enemies. Very cool 2 synergistic spells in my opinion although its obviously not the most efficient way to play currently but it seems like the devs

          • You’ve posted a long post describing positive experience with D3’s gameplay. I’m pretty sure that’s a bannable offense here so you should be careful in the future.

            PS – if D3’s combat is boring to you it is most likely because you have chosen to play it in a boring way. Fun > efficiency.

          • Don’t be silly yovargas.

          • Somebody has to be. 😛

        • Go play a tactical game then…

          Are you SERIOUSLY looking for deep combat in a arpg, hack ‘n slash game?

          Its pretty much mash button, kill, pick up stuff, repeat.

          • Very true.

            Still I think just the fact that you have generators and spenders makes D3 combat require a BIT more thought than any other ARPG where you can get by just spamming a single attack and chugging mana potions. The balancing act makes your brain consider: When do I build resource and when do I nuke?

            At least that WAS the case until perma-Archon, CM, and WotB came onto the scene.

          • So what if we are looking for good combat in an action-oriented RPG? If the combat is so brainless a robot can do it (Hammerdins), then why should a human bother? Why not make games that people are good at, games that you have to think, act, and react quickly? Granted, I don’t think D3 needs a skill floor as high as Starcraft PvP, but wanting a brainless, robot friendly combat system means you don’t actually want to play a game, you want to write up a spreadsheet. And if I wanted to do that, I’d play EVE.

    • They should have a picture of the journalist on the cover of his article.. with his short off squishing his nipples

  2. “I’m more excited about the Pandemonium Fortress, an insane castle at the centre of ‘the scar of creation’s birth’. It’s a place suspended between heaven and hell that Diablo II players have visited very briefly in Act IV, which used to house the now-destroyed Worldstone.”

    Wasnt the now-destroyed Worldstone housed in Mount Arreat respectively the Worldstone Keep? Seems like the author didnt do his homework. 😉

    • The Worldstone was in the Pandemonium Fortress at one point, then Inarius stole it, made Sanctuary, and then put the Worldstone in Arreat. The reason it’s called Pandemonium FORTRESS is b/c both sides, whenever they happened to control the Worldstone, would build up bunkers, parapets, etc in order to protect their position. Then the other side would come in and conquer, and the cycle would repeat. Cain claims it’s very crazy, angelic and demonic buildings and fortifications built on top of each other. And Inarius and Lilith messed all that up.

      Totally random mass guessing time: either in RoS or the next expansion, we’re going to run into Inarius and/or Lilith.

  3. Almost all classes are good for leveling, you try the new skill etc.. etc…
    BUT, the MAIN issue is the “ENDGAME”. No one is working/previewing/testing that…AGAIN?

  4. Some of the discussion on Nephalem Rifts/Loot Runs is new. But this is pretty typical gaming journalism preview. They always get way too excited and fluff everything up. Awkward to read.

  5. The knight class of Diablo 1 and 2?

    Did the author even play the previous two games?

  6. When I woke up this morning I watched the sun come up near my window. I felt the rustle of leaves outside as the cold air gushed against the panes. I said to myself, today is the day I am going to play Diablo 3. But then I remembered, no, no… The game is still not finished, this most beloved experience of awesome loot and hack and slash only lies in the dreams of the past…

    I then went into the bathroom, sat upon the ivory throne and let it all go, Except for the reality. No modern form of plumbing could wash away.

    I now stand outside, smoking a cigarette pissed off thinking about how much of a “Sell-out” Blizzard has become. I used to think of the term in relation to over-rated rock bands, nothing then could ever infiltrate my most frivolous passion for killing Diablo over, and over again.

  7. If the pc version plays anything like the console version then get ready for disappointment. Even though they removed the auction house they toss legendarys at you like it is going out of style making the game too easy.

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