Reaper of Souls Anniversary Approaching

We’re drawing rapidly closer to the March 25th, one year anniversary of the launch (party!) of Reaper of Souls. Blizzard has kept mum about whatever celebration plans they might have, though they’ve probably got something in mind for this coming week. Remember D3’s anniversary week got us a “doubled it” legendary drop rate buff that was ultimately made permanent.

Thinking back over the past year, it’s a blur, but a mostly pleasant one. It seems like more than a year, partially since the Reaper of Souls beta test ran for months before release and included almost the entire game, plus we also got a huge revision when D3v2 went live well before RoS’ launch. But also since when I think back on what we were doing in D3 vanilla, it feels like late stage Diablo 2. Repeating the same content multiple times on the way to level 60, endlessly grinding the same boring non-random levels, auto-salvaging 99% of drops while hoping to find one of the handful of useful legendary items, etc.

What do you guys remember about D3 vanilla, and the changes we’ve seen in the first year of Reaper? I’m hoping someone has stronger memories and opinions than me, so we can launch some points of discussion this week. Also, we’re recording a podcast tonight and while there’s plenty to talk about with the news about S2/S3 and the new PTR patch, I want to discuss RoS Year One a bit… and frankly, I’m hoping to pick the community’s brain for ideas.

Also, secret note to the podcast doodz. I’m out all day and posting this from mobile, and don’t have access to my email or address book. So here’s your “podcast tonight” notice! If you read this and want to be on the show tonight, email me or just get on skype around the usual time, and we’ll roll when I get home.

Just for the nostalgias, here’s a batch of RoS launch party photos, which Flux and a bunch of site readers were able to attend.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Expansions, The Diablo 3 Podcast


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  1. I remember cruising through normal then getting rekt in nightmare as a melee to things like arcane sentries, then everyone whining how bad Melee were in higher difficulties, only because they had no all res gear yet. I remember perma smoke screen and perma Boon Monks. I remember primaries like Bash sending you from 0 fury to full in like 3 hits. I remember my first legendary were a bad pair of Gladiator Gauntlets from a white trash skeleton in Act 1 crypts while farming Nephalem Valor stacks. I remember saving gold to buy my gear at the AH. I remember when 2.0 came out and Frozen Orb was OP and now it's useless.

  2. From a monk main perspective

    The beginning: Inferno was ridiculous, my monk had to have 4 defensive skills, Tyreal farming and zerging down a single elite pack were the most efficient farming methods (really????)

    The middle: Nephalem Valor stacks were cool, Paragon points were meh, Alkaizer runs were all the rage and I had to make a barb to see what Spin2Win was all about (and it was quite fun)

    The end: CRYPT RUNZ were great and reminded me of cow level in D2 once you got it prepped, monks were efficient preppers and mob stackers for the firebats WDs, people bitched about no PvP still but I never really cared

    It was a fun ride, but the problem from day 1 was items. Nothing else matters when your item system in a dungeon crawler sucks. I also never understood why barbs were just allowed to be far and away the best class in the game. Anybody who complains about balance now either has a short memory or never played vanilla.

  3. I remember STR rolling on quivers. Watching people spend real money on items that become obsolete in the next patch. Nephalem Valor stacks lol,

  4. I remember the Real Money Auction House being closed down. Best decision ever.

  5. From vanillar I remember loosing half my hp from one hit by the first zombie in Act 1 after entering Inferno for the first time.

    I remember when beating Belial on Inferno with my Barbarian the day before it got nerfed for the first time.

    I remember when this video poped up on some forum and the life of Barbarians changing shortly after. Looking at the video also brings back memories of every Barbarian having to use Shields. Then everyone dual wielded or used Skorn. 2 Handers were bad in general.

    I remember how everybody talked about Life on Hit being so superior to Lifesteal early on. And later on everybody used Lifesteal.

    I remember listening to Book 8-13 of the Wheel of time while doings Allkaizer runs. And later listening to The Dresden Files Book 1-12 while farming Fields of Misery and prepping Crypt of the Ancients.

    I remember when Patch 2.0 came out and the first legendary I found was a cold SoJ which I kept using even after RoS launched. I also remember using Frozen Orb and and almost drowning in nostalgia.

    When RoS launched I remember having to think differently since Lifesteal stopped working. I remember how everybody was talking about the legendary timer that ensured you would get at least one legendary every 45 minutes or so.

    I remember chest farming in the Core of Arreat and the continous buffs to the drop rate in Rifts.

    I remember the huge buff to 2 Handed weapons and them being suddely op.

    I remember Shard of Hate being broken. Finding one with my bar, having a ton of fun and then being disappointed when it got nerfed.

    I remember when the devs upped the blood shard price on Khadala and the community being furious because they ran out of rare mats.

    I remember farming legendary crafting materials for hours. Endless remaking of games to see whether the right bounty spawned.

    I remember the old sunwuko set and spamming mantras like a madman. I also remember "driving the bus" with the old Raekor set. Also fishing for Conduits.

  6. I stopped playing the game just a few months (weeks?) after release, with great disappointment. I barely remember anything. Just started before a week or so, and I really am amazed how many things have changed. I am not very sure how things are atm, since I still don't have the big picture, but the game seems to be by far superior to what it was at release.

    I remember the ridiculous difficulty of inferno of the first days, btw.

  7. i remember how retarded loot was in vanilla.

    whoever thought such a loot system / generation was a good idea should suck a bag of dicks for the rest of their lives.

    • Apart from legendary Affixes, it's only been slightly improved by differentiating between primary and secondary affixes since. Randomizing the affixes themselves, which in my opinion is the main drag in itemization, is mostly untouched.

      (Other changes admittedly helped to water down its fun impeding impact to a tolerable degree, though, although still not enough to maintain the players interest for long. Regular additions to the game, in form of new content, are therefor still a necessary evil Blizz can't get away from, even if they'd want to.)

  8. I posted this hoping for some thoughts about the first year of RoS… and every reply so far is just about how much some stuff in D3v sucked.

    Which isn't especially helpful for my podcast purposes, but is certainly informative about the larger issue.

    • Apparently, we all got misunderstood your intention. Let me try again.
      The first year of RoS shows a clear evolution in the way that the devs look at the game. While 2.0 and RoS and the closing of the RMAH were good steps in the right direction 2.1 and 2.1.2 in particular show that the devs have developed a much better (albeit not perfect) understanding for their playerbase.

      Some promising ideas did not work out such as legendary crafting materials but the team was quick to fix them.

      The two major differences I have noticed is 1. Attitude toward drop rates and 2. Item design

      While 2.0 introduced legendary powers, many of them were not that interesting since they were pretty weak. Also while the sets were certainly much more interesting than before, they were really not that powerful for the most part. With the revision of several sets (Raekor, Sunwukos, Firebirds etc) and some cool complementary items the item game has become much more interesting. Now if you look ahead, the sets in 2.2 are just on another level both design and powerwise in comparison to the 2.0 class sets.

      When Josh gave his talk at GDC this year on sentence jumped out at me "We realized that it is okay to give the player all the good stuff, have them leave and come back later" (paraphrasing)
      In the beginning of RoS there was so much talk about how smart the legendary timer was that ensured that you could not go for too long without getting a legendary. Then they buffed the drop rate in Rifts, shortly after they buffed the drop rate again. They kept the 100% anniversary buff. A couple of weeks into season 1 they made the RoRG much easier to accquire. If you look at all these things you can see that they want to minimize the downsides of RNG (never getting anything good) while keeping the major upside (omnipresent possibility of getting an upgrade at any time). The game is better for it.

      Talking to many people, a lot of them say things like "it feels like with 2.2 we finally get the full RoS experience"

      The one major issue I have at the moment with they way that dev team approaches the evolution of the game is that they do not take enough time to balance things. I can not help but feel that the game would be much better if they would just some more time and get the numbers right.

      • “Some promising ideas did not work out such as legendary crafting materials but the team was quick to fix them.”

        Removing is not the same as fixing. They should have just added them to horadric caches instead, and they could have been themed by act.

    • As for first year of RoS, I remember Crusaders being garbage on release, their only viable build was Bombardment – Impactful Bombardment, Laws of Valor – Critical, Judgement – Resolved (Which was 100% crit chance) and the Mortal Drama 2h flail. They nerfed it but buffed Akkhan's and people started discovering CDR. There were a lot of complaints about life steal being gone but that was before CDR became a thing.

  9. I missed the atmosphere of the beginning of D3 Vanilla, there were hordes of players everywhere in every room in every stages and difficulties, I met so many nice friends at that time :'( Such good ol' days ….

  10. The beginning of RoS….
    did Act5 ones. RoS killed storymode
    Bounties to find a rorg
    Rifts to find Earth set.
    The drop rates felt more right to be honest. I took me several weeks to complete the Earth set and I can still remember the exitement when the last piece, the helm, dropped.

  11. My most vivid memory about d3 vanilla is playing with all my mates who had anxiously awaited the release of the first diablo game for 12 years. Upwards of 50 people from my WoW guild (yes, WoW. Dont play that anymore) went full throttle at d3 for several months.. People came and went over that period but none, other than myself, lasted till RoS was released.. As much as i tell these quitters how much better the game is right now and potentially in 2.2, the diablo3 bridge has been burnt for all of them to a man. If blizzards initial intention was to extract sales from as many people as possible and recycle them back to WoW, then congratulations.

    I loved the first year of RoS, totally revitalized my desire to play the game and actually being able to find gear worth a damn was utterly amazing. loot2.0, kalada, mystic, bounties, rifts and gr’s, end of auctionhouses.. everything they added in RoS addressed glaring deficiencies in the vanilla game. My playtime has only increased since the expansion showed up. God have mercy on my soul when season3 comes around, coz i’m already psyched 🙂

  12. D3 vanilla? Only one thing come to mind: Elite Sand Wasp with Jailer, Horde, Molten and Arcane.

  13. the closing of AH was a bad thing !!!
    bring it back !

  14. I don't remember vanilla that well because I uninstalled Diablo 3 at that time. Loot that you couldn't use or trade. It was unreal the game was released in that state.

  15. From D3 Vanilla
    – The sentries only doing 20% dmg.
    – The zombie bears wd
    – the cloud of bats wd
    – the archon wiz
    – the critical mass wiz
    – the ah 🙁
    – the manticore with 2 sockets
    – the immortal wiz
    – my first death in hc
    – belial

  16. I remember:
    * vanilla difficulty at launch.
    * the epic fight to kill the Butcher before enrage with two friends Pre 1.04.
    * killing Inferno Azmodan before D3v 1.04 difficulty nerf. I couldn't beat Diablo before 1.04 though.
    * RoS felt incredibly good in comparison, but loot 2.0 was the biggest change.
    * RoS made things more accessible. Even though I'll never compete with the leaderboards I can at least enjoy T6 and upgrading Lgems to 25. Yay for casuals, basically.
    * I do not even remember when Adventure Mode came out, but I love it, and play it exclusively.
    * I still do not like the limited stash space.
    * A5 has nice urban tilesets.
    To name a few.

  17. For the first year of RoS I remember:

    -2.0/RoS seeming like the best thing ever because it was so much better than D3v
    -T6 being an actual challenge
    -Finding a Wand of Woh about 5 minutes after hitting 70 and having no clue it was something ungodly rare.
    -Grinding Act 1 ceaselessly for a RoRG
    -Struggling to find the elusive class set pieces and being thrilled whenever one finally dropped
    -Actually playing campaign mode
    -Finding an ungodly good pair of TnT for my DH shortly before the M6 rework hit

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