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    As you saw in Xanth’s post, the Reaper of Souls Friends and Family beta is live and running. I just finished the 16gig download and I’m in game and looking around in awe and wonderment. The beta works like the PTR does for a D3 patch; you log in, create a new character and then you can copy over your current characters. So I brought in my current Americas account, which gives me all of my D3 characters and gear.

    Some very quick observations and screenshots.

    Paragon 2.0!

    Paragon 150! That’s what my HC play time yields. My softcore characters are Paragon 110, which means that dead HC char experience is indeed being counted, since my live HC chars (in D3V) are approximately paragon levels 69, 45, 35, and 15. However I have dead 90 and 63 Monks, which must be adding in as well.) In Softcore I have Paragons 80, 62, 25, 15, and 10, or thereabouts. Remember that Paragon 2.0 is determined from your total experience, not by adding up your paragon levels, and the higher paragon levels require much more exp than the lower ones. For example, 90-100 is equivalent in EXP to 1-60, and the EXP halfway point between 1 and 100 is around 82.5.

    Loot 2.0!

    I haven’t played any yet, but expect to upgrade your gear very quickly. Looking at the new NPC merchant in Westmarch I saw 3 rare weapons and 6 rare armors for sale, with some very big stat numbers. Nothing good enough to upgrade over my (formerly Paragon 69) Monk, but you wouldn’t expect that just looking at the first items for sale in the first minute of playing. You can see some screens of the gear for sale below and get an idea how any decent roll will blow away current equipment.

    Adventure Mode!

    Adventure mode is a go. The interface is a bit different than it was in the Blizzcon demo; it’s less open world and doesn’t seem like I can skip from anywhere in Act One to anywhere in Act 2-5. It seems like only Acts 1 and 5 are open with bounties in my game, but maybe I just don’t know quite how it works yet? At any rate, all of Act 5 is open for play and bounties, and I’m torn… do I want to skip right to the Pandemonium Fortress? Shouldn’t I play through normally and see Act 5’s story unfold as I go, at least this first time? Decisions, decisions.

    That’s all for now; I’ll update again after some play time on the new stuff, and we should be a go on streaming later today or tomorrow, if you want to watch some live action.

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