Reaper of Souls Reviews: Why Lower Than Diablo 3’s?


We’ve collected all the available DiabloWikiReaper of Souls reviews into a wiki article, for one stop shopping (clicking). The article compiles 60 reviews, but a few of them don’t list a score. Metacritic only lists 45, but they’ve got an average of all of those, and it equates to… 86. This is interesting since 1) Diablo 3’s Metacritic average is 88, and 2) practically every RoS review says “big improvement over Diablo 3.”

Video game review scores are something of a running joke, with fans just assuming that any review of a major title will be an 8 or higher, unless the game launches with critical, crushing errors. (And maybe not even then.) That’s not true of every site, of course. Our friends at IncGamers post honest and (when justified) negative reviews, but across the industry score inflation is obvious.

That said, I don’t think Diablo 3 was necessarily evidence of that, except perhaps that critics didn’t mark it down for Error 37 technical issues since they assumed the company running WoW would get B.net’s shit together quickly. (Which they did, best I can recall. Most people could play Diablo 3 fine after the first day or two.)

Amazon.com Diablo 3 customer ratings.

Hatred distilled: Amazon.com D3 customer ratings.

As for the game itself, most players and critics enjoyed it at first. There were haters who downvoted the reviews and Amazon.com scores due to the real money trading, the Auction House, and online-only, but those were ideological votes issued before most people had even played the game. For people who actually formed their opinions based on the gameplay, the feel, the graphics, the huge variety of skills, the level design, etc… those were all awesome in the early days. The problems with Diablo 3 vanilla because obvious with more play time, and over the months people rightly objected to the the bland itemization, lack of end game activity, difficulty issues, skill balancing, etc. But those weren’t factors (pro or con) in reviews posted a few days after launch.

With that history it’s ironic, though not real surprising, that Reaper of Souls is getting lower average scores than Diablo 3 did. It’s too soon after launch to offer any real objective overview, even including Beta test time, but in the opinion of most players Reaper of Souls is a much better game than Diablo 3 was, especially in terms of the end game, balance, difficulty, and other areas that Diablo 3 proved lacking. But reviewers and most gamers grew negative about Diablo 3 over the months/years, and that’s how reviewers who gave D3 an 88 can say RoS is a huge improvement… while giving it an 86.


User Reviews

It’s a different story with the user reviews. No one would confuse fan scores with objective truth, not after Diablo 3 had thousands of fan reviews and a 1.5/5 score on Amazon.com days before it even launched… but comparing the D3 vs. RoS user scores shows a huge improvement for the expansion. Here are the Metacritic.com user review pages for Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls.

metacritic-d3-users

metacritic-ros-users

I have to say, there’s a real lack of imagination in the negative RoS scores on Metacritic. The zero point scores look like the results of an inept astroturfing effort, where, to paraphrase a famous philosopher, Pay attention meathead, you’re saying the same shit he said! They’re practically cut and paste, with every one complaining that Reaper of Souls is an overpriced DLC, that it’s only only 2 hours of new gameplay, etc.

There’s a valid debate to be had over how much content is enough for an expansion, but no one is offering it in the Metacritic comments. They’re all too busy saying RoS has 2 hours of content, while furiously ignoring the Crusader, Adventure Mode, Nephalem Rifts, Bounties, hundreds of new legendary items, all the new skills and passives, massive rebalances to existing skills, the whole new itemization, Paragon 2.0, etc.


Re-Reviewing Diablo 3

What do you guys think? What was your initial D3 score, what would you have given it after 6 months, and what would you give RoS right now? Do you think your opinion of RoS will rise or fall over time? What if we’ve got a cool ladder system and good PvP in 6 months? (Yes, I know, but it’s fun to pretend.)

Comments

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  1. boa killed it for me. everything else looked good. but didn’t buy because boa.

    • I would suggest you play D3 classic first then and see if it’s really that bad (it isn’t).

    • Well, you can have no binding and D3v with no drops, since the AH made such economic liquidity. Or you can have RoS with BoA everything and thus much higher drop rates.

      The RoS approach is a lot more fun for everyone but Chinese gold farmers, though I think some trading allowed in the system would be better than the everything BoA we have today.

      • The drop rates aren’t higher. They’re awfully low. I had 500% MF and legendaries dropped all the time, multiple a run usually, but now they trickle in at one per hour. Taking away MF has nerfed drop rates permanently, and now you can’t even sell the crappy one you found on the AH or get another one you need in a trade.

        • “The drop rates aren’t higher.”

          The drop rates are a lot higher. Even with that, the drop quality has been tremendously increased. Making each legendary about the quality of about 20 pre-Loot2.0.

          MF was not taken away, simply nerfed to a more acceptable value. With 500% MF, you obtain 50% more legendaries than a player with 0% MF.

          If you were able to smash through Torment 6 Mobs on a Rift run, many many more legendaries would drop than were possible previously on MP10.

      • Or we can have higher drop rates and free trade. Like D2.

        I don’t care what you say about D2, the fact is that it is a timeless classic. D3 isn’t. RoS isn’t.

        You guys are grossly overestimating the adverse effects of a 3rd party market, to the point where you’d rather be locked into solitary confinement (BoA) than be able to trade legendaries and set items -AT ALL- with anyone else. Get a grip.

    • Same for me. BoA was the major factor for me not purchasing RoS. Which is pretty amazing since I’m a big Diablo fan. Played D2 for years, logged over 2000 hours of D3(which was even better than D2 imo).

      RoS was a huge step backwards in many more aspects though that influenced me not to purchase it, aside from BoA. Removal of AH, removal of NV stacks, removal of MF, I could go on and on…And then there are quite a few just underwhelming aspects of RoS: only 1 new class, only 2 hours of extra gameplay content, modified itemization but really didn’t improve it much, etc.

  2. Completely agree with every point you made Flux. I think you can definitely make a case the campaign was a bit short for a somewhat pricey DLC and the lack of cinematic kills me. But what ROS was really about was adding an end-game for D3… and i think blizzard delivered on that.

  3. Rift fragments take up inventory space, and only stack to 100? This game stinks! Mark it zero!

    • key fragments stack to 100 and take up space so mark it zero. Jeez, that’s some harsh criteria you have there.

      • I’m fairly certain he was being sarcastic, the unfortunate thing is as per the comment above… Bind on account was enough reason for some dude to not even look at RoS.

  4. Speaking of inventory space (,and BOA). I’ve played the game for a week and this is almost a problem already. And yes, I have trashed all the classic gear (except one ring) and I’m salvaging like a maniac.

  5. The huge problem with D3X is that you need to buy D3C to play it. Even at a discounted price, D3C is still $30. So that’s $70 just to play this so-called better game, which is better but not great. Almost anything can be better than D3C.

  6. People who take userrevies seriously on sites like metacritic are downright [CENSORED]. People give a 0 because their favorite color isn’t represented enough…

  7. After a lot of hesitation and alot of nagging form a friend i finally got RoS, The two things i dislike is the stupidly high price for it in EU and the annoying BOA, other then that i am having a lot of fun with RoS.

  8. Average critic review score for D2: LoD is also slightly lower than that of D2 classic, but most fans consider LoD to be far superior right?

    http://i.imgur.com/DxMeSm8.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/F9pQnjS.jpg

  9. I gave both games a 9.
    However, I was WRONG with giving the vanilla game that high of a score. I recognized that the itemization is messed up, but I had no idea how big of a problem all that will be a few months after release.

    So in a nutshell, D3 mislead the reviewers and/Or the reviewers let them be mislead by its bells and whistles. Or whatever.

    Reaper of Souls is more honest, more robust, and more importantly: it places Diablo 3 on a better direction, more prepared for the future.

    If reviews were revisited once patches come, D3’s trajectory would be something like: 9->7->5->6->6.5->~7-8 (1.0.8), and RoS starts with being a genuinely great game, with potential to further improve.

    So in a nutshell, it is a sad thing that D3 reviews are higher, but it just goes to show you that we need more time to review the game before actually putting a point to it. I am not sure if there is a point in reviewing the endgame of D3 or even considering it in the score before at least playing it for a month or more.

    • You make a good point, but I don’t see how game review can be fixed. Unless reviewers got the game a month in advance and had 100 hours to play (neither is feasible, with game dev running right up until release and reviewers with many other work responsibilities). And even then with an online game so much of the experience is interacting with other players, following some exploit or build someone else finds, etc.

      I don’t want to say it’s an intractable problem, but video games aren’t like movies; you can’t zoom through them in 2 hours and write a fair and balanced and informed review, at least not like the one you’d write after a week or a month or a year.

      • Who says game reviews are broken and need to be “fixed”? Video games aren’t any different than movies in that initial reviews/ratings are often at odds with the eventual general consensus. For example Fight Club opened to very mixed reviews and didn’t do particularly well at the box office though it’s now considered a cult classic and one of the most influential movies of the time period.

        Let’s not give initial online reviews more credit for being indicators of worth than they deserve. That doesn’t mean they are “broken” they just are what they are, imperfect. Time heals all wounds.

        • Appreciation of films can change and go up or down over time, but it’s not like the content of the movies are being constantly changed in patches (George Lucas and his persistent efforts to ruin all the Star Wars movies aside), nor do movies require 100 hours to fully view, or vary greatly day to day depending on how other people are watching the movie.

  10. I gave D3 9.5. I loved female wizard’s and Eirena’s voice acting, visuals were great and most importantly combat was awesome. Really, gameplay made up for lack of itemization and non-random dungeons. As mostly Barb and Wiz player, I was satisfied. That’s why I was quite surprised with 2.0 and RoS. Changes to skills made it better but addition of new skills (Avalanche and Black hole) made it way better.
    1.0.8 – 8.0
    2.0.1 – 9.0

  11. “Our friends at IncGamers post honest and (when justified) negative reviews, but across the industry score inflation is obvious.”

    REALLY? this is the prime definition of being “biased”

    now, D3 vanilla was a fantastic game. There’s no doubt in my mind that i enjoyed it with friends until i got to inferno.

    Slowly all my friends started to quit since there was more stress than rewards for playing a game.

    The game felt a lot more fluid than d2 ever was, considering all the things happening simultaneously on screen.

    My only gripe with this game is that there’s still that framerate drop in certain areas or skill combinations.

    Specially in a3 rakkis crossing. i see they still couldn’t get this area fixed.

  12. Diablo 3 ran on the fuel provided to it by the unmatchable success of D2. So really, those amazing reviews weren’t really about D3 but more about D2 and the hype that a really well made game leaves behind it (big rock, small pond = big ripples). RoS score is a better reflection of how good D3 really is, especially since people have now had the time to more thoroughly understand it.

    Also, since a lot of haters have left to explore and try out other endeavors what’s left is the true player base of the game. Although I find it hard to swallow what the paid reviews say, I find it impossible to quote them without the urge to review my last nights dinner.

    I don’t think any review on RoS atm could in any way be accurate and for a game like this they’re premature anyhow when considering how patch dependent Blizzard have become.

    I’ve had no problems at all accepting peoples criticisms of the RMAH. I thought they we’re all fair from the start and often entertaining.

    But finally, I think that RoS has an image problem caused by previous disgruntled Game Directors. Saying things like that didn’t do the team any services, of which will only make it harder for reviewers to build confidence with the current D3 devs.

    So we look forward now, ignoring the reviews of RoS because anyone still playing is pretty much going to get it anyhow so who cares right?

  13. D3 8/10
    D3 RoS 9/10

    Been playing since vanilla release. Being one of few that actually enjoyed it since day 1.

    BoA is fine, the game is about farming anyways.

  14. I hate that critics look at x amount of content added instead of looking at how gamers will be playing the game. This is especially the case with a game like diablo. For me, the basis of their reviews has little to do with how I play 95% of the time. It’s like taking a Halo game and reviewing it solely based on the campaign. I hardly played campaign at all, especially compared to how much I played multiplayer. As for Diablo, reviewing the game based on act 5 is ridiculous. It’s so much more about the feel of the game, the itemization, the new way to play in adventure mode, and the end-game / longevity than how much content they added.

  15. I, Clavdivs, The God, answer the question asked with following question:

    Q:
    What if RoS gets cool additions like PvP in six months?

    A:
    What if The God gives 10eur NOW, and the rest when that cool additions are actually added?

    The exactly 6 months were promised for adding PvP to vanilla, so divine being takes with the huge boulder of salt every devs/PR claim that is money/time-related. Sure, they promised a lot of things for D3V, and after grabbing ~1,000,000,000$, gave very little afterwards, furthermore badly executed (and now changed, virtually all of them)

    [The God laughs in advance at every reply how MPx and Paragons 1.0 were great and valuable additions – where are they now, if they were so good?]

    If, by any chance, Blizzard grabbed ~666,666,667$ for Ros – which is hardly happening, since there is a dead silence regarding sales, still most of mortals giving bad reviews are, well, at least partially unlike to buy RoS, no matter what press praises are – or, as in divine case, only after Blizzard actually earned it.

    Wizard example: ONE magic missile rune is changing – we all know which. It is now something like 90% of all magic missile runes used. Same goes for new/old Freezing Orb. So, skill can be made into a really useful one, part of many builds, and probably many others can be dealt with the same way (sometimes by just changing the number or adding an effect), but… we, like, don’t want to do it. Perhaps in the future. Perhaps in the next expansion (or series of short, DLC-like expansions, as announced – the heavenly being is interested in the price of those)

  16. The divine eye just glimpsed over 2.7 million copies sold. Let’s see what will happen. The GOOD expansion typically gets 1/3rd of initial game sales. Heavenly being predicted 5 million a year before. Will it be so? The God thinks Blizzard will actually have to WORK for that number – thanking to all things related to vanilla, and their treatment of players…

  17. Reviews mean nothing. How many people gave Diablo 3 0/10 because they had a connection error for one day? Professional reviewers are essentially payed off and/or don’t have time to actually play the game properly.

    I’d give Diablo 3 9/10. It wasn’t what I expected or wanted but for what it was, it was really good. I was hoping for a item hunt/farming game like Diablo 2 but Diablo 3 ended up beeing focused entirely on a story. The story itself was meh and not very seriously treated but the execution was perfect. However, because it was 100% focused on telling a story and nothing else buying an expansion that adds basically nothing in the story department since the story was over already is unjustifiable unless it is extremely cheap. I’d definatly buy it for 5 Euros, perhaps for 10 Euros. 40 Euros is a bad joke.

    • So you criticize RoS for not emphasizing the story enough, while you criticize D3V because it focused on story too much? Ok.

      D3V was indeed far too restricted with the campaign mode, but I can’t see your point about RoS since the adventure mode basically opens the entire game up and gives the player a lot more freedom.

      Also, I consider RoS’s storytelling a huge improvement over D3V’s (no more annoying talkie heads popping up for example).

  18. RoS (Like D3 core) is an inferior product by Blizzards own standards. Things seem to have actually gotten WORSE with RoS in terms of product quality. Just look at the Animated GIF ending. Can you name ANY other game Blizzard has ever made for PC that doesn’t have an FMV ending? Just one playthrough of RoS and you can tell the dev team are having to get twice the work done with half the resources.

    That aside, the scores are pretty well deserved. There’s a large enough audience that still wants a sequel to D2 that doesn’t stray so far from it’s roots, and this is clearly not that game.

  19. I reviewed D3 two weeks after it came out and gave it a 8,5 back then. Right upon starting the game this was a 9,5 or so, but two weeks later I could already see some things being off. Were I to review the game half a year later, I would probably have given it a 7,0.

    My RoS review would be a 8,6. I love all the changes they made and the game is now genuinely a lot of fun to play. Still, there are some things which unfortunately can’t be fixed such as the terrible story and storytelling D3V established upon which RoS had to build.

    All in all, I don’t think they could’ve made a better expansion than this, considering the foundation of D3V.

  20. I wish there’s something they can do about BoA. I didn’t use AH much, and I don’t trade much, but I bought two copies of D3 so I could have more space to store stuff. Now I can’t trade stuff between my own accounts..

  21. Actually there was a fiasco at Amazon on both RoS and D3. Both had people getting the item later than expected as Amazon.com oversold their initial stock [the same thing happened with Dark Souls 2 and Halo 4].

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/12249725045

    I spoke to Amazon at least 10 times, and confirmed with multiple CSRs that they did oversell their stock. So many a negative review for RoS is a customer who can’t get the game on time. Put it this way, there are still people who ordered the CE off Amazon and have yet to get the game.

  22. Two things are going on here.

    One, too many people rated D3C too high too early because D2 was awesome. ROS is being rated based upon original D3C ratings, discounted for problems which weren’t reflected in the hasty original rating.

    Two, it’s really hard to recover from the public relations hit Blizzard took with D3C. It’s partly that the fundamentals of the game were horrible (especially the itemization), and partly that expectations were just sky high because D2 was so good.

    Blizzard has done a good job fixing the problems step by step, but the fact that the problems were eventually fixed just highlighted the amazing problems which the game had on original release. D3C left a bad taste in the mouths of the Diablo community generally, and that bad taste is effecting ratings for ROS.

    My ratings on a scale of 1 (worstO to 10: D3C 4 as released. By early this year it had improved to an 8. But I liked the AH, so this rating may not be representative. ROS so far a 9, but my Crusader is still in Act IV so I haven’t hit most of the new content yet.

  23. I love RoS and stop.

  24. D3C: 4

    ROS: 7

    RoS is at a state where D3C should’ve been at its release.

  25. What game reviewers have to do is

    a) write kind enough reviews not to piss off publishers
    b) write honest enough reviews not to piss off their readers

    After all those positive reviews for vanilla and the following backlash, people might feel like reviewers weren’t honest. So they are rowing back a bit with RoS.

    Or maybe, they are not falling into the “OMG, i want this game to be awesome, i hope it is awesome, it has to be awesome, it IS awesome!”-trap again for RoS.

    D3 is not a bad game, but it doesn’t do its predecessors justice. It just doesn’t have the magic. I think an 85 rating is fair.

  26. Trade exist in game. U can trade items (uniqe) and legendary as well (tradable for 2h with party mates).

  27. RoS is definitely worthy of a higher score than D3 but it has to lose a point for being overpriced.

  28. D3V was a 6/10 game at best.
    RoS is 7/10 at best.

    BoA killed it. Spare me the over-exaggerated drivel about 3rd party services; they never affected me in D2 and they wouldn’t in D3 either.

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