Reaper of Souls “Super Shrines”: Blizzcon 2013 Hands-On Guide

One of the cool new Reaper of Souls features to debut at Blizzcon is a new class of shrines. All the current six DiabloWikishrine types remain in the game with unchanged functions, but now about every third or fourth shrine you find as you explore the world is dark red in coloration, wreathed in flames, and offers a new, very powerful, short term buff. We don’t know how many such shrines there are in the game and they’re obviously still a work in progress, but I saw five of them in my play time.

Like this, but way better.
Like this, but way better.
All of these shrines give a very large boost that lasts for 30 seconds, compared to the current shrines that give a less-large boost that lasts for 120 seconds. I don’t know if Blizard has a special name as a new class of shrines, “Super Shrines” seems obvious enough, though it’s not the official name. Humorously, I had a chance to ask DiabloWikiWyatt Cheng about these new shrines when I caught him holding court at the “Meet the Blues” booth late on Saturday night, and not only didn’t he throw out the official name, but he wasn’t actually sure how many different types were available in the demo. (Since he’s been doing things more important than counting shrines in the Blizzcon demo.) Yes, RoS development continues at a fast and furious pace, with new features in and out all the time.

So I’m calling them Super Shrines until someone says different, and please Blizzard, don’t call them “Nephalem Shrines.” It’s already getting confusing with every other damn feature in Reaper of Souls called “Nephalem Trials/Rifts/etc.”

The following are the exact names of the shrines, plus a description of what they do. I didn’t have a chance to copy down the actual tooltip for each, but they were all short and literal.

Speed Shrine

The DiabloWikiSpeed Shrine boosts your character to “your maximum run speed” for 30 seconds. That made a huge difference to the RoS demo characters who did not have faster run equipment, but it’s hard to say how much diff it would make for a high level character who already had 24% MS. The effect did *not* display in my character stats when I opened the Inventory and viewed the Details pane, so I’m not sure exactly how much speed it was adding. (I think that’s just a display bug since it’s a brand new feature.)

It was a considerably larger boost than I got from the current DiabloWikiFleeting Shrine, but it’s hard to say just how fast I was going when playing in a solo game with a lvl 33 character without any DiabloWikiMovement Speed gear on.

Click through for full details on the other four new shrine types: Consecrated, Power, Conduit, and Shield.

Consecrated Shrine

The DiabloWikiConsecrated Shrine removed all Cooldowns for 30 seconds. I got it in a game with a Crusader using the Tempest Horse skill (properly known as DiabloWikiSteed Charge), and promptly broke into the Fiery Gallop effect until my resource was dry. (Which didn’t take long at lvl 33.)

Removing cooldowns wasn’t that big a boost for my char, but for a high level char with huge skills limited by their cooldowns, this would be an amazing effect.

Power Shrine

The DiabloWikiPower Shrine boosted my character’s damage by 400% for 30 seconds. It did show up in the Inventory numbers; the first game I got it I checked before and after clicking and my Monk’s displayed damage went from 402.3 DPS to 1609.1 DPS.

This made little difference in the demo since things are pretty easy on Normal difficulty at lvl 33 in a solo game (the PC demo machines were all single player only, alas) but it could be pretty cool with a big character if you timed it right. Most characters in Diablo 3 are happy with a 25 or 30% damage boost from one of their skills, and that usually lasts about 5-10 seconds at most. Thirty seconds of 400% gross damage is insane. That would take your 200k dps char up to 800k dps and would simply melt enemies. Just got to figure a way to get a boss nearby when you pop it.

Conduit Shrine

The DiabloWikiConduit Shrine was the most fun single thing I saw in the entire demo. (DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts and DiabloWikiAdventure Mode are both awesome, but I can’t fairly compare a whole new game system to one small shrine effect.)

Plasma_mainThis shrine turns your character into a moving lighting generator, just like those glass lightning globes that used to be amazing conversation pieces and now sell for like $20 from They’re round balls of glass with a Tesla-style electric thing in the middle which sends out beams of lightning to your fingers when you touch the side.

And then you die.

Okay no, they’re not usually fatal. But in the Diablo 3 version your character becomes the central lightning generator and the monsters become the touching fingers… and they die. All of them! In crispy charred agony, before they can even touch your pearly flesh.

For thirty seconds you run and electrocute anything you move near. And “near” isn’t that near; the range for first strike seemed to be about 30 yards, so every enemy I met died in one or at most two lightning strikes before they were in range of my Crusader. It’s simply awesome to behold, and I laughed for the entire thirty seconds. Unfortunately I wasn’t in an area with a really dense spawn, and I didn’t encounter a boss either, the one time I had this shrine.

How much damage does it do? Not sure. The damage display numbers weren’t turned on in the RoS demo (and the options menu wasn’t accessible) so I couldn’t compare the damage of the Conduit bolts to my own damage. There’s nothing in the shrine tooltip that hints at damage being higher or lower than your weapon damage either. However, I can say that Conduit was a one or occasionally two shot kill on every trash mob, and those enemies were taking me 2-5 hits to kill with my my basic Wrath-generating skill. (DiabloWikiPunish or DiabloWikiJustice were the options to select from in the demo.)

Shield Shrine

The DiabloWikiShield Shrine was the last of the five that I saw personally, and it does what you’re probably thinking it does. Full invulnerability for 30 seconds. Your character gets a shield bubble around them, just like the effect we used to see on DiabloWikiInvulnerable Minions before they were patched out of D3V, and you fight without risk of injury. I didn’t get to test it in just thirty seconds, but I’d assume this provides full immunity to debuff and rooting effects as well, so you can run right through DiabloWikiJailer, ignore DiabloWikiVortex and DiabloWikiFrozen, etc.


There’s no telling if these are the final forms of these shrines, or if they will all remain in the game upon release, or if we might see some more added. (Imagine a Super Fortune shrine, or Super Experience shrine, and what sort of benefit it might convey for 30 seconds?)

They were all very fun and powerful enough to be instantly game-changing, it only for half a minute. Clever players will probably figure out ways to utilize them more perfectly — save the Power Shrine until you’re about to leave one area and head to another with a boss right by the entrance? But even if you just grab them when you find them and then rush onwards into battle, it’s a great half minute of variety and murder.

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27 thoughts on “Reaper of Souls “Super Shrines”: Blizzcon 2013 Hands-On Guide

  1. Heh, funny, I’ve been thinking for some time that if this was my game to design, this is exactly what I’d do with the shrines – Mega boosts for short bursts. Very cool.

    • I’ll go into that in the Crusader mega report, which should be up tomorrow or Wednesday. Basically, it feels a lot like the Monk’s Spirit, with a bit faster regen. (I realize that Spirit doesn’t regen at all without gear or skills to start it, but most Monks have at least 2 or 3/sec from gear, and that’s about how the Crusader feels.)

      The Crusader’s Wrath generating skills were very basic in the demo though, much more like the early/slow Barb Bash type attacks than the Monk’s combos (which are pretty good right from the start).

  2. These new shrines seem awesome! Possibly too awesome. I heard mentioned that they want game changing, not game breaking but i think that these new shrines could cause some game breaking problems. For example, if the bosses at the end of a Nephalem Rift are anything like the current bosses/ubers in the game health wise. There is a huge opportunity to abuse these shrines by leaving them until the boss spawns (providing they are on the same level). If bosses are really hard what is going to stop players from only using the shrines to 1-shot bosses or 400% damage etc. Hopefully there are some sort of work arounds, such as these benefits not applying to elite/purple mobs. Personally i would prefer bosses to take time to defeat, not 10+ mins but preferably longer than the 10-20 seconds it takes to kill Azmodan currently.

    Was there any insight on this Flux or all still in the works as far as we know?

    • I don’t think diablo bosses are meant to take more than one minute to kill, much less ten minutes. I guess opinions will differ on that, but they do want to put the A into ARPG. Most bosses in the RoS demo were pretty much face roll speed, at least for the Crusader (who was clearly OP for the demo, with considerably higher DPS starting weapon than any other class. That was more or less the case for the new char in past demos also — the Monk was godlike in 2009).

      • Ubers have a roughly 8 minute berserk timer; after 8 minutes, the boss will instantly kill you regardless of anything you can try. The first time I was trying for a Hellfire ring on MP8, I learned this lesson. Several times. Coincidentally, that was still the most fun and actually rewarding combat I’ve ever felt in any Diablo game. Kiting, dodging, Uber Zolton Kulle is no freaking joke. They should think about doing a lot more w/ the Ubers in RoS.

        • This is exactly my thoughts. Ive always felt the longer the fight the more epic the struggle. I have certainly had some of those moments myself. Just hoping for longer than 10 second fights.

  3. I wonder if these shrines will work with \shrine effect lasts until death\ legendary affix from datamining. It would be totally OP. 😀

  4. How does this work with the unique affix: Shrines last one hour.

    lol Best item in the game? Yes. I don’t see this going through or it just doesn’t work with these Super Shrines. :/

      • My favourite part about the “Nephalem” stuff is that Blizzard did such a poor job of writing the Drowned Temple encounter that they never really made it clear that your character *is* a Nephalem, to the point that some players had no idea why Diablo kept calling them Nephalem in Act 4. I guess it doesn’t help that they pay it so little attention at the time, and then never mention it again until Diablo suddenly gets obsessed with you and calls you up on the phone every 2 minutes to check how you’re feeling.

        • This is the first time I’ve heard a complaint that D3’s story was too subtle. The possibility the player is a Nephalem is repeatedly hinted at/discussed. Notably Kulle brings it up, and I think Leah does somewhere too. Would you prefer it being brought up every five minutes by a holographic pumpkin head?

          • The best response would have been to have one of their little storyboard cutscenes, with the character exclaiming about the amazing revelation they just learnt about themselves.

            You know, like character development.

        • I don’t know about that.

          Rita Repulsa was all: Mwahaha! Only a Nephalem can enter this place.

          *You walk right in*


          • “Rita Repulsa was all: Mwahaha! Only a Nephalem can enter this place.”

            A place full of her own mooks.

  5. Surely than shrine affix wont work on the Super Shrines…. i really hope not =P We need challenges!! Not shortcuts!

  6. off topic, but any mention of “fear” at Blizzcon ?

    I know Barbarians have an inherent 30% damage reduction, but I would gladly trade that for them to have an inherent immunity to fear.

    I absolutely cannot stand seeing my Barbarian running away in fear.

  7. Flux, increasing a number by 400% means multiplying it FIVE, not four times. So, someone with 200k DPS with +400% damage increase would have 1m DPS, not 800k DPS.

  8. Uber Shrine works. Since it’s not Super Bosses, but Uber Bosses. Diablo 2 would have worded it this way and so it must be so!

  9. The Consecrated shrine removed both cooldowns and resource costs, not just cooldowns. Unless that was a different shrine, both effects happened.

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