Blizzard have released a Reaper of Souls FAQ which answers fifteen of the most popular questions. They include, lore, crusader, new paragon system, adventures and difficulties and of course the obligatory release date question….
Q: What is Reaper of Souls?
Reaper of Souls™ is the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III—a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
Q: What is the story of Reaper of Souls?
Following the defeat of the Prime Evil by the Nephalem in Diablo III, the mortal realm of Sanctuary should have entered an age of hope and prosperity. Instead, this event has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, one more sinister than any demon.
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, the ancient artifact containing the essence of the Prime Evil. It is now up to the Nephalem to track down Malthael and thwart his plans, a journey that will take them through the legendary city of Westmarch, across the fetid swamps of the Blood Marsh, and into the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress.
Q. What new features can we expect to see in Reaper of Souls?
In addition to expanding the story of Diablo III with an all-new, action-packed Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players forging ahead with their existing Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.
The expansion also builds upon several key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments, horrific new monsters, epic new quests, and substantial updates to the loot experience. The redesigned loot system in Reaper of Souls focuses on rewarding players with even better treasure through targeted “smart drops,” new and improved multi-level Legendary items, and a third artisan, the Mystic, who can augment an item’s power and appearance.
A new Adventure Mode has been added as well; with all Waypoints unlocked in this mode, the entire world becomes the player’s battlefield! Included in Adventure Mode are two new game features, Bounties, a randomized objective system, and Nephalem Rifts aka Loot Runs, a randomized dungeon system, provide fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re looking for new ways to test their might. Diablo III’s Paragon progression system will also be receiving several updates for the expansion, adding even more endgame character advancement and replayability.
Q. What is Adventure Mode?
In Reaper of Souls, players will be able to experience the world of Sanctuary through two different games modes: Campaign Mode and Adventure Mode.
In Campaign Mode, players reprise their pivotal roles as the heroes of Sanctuary in this latest chapter of the continuing Diablo saga. All quests, cut-scenes, in-game movies, and NPC dialogue will be available and progression is intentionally linear. Campaign Mode is very similar to how Diablo III plays currently.
Adventure Mode is Diablo III’s new sandbox mode, where players have the freedom to explore and play the game however they like. All waypoints are now unlocked, so players can go where they want, when they want. The waypoint list has been replaced with a waypoint map, a metaphor for the world that serves as a guide for Bounties and a checklist of completed gameplay options. The world is literally your battlefield! Adventure Mode also includes the aforementioned Bounties and Nephalem Rifts.
Q: Can you give us more background on Malthael?
Quiet and elusive, Malthael was an enigma even to his own kind. In the years following the destruction of the Worldstone, this revered member of the Angiris Council grew increasingly distant and withdrawn, prone to long periods of isolation. Malthael’s eventual disappearance led to his transformation into the Angel of Death—a cataclysmic threat to the people of Sanctuary.
Q: What can you tell us about the new class: the Crusader? Will the Crusader be available to all players?
Crusaders are righteous warriors who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank with a plethora of mid-range melee abilities, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.
The Crusader class will only be available to players who purchase the expansion.
Q. Have any changes been made to the difficulty scaling or settings in Reaper of Souls?
In Reaper of Souls, the game difficulty settings have been updated to:
- Demonic and
Similar to the way the tiered settings and Monster Power work in Diablo III, higher difficulty levels present more powerful enemies who will potentially reward players with more powerful loot! Unlike the previous tiered difficulty system, though, players are not required to defeat the game on a lower setting in order to unlock a higher difficulty setting. These settings can be selected at any time, for both Campaign Mode and Adventure Mode, making it more convenient than ever to find the level of challenge that’s right for you!
Q. How does the new Paragon system work? Will the new Paragon system be available to all players?
We’ve made three significant changes to the Paragon system:
- There is no cap on Paragon levels. Players can now earn as many Paragon levels as they please.
- Paragon levels are now account-wide per game type. Normal characters on an account will share a Paragon level. Similarly, all Hardcore characters on an account will share a Paragon level. Any Paragon experience you gain on your Normal or Hardcore characters will contribute to your account’s “Normal Paragon level” or “Hardcore Paragon level.”
- Players will now earn Paragon Points each time they level up. These points can then be spent to boost up various stats in four different categories: Core Stats, Offensive, Defensive, and Adventure. All characters on your account have their own version of the allocated points, which can be reallocated at any time.
- These changes are intended to be released as part of a pre-expansion patch and will be made available to all players.
Q: Will there be an auction house in Reaper of Souls?
A: The gold and real-money auctions house will be removed from Diablo III on March 18, 2014 and will not appear in Reaper of Souls.
Q. Will players who have Reaper of Souls still be able to play with people who don’t?
Currently, yes; however, Act V will not be available to players who haven’t purchased the expansion.
Q. Will there be a beta for Reaper of Souls?
A: We don’t have any details to share at this time.
Q. When is Reaper of Souls going to be released?
A: We aren’t ready to confirm a launch date at this time.
Q. What’s the price for Reaper of Souls? Will there be a Collector’s Edition for Reaper of Souls?
A: We aren’t ready to confirm the price or the availability of a Collector’s Edition at this time.
Q. What languages will Reaper of Souls be available in?
A: At release the game will be fully localized into English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese for Windows, and English, French, and German for Mac.
Q. Will Reaper of Souls still be rated M (Mature)?
A: We haven’t submitted for a rating yet. We’ll share more information about our global ratings once they are officially set.
Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.