5 Reasons to Give Diablo 3 Another Try with Reaper of Souls
Diablo 3 disappointed us all. After a decade of waiting, it failed to live up to our expectations, and in response, many players gave up on the game long ago.
Blizzard has admitted that the Auction House was a bad idea and that the game launched with little end-game content. Game Director Jay Wilson, who received much of the flak for Diablo 3′s failure in the community’s eyes, stepped down. Josh Mosqueira — the head of Diablo 3′s console project — replaced Wilson in mid-2011, and his team has since been working to save the game.
Diablo 3′s first expansion, Reaper of Souls, now lies on the horizon, set to release on March 25. Patch 2.0 for the base game, which includes many of the expansion’s major system changes, will release some time before this date. Here are five reasons you should give Diablo 3 another chance this March.
1. Loot 2.0, or the Death of a Salesman
The Auction House is no more. Its removal from the game has allowed Blizzard to retool drops and drop rates to deliver a more rewarding play experience. Gone are the days in which your “self-found” character (one who does not rely on any form of trading with other players) is pathetically under-geared because you’re more likely to have a stranger offer you better items for free than find upgrades on your own.
Diablo 3′s new loot system, coming in patch 2.0, sees an overall decrease in the amount of items that drop, but a tremendous increase in the quality of those drops. Not only will you find Legendary items far more often during your trek to level 60 or 70, but rare items have a fair chance to have stats tailored to your character.
The result? Finding loot is once again exciting.
Watch this article’s companion video!
2. Build-Changing Legendaries
With patch 2.0, Legendary items finally live up to their name. Blizzard has reworked existing Legendaries to increase their power and utility and added countless more. Furthermore, every Legendary can now spawn at any level, so all those low-level Legendary items that would become obsolete in the end-game and have gone virtually unseen during your levelling progression will now actually be a part of the game.
What’s more, many Legendaries possess interesting abilities that synergize with your skills and other Legendaries in exciting ways that will encourage you to think up new builds. For instance, a Legendary Wizard item may make any enemy killed by cold damage release a Frost Nova, encouraging you to create an Ice Wizard.
3. Difficulty Revisited
Blizzard has done away with the traditional Diablo difficult paradigm in patch 2.0. No more will you have to sludge through the campaign time and again across increasing difficulty levels. Rather than determine the level of your enemies, difficulty now establishes their health, damage, and rewards — you can play on a higher difficulty from level 1.
Monsters level up along with your character, so you will never be under- or over-levelled for any given area. This allows you to play the game at your own pace. Instead of deriving from monster health and damage, difficulty instead arises from the monsters’ abilities and tactics. As an added bonus, Elite and Champion packs have new and improved affixes, providing players with original challenges to face.
4. Greater End-Game Variety
The end-game of any aRPG is farming for items — that’s just the genre. Whether you’re farming for upgrades, for crafting components, or for keys to unlock the uber boss fights, you’ll be spending a lot of time repetitively going through content in order to reach your goals.
Reaper of Souls not only adds new ways to farm, but also new things to farm for. Outside of the standard Campaign Mode, a new Adventure Mode makes the entire game’s contents available to players in a single game: all Acts and all waypoints, without any of the quests to get in the way. Randomized “Bounties” give players objectives to hunt for, and Nephalem Rifts offer randomized dungeons with up to 10 levels.
5. Blizzard Expansions Are Always Better
Brood War. Lord of Destruction. The Burning Crusade. Blizzard games don’t hit their stride until their first expansion.
After Blizzard releases a game, it watches its evolution in the community and continues to develop ideas to respond to player feedback and improve the game. The Diablo 3 of today is already a superior game to the Diablo 3 of release, and Reaper of Souls promises to bring what are possibly the most radical system changes in Blizzard history.
If you stopped playing Diablo 3, it is worth your while to give the game another chance this March. Mosqueira has led the game’s development in a manner that demonstrates he understands the aRPG genre and what players want, and the fact that Diablo 3′s console version is widely regarded as more fun than the PC version is proof of his ability to execute. Sure, the current state of the Reaper of Souls beta suggests that there may still be changes to be made to drop rates and other systems, but these are tuning passes.
No one is asking you to fork over $40 on good faith. Wait for patch 2.0 to release, and give it a try. It will include the new difficulty system, the new loot system, and the new Legendary items — all free of charge. Just keep an open mind — you may be pleasantly surprised. I know there’s bad blood between the community and Blizzard, and for some of you, there is nothing that Blizzard can do to atone for its sins. But don’t do it for Blizzard — do it to see if you still consider that $60 you spent in Diablo 3 a waste.
Stay tuned for my companion article: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Diablo 3 Another Try.