Can Reaper of Souls Save Diablo 3?
This is my Barbarian. There are many like him, but this one is mine.
A casual glance at the highest-level characters in Diablo 3 reveals a disappointing trend: not only is there little diversity in selection of skills and runes, but there is also little diversity in gear — even across classes. Over half of all high-level characters use the same pants and belt.
Currently, apart from the odd outlier, there are specific items with specific stats that are simply the best option for a given item slot for a given class. If you opt for something different, then you’re playing sub-optimally. The same applies to skills. When you feel shoehorned into following what everyone else is doing build-wise and gear-wise in order to keep up with the Joneses, then what’s the point of even having other options?
Reaper of Souls will extend the level cap to 70 and grant each class new skills, new runes, and new passives. This is a chance for a complete rebalancing to make the less popular options more enticing.
Blizzard has promised that Legendary items will become “build changers” by drastically changing particular skills. While this may help diversity, it could also have the opposite effect of giving players choices that are too attractive to pass up — again, we will have to see how things pan out in beta.
A new gem, the diamond, will shake up the traditional gem paradigm and add a modicum of diversity to item slots. A second new gem could have made things even more interesting here — perhaps a return of the skull?
Members of the Diablo 3 dev team made a big stink about how Diablo 2′s PvP was lame, and promised to deliver something so much better. Over seven months after release, they gave us… Diablo 2 PvP.
While Brawling may have sufficed a decade ago, the gaming landscape has since changed. MMORPGs and MOBAs like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Dota 2 have put greater expectations upon PvP.
No plans have been unveiled to change PvP in Reaper of Souls, unfortunately. Blizzard needs to return to the initial inception of its PvP arena ideas and find a way to make them work. Team deathmatch, objectives, score boards… PvP needs structure, strategy, and stat-tracking.
Reaping the rewards?
It is possible to save Diablo 3; it is just a matter of whether or not Blizzard will deliver. Reaper of Souls — as well as the pre-expansion patch that promises to implement the new Paragon system, loot changes, Nephalem Trials and Loot Run game modes — is taking some definitive steps in the right direction toward saving Diablo 3. Currently, however, it’s not quite enough.
New features will be announced before or during BlizzCon, so Blizzard still has a chance to hit the home run. Under Mosqueira’s direction, Diablo 3 may yet be salvaged. When the Reaper of Souls beta begins, later this year, we’ll have a better idea of what the game’s ultimate fate will be.