Blizzard Entertainment, developer of the long-running "Diablo" hack-and-slash RPG franchise, has revealed the first "Diablo 3" expansion.
"Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" centers around the Black Soulstone that contains the soul of Diablo, The Lord of Terror and the protagonist of the "Diablo" series. The antagonist of "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" will be Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, who disappeared after the destruction of the Worldstone at the conclusion of "Diablo 3: Lord of Destruction."
In "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls," you'll get to play as a brand-new character class: the Crusader. The Crusader is a warrior class that wears heavy armor and wields weapons and magic that can both assist allies and damage enemies. The Crusader is described by Blizzard as "a natural walking tank."
"Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" will feature a brand-new act to explore and fight one's way through. There will be an extensive amount of of new loot and "even more end-game options," according to Blizzard. We're not sure what that last bit means. Could "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" have multiple endings?
The level cap will be boosted to level 70 in "Reaper of Souls." There will also be new spells and abilities for all five of the original "Diablo 3" character classes: Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard and Monk.
"Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" will feature randomized environments, one of the hallmarks of the original "Diablo," as well as new quests, monsters and "updates to the loot experience" that will let "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" players customize their character with new multilevel Legendary items, new options for crafting items from the Blacksmith and Jeweler, and more. There will also be more ways to develop your character toward the end of the game, which Blizzard claims will offer greater replay value.
Finally, "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" will feature two new game modes: Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials. Details on either new game mode have not been provided by Blizzard yet, but if we had to guess, Loot Runs sounds like a game mode that will let you essentially kill a lot of high-level monsters in order to "farm" for high-level loot. If that's what Loot Runs turns out to be, the addition of this mode would represent an acknowledgement by Blizzard of what made "Diablo 2" and "Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction" so popular: item hunting. For the first time, Blizzard would be catering to item hunters, which is one surefire way to build a sustainable pool of long-term "Diablo 3" players. We have no idea what Nephalem Trials is, but we're guessing they'll feature competitive challenges of some sort.
Watch the first "Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls" cinematic and gameplay videos below, courtesy of Blizzard and YouTube.
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