Crusader Class, New Environment & Endgame Content
Diablo III will indeed be getting a new expansion pack entitled Reaper Of Souls, following some expert teasing last week. As we suspected, the Angel Of Death will be our adversary this time around, throwing players into a battle against the End Of Days. At least we'll have a new class, artisan, loot drop system and more on our side.
We've got all the details and the entire opening cinematic below.
Game director Josh Mosquiera revealed the gory details during Blizzard's Gamescom press conference, confirming Malthael as the lead antagonist. This rogue angel has siezed (and likely been corrupted by) the Black Soulstone containing Diablo's essence, leading him on a rampage throughout Sanctuary as he sucks the souls out of its inhabitants to create an army of minions.
Reaper Of Souls will take place in the city of Westmarch, a brand new urban environment with sprawling suburbs and centre. Joystiq reports that "death orbs" are also knocking about the place, which are probably not particularly friendly. Getting building permits for them must have been a nightmare. Luckily players will be able to sally forth against the forces of Malthael as the new Crusader class, who'll function much like Diablo II's Paladin save for a wider array of nasty offensive options (such as shield bashes and lightning strikes).
In terms of end-game content, Reaper Of Souls adds 'Loot Runs,' which are effectively speedruns for veteran players to slay as many monsters as possible in completely randomised dungeons. This sounds like a great idea, to be honest, since we're getting pretty tired of the same old scenery.
The loot system has received a major refit, dubbed 'Loot 2.0.' In a nutshell, this imaginatively-titled update makes it more likely for players to find loot that's equippable and useful for their current class. Base item stats can also be re-rolled by the new Mystic artisan, potentially leading to more powerful gear.
No release date as yet, but we'll keep an eye out.