The Miscreant Reviews: Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

 Death has a fist full of loot, and you want a few legendary drops more.

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Dead and Loving it.

 


[The Miscreant is going to preface this review a little by first mentioning that he has not gone through Diablo 1 or 2 in its entirety so effectively will be judging Diablo 3 and its expansion on its own merits.]

 

Diablo 3 has gotten something of a bad reputation over the years, and the Miscreant can understand why exactly this is. Buying it on release date was a bit of a nightmare, and those that played then can attest to the first boss of the game “Error 37” where nobodies could sign in to one of the most anticipated games for the fans of the Diablo series. Well that’s a good start ain’t it…

 


 

Always Online

Now this aspect of the game has made quite the rumblings and grumblings and for good reason, so I figure it’s best to get it out of the way first; yes, Diablo 3 and its expansion still requires an online connection always in order to play the game. The console version that was released at the end of last year didn’t have any of that going on. Unfortunately for those on the PC, we still gotta deal with logging in, and random lag, even if the game itself is primarily single player… I mean Blizzard has come a long way in anticipating the release of the expansion, but still the experience has burned a lot of people just with this always online. Take a look at how Sim City did too, or the backlash of always online for the Xbox one. Now that is a whole lot of rabble rousing, so it seems that the issue is still gonna be talked about for a while. But the Miscreant digresses. Now the second issue that I would like to get out of the way is…

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Every-bodies new best friend at Day One.

 


 

 Real Money Auction House

Blizzard was real smart in the money making aspect here with the introduction of the Real Money Auction House; to put it simply you could put your sweet sweet loot drops on to an auction house, structured very much like the one they implemented into WoW, however in this case, youse could actually put this up on auction for real, cash, monies. Now ain’t that quite the incentive, you could technically, if youse was lucky enough, earn monies for playing a game! (Not to mention Bliz would get a chunk of the cut). This… was an interesting concept to The Miscreant, cuz hey, cash is always good. But I wasn’t gonna go into the game expecting to earn any cash, and was just gonna enjoy the game as is.

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Money for everybody! Except not really.

As of right now, with the expansion the Auction House is completely gone and out of the way; and really, the game is all the better for it.

 

The Miscreant figured it was important to talk about the auction house because of what it did to the systems found within the game. In a game that’s primarily about getting loots and monies, the loot system was highly geared towards the Auction House system, and it encouraged players to go and use the system to buy better gear to go to the higher levels… so you relied on other peoples in order to do any good in the game. Now this was a big problem who played the game a lot, because you would find you literally couldn’t progress very far before being at least tempted by the AH. The Miscreant don’t like losing out on his hard earned cash to give to someone else just so I can progress further in my own game. I’m sure youse can see the problem with that.


 

Loot 2.0

So before I get into the review as a whole, Loot 2.0 is something which helps to talk about not just for the expansion, but also for the base game. With this newest patch, they effectively fixed a lot of what was wrong with the loot system; finally you will get your loots, rare drops and everything you hoped you would get prior to this. Gear is now geared towards your class and won’t give you random useless stats, youse guys are finally going to get sweet build changing legendaries that you would be lucky to have drop once… in 100s of hours of game time. On launch The Miscreant had 150 hours on a single character and only ever did I two legendaries. Now as you go through the story these incredibly strong drops drop regularly and you get that sweet little ping and a quick rush of excitement seeing them.

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Ain’t going to miss that one.

 


 

Gameplay

Now to those that are familiar with ARPGs this is nothing new, you run around, you kill monsters, you get gold and loots. This is the main drive of the game and thankfully Diablo 3 has some of the most satisfying combat for the genre where each move feels impactful. As you start the game you’re given a choice of the 4 classes in the game, or 5 if you’ve also got the expansion. Each one having a completely unique gameplay style, but should be familiar to those who follow the fantasy genre:

 The Wizard

The tried and tested mage class, though not the typical bearded individual to be found here. These guys have great control of the arcane and throw pretty much anything magical you can think of at the enemy, freezing them in place, burning them up, summoning meteors, familars and in general being a bad time for the enemy. They are all about completely obliterating the enemy with overwhelming magical power.

The Witch Doctor

Now this is the class I spent the most time playing, they can either be a full out mage, blasting the enemies with poisons, burns, undead things and other nasties they can call from the other realm; or youse can be a minion master letting your own undead minions do the killing for you while you go and make a drink. These guys are also great at keeping enemies locked down with their ability of controlling crowds of enemies, and not only that, they are pretty resilient too able to break away from enemies incredibly easily. Not much to dislike about this class, but the Miscreant is a bit biased.

The Demon Hunter

This class is all about dealing damage from range with crossbows, traps and all manner of explosives. Unfortunately the Miscreant doesn’t have as much experience playing this class, but from what I’ve seen they can dish out large amounts of damage while keeping the enemy at range and escape from enemies pretty effectively. So think Gunslinger style in Devil May Cry. Just hope you don’t get caught in the middle of a bunch of enemies… or you ain’t gonna last too long, these guys are flimsier than wet toilet paper.

The Barbarian

Just as much as you would expect, this class is all about using physical abilities to smash in the face of any would be monster or demon in their way. They gain fury with their primary attacks and use it against their enemies. These guys can hit like a truck and buff their allies with their various warcries. The Miscreant has a barbarian character but has yet to bring them up to level 70 (The max level for the expansion) but this is definitely a satisfying playstyle for those looking for the tried and tested class.

The Monk

This is the final class you can choose from in the base Diablo 3 game, and features warrior monks who strike hard and fast, using their mantra’s and holy skills to decimate the hordes of demonic creatures. This class the Miscreant has played the second most, with roughly 80 hours in the class and has been having a lot of fun with as well.

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The gang’s all here.

The Crusader (Reaper of Souls Exclusive)

Unlocked alongside the Reaper of Souls expansion is the Crusader, as can be surmised by the name is a warrior of the light, using his faith as a weapon of furious righteousness against the masses of undead and demons before them. Clad in the heaviest of armor, one could say this is the tank class or support class in a group game, but even alone can decimate their enemies just as well as the other classes.

 

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Walk softly and carry a big… flail?

[Note: Unlike the previous Diablo games, each of the classes has both Male and Female options!]

 


 

Story

While for this genre Story isn’t exactly the main drive of the game, it is there to help bring context to all the genocide your character is ready to unleash upon their enemies. Unfortunately for the main game… the story is not fantastic, at best serviceable, at worst laughable. (Be prepared to hear the phrase “Arrogant Nephalim” a lot in Act 3), but at least Blizzard crafted an enjoyable world to run around and kill things in, even if the main story is… lacking. The Miscreant finds this incredibly odd with the Lore books found in the game having a much stronger story to them, the writing of higher quality and building up the world you’re fighting in much better than the world itself.

HOWEVER

With Reaper of Souls, Blizzard did a much better job with both their main story and their world as a whole, feeling much more dark and foreboding, with enemies that didn’t randomly appear to taunt you like a Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain, and one would hope so with the main baddy being Death himself. So, kudos to the story writing team for making an expansion which greatly improves upon the original story, in both presentation and content. This does have the negative of making going through the original storyline a bit of a chore, but that’s what the skip cutscene and dialogue buttons are for.

 


 

Graphics

Without a doubt Blizzard are one of the greatest creators of the pre-rendered cinematic cutscenes which litter the game giving us story exposition and a visual treat, giving great detail to the world in which we are in. Aside from those there are nice hand drawn cinematics which consist mostly of still frames which are given some degree of animation, but the presentation is still nice. Going in game however is a bit of a different story; just don’t get your expectations high after those cutscenes. The game itself the Miscreant would say is stylized enough to never really look bad, balancing a cartoony with a realistic representation of the world which makes it rather timeless. The character models are decently textured and the world itself is filled with little details to notice, so I would say they do a good job. The spell effects are satisfying and have weight to them so it’s always a treat seeing you throw something out and having a group of enemies explode in a rain of death and bone, it doesn’t get old. The aesthetic designs make each of the acts in the game distinct and for the loot, your armor shifts and changes as you grow in power and your gear gets better.

 

 

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My Monk after about 80 hours gametime.

With Reaper of Souls, they even added another feature: Transmogrification. This allows you to change any piece of gear into any other piece of gear in looks, so if you’ve got something you really like the look of, but it’s weaker, just shift its looks! So you can make your own character however you want, and the games even got dyes to help you with that.

 


 

Reaper of Souls Exclusive Modes and Features:

Adventure Mode

This is Diablo 3 condensed into all of its core forms: killing lots of things, getting monies and experience from it, and of course, the rare loots. There’s no real story behind this mode, just a lot of different missions with you tasked of going around the world and defeating evils. This is made easy because Blizzard made it so you can teleport yourself to anywhere in the game world at anyy time. So lots of zipping around and smashing faces. This is the heart of the expansion and where most people who have it will be spending their time since doing bounties gives you little goodie boxes filled with all manner of materials that you will want, and even the chance of unlocking legendary loots. This mode is also the only way of earning Rift Fragments which brings the Miscreant to feature numero dos…

Nephilim Rifts

These are multi tiered dungeons in which the player runs through and who’s only goal is to kill everything (there’s a lot of killing in this game), to unlock a boss which has a higher chance of dropping legendary drops and a large sum of blood shards. These dungeons are all randomly generated made up of enemies and levels from across the acts of the game and are what I imagine most people will be doing besides adventure mode, especially with the higher increased drop rates of legendary stuffs in the rifts.

 

The Mystic

This here is the game changer for people, and where a lot of your gold is going to be sunk into, because what the Mystic does is allow you to change one of the stats on any piece of your gear to another, randomly. And you can do this as many times as you want, as long as you have the gold and the materials for it. Want your weapon to do that much more damage? Or your armor to prevent that much more damage? Now ya can… for a price. But it’s a perfect way of getting the perfect piece of gear for yerself, and will be a central part of your D3:RoS experience.

 

Level 70

Finally, they unlocked the level cap from 60 to 70, bringing with it new passive skills and active skills for all of the major classes of the game and introducing a bunch more legendary items and gear sets for everyone of max level to use.

 


 

Overall:

The Miscreant has given a brief overview of the base game and outlined the changes which are brought by the newest expansion. If you’re in the mood for a satisfying ARPG where you kill things and get shiny loot, you’ve come to the right place, and I feel like the expansion was well worth it for the amount of content and time you are given. For that, the Miscreant gives Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls:

 

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This gets the Miscreant’s Seal of Approval

9/10 – Worth the Monies.

 

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~ by miscreantofmonies on April 11, 2014.

5 Responses to “The Miscreant Reviews: Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls”

  1. Death comes to all, large and small, but what if one goes after Death itself? Immortality and the seeking of extension of this current worldly existence is the drive by a many people. What does it mean to kill death? And to be rewarded for such a thing, now some might consider that blasphemous.

    I see they have introduced a Crusader, the holy light carrying warriors. Divine. Inspirational. Yet he too seeks to destroy death… interesting.

    Ah, Nephalim, the Sons of Heaven and the Daughters of Man, their children do their spring forth with much power and courage, inspirational.

    This ‘loot’, must be like tea to those who play, forever savoring the delicious flavors brought by each drop, hopes dashed and then heart soaring with each bright light from above.

    Delicious.

    • You have wise words, sir. But, my question for you is how do you know that death can be killed? What is death? Is it truly the end or is there more? I am a believer, but you may not be. Life after death is not a foreign concept to the inhabitants of this world. How can the personification of human existence, the end of the line, be diminished by such a strange factor? You are attributing knowledge to the placements where they do not entertain the human mind.

      A crusader dates to the times of the Crusades, as one may have blindly noticed. It is possible that these are just references to those holy wars and to add more of an effect to the name.

      It is interesting how you use ‘tea’ as your personal choice of flavor when it comes to games. Do you not drink coffee? It is nowhere near as ‘delicious’. But your sense of ‘delicious’ is what comes from you – not from any other soul. It is a perception, and thus most of this world is built on our own perception.

      It is this that causes anger and injust between us humans, and what leads to the dark nature of mankind. Have you read the text ‘Humanity’ by English revisionist-historian Jonathan Glover of King’s College London? It is a very ethical read. And a must to those who cannot fathom.

      It sometimes makes me wonder why games like DIablo have been created. Are they just video games or do they reveal our dark intentions?

      -Hiei

      • Ah sir Hiei, this one apologizes for the late reply. Indeed the metaphysical qualities of Death, humanity and the mind are, and will always be forever argued by those of the various crafts, and it is interesting to see such an argument come from such a creation; and one cannot deny the constant struggle for obtaining that which we seek, personified in this game by ‘loot’.

        Tea is this ones drink of choice, coffee leaves such a bitter taste, like the feelings brought on by the scorn of one another, of course milded by milk and sugar, yet the underlying taste still bitter. However you bring up an interesting point, with coffee, milk and sugar one can obtain harmony, bringing peace to that which is inherently filled with strife. Mayhaps man can do the same.

  2. I downloaded this the other day, but have yet to sample the new modes. I am leveling a Crusader from scratch as I liked playing a tanky Barbarian previously.

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