This weekend, attendees of BlizzCon learned about Warlords of Draenor, the next World of Warcraft expansion, and more details about Diablo III’s expansion, Reaper of Souls which will allow players to choose between playing in linear Campaign Mode or Adventure Mode. The new mode will unlock all waypoints on the map from the outset. Instead of playing through the story, you’ll be able to skip around in endless battles. Randomized Bounties will give players a goal to chase. These will vary from killing a specific beastie, to clearing a dungeon, or completing an event. Nabbing a Bounty will give players the normal gold and experience, and will give them special objects that can open Nephalem Rifts. These Rifts are portals to completely randomized mini-dungeons containing greater rewards and hazards. Finally, players can officially ignore the storyline.
Ding dong! The witch is dead! Blizzard is removing the auction house from the PC version of Diablo III. The latest blog update says that Blizzard will be shutting down the in-game gold and real money auction houses on March 18th, 2014.
“When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we’ve mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we’ve decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.”
“We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.”
The Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, will launch sometime in 2014.
Are you sure you’re in the right place? The Diablo III Haters Club is three web sites over and down the forum to your right. That’s the best place to talk about this console version’s occasionally disappointing graphics, the occasionally wonky controls, and the persnickety loot management. Just tack those onto the agenda right after the grousing about the always-online DRM, the usual Blizzard story, the mismanaged ingame economy, and how unfair [insert name of the hardest mode you’ve unlocked] is.
After the jump, the agenda at this meeting is different. Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick have been posting daily updates, which started here, on Diablo III for the Xbox 360. This is their final entry.
Brandon: Okay Tom, let’s take this thing home. It’s been a great week and I’ve learned a lot about Diablo, about you, and about how much you have a crush on Leah. Maybe Deckard can give her away at your wedding. Wait, scratch that.
Tom: Too soon. Don’t you feel like a jerk now?
Brandon: I don’t think my first week with Diablo III would have gone as smoothly or been as enjoyable had you not been there to tell me all of the things that the game didn’t feel the need to. I still think the weapon thing is silly but at the same time, seeing my wizard lady running around with an electric broadsword like she’s Barbarella is something else.
After the jump, taking this thing home indeed Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their sixth and penultimate entry.
Brandon: Tom poked fun at me for not knowing King Leon’s name, but let’s deal with the elephant in the room here, namely the writing in this game.
Tom: Oooh, this should be good. Take it away, Mr. “I’m In It For The Story”!
After the jump, once upon a time in Tristram Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their fifth entry.
Today, Brandon hits level 10 and Tom discovers the situation with legendary items is radically different from the PC version of Diablo III.
After the jump, Leoric is dead and guess who got his ring Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their fourth entry.
Brandon: I had my first setback today as I was repeatedly killed by a trio of giant, spiked beasts while exploring some haunted cathedral. Luckily there’s no penalty for dying other than the metaphysical torment so I just respawned at my corpse and kept hitting them.
Tom: Ah, the halcyon days before level ten! There will be a penalty to your equipment durability shortly. It’s one of Blizzard’s favorite ways to punish you for dying. Basically, a half-hearted lash with a wet noodle. Since the console version of Diablo III doesn’t have an auction house, I can’t imagine there’s much of a money sink in store for us.
After the jump, diamonds on the soles of my shoes…and everywhere else! Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their third entry.
Brandon:Was the PC version this stingy with information for the player? I’m not looking for a JRPG experience where I’m still getting tutorials ten hours into the game, but I feel like there’s a lot of stuff here that Blizzard is assuming the player will just stumble onto.
Tom: I don’t recall the PC version being stingy with information, but that was over a year and a hundred hours of game time ago. So much of this is so familiar to me, which is how it should be. The basic experience of Diabloing is remarkably intact, with only a few exceptions that stands out like a sore thumb for me.
After the jump, sore thumbs Continue reading →
Rayman Legends is out this week. If the sequel to Rayman Origins is half as good as Rayman Origins, platformer fans will have another must-have. However, if it doesn’t have a playable Goth Teensy, I will freak the flip out.
Now that the Total War games got really good with the last Shogun, I’m eager to see how Rome II has turned out. If you know any of the following words, you’re probably as eager as I am: hastati, principe, triarii, peltast, velite, onager, flammable pigs.
As you can see from our daily updates, Diablo III: The Living Room Edition is available now for your latest-gen console of choice that isn’t a Wii U.
Outlast is an indie found-footage horror game for the PC that isn’t very good unless you’re into jump scares. Here is the impromptu review I let slip at the first jump scare: “Oh god! JEE-sus Christ…”
Sega releases an updated Mickey Mouse platformer that only needs to clear the modest bar set by Capcom’s Donald Duck platformer from a few weeks back.
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their second entry.
Brandon: Let’s talk about Ellishandra, my wizard lady.
Tom: That’s a lovely name. I can tell Ni No Kuni has shamed you into thinking up actual fantasy names, like at a Renn Faire or in a George R. R. Malkin book.
Brandon: Diablo III picked my character’s name. I kept backing out of the name screen until I got something I liked. I rarely pick my own name.
Tom: I don’t trust Diablo III to pick my character name, because other people might think I picked it. To show that I’m above caring about fantasy lore, I named my character Arrowchick.
After the jump, can you guess what class she is? Continue reading →
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell and Tom Chick will be posting daily updates on Diablo III for the Xbox 360 over the coming week. This is their first entry.
Tom: I am a sucker for Diablo III. And I’m not ashamed. I can play it merrily without grousing about the auction house or unbalanced character builds or the endgame grind or the storyline or whatever. I’m gladly picking up what Blizzard is putting down. They’ve got my number. That said, I’m not sure I’m ready to take Diablo III into the living room.
Brandon: I’m not playing Diablo III in my living room, so hopefully that doesn’t trash my journalistic integrity. I have a sitting room off of the bedroom on the first floor and — you know what, never mind. Diablo III!
After the jump, where to begin? Continue reading →
Blizzard has announced Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, an expansion for their controversial action-RPG. There’s nothing at the official site yet, but the few bits we know from Gamescom sound promising. The expansion will add one more act, a revised and expanded loot system, a new character class – The Crusader, a melee weapon and shield specialist – and more customization options with a “transmogrification” process that will allow players to copy the appearance of one item and place it on another without changing the stats.
The most interesting news would be that Reaper of Souls will add more activity to the endgame.
Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes – Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials – are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.
Loot Runs will be small, entirely randomized dungeons, that can be played for quick fixes of killing and looting. Torchlight II’s endgame offers a similar feature with its Mapworks feature and it’s something that could get me back into Diablo III. Hopefully, Blizzard copies the way Torchlight II offers modifiers to the Mapworks runs such as making all enemies have lightning auras or all players get 50% of their health. That’s the kind of variety I crave.
In his introductary post as the new Diablo III game director, Josh Mosqueira outlined some of the goals he has for Blizzard’s action roleplaying game. Adjusting loot drops and quality, reducing the impact of the Auction House, and creating new foes to fight are on the agenda.
While some Diablo players out there are just looking for a fun single playthrough of the game, for many others, part of the appeal of the game is coming back again and again to test their mettle against challenging foes in an ongoing search for rare treasures, with the goal of making their heroes more and more powerful. We want to give those players, and really everyone, even more reasons to keep coming back to Sanctuary, and we have some great ideas brewing for ways to address randomization, what our endgame should offer, and how to make playing online with friends truly fulfilling.
Josh Mosqueira was originally hired by Blizzard to lead the drive to get Diablo III onto consoles. That side of the project seems to be going well as they just confirmed that the game will be coming to the Xbox 360 as well as the previously announced PS3 version on September 3rd. They are offering an “Infernal Helm” preorder item that gives starting in-game characters an experience bonus.
Happy Birthday Diablo III! Blizzard’s hack & slash economic simulator has turned a year old! Blizzard is celebrating by giving all players a 25% boost to their Magic Find and +EXP stats until May 21st. Get in there and start grinding for loot to sell on the Auction House before it goes down again!
Diablo III is also on sale until the the 21st for 33% off, so you’ll only have to sell a few Legendary items to make your money back.
The latest Diablo III patch just added a few cool new elements like re-tuned incentives to play cooperatively, some class changes, and a gold duping loophole. I’m personally most excited about the new incentives to cooperative play, which include a boost to experience points and the likelihood to find valuable magic items, as well a few interface improvements that make it easier to keep up with your buddy when he invariably runs after one of those treasure goblins. But a quick glance at Blizzard’s forums — something I would almost never recommend — reveals that many of the players over there seem most excited about the gold duping.
I have no idea how it works, and frankly, there’s enough inflation in the game that I couldn’t care less about it. It’s trivially easy to undermine the loot chase, even without a gold dupe, which will only make it easier to undermine the loot chase. Why should I care if the latest patch further dings an already gimped economy. I might as well fret about about a half point drop in the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
As much as I like Diablo III, I’m constantly reminded that the folks who made Path of Exile did the exact right thing by removing cash from their economy.
UPDATE: This looks like it actually might be a middling to big deal! The auction house has been taken down and some players who used the gold duping exploit have been banned.