On August 21, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the production of an Expansion for their Dungeon Crawl-RPG game, Diablo 3, entitled 'Reaper of Souls'. The expansion continues the Diablo story, leaving off from when you, the hero, defeat Diablo at the end of Diablo 3. It accounts the Angel of Death, Malthael, and his acquisition of the Soulstone. Along with a continuation of the story, Blizzard has added a new playable class, the Crusader, who will most likely act as a heavy damage, melee class much like the Paladin from Diablo 2. The expansion also brings a new act to play through, much like 'Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction', the expansion to Diablo 2, did in 2001. The main question surrounding this expansion is: can it resurface a game that had disappointing reviews and low replay value? Or will it only add life support to an already dying game?
When Diablo 3 was released in May of 2012, critics gave the game boastful reviews, but the players found the gameplay to be drab and uninspired. The main concern coming from the fact that the game took ten years to make and release, giving fans a false hope of the potential greatest game of the decade. It was far from that mark. With broken promises of a Player vs Player arena and the release of a Real-Money Auction House, allowing players to buy all their weapons and armor without any work, caused the game to slowly die off to the same player rate as Free to Play MMO Runescape, and that is far from Blizzard standards.
With the eventual release of 'Reaper of Souls', there is a modest sense of hope in regards to reviving it's parent game, but besides what has already been said, there isn't much about the title as of yet. This, unfortunately, raises the concern that, besides the new class and new act, the core game will remain the same, if not incredibly similar. It will be necessary to change some serious aspects of the game for Blizzard to regain players, mainly speaking the Real-Money Auction House. If a player can just buy their equipment, then what is the point of having the game be a "dungeon crawler". The Diablo franchise has always been about grinding for weapons and armor, and with the Real-Money Auction House, that is almost eliminated completely. Another thing that needs to be direly changed is the randomization of maps and acts. All the areas and acts feel the same whether you play Act 1 once, or five times. There is no true randomization like there was in Diablo 2. You can glide through the entire game in no time flat after you've played it once or twice, ruining not only replay value but immersion.
The expansion, overall, will drive in players and a lot of money, but will it really last? There will need to be a lot added or a lot of problems fixed for Diablo 3 to have the same replay value that it's predecessor, Diablo 2 has, which is a game that massive amounts of people still play and have been playing for over a decade. As a whole, 'Reaper of Souls' looks clean and sharp. If not anything, it will be a refreshing attempt at continuing a beloved and historic franchise.