Diablo 3 is a game that tugs on the inner gambler in all of us. Instead of pulling on a slot machine lever, you kill monsters. The sense of reward from both is a similar feeling though, especially when an illusive legendary drops. You can almost see those 3 7s lining up as you look through each stat to see how useful it is. Inevitably one of those stats would be the cherry that would break your chain of 7s and leave you far from the jackpot.
Blizzard is trying to change that slot machine mentality with loot 2.0 which is currently live in the game and tries to make every legendary useful, at least to some extent. There are still random functions to the legendaries but they have tweaked the numbers so they aren't as sporadic and if possible, it will roll useful stats for your particular class. This comes at a price though, legendaries and set items now bind to your account so trading will be mainly a thing of the past. Blizzard wants and expects you to earn your loot now instead of just grabbing them off the auction house. Not only are the legendaries more generally useful, they are intended to feel more unique, with most of them sporting qualities that only they will possess. Some of them can simply summon a monster to help you, while others are more interesting, like gold you pick up grants you armor for 5 seconds and then there are the down right strange ones like a sword which makes enemies squeal as you hit them.
Outside of loot they are adding more ways to play the game with the adventure mode. This mode is meant to be more of a jump in and play option as opposed to the story driven campaign. This way to play includes bounties throughout the act which are monsters that you must hunt and kill for extra rewards. It also includes Nephalem Rifts which are portals that take you to randomized areas that require you to kill a certain amount of creatures to unlock a boss that will grant you rewards once killed. Blizzard has hinted at rare unique versions of these but have released little information into them outside of a screenshot of a room filled with treasure goblins which many believe to be one of these rare versions.
Along with new ways to enjoy the game there is an entire new act to explore. With a unique style that is supposed to represent an evolving battlefield with changing objectives, it is meant to be less linear than the previous acts and offer more replay value over time.
The expansion also packs a new class to the game in the Crusader. This new hero is a shield and sword wielding beacon of holy power, similar to Diablo 2's Paladin. It is meant to be a true tank with the ability to absorb and deal heavy amounts of damage. It has burst mobility but outside of that seems to be limited to holding it's ground to kill it's enemies.
To keep up to date with all the additions to the expansion or check out information on the game, the Diablo wiki is a great place to find anything you want to know.
Many of the features are now live so it's a great time to get back into the game and see if the expansion is worth your time and money. Without the auction house it's sure to be a different game and hopefully be more self fulfilling. It launches March 25th for $39.99.
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