Reaper of Souls beta – first impressions

As usual, once home after work I checked my email looking for that WildStar beta invite. To my surprise and excitement, there was a Diable 3 Reaper of Souls invite instead. I stared at the email carefully, assuming it was probably a phish, and headed instead off to my bnet account to check. And it was real, hurrah!

Apologies – there will be screenshot spam, and I’ve already backlogged more screenies than I can chat about in one post, so this first post is just a taster.

My first dip into the beta involved the usual expected server shutdowns and long load times, but that was okay. I used some of my queue time to take some screenshots of the obvious changes, and have blatted those in below.

I copied over my monk, Sen, and started Act V.

Main things I noticed:

  • Difficulty levels: there’s no more normal/nightmare/hell, and no more monster power. It’s all bundled into ‘difficulty level’. I chose ‘Master’ to start playing… and it was really tough, yay! Normal mobs took a fair amount of time to kill, and elite groups were very hard. Most of these I died multiple times on. But it was very fun.
  • Act V is very dark. As in good dark – lots of undead, bones and bodies. . There’s a fair amount of dark humour to go with it though :-)
  • An annoying number of reaper-type mobs, they steal some of your soul and use it to raise undead. Ergh.
  • No more loot-splosions. Loot is much leaner, and the balance is much more flat… you don’t get 1000 white items for every blue and so on. You can kill a whole pack of mobs and get no drops at all. But this didn’t feel boring to me, as the balance of drop types was much more enjoyable. I got a useful set item very early on (a Shenlongs fist) and a fair sprinking or rares. So less loot, but more balanced, and more useful.
  • Enchanter! Enchanting is cool, and I played with it a lot in my second session of play, so I’ll talk about that in my next post.
  • Life steal is gone: Sob! It’s now all life on hit. No more crazy scaling. May need to drastically rethink my gearing. But while I’m levelling it’s just taking what I get :-)
  • Upgrade stats… are now very different. still getting my head around the percentage based damage/toughness/healing ratings.

Onto the screenies!

As I mentioned, the servers went down at one point so I was forced to queue to re-enter. The queue timer doesn’t tick down, it’s just an estimate of how long the queue will be.

/waits

Queueing

Queueing

There were two splash pages int he start menu briefly describing the expansion. I’m guessing these will be there in the main d3 menu to entice everyone to buy. It explains the new content, modes, classes and enchanter, as well as the new difficulty level concept and paragon points:

Expansion splash 1

Expansion splash 1

Expansion splash 2

Expansion splash 2

And then I started playing around in my profile pages.

The career page tells me I need to be level 70 to start earning paragon levels, which aren’t capped any more. I kept the paragon levels I earned at level 60, and got to spend paragon points for those levels. (Screenshot of that in another post.)

Profile page - career

Profile page - career

I’d leveled Sen to 63 before I’d been kicked – so it’s pretty fast. I also seemed to have much more health for the Vitality she has… I’ll have to play with that more in game to see what the ratios are.

Profile page - heroes

Profile page - heroes

I’d found a few bits and pieces by this time to upgrade her gear. As I mentioned, one of those was a Shenlongs fist, but I also found some rares, and notices they’re all badged “PH”. Presumably it’s placeholder art. Notice that set items now have green backgrounds instead of brown.

Profile page - inspect

Profile page - inspect

Stats for items are now explicitly classified into primary and secondary for enchanting purposes.

Items - primary / secondary

Items - primary / secondary

Aaand finally the queue popped and a few quick in-town screenies before I head off.

New products from salvaging: Veiled crystal and Arcane dust. New rare essence: Death’s breath.

Upgrade stats as mentioned above, you can see the damage/toughtness/healing percentages in this shot:

Salvaging

Salvaging

White items can be salvaged now, for ‘reusable parts’. I haven’t looked to see what Blacksmith recipes these parts are used in yet. You can see the Arcane essence and Death’s breath items in my stash in this shot.

Reusable parts

Reusable parts

Marquise and Star gems dropped in the world:

Marquise gem drops

Marquise gem drops

And I was excited to see a new gem variety: diamonds! With some very tasty stats. Notably it was only a flawless square that dropped though. Maybe there will be skulls too ;-)

New gem - diamonds

New gem - diamonds

So that’s basically all I took screenies of last night before bedtime. I’ve been playing again this morning and taken some fun shots of in-game things of note (OMG POISON ENCHANTED BLOB GRIDS). But time to play again, more posts later!

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