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The Diablo III expansion pack, Reaper of Souls, finally has a release date. Blizzard Entertainment announced that the add-on will hit store shelves on March 25, 2014.
Reaper of Souls allows players to face off against Malthael, the Archangel of Death. As the unquiet dead cause trouble for the living, players will be able to explore a new fifth act set in the gothic Kingdom of Westmarch.
The expansion pack also adds an additional character class: the Crusader. A holy warrior in the vein of Diablo II’s Paladin, the Crusader is a melee fighter who uses a combination of muscle and magic to smite his foes.
All character classes will benefit from a higher level cap (70, as opposed to 60 in Diablo III vanilla), as well as an overhaul of the Paragon system that will allow players to share Paragon points across their characters.
The loot system, which is widely regarded as one of the game’s weak points, is also being fine-tuned, and Blizzard has promised a more intelligent drop system, including drops that are to some extent tailored to your character instead of being entirely random.
Reaper of Souls will also offer a slew of new games modes, including Adventure Mode. Adventure Mode will allow you to travel throughout the entire game without having to complete quests or endure hammy villain dialogue. In addition to exploration, players can also go after bounties for added loot, experience, and gold.
Aspiring angel-killers can also test their mettle through Cursed Chests (which are sort of like the Jar of Souls event in that you will be attacked by wave after wave of monsters after opening one of these particular chests) and Nephalem Rifts (where you can explore randomly generated dungeons, much like the Mapworks system in Torchlight II).
The basic version of the Reaper of Souls expansion pack will sell for $39.99, but Blizzard is also offering two pricier options for true Diablo aficionados. The Digital Deluxe Edition ($59.99) offers a custom help, weapon-transmogrification recipes, a spectral hound minion, and three additional character slots. It also includes goodies for other Blizzard titles. World of Warcraft players will receive a Treasure Goblin pet, while StarCraft II players can get Malthael-themed decals and Crusader-themed Battle.net portraits.
For those who really love Diablo, there is the Collector’s Edition ($79.99). It includes everything in the Digital Deluxe Edition, as well as a Malthael mousepad, a hardback book showcasing the art of Reaper of Souls, and a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-Ray set featuring interviews with the game developers.
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