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New Tiered Rifts, the Devil’s Hand and more discussed by Blizzard

Posted 25 Mar 2014 by

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls trailer

This evening Josh and Wyatt took to the stage at the Reaper of Souls launch event in LA and revealed a few new features that are coming to Diablo 3 in the months ahead.

Josh went through the now-familiar “three pillars” of Diablo 3 and was keen to assure fans that Reaper of Souls takes Diablo back to its gothic roots but it’s mainly about loot with build-changing legendary items.

There were numerous questions asked at the event but sadly Josh’s mic was broken for 50% of it and his replies came out like a garbled mess but it was encouraging to hear that sorting out the game’s difficulty mode was a “memorable” meeting for Wyatt.  He said they originally had “Inferno 2″ to get from 51-70.  And what happens when you get to 70? Josh and the team decided to create a “difficulty slider” and make the game auto level with you which was a departure from what they have done in the past. Wyatt was not keen on the system and other team members were sceptical too. Now they are happy with the results after letting the idea run. through development.

If you wondered what the DiabloWikiDevil’s Hand was in the game files, Wyatt clarified this evening. It was system where you could travel around the world and kill unique bosses to collect cards and make it into a “hand” and then turn it in for special loot. There were three systems competing for a place in the game, DiabloWikiAdventure Mode, DiabloWikiThe Devil’s Hand with its unique monster turn ins,  and crafting. They decided there was far too much overlap between the three systems so decided to cut the Devil’s Hand and concentrate on adventure mode.

Tiered Rifts is a new feature being added to Reaper of Souls where players will be challenged to see “who can get the farthest”. Players will play DiabloWikiAdventure mode, complete a DiabloWikiRift and clear it, acquiring a “Greater Rift Token”. Players will have to clear the Greater Rift as fast as possible in a certain time limit to unlock a “Great Rift Key”. These keys will increase in ranks.

There will be Tiered Rift leaderboards with seasons.  Players will be able to compare their times with their clan mates and also by region to see who’s the fastest.

Josh also revealed that Ladders are coming in the first major content patch for Reaper of Souls. Josh said that one of the features they would have liked to have completed for launch is the ladders but they wanted to spend time on it to get it right.  Note this is a “content” patch not a normal patch. The time frame for this release is currently a “couple of months”.

The ladders will take the form of “Seasons” with a “ladder-like” aspect. Characters will level up, there will be specific ladders for seasons and special “goodies” will drop in those seasons.

More information will be revealed in the next few weeks according to Josh.

As far as trading is concerned now that the DiabloWikiauction house is closed, the team has been looking at “Clan trading”  but they say they are concerned that it will remove the “feeling of reward” they are trying to capture with the game when people are out adventuring collecting loot.

Wyatt also confirmed there will never be a party DPS meter as has often been requested.