Recent Features

Diablo 3 Developer Live Chat: Full Transcript
As promised last week, three Reaper of Souls developers, Travis Day, Wyatt Cheng, and John Yang joined CM Nevalistis for a live chat this afternoon @ 4pm PDT. The whole chat went 90 minutes and covered more than 50 questions, and you can see the full transcript below. A few highlights of new or newish […]
Diablo 3 Podcast #166: D3’s Seven Design Pillars + PTR
Josh Mosqueira’s GDC presentation on all the ways that RoS fixed D3’s mistakes brought up the original D3’s “Seven Design Pillars.” What were those 7 pillars and why did the game largely fail to achieve them? Plus more PTR testing and Natalya’s Set debate. Featuring N3rdwards, MJNspace, and Flux. Click through for approximate segment starting […]

Reaper of Souls Torment Builds: Demon Hunter and Monk

Posted 3 Dec 2013 by

Players have had enough beta testing time to start putting together some new builds, most of them largely enabled by special orange text effects on the Reaper of Souls Legendary items. Those effects are partially random (there are hundreds of the effects, but which ones can spawn on which particular legendary items seems to be limited) and some of the best bonuses don’t seem that amazing, but when used wisely they are very build changing.

Some good examples come in this Demon Hunter DiabloWikiStrafe build demonstration by ZiggyD, where he shows off the power of a legendary hand Xbow that removes all DiabloWikiHatred cost from Strafe. That’s the key to the whole build, allowing him to remain in perpetual Strafing motion, attacking staying out of the Molten and Poison Enchanted and Frozen Pulse and other dangerous effects, and giving him the ability to tack on other AoE attacks and healing abilities.

Other legendaries he’s wearing grant regular Confusion debuffs to enemies, a movement speed boost every time he smashes something in the destroyable environment, a .5 yard bonus to Pickup Radius (stacking up to 30x) every time he picks up gold, the ability to break all root and frozen effects, and more. As he points out in the narration, the item end game now in RoS is based around finding Legendaries with stats as big or bigger than the best rares, plus some special orange text bonus property that enables special things that no Rare item can match.

Click through for two more videos showing off the monster density of Torment 6 (it’s much less crowded than the best farming levels in D3V today), plus a demonstration of a Monk farming Torment IV by abusing some perma-stun/CC gear procs that turn the demons into stationary punching bags. As always, remember that this is early in the beta and there will surely be changes, buffs and debuffs, to the abilities you see in the game today. Broken or OP stuff now won’t remain that way through release.

Monk Perma-Confuse Torment IV

No useful narration on this one, but if you want to see a Monk playing in a very staggered, discordant sort of way while keeping almost everything under permanent Confuse, on Torment 6, here’s your chance.

Monster Density on Torment IV

Torment IV, or T6, is the highest difficulty level in Reaper of Souls. In RoS Monster density does increase on higher difficulty settings, but it’s not a real big difference from Normal up to T6, and it’s nothing like what you see in D3V today, when you click up to MP1 on Inferno and enable sardine can crowding on most of the levels.

My impression is that the monster density we saw added to Diablo 3 in Patch 1.0.8 was a bandaid solution that the devs were able to patch in fairly quickly. It made more areas farmable and increased the end game variety without taking as much work/time as actually adding new content would have. The developers had their real end game expanding plans in the works for Reaper of Souls, and they weren’t going to spill those out in Diablo 3 that far in advance. (And Diablo 3 might get them still; the devs have said they might bring AdMode and the other stuff to Diablo 3 in a free patch, along with confirmed updates to DiabloWikiParagon 2.0 and DiabloWikiLoot 2.0.)

So while you get a lot less monster density in Reaper of Souls, the Adventure Mode and Nephalem Rifts allow for much more variety in the play experience, and you appreciate the difference when you do get a big swarm of enemies, rather than just seeing wall-to-wall trash mobs everywhere, as in Diablo 3 today. That said, there are some areas that need a density buff in Reaper of Souls, just for the fun factor. I’ve run through some long stretches of empty dungeon in some areas of Act One and Act Five, and that always seems to happen when I’m at like 34/40 on the kill counter to complete a Bounty when I’ve already popped the Purple.