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Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launch party

Central LA venue Vibiana, a converted chapel, played host to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launch event on Monday night, and I was lucky enough to be invited along. The venue was incredibly well-done, eerie red lighting shifting in color through the evening, and key quotes from the game's opening monologue projected onto the vaulted ceiling, along with the circular motifs you see above.

The evening began with activities, guests were issued with Bounty cards, where they could collect Blood Shards -- a new Reaper of Souls currency -- from visiting the art gallery, having their photo taken, getting a caricature or a temporary tattoo. All the activities were completely free, and handing in Blood Shards rewarded a poster, t-shirt or backpack.

Along with the activities were cos-players, specially re-named versions of classic drinks, and at 9pm a toast with Game Director Josh Mosqueira, which then turned into a live stream as Day 9 took to the stage. Those of us who were attending as Influencers were then offered a free Collector's Edition, which could be signed by the developers from the team. Hit the break for more images.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3 coming to Xbox One... eventually

Diablo 3's streamlined gameplay makes it a natural fit for consoles -- which would be why you can already pick up the game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. However, with the last generation of consoles looking a bit dusty, Blizzard has planned an "Ultimate Evil Edition" for PlayStation 4 -- and now we know that it's headed to the Xbox One, as well. The only thing we don't know about this next-gen console version is when, so if you're holding out for some Diablo-style action on your new console, we can't recommend holding your breath.

In the meanwhile, PC gamers can enjoy Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, launching tonight.

Filed under: Diablo 3

A new Blizzard parody from CarBot Animation

CarBot Animation has done some fun and adorable Blizzard parodies in the past, and today their up to their usual tricks with a new parody of the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls trailer. Diablo isn't generally an IP we see a lot of blatant funny stuff about, considering the source material is easily the darkest of Blizzard's franchises.

This adorable animation hits all the right comedic notes, from Tyrael casually eating a sandwich while the Horadrim handle the Black Soulstone to Malthael's owl-like head twist before he sends the guards to their humiliating end. The ending is easily the best bit, but I won't spoil that for you, you'll have to watch it for yourself!

Filed under: Humor, Diablo 3

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is coming your way today

If you've been waiting on the edge of your seat for Blizzard's release of Diablo 3's Reaper of Souls expansion -- and with content scarce in WoW these days, who isn't? -- your wait is nearly over. However, depending on where you are, your launch time may be a bit different:
  • For Asia, the expansion will be available to play at 11:00 a.m. PDT on March 24.
  • For Europe, the expansion will be available to play at 4:00 p.m. PDT on March 24.
  • For the Americas, the expansion will be available to play at 9:00 p.m. PDT on March 24.
To be ready to play come launch time, make sure your Battle.net client is up to date (launch the client to check for updates or download it if you don't have it), be sure you've downloaded the big 2.01 patch (again, just launch your Battle.net client to check), and be sure you've ordered your copy of Reaper of Souls. Then all you need to do is be logged in come launch time and you'll be ready to jump right into new gameplay. For more tips on surviving launch day, check out Blizzard's launch to-do list.

And, of course, happy demon slaughtering, everyone!

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3 shares a first look at Pandemonium

In anticipation of Diablo III's release next Tuesday, Blizzard has posted an in-depth look at the final level of the first expansion for the game. Pandemonium was once the center of the Eternal Conflict between angels and demons, home to the Worldstone before it was stolen away by Inarius and Lilith, who then created the world known as Sanctuary. After the Worldstone was removed, the battles that raged across Pandemonium slowly came to a halt.

Although the Pandemonium Fortress appeared as the base of operations back in Diablo II, players never really got to experience the depths of what Pandemonium had to offer. Now home to Malthael, the main villain of Reaper of Souls, players will be able to experience the zone like never before. Check out the official site for more lore surrounding the final level of Reaper of Souls, as well as a glimpse into the design behind it. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls arrives next Tuesday, March 25.

Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

Diablo 3 offering 100% XP boost this weekend only

This weekend, all bets are off in Diablo III. In anticipation of the launch of Reaper of Souls next week, Blizzard is offering a 100% XP bonus to all players this weekend only. The XP bonus ends at 12:01am Pacific Time Monday, March 24 -- so you might want to cancel your weekend plans and get in those last few Paragon Levels before the new expansion goes live March 25. This buff is already live on all servers, meaning you've got another option for tonight's activities as well.

As with the 50% bonus XP offer, you do not need to have pre-ordered Reaper of Souls to benefit from the experience boost -- all active Diablo III accounts have access to the bonus experience, as well as all new systems introduced in patch 2.0.1. With the new Paragon Leveling system, all characters share and contribute to a single, account-wide Paragon level -- so why not take advantage and get in some extra levels while you can?


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3

Having trouble pre-ordering Reaper of Souls? You're not alone

If you're trying to pick up your own copy of Diablo 3's soon-to-be-released Reaper of Souls expansion from Blizzard, you may have run head-first into a "500: Internal Server Error" message. The big downside to this error -- beyond your inability to buy the expansion -- is that though you don't get anything, you may still see the charge pending on your credit card. According to Blizzard support, because the charge didn't successfully go through, it should vanish within a few days. However, it doesn't leave us inclined to, as the error suggests, try again later.

Fortunately, Blizzard is on the case:

Hopefully we'll see a resolution sooner rather than later -- with Reaper of Souls due out on the 25th, there's not much time left to buy for release-day gameplay. In the meantime, we're holding off on clicking "buy" until @BlizzardCS gives us the all clear.

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls offering Hearthstone expert card packs

Are you planning on picking up Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on March 25? While you're waiting, you may want to check out Hearthstone, Blizzard's latest game release. Players that have pre-ordered Reaper of Souls will find a treat waiting for them -- Expert Card Packs waiting to be opened and played. Both the Digital and Retail Standard editions will get you one free Expert Card Pack, while Digital Deluxe and Retail Collector's Editions offer three Expert Card Packs.

If you have yet to pre-order Reaper of Souls, the offer will be available to those who purchase the game after its launch as well. The card packs require a Battle.net account to be redeemed, and there is a limit of five Expert Card Packs per Battle.net account. Players who have pre-ordered either the Digital or Digital Deluxe editions of the game should have their cards available immediately -- if you are waiting for the retail version, you'll find codes in the box to redeem in exchange for your cards.

Check out the official post for more information about the offer, the rewards, and how to get started with Hearthstone, if you haven't already tried it out for yourself.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3, Hearthstone Insider

How much should an expansion cost?

We've talked about this briefly in a recent Breakfast Topic, but that's not the same as actually standing up and taking a position on an issue, and I (specifically, I, Matthew Rossi, not all of WoW Insider) do have a position on this one - namely, that this expansion will likely contain as much if not more gameplay, art assets, and overall design work as any game coming out, and that frankly the last couple of expansions have been under what they should have cost.

I didn't come to this decision in a vacuum, either - I come to it as someone who does not want to pay the price as established. I'm extremely penurious. almost outright parsimonious when it comes to money. I don't like spending it. So when I heard how much the expansion was going to cost (the day the pre-orders became available) I immediately balked at it. It's only ten bucks more to buy Titanfall, I said to myself, and that's a completely new game. And then I read this post by Kim Acuff (who often comments here at WoW Insider as Ember Dione) a developer on Skylanders, and I started to rethink my position on the relative cost of the expansion, how much it should cost, and the validity of the whole "as expensive as a new game" discussion.

Because here's the fact - each WoW expansion has effectively been a new game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3, Warlords of Draenor

5 things I'm amazed WoW still doesn't have

World of Warcraft's tenth anniversary is this year, and with that milestone we've seen a lot of changes, additions, and growth -- the game now spans 90 levels (soon to be 100) and sprawls across the original two continents, Outland, Northrend, Pandaria and places like Deepholm. We'll be traveling to an alternate dimension soon. The game has auction houses, flying mounts, the Brawler's Guild, Proving Grounds, dungeons, raids, scenarios, transmogrification ... a lot has been changed and added over the years.

Yet there are some things WoW never did that I admit, I expected it to do before now. With the level 90 boost incoming, they added one I was wondering about (and which our own Adam Holisky basically predicted based on what other games were doing) but there are still features other games have had over the years that WoW doesn't. Some have seemed like real no-brainers, while others might just be based on my own weird ideas. None of these are things I necessary want or think are good ideas, they're just things I expected.

1 - User Generated Content

When I read up on Neverwinter's user generated content, I immediately found myself wondering why World of Warcraft hadn't taken a bite out of that. The Warcraft RTS was so infamous for player created maps that it spawned a whole sub-genre of games (if you play League of Legends now, that game wouldn't exist without the original Defense of the Ancients mod to Warcraft III) and yet, we've never really seen anything like that in WoW. I understand why Blizzard might want tight control over the game's story and content, but even something where players could submit generated content to be evaluated has never manifested, and I'm kind of astonished. To be honest, after Neverwinter announced its Foundry, I expected something like it for WoW, but I was wrong.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2

What Diablo III's Reaper of Souls has to teach Warlords of Draenor

First off, let me say that I'm not agitating for WoW to copy all of Diablo III's improvements. A lot of the stuff D3 is doing now since the 2.0.1 patch are things WoW absolutely should never, ever do. But as valuable as it is to say that WoW should copy some of D3's better innovations, some times it's even more valuable to be absolutely clear on what would never, ever work if it were ported to the MMO space. (And vice-versa, as I think some of the problems that patch 2.0.1 solves are problems caused by trying to make D3 too much like an MMO). So, then, what can we learn from patch 2.0.1's successes?

Well, both WoW and D3 are loot based games -- at their hearts, you kill monsters for their loot in both. Diablo III's Loot 2.0 is an amazing system for itself -- it's fun and exciting when the loot you get from monsters ends up being awesome. But for WoW I think a system this personally rewarding would be insane. World of Warcraft is not set up for you to have some of the coolest, best items you'll ever see just drop from random trash, because WoW isn't a game designed around the idea of constantly going on reaping trash stomping dungeon crawls. The social aspect of WoW, with communal play of small 3, 5 and larger group content isn't the same as D3 and its multiplayer. If anything, Warlords' item squish is already a cautionary tale of the kind of excess that Diablo III not only rewards, but exults in. Nothing helps drive the lesson home that these are different games like their different approaches to loot.

That said, WoW can learn something from D3 in terms of the way loot works.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3, Warlords of Draenor

Diablo 3 offering limited-time 50% XP boost

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for the series launches on March 25, and Blizzard has just unleashed a limited time boost to get players ready for tackling all that new content. Starting today, players of Diablo III will receive a 50% bonus XP boost to all characters on their account -- perfect for getting a leg up on patch 2.0.1's new Paragon Leveling System. With the new system, all characters share and contribute to a single, account-wide Paragon level.

In addition to Paragon Leveling, patch 2.0.1 also includes the new Loot 2.0 system, a newly revamped Difficulty system, Clans and Communities, and skill updates to all five hero classes. You do not need to have pre-ordered Reaper of Souls to benefit from the experience boost -- all active Diablo III accounts have access to the bonus experience and all the new systems introduced in patch 2.0.1. But if you want to take advantage of the bonus XP, better hurry -- the offer ends on March 24.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls commercial debuts


Last night, fittingly premiering during The Walking Dead, the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls commercial aired for the first time.

Reaper of Souls takes the player back into the conflict between heaven and hell, where the Black Soulstone is stolen and will soon be used to unleash the final end unto humanity. Diablo III's first expansion pre-patch is already live and features an absolute ton of goodies, many of which are bring players back to the game in droves.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls releases on March 25. Hit after the break for the full opening cinematic and more RoS video goodness.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Major updates coming to Diablo III with patch 2.0.1 release today

Though there's still some waiting to do before Reaper of Souls arrives, if you've been twiddling your thumbs hoping for the latest patch to hit Diablo III, you're in luck -- Lead Producer Alex Mayberry has announced on Twitter that patch 2.0.1 will be live today. This patch brings some big changes for Diablo players, including social groups Clans and Communities, itemization updates, paragon updates, class updates, crafting updates, difficulty updates... and more. For all the details, check out the patch notes.

If you're one of the players who grew tired with Diablo III after launch, this laundry list of changes -- combined with a quiet, patch-free time in World of Warcraft right now -- may give you good reason to revisit the game in advance of Reaper's release. We know that's where we're headed!

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition content revealed

With all the talk of Warlords of Draenor and Hearthstone around here, you might have forgotten about Blizzard's other expansion release next month. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls makes it debut on March 25, and the contents of the physical Collector's Edition were finally revealed earlier this week for all to see. Purchasers of the Collector's Edition will receive several digital items, including the Treasure Goblin Pet for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II character portraits and Malthael Decals, and a Spectral Hound minion with a set of aesthetic artifacts -- helms and weapons -- to be used with Diablo III's new transmogrification feature.

Of course, this is all available with the Digital Deluxe version of the game as well, so why would you want a physical Collector's Edition? In addition to the digital goodies found in the Digital Deluxe edition, those purchasing the Collector's Edition will get a Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray two-disc set featuring interviews, round-table discussions and behind-the-scenes commentary on the game's development, the official Reaper of Souls soundtrack, The Art of Reaper of Souls -- a gorgeous hardcover book featuring early sketches, artwork, and 3D renders from the game, as well as a Malthael mouse pad.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition is available for pre-order on Amazon for $79.99, as well as at a variety of other retailers. As with all Collector's Editions, supplies are limited -- if you want the physical version and all the bonuses it has to offer, you may want to pre-order your copy sooner rather than later.

Filed under: Blizzard, Diablo 3

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