Will $40 Save Diablo 3? A Look At The Upcoming Expansion

With an official release date set for the Diablo 3 expansion it's time to ask the question of whether or not it can save the Diablo 3 name.

Earlier this week Blizzard gave the official release date (March 25th, 2014) for Reaper of Souls, the long-awaited (and needed) expansion to its dying action roleplaying game, Diablo 3. With a starting price of $39.99 for the digital edition, it's a steep ask for an expansion pack, but it might just be the new life that the game has needed since it launched back in May of 2012.

You don't have to look far to find bad reviews for Diablo 3 with the game still holding a user score of 3.8 (with a reviewer score of 88) on the popular Metacritic review aggregate website. The game has gone through a huge number of patches and changes since it originally flopped with long time fans and is definitely a different game in its present form. While it has gained some ground, it is far from the perfect gaming experience that you expect from a game that was released 12 years after the game that preceded it.

So that brings us to the real question that you have to ask yourself:

Is the $40 price tag of the expansion worth it? 

Will it make Diablo 3 the jewel of the Diablo franchise that it is meant to be? Let's examine what the new expansion is promising players in its current state.

The New Class and The Fifth Act

Firstly, you'll have a new Crusader class (shown above) to slaughter the beasts of hell with. This class blurs the lines between ranged and melee fighter with a handful of spells that Diablo 2 fans will recognise including the always popular Blessed Hammer. The level cap will also be rising from 60 to 70 which means new skills and new items to replace your current setup along with the the ability to use 4 passives instead of 3.

Secondly, players can expect a wealth of new content in the new act (Act V) which continues the story of Diablo and features Mathael (the Angel of Death) at the centre of this conflict (epic Blizzard cinematic here).

Enchant Your Items With The Mystic and Loot 2.0

Thirdly, the Mystic is finally being integrated into Diablo 3 after originally being left out of the core game on release due to the complexity she added. She is able to alter a single stat of your items at an increasing cost, which helps you re-roll items to make them perfect.

This also ties into the new Loot 2.0 and Paragon 2.0 systems which are intended to give the player more build options through better drops and skill point customisatiom now that the auction house is shutting down. Blizzard has shown interest in releasing this in a free patch before the expansion, but only time will tell.

Adventure Mode - Reshaphing The Entire Diablo 3 Experience

Lastly (and quite possibly the most important), is the huge shift in the core Diablo experience with the introduction of Adventure Mode. With this mode players will be able to jump around the game world to complete bounties for large rewards. Bounties are intended to have enough variety that you'll want to use them as a farming and end game tool (although they can also be used to level up characters rather than running through the story). These bounties also tie into the Nephalem Rifts which are large dungeons with randomised monsters, setting and final boss.

So Is it worth the $40?

On paper, it definitely seems like $40 worth of content is being added to the game, considering it will completely overhaul some elements of the experience. In reality though there are plenty of people who won't get $40 out of the new content, especially those that will play through Act V and only dabble a little in the adventure mode before having their fill of Diablo and moving on.

Personally, I've got high hopes for the upcoming expansion and have already put my pre-order in. Diablo has always been about the item hunt for me and Reaper of Souls is going to offer the item hunt that Diablo 3 should have been from the start.

What's your opinion on Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls? Are you planning on spending the $40 for the expansion?

Published Dec. 23rd 2013
View Comments
  • Blizzard crap
    So let me get this straight, you launch an unfinished game that took more than a decade to complete with a premium price tag, after a year you realize people are fed up and you make them pay another premium price for a mild expansion with stuff that should've been there from the beginning instead of making stupid people pay for digital items and you getting a solid share of that, indefinetly (or until people got fed up with it).

    Even if I do accept the fact that D3 has a high repeatability rate without getting really bored compared to...let's say... CoD games... $100 for a game you play casually (i log in at most once per month in D3 and I still didn't see these "2.0 changes") is too much for me. :)

    I think I gave Bli$$ard enough of my money.. I'll buy reapers of souls in a few years when it'll be priced at a more realistic amount ($10-$15 maximum).
  • The only opinion that matters
    Diablo 3 is the biggest flop, and them trying to add to the game in favor of its audience only to save the games life is bullshit. They should have shown care to the crowd from the get go. The expansion should be free, and since it's not I know I sure as hell won't be giving it a chance. The only people who think Diablo 3 is a good game are fucking newbies.

    Diablo 3 only has one aspect that is better than its previous two releases of Diablo, and that is the graphics. The classes and skill sets are boring, and made for a 4 year old to be able to play.

    Blizzard has completely fallen off since before the release of Wrath of the Lich King, and I look forward to a new game maker power house.
  • Dodging Monk
    They only closed the RMAH and AH because it's costing them more money to maintain it than making a profit out if it, plain and simple.

    And I won't pay a dime to blizzard for this expansion pack which is basically fixing about 60% of the fail that they themselves created in the first place. And on that note I won't be buying any game from them in the future neither.
  • egor_1038
    40$? really?for what? 70lvl? more uber items that i only can survive this mess?.Hey guys will this tiny update worth a thing?craft system....re-roll...you got to be kidding me.2$ is my offer want it or not.
  • fatdamon
    d3 was crap up until now and this won't change if the core game sucked so much. why would we need another WoW with a different camera angle?... i am a d2 and d1diehard fan and played for years, so i'm not a newbie, but d3 bored me to death at level 7 or 10 .. i don't even know anymore... really sad for me and the game
  • meh_8339
    meh most of this crap already existed in the beta forvanilla but was removed because the dev team knew they would be lazy to do actual work on the expansion why reward lazkness this expac will obviously be 10 hours worth of garbage
  • Jade456
    Not a chance. IF the expansion drops to around $20, maybe. Blizzard has enough fanboys willing to shell out $40 for another act that will last an hour if you're lucky. The additions are great, but I remember when an expansion was just that---an expansion. It would give you hours of additional game play---not just fix game issues and add in content that was promised in the original product. D3 is my last purchase in the franchise.
  • TripleV
    Diablo 3 was a good game at the beginning. It was fun but only temporarily. After you leveled all of the characters into Inferno you come to realize that the maps never really change much. Then you have these monsters that completely one shot you and it forces you to buy these weapons from the RMAH. Then you think to yourself, why am I spending hundreds of hours trying to find that one uber weapon and playing a boring, repetitive game that really doesn't have much to offer? Why was this game so tedious to play? Why was this game so basic and simple?

    Then at last something dropped for my favorite character the wizard. It was a set item known as a Tal Rasha. I was excited. But that excitement was short lived. Thats because this wizard item had dex and strength. Now who in the right minds would want to wear something that had stats for a Barb. Certainly I didn't.

    Thus I felt betrayed. I spent thousands of hours to find that one item that would make me Godly for my Wizard. Only to find out that its made for a Barb. Now don't get me wrong and I liked the game at the beginning. But I come to hate it. It was nothing more than a time waster with terrible loot. The maps were all the same and boring. Worst of all there was no end game to play with my friends with like WoW.

    I finally dumped this game and never looked back. Somehow I felt betrayed. I thought this was a sequel to Diablo II but boy was a wrong. I won't be buying the expansion. I no longer have any interest in Blizz. They used to make great games. But Diablo 3 for me broke the camels back and its nothing more than a big disappointment.
  • Richy_1485
    Diablo 3 was the biggest flop in gaming since Atari's ET. Blizzard sold 15 million copies of the game based on hype, name recognition, customer loyalty, and expectations. The majority of those 15 million consumers were left high and dry. They were thrown into an unfinished mess with no pvp, no endgame, and level of gameplay that didn't come close to its predecessors. That's assuming they were ever able to play the game - let's not forget that connectivity problems left millions of players unable to play the game for the first week or so after release. Class action lawsuits forced Blizzard to offer refunds in France, USA, S. Korea, and Germany.

    Naturally, Blizzard hopes that everyone has forgotten those early dark days of Diablo 3. I cant speak for the other 14.9 million consumers, but I can say that I certainly havnt. More importantly, the fact that less than 1% of those 15 million consumers actively plays diablo 3 suggests that the expansion is unlikely to match the number of sales as the main release when it hits the shelves. Again, I cant speak for the other 14.9 million customers that bought D3, but I personally wont be purchasing the expansion - at least not until it's on super sale for $9.99 in a few years.
  • notsohappy_1506
    the game feels wrong: they removed runes to balance the PVP, but there was no PVP. the texture quality is horrible (especially the ground). considering D3 is a multi-million IP(maybe even a billion) this is not enough. Everyone who worked on this project must have seen this coming. I mean not even the story is credible in any form. It's not like the whole team just did a very bad job. the story, the textures, the skill system, the loot tables+ drop rates, the item attributes (who needs useless placeholder stats?) they show that the people who were responsible for the game had not enough skill/creativity/fantasy/coolness/good taste call it what you want. D3 is nothing but a shade of it's former glory. maybe the expansion can fix the D3 soulstone, that this wilson guy spit on .
  • MTaur
    Yeah, I know. I wanted to like it. The engine is great. The art and rendering is amazing.

    The monster affixes are idiotic. Waller vortex mortar frozen desecrator? THAT IS SO AWESOME! It's not like I have to somehow kite it from three screens away just to not insta-die or anything! Hey, let's make some skillshots that can one-shot your champ and/or stun him for a week, but make them really easy to dodge, but then balance that out by making monsters who can reel you in and stick you in a box from the other side of the screen, because that all balances out.

    The rune system is a huge disappointment that robs individual champions of any shred of an identity beyond their class. No one really came for the plot, but too many moron NPCs follow you around, either physically or psycically, and won't stop chewing your goddamned ears off. And that DRM nonsense is just disgusting.

    Loot was really stupid and useless for the longest time and they didn't fix it until enough peasants with pitchforks finally convinced them to dismantle the AH and actually make it possible to find or craft your own goddamned gear while playing the game.

  • MTaur
    I don't want this expansion to do well. The only way they're going to learn is if they fail. They're charging way too much for what's essentially a "make Azmodan STFU" button (and an act and a class).

    Their DRM hijinks are just plain draconian. They lock you out of your account and won't let you play again until you log into whatever email you had two years ago and answer some security question you'd better hope you remember. All of that even if you just want single player.

    They would do it to console players too if they could get away with it, but the hubris of the console market hasn't overpowered that barrier YET. If Blizzard dies in a fire, maybe that day won't come as soon as it otherwise might have. Screw Blizzard, screw D3, screw DRM, screw overpriced DLC.
  • Judy_8713
    I will hold a grudge. They will not allow us to update our accounts when we have forgotten our 'secret word'. Their interest seems not allowing the game to be sold by us rather than protecting our account.

    The game is boring. And nothing will ever fix that.
  • Jeff_7238
    Well, with Torchlight 2 having been better than Diablo 3 since release and still being better as an actual ARRPG, and with PoE playable now (don't care to try it but it has lots of praise) and Grim Dawn coming out sometime soon, why bother hoping an average game like Diablo 3 (which goes from average to terrible if there are server/network issues or lag) can be 'fixed' so long after its release with improvements that they are charging an additional $40 for?

    I also wonder how a game so highly reviewed as Diablo 3 was, garnering many perfect scores from reviews, could even be improved at all... Does it go from being a 10/10 game to a 12/10 or higher with these substantial improvements? How is it possible to improve on such perfection?! (sarcasm off, those scores were a good indicator of which review websites to avoid in the future)
  • Wes_8075
    The only way I'll be excited about D3 in its current form is if they do a complete reset to completely undo what the AH did. Or at least give players the option to start over in a server dedicated to only users who want to start over with nothing and make the item hunt what it should be.
  • Nick_6821
    This is my letter I wrote to Blizzard a week or so after Diablo 3 was released:

    Dear Blizzard,
    I would like to reluctantly inform you that after much emotional and psychological deliberation I am no longer going to support your company or the PC games that it develops. After more than ten great years of fun games like Warcraft 3, Starcraft, Diablo, Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft I have come to the decision to boycott any games you develop after this horrible abomination in Diablo 3. Blizzard is a company that developed an irrefutable reputation that we should expect nothing less than fun and exciting games with amazing storyline, cinematics and game structure. To call this game Diablo 3 is a disgrace to the franchise and will forever be a stain on the integrity of your corporation.
    In September 2011 I pre-ordered Diablo 3 after more than a year of watching online videos of Diablo 3 in development. These online videos promised things like a skill tree, unique weapons, skill points and overall smooth graphics. Like millions of other Diablo 3 pre-order customers I was misled, lied to and feel like I got a completely different product than what was advertised. Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities is called false advertising which is illegal. I feel like I spent $100 plus tax on a product that was rushed to the market so Blizzard could get its greedy hands into the real money auction house. There was a time when money was not the driving force behind a good product but those days are long gone with Blizzard.
    Diablo 3 offers no replay value, unique character builds, structure, weapons, auction house or even a decent in-game chat system. The storyline is meant for children and hardly keeps the customer enthralled or engaged in wanting to repeat game-play through the different difficulties. Once hell mode is beaten and inferno is unlocked it seems like Diablo 3 becomes entirely dependent on auction house items. One would think that you could achieve items in hell mode to get you through inferno and that the game enemies would scale appropriately but this is false. I believe Blizzard used this tactic in order to force the casual player into purchasing items from the auction house. I already give enough of my hard earned money to an entity that distributes it to the lazy class of society and it is called welfare. Do you think for one second that I would want to continue my support to the welfare system by giving more money to those people who have the ability to wake up every day and stumble over to their computer and play for 20 hours a day? I feel like I’m being punished for being a casual player that has a job and pays taxes, car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, food, utilities and maintains a home.
    When I first installed Diablo 3 and entered the main menu I was immediately let down by the lack of a character customization screen. Male and Female were my only options and I seriously thought I missed something so I went back to the main menu and perused it thoroughly and to my dismay found nothing more than the cookie cutter models. In what 21st century RPG platform did you think it was appropriate to not include at least a face customization screen? I mean WCW vs. NWO Revenge for Nintendo 64 had a character creation menu and that dates back 15 years! To be honest I could look past that if the game-play was there but it too is lacking on every level.
    Upon hours of gaming into Diablo 3 I began to realize just how much of a disappointment it truly is to the veteran player. In every RPG game I have ever played I have had some sort of skill tree or skill points that would allow me associate into character traits that would make mine more unique than another person’s character. Instead what we have are just a bunch of wizards casting meteor and a bunch of barbarians spamming whirlwind. There is nothing that differentiates one character model from the next other than maybe a flaming hammer or lightning spear.
    The in game items, item drop system, boss items and random magic properties on items make me want to tear my fingernails out. To think that a wizard needs to have a bunch of dexterity and strength on a piece of gear leads me to think that the game developers were on drugs when they made this game. Just like World of Warcraft, you should at least let each boss drop a unique item or have a chance to drop a unique item for a specific class. This would at least help a little bit when it comes to some replay value. The item discovery system is dumb and should be eliminated entirely because after discovering a rare yellow item in inferno mode just to find out that it’s a level 51 item with some arcane resist, poison damage and 114 dps is like a huge joke. If you’re going to give me a worthless item don’t make me have to right click it and get my hopes up that it will be something amazing. That would be like being a 6 year old boy and opening a box on Christmas morning just to find an avocado inside. Item crafting also needs to be fixed so that way each class can make property specific set pieces and not just +5 random magic properties. You can tell the game was rushed when every class can’t even make set specific gear and gems only have specific attributes for helm and weapon while the rest is just “other”. Again, the reason for the random magic properties is so when my wizard crafts a strength base helmet I can never use I am forced to put it on the auction house so Blizzard can get a kick back.
    I’m going to end my letter short because to be honest I am flustered right now and could go on and on about the faults and overall disappointment I have in this game. Just attempting to log in is always a dice roll and the auction house never works properly and I get error messages all the time. This release of Diablo 3 should have been called something totally different like Dungeon Crawler Adventure at least that way the Diablo series wouldn’t be tarnished forever but I am afraid the damage is done. I would like to receive a refund for my purchase and would happily send my Collector’s Edition back to you where you can re-box it and sell it to some other poor soul that expects an amazing game from Blizzard.
  • cj_5216
    I play D3 alot (WITH MAJOR ISSUES). Epic fail on loot drops, I mean EPIC FAIL. The whole point of the game is to get loot. The screwed us over. I know their agenda and pisses me off. You know they put all those crazy expensive prices on the best loot in AH. We can`t talk to the seller so you can bet its blizzard posting that gear and making $ on the 1.Game, 2. Ah . 3 steal your gold and whatever for transaction?!!!! Steal your gold to remove a gem?!! Are you kidding me and long as it takes to get 10million gold by hand and they charge 20million to remove a marque gem SSO STUPID. Blizzard needs to pull their heads out the you know what. Stop acting like our government and make sure the game is not only FIXED!! THere should be NO MONEY for the expansion. Because its a teeny tiny one and they just try to price gouge and stick it to followerts again. I will be sure to never buy any other Blizzard game in the future. Any company charging REAL money for non reality is a joke and very VERY bad charma. They need to make amends and fix the whole thing add all that content that should of been in it to begin with and STILL -they did not fix the CRAFTING SYSTEM> exactly there is none. SO we all get to look the same I HATE IT. And the stupid balls around a monks neck >whos bright Idea at blizzard was that?!! the graphic even look stupid. white balls, yea good one Blizzard. You need a new creative visual team.THey are weak when it comes to the details.
  • Spyke_3447
    haha yeah, I tend to do the ranty thing even when I don't want to xD sorry.

    It's not so much that it was a bad game. It had some fundamental flaws, some of which were nothing to do with the gameplay itself, sure being unrewarding as a seeming design choice to push the RMAH was an absolute dick move, but ultimately it wasn't the be all and end all of the game and it had a lot of positives.

    However, combined with the DRM, the errors which compounded the DRM and the game breaking bugs which it shipped with... I would have to state that ultimately, even though the game was about as solid as you can expect it was a lot of the choices they made as developers in terms of the "innovations" they pushed to include in the game,

    I can remember during the facebook fiasco, that one of their technical artists Chris Haga wrote that he felt like he'd been "thrown under a bus" because one of the original diablo creators David Brevik had stated "Honestly, I think that they did a lot of the things the best they could, it was a very different game than I would have created"

    Not that this was such a HUGE negative comment, but honestly their reactions to his perceived slight was DISGUSTING. All this from one of the technical artists... I mean the art was one of THE biggest standout positives of Diablo 3, it was absolutely GORGEOUS, crisp and high res.

    Eventually after enough folks got sick of all the added on BS to a game that shouldn't have been there, they had to start adding onto the game to create a better experience, from what I read they actually did enough to stem some of the bleeding, but for many it was too little to late.

    But I'm hoping that my belief that as gamers we're ok with them making mistakes and realizing it, I'm ok with the xbox 180's they pull, as long as they LEARN from them, that the line they crossed should be very carefully signposted in future.

    I "hope" that the expansion is amazing, but I cant help but look at some of the features and think "why was this not part of the original" aside from "their hubris drove them to push to make a diablo game that's NOT a diablo game, and they suffered because of it" to that belief, I say. Well... what did you expect, you've only yourselves to blame as developers.
  • Germaximus
    Diablo 3 doesn't need "saving". It's an incredible game and I'm sure they made more than enough money from its sales whether it's rating is bad or not.

    There's one single problem with the game and that is the itemization. Everything else about it is far better than the previous games. I loved the idea of the Auction House but I also didn't expect the devs to make it so the actual drops themselves would be useless with terrible stats. The way they set up loot doesn't make any sense at all and had a huge effect on the game. The story is great, the graphics are very nice, and the gameplay is super awesome. It's that terrible unrewarding loot that hurts so much.

    I remember when they "improved" the loot and then I went back a month or two after that and didn't even notice a difference. That was pretty frustrating.

    They need to learn from Marvel Heroes. =)
  • Samuel Smith
    Featured Contributor
    Marvel Heroes is great! I definitely was a bit harsh to Diablo in the overview. Don't get me wrong my first play through with my friends was an amazing experience, the story, cut scenes and skills all look and feel great it just didn't have the longevity in the item hunt for me like Diablo 2 did.
  • Spyke_3447
    I don't want to hold grudges against them.. I don't... but why is all this REALLY CLEVER stuff, being released in an expansion... instead of it being in the original?

    Too much f*cking hubris with their dev's initially I'd wager. At least they got humbled by the masses and jay wilson got put back in his box ego wise.

    I honestly hope this does well, because it's a lot of changes to the game and all of them look positive. I just wish it wasn't a 40 dollar expansion which is mostly gameplay fixes to a game they messed up... THEMSELVES. While:

    flipping off the fanbase, playing down the hate they were getting in doing so... at the same time as patting themselves on the back, lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills while expecting the RMAH to start printing money instead of solicitors letters any minute...
  • Samuel Smith
    Featured Contributor
    I agree with everything you've written (simple didn't touch on it in the article to prevent it turning into a rant). It's been hard for me to drop my grudge against them as well but this is just one of those times I'm going to put my faith into them (which will actually be the second time.. since my faith was shattered in D3).

    This isn't blind faith though, I've been playing on the PTR a little to experience Loot 2.0 and other small changes and that alone is already a huge jump in the right direction.

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