Diablo 3: Rise of the Necromancer Review - Is It Worth the Price?
Diablo 3 fans have waited too damn long for something resembling an expansion, and we finally got it with Rise of the Necromancer. Blizzard successfully revives this gruesome class from Diablo 2 in a fresh and fun way that will delight most players. There are also two new free zones: the Shrouded Moors and the Temple of the First Born. There's even new free bounties to check out in the freshly added Realms of Fate!
New Zones and Bounties
I won't spend much time talking about the new zones, as they are just a free part of the patch itself -- but once again, the art team has outdone themselves. The Shrouded Moors are spooky as hell and the Temple of the First Born has some ghastly-yet-cool features (like its copious amounts of flowing blood).
If you're bored with the current zones, both of the new ones and the Realms of Fate will give you somewhere new to farming spots for loot. I was pleased with what Blizzard had to offer, because I'm a sucker for terrifying temples. But keep in mind that this content is by no means a new act and won't last as long as some might hope.
One of the coolest features of the new patch is the weekly challenge rifts. You can use other players' builds and gears to try and beat their time in the rift that week and get some free loot. If you're the competitive type, you can also fight for the top rank on the leader boards. This seems to be fitting in with Blizzard's recent attempts to add weekly content into their games.
Here's the part everyone's been waiting for: the new class in Rise of the Necromancer. Whether you're into pet classes, bones, or just the whole necromancer aesthetic, you won't be disappointed with this skeleton raising son/daughter of a gun.
In terms of visuals, Blizzard found a way to take the classic design from Diablo II and build on it. The necromancer's armor is sufficiently bony, and both the male and the female version look great in their class sets. The skills all look impressive -- and whether it's a big zone of blood on the floor from one of your curses or literal exploding corpses, the gore shines without being too over the top.
Speaking of skills, the class plays amazingly. There is enough variation in spells to have quite a few fun and interesting builds. You can raise an army of skeletons to engage with your foes while you shoot bone spears at them from afar, or you can get up close and personal with your grim scythe and death nova.
The Necromancer has quickly tied itself with the barbarian as my favorite class in D3. When the game originally launched, I didn't have as much fun playing the spell casters as I had hoped, but this character pack has fixed that for me. They're visually striking, fun to play, and I heard a rumor that if you yell "welcome to the bone zone" as you use your skills, you'll increase your damage by 0.1%. What's not to love?
The price for the Rise of the Necromancer pack would be a bit steep if it was just the class, but the pack also comes with wings, a half-formed golem non-combat pet, two new character slots, two new stash tabs, a pendant, portrait frame, banner, and sigil. With all this bonus content, $15 isn't too outrageous. However, you're out of luck if you just want the class without the other items. That being the case, it's understandable why a number of players have grumbled at the price tag.
What the hell is transmogrification?
In my opinion, the Rise of the Necromancer pack is worth getting because the Necromancer is superb and the little pet is cute in the grossest of ways. If you're really excited to play the new class, I'd say it's worth it -- especially if you're a sucker for cosmetics like me.
If you don't think you'd play the class much and aren't interested in the character slots, pet, etc. then you can definitely pass on this since the rest of the content that comes with this patch is free.
Note: Blizzard provided a code for "Rise of the Necromancer" to the writer for the purpose of this review.