‘Diablo III: Reaper of Souls’, new Diablo III expansion, announced with accompanying opening cinematic and gameplay footage!

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Diablo-3-reaper-of-soulsBlizzard today unveiled the first expansion pack for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls! The sequel to the fastest-ever selling PC game came at today’s Gamescom after days of speculation following a curious teaser from Blizzard on the official Diablo III website.

The expansion is an ambitious project for Blizzard as they aim to address issues some fans have taken with the game, including what some see as a broken loot system and lack of end-game progression. In its press release announcing the game, Blizzard promises to address both in a free patch ahead of the expansion’s launch. In addition, Blizzard is offering nearly a dozen new features, including raised level cap, new explorable areas, and a new class!

  • Level cap raised to 70
  • New class: the Crusader!
  • Greater emphasis on randomized environments
  • Epic new quests
  • New monsters
  • Substantial updates to the loot experience
  • Major upgrades to the Paragon progression system

Like nearly every Blizzard game, plot is second only to gameplay, promising that we’ll see an incredible story to play alongside as we work hack and slash at new monsters in Sanctuary:

The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, whose malevolent purpose is yet to be revealed. Announced today at gamescom, Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls, the upcoming expansion to Diablo III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished after the events depicted at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. It now falls to the players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world.

Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Driven by a centuries-long quest to cleanse the corruption blighting their beloved Zakarum faith, Crusaders are warriors of righteousness who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class in Reaper of Souls uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.

Blizzard also released a stunning cinematic, billed as the game’s opening cinematic, which will help immerse gamers in the events leading up to Reaper of Souls:

In addition to the cinematic, a brief game play video has been released showing off the new Crusader class and some of the expansion’s new environments and monsters:

No release date for the expansion or its feature-heavy free pre-expansion patch have been announced, but we can expect to learn and see more at this November’s Blizzcon 2013!

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Mike Macauley

Mike Macauley is the founder and editor in chief of Lytherus.com. He also founded and runs Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, and published his book, The Inheritance Almanac, in 2011. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.

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