Diablo 3 historians will probably mark the time after patch 2.0.1's sweeping changes as "post 2.0.1." The upcoming update's major systems revamp—such as the
removal of the real-money and gold auction houses
, and the
implementation of clans
—marks a divide between the old (and
) Diablo and a new Diablo far more in tune with what players want. Its end-game Paragon system will get a complete rework as well, and in an
official blog post
, Blizzard explains how the new system will work in Reaper of Souls.
Originally, players earned Paragon levels as a means to increase their likelihood of finding rare items and larger stacks of gold along with boosting their stats to weather encounters in higher difficulties. The ceiling for those levels is now gone, swept away with Blizzards's icy Ax of Deletion and replaced with a points pool sized by how much time you want to invest in your character. All of your heroes will share a singular Paragon level, making it easier to climb ever higher in power, but the points you earn will stay tied to the individual character.
The points funnel into four categories—Core, Offensive, Defensive, and Utility—which provides a number of benefits such as stronger primary stats, beefier defenses, more powerful attacks, or a higher chance to find more gold. There is a cap on how many points each category will take, but don't except to hit it anytime soon—Blizzard says you'll need to be around Paragon level
(!) to fully max out every category. If you're up for that extreme pledge of devotion (or you're just a grinding madman), you probably deserve to turn into a walking god.
Blizzard also assures that the transition from the old Paragon system to 2.0 won't be a jarring experience. It writes: "When Paragon 2.0 goes live with patch 2.0.1, we'll being adding up all the Paragon experience on each of your heroes and then using that combined total (the total amount of Paragon experience you have, not the total number of Paragon levels) to determine your shared Paragon level."
It seems Diablo 3 will be more in line with its much-lauded predecessors when Reaper of Souls releases on March 25. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on how you've perceived the game's performance up to this point—Blizzard's ambition with taking Diablo in some new directions is a commendable effort, but a notoriously
and a community very much vocal of its opposition to item monetization tempered Diablo 3's
record-breaking sales numbers
. It's had a rocky history, for sure, but Reaper of Souls
looks like Blizzard's best effort
so far to turn Diablo 3 into a truly legendary RPG.