Diablo III's first major post-2.0 patch releases today. As with other patches, 2.1.0 adds new things. But which new things? It's a question we've already answered, but should reading words be a torment on your very being—to the point where this sentence, in all its selfish continuing, causes tears to run unbidden into your screaming cheeks—then Blizzard have made a video. Watch that instead.
The long-awaited Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls 2.1 patch will launch tomorrow (August 26 in the Northern Hemisphere, August 27 down below). Blizzard thoroughly detailed the forthcoming changes back in June, but to refresh your memory: you'll now be able to enter the realm of the Treasure Goblins. That's worth the (free) price of admission alone.
If being an exile was a career path, you'd have to assume that Forsaken Master was one of its top job roles. Certainly higher than outcast, pariah or Shia LeBeouf. Alas, no, the Path of Exile is instead a game, and Forsaken Master is its new mini-expansion. It adds new stuff, reworks old stuff and brings some more three-month Challenge Leagues to the free-to-play ARPG.
Blizzard previously previewed patch 2.1.0—a major content update that adds a tiered-difficulty Rift variant, a new location, and a timed 'Seasons' mode that works similarly to Diablo 2's Ladders. While that update still has no official release date, it is now available to trial in Diablo 3's Public Test Realm.
Over two years after Diablo 3's release, Blizzard are still thinking up new ways for its fans to click on things. They describe update 2.1.0 as a "major content patch", and it's designed to further encourage repeatable play—continuing the work started by Reaper of Souls to create a long-lasting ARPG. In a preview post on the Diablo 3 blog, Blizzard detail the major contents of the patch, which they say will soon be arriving on the game's Public Test Realm.
When Interceptor and 3D Realms teamed up, it seemed likely that they would announce a new Duke Nukem—one rumoured to be an action-RPG. That announcement did happen, but, unfortunately for the two studios, it happened in the form of a Gearbox lawsuit saying they weren't allowed to do it. Awkward.
That lawsuit is still ongoing, so in the meantime, Interceptor have launched something else. Bombshell is an ARPG starring a cyborg-Skrillex lady called (and I wish I was joking) Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison. A new trailer introduces us to the character and—as you might expect from people associated with Duke Nukem—isn't particularly subtle about it."
Never let it said that violence can't be for a good cause. Starting this Saturday, Path of Exile will offer its players the chance to participate in a new Ambush/Invasion race event. So far, so biffy-'n-bashy. The difference is that this particular slaughterfest is all in the name of charity. Throughout the event, an exclusive new helmet skin will be made available for purchase, and 100% of its proceeds will be donated to Child's Play.
Diablo 3 is a game about clicking. If you see a place you want to go, you click. If you see an NPC you want to talk to, you click. If you see a goblin you want to incinerate with a cacophony of arcane effects, you click. With so much clicking, it'd be understandable if your frenzied fingers accidentally activated an unintended object. And if that object were a Nephalem Rift Obelisk, you'd waste some precious Keystone Fragments.
nightmare scenario mild inconvenience that no longer applies, thanks to the new 2.0.4 patch. It's a mighty update, that not only relocates the obelisks to a less mouse-attracting area, but also significantly rebalances every class.*
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls has already sold 2.7 million copies in its first week, a strong showing for Diablo 3’s first expansion. Though much-maligned as it struggled under spotty server connections and always-online DRM, Diablo 3 itself managed to sell around 6.3 million in its first week. In that context, Reaper of Souls has done quite well indeed.
Two of the co-founders of Runic Games, the studio behind the wizard-bothering Torchlight series, have announced their departure from the company in pursuit of "smaller-scale development". In a post to the Runic forum, Travis Baldree revealed that both he and Eric Schaefer would be stepping down as early as next week. Of course, Runic were originally set up as just such a small-scale studio, but grew after the success of Torchlight and were subsequently acquired by Perfect World. And so, the circle of life continues.
"Don't fear The Reaper," was the immortal advice of Blue Oyster Cult. And while perhaps that song was about coming to terms with the inevitability of death, it's also possible that they were instead advocating we attack Death's manifestation with a mixture of magic, piranhas, and magic piranhas. That's certainly a wish that can be fulfilled come today's release of Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls.
The expansion is being rolled out in stages across the globe. Over the weekend, Blizzard announced the exact times that each region will unlock, giving you plenty of preparation for your dance with the reaper.
The heroes of Diablo 3 are preparing for the ultimate battle against the Angel of Death, and their terrible quest calls for blessed new powers. Those powers come in the form of mighty destructive abilities, like Vengeance, Epiphany, and, er, Piranhas? Yes, for all the bombast surrounding this new Reaper of Souls trailer, never forget that it's a game in which you can summon a pool of flesh-eating fish to deal with your enemies.
Going once! Going twice! Do I hear any final bids on this Stone of Jordan? Too late, because Diablo 3's controversial auction house has now closed. Blizzard have just posted to confirm the demise of both the Gold and Real Money Auction Houses. Their closure follows the release of the much-lauded patch 2.0.1, which added a new loot system specifically designed to "cut the legs out" from the game's marketplace.
While the Auction House window will remain in-game until June 24, it's only purpose now is to let former auctioneers access their "Completed" tab to pick up any previously listed items or gold. For details on the transition, and what has happened to any active listings, check out Blizzard's FAQ.
The prophets had warned us. They'd seen visions of planets aligning, of oceans running red with blood, of cats acting slightly crankier than usual. We ignored their cries, dismissing them as the deranged ramblings of fringe lunatics. And yet, it has come to pass: Blizzard have put a game on sale. It's a rare event for the developer, who tend to limit their discounts to the Black Friday Thanksgiving sales. But, with the impending release of Diablo 3's first expansion, the base game is getting a temporary reduction.
I'm going to do an impression of the first minute of this Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls trailer. "Lore lore lore lore, Zakarum faith, lore lore." After the somewhat underwhelming opener, though, we finally get to the good stuff: an ability round-up of the expansion's new Crusader class. He's a tanking kind of character, with a taunt ability that will draw enemies' ire. That doesn't mean there's not plenty of power behind his mace-swinging arm.
Uh-oh, we appear to have lost Tom to the siren song of gold and loot. Ever since the release of Diablo 3's latest patch, he's been furiously wizarding, reaping the benefits of targeted loot drops and an improved paragon levelling system. The patch, released in preparation for this month's Reaper of Souls expansion, has been further boosted with a limited time XP bonus event. Until March 24th, players will get a 50% boost to all earned XP.
It's not quite Reaper of Souls - the Diablo 3 expansion that's bringing Act V and Adventure Mode - but the unassumingly named patch 2.0.1 will still significantly change the game. There's a revamped Paragon system, clan and community features, and the big Loot 2.0 - which paves the way for the Auction House's destruction. And while the expansion is still a month away, Blizzard plan to equip patch 2.0.1 later today.
Sometimes, games are a gruelling trial of hardship, strife and the worst excesses of humanity. DayZ, for instance, or trying to get a working match of Battlefield 4. Luckily, games are all about variety. So when you're fed up of being fed up, you can play a game about punching goblins into mince. To help sate that urge, gib-friendly ARPG Torchlight II is currently doing the Free Weekend thing on Steam; tempting you to pay its discounted price by giving a brief taste of the clicking, punching and thwacking it does so well.
The battle may never end. More than 13 years after its initial release, Diablo 2 remains a reference point for the games we play today. It helps that the action RPG still gets some tender loving care from Blizzard, like the upcoming ladder system maintenance. New players will be able to jump into the competitive hunt for loot with minimal fuss, even after all this time.
Bloom: Memories is an ambitious action RPG that’s going to try to marry the exploration of Zelda, the stealth of Thief, and the living world of Harvest Moon. With a big emphasis on clever solutions beyond violence and a really beautiful batch of concept art, I’m not surprised that Bloom is already halfway to its $40,000 funding goal after only a couple of days on Kickstarter.