Diablo 3 – Reaper of Souls

I don’t actually have my expansion yet (shipping delays), this is just some advance thoughts on the changes to the game after seeing a nerd rage rant on Amazon: BECAUSE THERE IS A SUCKER NEPHALEM BORN EVERY MINUTE?

I’ll not copy it all here as (unless it’s removed) you can follow the link above and read the guys meltdown. In some ways the rant is – perhaps – justified. The ‘expansion’ offers little that the patch didn’t give to all players anyway. For the rather chunky fee you get another toon to play with, enchants to buff gear, another act and a little more randomness; all the other benefits are available to all in the standard version. I was talking to a few people when it went live and several reached level 70, completing the latest act in an hour or two. That said, regardless of value for money, they released what they said, no more, no less. You can’t exactly go off the deep end because you wanted more.


Charging 66% of the original game’s price for only 20% of extra content is disgustingly greedy. This is not an expansion in any sense of the word. It is an overpriced DLC – and a small one at that.

The problem was that the game was designed in such a way as to ensure that it was unbeatable unless you payed real money to buy virtual gold from BLIZZARD’s Gold sellers. … After Hell level (and especially true for Inferno) it was impossible to survive long enough without full sets of powerful Legendary items. … Hence the need for you to pay real money to buy millions of virtual gold.

That’s rubbish for a start, after a few frustrating wipes I looked for a guide, read up on tactics and – despite regular ‘rare’ gear beat Diablo on Inferno simple by running round in a circle dropping blizzards on him and not hanging around on his traps.

… Did you grind for hours to get Legendary items (or, even worse, did you pay real money to buy gold and then buy them from the Auction House)? Well, you wasted your time (and money). Those Legendary items were now insultingly weak, much weaker than Rare (yellow) items.

Did you make endless runs of the same areas again and again to bring all of your heroes up to Paragon 100? Again, you wasted your time. Now Paragon levels are shared between all of your characters.

[ At this point I thoroughly recommend Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Dr Spencer Johnson. It’s a short story book all about dealing with change, featuring the little people Hem and Haw, and the mice, Sniff and Scurry. There’s a little of each on those in all of us, some more than others. I relate best to Haw myself, this person in clearly Hem! ]

As seen, he also moans about paragon levels. For those that don’t already know, until a month or two back levelling paragons was serious business. You weren’t talking 40 hours, or 400 but closer to 4,000. OK, maybe not quite so much, but I saw some of the on-line calculators and to get A character to paragon level 100 was measured in years not days! That’s per character. I’m sure those selling items for cash found it lucrative but I took one look when it first came out and thought, no chance, not getting hooked! The idea of spending THOUSANDS of hours levelling a character – then maybe doing it all over again and again is soul destroying. MMO’s and particularly Blizzard’s stable like Warcraft and Diablo are grind fests, nothing more. I’m frankly ashamed of the number of hours I put into wow (which I no longer play) and never want to let a game rule me like that again.

Paragon levelling in Diablo 3 old school - 5000 hours

Fast forward to a recent update and, like crafting, paragons levels were suddenly shared by all your characters, which makes a lot more sense to me. From the tone of this person’s vindictiveness I’m guessing he was outraged that he’d put all these hours in and suddenly all these noobs were equal or better than him.

In the run up to Reaper of Souls there were huge experience bonuses. Some were bugs they quickly hammered out (like being able to get 60 levels in an hour), but even so, when you stack the 50% promotional bonus, the 25% pool bonus, the hellfire ring bonus (35%), the shrine bonus (25%), the new level 60 Leoric’s ring (if you were lucky in drops) for about 30%, then toss in more bonuses for groups, for difficulty levels, for gems and so forth it began to stack into thousands of percent faster levelling than normal. I saw one farming group claiming 2.4 billion xp – an hour! That would reduce the years long 5,000 hour grind above to about 4 hours! The shared paragon thing just makes it a lot easier, a lot more fun to flit between classes instead of mindlessly grinding just the one.

The new systems allows up levels at 800 and up, which, going on 33,333 xp per minute, one calculator put at :
You will reach level 1000 in : 644,464 days and 8 hours.
As that’s a little over 1,750 years I don’t think the extra 8 hours was needed! At 2.4 billion experience points an hour (40 million a minute) you are still looking at a couple of years to do it without stack upon stack of bonuses.

Diablo paragon levelling chart in Reaper of Souls

Yet recently it was common in groups to see most players over 100 and others at level 300, even a few at level 600. At the same time… it graphically shows the mindless time sinks these games can be, especially for those prone to obsessive playing. (Hint, they put ‘achievement’ in their games for a reason!)

Removing the auction house and ‘abusing players’ by forcing the Loot 2 system on them? Have to disagree again with his perspective. The auction house itself was just another time sink and if the only way you can play is by getting the best possible equipment, as farmed by gold farming slaves chained to computers, then you don’t actually know how to play. As the adage goes – don’t stand in the flames! He’s right in as much as the newly introduced ‘smart loot’ is often better than the legendary items bought with credit cards on the (pay to win) auctions, though that can be levelled at the old legacy items too. As anyone who’s played Warcraft for any length of time can tell you, no matter how good your items are, no matter how much you paid or how many hundreds of hours you spend trying to get the perfect example, within hours of an expansion it will be replaced. Maybe that’s not fair, but it’s how in works, it’s how it encourages players to pay for game upgrades.

For the record, it’s how the market works, whether it’s an expansion for Diablo, mounts for Warcraft, players for Fifa Soccer, bling packs and mods for The Sims, blatant pay to win seen in games like Eve or it is web and smartphone games like Farmville, all are equally happy to take your money from you for virtual enhancements.

Just play for fun and when it stops being just that, learn to walk away.

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