Reaper of Souls Expansion Highlights: Adventure Mode, Bounties, Nephalem Rifts, Blood Shards and Gambling, Blue Posts

Reaper of Souls Expansion Highlights: Adventure Mode, Bounties, Nephalem Rifts, Blood Shards and Gambling
Starting today we will be highlighting different parts of the Reaper of Souls expansion. We're starting out with Adventure Mode and it's main features - Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Read on and expect a lot more in the coming day!

Adventure Mode
Adventure Mode is an alternative to the Campaign Mode that we've had in live Diablo 3. Instead of completing the story of the game the purpose of this mode is to let you play Diablo 3 immediately the way you want it. You can enter the game, complete a few objectives, get some nice rewards and log out in a matter of minutes. It's incredibly fun and will what people will be spending most of their time in come Reaper of Souls.

You choose Adventure Mode before you enter the game as the rules are very different from Campaign. There are no checkpoints, no progression into the Acts, no quests. Instead you get to do one of 2 new things added to the game: Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. They are short and sweet and give a nice amount of rewards upon completion.

In Adventure Mode the entire world of Sanctuary is unlocked. You can teleport to anywhere that has a waypoint. And from anywhere! That's right, you can open your map at any item, just select a waypoint in another Act and off you go.

An additional thing that Blizzard thought some gamers might like is Gambling! Added with its own currency, Gambling works exactly like it does in Diablo II. Read below for all the details.

Bounties are half of Adventure Mode right now. They are essentially very short quests, that fall into several types: Kill Boss, Kill Unique, Clear Dungeon, Complete Mini Quest. They show up on the new World Map and can be teleported to instantly. Bounties are meant to be completed pretty quickly - in a matter of minutes.

  • Short quests that take very little time
  • Traveling across the whole world of Sanctuary keeps things fresh
  • Wide variety of Bounties

  • For completing a single bounty you receive a Horadric Cache.
    • Horadric Caches contain crafting reagents, Magic and Rare gear, gems, Blood Shards (See Mechanics) and a chance for a Legendary item
  • For completing all Bounties in an Act you receive a Greater Horadric Cache.
    • Greater Horadric Caches contain everything that normal Horadric Caches include, plus a greater chance of a Legendary item. They also drop roughly twice as much stuff as the lesser Caches

Nephalem Rifts
Nephalem Rifts are the other half of Adventure Mode. They are completely random instance that go several levels deep and offer some interesting combinations of monsters and bosses. To open e Nephalem portal you first need to obtain a Nephalem Key. These are dropped randomly across the world, by all monsters and also from Horadric Caches. Currently the reward for completing a Rift is only the loot that drops from last boss, but there are some veeery interesting events that might happen in these random instances, like we showed you yesterday.

  • Completely random instances, that feature themes from all across Sanctuary
  • All enemies in the game, apart from bosses, can be considered as a type of monster for that level of a Rift. For example on a level you could have a combination of Goatmen, Dune Trashers, Succubi, Armaddons and, you know, Treasure Goblins.
  • As it currently works the theme of the entire Nephalem Rift is generated upon opening its portal. As you go deeper levels don't change theme. It's the same all the way down
  • Nephalem Shrines are special shrines that only appear in Nephalem Rifts. They are way overpowered! Here are some of them:
    • Shielding shrine, that makes you invulnarable to damage for 30 seconds
    • Shrine that increases all your damage by 400%
    • Speed shrine that gives you the maximum run speed
    • Lightning shrine that makes your character shoot lightning to all enemies and breakables he passes by and one-shots almost everything

Blood Shards and Gambling
Blood Shards are new currency that sits next to your gold in your inventory. You get a few of them by completing Bounties and also randomly through the Horadric Caches given as rewards from Bounties. There are currently two things you can buy with them: Greater Horadric Caches (for 100 Shards) or random items, a.k.a. Gambling.

One of the new vendors offers Mysterious gear. It has random quality and random stats. Each piece of gear costs exactly 5 Blood Shards. The items currently offered are: 1H Weapon, 2H Weapon, Source, Mojo, Helm, Gloves, Boots, Chest Armor, Belt, Shoulders, Pants, Bracers, Shield, Amulet, Ring. Legendaries and Set items have been recorded to drop from multiple streamers, but Magic and Rare gear will be the majority of what you can get. Just like it worked in Diablo II!

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Crushing Blow
One of the things the developers have expressed that they'd like to see is that Crushing Blow is competitive with stats like Increased Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, or Critical Hit Damage. However, if it clearly trumps all of those stats in every situation then it might need to re-evaluated. Keeping in mind that higher difficulties will have greater monster health pools, do you think the current version of Crushing Blow will compete with IAS, CHC, and CHD? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Nephalem Rifts
Nephalem Rifts are completely randomized as far as featuring different content from Acts I-V—random interior and exterior areas, random layouts, random lighting and weather, random monsters, and a random boss encounter at the end. Each Nephalem Rift dungeon has a random number of levels, up to ten.

Kill guardian minions then kill Guardian?
Currently, all Nephalem Rifts require the player to kill a number of monsters to get the Rift Guardian to spawn, who is a random boss. Sometimes this happens before you've reached the final level, but not always.

am i the only one that really really likes rifts? i would prefer them over bounties, if the bounties didnt give so much stuff
We're currently working on tuning the rewards for Nephalem Rifts. We know there isn't a balance in the rewards at the moment, but our goal is to bring them in line so players feel like there are reasons to do whatever they find fun. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Bounties in Coop
There are some great questions in this thread about joining Adventure Mode games that are already in progress, and how much participation is required for Bounty rewards. I didn't know the answer to all of these questions at first, so I did some testing in the Reaper of Souls Friends and Family Beta, and got some input from the developers.

Here's what I found out. Bounties (and their set progress) are synchronized for everyone in the party. So you're group will have the same objectives, and the same progress made towards those objectives. Completing a Bounty set by dropping into a game that's mid-session is currently possible, and the rewards for doing so will need a tuning pass at some point. It's definitely a work in progress, but that's how it's currently operating. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)


  • #21 Vulmio
    Quote from chelate

    Quote from Vulmio

    Quote from dallten

    Quote from Vulmio

    It seems blue and white crafting reagents can drop directly without having to pick up blue/white items and salvaging them ! This is great ! Is it only from the cache or from the monsters also ?

    Currently only from caches. Well, atleast what I've seen. Someone correct me if I'm wrong!

    It's a shame :( Having to pick up irrelevant items just to salvage them one after the other just to get components seams useless, droping components would be less of a chore.

    That sounds like too much effort. Maybe it can also auto-loot the materials, then walk me over to the crafter and hand me the best in slot item instantly. Then I can press the spacebar and have it automatically teleport to a group of monsters and do all the fighting and looting for me. When I get bored of that I can just click "done" and be handed a full compliment of best in slot gear, paragon 100000, and a beautiful woman for the night.

    Wow ! So much sarcasm, I'm hurt !!! I'm sure you miss the time when we had to identify items one after the other, so much fun ! If you have an extra beautiful woman for the night, please share though...
    Salvaging rares and legendaries are perfectly fine because the item can have an other use. Either the item is usefull and I keep it or it's not and I salvage it (if I need the reagent). If the whole item type has no other purpose in the game other than being salvaged, I don't see the point.
  • #22 Azjenco
    Quote from Vulmio

    Quote from dallten

    Quote from Vulmio

    It seems blue and white crafting reagents can drop directly without having to pick up blue/white items and salvaging them ! This is great ! Is it only from the cache or from the monsters also ?

    Currently only from caches. Well, atleast what I've seen. Someone correct me if I'm wrong!

    It's a shame :( Having to pick up irrelevant items just to salvage them one after the other just to get components seams useless, droping components would be less of a chore.

    Not sure if I understand you correctly, but the idea of having to pick up all white and blue items seems like a huge chore. Right now in D3 I only pickup rares or better, which works fine since my town trips don't pull me out of the action all that often. But the idea that we need to pick all items item to craft means a lot of town trips and not all that appealing.
  • #23 Rhye
    Quote from Doorsfan

    Either it's that the guy was playing monk and i find monk unfathomably boring - or the rifts just in general seem very boring to me.

    I would much rather do the whole bounty thing - as that seems to be a lot more fun and varied compared to running down X amount of levels to fight Y boss. I know that in concept, they both seem sort of the same - but the feels are different from what i can tell.

    It just seems more fun to run in the actual world and mess about with stuff there, hoping for loot - rather so then running this fictional litlle setup "random" dungeon.

    I agree. I also wish and hope that the rifts are 10x harder than they look in the beta. They should be HARD and RARE. Currently all beta testers are swimming in rift-keys. I want a rift to be something you gotta prepare for and look forward to.
  • #24 overneathe
    The amount of rares we currently get in Vanilla in 10 minutes time is about the same amount of all quality items we pick up in RoS in the same time. Remember, much less loot. If you pick up all rares now, you can pick up all items in RoS and the time spent to and inside town would remain the same, bar the constant looking at item stats to check if they're an upgrade. Instead you just straight-salvage more than half the inventory.
  • #25 krypplingur

    Quote from Oranite »
    Even though this is kind of a logical fallacy, let's go with the 6-month rule for Blizzard betas. Note that these are just my own predictions and could be definitely be wrong.

    Ros Release
    RoS beta started last week in mid-november, that indicates a possible 6 months before the release of RoS.

    Sometime around May (Most likely May 20th to coincide with the 2-year anniversary of Diablo 3 Vanilla's release, I know that technically May 20th is not the exact date of D3's release, but it's the closest Tuesday).

    Patch 2.0(Pre-Expansion Patch)
    Now for the pre-expansion patch, Lyrilla started it could happen at anytime, but more likely around the 2-month mark prior to the release of RoS. This make it sounds to happen around mid March which also coincides with around the shutdown of the Auction Houses. So very likely on the March 18th Auction House shut off date.

    PTR for Patch 2.0
    Obviously there is going to be PTR before Patch 2.0 comes out and it has also been confirmed that there will be one. Typically based on D3's beta history PTR last roughly a month prior to going live, now with a big patch like 2.0 it could very well scale higher then this, maybe even 2 months or more.

    Based on my earlier prediction of a mid-march release of Patch 2.0, I would further predict that Patch 2.0 PTR would be out around the 1-2 months mark prior. So this could be anytime in mid-January through mid-February.
    RoS Beta, Expansion -> closed beta and possibly open beta.
    First off, I actually kind of doubt that RoS would ever go open beta, but Blizzard could very well follow D3 vanilla and have an open beta weekend like they did in the past but very unlikely a full blown open beta.

    Since RoS beta is already out but only to Friends, Family and Media it is still in the early stages and will eventually go towards a more expanded closed beta, essentially letting more people in who have opt-in via and later also give away keys for fansites such as Diablofans to give out.

    I predict that they will probably start expanding RoS beta around December-January.

    I don't think Diablo's beta is gonna last 6 months. It´s not a huge expansion, it's quite small compared to WoW expansion. It brings 1 new act, couple new monsters, loot 2.0 is basically finished, just little tweaks here and there. Paragon 2.0 is finished(atleast almost for sure). Everything else seems to work quite well, sure classes gonna need some balancing but that's not gonna take 6 months. Heck nothing will be 100% before launch. But if it would last 6 months, I'm pretty sure RoS will end up 100% bug free with no OP class builds/legendaries. People would lose interest on Diablo, when you would play beta for 6 months, then start back on live and everything all over again. And those who didn't get into beta will be bored by just watching diablo 3 for 6 months. I think beta will start(the public closed beta not F&F) in first 2 weeks of January, if not before. Patch 2.0.1 will most likely be on PTR around the same time or before. Patch 2.0.1 does not need to be on PTR on 18th march or later, but I'm assuming it will be released on march 18th or week after. So if it would start in early January that's 2 and a half month. Witch I think might be alright, maybe abit more then needed but that's alright. So I assume patch 2.0.1 will be released 1-2 weeks prior to Reaper of Souls. So if the patch will be launched 18th or week after which is more likely, we will probably see expansion either 25th March, 1st April inb4 "We're releasing RoS on 1st April! jk hah April fools joke lolol." or 8th April. Though personally I would like to see Diablo 3 expansion to be released earlier then that, preferably in early March. I guess WoW beta is around the corner and I really cannot spend time playing both at the same time.

    Edit: Also if march 18th wasn't the removal of Auction House, I would've guessed 25th February to be the release date for Reaper of Souls and 4th February to be release date for patch. But guess we can't really have Auction House in the next patch/expansion so we can't see it before March 18th
    Last edited by krypplingur: 12/8/2013 3:23:33 PM
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