You’ve forgotten all about Diablo III, haven’t you? One of the top 5 selling games of all time, one of the top rated games of all time, one of the best ways to lose hours of your life of all time. You forgot. Don’t feel bad. I did too. I mean, Blizzard put out Diablo III WAY BACK in 2012. Hella shit’s happened since then. Like 4 Assassin’s Creed games have happened since then. But Blizzard is releasing Rise of the Necromancer on Tuesday, June 27th. Here’s why this is a good chance to remember your BattleNet password and get back to it.
1. They’ve fixed all the things you didn’t like about D3.
To me, Diablo II was the best ever. That’s the game that made “Diablo-clone” mean something. I wore the letters off the keys of my keyboard playing D2. I held LAN parties for D2 (remember those? If you don’t, ask someone). The game was hefty enough to keep you coming back but light enough to be fun. D3 was bloated. The auction house was a hot mess. There were no Amazons. The character balance was non-existent. There was an awful lot of talking separating me from my loot. The visuals were flat and repetitive. I played the original D3 through once and then closed it up.
Then this past Christmas, looking for a couch co-op game to play with the honey, I picked D3 up on the cheap for my XBox One. Whoa. Totally different. That 5 years of patches made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the game. They’ve gotten rid of all extraneous stuff, made all of the conversations skippable — unless you’re achievement hunting — and improved the speed and colors of *everything*. Also, achievements galore!
They’ve given you more to do at higher levels: The Heretic’s Abode, Greater Rifts, Secret Levels — there’s a lot of ways to spend your time after you’ve completed the campaign. And a lot of places to find more loot: legendary, ancient legendary, Green Sets…After level 70 there is a whole new game to be played.
2. They’re adding 3 new regions.
These aren’t full new Acts, as such, but they are new areas off of Act II (Caldeum) and Act IV (The High Heavens). The Shrouded Moors, Temple of the Firstborn, and the Realms of Fate each promise new creatures, new events, new bounties, and most importantly — new loot.
The randomization of Diablo has always been one of its strengths: you never know what’s around the corner in a game, or what that boss will drop once you’ve slain it. This brings back some of that for we long-time players, taking our existing characters into new corners of the world. This also expands the lore of Sanctuary even further, and if you’re a lore buff like me, that’s worth a lot. Especially because these 3 new regions are FREE if you already own the Reaper of Souls or Ultimate Evil Editions of the game. Yep, this is all part of Patch 2.6.0, along with new Challenge Rifts, in which you play someone else’s build in a rift to beat their time. Sounds like a good way to lose a few hours of my life that I probably didn’t want anyway.
3. The Necromancer is back.
Necromancers were one of the most fun characters to play in D2, full of customizations and new fun ways to kill undead with more undead. I never got into the Witch Doctor. Weird, colonialist overtones aside, he throws frogs at things. That’s just wrong. If you want to meet the forces of Hell with your own army, the Necromancer has always been my preference and now, they’re back! Wanna see? I know you wanna see:
Getting the Necromancer character will cost you a little money — this is essentially a small Expansion pack — but if you’re a fan, it’s worth it.
My advice? PC or Console, make sure you’ve got all your patches and downloads done so you can get playing on June 27. Don’t own it yet, or you’re like me and sold your old copy? Head to GameStop and buy it used — but be sure to get the Reaper of Souls or Ultimate Evil Edition. That’ll give you all the patches and the new regions for the cost of the base game.
With the steady improvements of the game, and this new content, Blizzard is trying to stay at the top of its craft — and I think it is succeeding.
*All images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. *