We check out the new Crusader class at this year's Gamescom and come back filled with Holy Wrath.
By Stace Harman on September 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm
“Malthael, the Angel of Death, intends to end the eternal conflict between angels and demons by wrapping up all of humanity to deal with the human problem,” intones Kevin Martens, lead designer of Diablo 3 expansion Reaper of Souls.
“Frankly, he’s frightened by the amount of power that the player has gotten now that they’ve defeated the Prime Evil.”
After seeing the new Crusader class in action, I have to say that Malthael is right to be concerned. This guy is a beast.
The Crusader shares a handful of abilities with the Paladin of Diablo 2 but is otherwise described as a new class, and I’m not going to be the one to tell him otherwise. Powered by Holy Wrath and armed with a heavy shield and flail, he’s a mid-range melee character whose most powerful attacks are reserved for close-quarters but he also sports a number of ranged options.
In Martens words he’s a “War machine made human; a modern tank made in the form of medieval warrior”. Indeed, he’s so aggressive that even his Crusader shield can be wielded offensively.
Finding such class-specific loot will be less of a hassle when Reaper of Souls launches thanks to a number of changes to the loot system, which will also be introduced to standard Diablo 3 via a free patch. The rebalancing is so extensive that Martens describes it as Loot 2.0 and it will include smart drops that increase the likelihood that you’ll pick up items tailored to both your class and your current level.
This is combined with the targeted drop system, which guarantees you a useful item the first time you kill a boss, and an increased likelihood of obtaining legendary items. It’s evident that with Loot 2.0, Blizzard is intent on providing a genuine solution to its much maligned Diablo 3 Auction House.
Bolstering the new loot system is two new crafting disciplines. Transmogrification is a visual customisation system that effectively allows you to re-skin your favourite weapons or armour pieces to assume the appearance of any others that you’ve previously held in your inventory. Enchanting has the slightly more practical effect of allowing you to re-roll a single item stat.
The final two major additions to be released as part of Reaper of Souls is a removal of the cap for Paragon Levelling and a new feature called Loot Runs. The former is self-explanatory but also comes with the added bonus that Paragon Levels will apply account-wide instead of to a specific character.
This will give you points to spend on increasing the attributes on any and all of your characters, even newly-rolled ones, based on the number of Paragon Levels you’ve obtained with your highest-level character and is intended to promote experimentation with other character classes.
Loot runs are a whole bunch of randomness. Combining random environments and monsters to form compact dungeons that are appropriately matched to your level and capping off each one with a random boss fight. Loot Runs effectively add a near inexhaustible supply of dungeons to be raided for juicy loot, which of course enjoy the benefits of the Loot 2.0 system.
The release date for the Reaper of Souls Diablo 3 expansion is still to be announced but, frankly, this Malthael fella doesn’t stand a chance.
Learn more about the Reaper of Souls expansion and check out the opening cinematic here.