There were a few hours during my Extra Life live-stream that I didn’t actually stream anything live, and that was around 3 AM to 5 AM. I moved over to my couch to play some Xbox 360, most notably more Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. I’d been picking away at it for a good while now, inching closer to the conclusion of Act V, which was never part of the original Diablo III campaign. For this act, you are chasing after Malthael, a former member and leader of the Angiris Council. He has claimed the Soulstone for himself and plans to eradicate humanity. Short story even shorter: I couldn’t keep my eyes open and ended up putting it aside for a quick cat nap instead.
Zoom forward a week, and I finished up the remainder of the campaign for Diablo III: ROS while my father visited and took a quick nap himself after we hiked a bit over at Bushkill Falls. Taking Malthael down was not very tough, but then again, no fight in the game really was considering I was rocking the lowest difficulty setting possible from the very beginning. I don’t know, I liked the casual nature of beating up swarms of dudes and getting gear without constantly using a health potion every few seconds. Regardless, everything ended in a whimper and fountain of mediocre loot, with a menu prompt pop-up saying that the story was over, but Adventure mode had now been unlocked. Strangely jarring, this lead to credits–my father couldn’t believe how many people worked on a videogame–and then back to the main menu.
With Act 5’s six hours or so of story content done, I had the choice to either start Diablo III: ROS all over with a new character/class or continue on with my demon hunter Whisper in Adventure mode. Given that she hasn’t even hit level 50 yet and the cap is 70, I wanted to see her grow some more. The newfangled Adventure mode removes nearly every single story aspect–so long lengthy dialogue chats that I only listened to in order to check off a challenge–and instead simply assigns you with specific quests (called bounties) across each act’s map, giving the player the freedom to do as they please. There’s even a new currency to acquire, which you can use to purchase mystery items; I bought one, found it to be complete garbage, and most likely will never take the chance again, but hey, options are options. At this point, I’ve knocked off five bounties, though there is an Achievement for clearing 500 of them. Eep.
In addition to bounties in Adventure mode, there are also Nephalem Rifts, which are randomized gauntlets that ramp the chaos meter all the way up. You can only open a rift after collecting five key shards, which you seem to get with each bounty you complete, so the two are interconnected deeply. Basically, you run around these dungeons killing X amount of enemies until a super difficult elite boss shows up. Shortly before doing my first rift, I switched the difficulty setting from normal to whatever the next one was…maybe hardcore. That said, Whisper the demon hunter died for the very first time so far in one of these rifts. They mean big business, but they also provide unpredictable fun and empowerment unlike anything seen in the main campaign. For example, I came across a new Pylon shrine that filled my character with lightening bolts that struck out at anything within a few feet. It’s really cool. Looked like after you beat the Nephalem Rift boss, you can continue exploring the dungeon, but I popped back to town to sell some mediocre gear; as I did, the rift’s portal closed after thirty seconds, so you have to choose wisely what you want to do.
Like I said earlier, I want to see Whisper hit the level cap and check out some of the high-end gear, but I will probably now only play this in sporadic bursts. Like while waiting for the laundry to finish or kettle water to whistle, which is just enough time to do a bounty or two. I really don’t know how interested I am in playing through the campaign ever again, even with a completely different class, which is a shame because it means I’m missing out on experiencing like five-sixths of Diablo III: ROS in terms of abilities, dialogue, and specified loot. Granted, I really ate up the one-sixth I got, and you can’t shake your head at things that made you happy, even if only for a sliver of time.