Crusader Story in All 5 Acts in Reaper of Souls

Wyatt Cheng provides more thoughts about combat pacing in the expansion

Crusader in Reaper of Souls
The story of the Crusaders will be told throughout all five of the Acts, in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Blizzard Blue posts detail that, along with more thoughts from Wyatt Cheng about the upcoming changes to combat, and playing without cutscenes and cinematics.

Wyatt Cheng on Combat Pacing
Continuing the discussion from his earlier post, Diablo III developer Wyatt Cheng replied to comments from the community about changing combat pacing. He talked about the design process of making this big change, that will arrive in the Loot 2.0 patch for all Diablo III players, before the Reaper of Souls expansion.
Hi guys, I've seen some great feedback so far. Let me answer a few questions and address some concerns.

Regarding the existing monster affixes. We'll be keeping an eye on these. For example, Reflects Damage internally has been changed to a flat amount rather than a percentage. I don't know if it's going to ship this way but that's the current internal version.

If we don't want a game defined by one-shot deaths, then we can't have damage that is defined by its burstiness. Some people have suggested that the solution to making the game more tactical is to make all mechanics 100% avoidable. This sounds good on paper but unfortunately doesn't address one-shot deaths. What we want to do is avoid the extremes. Maybe in one case you can avoid all of the damage, but in another case "good play" means you avoid half of the damage. Having a broad spectrum of attacks with varying degrees of avoidability means both combat decisions and gear matter.

There have been some concerns that we'll swing back to the extremes of hyper-defensives builds such as when the game first came out. This is not the intention. As DrothVader pointed out, there's a middle ground here where you're able to gear and play offensively, but you still have to concern yourself with the dangerous affixes and other mechanics.

A clarification: When I said "After we pull in the rate of healing, next we analyze the patterns in which monsters deal damage" I meant those as steps in the development process. Sorry for the confusion. I didn't mean for a moment that we were going to release in between those two steps. As TheTruth posits, this is an iterative process. There are actually MANY steps involved, those are just the first two. We're changing a lot of things and we'll do a lot of testing of the whole package before putting it all live.

I also share ComposMentis' concerns that although we're trying to adjust how combat feels, we should make sure the result isn't a game that feels slow. Diablo is still an action RPG. As Bomdanil says, there's still a lot of room to "hack and slash through endless piles of monsters". Creating room for players to mitigate incoming damage through smart play is not mutually exclusive with being able to blow them up at a fast pace. A few people have jumped to the conclusion that tactical = slow, or created a false dilemna between "fast paced action RPG" and "strategic prolonged tactical combat". There are more possibilities than this. The goal is a game where the combat can still be very fast, and you are mowing down enemies, but you also get to make quick decisions about when to use a CC ability, when to pop a defensive ability or who to prioritize as a target. These are tactical decisions that don't detract from a fast pace.

I want to thank everybody for the really solid and constructive discussion. It's good to see so many thoughtful posts. I can't realistically respond to everything (such as the suggested modified damage model or some of the potion ideas) but I do appreciate that so many people put effort into stating their reasons and opinions clearly.

Crusader Story and Skills
Nevalistis provided more thoughts about the new Crusader class in Reaper of Souls. She mentions that the story for the Crusader will be told throughout all 5 Acts, in the Reaper of Souls expansion. That will make it easy for players to learn the backstory for this separate order of the Zakarum faith.
Posted by: Cable01

I just want the Crusader to have some "tank-esque" skill. Firing shells of holy artillery sounds boss.

That is definitely the design intent of the Crusader. When designing the Crusader, our lead designer, Kevin Martens, asked the question "What if a modern armored division tank was a medieval warrior?" There's loads of fun mid-ranged skills, including one that literally turns you into a divine artillery shell, whistling in to obliterate the hordes of demons below. It's called Falling Sword, and you can take a peek of it in action here. (I may be guilty of giggling incessantly when using this ability...)

Posted by: Jalandar

Was always wondering, why you guys sometime name him Tyreal instead of Tyrael.

Oops, my bad on the typo. I get ahead of myself sometimes. Corrected, thank you!

Posted by: Matius

So Crusaders were formed around the time of Rakkis or after the events of Diablo 2?

The former. They were founded at about the same time Rakkis set out to conquer the west. The leader of the Crusaders sensed Mephisto's taint in the Zakarum faith, though it had not yet been uncovered, and independently/secretly founded and sent the Crusaders off on their mission. They have remained a mostly secretive sect of the Zakarum faith until now. Crusaders tend to travel alone, occasionally with a ward or apprentice, and rarely interact with one another or the public as a unit. It's part of the reason they've remained unnoticed for so long.

Posted by: Matius

@Revan I think in terms of lore the Crusader will be fitted like he was the original cast of heroes, not only joining in act V but another hero that searched for the Fallen Star, so he will be a Nephalem.

The Crusader has been integrated into all five Acts. You'll learn their motivation behind pursuing the Falling Star in New Tristram, and the NPCs surrounding them will question and interact with their presence as well. The Crusader's story should look and feel as if they were there from the start, and we hope you enjoy getting to re-explore Sanctuary from a different point of view.

Is falling sword similar to Leap in that it can be cast to move the paladin towards the enemy? Or is it simply straight up and down?

There's definitely some movement involved. :) There's a great example of Falling Sword being used to close distance in the Crusader gameplay demo here.

Posted by: Matius

Maybe it will be delving too far but what did the Crusaders accomplished? After some centuries of as you say secretive war with Mephisto, someone else did their job. And as you present them this way I see a similarities with present Barbarians, the loners, the sacred duty at which they kinda failed (it was not their victory), for many years aimless (?).

Their quest is one that's eternal. The taint of Mephisto runs deep in the Zakarum, and even now it is still a recovering faith. The goal of the Crusader is to remove not just this taint and save their faith, but to purge all evil. As we know, it's not quite as easy as simply removing one Lord of Hell from the equation. As long as Hell’s influence persists in Sanctuary, the Crusader will never rest.

As for how the Crusader goes about doing that, I'm afraid you'll need to wait for Reaper of Souls to learn more. ;)

Playing Without Cutscenes and Cinematics
Vaeflare hinted at a possible change of design in the expansion, to make it so players don't have to sit through the story cutscenes and cinematics if they don't wish to.
We’re definitely aware that some players crave to stay in the fray as much as possible, and that for them, cut-scenes and cinematics can sometimes take away from the flow of battle. To that end, we’re currently exploring some possibilities that we hope might better satisfy both the players that want to experience the full story of Diablo III as well as those players that would prefer to have as few interruptions in their demon slaying as possible.

Monster Damage Scaling
Monster damage only increases from the Monster Power level chosen, not based on the number of characters in a game. Our Inferno Bonuses Calculator has the exact specifics of the damage and health of monsters, along with many other variables.
Monster health should be the only thing increasing in Inferno when multiple players join you, Proff. Since the monsters get so much tougher, the amount of damage you see yourself taking might feel like it's increased since baddies have a longer opportunity to harm you.

When I pair up with my friends, I find myself feeling the same way if my resource management hasn't been tuned for longer fights. The longer the battle lasts, the more resources I'm using and the more damage I'll end up taking over time. You may be experiencing something similar.

Hellfire Rings in Reaper of Souls
As Grimiku points out, the Hellfire Ring can still be useful down the road, even if it isn't considered very powerful gear at level 70 in the expansion.
Posted by: Rimripper

I'm just wondering once the exp/patch hits, pretty much the only thing I'm gonna want is my hellfire ring for leveling. Is that about right, cause I'll get to making em....

It's a little early to tell what the absolute best bonus experience items will be after the pre-expansion patch goes live, but a decent Hellfire Ring is still going to be useful. You can use it to farm Paragon experience for now, level up an alternate character (like a Crusader), or have a follower wear it.

No Melee Weapons for Console Demon Hunters
In the PC version of Diablo III, Demon Hunters can use many melee weapons, but the class is designed around doing ranged damage. In the console versions of the game, the developers decided to make it simpler and restrict the class to only using ranged weapons.
Hi Guys,

I just wanted to pop in and let you all know that this behavior is not a bug. Not allowing Demon Hunters to equip melee weapons was a deliberate design decision, not an oversight or bug. I hope that helps to clear up any confusion about this.

The recent Auction House issues are being wrapped up, with Araxom providing more updates in a lengthy thread on the issue. The newest Blizzard blue posts can always be seen in our standard Blue Post Tracker, the Bugs and Tech Support Blue Tracker, or via the RSS feeds.
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