This blog is part of my series about my thoughts and impressions of the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls beta.  The beta is over, but I still think it is worth it to take the time to blog about it.  Doing so gives me the opportunity to share what I was thinking as I was playing through the beta.  As I have been writing this series, I realized that part of what I am doing is making a brief “tutorial” of sorts, that might be helpful to people who didn’t play Diablo III, but are going to be jumping into the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

I was playing a Crusader that I named Joan.  In the previous blog, Joan hit Level 19.  This blog is about her adventure from Level 19 to Level 20.  The screenshots that you see here were taken on January 4, 2014.

I’m going to be honest.  The Halls of Agony are my least favorite part of the entire Diablo III game.   You have to run your character through the Mad King Leoric’s vast “torture chamber”.  There are buckets of severed heads, torture devices strewn about, and a general sense of ickiness.  Going through this zone makes me nauseous, and I will be happy to eventually be able to skip over this entire section thanks to the Adventure Mode that is part of the Reaper of Souls (RoS) expansion.  Needless to say, I didn’t take a whole lot of screenshots of Joan the Crusader’s adventure from Level 19 to Level 20.

Joan the Crusader was accompanied by the Follower Kormac the Templar once again.  I selected the Templar because he can do melee damage and heal.  My plan was to rush through this part as fast as possible.  At the same time, I wanted to clear the entire zone, because you need to do that in order to earn some of the Exploration Achievements.  This zone starts when you reach Leoric’s Manor.

In the Mountains: Explore the following areas of the Highlands.

Wortham, Wortham Chapel Cellar, Wortham Bluffs, Caverns of Araneae, Chamber of Queen Araneae, Highlands Crossing, Southern Highlands, Karyna’s Lost Wagon, Northern Highlands, Leoric’s Hunting Grounds, Leoric’s Manor Courtyard, Leoric’s Manor

The only positive aspect to Leoric’s Manor is that it contains a lot of enemies.  Kill them and earn experience points (XP).   First up, Dread Darkshade:

Not long after that, Joan the Crusader and Kormac the Templar fought Cultist Grand Inquisitor: Master of Pain.  Yep, he sounds like exactly the sort of guy who would enjoy hanging out in the Halls of Agony.  “Master of Pain” must be equivalent of  “Store Manager” in Leoric’s torture chamber.

Treasure Seeker!!! Get ’em, get ’em, get ’em!  My Crusader is throwing Blessed Hammers.

I can’t tell from the screenshot exactly how many Disentombed Hulk monsters are standing there.  I can say that my Crusader killed them all!

As you can see, they are blocking Joan the Crusader’s access to the Frenzied Shrine.  This mob of blue monsters is also standing in between Joan the Crusader and her progress towards Level 2 of the Halls of Agony.  Yes, there is more than one level involved in the part of the game that I strongly dislike.   There was one good thing about going through this zone in Diablo III.  It gave my Crusader enough experience points to hit Level 20!

Mighty and Magical: Reach Level 20

As far as I can tell, the Mighty and Magical Achievement is one that players can earn no matter which class of character they are playing.  It doesn’t seem to be something that is specific to the Crusader class.   It feels good to hit Level 20 (even when the last bit of XP came from a lowly “furnace zombie”).

The downside of hitting Level 20 was that it made me very aware that Joan the Crusader had yet to find even one Legendary piece of armor or rare weapon.  She went through 20 entire levels, and didn’t find any at all. It was kind of depressing.

In the original Diablo III game, only characters who reached Level 60 could equip Legendary items (well, unless the item had something “special” about it that enabled players of lower levels to use it).  But, I had heard that the Reaper of Souls expansion would include Legendary items that were usable by characters of lower levels.  So… where are they?  At the same time, I was well aware that I was playing a beta.  There is always potential for things to change between the beta and the launch of the expansion.

The next blog will focus on Joan the Crusader’s adventure as she goes from Level 20 to Level 21 in the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls beta.

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