Do you have an itch for slaying hordes of evil minions? How about collecting a ton of loot in an epic dungeon crawling adventure?
If you just answered “Yes” to the aforementioned questions, then Diablo 3 is a game that would be right up your alley.
Diablo 3 originally came out in 2012 for the PC/Mac (console versions came later), and was followed up in 2013 by the huge Reaper of Souls expansion. There have been plenty of updates and patches in the past few years that have kept the game interesting with end-game content. While many issues plagued the initial release, the current version of Diablo 3 plays completely differently. It is almost an entirely different game from its release version.
Why are we here talking about a game that is several years old? Because Blizzard finally released The Rise of the Necromancer DLC Pack, along with the Diablo 3: Eternal Collection for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The Complete Package
If you have yet to experience the intense action of Diablo 3 and you have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, then Diablo 3: Eternal Collection is a must. This all-in-one edition includes Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition and The Rise of the Necromancer, so you only need to make one purchase to experience all that Diablo 3 now has to offer.
What is the Ultimate Evil Edition? This is the console version of Diablo 3 that includes the original game as well as the expansion, Reaper of Souls, which includes a fifth act, the Crusader class, and Adventure Mode. With Adventure Mode, players can access a ton of new end-game content, including Bounties and Rifts, so longevity is extended.
The Diablo 3: Eternal Collection is available at a special introductory price of $39.99 on the PlayStation Store and Xbox One Store. After the introductory period, the game will rise to $59.99.
The Rise of the Necromancer
Necromancers first made their appearance in Diablo 2. They’re a favorite character for many because of their ability to raise the dead, as well as summoning and controlling creatures for their own purposes.
Diablo 3 first launched with the Witch Doctor class, featuring similar mechanics to the old Necromancer (as well as Sorcerer and Druid) — but it wasn’t the same. Players have been itching for the Necromancer for some time now, and now the class is finally here (along with a new female version).
With The Rise of the Necromancer, players gain access to the new Necromancer class, who are misunderstood masters of blood, bone, and the dark arts. Their skills include ranged attacks with bone, novas of death, reanimating corpses and summoning skeletons, corpse explosions, cursing foes, and draining the life force of enemies.
If having an army of undead minions to do your bidding doesn’t appeal to you, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.
In addition to the Necromancer class, players unlock a host of exclusive digital items that are not otherwise available. These fun items include:
- A non-combat pet.
- Cosmetic skeletal wings.
- Necromancer themed Banner Shape, Sigil, and Accent.
- Necromancer portrait frame.
- Two additional character slots.
- Two additional stash tabs (however, unfortunately, this is not available on console versions).
The Rise of the Necromancer is available several ways. On the PC/Mac versions, you can purchase it directly through the new in-game store front or from the Blizzard Shop. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players can get it from the PlayStation Store or Xbox One Store, respectively. The DLC will cost $14.99 on its own.
More Fun in Patch 2.6.0
The latest patch also includes some new free content that will be available for all Reaper of Souls owners, regardless of whether they buy The Rise of the Necromancer or not. This patch features the new Challenge Rifts, the Shrouded Moors and Temple of the Firstborn zones, as well as The Realms of Fate (an artificial mesh of zones that can lead a player into unexpected areas).
Challenge Rifts are weekly static versions of Greater Rifts that have been completed by another player. To do this, Blizzard creates a snapshot of a Greater Rift from that player’s account. The snapshot includes the player’s exact character, including items, paragon levels, skills, and gear. Then, the snapshot is made available for everyone to play.
Not only is the player’s character copied exactly, but the Greater Rift they completed with that specific character is cloned. Meaning you get the same enemies, pylons, and dungeons that the original player did during their run. The challenge is to try and beat the original player’s time, which rewards you with a weekly satchel full of bounty, crafting materials, and Blood Shards.
What makes Challenge Rifts great, though, is the fantastic opportunity for players to try out unique and interesting builds. Moreover, you can try combinations you’d never normally have thought of (or have the time to try otherwise!).
Everything is fair too, since everyone’s on a level playing field.
Challenge Rifts rotate out every Monday. They’re a great way to show off your skills, game mastery, and class knowledge. In order to beat the original player’s time on the rift, one will need to run the rift a few times to know the layout, enemies, class and skills, and then prepare for a flawless execution.
As a side note, the 2.6.0 patch is required for The Rise of the Necromancer, so make sure that’s installed first before purchasing the DLC.
Some Beginner Tips and Tricks
Now that you know the details of Diablo 3: Eternal Collection and The Rise of the Necromancer, where do you even begin as a newbie?
First, think of your play style. Do you like tanking? Or do you dish out more damage per second (DPS)? Perhaps you prefer spell-casting, or just focus on ranged attacks to support your friends? Or do you want pets and minions do most of the dirty work for you?
If you prefer tanking, using melee weapons and shields, then Crusader is a good choice. Barbarians are a crossover between a beefy tank and damage dealer, while a Monks is a good mix of both damage and support.
Want to focus on pure DPS? A Wizard is your top choice for spell-casting, and a Demon Hunter is incredibly good at maneuvering and unleashing a barrage of arrows into their foe. Witch Doctor and Necromancer are best for pets, as well as smiting enemies with debilitating curses and hexes.
Once you picked your first class, make sure you know the primary stat to focus on when it comes to equipment. Crusaders and Barbarians need Strength. Monks and Demon Hunters need Dexterity. Finally, Wizards, Witch Doctors, and Necromancers require Intelligence.
If you’re finding survival difficult later in the game, make sure to pump points into Vitality. It is the second most important stat for all classes.
It’s important to learn your class and try out all of your unlocked skills at least once as you level up to 70. This makes sure you know how to play your class by finding skills that work well together. Furthermore, it helps you find what kind of build you want to make for the end-game. And once you reach 70 and get the end-game goodies, you can look for Armor Set items and focus on a build that revolves around what that particular Armor Set does.
While we’re on the topic of skills, an important part of Diablo 3 is toggling Elective Mode in the options. Elective Mode is important since it lets players map any skill to any button, so you have complete freedom and control over what abilities to use. Otherwise, you’re fairly restricted.
Diablo 3 is a game all about the loot you find. A good tip is to save everything you find, because even if you don’t use it, you can salvage it at the Blacksmith for more crafting materials. Whether it’s gray (broken), white (normal), blue (magical), yellow (rare), orange (legendary) or even green (set item), you can salvage it all for materials. Consequently, it is important to hold on to it until you get back to town.
Speaking of legendaries, you’ll find a lot of these as you progress through the game and level-up. Make sure to use legendary items whenever you can, making sure to synergize with its special property. These special properties usually enhance a class skill, increase damage dealt, or your survivability. But once the legendary item is outclassed by a rare or a better legendary, don’t be afraid to salvage it.
A great way to maximize your character’s stats is to socket gems into your gear if there’s a slot available. Each gem has a unique bonus depending on what kind of gear it’s socketed into. For example, an emerald in a weapon gives an additional critical hit chance, amethyst in a helmet adds vitality, rubies provide strength, and topaz increase intelligence. Always look for gear with sockets if you can, because those gems prove to be quite useful.
Variety Is the Spice
If you enjoy playing Diablo 3, then you may want to try out a variety of classes eventually, after getting used to one. Sometimes, you’ll find items for a different class. Take advantage of the item stash (where you can store items), because all of the characters you create can access this. Plus, everyone gets more than enough character slots, so some characters can act as mules for even more item storage.
While this seems like a lot of tips, it’s barely scratching the surface of Diablo 3 as a whole. There are many different enemy types that you’ll encounter (and bosses can be tough), special items, bounties, Nephalem, Greater Rifts and Challenge Rifts, Kanai’s Cube, enchanting, different types of Treasure Goblins, and much more.
These are just some good tips for anyone just starting out with Diablo 3.
Go Forth, Nephalem
Diablo 3 is several years old, but it’s one of those games that holds its replay value very well. Even when you have max-level characters for all classes, you’ll want to keep playing until you’ve acquired perfect gear (Ancient level). Alternatively, try out new experimental builds… or just kill hordes of demons for some de-stress time.
I’ve played Diablo 3 for years on both my Mac and PlayStation 4, and it’s always a game that I return to. The Rise of the Necromancer just gave me even more reason to keep playing.
Have you played Diablo 3 before? What’s your favorite class to play? Is the “new” Necromancer class all that you’ve hoped it would be, considering the Necromancers abilities in Diablo 2? Let us know in the comments!