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Blizzard announces Diablo III expansion

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(Credit: Blizzard)

Diablo III is about to get darker.

The clicktastic action role-playing game, which set a record as the fastest-selling PC game of all time when it launched in May of 2012, will see its first add-on with the newly announced Reaper of Souls expansion. In true Blizzard style, though, the developer didn't give a time frame to the expansion’s release.

Diablo III may have sold 3.5 million copies in its first 24 hours, but it came with some controversy. Upon its launch, players quickly overwhelmed the game's servers, causing all sorts of playability issues since the game had to connect to Blizzard’s online Battle.net site to be authenticated before it would begin. The in-game Auction House also has been a controversial addition, with the game's own developers second-guessing its addition. Some fans, meanwhile, complained that the game wasn't true to the dark theme of the original titles.

They'll certainly have less to complain about with Reaper of Souls.

The expansion focuses on Malthael, the Angel of Death, who has seized control of the black soulstone, which just so happens to be where Diablo's soul is hanging out these days. Among Malthael's powers is the ability to siphon souls from the people of Sanctuary, making them his slaves. So that’s a problem.

Malthael's no stranger to the Diablo universe. He was last seen in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, where he was the fallen Archangel of Wisdom.

To help players fight him, Blizzard is introducing the new Crusader class, which is similar to the Paladin from Diablo II (the developer describes him as a "natural walking tank"). And Blizzard is also upgrading the game's loot system to drop items that are better suited to your specific character class.

Perhaps best of all, Blizzard says the expansion will add more end-game character advancement and replayability, soothing players who are still miffed about the game's ending and the fact that once the bad guys are killed, there's little reason to keep playing Diablo III.

“From the beginning, Diablo has always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Souls explores the darker notes of that conflict,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options. We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls, and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

As for when exactly that will be, in true Blizzard fashion, we’ll have to wait and see.

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