BlizzCon 2017: Hands on with BlizzCon-only Diablo 3 Challenge Rift
Though there were no special Diablo announcements at BlizzCon 2017, there was a little something on the floor for fans of the franchise. Blizzard set up demo stations with a special Challenge Rift that will only be available during the convention. I was able to sit down for a run through and came across quite a few surprises.
I was able to choose from all available classes at max level, at 800 Paragon points. After a little thought, I went with a Wizard, the class I’ve played the most in the game. I was a bit disappointed to see I couldn’t pick her skills and runes. However, that was probably just to save time. I also couldn’t see her items or inventory, but she must have been equipped with some armor set bonuses because I saw buffs proccing during fights.
Given everything was already set for me, I dove right in blowing up zombies outside Tristram. But there was a surprise for me at the gates: The Butcher! I was just getting used to the Wizard’s preset abilities so I somehow facerolled through that encounter. Eventually, I got to the town center where we usually find the main teleportation portal and the Blacksmith. But instead of the usual portal and characters, I found Diablo himself waiting for me. He mocked me and disappeared, leaving behind Leroic, The Skeleton King along with an army of skeletons to fight.
After laying waste to that royal bag of bones I found the portal off the level and proceeded through a few more random levels, fighting various hell beasts in various demonic settings. About halfway through I found myself in The Butcher’s room — the one with the grids and the burning floor. But this time I was fighting a creature called Ember that kept darting about and summoning mobs. And then in the second-to-last level I found the portal door out, but clicking on it sprung a trap that brought on waves of shadowed beasts that almost took me out.
Finally, I was facing Diablo again, this time in a bleak hellscape of a level. But as soon as the battle began he summoned other major demons to his aide. I didn’t catch their names since I was, you know, fighting for my life. But I focused my fire on Diablo and when he went down, so did all his minions.
And thus ended my custom Challenge Rift adventure. It was quite fun, and it’s a shame they won’t roll it out to everyone.
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