Jake: Okay, so recently the expansion for Diablo III was announced: Reaper of Souls. Typically of Blizzard, they released a beautiful trailer to show off the game. The trailer gives us a little glimpse into what the plot--or at least the premise--of the expansion will be. So to refresh, Diablo III ends with the player--”The Nephalem”--defeating Diablo and imprisoning his soul into the aptly named Black Soulstone. The trailer for Reaper of Souls begins with a discussion of what to do with the Soulstone. Apparently the angels can’t destroy it.
Christian: Tyrael says “I can’t destroy it,” but I sure hope they tried pretty damn hard. In Diablo II the main character didn’t seem to have much trouble in the Soulstone destroying department. He goes through 3 without a problem. Sure, they are at the Anvil of Destruction within the Hellforge, but Tyrael and the Nephalem should easily be able to return there, but apparently that doesn’t work. We’ll give Tyrael the benefit of the doubt. Somehow, it’s indestructible.
Jake: Yeah, we’ll just have to take it on faith for now that because it’s the Black Soulstone it’s much harder to destroy than all the Soulstones we routinely destroyed in the last game. We also find out that not only is it indestructible, it’s “too evil for heaven.” It seems like a Heavenly Safe would be the perfect spot for something like this, but that would be way too easy, so the plot dictates that can’t happen. So here we have the Black Soulstone--indestructible and too evil to keep it where they can closely guard it. Uh-oh...I see where this is going.
Christian: They only have one option, right? Hide it in a cave somewhere! That always works out. How many times have you been able to find a powerful artifact that someone hid deep in a dungeon? It’s so commonly used, it’s a trope! Okay, enough sarcasm, but seriously, that’s the next best plan? Tyrael’s track record for hiding things isn’t that great either. In Diablo II, it takes about half an hour to find the tomb of an ancient sorcerer that Tyrael tried to hide away. Who came up with this plan? Was there a meeting and this was the best idea out of the bunch?
Jake: Speaking of meetings, I have a problem with the whole Angiris Council. In Diablo III, Tyrael leaves to become a mortal. Okay, that’s all well and good until the end of the game when he decides that he’s going to be back in the council! How does that happen? Where is the democratic integrity of this Highest of High Councils? Where’s the parliamentary procedure? Tyrael, now a mortal, can just up and decide to be back on the council? Especially considering that the Chief of the Council hates him! And he even takes someone else’s job! He says in the epilogue of Diablo III that he is resuming his spot on the council but no longer as Justice--this time, he’ll be Wisdom. What happened to the old Archangel of Wisdom?
Christian: Right! So now is Tyrael the Archangel of Justice AND Wisdom? How does that work? Either way, we do figure out what happened to Malthael, the old Archangel of Wisdom. Mere moments after Tyrael and his Horadric crew secure the Black Soulstone in its mount, Malthael shows up. But since the whole “Archangel of Blank” title is so fluid, he decided to give up Wisdom and has become Death. Somehow. And he wants that Soulstone.
Jake: To be fair, even when he was just Wisdom, he always carried around two giant sickles, so...I guess we all saw that coming. Anyway, Malthael just up and steals everyone’s soul in the room, but he spares Tyrael because... maybe because they’re old pals? Not sure. But he lets Tyrael live, then snatches the Soulstone and warns Tyrael that no one can stop Death. And that’s the end of the trailer. Other launch information indicates that Malthael is now raising an undead army.
Christian: You heard that right folks, we get to fight even more undead in the Expansion! I can’t help but be a little disappointed. Undead have been a staple in Diablo games since the beginning, but they are usually the warm up routine. Skeletons and Zombies are the easy Act I stuff the player can fight since they are so boring and run of the mill. And now you tell me Malthael is raising an army of them? Considering that you’ll be playing as The Nephalem, the hero from Diablo III that rekilled Diablo after he absorbed the power of the other Prime Evils, I think we’ll be fine. Speaking of the Nephalem, where is he during this whole debacle?
Jake: Yeah, seriously, where is he? Right when Malthael shows up, Tyrael tells his Horadrim crew to go get the Nephalem. Why wasn’t he already there? His only job has been to go kill Diablo and protect the world from evil. I would think that job description would include guarding the Soulstone to prevent this very thing from happening. In fact, forget putting the Soulstone in some random cave. Put it under the Nephalem’s bed! Leave it with the guy who is capable of destroying all the Prime Evils. I’m sure he can handle whatever comes to try and steal the Soulstone. I guess all I’m saying is that I have some serious doubts about the way that the Angiris Council is handling things. You would think Tyrael would have gone to him when they were trying to figure out what to do with the Soulstone.
Christian: I guess since the Nephalem was too busy sipping margaritas in Acapulco, now he has to go fight his way through an army of unoriginal undead, and defeat the Angel of Death to get it back. One hell of a way to get back from a vacation.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls will be released for PC sometime in 2014. Blizzard still has yet to discuss plans to release it on current-gen consoles. The trailer we are discussing is above for reference.