The lights are on
A new apprentice mode is the most meaningful addition, pulling the
stats of low-level players up to a competitive tier with their buddies,
and then making the monster fights appropriately challenging for the
newly powered group. Apprentice mode eliminates the frustration of
players out-leveling each other, and lets the apprentice fly through
those lower tiers of play.
Drop rates (especially for coveted legendary items) are notably
elevated, and most pick-ups are targeted to the needs of your class. In
addition, a clever gifting system adds a satisfying new social wrinkle;
upon acquiring a piece of legendary gear, you sometimes also acquire a
gift item targeted to someone on your friends list. You can send it
through the in-game mail as a pleasant surprise that benefits the whole
group the next time you play.
As you wander, the controller may shake as a nemesis approaches. This
towering evil has already killed one of your fellows, and has powered
up before hopping across friends lists to arrive in your game. If he
kills you, the beast heads off to torment another of your buddies. Kill
him, and everyone involved in the fight gets commensurate rewards. The
nemesis system is another indication of Blizzard’s commitment to social
engagement, and adds a small but meaningful twist to gameplay.
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