I've had access to the beta test for Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, for over a week now, yet I've barely touched the new fifth Act in the campaign and only scratched the surface of the Crusader class. The reason? Adventure mode, which is absolutely the best and biggest addition in an expansion which changes almost everything. It's nothing less than a new way to play the game.
Adventure mode is different every time you log in to Diablo 3, offering randomised bounties spread across the entirety of the game's campaign: these might be to hunt down a rare monster, kill a boss (which might have different attack patterns), clean out a dungeon or run a special event. Monster locations have been switched around, while some areas appear at different times of day and under different weather conditions. You earn loot bags and a special gambling currency for completing bounties - and also pick up keys to Nephalem Rifts, which are special, entirely randomised dungeons that mix up tile sets and monsters from across the entire game.
Blizzard has said a number of times that one of its watchwords for Reaper of Souls is "endgame for everyone", but until I played Adventure mode, I had no idea how literally this was meant. Although it was clearly envisioned as a way to keep the game fresh for veteran players, and Blizzard has yet to decide the conditions for unlocking it, Adventure will be available for levelling - and in the beta right now, you can play it from level 1. Arriving hand in hand with a new, more flexible difficulty system and much more bountiful loot, Adventure is an absurdly rewarding, fast-paced and fun way to play the game that deftly sidesteps the drudgery of running the campaign acts over and over again.
To see a bounty and a Nephalem Rift in action, and hear more of my thoughts on this brilliant new mode, check out the Let's Play video below.