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Blizzard has launched the next phase of Diablo 3's beta testing. They're now sending out invites to interested gamers across the world.
The "Friends and Family" period of the test began last month. In a break with tradition, they also invited select members of the press and some of the most active players for this phase. Participants included prominent YouTubers like YogsCast and Athene.
Now that the official closed beta is underway, Blizzard will be sending out new waves of invites. In order to participate, you need to opt in through the Beta Profile Settings page in your Battle.net account. As long as you have an account in good standing and you own D3, you'll be considered. Selections will be made based on your system specs, in-game activity, and other factors. Blizzard admits that you'll need some luck, too. Invites will be sent via email.
"To help avoid phishing attempts, if you believe you've received an invite to the Closed Beta, it's best to refrain from clicking on any links in the email(s) you receive," Blizzard said today. "If you received an opt-in invite, you can verify that your account has been granted a Closed Beta license in Battle.net Account Management. If you were sent a Closed Beta key, you can add it manually by visiting the Add or Upgrade a Game page."
Reaper of Souls introduces a new Act to the game's campaign. In Act V, players will travel to Westmarch to face the angel of death and his minions. To ensure that you can jump into this story right away, Blizzard is allowing you to copy your existing D3 characters over. After you create a level 1 character for the beta, a "PTR Copy" button will appear in the character selection menu to allow you to bring your old toon over.
The Reaper of Souls beta features almost all of the content in the expansion pack, including the Crusader class and Act V. The only thing it doesn't include is the final boss fight. Because there's so much content in the test, Blizzard will be keeping the test fairly small. Not everyone who opts into the beta will get in.
While you wait and hope for a beta invite, you can get a taste of Reaper of Souls by trying out the beta version of Patch 2.0.1. This update makes major revisions to the loot system, Paragon progression and character classes. A new dynamic difficulty system makes monsters level up with your characters. Players will be able to form invite-only Clans and also join broader social groups known as Communities. The full patch notes for 2.0.1. can be found here.
Reaper of Souls is expected to launch early next year, probably around the same time that Blizzard will shut down the auction houses.