In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, players have two Game Mode options to play a game. You can choose the linear progression Campaign Mode, or you simply choose the non-linear new Adventure Mode.
Now what exactly is Adventure Mode? It is Awesomeness-in-a-nutshell. Ok, that's a generic answer, so let's go into a more detailed one. When you select Adventure Mode, you are given the option to play in private or public games. The text displayed says: "Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot!"
When you launch the Adventure Mode game, none of the quests you usually get in the Campaign Mode are available. You are given free choice to do what you want to do. Nothing is linear. That is you choose your bounty dungeon, the location in Sanctuary or Heaven you wish to go to. Teleport there. Kill monsters. Complete the bounty. Reap your reward. Move on to choose the next bounty.
Adventure Mode is what hardcore players really needed for a change of pace. In Adventure Mode you also get access to the Nephalem Rifts which is kinda crazy sending monsters of all random types at you in a single wave.
Adventure Mode is also perfect for leveling up. No need to go back and forth completing quests and wasting precious time to gain gold, experience through quests in order to level up. I created a Crusader class character at level 1. I chose Adventure Mode and picked a bounty quest location on the map.
Starting an Adventure Mode doesn't mean there isn't characters talking or quests. Just they are completely different than what you would usually see in the Campaign Mode. And you even get an intro tutorial to Adventure Mode.
Tyrael (with voiceover acting) welcomes you when you join your first Adventure Mode.
Tyrael: "Greetings, Nephalem. Though you have defeated many powerful foes, there remains much to be done. This is a map of Sanctuary and the realms beyond."
Tyrael: "From here, you can select a region to view it in greater details. This map displays the different places you can go within the region. Locations marked by an exclamation point have bounties for you to undertake. Bounties are the many tasks and challenges which require your attention. In return for completing them, you will be rewarded with powerful items. Good luck, nephalem. Sanctuary has need of you."
As you can see in the image above, you can navigate back to the Sanctuary map by clicking the globe located at the top-left corner. Hovering your mouse over one of the quest exclamation point over a waypoint in the map will show you the title of the bounty. A horned-skull icon represents a mayor boss like Zoltun Kulle, Belial and Maghda.
The rewards system is very different to what you would see in the Campaign Mode. When you choose a bounty in the map it doesn't tell you what the rewards will be, but when you complete the bounty objectives you will get a Bounty complete window informing you what the rewards were. Usually Gold, Experience, a Horadric Cache and a Bloodshard.
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In Adventure Mode, the Inventory displays two currency options: Gold and Bloodshards. The Bloodshards can be used to buy from Lorath Nahr (the Horadrim disciple) or from Kadala. Both of these Horadrim stand next to Tyrael in the main camp.
Lorath sells a Greater Horadric Cache which contains a random loot when opened.
Kadala sells an assortment of four options: 1-Hand Mystery Weapon, 2-Hand Mystery Weapon, Mystery Orb or Mystery Mojo.
This in fact looks exactly like it does -- Gambling is back and it doesnt' cost you gold, but Blood Shards instead. On my first 2-Hand Mystery Weapon purchase I got a Bow.
Adventure Mode Gameplay Video
This video lasts about one hour and forty minutes. I started a level 1 Crusader on Adventure Mode in Normal difficulty. Before the end of the video, I was level 12. Basically, players can skip a lot of content and simply focus on the main bounty objectives. For example, if the objective is to kill everything in the second level of the Cathedral of Tristram, if I wished I could skip everything in Level 1 (where possible) and slip into Level 2 to sort of finish the Bounty as quickly as possible. Disclaimer: What you see in Family & Friends beta will not reflect what will be seen in the final build of the launched game. Things might change through multiple iterations. Secondly, the video will show a few bugs like the rockworm that swallows my character. It can't be attacked and doesn't do any damage to my character. As soon as you see the rockworm in the video, jump to minute 11:00 to skip that part.