Greater Rifts (GRs, initially known as Tiered Rifts) are a higher level of Nephalem Rift, meant to provide a greater challenge and greater rewards for players geared well enough to take them on. Greater Rifts are timed, and *must* be completed within 15 minutes to earn rewards. All treasure in Greater Rifts, with usually a legendary item or two, comes from the Greater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular Rift Guardians.
Difficulty: Greater Rifts are numbered as a measure of their difficulty. A level 1 Greater Rift is very easy, equivalent to Normal difficulty (or less.) Greater Rifts scale up quickly though, and will become challenging for any player ability. Level 8 is equivalent to about Torment 1, Level 15 is equivalent to about [Torment 3, and Level 25 is approximately the same as Torment 6. There should be an infinite number or Greater Rift levels since each one merely increases the hit points and damage of the monsters by some percentage.
Shrines: There are virtually no shrines or pylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that Conduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift Leaderboard system.
No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (respec) while in a Greater Rift. It is possible to return to town mid-GR, and players can respec and make repairs then, though it’s not recommended since the GR is a timed race. This is a feature designed to limit exploits via equipment or skill changes, so players can’t change gear or skills to be more effective against a single target before they reach the Greater Rift Guardian for instance.
Rewards: Items and gold do not drop in Greater Rifts, and there are no chests or other clickables. All treasure comes from defeating the Greater Rift Guardian, who drops a huge amount of stuff, about double that of a normal Rift Guardian, and has a very high probability of dropping at least one legendary item. (Note that the lack of gold and chests hurts the effectiveness of legendary items such as Goldwrap and Harrington Waistguard that proc up in effectiveness via gold pickups or chest/clickables opening.)
Progress Bar: The progress bar in a Greater Rift increases gradually from killing trash mobs, but jumps up by larger amounts for Elite kills. (Elites drop objects that look a bit like gooey health orbs, which count for big boosts in the progress bar when collected.) This is a feature designed to keep players from simply rushing past Elites to more quickly finish the rift by killing trash mobs, as can be done in normal Nephalem Rifts, and players will fill their progress bar more quickly by killing Elites than by skipping them, except in very rare long Elite battles.
Accessing and Process
- # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
- Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to Orek.
- Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
- No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
- The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
- If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
- The Keystone’s level is determined by how quickly the Greater Rift was cleared. The quicker, the higher the GR key fragment.
Progress Bar and Rift Speed
The progress bar in a Greater Rift looks the same as the bar in a normal Nephalem Rift, with two added slider needles, displayed above and below the bar. The total bar coloured in orange, and the icon above it show your current progress towards completing the rift. The icon below it and any colour in blue shows how fast you need to progress to complete the rift in time.
When players are battling through a Rift that’s just at the limit of their killing power, they will often see their progress dropping behind and the bar showing blue, before they kill a couple of Elites in a row and see the bonus from Elites shoot them back up ahead of schedule.
It’s no surprise that the Monk class has been in need of some love pre 2.1. However with the second iteration of the patch on the PTR that need has not yet been abided. People are still clamoring for more sweeping changes(pun intended).
I was a heavy Monk user pre ROS and took a break with the xpac to delve into my first love(WD) and my new fling(crusader). I returned to the Monk only a few weeks ago and what I found was a shell of what I had left. After suffering for a long time as a WD it was nice when they finally rose to prominence. After a while on the top I wanted a new challenge and set my sights back on my monk, however even this challenge seems to daunting then all that time as a struggling WD. Diablo Forum MVP Druin put together an eloquent look at the myriad issues facing the class:
I am back from vacation and I am looking to write up a concise review of where we stand in 2.1.
My plan is to give a quick overview of our major issues then discuss the 2.1 changes and how they affect the various facets of our class.
I will be using this thread to fine-tune what we want to communicate to the devs and then I will make a major “state of monks in 2.1″ thread on the PTR forums to attempt to get some help for our lovely class!
1. Current Monk Issues
This is really at the forefront of the monk issues.
Since the release of RoS, monks have been having a tough time with DPS. We have a very limited range of options mostly centering around the skill Exploding Palm. (Un)fortunately EP is being changed as it breaks greater rifts (along with Rimeheart and Furnace) so our only source of widely competitive damage is going away. This leaves monks in a pretty bad spot.
Our spenders do very little damage (I mean VERY little) relative to their cost and our generators are used more as proc-vehicles for Odyn Son, Thunderfury, Shard of Hate and Rime/Furnace more than as sources of damage themselves. This leaves us with our 6pc Raiment of 1000 Storms which makes DS proc a 3000% weapon damage attack on cast. 3000% damage is a lot and it scales with lightning damage gear but DS has a flat-immutable 6 second cooldown. This can be mitigated to some extent by using Jawbreaker to give “free” dashing strike charges but that interaction is quite clunky.
Basically, monks will be forced into a clunky, hard-to-use situationally terrible Storm-breaker set in order to compete with other classes in damage. If they don’t want to use this mechanic, they will do very poor damage.
Next on the list is our ability to survive. This is a more controversial topic with some finding survival to be quite easy and many others finding it to be quite hard. In 2.1 with the change from dex giving dodge to dex giving armor and the change from OWE to Harmony, many monks who had minor synergy with OWE will see a minor tankiness boost. (my Raiment set for example)
On the other hand, monk who are deeply invested into OWE will see a major tankiness loss. (my Shatter-palm set). In either case, both types of monks probably have a lot of trouble living in T6 without 2x Unity or the constant dashing from Storm-breaker. Why is this? Because monks have to face-tank so much stuff.
Our primary source of resource generation comes from skills that require you to be up-close and personal with mobs which means a lot of damage can’t be avoided. To compensate for this, end-game monks are forced to take defensive passives (Harmony) defensive skills (Epiphany-shroud / Serenity / Inner Sanc / Blinding Flash) and CDR in basically every single spec. This is extremely limiting to the monk playstyle though arguably less of a problem than the DPS as the defensive skill/CDR solution does exist.
Additionally, sustain is nearly non-existent. LoH requires primary affixes which takes away from our already terrible DPS, LPS is the same, LPSS both takes primary affixes AND is extremely poor and Globes took a pretty big hit in 2.1. Monks actually have access to healing skills but, for some reason, they are tuned to be SO weak that they are essentially non-existent.
This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.
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Bashiok on Nephalem Valor + Magic FindPosted 27 Mar 2012 by
A fan tweeted Bashiok a question about how the Nephalem Valor system, which grants you a bonus to your Magic Find for X seconds after you kill a boss, will interact or stack with Magic Find. Bashiok replied, but didn’t exactly answer.
Well I don’t think it’s a linear scale, if that’s what you mean. We might share what it is on our game guide sometime after launch. –Bashiok
I think Bashiok’s non-answer stems from two sources. 1) He doesn’t know (and wouldn’t tell us if he did) the actual formulas for Magic Find in D3, and 2) He doesn’t know how diminishing returns worked on Magic Find in D2. (If you want to add a third option, and attribute it to Bashiok’s legendary “Tai Chi B” style of evasive communication, that’s up to you.)
I suspect he’s not alone in #2, though. After all, D2 was a long time ago, and lots of people just played the game without getting into the calculations and such. So here’s a reminder, with a table taken directly from our exhaustively-informative Magic Find article from the Diablo 2 wiki.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but the values in the columns show exactly what’s meant by “diminishing returns.” Every point of MF in D2 boosts your odds of finding more blue items (instead of white or gray), but only some % of that applies to your odds of finding rare, set, or unique items. These diminishing returns were added shortly after D2C’s launch, when players accumulated more MF than the devs ever imagined we would, and broke the drop system to the point that monsters were dropping only rares and better.
So, taking that knowledge back to the original tweet, hungrat is asking, or at least spurring me to ask, two questions that need answers: 1) Will MF in D3 will have diminishing returns, and 2) How is the MF bonus from Nephalem Valor calculated? Does it work independently from, parallel to, or just add onto your existing Magic Find?
I’ll construct a D2 example, for the sake of the argument. We haven’t been given the details of the Nephalem Valor system yet, but say it adds 50% MF, and can stack up to five bonuses. That’s a great benefit if you’ve got zero MF, but if you’ve got 500% MF already, boosting that up to 750% doesn’t do much, in terms of finding more Set or Unique items.
This might not matter much, since Inferno is supposed to be too hard to go around with much Magic Find, rather than stat bonuses that add to your survival. (Personally, I’ll believe in that kind of difficulty in a Blizzard game when I see it with my own eyes.) But as we know nothing about modifier scarcity at the high end, or the sorts of bonuses we’ll see on Set and Legendary items, we can’t even speculate about how common high Magic Find will be on level 60 characters. Much less how hypothetical diminishing returns may or may not affect that.
But speculate anyway! We’ve got 50 days yet to amuse ourselves, after all.
Incidentally, I’d love if Wyatt or someone proved me wrong, but I’m not expecting Blizzard to ever divulge the really detailed info, in terms of math and orders of operations and such, that powers the game engine. After all, almost all the technical details and inside info we know now has come from datamining during the beta, rather than official disclosures.
When it comes to D1 and D2, we know pretty much everything about how items are generated, how combat works, why there are so many errors in the LCS, why some modifiers will or won’t generate on different items, why some item types don’t drop properly, why some unique and set rings/amulets are so much more or less common than others, etc… but that info came almost entirely from the cracking and decoding done by code wizards in the Diablo community.
I suspect we’ll repeat that process in D3, with no more info than you can read in tool tips offered up by Blizzard’s official website, and the real nuts and bolts calculations (and all the bugs and oddities inherent in it) not discovered until fans dig it out, and share it in forums like this one. Someone light the Bat Signal for the D3 version of Jarulf and Ruvenal!