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A Total Guide to Greater Rifts

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 DiabloWikiGreater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular DiabloWikiRift Guardians.

Greater Rift CompletionDifficulty: 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 DiabloWikishrines or DiabloWikipylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that DiabloWikiConduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift DiabloWikiLeaderboard system.

Dying in Greater Rifts

Revive at Corpse. No.

No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (DiabloWikirespec) 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 DiabloWikiGoldwrap and DiabloWikiHarrington 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

  1. # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
  2. Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to DiabloWikiOrek.
  3. Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
  4. No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
  5. The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
  6. If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
  7. 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.

greater rift progress bar

Ahead of the progress 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.

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The State of the Monk: Additional follower or future OP class?

state of the monk in diablo 3It’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:


Hello everyone!

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! :D

1. Current Monk Issues

Damage

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.

Durability

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.

Resource Management

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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Character Names To Remain Irrelevant in Diablo III

Posted 9 May 2012 by

During the beta we saw a lot of negative fan feedback about the fact that you hardly ever see the name of your character in Diablo III. It displays in the character selection screen, and sort of in the chat, but on the Friends List and in game, where you’ll spend 99% of your time on Battle.net, you only ever see the BattleTag for yourself and other players.

Fans basked in a ray of hope back in March when Bashiok said that changes would be made before the final game to make character names more visible.

You’ve been heard! There’s a clean up pass coming for BattleTag in the near-ish future that should resolve most of the issues with a BattleTag being displayed instead of a character name, or a character name not being displayed at all. I think it may also line up with some fixes for BattleTags here on the forums. Although I’ll still think of you all as my little D3BETA’s… *sniff*

BattleTag is still intended to be your big overarching account-wide identifier that will follow you from Blizzard game to Blizzard game, but individual character identity is still obviously very important.

Sadly, word comes today that he was mistaken.

Will it be possible to see only “Barbaros, Level 6 Barbarian, in a Public Game?”
Lylirra: Not really? While you’ll be able to see your own character name (and while there will be situations when other players can see your character’s name, too), your BattleTag nickname will be your primary form of identification. It’s what players will see both in Public Games and most prominently in the friends list.

Lylirra, can we get some clarification on where character names show up vs. Battletag?
Sure thing! When Diablo III launches, your character name will be visible to you in a variety of locations including the character selection screen and game menu. For other players, your character’s name will only appear within your player profile, as hover text the friends list, and when your character participates in quest dialog. In every other context, your BattleTag will be shown.

Bashiok: To reiterate what Lylirra said, this is the initial implementation and we’re very open to feedback once the game launches and everyone has had more time to mess around with things. Just hold up, give it a chance, and then let us know how it’s working out for you after release.

Terrible decision. I guess instead of coming up with a creative name for each of my characters, I’ll instead randomly smash my keyboard with my fist to generate a name.
Bashiok: Character names will still be displayed in a number of locations, and more to come, including the website. I’d highly recommend you not do that.

We were getting some fan rage about this issue even before this whole thread today, and I doubt the explanations of the CMs will do much to calm players who miss being able to establish a sort of identity for each of their characters. In Diablo III, you are your account, so make a new BattleTag to attach your copy of D3 to and give it a great name, or use your one time BattleTag change to come up with something cool, since that’s what other D3 players are going to know you as.

Click through to read the whole thread, which started with an official announcement and included some SC2 and WoW-related stuff I didn’t quote above.

The full thread:

We recently updated the BattleTag FAQ and Battle.net website to include updated information about the BattleTag™ system, including how the system will work once Diablo III is released, what StarCraft II and World of Warcraft players will see when chatting with their BattleTag nicknames, and our future plans for the service.

Create Your BattleTag

If you haven’t yet created a BattleTag, be sure to check out these resources and set up your BattleTag nickname as soon as possible, as it will be required to play Diablo III. You can quickly create your BattleTag or use your one free BattleTag change here: https://us.battle.net/account/management/battletag-create.html

Cross-Game Chat

Please note that while BattleTag-based cross-game chat will be supported in both StarCraft II and World of Warcraft at the launch of Diablo III, you will only have the ability to send and accept BattleTag friend requests when logged in to Diablo III. This means that in order to chat with a friend in StarCraft II or World of Warcraft using your BattleTag ID, you must first send or accept a BattleTag friend request in Diablo III. We’ll be adding in the ability to send and accept BattleTag friend requests in StarCraft II and World of Warcraft in the future.

For more information about BattleTags, be sure to check out the FAQ and website page linked above. We’ll have more details to share as development continues, so stay tuned!

Will there be a character specific or Diablo III specific friendslist as well, or is BattleTag the only way to add friends in Diablo III?
There will only be two levels of friendships in Diablo III when the game launches: Real ID friends and BattleTag friends. Character-level friendships like you have in World of Warcraft won’t exist in Diablo III, so if you want to another player as a friend, you’ll need to add them as a BattleTag friend or a Real ID friend.

Will it be possible to see only “Barbaros, Level 6 Barbarian, in a Public Game?”
Not really? While you’ll be able to see your own character name (and while there will be situations when other players can see your character’s name, too), your BattleTag nickname will be your primary form of identification. It’s what players will see both in Public Games and most prominently in the friends list.

Hope that answers your questions!

im sure its just a small bit of confusing text there but you really mean

“We’ll be adding in the ability to send BattleTag friend requests in StarCraft II and World of Warcraft in the future.”

right?
Nope! The original sentence is correct. Currently, you can only create BattleTag friendships while logged into Diablo III. This includes both sending requests and accepting them.

In the future, we’ll be opening up the ability for players to send and accept BattleTag requests in StarCraft II and World of Warcraft. When that functionality is added, we’ll be sure to provide more information on how the whole process will work, including what things will look like from the UI side and how BattleTag will integrate into Real ID and other existing chat systems.

So you HAVE to have a Battle Tag in order to play Diablo 3, but my question is, do I HAVE to use my “free change” that they gave everyone?
Nope! The name change is completely optional. It’s there for you if you need it.

Or can I just keep the one I have now?
Yup!

Will I be able to play Diablo3 with my current Battle Tag?
Absolutely!

Lylirra, can we get some clarification on where character names show up vs. Battletag?
Sure thing! When Diablo III launches, your character name will be visible to you in a variety of locations including the character selection screen and game menu. For other players, your character’s name will only appear within your player profile, as hover text the friends list, and when your character participates in quest dialog. In every other context, your BattleTag will be shown.

Also, just to clarify, your BattleTag identifier (the numbers appended to the end of your BattleTag nickname) will only be visible in the “Add Friend” dialog and on a player’s profile page. When you’re just playing normally in a group, your BattleTag nickname should display.

So Bashiok basically lied then?
No, but we did miscommunicate, and that’s our bad.

To help clear up that confusion, the current design is something we feel pretty confident in. Even after carefully reviewing all of your feedback and analyzing the pros and cons of the system, we found that BattleTags are a better way (overall) to personally identify individuals from game to game, even if they change characters.

It helps players build up street cred, or even the opposite type of experiences where you’d want to avoid another player entirely — something that would only be possible with an account-wide nickname. As a result, we felt that confusing BattleTags with character names in Diablo III was detrimental to those types of benefits.

We know that some of you may disagree with that approach, and that’s totally fine. We just encourage you to give BattleTags a chance when Diablo III releases so you can see how the system works in the actual game environment. You might find that you actually like it! Or, you might not, and we’d love to hear your feedback either way. :)

No, but we did miscommunicate, and that’s our bad.
Specifically mine. Sorry. :

To reiterate what Lylirra said, this is the initial implementation and we’re very open to feedback once the game launches and everyone has had more time to mess around with things. Just hold up, give it a chance, and then let us know how it’s working out for you after release.

Terrible decision.

I guess instead of coming up with a creative name for each of my characters, I’ll instead randomly smash my keyboard with my fist to generate a name.
Character names will still be displayed in a number of locations, and more to come, including the website. I’d highly recommend you not do that.


Tagged As: | Categories: Bashiok, Battle.net, Blue Posts, Controversy, Lylirra, Real ID