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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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Diablo 3 Auction House *Required* For Success?

Posted 28 May 2012 by

Bashiok replied to a couple of more questions in the thread we newsed up yesterday, about the big State of the Game article coming from Blizzard on Monday.

As many people have noticed in the game, and debated in the forums, and talked about on the podcast I recorded about an hour ago, there are several spots in Diablo III when the difficulty seems to take a big jump. At those times players are finding it very hard to advance, especially players who are playing solo and farming/crafting their own gear.

In those cases, such as the big jump up to DiabloWikiInferno, and especially to Act 2 Inferno, it’s now much easier to hit up the DiabloWikiGAH and spend some gold on an item than it is to find/craft that item yourself. Especially since you really need to be in about Act 3 of Inferno to find the quality of gear you need to survive in Act 2 of Inferno. It’s like that old joke that you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

I appreciate there are still a lot of questions, but the post on Monday has quite a bit of info and is coordinated to be posted in about a dozen languages. I really can’t get into too many specifics without ruining the efforts that have gone into ensuring a simultaneous release. I do hope it’s informative, though.

Have a good weekend!

This is a bit frustrating as answers go. So, is it your intent that people gear through Auction House? It seems you’re saying “yes” but it isn’t clear.

I’ve been farming Inferno Act I quite a bit, rolling 5 Valor stacks at various times, and I have to play for a very long time to see anything that passes as an upgrade. In fact, I think almost every piece I am using is from AH, and I run with people that share all of our drops. It doesn’t feel like AH is part of gearing, it feels like it is the only source of gear. I’m sure it is possible to gear without it, but I can’t imagine the time investment required to do so.
This isn’t a new concept. In Diablo II gear was randomized and so absolutely ridiculously rare that you could almost be guaranteed to never find the exact item you were looking for just by farming for it yourself. To be the best you had to trade items with others, as you might find an extremely rare item, they may be willing to trade for yours. If you wanted to get ahead within any reasonable amount of time you had to trade. Now, Diablo II had one thing going for it which was the mass proliferation of dupes for the rarest items, which completely tanked its economy and quickly allowed anyone to gear themselves in the best possible items for nearly nothing. In Diablo III you don’t have that luxury, you need to actually find the rare items, or trade for them.

Now, you have a couple options, you can jump into our Trading Forum, post up your item/s and then meet someone in-game and barter a trade. You can also use the in-game Trade channel, and again barter trades. Or you can use the auction house system. How you trade items is up to you, bartering out of game, bartering in-game, the AH for gold, or real money once it launches. We’re not forcing anyone to do anything, and if you don’t ever want to trade with other players that’s your choice as well, but due to the nature of drops in Diablo games, if you want to be the best you need to trade.

The difference in Diablo 2 was that you could solo act 4 and 5 with gear you farmed yourself.

In Diablo 3 you have no chance in act 2 and onward unless you buy gear from the auction house. The best gear drops in the later acts (Jay said there was one tier of drops in each Act), so there will be a looooong while until I even have a chance at starting farming the best gear.

Basically I have to gear up so I have a chance at gearing up so I have a chance at getting the good loot.

In D2, I could start farming the best loot the game had to offer by myself.
Good point! Yes, Diablo III has an additional difficulty level, Inferno, with a very steep difficulty curve. One bit of misinformation is that loot is static in where it drops, but in fact the loot table bands are quite large. For example the “Inferno Act I loot” has a chance to drop in Hell Act IV as much as it does Inferno Act II. You will need to farm Inferno Act I to get a shot at those higher level items to drop so you can continue progressing.

I think Inferno and maybe the item economy need some fine-tuning yet, but players seem to have unrealistic expectations. If you could easily or reliably find or craft the top quality gear you needed for Inferno, wouldn’t that be too easy? What’s the point in having difficult content if you can pass it with easily-found gear? You can’t demand that Inferno be super challenging and then complain that you can’t find the gear to power through it less than 2 weeks after the game launches. What, is the game to know that you’re the one special person who deserves the super great item drops, and it’s just all those other people who the “rare items are rare” rules apply to?

Also, if those items were readily-available they’d clogging up the GAH, which would only exacerbate the problem. Then you’d be able to find the best items easily, and buy the best items very, very easily. That’s not progress.

Finally, we’re getting a lot of those infamous rose-tinted glasses about D2 again, with these demands for instant gratification. Yes, you could find the top end game gear in D2… but not 12 days after release. You can find it in D3 also; after all, it’s other players who are selling that stuff in the GAH now. But it takes time, or luck, or both. It did in D2 also.

In D2C it was really hard to find top quality items. It got easier in D2X, especially once there were runewords and so many elite Uniques, but even then, many people played D2X for YEARS without finding a rune higher than about DiabloWikiVex, or many/any of the Treasure Class 90 uniques, etc. Eventually those things became more common, cube recipes were added to allow rune upgrades all the way to DiabloWikiZod, duped runes devalued the economy, etc. But finding any of that stuff yourself took months of play with very good MF chars, and no one has invested anything like that sort of effort into D3. Yet.

Diablo III’s DiabloWikieconomy and game difficulty will look VERY different in July or August than they look now. What do you bet that the people now arguing that they can’t find the top .0001% of gear will be the same people complaining that Inferno’s gotten too easy and that top gear is too available, three months from now?


Tagged As: | Categories: Auction House, Bashiok, Blue Posts, Inferno