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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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Ring of Royal Grandeur Farming Exploit?

You want? You take!

You want? You take!

The DiabloWikiRing of Royal Grandeur (armory) has become the most sought after item in Diablo 3, as its legendary affix is basically mandatory for all end game gearing decisions, given the power of partial Item Set bonuses. The hard part is finding one, as it’s one of the five legendary items that can only be obtained from Act One Horadric Caches. This is good in a way, as it’s the sole remaining item/profit-based reason players have to do *anything* other than RiftRiftRift. (Given the game’s design direction in recent months, I’m frankly surprised the RoRG hasn’t been turned into a Greater Rift Guardian drop.)

Most players hunt RoRGs with brute force, by grinding hundreds of Act One bounties as quickly as possible, which usually means split-farming on Normal difficulty. That’ll work, eventually, but is there a better way? A user in our Diablo 3 community forum named Horadrimm says yes, there’s a trick to it, by following a method players are calling the “Junger Rules.” Quote:

I got 5 RORGS with very minimal effort and so can you!!

How it works: The game has a pity timer, meaning that if you don’t get a legendary within an hour or so it drops one for you automatically. The goal the aforementioned method of farming is to ensure that pity drop is in your horadric cache and not in the world.

What to do:

  • Do not kill any mobs except those required for objectives.
  • Do not kill goblins.
  • Do not open chests including resplendent chests.
  • Do not destroy breakables (pots, barrels, looting bodies etc).
  • Do not pop fortune shrines.
  • Do not kill mobs from required cursed chest and shrine event objectives until the timer has run out.
  • Avoiding a legendary drop in the world increases the chance the pity timer drops one in your cache.

    First off, the guy who invented this was apparently named Junger, so now it’s called the “Junger Rules.” Which is fine, but how the hell did they avoid the obvious pun and call it the “Junger Games?” So that’s what I’m calling it, since I’m all about obvious puns.

    As for the technique, the theory is that since the game has a “pity timer” that increases your chances of finding a legendary item the longer you go without finding one, you can exploit this by obtaining a Horadric Cache after not finding any Legendaries for some time. Hence not killing Goblins, not opening golden chests, avoiding random Elites, etc. This is a sacrifice since it’ll lower your total legendaries found, but boost your chances of finding that all-important RoRG.

    Does it work? Some players swear it does, others say it doesn’t. And thus we’re plunged back into the conspiracy theories that are inevitably spawned by item hunting in a game where we don’t know exactly how item drops work. I think the principle is sound, as the pity timer is real, but I’m not at all sure the stated rules are how it should be done.

    First of all, we don’t know when items in a Horadric Cache are determined. The Junger Gamers say the legendary pity timer works when you find the Cache, but that seems contrary to what we know about how Horadric Caches determine their item drops. Remember early in RoS, when players were storing Caches up in Normal and opening them on Torment 6? That was a real exploit, easily observed since it caused Imperial Gems to drop from Caches found in Normal. (Which made it seem that items in Caches were determined when the Cache was opened. NOT when it was found.)

    Blizzard confirmed that exploit by hotfixing it and adding an internal tag to unopened Caches that tracked what DiabloWikidifficulty level they were found on, and the level of the character that farmed them. (So if you find bags with a lvl 70 and open with a lvl 60, all the items will be lvl 70.) Bliz later expanded on that in Patch 2.0.5 when they boosted the chances for legendary items to drop from Caches found on Torment 2 and higher.

    Furthermore, Bliz recently confirmed that items from Caches roll their smart drop according to the class of the character that opens the cache. It doesn’t matter who farms the cache in terms of what items drop. That matches my experience and testing as well, as I once farmed a bunch of caches with my DH and my Barb, and then opened them with a WD and got almost all INT gear, plus several Witch Doctor-restricted items.

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    Diablo 3 Build Diversity Issues

    Posted 2 Jul 2013 by

    Diablo 3 Build Diversity and support for variants is a common issue of debate in the Diablo 3 community. Though recent patches have done quite a bit to buff up underused skills, most players would still like to see more variety and more “viable” styles of play.

    Game punishes you for being different.

    Sure not all the skills can be equal but if you don’t pick exactly the cookie cutter build of the moment you simply suffer in terms of performance. In what universe do you have a skill that does 1000% damage (Cloud of Bats) for 66 mana and not expect every single WD to jump on it?

    I’m sick of trying to have a different kind of build, im sick of being punished for not wanting the same build as everyone else. Build diversity is joke in this game.
    Grimiku: Thank you for your feedback! Build diversity is a big topic, and something we’re always interested in hearing about. I think there will always be a build that yields the highest performance, but the question is about the variance. Do you feel that there are no builds even close to the Cloud of Bats build(s)?

    Before we address the larger issue, it’s instructive to consider those quaint things called um… facts. Through the beauty of stat sites such as our own Diablo3Ladders.com, you can quickly see exactly how popular each skill is. Thus do I learn that Firebats: Cloud of Bats is the 14th most popular WD skill, with a burn rate of 15.6% (Zombie Bears is #1, and 250% more popular.) That’s in softcore, though. For HC Witch Doctors, Cloud of Bats is only #22, with 5.7% usage. (Since it’s a short range attack, making it hazardous to deploy in HC.) In either event, it’s very far from “every single WD” as the OP’s hyperbole claimed, and WDs actually have about the most build diversity of any class. (Barbs have the least since the WW/Sprint/WotB build is so overpowered.)

    That aside, the issue of viable build diversity and variety is a big one, and many of the questions you guys submitted last week touched on it. As I mentioned in Diablo 3 Fansite Summit article and spoke about at more length in the related podcast, I was able to bring this issue up during the conversation spurred by Josh Mosqueira’s one question.

    There I voiced the the common complaint that there are only two viable Wizard builds in Diablo 3, and was surprised when one of the devs joked that they were happy there wasn’t just one. The conversation went from there, but in large part the Diablo 3 devs said that in this day and age, with fansites offering calculators and popular build rankings and such, there’s just no way that most fans won’t gravitate to the most efficient build, even if it’s boring.

    Early Hydra Runestone effects.

    Early Hydra Runestone effects.

    The “always one best build” thing was true of Diablo 2 and every other ARPG as well, but it’s exacerbated today by the ease of research, quick respecs, and D3′s paragon system providing a huge incentive to gain higher levels. (There’s no law that states the only goal of Diablo 3 is to level up quickly, though many players act as though such legislation was indeed imposed upon them during the reign of Jay the Great and Terrible.)

    Another big factor that I brought up at during the Town Hall is the lack of weirdly-varied Legendary items in Diablo 3. The devs agreed completely on that one, and reiterated that one of the main objectives of the ongoing Diablo 3 itemization changes is to introduce more legendaries that promote the use of individual skills or builds, such as a Wizard item that would enable double Hydra casting. That won’t cure everything of course, since that will either become THE best Wizard build, or else it will be 1% less efficient than another build and people like the above OP will still have the same complaint… but that’s the Diablo community for you.

    The devs didn’t give any more/new examples of cool item bonuses for skill diversity during the Town Hall, but they’re eminently aware of the issue and are working to improve/address it. Alas, it’s just another cool future thing for which we can only wait.


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