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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


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.

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 v2.0.1 Tutorial: Welcome Back to Hell

Posted 26 Feb 2014 by

There’s a reason the devs are calling this Diablo 3 version 2, and it’s because the game has changed greatly. Major additions and system overhauls abound, with a complete reworking of the end game experience DiabloWikiParagon 2.0 system, items via DiabloWikiLoot 2.0, the difficulty settings and game progression, major changes to the overall combat engine and gameplay, adjustments to almost every skill and rune effect, big changes to the economy and crafting, new UI features, and more.

New Hellfire Ring proc lava pit.

New Hellfire Ring proc lava pit.

If you haven’t been following the changes and are just preparing to leap into v2 this week, you’ve probably got a lot of questions and I’m sure the forums will be buzzing as players demand to know where their character’s Paragon levels and Magic Find went, or curse the removal of sardine-can density to some of v1.08′s over/ever-farmed areas.

Thus follows a (fairly) brief tutorial covering the major new changes, with many links to related commentary that goes into much more depth about the new stuff. The Wiki links go to comprehensive articles on the issues and while not every page in the has been updated to v2/RoS into yet, we’re working on it.


DiabloWikiDifficulty has been completely overhauled. The grinding through Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno has been removed, replaced by a dynamic scaling system. All monsters in the game now adjust on the fly to match your character’s level. It is therefore impossible to choose to play content much higher or lower than your character’s level, unless you join a game created by another character, since the monsters will scale to his character’s level.

Difficulty can still be customized by “challenge levels” — Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, Torment 1-6 — which roughly approximate the previous Monster Power 1-10 settings. Higher challenge levels boost the gold and experience, and certain high quality items can only be dropped on Torment or higher.

Click through for similar coverage of other key changes in Version 2, including Paragon 2.0, removed D3 features, RoS-only features, skill changes, combat system modifications, advice on farming for items and/or exp, monster density changes, Cursed Chests, Bosses, and much more.

Removed Diablo 3 Features

A few features have been removed or made minimally-functional, generally due to larger game changes.

  • Magic Find — Now a very rare affix, found only a some few legendary items, and only 10% of the value functions. Boosted legendary drop rates make it unnecessary, in the opinion of most players.
  • Life Steal — Cut to 10% effectiveness at level 60 (and disabled entirely past lvl 60.) Instead of LS, use the improved regen, LpH, potions, Life per Fury/Spirit/Wrath, etc.
  • Permanent WotB/Archon — The two most OP character abilities can no longer be kept active indefinitely, due to various skill tweaks.
  • Nephalem Valor — Removed entirely. No more need to “stack up” before you start finding good items.
  • Individual Character Paragon Levels — Removed for the account-wide Paragon 2.0 system. See below for full details.

  • Reaper of Souls Features Not in D3v2.0.1

    Just to clarify and establish this up front, a lot of the features you’ve heard so much about during the Beta/PTR are only found in Reaper of Souls and are not present in Diablo 3, even in Version 2.0.1. A quick list:

  • The DiabloWikiCrusader class.
  • Act Five
  • DiabloWikiAdventure Mode and DiabloWikiBounties.
  • DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts
  • The fourth passive slot (enabled at lvl 70 in RoS).
  • One new active skill and several new passive skills for each of the original 5 classes. (These are shown on the skills menu, but can not be selected.)
  • The DiabloWikiMystic and DiabloWikiEnchanting.
  • Kadala and DiabloWikiGambling with Blood Shards.
  • Gems above the DiabloWikiMarquise level.

  • User Interface

  • The Waypoint menus are all changed from lists to artsy-maps, and take some getting used to.
  • You can open the waypoint menu at any time, via the M key or by Tab + right click on the map, and travel right to that waypoint instead of going back to town first.
  • The Game Options now allow you to check boxes to skip all cutscenes, and to display dropped items with symbols. (This is handy to cut down on visual clutter, and also since Rares drop already IDed, which makes sorting them by item type by the name difficult.)

  • Paragon Points and End Game Experience

    The Paragon System is entirely reworked. No more do individual characters have Paragon levels. Now all exp earned by max level characters counts for an account-wide paragon level (Hardcore and Softcore are separate). All your current Paragon exp is combined to determine your account’s Paragon level, and the majority of players have between 50-150 points when entering the new system, with only very busy players over P200. (For example, in Softcore I had P81, P60, P18, P13, and P5 = P127 in the Beta. Checking today on live, I had only P105, so they tweaked the curve down a bit during testing.)

    Paragon exp earned by already deceased HC chars counts towards your HC Paragon total when the system goes live.

    No cap on Core stats.

    No 50 cap on Core stats.

    Each character on your account, of any level, has access to the full total of Paragon points. You don’t have to share them in any way. Each Paragon Level awards a Paragon Point to the 4 Tabs in alternating sequence. (Thus your 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, etc point goes to the Core Tab.) There are 4 tabs, each with 4 stats in which you can spend Paragon points. (The fields were modified several times during PTR testing.)

  • Core Tab: DiabloWikiMainstat (varies by class), DiabloWikiVitality, DiabloWikiMovement Speed, and DiabloWiki+Max Resource.
  • Offense Tab: DiabloWikiIncreased Attack Speed, DiabloWikiCritical Hit Chance, DiabloWikiCritical Hit Damage, Reduce DiabloWikiCooldown time.
  • Defense Tab: +Life%, +Resist All, +Life DiabloWikiRegen, Resource Cost Reduction.
  • Utility Tab: DiabloWikiArea Damage, Resource cost reduction, DiabloWikiLife per Hit, DiabloWikiGold Find.
  • The amount of gain varies between the fields and all stats other than Mainstat/vit max out with 50 points. (Points earned above P800 can only be spent in the Core Tab.) Paragon points provide small bonuses per point, but they add up substantially and are excellent to fill gaps in your gear, or to customize your characters in various ways. They are very impactful when applied to a new, low level character, making rerolling (such as in Hardcore) much more enjoyable.

    Character Skills

    There are massive changes to skills, with every skill and virtually every rune effect tweaked in some fashion. The developers made a concerted effort to provide many more viable builds and greatly increased the damage of many underpowered skills. See also the comments below on the changes to the combat system, which opens up more variety in skill use, since multiple defensive and crowd control skills are no longer required for most builds.

    The full compiled list of skill changes has not yet been released, but you can see the huge amount of them that were altered during the PTR testing in past Patch Notes. Feb 13, Feb 7, Jan 17, etc.

    Combat Basics

    One of the biggest changes in Version 2 and Reaper of Souls is a general revision to how combat works. The clickclickclick mechanic remains unchanged, but there’s been a general smoothing and extending of combat. Most of the spiky damage has been removed, and decently-geared characters are now much less likely to get one-shotted or to feel trapped and helpless in certain combat situations.

    The game isn’t exactly “easier” since the most overpowered skills and Life Steal have been nerfed, but it feels more tactical and strategic in battle, with a wider variety of options and play styles opened up. Players can still go all or mostly DPS and crush, but to survive on higher difficulty levels requires a lot of life regen, healing from various sources, damage mitigation, crowd control, and other tactics. Without Life Steal + big damage = instant full health restore, players have to engage in hit and run and move to avoid danger.

    The combat now feels more like an active interaction where avoiding trouble is necessary, rather than just gearing up and tanking through it (or not) as in the old days. This has opened up many more play styles and made the game a lot more fun for glass cannons, in the process greatly improving the Demon Hunter and enabling a huge variety of Wizard builds.

    Loot 2.0

    This could be a full article by itself, but the key changes in bullet form:

  • Greatly increased legendary drop rate.
  • Greatly improved/diversified legendary/set items, many with special legendary-only properties.
  • New-found set items have bigger/better partial set bonuses. (Old and New sets can not be mixed to obtain set bonuses.)
  • Diamond gems added. (+Damage to Elites in weapons, reduce cooldown in helms, ResAll in other.)
  • Marquise gem unsocket price reduced from 5m to 75k (per gem).
  • “Smart Drops” make the appropriate item types and mainstat roll most of the time. (This can make farming items for another class difficult.)
  • Affixes provide +10-15% to individual skills and +10-20% to specific elemental damage types.
  • The Crafting system has been extensively overhauled.

  • Many new recipes for legendary and set items added.
  • Set/Legendary crafting recipes much much more frequently, and recipes you already know do not drop at all.
  • Crafting materials are simplified into two tiers, level 1-60 and lvl 61-70 (which are only found in Reaper of Souls.)
  • Crafting materials sometimes drop directly from chests and monsters.
  • Crafting materials only come from the same quality of item; white from salvaging white, blue from salvaging blue, etc. You will need to pick up and salvage white and blue items if you wish to craft a lot, as they are required materials. (Especially blues for Enchanting in Reaper of Souls.) White and blue items salvage into 1-3 mats.

  • Monster Density and Farming

    The monster density has been tweaked throughout the game with fewer empty stretches and more interesting “clumping.” Compared to v1.08, most levels have more monsters, though the few densest areas from the previous patch are now less crowded. This means that there are no clear best farming areas. Most players on the PTR tended to farm areas they liked the best, with no real concensus as to what was the most profitable. (Players in Reaper of Souls ran bounties or cleared Nephalem Rifts, neither of which is available in D3v2.)

    See the many detailed discussions of farming choices and values in this new forum thread from PTR testers. Popular areas are the Leoric’s dungeon levels of Act One, the Dhalgur Oasis in Act 2, the Keep levels in Act 3, and all of Act 4 (the last act has much improved density and is now a viable farming option).

    Legendary items drop much more frequently, and they seem fairly-evenly distributed between objects, trash mobs, and bosses. There’s no reason to skip bosses or trash or concentrate on anything in particular in order to find the most legendaries.

    Side events and Cursed Chests provide substantial experience and gold rewards, and are almost always worth doing if you encounter them during your adventures.

    Cursed Chests

    These glowing red chests trigger monster events that are worth substantial experience if successfully completed. There are several types of these events (which sometimes function as bounties in Reaper of Souls, but not in D3v2.)

  • Waves. Players must clear 5 waves of enemies, all trash mobs, each within a given brief stretch of time.
  • Horde. Players must kill 100 monsters within the time frame. All are trash mobs.
  • Kill group/Champions/Elite. A small group of enemies or a pack of Champions or a random Elite spawns and must be killed within a short timer. Occasionally spawns a much bigger enemy; I saw Ghom and Rakanoth from different cursed chests during the RoS beta.
  • Cursed Chests provide exp and gold rewards, with bigger bonuses and usually a second chest appearing if you complete the entire challenge. The drops from the chests are generally crappy though, and most players on the PTR felt that they needed a buff, much like the Treasure Goblins got.

    Bosses and Elites

    Bosses may now spawn with DiabloWikiminions not of their same monster type. This can be easier or harder, depending on the luck of the RNG. Minions in general are much buffed in hit points and make fights with Yellow Elites much more difficult and lasting. (Beware DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted, DiabloWikiMolten, DiabloWikiPlagued, and other effects that Minions can cast.)

    Champion packs often spawn with up to 5 enemies now, adding to their challenge.

    There are five new DiabloWikiBoss Modifiers described in the Patch Notes. They add flavor, but none are especially dangerous compared to current enemies. Watch out for DiabloWikiWormhole since it moves you from one location to another which is confusing at first. DiabloWikiPoison Enchanted looks terrifying with the green covering, but the damage isn’t that bad. DiabloWikiFrozen Pulse is sneaky dangerous, as the puck will home under your feet and start pulsing directly on you.

    Many of the existing Affixes seem less dangerous now. DiabloWikiDesecrator takes longer to scale up damage, Arcane Enchanted gives more indication where the initial needle is going to point, DiabloWikiPlagued and DiabloWikiMolten are less damaging, etc. [/wiki]Reflects Damage[/wiki] received the biggest nerf, since it no longer deals back a percent of damage taken, which means high DPS characters don’t have to worry about killing themselves on the Thorns. Any reasonable amount of regen or DiabloWikiLpH will offset it completely.

    The most dangerous updated Modifier is DiabloWikiFire Chains, which deals considerably higher damage than anything else, save perhaps standing on a pair of Arcane needles. Beware fast enemies with it, especially Teleporter.

    DiabloWikiHorde can be troublesome simply because there can be such a huge number of minions spawned by it. Ten or twelve at once was not uncommon during the RoS beta, and with Minions greatly increased in hit points, they could take a while to kill.

    More Changes?

    I’m sure I forgot to mention some things, so if there’s a topic not addressed here or you want more clarification on something, hit it in comments. We’d like this to be a useful reference for players for some time early in the life of v2.0.1, so we’ll update/fix it with better info as available.

    Update: And still on the theme of welcoming everyone to hell the official IncGamers clan and community is open now. DFollow that link for details.