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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.

hardrock

Trophies

Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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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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Diablo III Launch = Technical Disaster?

Posted 16 May 2012 by

Though I personally didn’t have too much trouble playing when the servers first went up yesterday, if you go by the gaming media’s coverage of Diablo III’s launch, it was a complete disaster. Dozens of articles on every sort of gaming and tech site stress the technical problems, the inability to log in or create characters, the disconnects, and the server outages.

Seriously, look at Google News for “Diablo 3 launch” and easily two-thirds of the articles make it sound like some sort of Titanic Hindenburg crashed into a sky iceberg. Some quotes and links to give you a sense of the amount of angry headlines:

  • PC Gamer — Server, Login Problems Plague ‘Diablo 3′ Launch Day
  • Yahoo Games — Error message mars release of ‘Diablo III’
  • Cnet News — Diablo III woes plague launch day players
  • Kotaku — Well, I’d Say This Stupid Error Message About Sums It Up, Diablo III-Wise
  • Kotaku — When It Comes to Diablo III, Error 3003 Is The New Error 37
  • Daily Mail Online — A 12-year wait for this? Thousands of video gamers furious as they are unable to play Diablo III after huge demand brings down servers
  • VG 24/7 — Diablo 3: you can’t log-in and you shouldn’t care
  • Summit Sun — ‘Ripped off’: fans rage as Diablo 3 debut spoiled by glitches
  • Aussie Gamer — Hell in the Depths of Hell: Diablo III Launch Problems Arise
  • Stuff NZ — When game launches go bad
  • PCR Online — Diablo III launch day server woes
  • Democratic Underground — Diablo 3 Launch Marred by Errors
  • Manolith — Diablo III Launch Marred by Technical Errors
  • AfterDawn — Diablo III Launches, Servers Struggle
  • Gaming Bolt — Diablo 3 fiasco: People have to take a stand against always-online DRM
  • From this I have to think the general fan’s opinion of D3′s launch is that it was a disaster. Was that how things went for you guys? As bad as these media stories make it sound?

    For me, Diablo III’s launch wasn’t bad. Thanks to delays from ending our live launch show and getting my computer set up to livestream the playthrough, I wasn’t able to log onto the EU server until about an hour after it went live. When I finally did, it took a few minutes of trying, but I was able to get in, create a Wizard, and create a game fairly easily. It took Elly a good fifteen minutes to get logged on as well, but once she was in we played together in the same game for a good five hours straight. The game was actually more stable than our computers, as I had two hard crashes and she had one, while the same game remained online the entire time.

    I didn’t try to log onto the US servers at midnight, but the players I’ve talked to said logging in was impossible for half an hour or so, but after that things went pretty well. The Asian servers were online hours earlier and weren’t great, but mostly held up, from reports I’ve read.

    So why is the online news coverage so negative? Did a lot of journos try at 12:05, get realm unavailable messages, and /ragequit?


    Remember last year after the online-only “feature” was announced and got a lot of bad press, yet most of you guys were supportive of it and insisted (as did Blizzard) that everyone had a good internet connection by now, that Blizzard knew how to run game servers with at least 24/7 (or at least 23.8/7) uptime, that people who wanted single player mode were just pissed about losing out on piracy, etc. Anyone rethinking their opinion on that issue yet, or are you perfectly willing to suffer through a day or a week (or a month?) of repeated server inaccessibility for what you see as a greater good?