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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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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.



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.


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


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

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Diablo III: The Art of Distance

Posted 30 Apr 2012 by

Distance has been a topic of discussion for DiabloWikiDiablo III communities, as there is no real determinable metric that can be gleaned from the interface, nor any specific relative distance to compare with. Generally, players have estimated distance by the use of skills. While that is a very effective way to judge what a skill actually does, it still left many wanting more.

One community member in particular, mwille, took this information into his own hands. By creating an overlay image to match the game, he was able to map the distances of skills to give meaning to the numbers that are pertinent for nearly every skill that has a range. I won’t elaborate, as he provides a very thorough explanation and clear distance guide for everybody to view.

He poses a question at the end of his analysis as well, so if anybody has a definitive answer, please comment.

Update: I’ve updated this article with all of the respective tool tips for skills to aid the distance metric. Hover over the skill names to get the tool tips.

Update 2:  Mwille has been kind enough to provide the images he used and a link to download the program that allows you to have an always-on-top overlay so you can test out your skill distances. As a note, these images cannot be uploaded to the IncGamers galleries because they are PNG, and uploaded files have all transparent areas blocked in with black. These images are hosted on my personal photobucket and are very light on the background. Rest assured that it’s there, just very faint.

You can download the program: here.

Update 3: Below the fold you will see the rest of the article. The following is from mwille to explain some of the problems people might experience with the images and the program:

It wasn’t until I downloaded the overlays you posted & tried them on a Win7 machine instead of XP that I noticed a problem. For some reason it would use a double image (even with only one image in a folder) using the center option. However, I found that it worked using the “Display at Location Offset” option, but had to then change the offset to get it to line up right. Speaking of which, I tweaked the images again so that it outlines the UI at the bottom & added a “pointer” to line up with the center decoration. It should make it easier lining it up. Also, I realized it would be better to have the images with a vertical resolution of 1000 dpi to make it a lot easier to figure out the scale. I uploaded the new images to the hosting account at where I work in case there is a maximum size allowed on photobucket. You can post these links or whatever you think works best.

You can download the proper images:
Image 1
Image 2

Click through to see his general calculations and explanations for available skills and a huge thank you to Mwille for making this available to the community.

I’ve read several forum posts about estimating just how big a yard is in the game. Since there really hasn’t been a definitive answer (due to the camera angle), I decided to do a little more research myself. I looked up a little about drawing in perspective to see if that would help in measuring things. One of the pictures I saw got me to thinking about using a grid of squares & trying to match the game perspective. So that’s what I set out to do. Then it was just a matter of getting the right scale, which I accomplished by using the Vault skill. Of course it’s still just a guessing game, but I think I got it pretty darn close.

Overlay 2Overlay Image

Diablo 3 Distance Map

So what I came up with is what I think of as a “distance map” by adding reference lines to a screen shot. It uses a checkerboard style grid with each square being 10×10 yards. It also has circles centered on the character, each with a radius in 10 yard increments and with minor lines every 2 yards. Then thinking about how several skills have an area effect at the cursor position (or point of impact), every 20 yards out I placed circles serving as “target zones” (each one has a 10 yard radius marked in 2 yard increments). My thought was that it might help give an idea of sizes at a distance (and it’s kind of interesting to see the different shapes of the circles all at once). To finish it off, I added dotted yellow lines showing the visible area for the different resolution aspect ratios. The image is attached.

Note: The lines of potions are from using skills originating at the same spot (the corner on the floor). From the center out, I used Vault, Leap, & then a double Vault.
FYI: While getting the reference lines using Vault I found that its distance isn’t always consistent & posted about it on the official bug forum (link).

After making the “distance map” above, I thought it would be cool to be able to actually use it while playing the game. So, I downloaded a freeware program that keeps an image “always on top” & used just the lines to create an overlay. I then started playing using that overlay which allowed me to estimate distances a lot better, as well as making accurate positioning possible. My curiosity and OCD personality led to the list of ranges & distances below.

Misc. Distances of Interest
2 – stone rings on waypoints (can be used as a reference for +gold/globe pickup radius)
4 – default gold/globe pickup radius
8 – approximate stride while running
10 – radius of town waypoint
20-22 – the radii of the outermost ring on the large circular designs found throughout the cathedral levels

Maximum Distance/Range for Skills
A range of values is listed for a few skills due to them being random. Also, distances for skills that don’t touch the ground (& go past the left/right edge of the screen) have their perspective affected by their casting elevation. I’m not sure how to adjust the perceived distance to compensate, so their actual range will be less than the observed distance listed. The skills that are affected are marked with an “*”. Also, some skills were harder than others to judge so there’s no guarantee it’s error free.

8 – Cleave (12 area effect)
10 – Bash
10 – Frenzy
11 – Revenge
12 – Rend
16 – Hammer of the Ancients (6 radius centered 10 yards in front of the barb)
50 – Seismic Slam (possibly random)
50 – Leap
70* – Ancient Spear

DiabloWikiDemon Hunter
80* – Chakram (with a 3 radius)
80-90* – Rapid Fire (average due to being random)
85* – Bola Shot
86* – Impale
90* – Entangling Shot
100* – plain arrow
120-130* – Hungering Arrow (kind of guessed here since it goes off screen)

9 – Fists of Thunder (no rune, first 2 hits): third hit is 14 yards
10 – Crippling Wave
10 – Lashing Tail Kick
16 – Deadly Reach
27 – Wave of Light (initial area effect has radius of 16 centered 11 yards out from the monk)
28 – Fists of Thunder (with Thunderclap rune, teleport range); only 14 if not targeting
50 – Dashing Strike (only when cursor is close to a target, otherwise 10)

DiabloWikiWitch Doctor
30-50 – Plague of Toads (average due to being random)
30 – Firebats (no rune)
50 – Corpse Spiders (with random radius somewhere around 15 max)
60 – Grasp of the Dead (with 14 radius)
70* – Firebats (Direbats rune) : not the listed 40 (It’s been posted on the official bug forum already.)
78* – Haunt (but when cursor is close to a target, it reaches all the way to the top corners)
100* – Poison Dart

14 – Spectral Blades (only 10 if not targeting)
20 – Frost Nova
20-30 – Shock Pulse (average due to being random)
26 – Wave of Force
50 – Arcane Torrent (with random radius about 8 yards, radius of 4 individually)
50 – Energy Twister (average due to being random) (with 8-10 radius)
55 – Ray of Frost
86* – Magic Missile
88* – plain wand missile
94* – Arcane Orb

Does anyone know if weapons still have ranges like they did in D2? From what I can tell, it doesn’t seem to make a difference when I switch weapons. I tested mainly with Bash, comparing a simple dagger & a flamberge (two-handed sword). I suppose it’s possible that the difference was too small for me to notice.

As far as I understand, the answer to this question is that weapons do not work as they do in Diablo 2. Weapons themselves have an increased range that can offset what is actually seen on screen. In a previous article, Bashiok explained that it was intended, and the range affects enemies as well. If my memory serves me well, they did this because they didn’t want players to feel like it was easy to bypass content and never get hit.

Was there anything I missed, or perhaps the community can elaborate?

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo III Classes, Fan Stuff, Game Features, Skills