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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.

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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Hands-On Blizzcon Reaper of Souls Demo: New Monster Abilities

Posted 10 Nov 2013 by

Reaper of Souls at BlizzCon with IncGamersHere are some details about new monster abilities, modified monster behaviors, larger champion packs, and the two new Elite Affixes I saw in my play time on the DiabloWikiReaper of Souls demo at Blizzcon this weekend. This article does not include behaviors and info on the new Act Five enemies. I’ll put those in a separate article about Act 5, coming soon™.

Lots of familiar monsters have subtle new behaviors or powers or properties. Grotesques, the spiky fat guys who explode upon death, had three that I noticed.

The first was a new type of creamy filling. Some of them I saw in Nephalem Rift games blew up to release three spiders, rather than Eels or Imps. They were the long-legged, fast-moving Act 2 cave type of spiders, and they were spread out maybe 20y apart at first, before quickly activating to come attack you in melee range.

The second DiabloWikiGrotesque change is a functional one; their belly babies are now immune to the explosions of other Grotesques. The big guys are not, and you can still trigger those awesome domino chains where you kill one, his explosion kills the next, his explosion kills two more, etc. What’s new is that that chain of events no longer obliterates all of their belly babies.

Besties forevers!

Besties forevers!

I got a five-pack of Champions in the DiabloWikiWeeping Hollow while hunting DiabloWikiMira Eamon on a DiabloWikiBounty and all five did the glorious falling domino row of mutual destruction, but then out of their splattered ashes came all 15 Eels, wriggling up to attack. (I’d have expected 3 Eels at most had that occurred on DiabloWikiD3V.)

This isn’t exactly a terrifying change, since the Eels are pretty much a wriggling Massacre Bonus to any AoE attack, but it’s an obvious difference from what you see now in-game.

The third new Grotesque thing I saw in a DiabloWikiNephalem Rift game. It was a yellow-named random boss Grotesque with DiabloWikiHorde and DiabloWikiMolten… and his minions were vomiting female zombies, rather than other Grotesques. They promptly set to puking and all grouped together they were pretty easy for my Crusader to deal with (the Crusader had two very overpowered AoE attacks: DiabloWikiFist of Heavens and DiabloWikiHeaven’s Fury — full Crusader mega report coming soon), but it was interesting to see a new and mixed type of boss and minions

Click through for some more new monster abilities, full details of the two new DiabloWikiElite Affixes, anecdotes about larger Champion packs, and more.

Bigger Champion Packs

I’d long thought this a good feature for some end game dungeons, but I wasn’t expecting it at level 32 in my first DiabloWikiAdventure Mode game on the RoS demo. Yet there they were, five DiabloWikiChampion Grotesques in the DiabloWikiWeeping Hollow, all bloated and filthy. They weren’t especially hard, since even at that mid-level the Crusader has several skills really well suited for larger groups of enemies, but more is MOAR.

In later games I got several other Champion packs of 5 (I also saw champs of 3 and 4, so it varies), and they were challenging. The worst was a Nephalem Rift game with a Demon Hunter where I got DiabloWikiWortham for the first level. It extended from the docks through town, over the bridge and all the way down to the Spider Cavern entrance. (Which was the way to level 2 of that Nephalem Rift.) All of it full of monsters. The worst part was right outside the gate leaving the town and the burning church area, where I found 5 Champion Mallet Lords with Extra Fast and Molten.

Thankfully, they were too large to get through the gateway all at once, so I got close enough to attract one around the corner, and then scampered back through town and along the pathway towards the docks, dropping DiabloWikiCaltrops to slow them, DiabloWikiVaulting to get space, and using DiabloWikiRapid Fire to kill them. I almost burned my resources empty on each of the massive enemies, and since I’m used to D3V I kept killing one, going back through the gate, and cursing in surprise when another one was sitting there, ready to repeat the chase again. If they’d been out in the open on some large level, or had DiabloWikiVortex or DiabloWikiTeleport or some movement mod, I’d probably have gotten slaughtered.

Another game I got 5 of the fatboy goat shamans you see in Act Three; the ones who always shield other enemies (and each other) with that glowing barbed wire spell effect. Those are annoying when there are just 3 of them, always shielding each other, scattering in all directions, hurling projectiles, etc. You most often see them in the winding stairway levels going down into Arreat Crater, where they can’t scatter too far on those narrow pathways.

I got them in the Nephalem Rift version of the DiabloWikiFields of Misery (which had an eerie reddish tint and a lot of fog effects), and there were 5 of them, and the damn things spread out like grease on a hot skillet. The benefit was that they weren’t really shielding each other since they were out of casting range. The annoying part was that they went in every direction, kept moving around rapidly throwing shields on all the other random dudes coming at me on that level, and there were 5 of them.

The most fun Elite Affix on 5 champions? DiabloWikiFire Chains. It looks like a crazy jumble or glowing ropes when you first see them in close proximity, and it’s possible… just possible… that you could get them arranged into a pentagram of glowing fire chains. (Since each Fire Chained monster joins to the others by at most two chains.) Bonus points to the first person in RoS who pulls off that feat. Do it on a large circle area and extra bonus points.

New Elite Affixes

Reaper of Souls new difficulty settings.

Reaper of Souls new difficulty settings.

Note that all the bosses found in Adventure Mode had two modifiers. This was with lvl 33-35 characters, and it’s not on Nightmare since Adventure Mode doesn’t have the 4 “difficulty levels,” Normal/Nightmare/Hell/Inferno that you see in Campaign Mode or in D3V today. As I covered in the Adventure Mode article, it’s a flat difficulty (across all five acts) and it scales to the level of your character.

Theoretically there are some character level thresholds (30, 50, 60?) at which the bosses gain a 2nd, 3rd, 4th (and 5th?) Elite Affix. Don’t know for sure. All I can say is that the Adventure mode demo characters started off at level 33, and all the random bosses in Adventure Mode and the Nephalem Rifts had two Elite Affixes.

There were two new Elite Affixes I saw in action in the show demo; Frozen Pulse and Poison Enchanted. Full details on those below. Back in August from Gamescom when Reaper of Souls debuted, one of the devs in an interview casually mentioned some new Elite Affixes in the demo, one of them some kind of ground fire property. We never got more details on that from Gamescom, and if it’s still in the game, I never saw it in my dozens of games from this show.

What I did see, each of them several times each:

Poison Enchanted

DiabloWikiPoison Enchanted: This was a boss ability in Diablo 2, but the name is the only thing it has in common. The function is a bit like DiabloWikiFrozen or DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted in function, in that the boss shoots out glowing things that you need to get away from before they explode in painful fashion.

What happens with this affix is that each Champion, or the Boss and his minions, will occasionally stop moving and squat down for an instant, before shooting out two (per creature) glowing yellow spots. They go out from the monster with a sort of electrical squiggle graphic, and then sit there looking a bit like glowing green/yellow manhole covers. After about a second these explode, shooting out greenish jets of gas in an X pattern. Each “arm” of the X goes maybe 15 yards, giving the whole thing a range of about 35 yards, and it persists for several seconds.

One isn’t that hard to avoid, but if you’re in a melee fight and you get two or more around you, it’s really tough not to get hit by at least one of the jets, and they are dangerous when multiples of them are stacked overlapping and you’re right on top.

The casting range for the initial blobs is pretty far; they scatter them around you in a melee fight, but when I got this Affix while playing a Demon Hunter in a later game the boss was at least 50 yards away when he cast it, and yet the little yellow circles that were going to explode into the X shape appeared near me. You can basically think of it like Arcane Enchanted, except instead of little pink balls that turn into rotating needles, these are yellow-green circles that blow up into Xs. They’re harder to avoid than Arcane Enchanted, but not nearly as damaging.

They do not debuff or slow you, just hit for big poison damage which you want to avoid standing in. It’s a very effective “Denial of Area” attack, as the devs term things that make you move from one location to another.

Frozen Pulse

DiabloWikiFrozen Pulse — I only saw this one twice, and I’m not entirely sure what it does. Basically it’s freezing debuff/damage from a little blue orb that floats around the boss and homes in on your character when you are nearby. Its movement was a bit reminiscent of the Druid’s Sages from D2, or perhaps the Wizard’s Familiar in D3, though it doesn’t move that quickly or stay that close.

The Pulse looks like a spiky blue ball, a bit like a Frozen just before it explodes, (or a dog chew toy) and it floats around the boss, then comes towards you if you get within some proximity (30y or so?) of the boss. When it’s near you it hits you with a chilling debuff that deals slight damage. I couldn’t tell if it actually “pulsed” and upped the damage now and then, but it was mildly annoying when nearby.

It could be avoided; if you ran away it would move after you, but slower than you moved and if you got far enough form the boss it would snap back to him, and then come back to you once you were nearby again.

I only saw this one twice (I saw Poison Enchanted at least 10x) so I didn’t get as much sense of what it does and how it works.

Other Elite Affix Changes

There weren’t any, at least not real obvious. Note that the highest level Affixes, the ones you only find in Hell and Inferno now, were not seen in this demo, so there might be changes to those.

The single hardest boss I got in the entire demo was a random Elite with DiabloWikiMolten and DiabloWikiElectrified. That’s not a combo that I’d worry much about in D3V, but for some reason it was dealing huge damage to my Crusader in the RoS demo. I had to retreat twice, running back several rooms to get space or to find a Health Orb, and this was in a demo where the Crusader was able to wipe out most random bosses in 3-5 seconds without even considering a retreat.

Possibilities:

  1. The Molten was stacking on the Electrified so each time I hit him it really hurt myself.
  2. Molten extends further out in front of the boss with that property, so you get cooked just fighting in melee range (I didn’t notice that with other Moltens, though.)
  3. Electrified (and possibly Molten) are buffed to deal more reflected damage.
  4. My Crusader’s low resistances really became obvious at this one spot.

 

If you’ve got additional monster questions throw them into comments and I’ll reply if I have a chance. Stay tuned for more hands-on reports from the RoS demo.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.