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 Greater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular Rift Guardians.
Difficulty: 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 shrines or pylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that Conduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift Leaderboard system.
No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (respec) 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 Goldwrap and Harrington 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
- # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
- Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to Orek.
- Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
- No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
- The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
- If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
- 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.
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.
It’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:
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!
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.
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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Monster Power Should Reward More XP?Posted 20 Dec 2012 by
A fan objects to the current experience curve of the Monster Power system, summoning forth Lylirra to speak Socratically.
XP *should* scale the same as MF or GF and maybe when double that. I don’t see a change like this hurting anyone or effecting the game in a bad way.
Lylirra: As Grimiku pointed out in the an earlier post, one of the things we want to avoid with the reward structure for Monster Power is creating a situation where players feel forced to run on the higher levels, even if they happen to feel more comfortable at somewhere between MP1 – MP3. Ideally, the added challenge should be the primary motivation for how you select your MP level, with the bonuses simply being a really cool perk that you get in return.
On the flip side, though, we know that lot players currently feel “forced” to run on the lower MP levels because it’s more efficient to do so (especially if you’re looking to farm XP). That’s not a great situation either. So, while we don’t want to change up the entire reward system for MP, we do agree that the XP bonuses could be more enticing at the top end, and we’re looking to make some improvements.
I don’t have a lot of details for you right now beyond that, but we’ve definitely heard your feedback and are trying to incorporate it in a meaningful way.
I think the MP system is pretty good on the whole, but I can see the OP’s point that the experience should probably scale up a bit more on higher MP levels. I’m fine with Act 3 farming runs on MP0 being potentially the best way to get gear, since fast MF runs are a staple of all three Diablo titles.
However it does seem cheesy that playing the fastest way, on the lowest difficulty, is also the best source of experience. There should be a trade off and an either/or sort of scenario — you can go for the best gear or the best exp, but not both at once, and especially not on a lower difficulty setting. Both at once should be the province of the most powerful characters who can play on a high MP level while still maintaining a fast killing speed and some Magic Find on top of that.
You guys agree, and/or have any suggestions for fixes other than “moar MP = moar XP?” Here’s the Inferno MP table for reference.
A few more short replies from the thread.
Lylirra: Totally understood. We’re exploring the best ways that we could make that option available (without negatively impacting your experience by making queues longer, for example).
It seems like you were so worried about people feeling forced to run high MPs that you went way too far the other way and now we’re all forced to run lower MPs.
Lylirra: It may not be that extreme, but we certainly think that our original goal (and current goal, to be fair) of “don’t create a reward system that forces players into the higher MP levels” may have been a little too successful.
While the goal is still a good one to keep, we’re looking at ways to balance the reward structure better for the top end, specifically in terms of XP, so that players who want to play at the higher MP levels — because that’s the challenge level they enjoy — don’t feel super penalized for doing so.
It would take like 5 minutes to make the other 3 acts worth playing.
Lylirra: No, that’s not really how that works. =/
Even so, we’ve definitely heard your concerns and feedback about mob density in certain Acts, and are examining ways for how that might be improved. We don’t really have any more information to share at this time, though (but the discussion is absolutely on our radar).
That last fan comment is something I’ve been giving thought to lately, since once you’re really doing farming runs it becomes very evident how vastly superior Act 3 is. I can clear Act 1 or Act 2 on MP1 just as quickly as Act 3 on MP0, and the item drops have the same potential, but since the monster density and boss frequency is so much lower in Act 1 and 2 (and Act 4) I always feel like I’m wasting my time anywhere but Act 3, knowing I’m killing monsters/gaining loot at about 1/4th the pace I could be.
I’m sure there’s a more elegant fix, but if nothing else they could just like, double the number of monsters in Acts 1 and 2. Maybe only on MP1 or higher, so new, under-geared characters into Inferno wouldn’t get overwhelmed?