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.
Legendary Gems were first officially revealed in the Patch 2.1 preview blog back in June of this year. They will be added to Reaper of Souls in Patch 2.1, and are currently undergoing testing on the PTR.
The gems add special bonuses when socketed in rings and amulets (only on Characters and not on Followers), and can be upgraded in power via Urshi, the NPC who appears after Greater Rifts are cleared.
While the developers are calling them “legendary gems” these socketables have nothing in common with regular gems in stats or appearance, and are more analogous to the Rainbow Facet unique jewels of Diablo 2. The main difference in Diablo 3 is that these gems can only be socketed in jewelry, and the way the gems can be upgraded to improve their functions over time.
Legendary Gems Listing
While the Legendary Gems are still undergoing development on the PTR, their stats and bonuses are changing constantly. A major revision was created on July 15, 2014 with new or upgraded stats for almost every gem. The following are the most current details about Legendary Gems.
|Bane of the Powerful|
|Bane of the Trapped|
|Boon of the Hoarder|
|Bliz Note: As was discussed in another thread, allowing this this gem to rank up to +100% pet Crit would likely cause undesired gearing issues and probably be a little out of line.|
|Gem of Efficacious Toxin|
|Gogok of Swiftness|
|Mirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver|
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More Details on Launch Day Times, Yet Questions RemainPosted 26 Apr 2012 by
We got the official announcement earlier today, but it left many questions unanswered. Since then the CMs have been filling in some of the blanks via Twitter and the B.net forums.
Sure, if you want to buy the game twice. –Bashiok
why not launch it at 12 est? I’m sure all est would be ok with the pdt getting to play “3 hours early” -_- 3 am is late –Adeklis
Problem is stores won’t sell them copies at 9pm. : –Bashiok
Oh blizzard, making all east coast midnight release sales irrelevant. Still can’t wait to play, late night it is! –JimmyTrowbridge
It’s going to be a fun 3 hours… :*( –Bashiok
not be rude, but isn’t that a bit obnoxious for EST? People can buy their game at 12 EST but can’t play till 4am? –Adrenovore
The reverse is EDT players could actually play and level for 3 hours ahead of PDT players. Which is quite a bit more unfair. –Bashiok
maybe it’s to early but is there any news when we’ll be able to decrypt the downloaded files (pre-order) and wait with ready instal –myzyptlik
The digital pre-order will unlock at your region’s midnight launch time. Unlock, install, download day one patch, play. –Bashiok
btw is there a way to preload diablo 3?i ordered the Collectors Edition through Gamestop, is there anyway of preloading the client? –Jenkinsx
Decrypting and installing the digital version vs installing from a disc takes around the same amount of time. –Bashiok
What if you’re a player from one of the North America regions who wants to play on EU Either for the 10 hour headstart, or because they’ve got friends in Europe who you want to play with. You can’t buy a physical copy of the game 10 hours early in the US (though East Coast players could buy a copy, install, and connect to the EU servers 3 hours before the US servers go live?). KayDee quoted Bashiok’s tweet that US digital download sales couldn’t start early on the EU servers, but what if you buy a digital copy from the UK D3 store? Wouldn’t that work on the EU servers as soon as they go live?
Click through for details about the staggered launch times for A/NZ players, and why they won’t be getting any release date events.
From down under comes details about the staggered times for the servers to unlock for Oz and NZ players courtesy of CM Arcagnion.
New Zealand Standard Time: 7:00 PM
Australian Eastern Standard Time: 5:00 PM
Australian Central Standard Time: 4:30 PM
Australian Western Standard Time: 3:00 PM
You can also pick up the game from your favourite retailer on the 15th beginning at 9 AM local time.
While the ANZers have to wait until the afternoon of the 15th, they’re still starting exactly when players in the US and other non-EU regions are, and they don’t even have to stay up all night to do it. On the down side, there aren’t any launch events are planned in the SEA region, due to the time difference.