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 Diablo 3 Developer InterviewsPosted 18 Jul 2013 by
As we reported from the Diablo 3 Fansite Summit last month, the Diablo 3 devs were planning to submit themselves to an increasing number of interviews to give us something to talk about and think about over the summer. I’m sure you guys saw our interview posted earlier this week, and if you want more, here they are.
The first is a text only interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day, and Kevin Martens. It actually went up a few weeks ago, but we missed posting it at the time, so here it is now. (I blame the fact that it was posted on my birthday when I was very
drunk otherwise occupied, and out of town visiting relatives.) The interview can be seen on Diablo Somepage and it’s got some good info, plus an almost farcical number of, “we’ve talked about that but can’t give you any details yet” type answers. One quote:
Kevin Martens: Right, so a couple of notes on bosses. Why you fight bosses versus why you fight elites, has sort of a different balance than previous Diablo games did. Bosses aren’t so much about the challenge in D3 vanilla, as they are about the celebration or the story moment that you have defeated another Lord of Hell. That is different than other games, certainly other games we make right now and other games we’ve made in the past. That’s sort of deliberate; whereas the challenge generally comes in with the elite monsters, which are intended to often be harder than the bosses. That said, every time we make something as heavily scripted as some of the boss fights are, we always think of better versions after we ship, and we always love to go back and fix some of that content. That’s not a super necessarily high-priority thing to do.
When you get your hands on the console game, you’ll find that improvements have been made to some of the boss fights; some of those could possibly be rolled back into the PC version in the future. And certainly new bosses that we make in the future, we’re going to try to learn from what we did with those ones, and make them better. I don’t think we’ll do any like quick, short-term things, in a patch to just give them a stack of Nephalem Valor or something like that. You’re not rewarded in such a way to require you to go kill them very often anyway, it is still better to kill the elites and rares as per my earlier philosophy statement. But yes, they could be better.
Elsewhere, an interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng was posted on Diablo Fans yesterday. I assume it was conducted over the phone or skype just like ours was, but there’s no audio, so just read the transcript. It’s a straight Q&A that got an unfortunate number the “we’ve talked about that” type replies, but this bit about Paragon Levels caught my eye:
Travis Day: Yeah, the Paragon system was spectacular for what it was trying to accomplish. Sometimes random can be a cruel mistress and the paragon system’s primary intent was to allow you to feel like you’re acquiring progression and even if you’re not getting too lucky with your item drops. We want to take that and expand upon it even more.
We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.
Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.
They’ve mentioned shared Paragon level bonuses before, and with several mentions I’m thinking it’s more like “coming in D3X” than “on the drawing board.” I’m not at all sure I like that idea, though obviously it depends on how they implement it. Later for that debate though. (Literally. I’ll post an article for debate and a vote, once I’ve given it some more thought.)
More generally, it’s nice to see all the new dev interviews of late, huh? There was another one with a streamer last week, if you missed it. It would be even better if they could actually give us some hot new info, but looks like we’ll have to wait until Blizzcon for that. (Which is why I went more for conversation and discussion than just a straight Q&A in the podcast, since I didn’t want to just get a bunch of those rehearsed-sounding “we’ve talked about” type replies you guys are always (justifiably, IMHO) complaining about.