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.
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.
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 Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
Confabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads
Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.
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Ongoing D2 Support Questions?Posted 25 May 2009 by
While trading some IMs with Bashiok last week, I brought up the issue of Blizzard’s plans to support (or not) Diablo II from here on out. Everyone knows that the bulk of Blizzard’s employees are working on WoW, SC2, D3, the other secret projects, cinematics, customer support, etc. There are still some employees focusing on Diablo II though, as various recent announcements about the upcoming v1.13 patch coming soon to a test realm (with a bigger stash) demonstrate. What will those guy(s) be doing after v1.13, though? Will we ever see another D2 patch? Will D2 continue to receive support and Battle.net hosting once D3’s released?
I had a lot of questions I’veby the D2 . Bashiok couldn’t answer them off the top of his head, but when I asked if I could compile a list and get some official responses, he said to go for it. So here’s your chance to ask Blizzard. What do you want to know about the future of D2? Add your questions here, I’ll select 10 or 15, relay them to Bashiok, and he’ll see about getting them answered officially by someone in the know.
Look forward and think big; I don’t think this is the best place for questions about specific features of v1.13 (which we’ll find out about soon enough anyway). It’s more about long term plans, ongoing support, major vs. minor future changes, etc.
Update: This thread is closed since the questions have been sent off to Bashiok. Click through to see the full list, and thanks to everyone who threw in their two cents.
D2 Patch Issues:
Who?s working on D2 now? Who did v1.11 and v1.12? Same guy(s) working on the game now? Is there just one guy carrying on with D2, ala Peter Hu?s Herculean v1.10 effort?
Can you share any info on the work methods, team composition, timeline, daily schedule, etc?
Can we get more frequent updates on D2 patch progress? (Or fewer; realm players tend to stop and wait when a ladder reset is announced with no ETA, and that stasis stretches on for months.)
Can we get an update on v1.13: ETA, patch objectives, test realm plans, etc?
D2 Content Issues:
Are we going to see sweeping game changes in future patches, ala v1.10? Such as, rolling back synergies, rebalancing end game play, etc. Or just minor tweaks, some added items, bug fixes, etc?
Many SP players request that all items be made findable/usable in single player? Instead of continuing with the realm/ladder-only runewords and uniques.
Many SP players request that all quests be made accessible. Could Uber Diablo and the Pandemonium Event be enabled for single player?
Many SP players request tweaks to the drop ratios. So many high end items have been added in past patches (uniques, runewords with the rarest runes, etc) that it?s essentially impossible to find/use them solo/without trading.
Could a patch add some early/mid-game content, instead of just highest-level stuff, elite items, etc?
Skill synergies: very limiting of play and builds. Any thought of returning to how skills worked in earlier versions? (They?re not in D3, so clearly the team?s judgment was that they weren?t a great feature.)
There was a fair amount of semi-incoherent rage that D2 isn?t maintained as regularly as WoW. Address as you see fit.
D2 Battle.net Issues:
Are there plans to continue D2 support after D3?s launch and/or on Battle.net 2.0?
Will D2 remain free to play over Battle.net, when/if fees are added for newer games?
Countless players request more ongoing support technical (non-content) support and fixes. Run more Rust Storms, fix hacks and dupes, fix the TP/PK exploit that has ruined public Hardcore games, ban 3rd party programs, make speedier fixes to critical bugs, etc. Can these be addressed in a more regular, timely fashion?
Most players request regular ladder resets: seasonally, or at least bi-yearly, whether or not patch support continues. Can has?
Battle.net 2.0 features in D2? Game joining/chat/etc changing?
Battle.net achievements tied to D2?
Ways to access D2 characters out of the game through Battle.net 2.0?
Support for software and hardware changes? New versions of Windows, etc?
D2Classic fans would like ladder support for v1.06b, the last pre-D2X patch, which many feel was the best version of D2C.
D2 Technical Issues:
D2 runs very poorly on high end machines these days. Could some improvements be made?
Have you considered (someday) going (at least partially) open source on D1 or D2, or for Battle.net game hosting? Many players like older patch versions, or prefer various mods that have progressed far beyond the basic game. Players could play whichever version they liked best, while still using Battle.net and viewing Blizzard?s ads. Revenue source!
The 800×600 resolution is tiny on newer monitors. Some mods display much larger resolutions (by showing more of the screen). Possible implementation into D2?
Will D1 remain playable over future Battle.net?
Will there ever be another D1 patch or technical update? (It?s impossible to play Diablo I in Mac OS X, or to play multiplayer characters in Vista.)
Will there be any D1 achievements tied to the new Battle.net accounts?
Any chance the D1 Expansion: Hellfire could be sold? Streaming download from Blizzard store? It?s not in the Diablo BattleChest, isn?t sold by Sierra anymore, and is impossible to find other than high priced used copies on Ebay.