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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Optimal Item FarmingPosted 7 May 2012 by
This article in the new Diablo IncGamers Stategy Section analyses data collected from hundreds of full playthroughs of the beta test and helps us understand how to best structure our magic find runs.
Full analysis after the jump – the results may surprise you.
Disclaimer: Blizzard has repeatedly said that beta was NOT for testing balance and mechanics, it was for testing software and hardware. All analysis is speculation as of beta patch 18 and may change post-launch.
Farming: “Repetitive runs of mastered content to obtain items”
TL;DR for optimal farming:
- Seek out area exit aggressively, avoid siderooms.
- Kill everything except small packs of normal monsters
- Prioritize zones that provide more items-per-minute (our can help you get that number)
While hard facts on monster drop rates and spawning mechanics are currently hard to come by, we’ve been able to glean some information from a mix of blue posts and beta observations.
A) Any item can drop off any monster (of a given monster level)
B) Champions and elites have attractive drops rates and can be killed very quickly compared to bosses
The efficiency of boss farming will worsen as encounters become more time consuming.
C) Any monster pack is equally likely to spawn as a champion or elite
Monster locations and groupings are random with elites randomly added.
D) There are no champions or elites with static spawn locations
Beta had static spawn quest monsters, but if they are a convenient source of loot this would violate blizzard’s stated design goal of ending the repeated shenk/pindle/eldritch or tele-baal 2 minute long games.
E) Area layout is mostly random, but sometimes you can infer the location of the exit
F) In D3, we are far less mobile and monsters have an increased ability to initiate fights
1) Kill priority: Elites > Champions > Bosses > Large normal monster packs
Stragglers are not worth killing – move on after clearing the tightly packed monsters.
2) Backtracking is bad
To get loot efficiently, kill Elites and Champions. Since their locations are unknown, the fastest way to spawn one is to aggressively explore new areas.
Should I explore side rooms that don’t have champions or elites?
No. Side rooms are dead-ends that require backtracking, and should be avoided.
Should you take the area exit as soon as you find it?
Yes. If you run past an exit, you ensure that you backtrack later on.
Does it matter where I farm?
We don’t know exactly how drop rate mechanics will work post-launch, but with the data we’ve collected from beta usingsome areas are clearly better than others.
You can find more information for beta 18 specific loot here
In practice you can’t evaluate areas in isolation
You will need to plan farming runs as a chain of areas starting at a waypoint, and look at their averaged items per minute. You also need to be careful to take into account monster level, as that will affect the quality of the item dropped.
From the data, a Hidden Cellar run looks very attractive since it has high drop rates, but the items dropped are of lower quality compared to the Cathedral. Additionally, since the run can be done so quickly (under a minute potentially), the time it takes to logoff/login/get to the starting point of the run, becomes a significant problem – adding 20 seconds to a 60 second run drastically hurts efficiency.
Once the full game is released we should be able to zero in on the best farming runs through our loot tracker, and account for the effect monster level has on item quality.
Topics in need of investigation:
Would rushing a new toon to a boss kill be a faster source of loot? (taking advantage of the buffed drop rate for your first kill) Nevermind, found a blue post clarifying that boosted droprate on firsttime kill of a boss is ONLY in normal difficulty.
2) Are area events (like resplendent chests) worth the time investment?
3) Nephalem Valor Buff – whether or not this will be able to incentivize always ending MF runs at bosses