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.
The Ring of Royal Grandeur (armory) has become the most sought after item in Diablo 3, as its legendary affix is basically mandatory for all end game gearing decisions, given the power of partial Item Set bonuses. The hard part is finding one, as it’s one of the five legendary items that can only be obtained from Act One Horadric Caches. This is good in a way, as it’s the sole remaining item/profit-based reason players have to do *anything* other than RiftRiftRift. (Given the game’s design direction in recent months, I’m frankly surprised the RoRG hasn’t been turned into a Greater Rift Guardian drop.)
Most players hunt RoRGs with brute force, by grinding hundreds of Act One bounties as quickly as possible, which usually means split-farming on Normal difficulty. That’ll work, eventually, but is there a better way? A user in our Diablo 3 community forum named Horadrimm says yes, there’s a trick to it, by following a method players are calling the “Junger Rules.” Quote:
I got 5 RORGS with very minimal effort and so can you!!
How it works: The game has a pity timer, meaning that if you don’t get a legendary within an hour or so it drops one for you automatically. The goal the aforementioned method of farming is to ensure that pity drop is in your horadric cache and not in the world.
What to do:
Do not kill any mobs except those required for objectives. Do not kill goblins. Do not open chests including resplendent chests. Do not destroy breakables (pots, barrels, looting bodies etc). Do not pop fortune shrines. Do not kill mobs from required cursed chest and shrine event objectives until the timer has run out.
Avoiding a legendary drop in the world increases the chance the pity timer drops one in your cache.
First off, the guy who invented this was apparently named Junger, so now it’s called the “Junger Rules.” Which is fine, but how the hell did they avoid the obvious pun and call it the “Junger Games?” So that’s what I’m calling it, since I’m all about obvious puns.
As for the technique, the theory is that since the game has a “pity timer” that increases your chances of finding a legendary item the longer you go without finding one, you can exploit this by obtaining a Horadric Cache after not finding any Legendaries for some time. Hence not killing Goblins, not opening golden chests, avoiding random Elites, etc. This is a sacrifice since it’ll lower your total legendaries found, but boost your chances of finding that all-important RoRG.
Does it work? Some players swear it does, others say it doesn’t. And thus we’re plunged back into the conspiracy theories that are inevitably spawned by item hunting in a game where we don’t know exactly how item drops work. I think the principle is sound, as the pity timer is real, but I’m not at all sure the stated rules are how it should be done.
First of all, we don’t know when items in a Horadric Cache are determined. The Junger Gamers say the legendary pity timer works when you find the Cache, but that seems contrary to what we know about how Horadric Caches determine their item drops. Remember early in RoS, when players were storing Caches up in Normal and opening them on Torment 6? That was a real exploit, easily observed since it caused Imperial Gems to drop from Caches found in Normal. (Which made it seem that items in Caches were determined when the Cache was opened. NOT when it was found.)
Blizzard confirmed that exploit by hotfixing it and adding an internal tag to unopened Caches that tracked what difficulty level they were found on, and the level of the character that farmed them. (So if you find bags with a lvl 70 and open with a lvl 60, all the items will be lvl 70.) Bliz later expanded on that in Patch 2.0.5 when they boosted the chances for legendary items to drop from Caches found on Torment 2 and higher.
Furthermore, Bliz recently confirmed that items from Caches roll their smart drop according to the class of the character that opens the cache. It doesn’t matter who farms the cache in terms of what items drop. That matches my experience and testing as well, as I once farmed a bunch of caches with my DH and my Barb, and then opened them with a WD and got almost all INT gear, plus several Witch Doctor-restricted items.
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PvP Arena Screens and Hands-On Play ReportPosted 22 Oct 2010 by
I was able to spend some time playing it this morning at the show, and have a few comments to add to the basic info Blizzard has revealed. We’ll have more later this weekend, after we get some more battle time in the Arena.
The Arena, as presented at Blizzcon this year, is very much an arcade game. You join in two teams of three players, you each pick your class from the three available characters (Wizard, Witch Doctor, and Barbarian; no Monk or Demon Hunter options), give them a name, and you’re launched into the arena. One team is blue, one team is red, marked by circles under their feet, and you start on opposite ends of the roundish arena, with various obstacles and posts in the way. There are a few spots where health orbs can spawn, but most of the fights were over so quickly that orbs were hardly grabbed and didn’t make much difference when they were.
In the final game you’ll presumably have more choice of skills, arena maps, equipment, and characters. The version at Blizzcon is just the start of the system, and it was meant to be a fun, arcade-style battle for fans to try out, without necessarily telling us that much about how the feature will be presented in the final game.
Click through for more first hand details from my first play time session.
The play sessions are very quick and brutal. There’s not much room for strategy, especially when everyone’s fairly new to the game. The characters are all pre-made; when you pick a wizard, male or female, you get the exact same build, equipment, skills, skill runes, etc. It’s like an arcade fighter, where everyone has the same tools to pick from and only the tactics differ.
The games are very fast and chaotic. You get a single fall, and when your character dies, you’re done for the battle. You stay dead until everyone else on your team (or the other team) dies, and then all six of you start a new round at once. In the fifteen minute battle, the final score in my game was something like 14-5, which gives you an idea how quickly it goes. While dead you can look over your menus; I spent the time looking at my skill hovers, equipment, skills, etc. You can follow the action if you want; clicking on the screen moves your “camera” so you can follow the action as the remaining contestants battle it out.
Once you pick your class, you’re stuck with them for the duration. My team soon wished that was not so, since our group of two wizards and a witch doctor were getting destroyed by a barbarian and two wizards. Player skill seemed to have something to do with it; the Witch Doctor on my squad was clearly very new to the game and spent several rounds standing in a corner, throwing firebombs at a wall. This wasn’t an especially effective tactic, surprisingly. The barbarian was much better than our witch doctor though, since he was a tank and kept chasing our wizards around, while the other side’s wizards were able to hurl Meteors and keep up a constant death beam of Disintegrate non-stop.
The character equipment was all plain stuff. Nothing on my wizard was even magical; it was just low level “white” plate mail type stuff. Nothing to boost my stats at all, and the weapon was a plain staff as well. I don’t know if the Barbarian had a magical weapon, but I doubt it. The skills were preset, and all had runestones as well; all of the damage spells were socketed to lower their Arcane Power cost, while my Diamond Skin defensive skill had a rune to increase the damage absorption from 100 to 150.
All the characters had about 850 hit points to start with. You saw your own and everyone else’s hit points displayed over their heads when they were taking damage. There were no healing potions or ways to regain health other than from the occasionally spawning health orbs.
The Wizard skills available:
Spectral Blades on the left click. This was not wise to use, since at melee range a Barbarian would destroy you, and other Wizards didn’t hold still at close range.
Disintegrate on the right click. The attack of choice. Long range, straight beam cooking laser attack with a slightly slowing/zapping effect. Negligible Arcane Power cost, so it could be used non-stop. The only danger was standing
Meteor on the #1 key. This works like it does in D2. Click a spot and a flaming rock falls down a moment later. Huge damage, around 220-250, and leaves an AoE burn zone.
Hydra on the #2 key. This works like it did in D2, but the graphics are totally redone. The default Hydra is three-headed, purple, and slightly translucent, like an Arcane serpent. They work like minions, you can only have 2 of them at once; if you cast a third the first one vanishes. They did around 40 damage per shot.
Teleport on the #3 key. It works faster than you’d think from the screenshots; moving to another location is virtually instantaneous, as it was in D2. There was a 6 second cool down between uses, so it was best used as an emergency escape.
Slow Time on the #4 key. This huge bubble of slow was very useful against enemies. It would block off entire pathways, and if used well, ideally stuck right on top of a Barbarian or Witch Doctor, they would get slaughtered by other attackers before they could get clear.
Diamond Skin on the #5 key. This was basically a new version of Stone Skin. It changed the Wizard’s appearance to a sort of protective shell, allowing her to absorb 150 damage. The duration was quite short, something like 8 seconds, and it had a long cool down between casts, like 20 seconds. Like teleport, best used when you were in imminent danger.
We’l have more on the PvP later this weekend, after I get some more play time. I need to try out the WD and Barbarian, to see how the compare; especially since I’d already played the Wizard in the PvM game demo, though entirely different skills were available to the much lower level PvM character than in the PvP.
See all eight PvP Arena screenshotsso far released.