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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

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.

change view

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.

hardrock

Trophies

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.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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A Total Guide to Greater Rifts

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 DiabloWikiGreater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular DiabloWikiRift Guardians.

Greater Rift CompletionDifficulty: 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 DiabloWikishrines or DiabloWikipylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that DiabloWikiConduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift DiabloWikiLeaderboard system.

Dying in Greater Rifts

Revive at Corpse. No.

No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (DiabloWikirespec) 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 DiabloWikiGoldwrap and DiabloWikiHarrington 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

  1. # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
  2. Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to DiabloWikiOrek.
  3. Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
  4. No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
  5. The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
  6. If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
  7. 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.

greater rift progress bar

Ahead of the progress 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.

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Reaper of Souls Nephalem Rifts Hands-On Report from Blizzcon

Posted 9 Nov 2013 by

Diablo Podcast Reaper of Souls at BlizzCon with IncGamersHere’s some first hand info on DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts, formerly known as Loot Runs. They are bonus dungeon/events accessed via yellow portals enabled by finding Rift Stones from killing Bounties in Adventure Mode. See our Hands-On Adventure Mode article and Friday’s panel transcript for full coverage of that new game type in RoS.

Nephalem Rifts

Nephalem Rifts (AKA Loot Runs) are special dungeons accessed via yellow portals found near a special altar in town in Adventure Mode. They are *not* found in Campaign Mode (and they are not the same thing as Nephalem Trials, which are small bonus dungeons with short and intense Jar of Souls-style events found in Adventure Mode or Campaign Mode), which I have not yet encountered in this Blizzcon Demo).

nephalem-obelisk

Nephalem Rift

Each Rift is randomized in tile set, layout, and monsters, and presents a unique challenge. Literally; you never know what combo you’re going to get and it makes a difference. As someone (Rankil, I think?) mentioned during the live Podcast we recorded Friday night, he got a mixture of enemies on one level, entered a room, and found that he had Fallen Fanatics on the level too… when five of them detonated right on top of him.

I had some close calls with Desert Wasps in one of my levels too, as a dozen little green BBs came shooting down a narrow hallway at me before I knew what I was dealing with. Once we’re playing Nephalem Rifts for real, especially with Hardcore characters, it will be a very good idea to go cautiously at the start of each new level until you see what types of enemies are spawned there.

 

Click through for the rest of the article, covering randomization, triggering the Rift Guardian, earning access to Rifts, and more.

 

Randomization of Dungeons and Monsters

The levels are fully random; my first Rift I entered from Tristram and got a Desert tombs dungeon for level one. Level two was an Act One Leoric’s Dungeon. Level three was an Act Three Keep type level. Level four was an Act One jail type level. And every one of those levels had a fully random assortment of enemies; not tied to the act of the tile set, or the monsters limited to just one act, etc.

I’m sure there are some spawning requirements and some enemies that won’t spawn together, or that are more likely to appear with each other (Diablo I’s randomized monster selector worked like that, with weighting values assigned to each monster type and more dangerous ones getting higher numbers so you couldn’t get 3 of the big guys on the same level).

One oddity: As I said, my first Rift had an Act Two tombs dungeon for level one. After I finished that Rift (or at least killed the Rift Guardian) I portaled back to town and appeared in Tristram. I then went back into the rift to see if it was reset or changed. It was not, I was just standing in that same Act Two desert tomb. So I went back through the portal… and found myself in Act Two town. Where I had not previously been in that game. Not that it really matters, since in Adventure Mode you can travel freely between acts.

 

Triggering the Rift Guardian

When you enter a rift you gain a progress bar on the right side of the screen just below the minimap. It says percent of monsters killed, and steadily increases as you kill more of them. The counter goes by kills, not some weighted system of monster hit points, which makes it count up much faster on some levels. I got the Act 3 Scorpions in an Act 1 Jail tileset on my 4th level, and with them appearing in big bunches of 10-20 my % killed counter was jumping up 2 or 3% with each group, which I was one-shotting with a great AoE Crusader skill.

Once you reach 100% the Rift Guardian appears. The devs stressed this during Friday’s panel, and they weren’t kidding. It explodes into life the instant you kill that last monster, and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing at the time. I saw my first while in an Act One Jail dungeon, and when I was in the middle of fighting a boss. One of the minions or some trash monster in the area triggered the 100% and suddenly I had the boss and the Rift Guardian at once. Some strategic repositioning was soon required. (I ran like a bunny.)

Rift Guardians are randomized as much as everything else in Nephalem Rifts, and they range from big powerful purples (I got one of a new Act 5 Angel type of monster in my first Rift.) to D3V act bosses. There are even pairs of them sometimes. See the full (very long, subject to change) datamined list on the Diablowiki.net Nephalem Rifts article.

 

Entering a Rift

To enter a Nephalem Rift you need to find Rift Stones, which have a chance to be earned by completing Bounties. That’s what the devs say, at least. I’ve killed a lot of bounties thus far during testing at Blizzcon and haven’t found any Rift Stones, so maybe they drop very rarely or maybe they’re disabled in this demo? It doesn’t matter though, since the pre-made chars have 10 Rift Stones in their inventory, and thus in each new Adventure Mode game there is a rift open in town. It’s actually open in each town, as far as I could tell. The same yellow portal with the same name on it (Something like “Josef’s Planes Dungeon” as best I recall. I’ll note the name more carefully next time.)

The datamining refers to opening a new rift once you’ve cleared out the previous one, so perhaps if you reach some final room or exit on the lowest level that Rift is completed and a new one can be done in the same Adventure Mode game? The devs have referred to a special reward if you complete a full Rift. I don’t know; I didn’t have time to clear out an entire Rift, though I did get through the Rift Guardian both times I’ve tried it thus far. (I shall sample anew come Saturday’s show.)

 

Loot and Bosses and Experience

The Rift levels are randomized in monster types and density, so they are not necessarily the best place to earn EXP. They might be, but it all depends on the roll of the RNG dice. As the demo characters are only level 32 and on the easiest difficulty (under the new 0-5 difficulty system), it’s impossible to project how the density and exp gain will compare to doing the best farming areas in Inferno on Campaign Mode.

One thing I did notice on every Nephalem Rift dungeon level was a lot of bosses. I didn’t clear out entire dungeons (just took the stairs down when I found them, while trying to avoid wasting time in any dead areas of the map) but I still found 3 or 4 random Elites on each level, with a steady array of trash mobs between them. The Rifts were definitely as or more populated than most areas of the game are now, especially for a sub-Inferno character, and the Elites came as quickly as or more quickly than you see them in most areas of the game today.

I did not see any Golden Chests in the rifts, but that might just be RNG and my limited exploration time. I did get one random Treasure Goblin. But not the room full of them that’s shown on the RoS B-roll video. That’s perhaps a super rare spawning room? Or a reward level if you complete a full rift?

As with other features in RoS, this one remains under development and we can expect changes before the final. It’s a lot of challenge and profit even now though, and the variety of enemies and levels really makes for a fun and varied play experience.

 

Questions? Stick them in comments and I’ll reply when I get a chance. I will definitely run some more Nephalem Rifts on Saturday at the demo and see if I can figure out more about this new feature.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.