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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Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A Full Transcript – BlizzCon 2013Posted 9 Nov 2013 by
This evening’s Reaper of Souls Preview Panel Q&A was pretty interesting and outlined many of the new features coming to the game. At the end of the session the usual public Q&A session took place and there were some decent questions answered. There were also a few questions that shot over the heads of the devs. I do pity the poor guy who attempted some kind of a keyboard joke question, I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll past on the floor.
We have a number of new gold sinks coming and the gameplay panel tomorrow is going to go into them very specifically. One of the big ones is enchanting , Transmogrify is not a major gold sink, but enchanting is the system that allows you to re-roll the stat on your item to make it better for yourself. That’s a smart drop goal as well so it’s very likely to be good for your character and you can see all the potential things you can roll. So that’s a major thing. We’ve got new and better blacksmith recipes coming, also smart drops so when they do roll they’re much more likely to be better.
Those are just a couple of the features for gold sink so we do intend find ways to get some gold out of the economy. We don’t want to have to make it so that if you’re not one of the people with 40 billion gold you can’t participate it that. People with 40 billion will pull the slot machine a little more often. Ultimately gold is not going to be as big of a delta factor for character power as it has been for when the auction house was live.
If case you missed it, read on for the full transcript after the break.
Ladders are awesome to climb, they have rungs and the whole point is to get to the top right? Stay tuned.
Are all the previous areas going to be designed like the maps you brought up prior (Adventure Mode)?
All acts will be available through adventure mode so every act is going to have a map just like the one you saw for act 3. All the waypoints will be opened up so you can just bounce around.
When you guys get into Nephalim Rifts, that’s really where we go full throttle in the randomisations. The layouts are going to be totally different.
I really enjoy the game but I have one issue, no offline mode. When are we going to get it?
When we decided to designed Diablo 3, we feel, and seeing all you out here, Diablo plays best when you;re playing with your friends. When you have access to this aesome community that is Blizzard. This is why we have BlizzCon. We felt is was really important we have that social connection. for you to be able to have access to your friends list. It also alloed us to make sure you characters were stored. It was important for us to satisfy that social aspect of the game.
In fact we’re adding more multiplayer features, groups and clans were teased in the trailer there so those are coming as well. That’s a feature that being online makes it even better. Even more so than the rich join and drop co-op that’s already out there.
With the removal of the auction house, what if any sort of sanctioned trading model will you put in, or not put in to protect people from everything that happens in Sanctuary and not just Evil monsters.
Right now we are still in the process in figuring out what trading means for Diablo. There is a social component that we still but want to retain, but at the end of the day it’s kind of fundamental to our loot 2.0 philosophy. We feel that finding items in-game by killing monsters should be the most rewarding, most satisfying and the best way to gets your hands on those items.
Bosses are typically static waiting for you to walk into the room before they start fighting. Have you thought about having them move around in the hallways, making people think about it before they get into a big battle?
In Nephalim Rifts, that’s exactly what happens. When a boss spawns, it is in the level with all the monsters, you have to contend with everything, so it you’re fighting a champion pack when one spawns and he’s right on your head, you have to deal with all of that.
What are your plans for revamping PvP?
A week doesn’t go by without Stephen here asking me what are we doing for PvP. It’s something we’re always talking about and we’re really trying to figure out what is the right way to express PvP. What does it actually mean, how can we make it fun. It’s something we have hopes for but for Reaper of Souls the focus has been on the core gameplay loot, the epic heroes against the forces of darkness and the promise of epic loot. So we’re starting with the fundamentals. Once we feel we have those really solid then we can start asking the fun question on how we get you guys fighting each other.
What are you going to be doing about unique items, right now it seems like you have a lot of items with cool effects bit the stats just trump any of those effects. what are you doing about items that have cool effects but are also optimal to use so that we actually want to use them?
Lots of different things. We’ll be hiving examples tomorrow at the gameplay panel. We are narrowing the range on things so, for example if you can have a could roll 1-500 strength, at the upper tier that’s narrowed to 300-500. So even if you got the minimum roll it’s still a pretty decent item. The legendary effects on the new legenadaries are somewhat game changing. We;re trying to give them whacky things they do that changes the way you play one of your existing builds.
We have Witch Doctor mask for example that causes horrify to not just fear monsters but to root them as well so you get a major crowd control effect. If as a Witch Doctor you haven’t used Horrrify before, you’re probably going to want to now. We a have a lot of things like that, we;re smart dropping it so your primary stats for your character class that finds the item is much more likely to be rolled, and so on. There’s probably 3 or 4 other smart drop systems we can talk about tomorrow.
The side dungeons at the start of the game taper off towards the end of the game, are you going to add more of those in or do you have any additional plans to freshen up the first four acts?
The density lowers for a couple of reasons, especially in act 4, we really feel at that point after the bog reveal they just want to get to Diablo so it became a little more narrowed and centered but we recognise that it;s an issue and that is where adventure mode comes in. When we talked about that people were playing th game over and over again, part oif it was that you had that goal. You wanted to kill Diablo on your current difficulty level, that was actually encouraging you not to bother with the side dungeons because that slowed you down to getting to your goal of Diablo and ultimately Inferno.
With removing that requirement and making these side dungeon Bounties, we’ve taken every nook and cranny in the game and give you occasionally a good reason to go there to increase the variety so al the side dungeons we do have happen in a much more varied order. When you’re in Heaven and you have some Bounties to do there, we’re gong to ,make sure you see some side dungeons there and we’re going to send you to th acts to do other things. I think we’ll be addressing that concern really well with adventure mode.
I’ve losts few hardcore characters due to lag spikes, or HC timeouts. Is there any architectural improvements coming that will possibly help?
We’re constantly looking at those situations on a regular basis. QA is hammering on it, we are server capacity in different regions. Asia for example is having issues with that, especially Australian players. We;re trying to address issues like that too. We’re dong everything we can to solve issues like that.
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.