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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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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.



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 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


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

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Upon Closer Inspection: Remember Item Types?

Posted 29 Jul 2012 by

Talking to various Diablo 3 playing friends lately, I’ve been asking a simple question. “Do you know the name of the item type of a single item one of your characters is using?” Thus far not a single person has said “yes.” and I’m certainly not the one to break my own combo. I’ve got three level 60 characters and I know their equipment pretty well, in terms of, “What in the Hells do I have to kill to get some damn boots with Dex, faster run, and MF for my Demon Hunter?.” But as for the base item types? I couldn’t tell you a single one.

I think this is a shame, since a lot of the item types are quite interesting and funny in name. For instance, my Demon Hunter was greeted by this item drop the other night in the Den of the Fallen, and I actually eloeled at the sight.

The first rule of the Unspeakable Thing club is...

Most likely I’d found an Unspeakable Thing before, and not just on the living room carpet after a frat party, but if so I didn’t remember the name. I certainly will now, since it was so attention-grabbing, lying there in glowing yellow text. I picked it up, of course, but in the inventory the tooltip just said, “Rare Mojo,” and then once I identified it the item became an “Echo Surge” with the “Rare Mojo” identification down below in the item box. Booooooooooring.

They're called 'Iridescent Tears' since you cry when you create them.

This is how it works for all rare, set, and legendary items in Diablo III. You only see the base item type when you first find the item and it’s lying on the ground. Once you pick it up, those cool, weird, thesaurus-busting item types are never seen again and you just see the specific item name, plus a very functional “Rare belt” or “Legendary dagger” description below.

Though I lament this, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure some players like not having to see the extra info or the confusing/weird item type name. It’s certainly not an accident on the part of the game developers, since they chose to implement a system where rare, set, and legendary items never display the base item type once they are identified. This is convenient and easy for new players, but I think it’s sort of a shame and a loss of potential coolness, long term.

Click through for why, a big reminder of what glory Gear Sets were going to rise to, and how this whole item system could easily be tweaked for improvement.

Because Words Are Confusing

The developers obviously put a lot of time into coming up with all those weird names for every type of armor, and the names always display on white items and magical items. So they could certainly be set to display for rares+, much as items now show the ilvl in the tooltip, after Blizzard enabled that due to fan complaints about level 60+ gear being too hard to find.

I’d wager that during development, item types did display in the identified rare/set/legendary item text in Diablo III, but that as part of their efforts to make the game more “accessible,” these were disabled. Too much text. Words are confusing. Etc. Some focus/strike group of testers (likely composed of elderly relatives and/or WoW developers) said that all the item type names in Diablo III were cool and inventive, but really confusing and extraneous in the hover box. So away they went!

Personally, I’d like them to come back.

Anticipation and Expectation

One reason that item types are irrelevant/forgotten in Diablo III is related to the extreme scarcity of sets and uniques. Not only do such items not show the item type once they’re identified, but they’re so seldom found and so generally undesirable (though you still like to find them on Inferno, given what DiabloWikiFiery Brimstone sells for) that no one knows or cares what type of item they are. This was not the case to the 10000th percent in Diablo 2, where every serious fan knew all (or certainly most of) the item types for the best set and unique items, since we all desperately hoped to find them.

Everyone know that a Windforce was a golden Hydra Bow, and thus every time you saw a Hydra Bow drop, of any quality, you had a twinge of “OMG that could have been it.” And when you found a rare Hydra bow you were doubly vexed, since you knew how close you’d come. I used to joke that rares of desired Elite item types were Diablo 2′s way of saying “your Magic Find sucks.”

It was funny because it was true!

I suppose the same is still true in Diablo III… but no one knows since no one knows the names of the item types of top legendaries, and not just because there aren’t any top legendaries. I don’t want the entire Diablo 2 item system back, and I expect that item types will begin to matter more at some point in Diablo III, as the expansion(s) add complexity and depth to the simplistic D3C system, but I think players today could handle a bit more info than “Rare item type” in the tooltips. Remember that the invaluable item level display was only added in a patch post-release, so we had even less to go on initially.

Item Type Upgrades

The other big difference in item types in Diablo 2 was that they actually mattered, thanks to Imbues, crafting recipes, item upgrade recipes, and runewords. These features originated in Diablo II and were much expanded upon in D2X and its many patches, to the point that it was often more desirable to find a white item, or even a low quality item of many elite item types (the proverbial cracked sash) than a magical/rare/unique of that item type, since the low quality one could be Horadric Cubed up to a normal one, and then cubed again to socket it, in hopes of getting the correct number of sockets to turn it into a DiabloWikiRuneword.

Even aside from that, weapon and armor base item types mattered since they all had different armor or damage or attack speed values, different numbers of possible sockets, and most notably, different str/dex/level requirements. If you look at something like the sword comparison section in my old D2 Barbarian Magic Find guide, you’ll get an idea of the importance of item types back in D2. And that guide was for v1.09, before Runewords became so powerful in the v1.10 and v1.11 patches, which added even more importance to selecting the correct item type.

Remember Gear Sets?

Another downside to the invisibility of item type in Diablo III is that no one knows what level DiabloWikiGear Set they’re wearing. If you were following D3 during development, you’re nodding right now. If you picked up the game and joined the community around the time of launch, you’ve probably never even heard the term before.

Gear Sets were introduced as a concept back in 2010, and during the lead up to that year’s Blizzcon, Blizzard released six preview images, each showing a male and female of the three known classes decked out in different levels of gear sets. Another batch of gear sets were revealed during a panel at Blizzcon 2010, and much fan debate ensued. Here are three of the initial gear set images from July 2010.


When I saw there was much debate, I’m not kidding. It’s a pity all of our older news posts lost their comments when we upgraded the news script, since most of those older ones on Gear Sets had 100+ replies with fans going back and forth on how the sets looked, if the Diablo 3 kit was too colorful or fanciful in design, if it was true to the fantasy universe, etc.

Internet blood was spilled over this headgear, back in 2010.

Every new gear set prompted fan remixes and photoshop improvements, and we even had mini-controversies over the male wizard looking wimpy, and several posts debating his unfortunate starfish hat. I eventually had to write an article comparing the D3 gear sets to their D2 equivalents, to provide some perspective for newer fans.

We even had long debates about just how many sets there were, if every type of item appeared in every set, and especially about how they would look on your character. Check out multiple Blue comments trying to explain the topic just in this one post from early 2011.

When you say 18 sets you mean 18 different boots, leggings,etc? And does that 18 include unique armor or are they totally different? —Theeliminator
They’re visual tiers of gear, not actual specific items by name and stat. It’s the same as Diablo II, but more and better. —Diablo

To clarify, there are 18 complete tier looks. Complete. 18 individual looks for each item slot. —Diablo

Fans were passionately concerned about how their characters would look in each gear set, and how the sets would mix and match. People wanted the cool Witch Doctor “waving tentacle” set, which was known to be high level, and we wondered what would happen if you wore the helm and shoulders from that gear set, but the body armor from another gear set. Would you still get the cool tentacle look? Would players be hunting their end game gear based on the gear set, since their Monk simply had to have everything from gear set 17 to look good?

Honestly, I know this sounds like insanity at this point, but all these issues were hotly debated for well over a year.

What happened to all that gear set passion? It vanished in the final game since there’s no easy way to know what gear set your particular item is from. The names and numbers of the gear sets aren’t shown in any way so there’s nothing to encourage you to get gear all from the same set to give your character a unified look. Some players have achieved that simply because ilvl 63 stuff has the best potential stats, but that’s purely a function of Diablo III’s system weighting the highest level items to always be the best items.

Displaying the item type on rares/sets/legendaries wouldn’t change this, but when I remember how interested we all were in the look of our characters and the levels of gear sets, and it makes me sad that this whole system is invisible in the finished product.

Part of the Item System Upgrades?

We’ve been promised many improvements to the items in v1.0.4, including revamped Sets and Legendaries. That’s great, and essential for the quality of the game, but now that you guys have been reminded or learned about all the Gear Set stuff, do you miss it? Do you share my interest in seeing item types and having a reason for them to matter in Diablo III?

The D2 system wasn’t perfect, but it was nice to actually care about item types and know which ones you wanted by names, rather than just hoping for “item level 63″ when you looked at a tool tip. If the legendaries and sets are improved to the point that fans start to covet them, that’ll help a bit, but showing the names, and maybe even the gear set tiers, could also help. I don’t pay much attention to how my character looks, but RisingRed and Elly put in hours of work to create an awesome gallery of every gear set in the game for every class/gender, and when I look at it I get inspired to see how my characters would look if I ever kitted them out in organized fashion.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 2, Diablo: IncGamers Articles, Items