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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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Ring of Royal Grandeur Farming Exploit?

You want? You take!

You want? You take!

The DiabloWikiRing 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 DiabloWikidifficulty 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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    Vote: Your Favorite Act in Diablo III?

    Posted 17 Jul 2012 by

    There are four acts in Diablo III, and all have their strengths and weaknesses. Very different design and artwork, varying level sizes and shapes and layouts, different types of monsters, and thanks to Inferno, they’re all viable for end game item hunting, depending on the power of your character and their gear.

    I don’t have any real feel for which act will win out in this vote, though I am pretty sure which of the four will get the least love. But that’s why we run the votes; to measure the community’s opinion on issues, so click your favorite and we’ll let the math decide.


    Your favorite Act in Diablo III?

    • 1) Act One (45%, 6,754 Votes)
    • 3) Act Three (20%, 3,035 Votes)
    • 5) Act Five in the Expansion will be the best. (6%, 981 Votes)
    • 6) Don't like any of them. (6%, 856 Votes)
    • 2) Act Two (6%, 840 Votes)
    • 4) Act Four (4%, 619 Votes)
    • 7) Not sure yet/no opinion. (13%, 333 Votes)

    Total Voters: 15,098

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    Last Vote Results

    We’ve run several votes in posts since we last did an official “vote post” so here are the recent results to various polls.

    The last main vote asked for your favorite boss battle. I wasn’t surprised that Belial won since the visuals and design of his mid-battle transformation is pretty awesome, but I wouldn’t have guessed that the Butcher would come in second. Did you guys like the strategy of the burning floor, or the design of the creature, or are these votes just because he’s the not-too-difficult end to what is, for most players, their most profitable Inferno item running adventure?

    I was also surprised that “some other purple name” didn’t get more votes. I expected fierce advocates for Raknaroth or Leah’s ghost, or whatever. The lack of useful drops from the hundreds of other purple names probably dooms their popularity.

    Which is your favorite Diablo III Boss Battle?

  • Belial (31%, 4,383 Votes)
  • The Butcher (16%, 2,269 Votes)
  • They all suck. Everything sucks. Hate hate hate. (14%, 2,008 Votes)
  • Random Champion//Boss encounters are the best (13%, 1,847 Votes)
  • Diablo (10%, 1,345 Votes)
  • Azmodan (6%, 820 Votes)
  • Leoric the Skeleton King (4%, 563 Votes)
  • Zoltan Kulle (1%, 209 Votes)
  • Cydaea the Spiderwhore (1%, 196 Votes)
  • Siegebreaker (1%, 193 Votes)
  • Some other Purple named Elite. (1%, 191 Votes)
  • Magda the Butterfly Queen (2%, 82 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 14,106


    Another recent vote asked how you guys felt about Blizzard’s proposed Magic Find system changes, and was posted in the news item that detailed all of those potential game alterations. That was two weeks ago and we’ve not heard any official word on it yet. Judging from the vote results, that might be good news, since none of the proposed “solutions” are popular, and the majority plurality want things to stay as they are now.

    Which of Blizzard’s proposed Magic Find changes do you prefer?

  • 6) None of the above. Retain current system. (29%, 2,781 Votes)
  • 4) Zero-Out Your MF% for 3 Minutes After Swapping Gear (26%, 2,491 Votes)
  • 1) Set a Magic Find Cap (15%, 1,457 Votes)
  • 2) Slowly Adjust Magic Find Over Time (11%, 1,093 Votes)
  • 5) Gear Swapping Interacts with Nephalem Valor (9%, 827 Votes)
  • 3) Use your average MF% or your lowest MF% of the last 5 minutes (5%, 498 Votes)
  • 7) Some other new system I’ll brilliantly explain in comments. (5%, 486 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 9,633


    A final recent vote discussed the confusing terminology for the different types of boss monsters in Diablo III and asked what you guys thought they should be called for greater clarity.

    The current naming system won out, despite the “Rare = item AND monster” confusion, but it wasn’t exactly a landslide victory. I am surprised how few votes the old D2 naming system got; maybe this is proof of my comments in the news post that “superunique” was a confusing term best left in the past?

    Diablo 3′s Boss types should be called:

  • 1) Champions > Rares > Uniques (34%, 738 Votes)
  • 5) Something else/don’t care (24%, 511 Votes)
  • 3) Champions > Elites > SuperUniques (20%, 434 Votes)
  • 4) Blue Bosses > Yellow Bosses > Purple Bosses (19%, 410 Votes)
  • 2) Champions > Bosses > SuperUniques (3%, 73 Votes)

    Total Voters: 2,166

  • We’ve run almost fifty votes in the current news script (dozens of earlier votes from years past are no longer available), and they provide an interesting history of key events in the game’s development, along with community opinions preserved in amber. You can see all of them by using the Diablo:IncGamers Votes news category tag, if you want to refresh your memory or wonder WTF we were all thinking about back then.

    For instance, check out our expert prognostication for D3′s release date in a vote from last September. The few, the proud, the 3%! You can also see that when I mention on the podcast that most people loved the idea of Inferno when it was announced… I’m not lying.