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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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The State of the Monk: Additional follower or future OP class?

state of the monk in diablo 3It’s no surprise that the Monk class has been in need of some love pre 2.1. However with the second iteration of the patch on the PTR that need has not yet been abided. People are still clamoring for more sweeping changes(pun intended).

I was a heavy Monk user pre ROS and took a break with the xpac to delve into my first love(WD) and my new fling(crusader). I returned to the Monk only a few weeks ago and what I found was a shell of what I had left. After suffering for a long time as a WD it was nice when they finally rose to prominence. After a while on the top I wanted a new challenge and set my sights back on my monk, however even this challenge seems to daunting then all that time as a struggling WD. Diablo Forum MVP Druin put together an eloquent look at the myriad issues facing the class:


Hello everyone!

I am back from vacation and I am looking to write up a concise review of where we stand in 2.1.

My plan is to give a quick overview of our major issues then discuss the 2.1 changes and how they affect the various facets of our class.

I will be using this thread to fine-tune what we want to communicate to the devs and then I will make a major “state of monks in 2.1″ thread on the PTR forums to attempt to get some help for our lovely class! :D

1. Current Monk Issues

Damage

This is really at the forefront of the monk issues.

Since the release of RoS, monks have been having a tough time with DPS. We have a very limited range of options mostly centering around the skill Exploding Palm. (Un)fortunately EP is being changed as it breaks greater rifts (along with Rimeheart and Furnace) so our only source of widely competitive damage is going away. This leaves monks in a pretty bad spot.

Our spenders do very little damage (I mean VERY little) relative to their cost and our generators are used more as proc-vehicles for Odyn Son, Thunderfury, Shard of Hate and Rime/Furnace more than as sources of damage themselves. This leaves us with our 6pc Raiment of 1000 Storms which makes DS proc a 3000% weapon damage attack on cast. 3000% damage is a lot and it scales with lightning damage gear but DS has a flat-immutable 6 second cooldown. This can be mitigated to some extent by using Jawbreaker to give “free” dashing strike charges but that interaction is quite clunky.

Basically, monks will be forced into a clunky, hard-to-use situationally terrible Storm-breaker set in order to compete with other classes in damage. If they don’t want to use this mechanic, they will do very poor damage.

Durability

Next on the list is our ability to survive. This is a more controversial topic with some finding survival to be quite easy and many others finding it to be quite hard. In 2.1 with the change from dex giving dodge to dex giving armor and the change from OWE to Harmony, many monks who had minor synergy with OWE will see a minor tankiness boost. (my Raiment set for example)
On the other hand, monk who are deeply invested into OWE will see a major tankiness loss. (my Shatter-palm set). In either case, both types of monks probably have a lot of trouble living in T6 without 2x Unity or the constant dashing from Storm-breaker. Why is this? Because monks have to face-tank so much stuff.

Our primary source of resource generation comes from skills that require you to be up-close and personal with mobs which means a lot of damage can’t be avoided. To compensate for this, end-game monks are forced to take defensive passives (Harmony) defensive skills (Epiphany-shroud / Serenity / Inner Sanc / Blinding Flash) and CDR in basically every single spec. This is extremely limiting to the monk playstyle though arguably less of a problem than the DPS as the defensive skill/CDR solution does exist.

Additionally, sustain is nearly non-existent. LoH requires primary affixes which takes away from our already terrible DPS, LPS is the same, LPSS both takes primary affixes AND is extremely poor and Globes took a pretty big hit in 2.1. Monks actually have access to healing skills but, for some reason, they are tuned to be SO weak that they are essentially non-existent.

Resource Management

This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.

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Wyatt Cheng on Diablo 3 Combat and Healing Changes

Posted 28 Sep 2013 by

Wyatt Cheng followed up yesterday’s article about the Pace of Diablo 3 Combat with a couple of detailed replies, answering various player questions/concerns and sharing more about the Diablo 3 combat and healing changes we’re going to see in Reaper of Souls.

Hi guys, I’ve seen some great feedback so far. Let me answer a few questions and address some concerns.

Regarding the existing monster affixes. We’ll be keeping an eye on these. For example, DiabloWikiReflects Damage internally has been changed to a flat amount rather than a percentage. I don’t know if it’s going to ship this way but that’s the current internal version.

If we don’t want a game defined by one-shot deaths, then we can’t have damage that is defined by its burstiness. Some people have suggested that the solution to making the game more tactical is to make all mechanics 100% avoidable. This sounds good on paper but unfortunately doesn’t address one-shot deaths. What we want to do is avoid the extremes. Maybe in one case you can avoid all of the damage, but in another case “good play” means you avoid half of the damage. Having a broad spectrum of attacks with varying degrees of avoidability means both combat decisions and gear matter.

Click through for much more from this long and info-rich post.

There have been some concerns that we’ll swing back to the extremes of hyper-defensives builds such as when the game first came out. This is not the intention. As DrothVader pointed out, there’s a middle ground here where you’re able to gear and play offensively, but you still have to concern yourself with the dangerous affixes and other mechanics.

A clarification: When I said “After we pull in the rate of healing, next we analyze the patterns in which monsters deal damage” I meant those as steps in the development process. Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t mean for a moment that we were going to release in between those two steps. As TheTruth posits, this is an iterative process. There are actually MANY steps involved, those are just the first two. We’re changing a lot of things and we’ll do a lot of testing of the whole package before putting it all live.

I also share ComposMentis’ concerns that although we’re trying to adjust how combat feels, we should make sure the result isn’t a game that feels slow. Diablo is still an action RPG. As Bomdanil says, there’s still a lot of room to “hack and slash through endless piles of monsters”. Creating room for players to mitigate incoming damage through smart play is not mutually exclusive with being able to blow them up at a fast pace. A few people have jumped to the conclusion that tactical = slow, or created a false dilemna between “fast paced action RPG” and “strategic prolonged tactical combat”. There are more possibilities than this. The goal is a game where the combat can still be very fast, and you are mowing down enemies, but you also get to make quick decisions about when to use a CC ability, when to pop a defensive ability or who to prioritize as a target. These are tactical decisions that don’t detract from a fast pace.

I want to thank everybody for the really solid and constructive discussion. It’s good to see so many thoughtful posts. I can’t realistically respond to everything (such as the suggested modified damage model or some of the potion ideas) but I do appreciate that so many people put effort into stating their reasons and opinions clearly.

With the new emphasis on life on hit to stay alive, any word of returning some nerfed proc coefficients …
Wyatt Cheng: We’ll be doing a detailed tuning pass on all DiabloWikiproc coefficients so DiabloWikiLife On Hit and other effects work reliably across all skills. No single skill becomes the mandatory “go-to” because it’s the only one that provides enough LoH to survive. Similarly we will ensure no skill’s proc coefficient is too low to sustain you.

Rather than looking at things as buffs and nerfs to proc coefficients, think of it as the proc coefficients of skills being on equal footing with one another and the damage and healing of monsters is tuned against this baseline.

This all comes in a suite with other game changes, so even with the detail we’ve seen from the datamined skills and items, we players are evaluating it with very incomplete insight. One thing to note on the early stuff; as far as we can tell especially from the skill changes, DiabloWikiLife Steal is going to be almost eliminated in Reaper of Souls. Almost all skills that provide it are changing to LoH, or Life % of total, or Life from Spirit/Fury spent, or flat bonuses modified by your DiabloWikiHGHB, or etc. Presumably Life Steal will not be found on items any more either… which goes nicely with their changing Reflects Damage to a flat value rather than a % based as we see today.

Thoughts on the other changes hinted at by Wyatt’s communications? Part One from him was here, if you missed it.


Tagged As: | Categories: Bosses, Items, Loot 2.0, Reaper of Souls, Wyatt Cheng