The wealth of new info and developer theory riches keeps coming from the Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 developer chat, and here’s part two of the huge transcript and analysis. Extracted key points, all of which are elaborated upon in the transcript below:
Greater Rifts are not exclusive uber-geared character content. Anyone who can do Torment 1 or higher will benefit from Grifts and find/upgrade Legendary Gems.
The Barbarian will probably get another life boosting passive skill… but no ETA.
There’s no highest Paragon level Leaderboard since the devs didn’t want to encourage boring exp-grinding play in Seasons.
Blocking will be improved in the future. Possibly by changing shields to block a % of damage, or possibly in some other way, such as via a passive skill.
Crit hit Chance and Crit hit Damage are problematic affixes since they synergize, are too powerful, and take up two affix slots. Many changes have been contemplated, a few are in already, but the devs do want to fix the issue at some point to allow more affix variety on jewelry/gloves.
All basic class item sets such as Inna’s, Natalya’s, IK, etc, will get a six-piece partial set property in the future that will boost the function of those sets to match the other high end gear.
The Infernal Machine is not getting any big changes soon, and maybe not at all, since Greater Rifts are meant to be the biggest challenge in the game now, where Ubers were that in the past.
The long term plan is for every legendary item to have an interesting and useful legendary affix. Quite a few are being added in Patch 2.1.
Pet survivability will get a buff in the future, with their hit points scaling up to make them sturdy enough for Greater Rifts above 30.
Like Rush himself, the Diablo 3 devs sometimes say “Ross” instead of “R-O-S.” This should make all decent folk tremble with outrage.
Continuing from Part One of this transcript/analysis, with the conclusion in Part Three coming up tonight. Here’s the Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Chat: Transcript and Discussion Part 2/3:
Greater Rifts are only for Uber characters?
Are Greater Rifts and Legendary Gems only viable for players already steamrolling Torment 6?
Wyatt: I am so glad to have that question! No. Those should be viable for everyone. The Key of Trials drops for anyone who can clear Torment 1 or higher. If you can do T1, you can do Grifts. The Key of Trials is meant to start you off at an appropriate Greater Rift level. So if you can clear T6, maybe it’ll start you off at 30-35. If you struggle on Torment 1, it’ll start you off at 12 or 15. It’s hard to say for sure.
New Urshi upgrade interface.
Legendary Gems drop for anyone who can clear the Rift, and you don’t need to clear it within the 15 minute time limit to earn the reward. You just need to beat the time to advance to the next higher tier of Grift. You’ll still get gems and be able to upgrde them.
Some people might say that people in T1 gear would have the most to gain from Legendary Gems, since their gear isn’t totally tricked out and so Legendary Gems will make a real difference to them.
John: The bottom few tiers start at Normal or Hard.
Wyatt: If you were to play just a Greater Rift level 1, which people don’t usually do, it would feel like playing on Normal or Hard difficulty.
Also, you get Legendary Items for clearing Greater Rifts. We talk about the Leg Gems as well. We made a change in the last PTR patch where you get more and better chance to get legendary items the higher your Greater Rift. Even if you can only clear say… Greater Rift 15, you’ll generally get a legendary item every or every other Rift. Whereas if you can clear up to GR35, you’ll probably see a legendary item every run. Or two every run. The chance of getting legs goes up as well.
When Greater Rifts were just starting on the PTR (before the Realm of Trials or Legendary Gems were implemented), I imported my EU account my not very well geared hardcore Demon Hunter, who I’d been doing T1-T2 pretty confidently, started on GR1 (of course) and raced through it, finishing with like 11 minutes to spare. For that drop I got 2 legs, including a Torment set gloves, and that for the equivalent of Normal difficulty.
For my fast time I got a GR8 key, and had little trouble with that, and got another 2 legendary items from the Guardian. I got a GR12 key for that and had no danger of dying on that one, but I got a sparse spawn and my killing power was clearly getting near its limit. The Guardian dropped me another 2 legs, though. I then failed on GR14, because I got a bad spawn (Panda Fortress 2 levels), but I felt in zero danger of dying and got another 2 legs from the Guardian (who still drops, even if you don’t get him within 15m).
In subsequent games that DH, without any real gear changes, was able to solo clear GR16, and probably could have done up to 18 or 19 if I’d gotten a really friendly (dense) spawn. And that was a hardcore Demon Hunter from my alt account, with only 150ish paragon points, no special gear, and too much toughness. (I was never close to dying in the Grifts; I just couldn’t kill fast enough.)
The approximate Greater Rift Difficulty is:
Greater Rift Level 1 = Normal
Greater Rift Level 3 = Hard
Greater Rift Level 4 = Expert
Greater Rift Level 6 = Master
Greater Rift Level 8 = Torment 1
Greater Rift Level 12 = Torment 2
Greater Rift Level 15 = Torment 3
Greater Rift Level 17 = Torment 4
Greater Rift Level 20 = Torment 5
Greater Rift Level 25 = Torment 6
Greater Rift Level 25+ = Harder and harder.
I shared in the above Demon Hunter anecdote, the difficulty levels are only approximations since monster spawns and character equipment varies so much. But even my HC Demon Hunter wearing zero Torment+ gear, just common legendary items and some crafted sets, was fine for GR15 her first try.
Grifts are designed to get *really* hard as you keep advancing, so they will (eventually) provide a (lethal) challenge for any quality of gear/character… but they’re not some exclusive, l33t-only end game. Everyone who has geared at least to all legendary items with decent DPS and a useful build will be able to do Grifts and have fun. And they’re a very useful character tutorial, as you see very clearly if you are above/below the curve on killing speed, survival, etc. As my “too much toughness/not enough DPS” Demon Hunter discovered.
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