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    Very useful article by LukDeRif collecting and comparing data on the top Greater Rift clear times for all classes. The figures are current for V2.2 on the Live realms, and it’ll be interesting to see how they change after Season Two ends and all the buffed and new Item Sets are introduced in v2.3 and Season Three.

    Average Greater Rift Clear Time for every class

    With all the outrage about class imbalance lately I was curious what the situation on the Leaderboards really looked like. While it is easy to take a quick glance at the top and the bottom, it is much harder to get a grasp of the overall situation of the Leaderboards. So I made a spreadsheet that would help me get a better overview over the Leaderboards. The data was taken on the 26th March and is from the EU SC and EU HC seasonal Leaderboards.

    Softcore

    First I wanted to know what the average greater rift clear on the leaderboards was for each class in SC:

    Barbarian: 46.3
    Crusader: 43
    Demon Hunter: 46.7
    Monk: 46.7
    Witch Doctor: 40.7
    Wizard: 42.3

    softcore-bar

    At this point Barbarian, Demon Hunter and Monk seem to be fairly even. The Crusader and the Wizard are 3 to 4 levels lower. Considering the hitpoints of monster are increased by 17% a per level and the damage is increased by 10% that is actually a huge difference. Remember that the increase is based on the previous level. That means the difference between gets gradually larger. The Witch Doctor is 6 levels below the top three. Averages are often a statistic of limited value so it is valuable to take a look at the data as a whole.

    softcore-line

    What you can see here is: the more powerful the class the fiercer the competition.

    Fun fact: When I was typing in the data exactly 46 Wizards had cleared a GRift level 46 or above (the Demon Hunter Leaderboard starts at 46 by the way). It is also interesting to note that the difference at the very top is much smaller (in terms of Rift levels) than it is on average. There are multiple Wizards that have cleared GRift 50 and the only class that is seriously lagging behind is, again, the Witch Doctor.

    If you want to take a look at the Softcore Data then you can find it on Google Docs.

    Click through for the same study applied to Hardcore, and some thoughts on how HC vs. SC compare in Grift clear times at the mid-range and at the high end. Average Greater Rift Clear Times: Graphs!

    Hardcore

    The average Greater Rift clear for Hardcore for each class are:

    Barbarian: 37.1
    Crusader: 37
    Demon Hunter: 42
    Monk: 39.4
    Witch Doctor:35.2
    Wizard: 38.8

    hardcore-bar

    In HC the Demon Hunters absolutely dominate the field with a three level lead over the next class. The Barbarian takes the biggest hit, most likely due to the risky and fragile nature of the Raekor build. Surprisingly, Wizard is much better in Hardcore. Lets take a look at the overall comparison in HC:

    hardcore-line

    Overall the spread seems to be much wider for each class, suggesting a less competitive environment in Hardcore (or just fewer players). The top players of each class are much closer than they are in Softcore. There is a Wizard that cleared a 48 in a faster time than any other character from any other class (including the Demon Hunter).

    The Hardcore Data can be seen on Google Docs.

    A Look Back

    Just after Leaderboards and Seasons were introduced people calculated the average Greater Rift clears. If you are curious check out this post from back then and see for yourself what has changed.

    LukDeRif

    In my experience playing with a wide variety of high end HC chars, there’s very little difference in play style… until you reach the higher GRs. On T6 or up into the low 30s, HC chars in great gear can fly through, playing as recklessly and killing as quickly as any SC char. I’ve done countless T6 Rifts in parties where no one slows down for anything, and they felt almost no different than party games I’ve done on the PTR. (If anything, Hardcore parties in T6 feel are faster and a lot more organized, since no one is in junk gear leeching/getting carried, everyone knows how to play their build very well, and there’s not one asshole flying five screens ahead of everyone else, stealing the Elite kills and Goblins while leaving half the trash behind for others to dispose of.)

    The real HC vs. SC difference comes in later, once you’re above GR40 when monster damage rises to dangerous levels. Then HC chars *can* complete and compete, though some of the “less DPS / more Toughness” trade offs start to become visible in killing speed, and some risky builds, like Jade Doctor and Raekor’s, become too dangerous.

    Finally, most SC players fail many times when trying for their highest GR. Pushing above your character’s abilities, hoping for luck from Pylons or monster type, praying for Stonesinger at the finish, etc. We do all the same stuff in HC, but have to be a lot more cautious when risking death, for obvious reasons. It’s funny, since Grifts offer the only death penalty in softcore — too many deaths = delays = no GRift clear — but the way many players react to that is by gearing glass cannon, since anything dangerous in a high GR will one-shot them anyway.

    Season Two Countdown

    It’ll be interesting if we see a jump in the overall Hardcore GR leaderboard next weekend, when HC players go for broke with the S2 deadline looming.

    I am a case in point since I’m planning on that myself. My DH has no real gear upgrades left (other than some slight Ancient armor boosts), I can easily/routinely clear high 30s in 8-10m, and I think I should be viable up to 45ish… but I haven’t gone above GR40, even though I first cleared it weeks ago and with much lesser gear. I’m waiting for the last days of S2 and have been 1) building up more exp and Paragons, but 2) mostly delaying so if/when bad things happen, I won’t be deprived of my best char for long, since 3) I’m going to start fresh in S3 anyway.

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