Nephalem Rift Changes and Suggestions


A couple of Blue posts about Nephalem Rifts worth evaluating. The first is an observation made frequently since Patch 2.1.2 started to take shape on the PTR. What’s going to happen with leaderboards when the patch goes live, since Rifts, especially Greater Rifts, have better layouts and much higher monster density?

blizz is gonna nerf grifts 2weeks before end of season? this make absolutely no sense.. why would they do this??
Nevalistis: There’s not really any productive conversation occurring here, and little more than mudslinging. If you have concerns or feedback regarding the upcoming patch and end of season announcement, we’ve left the thread unlocked for that purpose.

Not a very satisfying reply, as it just links to the “Patch prolly next week” post, which doesn’t say a word about Rifts and leaderboards. It just explains that Blizzard didn’t want to release a patch mid-season, and that they won’t do it in the future, but that the timing just worked out awkwardly this time. Most players will see their best GR bump up 3-5 levels with the patch changes, but that’s mostly in the medium range, from say GR20-40 range.

The greater density doesn’t make a huge difference for the few players doing really high level Grifts, and for them, the Patch nerf to Conduit Pylons will make a bigger difference. On the PTR, the *real* changes at the high end came from new legendary items and Ancient Items… but how many players will find enough of the new stuff to impact on their GR45+ clear times, with just three weeks to gear up before the end of S1?

Elsewhere, a player offered a whole litany of complaints and suggestions to improve Rifts. See the link for his whole long post; here’s just the intro and the bullet point conclusion.

There’s something terribly wrong with Rifts. They have been advertised as a randomized dungeon with up to 10 floors. 10 floors? That’s amazing compared to the traditional 2 floors from optional dungeons. People thought we would get an amazing dungeon that was worthy of completing.

What did we get? Up to 10 floors of disappointment. Why is there nothing at the end of Rifts? I am no expert when it comes to designing games, but even as an “average Joe”, I know that having a Boss in the middle of the dungeon with absolutely nothing afterward (and also beforehand…) is a terrible design.

  1. Add a locked chest at the end of the Rift
  2. Add a major boss at the end of the Rift
  3. Add content to Rift (random events + cursed events + other things)
  4. Add new twist to the existing events (go crazy and design those events to kill us)
  5. Ambushes!


Nevalistis: I love seeing imaginations run rampant in these kinds of threads. It always makes for a great read from passionate people! Some really cool ideas in here. I’d love to see some of these ideas further explored. Here’s a few questions you can ask:

  • How would it change your gameplay experience if some of these ideas were implemented?
  • Would you prefer to see more bulk added to existing features or new features with some of these twists?
  • Why do you prefer that method?
  • This feels like a a blast from the past, since we debated exactly this aspect of Rifts long ago. I don’t even remember when… RoS beta? At any rate, I can remember thinking Rifts really needed more to them. Something to encourage/reward you for completing the whole thing. A second Guardian, a slew of Treasure Goblins or Golden Chests, etc. I hadn’t thought about the issue for months, but now that this guy brings it up… how about it? Do you guys want more in Rifts? Something at the end of the whole run, for the explorative type?

    This seemed to be fixed in the patch...

    At least this seemed to be fixed in the patch…

    This is a great time for the issue to return though, since Patch 2.1.2 changes the feel of Rifts in major ways. In the patch, normal Rifts are not as density-buffed as Grifts are, but they are much faster to complete. While playing on the PTR I almost always got to 100% and spawned the Guardian on the first or second floor, due to higher monster density and larger/better maps with more room for monsters. Furthermore, Rifts in the patch tend to have many more floors, so you never get to the exit stone with like 91% cleared and no monsters in sight. When I explored on the PTR I wished the completion counter kept had going past 100%, just for fun. Many dungeons I figured I had to be in the 500-700% range by the time I reached the exit of a Rift on floor 6 or 8.

    This makes the OP’s suggestion both more and less relevant. Less since you can finish Rifts so quickly and efficiently that you want to hurry into another one to score another keystone. More since when you are finishing off Rifts by the middle of Floor #2, it starts to feel almost too fast/easy, and after a while I’d get the urge for more exploration. I seldom did, since it felt pointless with the big reward from the Guardian, but if there was another reward available on the lowest level… maybes? It wouldn’t be more rewarding than just doing another Rift, but adding something special at the exit stone would make it seem like less than a total waste of time.

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    1. I definitely agree with the OP that adding some stuff to rifts would be a great idea, especially since they seem like the only thing to do most of the time. While adding some of the stuff the OP suggests would be nice, I've also thought of an idea that'd be really cheap to implement.

      Going with Flux's idea to keep the counter going past 100%, they should spawn a guardian on some interval after 100%. Maybe like 250%, then 450%, etc. Each time you down a guardian, the rift itself gets a bonus to XP, Gold, or magic find (including the next guardian). This gives players a reason to continue on through a rift, and wouldn't be too difficult to implement. Rift keys are easy enough to get as it is, so it's not like getting more out of each one would be a bad thing.

      Bounties need some love, but that's whole other conversation.

      • The boni to xp, gold and mf should imo be complemented by an increase in difficulty, though. Would be a good place to drown the voices asking for higher Torment difficulties at the same time, while offering an intuitive indicator for players still on the climb to T6, when to step up in difficulty levels after a lucky find.

        • Further thoughts: A step in difficulty right after killing a guardian might push it a bit high. If realized as a gradual increase, it could probably also improve the feel of gameplay overall. For example, if after the first breakpoint on the counter bar, you'd have to fill up the next step by 75% or 90% or so, before you've maxed up to the full bonus in Torment difficulty.

        • That could work. Though I personally wouldn't want to see it increase in difficulty. I'd rather them leave T6 as the highest difficulty for bounties/rifts/cursed chests/etc, and instead develop difficulty agnostic systems (like Grifts) for those that want a challenge (with scaling rewards of course, though they shouldn't super outshine T6 rewards).

          This way, more builds are viable for farming, and those who want a challenge have it. The reason the rewards would increase is that it takes a time investment to actually clear most of a rift, as opposed to kill the guardian and leave.

          Just my opinion though. It could be that more people would rather see it scale up a in difficulty some.

          • Availability of multiple options is a sound argument. As it would result in a different gameplay from either, though, …: Perhaps as the core of an endless dungeon type of Rifts? Then the gradual increase in difficulty should start from the beginning, though. Else it wouldn't make much sense as an additional playing option.

          • I mean: An endless dungeon was a loudly and often requested demand by parts of the comunity, until Rifts came along. Could be a way to surprise the players, who left the community due to a real endless dungeon obviously never coming, enough, to pick up the game and start playing again.

            • Yeah, the bottomless (or at least very deep) dungeon was a constant thing pre-game, and Rifts were manifestly created to satisfy that desire, for randomized, varied layouts. And they are, but they don't satisfy that "I want to push further/deeper" urge players had. GRifts sort of do that with the increasing difficulty, but only in 15m sprints.

              So I'm not surprised how many players want bigger, deeper Rifts, with some milestones or special rewards for the full clear. They don't have to be the most rewarding things in the game, and I don't want players to feel it's mandatory they clear out every Rift, (or create incentive to race through all the levels to reach the bonus at the bottom) but like the OP and commenters here say, it would be nice to have another guardian or a treasure room or something.

    2. They can add so much more to the rifts.
      A Thought :
      What if the counter once you spawn the guardian and killed him restarted again but this time it has marks like 10% 20% and moving up to 100% and to fill it up you need to kill monsters but even if you kill all the monsters it wouldn't fill up to 100% and to reach higher you need to do chain kills, massacres, those 10 monsters or higher in 1 hit kill, objects destroyed multiplier and environment kills to get more bonuses. All this then is converted into rewards when you click on the Pylon that ports you back to town but instead it ports you into a different realm depending on the % you reached and then you get chests with increased legendary drop rates or uber boss that guards a chest or multiple chests with increased rewards(Ramaldan's Gift, Legendary Potions, Artisan that gives you one craft for Ancient Gems that are higher than Flawless Royal, Item that rerolls all the stats on a legendary or set item).

      I think this would be a good way to reward players, but then rifts are almost all that players do now days that we need something rewarding for bounties or for exploring in adventure mode.

    3. I like the idea of 50% increase run speed after killing guardian, and perhaps some kind of chest containing rift key at the end.

    4. A chest or a second boss at the exit stone? YES! I would love that. It feels like a waste to close the rift with soo much content not discovered/ventured. If we had some extra goal after the riftboss it would make some sense to clear the map/rift all the way to the exit stone.

      • I like the idea, but we want to be careful about incentivizing some cheesy play style. If there's a big run speed after killing the Guardian and a big reward at the bottom… now everyone just Vaults/Sprints down to get it.

        I prefer some additional bonus tied to kills or completion percentage; like a second Guardians spawn at 300% and if you hit 666% you get two guardians at once, or a guardian and a pack of goblins at once? (Of course most maps wouldn't be big enough for you to get to 666%, so maybe you'd clear 4 extra levels and empty the dungeon only to make it to 613%. But that would be the challenge/surprise/risk you take?)

    5. How would it change your gameplay experience if some of these ideas were implemented?

      Adding something to the end of a Nephalem Rift would be an incentive to complete them, meaning to explore the rest of the number n of levels after having killed the RG, if available and not tping after the RG, to start anew which is what (many) players do.
      This would give grinding for rift keys more reward because players wouldn't just have to focus on the RG that in most cases only drops a soul and a GR key.

      Would you prefer to see more bulk added to existing features or new features with some of these twists?

      Adding, say (some) elite packs to a rift end, or as mentioned, a golden chest or occasionally goblin pacs, etc. would give our constant grinding at least some sense.
      At the least, a small buff should be implemented to leg find to RG#2, elite(s), …

      !!! Or perhaps a chance to spawn a NPC merchant that has a chance to sell 1-2 class specific legendary/set items for, say, 10+ million gold, or some ludicrous amount.
      This would be a Gheed-esque experience in which "you never know, what you're going to get", and also prove to be an additional gold sink.

      An even slighter chance to spawn a portal that leads to a goblin-destruction level.
      With the upcoming additional goblins, wouldn't it be great if we could have a (small) dungeon filled with all goblin types?
      Okay, that's just wishful thinking.

      Weapon shrine?

      Why do you prefer that method?

      Because we want MOAR!
      Since the Diablo franchise can pat itself on the shoulder for high replay value, anything out of the ordinary is a welcome experience.
      We play because Blizzard makes us want to, because legendaries are sweet if RNG is having a nice day and because we want to be as powerful and/or versatile as possible.
      We like a good challenge and persevere. Devotion should reap rewards.
      Having a RG in the middle of a Rift and nothing beyond is a not so funny practical joke. For all good intents, a rift might as well be cleared of all enemies after the RG as is the case in GR's. Chances are, during the course of completing a Rift one may find additional legendaries, but we want to be grabbed by our balls and ovaries, figuratively speaking only, of course, and make rifting worthwhile.

      D3x2?
      REVIVE DECARD CAIN!!!

    6. Maybe some sort of ancient device at the end of the rift. Like the one from act 2
      Maybe that would be fun:)

    7. i agree rifts need something to encourage further play. It would need a percentage bar though or people will just race to the end.

      I don't think too much should be done though to rifts. More game modes need to be added and they all need to be balanced so that they are equally as fruitful.

      Right now the endgame is rift rift rift and some grifts. in seasons, act 1 bounty farming lasted a good month or 2 until everyone had their RoRG. Then that died.

      improve grifts by letting elites drop legendaries.

      improve rifts by adding a secondary counter to spawn a boss guarding the exit stone.

      improve hellfire ring

      improve ubers so that it isn't JUST about hellfire rings. Guaranteed legendaries would be a start considering how much farming goes into simply getting to them.

      improve campaign mode by sprinkling in rift/grift portals in the game. Imagine just running along and see a rift or grift portal. would be awesome. (they could add that to adventure mode too to encourage world exploration) Campaign mode also needs some kind of access to the bounty bags. (I want campaign mode improved cuz my wife doesn't like adventure mode…she is totally willing to play thru story again and again tho. That overall goal of making it thru the acts is what compels her to play)

      Come up with new game modes. There have been SOOO many good suggestions from the community. They don't even have to bother coming up with this shit anymore. If they just listened to the community.

      Would be great if there was an "idea" system where we could vote on ideas. Most requested features then get implemented. wishful thinking i know.

    8. It is this easy to make our beloved diablo games better. Just LISTEN to the community. Very good ideias there Turbojugend and Charons. Blizzard doesn´t even need to crack their heads and think of new stuff. The people that love the game and play it already give excelent ideias.
      We just want variety, and please dont be afraid to charge small amounts of cash for some extra stuff in game that doesnt have a great impact on gameplay. If that is what is necessary for the game to be more profitable and you can spend more time on giving us more content.
      The ideia of at the end of a rift have a random npc, pack of goblins, etc, so good. just listen to the players blizzard, and keep on the good work. I believe people whine a lot, but the trush is that diablo is still an ongoing project, the game is now better than it was, and still has a great grown potential.

    9. – The XP/drop/gold bonus for staying in the rift ramps up by X% for every guardian you kill or slab of 100% achieved (which could spawn a guardian).
      – Maybe they can code the floors to have enough material to get to 100% on each while keeping the number of floors per rift to 5-10 or even hard code it to a fixed number of floors.

      I'm casual and only want to kill stuff, get items (now that ultra rares should be less rare), etc. I don't care about GRifts and will only use them to level my gems and then fall back to normal rifts

      I'd also like to see bounties get a second breath:
      – Better rewards of XP/drops (why does it have to be rifts all the time)
      – Why not make the dungeon/area you need to clean have random monsters spawn like in rifts
      – Maybe add other types of bounties to the mix (which is perhaps new events, etc. to the maps)

      I'd also like to get more maps if possible (or Acts, hope they announce another expansion soon)

      Or that they fix the map generation. It would be cool to get exterior maps a bit more. For example, I rarely see the initial desert area of act2 spawn as a rift map except the oasis/desert part before Kulle's lair. I seem to always get Act1 Halls/Prison, Act 5 Adria Maze + Westmarch, Act 3 Tower, etc.

      And could they please bump the damn cow level spawn rate so I can witness it in my lifetime before the game dies. It should be as rare as the goblin vault. It's worse than the ultra rare items currently.

    10. The main issue is then what if someone closes the rift when you wanted to continue? Right now you can only close the rift after the 'goal' of it is completed. If you add additional goals, how do you determine the difference between someone who wants to stop after the first guardian and someone who wants to keep going? Who gets to close the rift so a new one can be made? How? When?

      This is why it makes sense to only have one 'goal' per rift, unfortunately.

      I would rather see the goal at the end of the rift, personally, and have the 'weight' of the goal increase the more monsters you kill to get there. If you run past everything you get a tiny goal, if you full clear 10 levels you get a major goal. That way you get to see all the content, experience as much as you please, but you have to get to the end to fight the boss. Perhaps a minimum amount of monsters killed for the boss to be there.

      Or, at the end of each level, something to interact with which is either 'spawn boss' or 'spawn next level'. After a boss is spawned you can't spawn another level in the rift. Again keeping the whole 'more monsters you kill' reward system.

      • I have 2 thoughts on that:

        1) Communication: Talk with party members about what it is you are trying to do. Are you only in it for the rift guardian, or do you want whatever extra goals there are.

        2) Make it so to close a rift, all party members have to click "ok" and agree. Alternatively, make it only respond to the party leader, so that person decides how the runs will go.

      • This could be easily circumvented:

        Closing a rift already has a rather long timer. If a player selects to close it, just give the other players the option, to vote against the closure. On vote made counting for keeping the portal open. And to counter abuse through trolling players, just add the option for the other players to still overrule the vote together, up to completely voting him out of the game if having to be overruled by the group repetitively.

        Xp and gold reward for the rift would have to be pulled to the end of the countdown, though.

      • you raise a good point.

        I think they fell far short of their original idea. If you think about it, a "boss" should be on the last level…thats fairly traditional in rpg. They made this meter though so that folks can't just run straight to it, which is a great idea. Unfortunately, they missed the boat on the math of this. Too often the boss spawns on lvl 1 or 2. I've seen a boss spawn on 1 or 2 on a 5 deep dungeon. talk about not even close to last level. (this in solo play where I tend to clear everything, not just running elite to elite)

        Perhaps they simply need to revisit so that the boss only spawns near the end stone. Problem is, people now expect these fast rift runs where you typically only go 1 or 2 lvls. And I don't really have a problem with that as it is excellent for the "i have 15 minutes to play a quick game" mode.

        Perhaps what we have now needs to be retained and a new mode introduced for "deeper rifts" (or whatever you want to call it) These should be expected to last 30 minutes.

    11. Related issue I expect we'll see more of once the patch is live.

      Playing on the PTR, I initially loved the bigger and more varied maps… but after a while they started to feel sort of generic. There were lots more types of monsters on each level, and with the bigger levels so full of enemies, if felt like every Rift was sort of the same.

      I expect after some weeks of the new patch we'll start to see fans asking for more themed maps/monsters, a bit like you see in campaign mode. But bigger and randomized, instead of a random jumble of enemies on every level.

      • How long until they finally circle back to Diablo 1 monster spawning, where there were certain combinations of monsters you could get, and certain other combinations you would never get, and some very rare monster combinations?

    12. I'd suggest to get rid of the kill-to-spawn concept for rift bosses alltogether. Also, wWith greatly varying map sizes, there's also no need for a random amount of levels.

      How about making each rift 5 levels deep with the guardian always waiting at the end? The guardian is shielded by a persisting buff which initially absorbs 100% of all incoming damage. For each elite pack killed in the rift, the shield drops by, say, 2%. For every 15 seconds spent (beyond a certain threshold) since the rift opening, the guardian's legendary drop chance/amount of treasure dropped decreases.

      This effectively leaves it to the player to find a personal balance: Is it more rewarding/quicker for a player of your progression level to rush towards a rift guardian (which then takes a long time to take down) or to spent how much time on softening the shield by fighting through the dungeon?

      • As I kinda like the bigger maptypes in use, I'm not in favor to this idea. You'd have to shrink down all available permutations to similar size and mov density, to not create a bigger drag than the current solution.

      • The biggest complaint about GRifts is the time limit. So why are you effectively adding a time limit to regular rifts as well?

    13. Have the guardian always be at the end of the rift. Make the rifts somewhat shorter than 10 levels, perhaps 5. Have the current monster-kill-bar fill up, and when it does, a counter ticks up to 1, and the bar empties. Repeat with the counter incrementing. When you kill the rift boss, then there is a guaranteed number of legendaries equal to the counter.

      Make this a separate kind of rift so players can choose between them, if necessary.

    14. More fun stuff after beating Guardian. Right now the game benefits players who want to clear fast. Give something to guys who want to spend time and explore!

    15. All in all, you must give players some \buff\ to play Nephalem Rift after killing a rift guardian (comparing to starting a new one), in terms of loot/exp/gold etc.

      This can be as simple as \You now get 25% more exp/gold when killing a mobs in this rift\ and/or \You get double amount of loot from elite mobs\.

      Or it can be more complicated. You get a new progress bar with some bonus event at 100% fill. When progress becames 100%, it means that next rift level is a last one, so you run there and search for an \endpoint\. When you touch this point, all mobs disappear from the map, which gives you a feel that rift is really completed. This point can be:
      – town pylon: no bonus, sorry dude
      – exp pylon: instantly get some exp reward (100kk+ on T6)
      – gold pylon: get some gold (10kk)
      – shard pylon: get some blood shards (100 on T6)
      – ancient pylon: spawn one of a 3 ancient guardians (… The Armourer/… The Assaliant/… The Goldsmith). These guardians can drop only one item, and it has a good (if not 100 %) chance to be an ancient armor/weapon/jewelry.

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