Nephalem Rifts: Full Clears vs. Guardian Exits

news-rifts-beyond-guardianPlaying so far this season, an old debate point has resurfaced. When clearing DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts, (not DiabloWikiGrifts, though I guess possibly them too) when do you exit and start a new Rift? After killing the Guardian? After the Guardian when your Inventory gets full? Sometime later when you start a bad tileset on a level? Or do you clear out the entire Rift and return to town from the altar? (I know someone is reading this going, “Wut? There’s a Rift ending altar stone?)

Back in the early days of DiabloWikiAdventure Mode lots of fans agitated for Rift full clear/completion bonuses, asking that there be some sort of bonus for reaching the ending altar; a second Guardian, DiabloWikiTreasure Goblin spawns, DiabloWikiPool of Reflection buffs, a free Rift Key, etc… but obviously none of those things ever made it into the game. So there’s no bonus or reward for running a whole Rift, other than the exp/items you gain during the process.

There are some material shortages that can drive your Rifting play, of course. If you’ve got only a few DiabloWikiRift Keys, then you’re probably going to clear most/all of them, and if you’ve got Keys but really need DiabloWikiBlood Shards, then you’re going to exit after the DiabloWikiGuardian. Early in the season those variables can be scrambled though, and maybe you’re just gearing up and want to keep killing and rolling up the exp? Or you’re on a lower difficulty and the number of Shards dropping isn’t impactful enough to bother fast farming them. Or you’re trying to get better gear before you do some serious Rift Key farming (AKA Act One Bounties in pursuit of a good DiabloWikiRoRG).

I’ve followed multiple strategies so far this season: I build up a bunch of keys doing bounties until around level 50, and then used most of them running Rifts just up through the Guardian to build of Shards to spend right when I hit 70. Now that I’m past 70 and playing for items and exp… I generally do all of the Rift, or at least past the Guardian and only exit when I reach a bad level/layout, like the Act Five town. It’s RNG superstition, but even on lower Torment levels, it seems like I always get 2-3 DiabloWikiLegs doing a full Rift. While I can do approximately as much content, clearing 5 Rifts with a Guardian exit, without seeing a single Leg. Though perhaps those extra Shards will turn into one?)

What method/technique do you guys pursue? Do you get annoyed when other people shut the Rift after the Guardian, or are slow to shut it then? Is there a multiplayer etiquette that noobs need to learn before you reach through your Ethernet cord and squeeze their chicken necks until their little pinheads pop off?

Let’s survey: Nephalem Rifts: Full Clears vs. Guardian Exits

When do you like to end a Nephalem Rift?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.
  1. Rather than closing the rift 'only if I see a bad tileset', I think I do the opposite and clear beyond the Guardian only if I think it's a good tileset e.g. Act 1 Highlands, Act 5 Cemetery, Act 5 Battlefields etc. The density in those is usually mental.

    "Is there a multiplayer etiquette that noobs need to learn before you reach through your Ethernet cord and squeeze their chicken necks until their little pinheads pop off?"
    Also, great sentence, lol.

  2. They did improve monster density and layouts, so there are more "good" levels than simply graveyard and jail. If it weren't jail or graveyard, it was instant close, every time, but now Corvus, desert vault, and cathedral are sort of acceptable. Of course, if you tell someone not to close the rift, they're going to close the rift, every time.

  3. My practice on this point has changed over time. When rifts first came out, I cleared every one down to the altar because it was the chance to get legendaries. When grifts and LGems came out, though, it was then more important to stop after the guardian, to maximize ROT stones (= potential LGems upgrades) per hour of play.

    These days I stop after the guardian, unless it’s an especially good layout where I can kill lots of monsters fast. E.g., narrow caverns with my Distintegrate Wizard.

  4. I actually typically clear a full rift now but only if I have not seen a goblin/goblin pack. Once we find a goblin pack, or see bad monster types that are obnoxious (Constant ghost gold groups, all arcane/vortex/fire chain elites, etc) then we close and restart. Seems to be a fair balance between getting exp/mats/items, maximizing chances for finding gob packs, and not wasting time.

    • I do the exact opposite; I generally find I have a 50-50 chance of finding 2+ goblin packs in a level which spawned them, and a still-higher-than-normal chance in laater levels of the same rift.

  5. So, I used to play up until the Rift Guardian got cleared… HOWEVER, I've recently noticed either a bug or a super awesome thing that I have never noticed before. Sometimes, only in regular rifts for me, I run in to a pack of like 20 goblins or more. It's so cool. So, for this reason, I now clear the entire level even after the guardian is dead just to make sure. I've had it happen a couple of times since Season 2 released that this has happened to me. SO AWESOME!

  6. I always leave after the Guardian is down. Like 80% of the usable gear I get comes from Kadala. Screwing my blood shard intake isn’t a good plan.

    • Kadala is a *dirty words*. 800+ helms w/o any Carnival mask by my WD. Like 80% of the usable gear I get comes NOT from Kadala. 70% loot 10% craft(varies for classes and build) and 20% from this trickster


    Here is a small research I did in patch 2.1.2 prior to Season 2. The number of legendaries is similar in both cases (which was expected, to be honest). The number of blood shards per hour was 700 vs 2100 in favor of closing, taking into account 30 seconds between rifts.

  8. Lucky for me, the IncWest clan is great in that they mostly do full clears which I prefer. I get most of my good/great gear after the guardian and that includes blood goblins (the bastards) and goblin packs.

  9. It really depends on what and how fast I am going. In non season I clear the whole thing since gambling is not as important and I can full clear a t6 in no time flat. Now in seasons where I am still in desperate need of certain pieces I would rather have the shards.

  10. Optimize shards until full set, then clear the whole thing. I still think they should add a second guardian at the teleporter.

  11. I'm grinding away at Season 2 here and I have a pretty strict rule to close rifts after guardian. But, if the monster density is sick and the area is choice … i will clear a full board with my friends.

    It is frustrating that I'm grinding so hard and only hit paragon 300 tonight. and when I look at the leader boards I see players closing in on 500 already … it's like. What am I doing wrong?

  12. This one is pretty easy for me.

    If it is a new character (seasons or not) and I don't have gear saved up and I'm running less than T6, then leave after the guardian. I want the blood shards. (This does burn through keys more quickly but a new char is likely running a1 bounties for an RORG anyway.)

    Otherwise, in groups of established characters speed running T6 then always do the whole rift.

  13. Full clear is obviously the most efficient way, and if you're going for blood shards you should be doing GRs instead. However, it FEELS much better to close after Rift Guardian because killing enemies without making progress isn't as fun. That's why I wish elites in normal Rifts also dropped those progress globes and everything died with Rift Guardian spawn so you closed and re-opened more often, making it faster paced and feel better, while buffing drop rates accordingly to compensate for no more full clears.

    • So wait.. you want 2 times the Grifts and no rifts?

      • Not quite as I want Rifts to keep dropping loot from normal enemies rather than only with the Guardian. But I'd rather spend 15~ mins to clear and get guarenteed 2+ legs than spend longer to get fewer or none.

  14. I always full clear unless I end up finding a floor with genuinely obnoxious enemies.

  15. So wait.. you want 2 times the Grifts and no rifts?

  16. I continue clearing in three cases:

    1) If I'm on a map or there's an upcoming map (if the map exit is visible I always check) where there are lots of weapon and armor racks. This usually means the Halls of Agony or Battlefields of Eternity. White components are always in short supply for me, so much so that instead of Forgotten Souls they are the main limiting factor in my item crafting. Now that we can craft Ancient items I'm burning through components like crazy.

    2) If the map has good density of good monster types. The best maps to me are the ones full of big enemies, since in my experience these drop Legendaries more often, probably to offset their huge health pool. They can also provide a decent challenge with some Elite affixes. Big shout-out to Horde + Arcane Enchanted Champion groups, you guys are fun. 🙂

    3) I always finish certain maps because I like them. These include the A1 Jail, A2 Sewers (I love the perfectly linear ones, rare as they are nowadays), A4 Hell Rift (seriously, never skip this, it's always chock full of enemies) and just about all big, open maps like the Weeping Hollow, Desolate Sands, etc.

  17. Yesterday in season 2:
    I killed rift guardian in rift level 3. Then i continued and i found shard goblin in level 6. Thanks to this, i got first shiny sunwoku shoulders from Kadala.
    So full clears or not, is just another RNG – like everything in this game.
    After changes in 2.1.2, there are no good rifts and bad rifts. Theyr’e all bad. Zombies followed by Anarchs, skeletons followed by this Morlu things. Pure evil…

    • "So full clears or not, is just another RNG – like everything in this game."

      Sure, but that doesn't mean that you can't increase your chances by identifying better than average Rifts.

  18. i clear the rift level i killed the guardian at. i usually find some yellow pools or a goblin just past the dead guardian about 50% of the time.

  19. It's between 2 and 3. I like to clear them to the altar, but when It's A5 cemetery or A1 Jail (how can you like it @HardRock, or maybe I'm sick of them after spending almost entire "A2 wasp is one-shotting me on 1st screen" doing Leoric Manor – Butcher runs (ehh, good old days of "whoa, it is 1.3k DPS polearm, I'll be rich", nostalgia) I'm leaving.
    I would love to see some rewards at altar, that would be something fun for completists.

Comments are closed.