One Life to Live: Greater Rifts=Greater Death

One Life to Live: Greater Rifts=Greater Death

After months of sitting in comfort, death is coming back to Hardcore. Surprisingly, I welcome that. I’ve lost only one level 70 since ROS started, had my cheat death passives almost never proc, and lived in relative harmony with the world of Sanctuary. However in one night on the PTR I was proc’ing SV and running for my life.

Greater Rifts
My one death pre 2.1 was due to load lag and a group who bailed on a loaded portal, had that not happened I don’t think I would have lost a single 70 as of now. With that background I was curious as to how hard DiabloWikiGreater Rifts could actually be. I was lucky to grab a key only first rift of the evening and I was quickly on my way to a greater rift.

Level one was a gigantic joke and I quickly exploded the piñata at the end and was rewarded a new key to level 14. It was a hard adjustment not seeing any loot but the explosion at the end made it worthwhile. Having had such success on the first rift I felt like the next one would be just fine. Loading into level 14 I was slammed by a pack right away. I was able to get a fetish army up and running to deal with them but not before I had proc’d Spirit Vessel. In a mere couple of seconds I was fighting for my life.

I chalked it up to a freak occurrence and proceeded to cutdown enemies in my wake. Again I found myself ahead of the timer and rewarded with another key this time for level 20. Level 20 was a monster of a different color however, I found the timer was leagues ahead of me as I was running around for my life. Each pack both regular and elite, was reducing me to smithereens and I could barely make it out alive. I eventually cleared the area but my venture in the greater rift was over, I didn’t get a new key but I still had my life.

In that short rift I proc’d SV three times. Somehow I survived but I imagine many will not be that lucky. One thing that is a killer is the ease of the first level and the arbitrary jump from it. You have no idea what the levels in-between 1 and 14 are life and perhaps your should have stopped at 8.However the game put you up to well beyond your capabilities and onto your demise. If there was a option to select what key you wanted after a successful completion of a rift it might help you better gauge what you want to do and not have to find out the hard way.

The lack of skill changing also prevent your ability to adapt to a rift and what it might throw at you. A few times I wanted to switch things around but was hampered by the restriction. It was reminiscent of D2 and being locked into what you chose,and some times your wrong decisions coming back to haunt you. Normal monsters I could easily burst through were almost killing me, normal affixes I never give thought to were almost wasting me, and I was moving more in a fight than I ever had to. Mortar, Lightning, even monster explosions were almost able to kill me. While it seemed daunting it was a great challenge and walking out of a greater rift alive feels like a true accomplishment.

With the introduction of seasons, and a fresh start, I expect greater rifts to weed out a lot of players in their quest to gear up and achieve glory. Even though I knew the dangers I still felt compelled to risk it and see how far I could go on the next one, luckily I survived but it easily could have turned the other way. The new danger in tandem with new healing mechanics are going to shake up the way we play, and after living in comfort it’s nice to feel the danger side of hardcore again.

What are your thoughts on Greater rifts in Hardcore?

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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9 thoughts on “One Life to Live: Greater Rifts=Greater Death

  1. the cool thing about the PTR is being able to experiment and not having to REALLY pay the price. So, like Xanth … I recommend you try it now and get used to it a bit.

    I agree, though I tend to lead with a SC character and Then try it with my HC character. So, I’ve had the chance to run through a Greater Rift with a SC character and today is my HC experiment.

    But, I had the same experience in Greater RIfts … My character jumped from level 1 to 20. then from 20 to 24, then 25 and 26. But, died.

    At least in the PTR you know you can restart. We wont be so lucky when the real season goes live. But, at least there wil be “life on the edge”

  2. How is the difficulty between greater rift levels? Does it ramp up in such a way that you’ll know when you’re starting to toe the line on whether you should maybe think twice about advancing to the next one?

  3. You’re getting Key depending how fast you’ve done that Greater Rift. Cause my best char died I jumped to SC and my wiz. First level 1 -> 3 -> 10 -> 11 (which I didn’t tried yet). It’s interesting how difficulty is scaling and I had few close calls at T1 with 5.4m toughness. It’s really silly how I would never try Torment with so little toughness but I was surprised how well I was going with my melee fire wizard (1.2m buffed dps does it’s work).

  4. I’ve read a number of Rift reports and estimates of difficulty, and I’m updating the wiki article on them. Current crowd wisdom of difficulty equivalence is about:

    * Greater Rift Level 1 = Normal
    * Greater Rift Level 4 = Expert
    * 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

    The highest I’ve seen anyone claim to have cleared so far is level 31.

    Bear in mind that you have to kill the guardian within 15m. It’s not just surviving, so chars with huge toughness and not so much DPS who can survive T6 won’t be great for GRs. You’ll survive, but you won’t complete it in time. Players need to be balanced, or play in a party that creates balance. Working the highest rifts in parties is going to really force cooperation and coordination, which should be cool to see evolve.

    • The leader boards last night showed a four man softcore crew going up to 55, and a hardcore one going up to 52.

    • Hmm, I can easily farm T1 with my SC wiz but it felt really slow and dangerous on level 10.

  5. I did a few Grifts on my monk. I went lvl 1, 8, 12, 17, 18 I think.

    I barely survived in 17, and because it is the PTR, I went ahead and gave 18 a go. Made a mistake and got dead. It is pretty crazy the amount of damage being done!

    I really like the loot all dropping at the end, I wish that was implemented in regular rifts as well.

    I have heard you can wait until the last minute on the timer to get a 1 level up key, didn’t test that yet.

    • He’s alive! You just cannot say goodbye to D3 🙂

      That waiting on they timer was exactly what I had in mind for the first greater rifts, since I don’t play PTR usually. Wussy, I know 😉

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