Patch 2.3: No More Grift Slow Rolling


A site reader named Bas de Ruiter mailed in a few days ago to point out that running Grifts in Patch 2.3 was going to require a lot more Rift Keystones, since you could no longer upgrade your stone when you completed the rift. That was correct, but it didn’t feel like a big deal leaping into the Patch 2.3 on the PTR with existing Season Three (or Era) characters, since most of us had dozens (hundreds?) of Grift keys, and characters powerful enough to earn new keys quickly by rolling roll T6 (or higher) Rifts.

Uh-oh...

Uh-oh…

In patch 2.3, Grifts seemed like a dream as we were seduced by the convenience of instantly creating a new Grift of any level we liked, without the wasted time of a Realm of Trials or even the 30s cooldown after completing a Rift.

Playing fresh characters in Season Four on the PTR puts that issue in a very different light. You’ve got to earn each Grift key, they only drop from Rift Guardians on T1 or higher, and the odds are pretty low until you’re up to T4 or higher. Plus each Grift key is only good for one Grift. Which can be tricky with a brand new character, since you’re not strong enough to do higher Torment levels, and it’s hard to get stronger when you don’t have any Legendary Gems, which you can’t get without doing Grifts, which you can’t do without Grift Keys.

You’re seeing some circularity to that issue, but it’s a thing since the game has changed. Patch 2.3: No More Grift Slow Rolling.

The usual trick during Season 1-3 was to “slow roll” Grifts, by starting at Rank 0, clearing 95-99% of the Grift, then portaling out and doing Bounties to waste time until you had less than 4:30 remaining, when you’d head back and complete the Grift. This trick was widely used to run 8 or 10 (or more) Grifts from a single Grift Key, allowing players to quickly obtain most of the Legendary Gems (albeit at Rank 0), and to gear up, since the Grift Guardians would often drop 2-4 legendary items even on the very easy low level Grifts.

In Patch 2.3:

  • You need a Grift Key for each Grift you open, no matter how fast or slow you complete the previous Grift.
  • Grift Keys only drop from Rift Guardians on T1 or higher, and the odds are pretty poor (~20% T1) until you can run at least T4.
  • Rifts take around 50% longer to clear than in previous patches.
  • You only get one Legendary Gem per Grift.
  • You get minimal Legendary items on lower Grifts. (I’ve done 5 in S4, all GR10-13, and gotten only 1 leg per Grift.)
  • On the whole, it’s much slower to collect Legendary Gems since you can’t exploit one Grift key into a bunch of low level Grifts. Plus you get a LOT fewer Legendary items per Grift, which slows your gearing up. You have to hope you find useful LGems in your first Grift or 3, ones that can benefit you without more than 1-3 ranks, and you have to constantly alternate Rifts and Grifts, since you need to keep finding more Grift Keys, and the free 2-4 Legs per Grift you’re not finding in v2.3 are very noticeable in that P1-P50 range.

    What do you guys think of these balance changes? Did you slow roll in the past, and will you miss it? Do you think Grifts should be easier to get into early in the season, say by making keys optional for GR1-5? Or maybe by making the Guardians drop multiple Legendary Gems per Grift, or increasing the drop odds for Grift Keys from lower difficulty Rift Guardians? Or do you like the new paradigm and think players should have to earn their keys and earn their LGems?

    Update #1: I should have mentioned, but there are no more normal Rift keys in patch 2.3. You can enter Rifts from level 1 without any token or expense, just like going to any waypoint in the game. So you do not need to farm bounties to get into normal Rifts, you just need to do Rifts to get GRift keys.

    Update #2: It takes a surprisingly long time to get all the LGems when you can only do one Grift per key. In S4 I’m now P130, geared enough to fly through T6 Rifts, with a best Rift of GR32 in 9m. (I’d have done more but the PTR keeps crashing this weekend.) But I’ve only got 1 LGem to 25 and still haven’t found several LGems, including Bane of the Trapped or Iceblink, either of which I’d probably use with my cold M6 build.

    I’m not actually complaining; it’s kind of fun accumulating the LGems gradually and I’ve had to adjust my gearing strategy based on which ones I have (or don’t have), but when you start out in Season 4, just be prepared to gather and level your LGems more slowly than in previous seasons. (You need the new Horadric Cache materials for cube stuff and crafting, so you wind up spending a lot of time running Act bounties, rather than just grinding Rifts/Grifts, as in previous patches.)

    Comments

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    1. I don't think any of this will be an issue two weeks into the season.It would make the season tougher for casual players like myself, I suppose. That said, I have no interest in s4, and will enjoy my DIablo 2 lite expereience of making some fun builds on Non Season to take down T6-T8. Frenzy barb, fireball wiz, here I come!

    2. I think it plays better into the slow building of power that they are aiming for, and makes it more linear. Plus early on, deaths breath are so much more meaningful with new recipes. Though being able to save gem upgrades up would help with the first couple being so useless.

    3. As common rift keys are obsolete right now. Bounties bonus cache should award 1 GR keystone. You will find yourself doing TONS of bounties to get mats to use with the cube.What about converting normal rift keystones into GR ones for a price using the cube or like 5 to 1 ratio.

      • Unless regular keys still drop at all in 2.3, what would be the point? The only ones left are the ones from before 2.3.

        • I have like about 900 keystones that will become useless. Each of those keystones could potentially be 1 GR key by doing t6 rifts with them,I found really unfair that I just have to sell them. Blizz should provide a way to convert them into GRK if not doing it directly like any other mat conversion they {re doing ( like low level brimstones into FS ).But that´s just my thought.

      • Normal rift keys no longer exist. They don't drop and you can enter normal Rifts from level 1 without any key or other expense. Only Greater Rifts require a key.

        In Era mode, old stacks of normal Rift keys can be sold to vendors for a good amount of gold (500k for a 100 stack), but they no longer drop in v2.3+.

        • Yes, but selling them? That isn´t the best solution. Who needs gold? I´m swimming in billions!I spent weeks ( I work 9hs a day, so i don´t have much time to play ) farming bounties for keys ( and RORGS ), all that time and effort goes to the trash can then?I agree with Dave , they should be converted like mats 1 to 1 into GRK directly . But this will be not a Diablo game unless your screwed by RNG or by the Diablo 3 Developers …

          • I fail to see how staying where you were before the patch is being screwed over. Presumably while you farmed those 900 keys you got other things as well, so it's not like you wasted time farming them. After the patch you'll be able to open any amount of T6 (or higher) rift, instead of "just" 900. I'd call that an improvement. Nobody gets GR keys from bounties, so converting your existing normal keys to GRKs would be unfair to anyone who didn't farm keys like you did.

    4. I hate that rifts take 50% longer. The point of removing trials, nerfing guardians and changing monster progress was so we could do rifts faster and farm more efficiently. Not everyone wants to full clear rifts, I just want the keys fast so I can farm GRs for more legs and shards. It sounds like trials on live is more efficient now, and that's unacceptable.I haven't played PTR though I can only speak from news like this.

      • The slower pace is less noticeable at higher Torment levels, especially for fast-moving characters.  And it's also somewhat dependent on your class/build.  Since Guardians are much quicker to kill, builds like Spin2Win that used to spend 1/3 of their time on the Guardian will feel less of a time increase.

        That said, Rifts are balanced now to require what would have been 150% progress in a Rift in v2.2 and earlier, so even though Elites drop orange progress orbs in normal rifts, they do feel a little longer, especially for a character who is just powering up.

        • You mean 2/3 of their time on RG 😉

        • I don't really play any of those builds, though. I play Roland's, Delsere's, UE, slow Raiment, Zunimassa's and IK HotA/Seismic Slam.So do you think, even for those builds, T6+ aren't really all that slower compared to live T6 (outside just enemies taking longer to kill)?

          • Playing my imported char at the start of the PTR, t6 rifts that took me 2-3m  with my well geared nat's dh required 4-5m on the PTR.  You need what used to be 150% after all, and lots of the monsters give less progress than before.  

            It's not that noticeable on a per rift basis, but it does add up if you're thinking about doing 10 or 15 rifts and they take 2 or 3m longer each. And with only one GRift per key, Grifts feel almost like a reward or special, early in the season at least.

            • Yeah, that's what I'm fearing. Honestly I thought current Rifts already took a little too long as it is in live, so we really needed the globes and monster progress reworked. This 150% needs to be like 120%.

    5. Just remove the grift keys alltogether like they have now done with the rift key fragments, either that or have the grift guardian drop another key if you finish the rift in time.. It feels way to slow now..

    6. They should make it a 20% increase for each T difficulty for keys with t10 giving you 2 keys per guardian and t5 giving you 1 , and t6-7-8-9 a 20% extra to get at an extra aside from that 100% first one.

    7. How many greater rifts people do on average in a season and over what amount of time? Even with the longer rifts, I doubt that the acquisition speed of the gems will remain an issue one or two weeks into the new live season for the majority of players. So we'll get all the gems a little later (out of which a character uses 3-5 anyway), big deal. Addressing this now would feel like a huge overreaction to me on Blizzard's part.

      • I think Blizzard's theory is a bit like what they say about ancient weapons.  They want them to be slower to obtain so you'll use what you can find for a while, as you look for your ideal weapon.  So now instead of getting to pick from all 15 LGems right away, you'll only have a few to choose from and will find ways to use those, while hoping to get your ideal LGem(s) when you do a Grift.

        If you're not being Power leveled or twinked you aren't likely to have 3 pieces of socketed jewelery anyway, at least not for a while. And since the only thing Urshi does is upgrade gems now, if you finish under 15m, you're going to try to upgrade a LGem, since there's no other option.

        My DH is P45ish and I've got lvl 3 Bane of the Powerful, level 3 Mirinae, and level 8 Zei's, just since those are the first 3 I found. And I've only got a socketed amulet and 2 unsocketed rare rings anyway, at this point, so I'm using the Zei's.  (Haven't found any good leg rings, and couldn't afford the souls to roll sockets into them even if I did.)

        I don't hate the system, as it's forcing me to think more about my gear choices and it certainly makes the LGems feel more valuable and precious. It's just a big change after previous Seasons of slow rolling and knowing that Grifts were an awesome fast way to gear up as soon as I got into 1.

        • If that's indeed their philosophy I'd support it. At the start of every season as soon as I hit 70 my goal was to get all the gems and start upgrading them, since they are such a huge power boost and they were ridiculously easy to get. Usually by the time I had all gems I was still wearing a few rare items, especially in the ring slot, where the gems incentivize you to keep rares until you get tons of crafting mats, since you can easily roll sockets on rares. To be honest acquiring all gems by slowrolling always felt like an oversight to me on Blizzard's part and I'm surprised that it lasted this long. I expected it to go away in season 2.I don't think people will have to worry too much about lost initial power at 70, since we can extract and use pre-70 legendary powers, which I expect will  somewhat fill the early power vacuum left by the slower to acquire legendary gems.

    8. I haven't done S4 on the PTR (or any difficulty lower than T7), but the patch notes said "Generic Greater Rift Keystones now drop and can drop at any difficulty level". I may have misunderstood, but I took this to mean that Grift keys can drop from normal-master rifts, though likely at some unreasonably low rate. Personally, prior to the 2.3 PTR, I was thinking that they'd either have the Grift guardians have a chance to drop another key (with group drops being the same for this, like key wardens), or they'd allow you the option to return the key if you finish in time by giving up the option to upgrade gems (this could even be subject to RNG if needed for balancing). I wanted them to remove the need to slow roll, but not by making it slower to get going.

      • They might. I've only done Rifts on T1 and T2 so far, and on T1 I got a key about every 4th clear.

        If the odds for GRKs to drop at say 25%ish on any difficulty from Normal – T1, then that would make farming them a little easier… but since all the best set items only drop on T1 and higher, every player who knows what they're doing gets up to T1 ASAP, so I'm not sure the time spent clearing Rifts on lower difficulties, just to hope to find a GRK, is wise.

      • On the PTR, a Grift key did drop for me in a normal rift.

    9. Do away with keys, let the player decide which mode they want to play and not force them to play one mode (they might not enjoy), in order to play the other.

    10. I did slow-rolling in the past seasons, but I hated it. Remembering how many minutes I have left, going back just to sit around for another minute or so because I was too early – I like that the new system prevents that.If I'll like that I have to do tons of normal rifts just to be able to do Grifts I don't know yet. I think it will be ok and it also means that the level 70 legendary crafting recipes stay useful a bit longer, hopefully … we'll see.

    11. I am for any change that results in me alt tabbing less and playing more.

    12. Anyone knows how the max level available is determined? Is it your highest solo grift? How does it work in groups?

      • Currently you can choose GR 1-15 when you first gain access.  If you want to go higher the system works basically as it did in v2.2; higher Rifts are enabled depending on how much you beat the 15m timer by.

        If you finish the highest GR you can access in like 12m, then it'll only enable the next one up. But if you do a GR15 in 5m, it'll enable up to GR24ish.

        I think it's the same thing whether you get your best time solo or in a group. The change is that Urshi only lets you upgrade gems if you finish under 15m… so there's no LGEM upgrade exploit possible by solo Zerging your way through a much higher Grift you can only access due to MP play.

        And your max shards cap is still set by your highest SOLO Grift.

        • Actually, this is partially wrong. I played more today on the PTR and the GRift advance is much slower than before. And it only works if you play your highest possible Grift.  I was up to 20 and did a 19 in about 8m, and it didn't change my max at all. It was still just 20. 

          Even when you clear your best with a very fast time, it only increases 2 or 3 or 4 levels. I did a 21 in 5 minutes, and it only jumped up to 25, when a Grift Key in the old days would have upgraded to 30ish from that time.

          Also, leg drops in grifs remain much less than in the last patch. I did maybe 10 Grifts under level 29, and only once did I get 2 legs, with 0 legs twice.  Not until I did over 30 did I get 3 legs and then 4 legs on a 32.

    13. 2-4 legs per level 1-10 GR?  Sounds like an unbelievably ling run of good RNG, or perhaps some rose tinting.  Now I agree slow rolling GR's was always the fastest ways to gear up a new character at the beginning of a season, but I think the average number of legendaries dropped for me has been closer to 1-2, with 0 coming up many times.As far as how this new key requirement is going to feel….well i think its going to feel very slow and very tedious.  At first glance I am not a fan.

      • Yeah, there were rare occasions when I got 2-4 legs in low level grifts (often in a run actually) but more often than not its 0-1.

        • Obviously it's been a while, but my memory was that you could expect 2 legs per Grift, even down to level 1. Sometimes you got zero, even on much higher Grifts, but it was not uncommon to get 2+ even on the lowest settings.

          Not sure how legs spread out now with higher levels. Prior to S4 we had the 2000% drop buff on patch 2.3 on the PTR, so every Guardian was 6+ legs.  I assume that as S4 chars get up into the 30+ range, they'll generally see 3+ legs per clear, and will usually get 4-6 at GR40+… but I haven't tested that yet.

          • I agree with rabidshrew and remembered the same: GR1-10 leads to 0/1 legendary (not counting gems or plans of course which added beams).

    14. Honestly I'd like to not require keys for greater rifts either.  Either that or if you successfully complete a greater rift, it drops another key.On PTR with buff I leveled up to torment 2 or so from a fresh level 1 character during season 3, and found the scarcity of greater rifts to be annoying.

    15. Give GR bosses a ~20-25% chance to drop another GR token. That’ll go some ways to helping the situation.

      Now that GR keystones don’t have levels on them, they could go back to the ‘multiple keystones required’ situation they initially had for rifts.

      So instead of having a 20% chance to drop a keystone, just make it a 100% chance to drop 1 fragment, and require 5 fragments to open a GR. That way the bad-luck streaks and RNG-spite are removed from the situation, because you know if you do a run you are gauranteed to get a reward. They could also make it 100% chance to drop 1 fragment, +50% chance to drop a second, for example.

    16. This will make pet WD weaker. In 2.2 you can tolerate the slower rift (no area damage) since you knew you will make it up in killing the RG in a matter of seconds.

      Now in 2.3 you will spend even longer in the grift and the RG will be dead in 5 seconds. Overall you will not be able to clear so high grifts as currently. Of course the cube will help you but this is a nerf as such.

    17. I think this will be an issue. It would make sense for Rift Guardians to drop 1 GRift Key every time. I used to slowroll early on to get most of the legendary gems. In truth, I never had an endless supply of GRift keys because I didn’t play excessively. This won’t change the rate at which you can level gems, but it might change the rate of gearing as GRifts generally seem better than normal Rifts. One bright side to this picture is that Torment now goes above 6, so at least if you run out of GRift keys, you can still do higher than T6 farming.

      I think this is more in-line with what they originally intended GRifts to be: something you work towards doing and aren’t constantly spamming. Rifts should be #1 and bounties #2, depending on if you want the rewards from bounties. GRifts should be #3 in terms of time spent (2 when you’re done with bounties and working on pushing for personal bests). I think they just need to up the drop rate for GRift keys at lower torments, something like 55% -> 100% for torments 1-10 if it’s lower than that currently.

    18. I feel we’re looking at Blizzard trying to respond to community concerns here with unforseen complications. Removing Trials was by far the biggest ask for the community so they’ve done that. Tweaking monster density and rift boss HP values was also a big community ask and kills two birds with one stone (it makes rift fishing slightly harder and enables faster clear times for mobility builds which were, obviously, in desperate need of assistance).

      Slow rolling Grift keys is useful to gear a new character and to accurately work out where your character sat in terms of current power but I find it tails off anyway because it becomes boring after a while. Keys being one use only, legendary gems being harder to obtain and then upgrade and the increased difficulty settings seems to me to be a way of stretching out new seasons to give players something to do – we complained all of the other seasons were too short and that we didn’t have the dates for when they would finish. This season we were told how long it would be and when it would finish and now we’ve started complaining that it’s too long and we’re bored.

      I think slowing everything down also ties into the more casual side of the player base because it means Blizzard can use the achievement system to help shepard players into the higher level content by giving targeted goals throughout the new season(s). This season’s new achievements were probably the test bed for this – the boss section is literally \Kill X on T1\, \Kill Y on T2\, etc…

    19. I think that this makes for a much better progression of a character. It will keep me in-game longer because I have more and more to strive for over a longer period of time. Overall, that's their end-goal isn't it?

    20. I have to say that this sounds like a terrible idea! Please stop trying to fix something that isn’t broken and concentrate your time on what is! I like the idea of removing the realm of trials, but I do not like changing the current method of obtaining grift keys. Unlike a seemingly large number of very verbal posters on this site, I don’t have endless hours to play the game. its already a heft investment in time to just be able to clear T6 in a timely manner. Blizzard needs to keep the casual gamer in mind when they brainstorm some of these ideas. on the plus side, this may finally cure my Diable addiction and allow me to move on to something more fun!

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