Wyatt Cheng has responded to a query about skipping ahead in the Realm of Trials but this is an on-going tweak so things are constantly changing.
Yes all of this is intentional. We haven’t posted specifics because we are still trying to dial in the numbers.
The goal is for you to be able to skip ahead reasonably comfortably but we do not want players to find themselves “off the deep end” by skipping ahead to a Rift that is way too hard for them.
At the moment skipping ahead in the Realm of Trials is based on how many seconds you have left when you clear a wave. You can advance ahead between 1 and 6 waves depending on how many seconds you have left but I don’t want to post specific numbers because we will hotfix this as needed and I don’t want stale information floating out there.
I can also confirm that we changed the Rift key that you get for various waves as well as how far you skip ahead when you clear a Rift quickly. Those changes are intentional and again, I don’t want to put specific numbers out at this time to avoid stale data as we iterate.