Nephalem Rifts are alternate realities to Sanctuary, accessible from the mortal realm, where nephalem test their strength, in order to prove their worth. A number of nephalem have fallen inside these rifts, and astute nephalem are able to listen to their petrified screams, finding themselves attuned to the last moments of their kin.
Rift runs last 10-20 minutes (on adequate difficulty) and consist of random areas and monsters. Unique monsters cannot spawn in the Rifts, but Treasure Goblins can. Monsters that can normally ambush or flee from the player will not do so, or will do so much less often, in the Rifts.
The layouts stem from taking the tilesets and dungeons of the game and re-organizing/shuffling them. Monsters are likewise re-shuffled, found in combinations otherwise not present. The rifts have 1-10 levels. Each level is effectively a different dungeon, with a different monster combination (completely independent from the normal monster type set for that zone).
During the event, a progress bar will appear just beneath the game's mini-map, starting at 0%. To fill it to 100%, player needs to kill enemies; until patch 2.1, exactly 999 kills were needed, each enemy regardless of type counted as just one, but as of 2.1, more powerful foes count as more than one kill, and least potent foes can count as a portion of a kill, or even not count towards it at all (see the full list for details). As of patch 2.3, Progress Globes drop from Elite Monsters, adding extra progress for killing Champion and Rares. Each elite pack drops 3 or 4, and each orb adds 1% to the progress bar.
Once the bar reaches 100%, a random Rift Guardian boss will spawn near the player (it is marked by characteristic sound, Orek's announcement, and darkening of the sky, so it's very hard to miss). After the boss's death, player can speak to Orek to receive a substantial gold and experience reward. After receiving the reward, the Rift will be forcibly closed in 30 seconds, so players will need to pick up their desired loot before turning in the 'quest'. Any players still in the Rift when it is closed will be teleported back to town. One may, however, finish the rift before turning the quest in, killing remaining monsters for extra loot.
Pylons appear only in Nephalem Rifts and provide a huge 30-60 second buff to the party.
Legendary drop rates are increased in Nephalem Rifts, the exact bonus depending on the chosen difficulty. The bonus starts at 25%, increased to 44% at Torment I, and increasing all the way to 901% at Torment XIII (that is, 10 times). This bonus suppresses (but exceeds by half or even more!) the increased legendary drop chance in the Torment difficulties (so, on average, a player that would get 7 times more Legendaries than on Normal at TXIII outside the Rifts, will gain 10 times more Legendaries than on Normal while in the Rift). See Torment for detailed chart.
Greater Rifts (previously named Tiered Rifts) provide a way for players to test their mettle beyond the highest levels of Torment difficulty. To access a Greater Rift, players must get the Greater Rift Key from any normal Rift Guardian.
As of patch 2.3, players may access any rank of Greater Rifts equal to or lower than those they already have unlocked. See below for details. Difficulty must be chosen from the list before the rift starts, and is completely unrelated to the selected difficulty of the rest of the game.
Greater Rifts differ from Nephalem Rifts in the following ways:
- In multiplayer games, each player will need to have a Greater Rift Key in order to participate.
- Before the Rift starts, all positive and negative effects will be cleared, and all cooldowns will be reset. This includes stacks of buffs that do not have expiration time.
- The clock is raced against killing monsters. Each Rift has a 15 minute timer.
- Champion/Rare monsters, upon death, will drop special, purple-colored Progress Globes (as opposed to orange globes in normal Rifts). Added progress rate is same: 1% per globe, 3-4% per elite pack.
- The Rift Guardian spawns when the bar is filled, even if the 15 minute timer has already expired.
- Most monsters do not drop loot. All loot is moved to the Rift Guardian (although total amount of loot gained from a regular Rift on comparable difficulty will likely be greater than that from a Greater Rift).
- Once the Rift Guardian spawns, all other monsters within 100 yards die and despawn.
- Treasure Goblins may not spawn in Greater Rifts.
- To beat the rift on time, players must kill (not just summon) the Guardian before the time is up.
- There are little to no interactable or breakable objects except Pylons. Even if any spawn (bug), they contain no loot.
- Conduit Pylons do not gain extra elemental skill damage bonus against Rift Guardians (just in case). Also their damage scales with the rift rank (higher rank means more damage).
- Players cannot resurrect in town while in a Greater Rift — only at the checkpoint, or at the corpse (note that if a player dies in a Greater Rift on a Hardcore character, that death will be permanent). With each death, the time between corpse resurrections increases, from the initial 5 seconds, and 5 seconds per death per run, up to 30, reset when the Rift is over.
- Players cannot use player banners or the Teleport option if the target player is in a Greater Rift before the Rift Guardian is defeated. Once the Rift Guardian is defeated, players may teleport.
- Higher Greater Rifts levels are progressively more difficult (this difficulty is separate from the standard difficulty settings like Master, Torment etc.). Rank 10 is roughly analogous to Torment I, rank 25 is roughly equivalent to Torment VI, 30 to VII, 45 to X, and 60 to XIII, and the maximum difficulty level is unlimited. Reward for killing the Rift Guardian increases accordingly with the Rift rank. On average, each rank increases monster Life by 17%, in addition to damage.
- Other players may not enter the Greater Rift once it has started.
- While inside the Greater Rift, players may not change skills or equipment until the Rift Guardian has been defeated. In particular, this means that players won't be able to switch to the five elemental damage immunity amulets for the final fight.
- Defeating Rift Guardians inside a Greater Rift is the only way to obtain Legendary Gems (except Boon of the Hoarder, which can also drop in Treasure Realm, and Red Soul Shard).
- Torment-exclusive items drop in Greater Rifts, regardless of rank; higher ranks increase the chances to get them.
- Successfully beating a solo Greater Rift will increase the maximum amount of Blood Shards player can keep, 10 per rank above the initial 500, for all characters of the same type on account. The bonus is only earned once per rank reached, so the higher record player holds (no matter how many times achieved), the greater the limit.
- Successfully beating a Greater Rift will increase the maximum rank of the Rifts that a player may access based on their best result (provided they are not running a rift way weaker than they already have unlocked).
- When the Rift is complete, Orek closes it at once, without waiting 30 seconds.
- Action Combat rewards still work, but due to lack of objects, are much more difficult to score.
- Monsters award less experience, but the Rift Guardian awards quite a considerable amount if killed, and closing the Rift also rewards some.
- Gold reward increases by flat 3% per Rank at Rank 26 and higher.
- As of patch 2.4.3, beating a Rift without dying will grant +1 extra attempt to upgrade Legendary Gems. Hardcore players will always get this extra attempt.
- In the same patch, a new algorithm is used to spawn monsters in Rifts, ensuring that there are no more huge empty areas, any monster population can now spawn on any tile set, and the areas near the entrance to a new Rift floor will always be free of monsters. Greater Rift floor sizes are also more consistent, and the chance to get an identical tile set when descending a Rift floor is decreased to make new tile sets much more likely.
- It is also possible that upon filling the meter, a portal to a small boss floor will be opened in a Greater Rift.
In the end, players can speak to Urshi, who will upgrade their Legendary Gems (success chance depends on the difference between gem rank and rift rank). Urshi only offers her services if the Guardian is defeated in time.
Regardless of whether or not the player completes the Rift on time, the Greater Rift Key is lost and must be obtained anew in normal Nephalem Rifts. If one completes a Greater Rift before the time expires, they may unlock a higher difficulty. Should their time be exceptionally good, they might even skip up to 9 levels. If time instead expires, the player may still complete the current Greater Rift, but will not get the upgrades for gems in the end. Their best results are posted to the appropriate Leaderboards.
Greater Rift Keystone Level Upgrade Times
The chart below shows how much spare time player(s) must have remaining (out of the 15 minutes total) after the Rift Guardian is dead in order to unlock the corresponding number of ranks for completing the current Greater Rift.
- 4:30 minutes or less
- 4:31 to 6:00
- 6:01 to 7:00
- 7:01 to 8:00
- 8:01 to 9:00
- 9:01 to 9:50
- 9:51 to 11:00
- 11:01 to 11:30
- 11:30 to 12:00
- 12:01 or more
Example: if a player completes a rank 25 (T6) Rift in 12 minutes, leaving 3:00 minutes remaining, Rifts up to rank 26 (25 + 1) will be unlocked. After that, completing an additional level 25 Rift with less than 4:30 remaining will not unlock a new Rift rank. If that same player completes a level 25 Rift with more than 4:31 remaining, they will unlock additional ranks corresponding to the chart above, and can choose to play those ranks to continue unlocking Rift ranks.
Empowering a Rift option was added in Patch 2.4.
Before starting a Greater Rift, the player can empower it by spending gold. The amount of gold a player needs to spend to empower a rift scales with Rift rank.
An empowered Rift grants +1 attempt to upgrade Legendary Gems in the end (to a total of 4), in addition to the extra +1 attempt for a rift without any deaths (up to a total of 5). Gold is paid regardless of whether or not it will be beaten successfully; if Rift is failed, no upgrades will be awarded.
Empowering a Rift is performed by checking a box below the Rift rank selection list. If checked, it will replace the Accept button with gold cost.
Cost is actually rather high: hundreds of thousands or even millions of gold per rank, each next rank costs more. The gold cost was drastically reduced in patches 2.4.2-2.4.3 (along with gold drop rate, to compensate), prior to which it could be extremely high. Sample current rates are:
- Rank 1: 159 k
- Rank 10: 560 k
- Rank 25: 4.6 m
- Rank 35: 7.5 m
- Rank 50: 15.6 m
Challenge Rifts have been implemented in Patch 2.6.0. They take a snapshot an actual player’s build from the game each week and let other players use the build in a static dungeon. This allows players to easily experiment with new builds.
Challenge Rifts reward a special cache that contains large quantities of crafting materials, plus 10 Death's Breath.
|This page contains obsolete content|
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.
The concept for Nephalem Rifts existed as early as the pre-release version of Diablo III.
During development, Nephalem Rifts were originally called "Loot Runs." In the beta of Reaper of Souls, completion of the rift rewarded the player a Greater Horadric Cache. RNG in Rifts is going to be tweaked to make times more comparable. More similar density levels is expected. Rift-only zones are also being looked at.
During the PTR, the maximum rank of a Greater Rift used to be 100. In the released game, there is no cap.
The idea of Nephalem Rifts is based on the community-proposed idea of endless dungeons with ever-increasing difficulty.
Prior to patch 2.3, players had to choose either upgrading gems or increasing rift rank in the end. Upgrading gems would conclude the run.
Realm of Trials
Prior to patch 2.3, the Realm of Trials used to be the next step in the Rift journey, in which players could fend off increasingly difficult waves of monsters.
To access a Realm of Trials, players had to complete a regular Nephalem Rift in Torment difficulty. When the Rift Guardian was defeated, they'd have a chance to drop a Key of Trials which opened the Realm of Trials. This chance was high enough to get a Key on nearly every run, however, it was greatly reduced if the player already had it, or a Greater Rift Keystone, in their inventory or stash.
The player could then use this new key at the Nephalem Obelisk, similar to other Rift Fragments. Upon doing so, all ongoing effects were be cleared, and all cooldowns were reset. The player(s) would be teleported instantly and irreversibly into the Realm of Trials (similar to the Realm of Terror, but with 3 Healing Wells around), and after a brief preparation time, the waves would start to pour through. Each wave was 10-20 random monsters from any Act, due to be killed in 20 seconds. Their difficulty settings were matching those of the corresponding Rift rank. If the player killed a wave in time, the ranking will be raised by up to 6, depending on remaining amount of time. Waves spawned immediately one after another (as soon as the last monster of the previous wave dies), giving no pause to the character.
As of patch 2.1.1, each monster group was guaranteed to include at least one monster of each class: low-Life creatures that die quickly, mid-ranged enemies, tanky damage-soakers, and more consistent damage-dealers.
Difficulty of the resulting Rift would match the current wave reached minus three (four for 2 players, five for 3 players, six for 4 players). Dying within the Realm would not reset it, and would not cause the player to lose a Key (although for Hardcore characters, this death was real). Player could even revive and finish the wave on time, if they managed to do it quickly enough. Once the time ran out, all remaining monsters died, and a Key was obtained. After that, a Town Portal opened, and Orek would even award some gold and experience, reward based on the rank beaten.
As of patch 2.3.0, the Realm of Trials was removed from the game. Nephalem Rift Guardians now drop Greater Rift Keystones outright.
- A Treasure Goblin that spawns from the older Puzzle Ring (Spawns "aggressive" Treasure Goblin) is able to spawn in a Greater Rift if its "On Hit" effect is triggered. It still drops gold when it flees, but yields no loot when slain.
- Diablo III, Rift Keystone Fragment, Greater Rift Keystone
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