Check out information on Greater Rifts, Vaults and Seasons being added in today's Diablo III update.
Diablo III Patch 2.1 went live yesterday at about 6:00pm PDT and with it came a plethora of additional content, features, changes and most importantly–bags of new and shiny loot!
The first major addition to the patch comes in the form of Seasons. Seasons are Diablo III's newly introduced competitive system that tracks your stats, gear achievements and challenges, then compares them with other players across your region. In order for players to participate in a season, new seasonal characters must be created, as they are separate from your normal characters and do not have access to any items, Artisans levels, Paragon levels, gold, Bloodshards or crafting patterns you may have previously acquired.
While this new seasonal character begins at level 1, there are season specific achievements, rewards and activities such, as Conquests, that are available for seasonal characters only as you make your way to the top of the leaderboards. At the end of each season, your season characters will be changed back into normal characters, granting you access to all of their gear, achievements and unlocks throughout your account. Additional information on Seasons can be found here.
Next on the list we have Greater Rifts, the next-level of the popular Nephalem Rift dungeon content. Greater Rifts are progression-focused, timed content that offer unique rewards and come with their own custom leaderboard. In order to begin one of these Greater Rifts you must first acquire a KeyStone of Trials, which can be obtained by a level 70 hero from any normal Rift Guardian on Torment difficulty. Upon activation of the Keystone, you'll be sent to the Realm of Trials, a small area where you will fight increasingly difficult waves of enemies in a timed-based environment. Once you've completed the Trial, you will then be rewarded with a Greater Rift Keystone needed to access – you guessed it – the Greater Rifts.
While the Realm of Trials bridges the gap between Normal and Greater Rifts, they are not to be taken lightly. Simply put, the better you do in the Realm of Trials, the better Greater Rift Keystone you will receive. This means the Greater Rift you activate will ultimately be more difficult and yield better rewards, including Greater Rift-specific legendary items.
The fun doesn't stop there however. Similar to the Realm of Trials, Greater Rifts also come with a time limit and upon entering the Rift you'll have 15 minutes to spawn and defeat that level's Rift Guardian, with faster runs bringing better loot! If you manage to defeat the level within the 15 minutes or less, you'll receive the next level Greater Rift Keystone to begin a more difficult and more loot filled timed run. This process continues until you've either failed to clear the Rift in the allotted time, or your bags are filled to the brim with loot and you choose to stop. Additional information regarding Greater Rifts can be found here.
Last up for the new content being included in Patch 2.1, we have The Vault. If you've ever wondered where those devious loot-filled Treasure Goblins go when you fail to make quick work of them, you'll soon have your answer. Beginning with this update, whenever a Treasure Goblin is killed there is a chance that a portal to its realm will open for the player to enter. As you may have imagined, The Vault holds vast amounts of gold and treasure ripe for the taking, there is one catch however. Inside this realm also rests the Baroness Greed, the leader of the Treasure Goblins, and she won't take lightly to your intrusion.
While it was mentioned in the latest Diablo III Tavern Talk episode that this wouldn't be the most difficult encounter, slaying the Baroness will yield additional piles of loot worthy of her name.
Patch 2.1 is looking to bring a huge amount of content and fixes to the PC version of the game (sadly, console owners will need to wait a bit longer) and there are still plenty of worthy changes to items, classes and content worth taking a look at. If you wish to do so in greater detail, you can check out the full list of patch notes here. As always, for more information on Diablo III, keep it locked to ZAM and D3head.
Corey "Cyglaive" Jenkins
Follow Corey on Twitter @Cyglaive