Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls' First Content Patch to Include Seasons, Greater Rifts and More

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Blizzard Entertainment

Just in case you think you might have gotten your fill of the demon-slaying madness of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, a new content patch is coming to shake things up.

A preview on the Battle.net Blog features an overview of everything we can expect from the first major content patch for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. There are five major topics that are explore and they are as follows: Seasons, Greater Rifts, Leaderboards, Combat Changes and The Cesspools. Before you go and get immeasurably excited for the changes coming your way, keep in mind that this is just a preview and that a lot of the content may change between now and the time that the patch goes live.

Seasons will be akin to the Ladders in Diablo II and will allow players to start fresh with a character in order to get exclusive rewards and unique Legendaries. Participating in Seasons should help keep the experience fresh for players and introduce them to many more pieces of gear that are unique. Under Seasons, many new and different aspects come into play, such as Conquests. These are Season-only achievements that include killing Malthael at level 70 on Torment VI to finishing all of the acts in under an hour. If you want to tackle a Conquest, you'll have to be quick since they're "first come, first served" and the fight to get on the Season's regional Leaderboard for the first 1,000 individuals will be pretty fierce.

Those looking for more challenges can check out Greater Rifts, which are Nephalem Rifts with higher difficulty so that players can check out how their gear and skills stand up to some really hard battles. You can enter a Greater Rift by completing a Nephalem Rift, killing the Rift Guardian and seeing if it drops a Greater Rift Key. This Key can then be used at a Nephalem Obelisk to open up a Greater Rift. According to the preview, here's how they'll work:

  • You'll race against a clock to fill a progress bar by accruing monster kills.
  • Most monsters do not drop loot; rewards have been completely shifted to the Rift Guardian.
    • This removes conflicting pressure from attaining a better time versus picking up all your loot.
  • Monsters grant differing amounts of progress for your progress bar; the tougher the monster, the more they fill up your progress bar.
  • You cannot resurrect at your corpse or in town while in a Greater Rift—only at the last checkpoint.
    • Note that if you die in a Greater Rift on a Hardcore character, that death will be permanent.
  • You cannot use player banners or the Teleport option if the target player is in a Greater Rift.
  • Higher Greater Rifts levels are progressively more difficult.
    • This difficulty is separate from the standard difficulty settings (Master, Torment I-VI, etc.)
If you fancy yourself a complete badass and want to check up on your progress, the new Leaderboards in patch 2.1.0 will allow you to do just that. You can check up on your progress for Greater RIfts, Seasonal achievement points and Seasonal Conquest.
Of course, in order to get to the Leaderboards, you'll need to be skilled and make progress through the game. Nothing will help you out more than your own skills in combat. Dexterity has been changed so that each point will grant one point to Armor instead of Dodge chance. Healing is being changed as well, with few Health Globes dropping in exchange for a buff in Life on Hit and Life Regeneration stats on gear.
Finally, we've got the Cesspools, a new playable environment in the game's Adventure Mode. A variety of new creatures will appear in the Cesspools and offer a brand new place to destroy the minions of darkness.
There's no announcement for when the patch goes live, but you should be able to check it out in the PTR servers very soon.
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