Challenge Rifts

Adam: Oh, I’m so excited to be here. I get a chance to represent the Diablo III Team, and show you guys a new way to play Diablo III.



What I want to say real quick about this mode, thought, is that it’s only really possible in a game like Diablo III; and because of the community, this feature would not exist without you guys. So let’s dive in and find out why.



So Challenge Rifts. What are these? Challenge Rifts are race for your fastest time at a Greater Rift. I know you’re saying: “That’s what I do anyways. So why are these different?



The difference is everyone’s on a Level Playing Field. Everyone has the same hero, same build, same dungeon layout, same monsters and pylons. We are all on the same level, we’re seeing how fast we can beat this rift.

Now this is where you guys get involved, because we actually get this build, this layout, from you guys. From a Greater Rift run in the community. And we’re also going to be updating this thing frequently because people are running Rifts all the time. So there’s always some interesting things to see, the great thing about it is, it’s going to be on both PC and Console.



So let’s say a few more details on Challenge Rifts. So what Challenge Rifts really do is let you discover things that you might not have seen before in Diablo. There is so much rich content. First of all, you’re able to jump right into these. There’s no barrier for entry. You can just dive in, and see what they’re like. You really get to see something like: “Oh, I’ve never played Helltooth Witch Doctor, or I want to see what a Delseres Wizard is like.



These things are changing out, and you get to just what we say is like, you get to test drive some of these builds, and see if there’s something in there. Maybe you’ll see some of those legendaries that Travis was talking about too.

It also gives you a chance to optimize. So you get to learn the layout and this picture right here is actually a Photoshop that a programmer on our team made, and this thing was like gold. So if you can see though he marked where the pylons are, where their leads are, and this layout you can see where the deadends are. This thing is like burned into our memories as we play this internally on the scene. It really made an improvement in all of our times.



You can also be more effective with the build so you really get to analyze this puzzle of what skills should I really be using, how should I be using these against elites, and how do I increase my times with this build.

And of course, you get to compete. This is a picture of one of our gameplay programmers, Kevin Hassett, and showing his awesome trophy that he got for winning one of the challenges we had internally. We had a lot of fun going back and forth. You know running over somebody’s desk, like: “I beat you by 4 seconds, can you be better than that?” and then suddenly you’re just like spending like hours playing this thing, and you’ve got to get back to work.



So yeah, you get to compete with your friends on the leaderboards, and for the really dedicated players which I’m so excited to see, I want to see what the top of these leaderboards really are; and like the really interesting ways that people optimize and discover their little tricks that go along with the building a layout.

And of course, there’s going to be rewards. There is a picture of brownies here because — again internally — we had a producer. The producer Tiffany K. Wat made brownies for people that place in the Top 10 in our team, and they’re amazing brownies; and they motivated people a whole lot.



But for you, we are definitely going to give you a reward if you beat the original runners time. We’ll be giving you some brownie bags. We’ll be working out the details on the PTR, but we’ll make sure that you get to contribute to your main character as you’re playing this mode.

So I want to show you some Quick Videos of the challenge, this is basically the hub where you can test out the build. So you can see this is like a Hell II, Angry Chicken build, and just learning what the skills are, and how they really work, and then he dives right into the rift, and you can see early on you’re just trying to figure out what these skills are, and which ones you should be using, and like: “Okay, I get a little bit of speed boost there,” and he goes down, right down here on this path.


If you remember from that map, this is a deadend. So you get there, and you’re like: “Argh, Ok. How can I remember that next time?” and then he comes back around. So this is the second run or he learns like: “Ok, you’ve got to be a chicken like all the time when you’re playing this build,” so he runs past that deadend, and he gets into a leap pack, and pops out a leap pack right away, and then this is painful; but he missed the purple orb, or even then, he kept going, then ran across a speed pylon which is a crazy fastener, he just loses all control. This was so much fun to play for our team.



The other thing I want to show you is of course it has to have multiplayer, it’s Diablo. So everyone gets to dive into that same rift layout, but they’re all using the same build. So we get to learn it together, and that was a fun experience itself; but the really interesting discovery we had was the team strategies that come out of this, of like, okay you went ahead to the next level and you get the pylon, and I’m going to go right. So you can even see you know like this character split up, and you go and kill all the monsters. And then we really have to gather together when the boss comes so we can really take him out, and it was a lot of fun multiplayer.

So that is Challenge Rifts. Now we are going to head back to Kevin Martens for a summary.

Next: Summary

SeasonsLeaderboardsDevil in the DetailsAdventure ModeGreater RiftsLegendary Items
Challenge RiftsSummaryPanel Q&A

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts