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During a Q&A session prior to the midnight launch of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, Game Director Josh Mosqueira announced a pair of new features coming to the game this summer: Tiered Nephalem rifts and the addition of seasonal ladders. Ladders are expected to make an appearance in a couple of months, though were originally planned for release. However, according to Mosqueira, the team wanted more time to implement them correctly.
The ladders are not the only new feature that’s coming to the game, Blizzard also revealed a new feature called Tiered Rifts. Players will play in Adventure mode then challenged to see “who can get farthest” by clearing a Rift then acquiring a ”Greater Rift Token”. Players will then have to clear the Greater Rift as fast as possible in a certain time limit to unlock a ”Great Rift Key”. These keys will then increase in ranks with each challenge becoming harder.
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Seasons And Ladder-Like System
One of the features you guys have asked about a lot, that we have done a lot of research for, is something called ladders. I'm happy to say that as part of our first big content patch in a couple of months, we will be releasing Seasons, which will include a ladder-like aspect to them. We're still working on them, but the general gist is that you'll level up a new character, we'll have specific ladders for Seasons, and also some goodies that will drop along the way. There's more information of that to come, and we're not making an announcement of when, but that's coming in the first major content patch - not the first patch, but the first major content patch.
There will be more legendary items in the future, both for rewards of Ladders, and also rewards from the Tiered Rifts. For the current ones, we probably are not going to revisit them. They all take time to do and I'd rather we were adding new legendary items, and the time is better spent on new legendary items than going back to refit old ones.
Tiered Rifts And Leaderboards
There is another major feature in the patch 2.1, which is going to be what we're internally calling tiered Rifts. The idea is a challenge scenario, where players do increasingly hard Rifts, to see who can get the farthest. You do your bounties, you do a Nephalem Rift. If you clear it, there's a chance to get a Greater Rift Token. If you successfully do that, you'll get a Greater Rift Key (rank 2), then Rank 3, etc.. Much like seasons, we're going to have a leaderboard as well, so you can see who got to the highest tier Rift, and what time were they able to obtain on that.