Diablo 3 has had a fair bit of news from what we initially feared would be an empty 20th birthday party for the game, and yet more love for the latest in the series is planned with Greater Rifts getting near-enough a total overhaul.
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Speaking to PCGamesN's dedicated Blizzard reporter Ben Barrett, lead designer for Diablo 3 Kevin Martens said the end-game dungeons would be getting tweaks under the hood for monster behaviour – as well as giving you a bonus roll on legendary gems at the end if you survive without dying to "reward you for doing well instead of punishing you for doing poorly".
"We’ve done a tuning pass on all of the monsters we considered kind of irritating in a rift," Martens says from the BlizzCon show floor. "For example, some monsters that fly or have leap attacks at you, they happened to be invulnerable the way they were setup, while in the air until they landed. So they could sort of gank you sometimes in the more difficult rifts. Now we redid them so they’re all killable in the air, so if you can get them before they get to you they die."
Martens also says that the density of monsters in Grifts should be more consistent, with no big empty areas, and a greater variety in the layout of floors.
"Some of the harder monsters have more fair AI," Martens says. "The monster density, fishing for Rifts and trying to find the right Rift with the right monsters in the right combination or the right density should be less of a thing. It will be more likely that any rift is good."
Part of this process involved a reversal of design ethos on the part of the team to encourage randomness in Rift generation. "A lot of what we do is trying to shave the rough edges off of randomness so it serves the player as opposed to just serving RNG," Martens says. "Now we are actually going the other direction with the way rifts are laid out specifically. If you happen to get a floor of a certain type we often had a high chance of floor two having the same type, now it’s more likely to be another random floor completely."
You can read about more of the changes coming, including an Armory, Challenge Rifts and a full remake of the original Diablo, in our round up of the Diablo 3 anniversary patch details.