Diablo 3 is not only releasing the Necromancer class soon, but it is also introducing a new way to tackle rifts – Challenge Rifts. These will be coming as part of a Patch 2.6.0 update, presumably with the Necromancer.
Challenge Rifts are a weekly opportunity to try out a new build. As we all know, builds are the lifeblood of Diablo 3 and there are a ton of them to try. The Challenge Rift will take a random player who ran a Greater Rift and take a snapshot of that character. That exact character is remade, including their items, paragon levels, skills and gear, and you can then play as that character and try their build.
The builds are taken from live players and they may not be the current “meta” even. For example, a build from the start of a new season might not even have a full set or optimized gear, but instead just be a jumbled mess of the best Legendaries they had available to them. Randomness is a big part of the Diablo 3 experience and it looks like that will continue with Challenge Rifts. Everyone is on a level playing field, so even if the build is less than ideal, everybody will be playing with the same build. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite build this way.
An exact copy of the Greater Rift they ran will also be there, so you can essentially do exactly what they did in their run. You will be able to memorize the enemies and their placements in subsequent runs, making it easier to beat the times once you’ve done it multiple times. If you use this build and beat the original runner’s Greater Rift time, you’ll be rewarded with a weekly satchel filled with bounty and crafting materials along with blood shards. It’s not much, but it seems like this feature is more designed around the ability to try out different builds.
You will be able to check out the character’s build before you tackle the Challenge Rift, to see if it will be a fit for you or not in what is called the Soul Mirror. You will be able to rearrange the skills so they are more comfortable for you, but you can’t change the skills altogether. The left side of the Soul Mirror will feature a single, tough enemy to test your skills on and the right side will represent a mob of enemies.
Challenge Rifts will rotate ever Monday, so you’ll have something new to try each week. You can read more about Challenge Rifts in Blizzard’s blog post right here.
We still don’t have a solid release date for the Necromancer, but we do know when Season 10 ends and when Season 11 begins. We have a feeling the Necromancer Pack will be released somewhere in between the two Seasons. In fact, we’d be pretty surprised if that isn’t the case. We just can’t see Blizzard dropping in a new class during a Season. Season 10 wraps up June 23.