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I don't mean this in a subjective way. So far, my experience with Rifts has been fun, and I would keep doing them solely for that reason.

What I mean, specifically, is what advantage do you get from playing Nephalem Rifts that wouldn't be available in other content? Is the drop rate better? Are there some items that can only drop here? Is there some other kind of specific reward for doing Nephalem Rifts?

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It could be it's just a different way to play. –  Frank Mar 26 at 16:51
    
@Frank It could be, but I'm not sure. –  StrixVaria Mar 26 at 16:52
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

With a recent hotfix, Rifts now have +25% Legendary drop rate so there is another huge incentive to going on Rift runs.

One benefit of doing bounties/Nephalem Rifts is the blood shards that you gamble with at Kadala. The Rift bosses drop pretty large chunks of them at a time so it makes it much easier to scratch the gambling itch.

Also, I'm not sure if it is due to Adventure Mode or because the Nephalem Rift itself, but mob density also seems to be a lot higher than your average area. The high density, of course, results in more experience/drops. There are a large number of champion and elite packs spread throughout the rift that you can continue to kill after the rift boss is dead as long as you don't speak to the Nephalem Spirit in town.

There are some unique aspects to the rifts themselves there are unique pylons that can greatly speed up your monster killing and looting:

  • Shield - Impervious to damage for 30 seconds.
  • Conduit - Lightning zaps your surroundings for 30 seconds.
  • Power - All attacks do +400% damage for 30 seconds.
  • Speed - Maximum run speed greatly increased for 30 seconds.
  • Channeling - All resource costs and cooldowns are reduced

Finally, actually going to the rifts is the only way you will be able to unlock the Nephalem Rift achievements though as with all achievements your mileage can vary based on how you rank achievements.

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As Rapida mentioned, one advantage of both bounties and Nephalem rifts are the blood shards that can be gambled away in Kadala for various upgrades. But the benefits go beyond that.

Nephalem rifts provide a good "program in a box" experience, in that you can predictably say how long each event will take, or that it at least will probably not take longer than "X" time. This makes them a really efficient way to farm for items/gold/xp in the sense of a methodical way of farming.

As far as loot, the same rules apply as in other modes. Legendary drops have an increased rate in Torment (and go up slightly with each tick on the slider), as well as the chance for set pieces and unique pieces that only appear in Torment difficulty. All other difficulties only get the bonus to gold and xp.

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