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Greater Rifts only drop loot from the Rift Guardians, but that loot is quite good, and apparently even level 1 Rifts drop Torment-only loot.

Since the Rifts get progressively more difficult, and completing a Rift run results in choosing between increasing the difficulty of the next Rift, or trying to upgrade a Legendary Gem (and thereby ending your Rift run, necessitating finding another Keystone of Trials), what is the benefit of doing well in the Realm of Trials?

If I throw the Rift trial, and start at a level 1 Greater Rift, won't I wind up with more loot per Keystone of Trials I find?

Is there a benefit to advancing as far as possible in the Trial that I'm missing?

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2 Answers 2

It depends on what your goal in running Greater Rifts is. For acquiring legendary gems or other loot, it's actually much better to start at level 1 and just keep upgrading your keystone rather than your gems, so for that goal, nope, no downside to throwing the trial.

Greater Rifts have two main goals:

  • A test of your character's capabilities
  • Upgrade legendary gems

They do offer some other advantages over regular rifting, in that all loot is contained in the Rift Guardian, and they are much quicker to complete than regular rifts (compared to equivalent levels).

The Keystone of Trials lets you speed up the process of getting to higher rift levels. Rather than having to run rift after rift after rift to get to the point you want, the trial lets you start generally where you fit.

If your goal is to upgrade gems, though, it all comes out to the same: One Keystone of Trials = three chances at gem upgrades. This is where the higher ranks of Greater Rifts come into play, as the higher your rank, the better the chance of upgrading your gems. Personally, I'm going for gem upgrades, so the higher the rift level, the better the chance I can upgrade my highest level gem.

And if your goal is to see how far you can get, the Trial speeds that up to the point of only needing one or two rift runs to test that capacity.

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I believe (but I'm not 100% sure) that town portaling out of a trial before it begins automatically gives you a level 1 rift stone. –  Frank Sep 2 at 17:30
    
I pretty much agree with your whole answer. As for the town portal, that is correct. When the timer expires, a quest complete dialog opens and gives you a level 1 keystone in town. In addition, town portaling out once you have completed a desired wave number will also yield that level keystone (I have done this when trying to make an exact one to match up with friends). –  Travis J Sep 2 at 19:02
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Tp out of a trial just finish the current wave and give you the corresponding key, I do it all the time when I want to calibrate a low level grift –  WizLiz Sep 2 at 19:39

Especially if you can do T6 rifts, which drop Keystone of Trials 100% of the time, advantages of advancing as fast as possible:

  • More gem upgrades per hour (as Frank mentioned, 1 Keystone of Trials = 3 upgrades)
  • Likely: more/better legendaries, depending on how quickly you go through normal rifts, how often you get Keystone of Trials. Higher tiers appear to give more/better legendaries.
  • Maybe: more experience per hour (this may or may not be the case if you can't quickly clear T6 rifts)
  • Opinion: more fun (blowing through easy mobs gets boring fast)

Advantages of starting at a low tier:

  • More legendary gems per Keystone of Trials (usually 1-2 per Greater Rift)
  • Higher percentage of time in Greater Rifts
  • Unlikely: more legendaries, depending on how quickly you go through normal rifts, how often you get Keystone of Trials
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Actually, if you just keep upgrading your keystone, you will definitely get a ton more legendaries; you don't need to keep getting new trial keystones, so you just keep upgrading until you finally hit the point where you can't progress any more. And each rift guardian is a massive loot pinata. –  Frank Sep 2 at 17:47
    
Regarding better loot per hour: given how fast a well-geared character can rip through low level Rifts, and how high the quality of loot on even the low level Rift Guardians is, I would be surprised if the speed difference doesn't compensate for the gear quality difference with low level rifts. –  Beofett Sep 2 at 17:50
    
Seems like it can only be answered by lots of data and even then may still vary by build/equipment/skill. I made the concrete answers bold. –  pfayze Sep 2 at 18:01
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@Beofett - I am starting to think that the higher level greater rifts drop rarer loot, but have been unable to confirm this as getting to 35+ is hard to repeat. –  Travis J Sep 2 at 19:29
    
I cu through low level grift and barely get loot on Rift Guardian, often no legendary when I'm too fast (I've started to think the loot amount is related to the speed completion of the Grift). @TravisJ agreed, all my best loot has been on the Grift 36-38 . –  WizLiz Sep 3 at 6:30

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