WoW seems to be borrowing some more ideas from Diablo 3, as Greater and Lesser Rifts are inbound to the game in Patch 7.3. The news comes to us via datamining done by Icy Veins that has found two items that will grant access to Greater and Lesser Rifts.
- Depleted Riftstone - Allows entry into Lesser Rifts.
- Charged Riftstone - Allows entry into Lesser Rifts and Greater Rifts.
Depleted Riftstone can be upgraded to Charged Riftstones, likely by beating the timer on the Rift just like in Diablo 3. If you don't beat the Greater Rift timer, it seems that the Charged Riftstone may be downgraded into Depleted Riftstone.
The Rifts in WoW could be called "Invasion Zones," as noted by the 7.3 Development notes:
- Invasion Points, a new type of replayable content that let you fight the Legion on multiple different worlds
These different worlds are an excellent throwback to Nephalem Rifts, which take place on random map sets from Diablo 3. There are no details just yet as to rewards or specifics on the Rifts, other than that they exist.
This is just another example of how Blizzard uses ideas from its other games to enhance their entire product offering, something we've started calling "Blizzard Style." You can see numerous other examples of WoW borrowing from Diablo 3 in the game already in the form of World Quests (bounties) and Relinquished items (basically Kadala).
Even Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone borrow from each other. Weekly brawls started in Hearthstone and were eventually incorporated into Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. Cosmetic skins dropping in Loot Boxes were wildly popular in Overwatch and were incorporated into the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 update.
These familiar gameplay elements serve to not only enhance the games that Blizzard offers but also offer fans of their games in general familiar gameplay elements. This makes it easy for any Blizzard fan to jump into any Blizzard game and find something they can instantly relate to.