"We're still working on them but the general gist is that you'll level up a new character, we'll have specific ladders for Seasons, and also some goodies that will drop along the way," said Josh Mosqueira, Diablo 3 game director, as reprinted by Diablo Fans. For those unfamiliar with ladders in Diablo, they describe how specific characters in Diablo 2 were ranked in a given realm. Only ladder characters are ranked. Seasons will, in effect, introduce a similar competitive layer to the game. Tiered Rifts, meanwhile, pull players into a series of increasingly difficult Rifts where they clamber for better and better loot.
"There is another major feature in the patch 2.1, which is going to be what we're internally calling tiered Rifts. The idea is a challenge scenario, where players do increasingly hard Rifts to see who can get the farthest," explained Mosquiera. "You do your bounties, you do a Nephalem Rift. If you clear it, there's a chance to get a Greater Rift Token. If you successfully do that, you'll get a Greater Rift Key (rank 2), then Rank 3, etc. Much like seasons, we're going to have a leaderboard as well, so you can see who got to the highest tier Rift, and what time were they able to obtain on that."
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is available today. The patch introducing Seasons and tiered Rifts is due out in the summer.