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Greater Rift records come with a build snapshot in Patch 2.3.

A snapshot refers to a variable property that is locked in at one point by some game mechanic, like a photo taken of a moving object. This is usually achieved in Diablo 3 by building up some sort of buff via equipment, then casting a skill or summoning a pet that is stronger because of the state of gear when it was summoned, and which stays at that strength for the duration, even if the player changes gear or buffs.

For instance, the Legendary Gem [wiki]Gogok of Swiftness[/wiki] increases attack speed and reduces Cooldown time by 1% per stack, rising up to 15 stacks. If a player casts a skill with a cooldown when Gogok is at 10 stacks, they receive 10% cooldown reduction to that skill from the gem (multiplying on top of their other CDR bonuses). The skill's cooldown is thus snapshot'ed, set at the time it is cast, and does not change if the player subsequently gains more or loses all of their Gogok stacks. That snapshot value lasts until the cooldown ends or the character casts teh skill again, when it will take another snapshot to determine the CDR.

Another example of snapshot came in Patch 2.3, when a players best time on a Greater Rift gained a snapshot of their character at the time of the record, recording exactly what their skills and equipment was. (This fixed a long time complaint, that it was impossible to tell what a player was using when they set a Grift record, if they had subsequently changed their gear or skills.)

Diablo 2[edit | edit source]

Snapshots were very common in Diablo 2, though the term was not in usage at the time. For instance, players would use the weapon switch hotkey to switch to gear that added +skills, and then summon a pet or cast a skill that grew stronger with each point in the skill. A popular example were Echoing weapons for the Barbarian, which each added +3 to the Warcries skill tab. Players would dual wield Echoing blades, weapon switch to equip them, cast their Warcry buffs, and then weapon switch back to their normal gear, while retaining the higher bonus level of their Warcry for the skill's duration.