Guide:Magic Find Guide v1.11, by Hrus - Diablo Wiki

Guide:Magic Find Guide v1.11, by Hrus

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This massively comprehensive guide covers every aspect of magic find gameplay in v1.10 and v1.11. Its advice remains sound for later versions as well. (Source.)


Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:




Introduction[edit]

The guide is focused especially on Single player game, because the author plays SP only. The author is not a native English speaker, so please excuse the grammar/spelling errors.

The guide was written for patch 1.10/1.11, the differences in item generating between these two patches are negligable: Countess, Summoner and Nihlathak drop the new keys now, so their other drops are slightly reduced. Fangskin drop is bugged in hell difficulty; he drops no items at all.

Abbreviations[edit]

Full list here.

  • MF - magic finding - see definition in the next chapter
  • - item property that reads: +X% better chance of getting magic items
  • - sum of all MF percentages from all items used by character.
  • SP - single player
  • D2 - Diablo 2, it usually means Diablo2 with LoD expansion
  • TC - Treasure Class - group of item types or other Treasure classes used to determine what items can be dropped by a creature/chest.
  • mlvl - monster level
  • alvl - area level (sometimes used for affix level too)
  • qlvl - quality level - all basic weapon and armor items have their qlvl. Items are organized in groups - Treasure classes. All armors (leather armor, quilted armor, sash, leather gloves, buckler etc.) with qlvl 1-3 are in TC called armo3. Items with qlvl 4-6 (sabre, studded leather armor etc..) are in TC "armo6" and "weap6" etc. There is also another qlvl used when talking about set/unique items.
  • GF - item property that reads: +X% more Gold from monsters (aka Gold Find)
  • FCR - faster cast rate
  • FRW - faster run/walk
  • NM - nightmare difficulty
  • SoJ - The Stone of Jordan, unique ring
  • WP - Waypoint
  • WSK - The World Stone Keep area in D2 LoD
  • CI - cold immune
  • FI - fire immune
  • LI - lightning immune
  • MI - magic immune
  • PI - physical immune (sometimes also poison immune, in this guide I used PoI for poison immune)
  • PoI - poison immune
  • CB - Crushing Blow
  • SF - Static Field - sorceress' skil
  • WW - Whirlwind - barbarian's skill


Basic info[edit]

"Magic Finding" is the activity that results in finding higher magic quality items - especially unique and set items. Maxing the efficiency of finding good set/unique items is the objective of this guide. Thus, this guide doesn't cover how to effectively find runes or items with sockets.

The chance of getting set/unique item depends on:

  1. monster and its level (or for object/chests area where it is droppped and type of the object)
  2. MF of player who kills the monster (or +merc MF if he kills the monster)
  3. the list of unique items already generated in current game (only one unique item of its kind can spawn in the same game)

The number of dropped items is influenced by players in the game; more players cause more dropped items of any magic quality - including unique and set quality.

Now we will go deeper into the game mechanics and explain how the drops are generated.


Item selection and TCs[edit]

Each monster has a given property called "Treasure Class"(TC), the group of item types and other TCs used to determine which items can be dropped by a creature/chest and respective probabilities. There are 9 TCs for each monster type (see monstats.txt datafile), covering three variations (regular, champion and boss) in all three difficulties (normal, NM, hell). All TCs form a complex system which is described in TreasureClassEx.txt datafile.

The monstats.txt includes these properties (besides many other monster statistics):

NameStr TC1 TC2 TC3 TC1 (N) TC2 (N) TC3 (N) TC1 (H) TC2 (H) TC3 (H)
Skeleton Act 1 H2H A Act 1 Champ A Act 1 Unique A Act 1 (N) H2H A Act 1 (N) Champ A Act 1 (N) Unique A Act 1 (H) H2H A Act 1 (H) Champ A Act 1 (H) Unique A
Devilkin Act 1 H2H B Act 1 Champ B Act 1 Unique B Act 1 (N) H2H B Act 1 (N) Champ B Act 1 (N) Unique B Act 1 (H) H2H B Act 1 (H) Champ B Act 1 (H) Unique B
Gloam Act 3 Wraith A Act 3 Champ A Act 3 Unique A Act 4 (N) Wraith A Act 3 (N) Champ A Act 3 (N) Unique A Act 3 (H) Wraith A Act 3 (H) Champ A

Act 3 (H) Unique A

  • TreasureClass1 - TC of regular monster on normal difficulty
  • TreasureClass2 - TC of champion on normal difficulty
  • TreasureClass3 - TC of unique monster on normal difficulty
  • etc.

For example Devilkin has in column "TreasureClass1(H)" (regular monster, hell difficulty): "Act 1 (H) H2H B".

This TC is defined with all others in TreasureClassEx.txt datafile.

Our "Act1 (H) H2H B" Treasure Class has these important properties: group=7, level=66, picks=1, NoDrop=100, Item1=gld, Prob1=21, Item2=Act 1 (H) Equip B, Prob2=16, Item3=Act 1 (H) Junk, Prob3=21, Item4=Act 1 (H) Good, Prob4=2, where:

  • group = TC group
  • level = TC level
  • picks = number of drop cycles
  • NoDrop = probability of no drop
  • Item1-10 = TC or item type
  • Prob1-10 = probability (frequency) of appropriate TC or item type

In our case, Devilkin will drop:

  • no item with probability 100/160, (160 is the sum of all frequencies here)
  • gold with probability 121/160,
  • an item/TC from TC "Act 1 (H) Equip B" with probability 16/160 (armors and weapons),
  • an item/TC from TC "Act 1 (H) Junk" with probability 21/160 (potions, ammo, keys etc.)
  • and an item/TC from TC "Act 1 (H) Good" with probability 2/160 (runes,amulets,jewels,charms).

Let's suppose that random routine choosed "Act 1 (H) Equip B" TC. It contains these TCs:

  • weap57, frequency 2
  • armo57, 1
  • weap60, 6
  • armo60, 3
  • weap63, 14
  • armo63, 7
  • weap66, 2
  • armo66, 1
  • Act 1 (H) Equip A, 1530

Let's suppose that the random routine has chosen weap66. Now the game chooses the weapon from TC66 group. The frequencies of basic items are the same in all armo and weap TCs - normal weapons/armors 3, class-specific weapons/armors 1, assassin katars 2, staves/scepters/wands 1. Yes, staves, wands, scepters and class specifics are three times rarer than other normal items.

Weap66 contains these weapons: highland blade, silver edged axe, stalagmite(1/3 prob.), ghost wand(1/3), colossus voulge, stygian pike, flying knife, matriarchal javelin(1/3). Weap66 and armo66 is the highest TC a melee monster in the middle of act 1 (Hell difficulty) can drop.

Now, this is true for patch 1.09. In 1.10, the monsters have upgraded "TC" according to areas where they spawn. All areas have their level - for example Tower Cellar 1 has alvl=75 and Pit 1 has alvl=85 (both in Act 1 Hell). The primary TC of monster is upgraded using following algorithm: Until the monster level (the same as the area level for regular monsters in 1.10) > actual TC level, upgrade TC to the higher TC in the same TC group.

Example: Our Devilkin from Tower Cellar floor 1 has TC "Act 1 (H) H2H B", it's group 7, lvl71.

  • mlvl (75) > TC lvl (66) -> upgrade TC to "Act 1 (H) H2H C" - group 7, lvl 68
  • mlvl (75) > TC lvl (68) -> upgrade TC to "Act 2 (H) H2H A" - group 7, lvl 69

Final TC will be "Act 3 (H) H2H B" - group 7, lvl 76 - leading to weap75 and armo75. In the same way, the final TC for Devilkin from the Pit will be "Act 5 (H) H2H C" -group 7, level 85 - leading to weap87 and armo87.

Weap87 and armo87 contain the rarest items in the game (like Corona, Diadem, Sacred Armor, Berserker Axe, Hydra Bow, etc.). Monsters able to drop from these TCs are able to drop any type of item. (In 1.09 the TC90 existed, but all items were moved to TC87 in patch 1.10). Beside the areas like Pit and late Act5 areas, i.e. mosters with "Act 5 (H) *** C" TCs, the monsters which drop from "Act 5 (H) *** B" TCs, are still able to give weap87 and armo87, but with severely reduced probability (~8.5 x lower).

Monsters dropping all types incl TC87[edit]

Low chance TC87:

  • regulars in areas lvl 83
  • champions in areas lvl 80-81
  • minions in areas lvl 80
  • bosses in areas lvl 79-80
  • hell bovines
  • superuniques: Sharptooth Slayer, Dac Farren, Nihlathak
  • Baal

High chance TC87:

  • regulars in areas lvl 84-85
  • champions in areas lvl 82-85
  • minions in areas lvl 81-85
  • bosses in areas lvl 81-85
  • superuniques: Pindleskin, Frozenstein, Snapchip Schatter, Thresh Socket

Note1: Bosses and their minions have mlvl=alvl+3, Champions have mlvl=alvl+2.

Note2: Some monsters have a higher TC than their upgraded TC should be. For example Death Slashers in Arreat Plateau (Hell diff) have "Act 5 (H) H2H B" TC, though the alvl is only 81 and upgraded TC of monsters in areas lvl81 would be only "Act 5 (H) H2H A" - so while Death Slashers can drop TC87 (low chance) in this area, the guest monsters from lower acts can not.

If we take a closer look at TC of different monster types, there are more groups of TC than "H2H" for melee monsters (H2H - melee monsters, the biggest group).

  • Wraith - Ghost, Strangler and Gloam type monsters drop only from "Good" (runes, jewelry, gems) and "Magic" (mana pots+scrolls). These have higher chance for "Good" TC than normal monsters, and thus, sought after for dropping runes.
  • Miss - missile monsters, like archers, drop less of normal items and more from special Bow TC, that contains only bows. They also drop a lot of ammo.
  • Cast - drop slightly less of normal items and have a chance to drop from "Magic" TC like Ghosts
  • Cow - drop slightly more from "Good"

All champions drop from the same TC group, Wraith type champion will drop from the same TC as H2H or Cast type champion with the same mlvl.

All random bosses drop from the same TC group, Wraith type boss will drop from the same TC as H2H or Cast type boss with the same mlvl.

Act Bosses and some superuniques as Countess, Griswold, Nihlathak have their own TCs.

Most superuniques, such as Frozenstein, Pindleskin etc. have the similar drop as random bosses, but they drop 2 items instead of one.

Superuniques from Baal's minions have the same drop as champions (in other words they drop crap).


Objects and chests[edit]

It's not important for this guide to describe the whole process of drop mechanics of chests and other objects. Thus, only few notes:

1) Chests and objects have their own group of TCs. They drop much less equipment and more "junk" and "good" - runes, jewelry, gems, gold, potions. Thus, they are not good for real MFing, they will not drop as much armors and weapons, but they can drop more jewelry.

2) MF works with most of the chests. Only super chests (3 chests in LK around the fire, end-chests in Arcane Sanctuary, the central chest behind Mephisto etc.) have fixed magic quality drops. Magic items will drop 95% of time, rare items will drop 5% of time (yes, all items dropped will be rare); MF is not used. Sparkly chests (like the one in the Pit 2) have also high chance to generate fixed magic quality drop, they can generate even unique or set drops.

3) Defining chest TC is different than defining monster TC - their TC isn't upgraded according to alvl.


Number of players[edit]

The higher is the number of players, the higher is the number of items dropped by monsters. More precisely - monsters have lower chance to drop no items (this chance is defined in their main TC under NoDrop property). Now, how it works? We have the total number of players in the game, let's say it's N players. Health and EXP of monsters is enhanced by this formula: HP=HP*(N+1)/2. In 8 player game, monsters have 4.5 higher HP. In off-realm games, you can simulate more players by "/players X" command, where X > N.

But drops are not affected by simply N (all players in the game). The "NoDrop exponent" (or "player bonus") will be counted this way: Players who are a) unpartied with you or b) not close to you (around 2 screens), count only as 0.5 player. You and partied players close to you count as 1 player. Players added in off-realm games by "players X" command count as 0.5 player. The NoDrop exponent will be rounded down if it's not an integer. For example you are killing with your friend who is in your party monsters in the Pit and another player is killing monsters in Ancient Tunnels (it doesn't matter if he is in the party or not). Your NoDrop exponent will be 2 (rounded from 2.5).

This NoDrop exponent (NDE) is used for reducing the NoDrop number from monster TC:

  • New NoDrop = ND^NDE/(1-ND^NDE) * SumProb

where

  • New NoDrop - NoDrop probability after applying the player bonus
  • ND - base NoDrop probability = base NoDrop/base Sum of all probabilities including base NoDrop
  • NDE - NoDrop exponent
  • SumProb - Sum of probabilities of all TCs in main TC (minus NoDrop)

For example our Devilkin has ND 100, SumProb 60

  • using NDE=1 (1 player in game or 2 unpartied players)
  • New NoDrop = (100/160)^1/(1-(100/160)^1)*60 = (100/160) / (60/160) * 60 = 100/60 * 60 = 100 (what did you expect in 1 player game, more drops? )
  • using NDE=2
  • New NoDrop = (100/160)^2/(1-(100/160)^2)*60 = 0.390625 / (1-0.390625) * 60 = 38.4615 = 38 (the new no drop chance is 38/(60+38) )
  • using NDE=3
  • New NoDrop = 0.2441/(1-0.2441)*60 = 19.3798 = 19 (the new no drop chance is 19/(60+19) )
  • using NDE=8 (all players partied, close to killing player)
  • New NoDrop = 0.0232/(1-0.0232)*60 = 1.431 = 1 (the new no drop chance is 1/(60+1) )

NOTE: all melee monsters (H2H) have NoDrop 100 and probability sum 160, all Wraith type have NoDrop 75 and probability sum 104, etc.

H2H (Wraith, Miss, Cast etc.) TC is used only for regular monsters and minions. Champions and unique bosses have more complicated TC, all champions will allways drop 2 potions and 1 item/gold pile no matter how much players are in the game. Unique bosses allways drop 4 potions and 1 item. Superuniques without their own TC as Pindleskin, Frozenstein, etc. will allways drop 2 items and 4 potions. For Act bosses and superuniques with their own TC (like Nihlathak, Countess, Izual, Summoner) the effect of player bonus can be different. For example Andariel reach NoDrop = 0 on NDE=5, Mephisto, Diablo and Baal reach NoDrop=0 on NDE=3. In other words it's useless to run Mephisto with higher player bonus than 3 (that's equal to "/players 5" command in SP).


Magic Quality Selection[edit]

In previous chapters we learned how the items drop and how the number of players in the game affects their quantity. Now we have to learn how the game decides if the item will be unique or set (or rare or magic or normal quality). The current MF of the player who is giving the killing blow is all that counts. Use it to you advantage especially when killing the act bosses. It's good to have MF items on your weapon switch or even in inventory and equip them before finishing the boss off.

If your mercenary makes the killing blow, the sum of his MF and your MF is used, when your character makes the killing blow, only his MF is used.

The game checks the quality in this sequence: Check for being unique, if failed check for being set, if failed check for being rare, if failed check for being magic, if failed check for high quality item or if the item can't be normal quality (jewelry), generate magic quality item, if the high quality check failed, check for normal quality item, if failed generate low quality item.

Most of us have already heard about diminishing results of MF. What is it?

Let's say that the chance for an item dropped from regular monster to be unique is 1:400 , chance for set is 1:160, chance for rare is 1:100, chance for magic is 1:34 and you have 200 MF total. While for magic quality check, your full MF is used, for unique, set and rare check, the MF is reduced by a specific factor using this formula:

Effective MF = MF*Factor/(MF+Factor)

where Factor=250 for Uniques, 500 for sets, 600 for rares

So with Effective MF in our case is: 250*200/(250+200) = 111 for uniques, 142 for sets, 150 for rares. Only effective MF is used in appropriate quality checks, so we have a 1/400 * 2.11 chance for item being uniqe, then the chance for set is 1/160 * 2.42, for rare it's 1/100 * 2.50 and for magic it's 1/34 * 3.00 .

Effective MF Table

Magic Find Rare Find Set Find Unique Find
50 46 45 41
100 85 83 71
200 150 142 111
300 200 187 136
400 240 222 153
500 272 250 166
750 333 300 187
1000 375 333 200


This was very simple and inaccurate explanation of the whole process. Now, if you don't want to go deep into the game mechanics, skip the next part, I will explain the whole Algorithm of unique check.

1) Find the proper line in the ItemRatio.txt datafile. In this file there are lines for normal, exceptional/elite, class-specific normal and class-specific exceptional/elite items. The important properties are Unique, UniqueDivisor, UniqueMin, Set, SetDivisor, SetMin, etc.

In 1.10/1.11, the difference between normal and exceptional/elite items is only in Normal and Normal Divisor, so exceptional and elite items have lower chance to be lower quality.

Simplified ItemRatio table: (without rare, magic, superior and normal properties for D2 LOD)

Items Unique UniqueDiv UniqueMin Set SetDiv Set Min
Normal/Exc/Elite Items 400 1 6400 160 2 5600
Class-Specific Items 240 3 6400 120 3 5600

2) BaseChance is the value from Unique column (if we check for unique quality). It's allways 400 (240 for class-specific). In the whole process, the smaller the chance is, the better. So we can see, that class specific items have much better chance to be unique or set.

3) Chance = BaseChance - (mlvl-qlvl)/UniqueDiv mlvl - monsterlvl of monster dropping the item qlvl - quality of the base item (for example amulet, ring, jewel and grand charm has qlvl=1, unearthed wand qlvl=86, dagger qlvl=3, hydra bow qlvl=85, small charm qlvl=28, large charm qlvl=14)

So we can see that the chance for item is much better when the monster drops from low TCs, than if it drops items from his highest TC (which contains items around the same qlvl as monster level)

4) Chance = Chance * 128 (Multiplied for extra precision)

5) Chance = Chance * 100/(100+EffectiveMF) Note - the factor 100/(100+EffectiveMF) is the same as Real MF multiplicator for Uniques from EffectiveMF table.

6) If UniqueMin>Chance then Chance=UniqueMin

7) Chance= Chance - (Chance * UniqueFactor/1024) Unique Factor is the value from column "Unique" from monster's TC. For example act bosses have high values here, all bosses have also 1024 in Magic column, that means that their Chance is 0 for magic items - they will allways drop at least magic items.

Unique/Set/Rare/Magic factors from TC:

  • Normal monsters/minions 0/0/0/0
  • Act bosses 983/983/983/1024
  • Act bosses quest drop 993/993/1024/1024 (Andariel is 995/995/1024/1024)
  • Superuniques 800/800/972/1024
  • Uniques and Champions 800/800/800/1024
  • Council members 650/800/800/1024
  • The Summoner 900/900/972/1024
  • Radament 900/900/900/1024
  • Griswold, Smith 800/800/800/1024
  • Izual, Blood Raven 800/800/972/1024
  • Hephasto 800/800/900/1024
  • Cow King 850/983/983/1024
  • Nihlathak 900/900/900/1024
  • Countess 883/883/883/1024

8) The Random Generator picks the number between 0 and (Chance-1). If this number is lower than 128, the unique quality check is successful.

9) Now the game prepares the list of uniques of the particular item type. Most of the basic items have only one unique, some items have two (Lightsabre + Azurewrath, Horizon's Tornado + Stormlash), some items have a lot of uniques (amulets, rings), some items have no unique at all (Colossus Voulge,Crystal Sword etc.).

Now the game checks this list and remove all uniques, that have their "Unique quality lvl" > MonsterLvl.

For example Andariel(NM) dropped a unique ring. NM Andariel's mlvl=49, so every ring with qlvl>49 will be removed from the list. Only 3 rings remain: Nagelring (qlvl=10,rarity=15), Manald Heal(qlvl=15,rarity=15) and Stone of Jordan (qlvl=31,rarity=1). The game then decides randomly between these rings according to their rarities (1 from 31 unique rings from NM Andariel will be SoJ). If the list is empty, the FAILED UNIQUE item will be generated. Failed Unique is the rare item of the same type, that has 3 times higher durability than the normal one.

Note: You can find unique/set qlvls and rarities on d2data.net

10) The Game checks if the unique item wasn't already spawned in this game. If it was, the failed unique item will be generated.

9+) If the check from 8) wasn't successful, the game will do the same algorithm for set quality (Using the Set, SetDiv, SetMin from ItemRatio table, SetFactor from TC table and Set EffectiveMF). If the check for set is successful and there is no possible set for this item type, or mlvl<qlvl of the set item, then Failed Set will be generated. Failed Set is a magic item with double durability. Set items can be dropped more times in the same game.


Equipment[edit]

Here is the list of sugestions for MF equipment you can use.

Head[edit]

  • 3-socketed helm 3xPTopaz (72MF - **): Great Helm, Mask, Crown and their exceptional and elite version, Bone Visage, Tiara and Diadem and class-specific helms can get 3 sockets. They can get 3 sockets only if ilvl >= 40 for normal helms, ilvl>=25 for class-specific helms.
  • Artificer's Tiara of XXX 3xPTopaz (72 MF - **): can get life bonus, FRW, FCR, Teleport charges with the prefix
  • Artificer's Tiara of Luck 3xPTopaz (26-35+72MF - 107 MF - **): great MF, but no other mods
  • Rare Tiara 2xPTopaz (35+48MF - 83MF - ****): with very rare combination of affixes like Felicitous (+5-10% MF), Mechanics (2 sockets), of Fortune (+16-25% MF), and it can get 3 more affixes like +2 skills, FCR, FRW or Teleport charges, +life)
  • Tarnhelm (25-50MF, 49-74 MF with PTopaz - ***): +1 skills and good MF, great starter helm.
  • Harlequin Crest (50MF, 74 MF with PTopaz - *****): +2 skills, great MF, great life and mana bonus, 10% DR, it's the king.
  • Stealskull (30-50MF, 54-74 MF with PTopaz - ***): good MF, 5% LL and ML and 10%IAS, good for physical attackers.
  • Tal-Rasha's Horadric Crest (0MF, 24 with PTopaz - **): no MF, but together with 2 pieces from this set it gets +65%MF as partial bonus. Great 10%LL and ML, life and resistance bonus, good for physical attackers.
  • Immortal King's will (25-40MF, 73-88 MF with PTopazes - ***): Good for barbarian.

Body[edit]

  • 4-socketed armor 4xPTopaz (96MF - **): Gothic plate, Full Plate Mail and Ancient Armor, their exceptional versions and all elite armors can have 4 sockets. They have to be at least ilvl 25. The good early choice is Gothic plate because it's not as rare as Ancient armor (both are medium armors, Full Plate Mail is heavy armor). Better choice is some of light elite armors, but you can't get them so early.
  • Jeweler's armor of XXX (96 MF - ***): +Life is the prefered 2nd mod here.
  • Wealth armor LEM-KO-TIR (100MF - ***): +300% more gold, ideal for gold find characters.
  • Skullder's Ire (1.25MF/clvl, 92*1.25+24PT~ 139MF - *****): +1 skills, defence and great MF. The king.
  • Tal Rasha's Guardianship (88 MF, 112MF with PTopaz - ****): great resistance bonus and possible partial set bonus 65%MF with 2 other pieces.
  • Enigma (1 MF/clvl - *****): +2 skills, teleport skill and good MF, it's a dream for everyone, if only the runes were easier to get (I mean legit runes)

Weapon[edit]

  • 6 socketed weapon 6xIST (180 MF - **): IST is not a cheap rune, this is overkill.
  • Gull (100 MF, 130 MF with IST - ***): cool dagger, isn't it?
  • Blade if Ali-baba (1MF/clvl~90MF + 60 with 2 ISTs - 150MF - ****): Great MF and 2 sockets. You can use MF jewels with Emerald (+3-7% MF) prefix and/or of Prosperity (+5-10% MF) suffix (both are possible). These are not as rare as IST runes. Ali-Baba blade have also nice gold find bonus, but it's slow and does low damage, so it's not a good idea trying to kill something with this weapon.
  • The Occulus (50MF, 80MF with IST - ****): The best for sorceress, FCR and +3 skills and resistances are all great mods.

Shield[edit]

  • 4socketed shield 4xIST (100 MF - **): this is overkill, the first non-pally shield that can have 4 sockets is monarch - it requires 156STR!
  • Rhyme shield (25MF - ****): It gives resistances, good blocking and CBF. Good candidates are Luna, Hyperion, Troll Nest.
  • Milabrega's Orb (20MF, 45MF with IST - *): It gives MF, but nothing else.

Gloves[edit]

  • Magical/rare gloves of Fortune (16-25MF - **?): Easy to get (at vendors in 2nd Act, normal), rare gloves can get very nice mods...
  • Chance Guards (25-40MF - ****): The best MF for gloves slot, also high GF.

Boots[edit]

  • Magical boots of Luck (26-35MF - *): Good MF, but it can't get FRW.
  • Rare/crafted boots of Fortune (16-25MF - *?): With the right mods, especially 30%FRW and resistances, these can by very good.
  • War Travelers (30-50MF - *****): Very good boots with 25% FRW and great MF, also +damage is good for some builds.
  • Tancred Boots (0 MF - **): With the amulet from this set, you get partial bonus of 78MF and 30% FRW
  • Vidala's Fetlock (0 MF - *): With the amulet from this set, you get partial bonus 50MF, it has also 30% FRW

Belt[edit]

Goldwrap (30MF - ***): Good MF and IAS which can be very good for some characters. Tal-Rasha's Fine Spun Cloth (10-15MF - **): Good with other 2 pieces of set.

Amulet[edit]

  • Fortuitous amulet of Luck (37-50MF - *): The best MF, but nothing else

magical amulet of Luck (26-35MF - **?): Good amulet when having good prefix like +2 skills or +3 skilltree rare/crafted amulet of Fortune (16-25MF / 21-35MF - ***?): When having the right mods as +2 skills, resistances, FCR, it can be very good.

  • Tancred's Weird (0MF/78MF - **)
  • Vidala's Snare (0MF/50MF - *)

Ring[edit]

  • Fortuitous ring of Fortune (27-40MF - ****): The best MF
  • Nagelring (15-30MF - ***)
  • Stone of Jordan (0MF - ***): No MF but +1 skills greatly improves killing speed for most MF builds
  • Ravenfrost (0MF - ***): Being slowed is very annyoing for non-teleporting characters. If you can't get CBF elsewhere, it's a must)

Charms[edit]

  • Gheed's charm (25-40MF - *****): Great MF, GF and reduces vendor prizes
  • Small charm of Luck (6-7MF - ***)


Maximum Possible Magic Find[edit]

Just for curiosity, let's calculate the maximum possible MF (lvl 99 character-dual wielding barbarian)

  • Head - Artificer's Tiara of Luck 3xIST (110)
  • Body - Skullder's Ire with IST (148)
  • Weapons - 6xIST (2x180)
  • Gloves - Chance Guards (40)
  • Boots - War Traveler (50)
  • Belt - Goldwrap (30)
  • Amulet - Fortuitous Amulet of Luck (50)
  • Ring - Fortuitous Ring of Fortune (40)
  • Ring - Fortuitous Ring of Fortune (40)
  • Charms - Gheed's Fortune (40) + Small charms of luck (37*7)
    • Total: 1167 Magic Find

Now if You calculate in an act 3 mercs mf if he gets the kill with the barb..

  • Skullder's Ire w/Ist(148)
  • Artificer's Tiara of Luck w/3x ist(110)
  • 6s phase blade w/6x ist(180)
  • 4os monarch w/4x ist(100 mf)
    • 1167 = 1705% MF!

For building the MF character from scratch, I have some tips for you. Don't bother with MF or runs at lower levels. Just get to NM, look for 3-socketed helms, 4-socketed armors and Perfect topazes while questing. Get some decent level in normal Baal questing. Your first real MF target should be NM Meph. You can get fast to him and he is not so tough. He drops almost all exceptional uniques and has best chance for finding items like War Traveler or Skullder's Ire at that level. If you have found some good equipment, move to Hell Mephisto. He can give you all elites up to TC75 (TC78 if you are really lucky) and all jewelry. If you have found most of the items he can drop, it's time to move to any other type of run to get those items from TC78-87. Baal, Pindleskin or level 85 areas...

MF Balance[edit]

We have calculated the maximum possible MF, but I think we all understand that character with 1000 MF will not kill as quickly as character with 0 MF equipped with gear suited for most efficient killing speed. So the character with 0 MF will have more dropped items, but character with high MF will have less items, but they are more likely to be uniques. We need to find the best compromise between high MF and killing speed. The chance for unique item is directly proportional to Effective MF. I think we can leave the set items for now and concentrate only on uniques. In the next table I will sumarize the gain from added MF, focus on column "Real" - this is a real koeficient used in chance for unique formula. For example if the character with 0 MF gets 100 unique items from some amount of dropped items, character with 50 MF will get 141 unique items from the same amount and character with 1000 MF will get 300 items. In the column %gained is the difference between rows in percentages. For example character with 300MF will get 4.89% more unique items than character with 250MF. It does also means that character with 250 MF will get more unique items per the same period of time, if he/she will kill more than 1.0489xfaster than character with 300MF.

Magic Find % Unique MF% Real  % gained
0 0 1.0 --
50 41 1.41 41.0
100 71 1.71 21.28
150 93 1.93 12.87
200 111 2.11 9.33
250 125 2.25 6.64
300 136 2.36 4.89
350 145 2.45 3.81
400 153 2.53 3.27
450 160 2.60 2.77
500 166 2.66 2.31
550 171 2.71 1.88
600 176 2.76 1.85
650 180 2.80 1.45
700 184 2.84 1.43
750 187 2.87 1.06
800 190 2.90 1.05
850 193 2.93 1.03
900 195 2.95 0.68
950 197 2.97 0.68
1000 200 3.0 1.01

As you can see, there are very little differences after 500 MF, my own rule for MF characters is "Get MF to 250, then look how to make your runs faster, additional MF comes only if it doesn't slow your MF runs". Concerning this, I'd like to mention that some builds are able to wear very high MF while keeping adequate killing speed, especially in low-player games. These are for example Blizzard sorc and Summoner.

How to make your MF runs faster?[edit]

1) Improving killing speed - for casters it means more +skills and sometimes more FCR (Hammerdin, Winddruid, Fireball sorc), for physical damage characters it's +damage, AR, IAS. Don't let the merc wear additional MF to make the killing blows, if you kill much faster.

2) Improving movement speed - If you dont't have access to teleport via Enigma or being a sorc, try to get more FRW. FRW has diminishing returns, so don't be insane with this, but I like to have at least 50 FRW on my MF chars, skillers with FRW are my favorites. Still, items with teleport charges - circlets or amulets or Naj's Puzzler (set Elder staff) on switch - can speed up some runs very much. If you are hammerdin, learn to switch to vigor/charge...

3) Survival - It's more important for HC players, but even in SC - death slows you. Get some resistances, +life and life steal if you are physical hitter.

If you feel the need to optimize your MF vs Speed, You have to try the different equipment setups and measure average time of your MF runs. You have to compute your Real MF coefficients ( it's (effective MF/100)+1 ) and compare them with the time spent on your runs.

I want to mention one thing I call "MF Breakpoints". There is a myth that some values of MF are better than the others; this comes from the older patches where the MF mechanics was different. In 1.10/1.11, the only thing that matters is the effective MF. But with increasing MF, your effective MF grows up very slowly. For example, you will have 167 effective MF if you have 504-512MF on your character, 168 effective MF with 513-521MF. So, if you have the inventory filled with some small 7% MF charms, and your total MF is 521, you can change 1 MF charm for another charm (for example with resistances, run/walk or +damage) while having the same chance for unique items.


MF Targets[edit]

Mephisto[edit]

Mephisto

  • Lvl (Hell): 87
  • Location: Durance of Hate lvl 3, Act 3
  • How to get there: From Durance of Hate lvl 2 waypoint, turn allways left
  • Drops (Hell): He drops good from TC75 and lower, and very rarely from TC78. He can drop all jewelry.
  • TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 15, gold 5, "Act 4 (H) Equip A" 52, "Act 4 (H) Junk" 5, "Act 4 (H) Good" 3

quest TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 15, "Act 4 (H) Equip A" 52, "Act 4 (H) Good" 3 armoTC per dropped item: armo78 1:1957, armo3 1:883, armo 75 1:245, armo72 1:159, armo51 1:151, armo69 1:150 .... weapTC is around armoTC/2

Drop Analysis: in the column picks in his main TC is 7 - that means that the game would generate 7 items from his TC. But there is a limit for monsters - only 6 items can be dropped. If there is no NoDrop in some of the first 6 picks from Mephisto TC, the 7th item will not be dropped. This game feature is not implemented correctly in known Drop calculators. Atma 5.04e Drop Calculator counts allways 6 picks for ActBosses (it's correct for higher player settings where the NoDrop=0, but it's very inacurate for players 1 setting - when NoDrop occurs, there will be 7th drop, which Atma doesn't count). German drop calculator counts always 7 picks, so it shows much better chance to get unique items than the real chance is. The chance of NoDrop on P1 is 15/80. I don't know how to statistically calculate the number of dropped items with the 7th drop behavior, but I made a little program, that does count number of dropped items according to the game algorithm and then counts average number and it was 5.45. I made a 70 Meph runs on P1 just to be sure this number is correct and ended with 5.48, so I suppose the 5.45 is right. So if you want to find a chance to get a specific item from Mephisto in Atma drop calculator, use per drop option, use players 8 (no drop is 0), and if you multiply the chance with 5.45 multiplikator, you got the right chance for players 1.

(Atma calculates 15/80 no drop (when using players 1) for a single drop and multiply this probability by 6. The number of dropped items in Atma per kill for Mephisto is 65/80*6=4.875 items on players 1)

NoDrop on P2 (/Players 3 command in solo SP) = 2/67, number of dropped items is almost allways 6. (5.82 according to Atma, 5.98 real) This is the player settings on which you should do your runs. NoDrop on P3 and higher = 0

Now what is the quest drop? It's the drop from actboss, if you kill him for the first time as a part of quest. This drop will not contain gold, junk (scrolls, potions, arrows) and dropped items will be at least rare. Magic items from quest drop are charms (they can't be rare) or failed set items. Also chance to get unique/set is slightly higher. There is a way to get the quest drop on regular basis, but I think it's cheesy. If the game is created by player who has done the quest and the killing player has not done the quest, that player will get quest drop.

Avg. Number of items from Mephisto's quest drop:

  • P1 quest, NoDrop=15/70, real items: 5.31, atma items: 4.71
  • P2 quest, NoDrop=2/57, real items: 5.97, atma items: 5.78 (/players 3 command in solo SP)
  • P3 quest, NoDrop=0

Hell Mephisto is the best source for items under TC78.

NM Mephisto can drop items up to TC57 (TC57 very rarely). He is the monster you should start MFing, if you are starting. He can drop all nice class-specific exceptional uniques and most normal exceptional uniques. Act bosses should give you slightly more than 1 unique/set item per kill on average.

Killing strategy: If your character is week, cannot tank Mephisto and your Merc dies immediatly, you can do the famous "Moat trick". Basically you teleport back across the moat and stand in the distance where the other side is on the edge of your screen. Mephisto will not use any of his attacks from that long distance and you can safely kill him with your spells. The best time efficient strategy for characters with better gear is tanking him though. Mephisto will not use his ice orb spell if you are close to him. When he hits your merc, he will get enormous physical damage - so equip your merc with PDR and something with slows target (Kelpie snare, Woestave) - he will survive for longer time. You cannot leech from Mephisto on NM and hell difficulty. His resistances (hell) are fire 75, cold 75, lightning 75, poison 75, magic 50, physical 20. If you play on BNet and you have to find entrance all the time, use only teleport for moving if you are sorc. 65% FCR breakpoint should be enough, the monsters will not hit you.


Andariel[edit]

Andariel

  • Lvl (Hell): 75
  • Location: Cathedral lvl4, Act 1
  • How to get there: From Cathedral lvl2 WP... no special rules for direction though.
  • Drops (Hell): She drops good from TC66 and lower, and very rarely from TC69.
  • TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 19, gold 11, "Act 2 (H) Equip A" 19, "Act 2 (H) Junk" 15, "Act 2 (H) Good" 3

quest TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 19, "Act 2 (H) Equip A" 19, "Act 4 (H) Good" 3 armoTC per dropped item (Hell): armo69 1:3956, armo3 1:1627, armo66 1:495, armo 63 1:299, armo51 1:278, armo42 1:252

Drop analysis: As we see Andariel doesn't drop so much from Equip TC as Mephisto, that results in more items from Good TC - more jewelry, gems and runes. He drops alot from Junk TC. On SP, there is a bug which causes her to drop from her quest drop all the time. That causes very good odds for unique items, especially for jewelry. She can't drop Metalgrid, Nature's piece, Wisp Projector and Rainbow Facets though. NM Andariel is the best source for SoJ ring. (In hell she can drop other rings as Ravenfrost and Dwarf Star, which lowers the chance for SOJ. In NM, every unique ring from Andy has 1:31 chance to be the SOJ, In Hell, it's 1:55).

PL no-drop real Atma
p1 19/67 4.91 4.30
p2 4/52 5.89 5.54
p3 1/49 5.99 5.88
p4 O 6.0 6.0
p1q 19/41 3.74 3.22
p2q 6/28 5.31 4.71
p3q 2/24 5.87 5.50
p4q 1/23 5.96 5.08
p5q O 6.0 6.0

Killing strategy: She has -50 resistance to fire, so fire sorcs are effective here, but any high level character shouldn't have much problems killing her.

Resistances: -50 fire, 0 magic, 66 all other resistances.


Duriel[edit]

Duriel

  • Lvl (Hell): 88
  • Location: Duriel's Chamber, Act 2
  • How to get there: If you have done the quest already, you can find out the true tomb sign by getting to Summoner. The sign missing on the ground is the sign of the true tomb. In BNet in 1.11 it's good to kill Summoner anyways, because he can drop one of the new keys.

The only reason why I included him as a target is that he drops jewelry as good as Andariel, but he can drop all rings and amulets and Rainbow facets, so he is the best source for farming them. The best TC he can drop is TC72.

Diablo[edit]

Diablo

  • lvl (Hell): 94
  • Location: Chaos Sanctuary, Act 4
  • How to get there: From River of Flame waypoint, you must activate all 5 seals in Chaos Sanctuary and kill all three Seal superuniques.
  • Drops (Hell): He drops from TC84 (low chance) and lower
  • TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 15, gold 5, "Act 5 (H) Equip A" 52, "Act 5 (H) Junk" 5, "Act 5 (H) Good" 3

quest TC: picks 7, NoDrop 15, "Act 5 (H) Equip A" 52, "Act 5 (H) Good" 3 armoTC per dropped item: armo84 1:1957, armo3 1:925, armo78 1:302, armo81 1:279, armo6 1:220 ... weapTC is around armoTC/2

Drop analysis: As you can see, his TC is similar to Mephisto's TC, he just can drop higher runes and higher armo/weap TC. He drops the same number of items as Mephisto. But you have to go through the whole Chaos Sanctuary and Seal bosses first. Chaos Sanctuary is lvl85 area, so bosses, minions and champions can drop all items in the game here. It's probably good to kill all bosspacks, if you look for TC87 uniques. Read more about drops from lvl85 areas in the later section.

Then there are three superuniques that you have to kill. They are Lord de Seis, Infector of Souls and Grand Vizier of Chaos. They all have lvl 88 and drop up to TC84 (low chance). As superuniques, they allways drop 2 items, so they can drop something useful sometimes. But they can't drop from TC87 and that makes Act 5 superuniques much better targets. And why their TC is not upgraded according to their monster levels? Random bosses and even regular monsters in Chaos sanctuary can drop from TC87, so why they can't? It's because Treasure classes of superunique monsters are different from normal monsters. Lord de Seis TC on hell is "Act 4 (H) Super C", Infector of Souls and Grand Vizier has "Act 4 (H) Super B". They all have monster level 88.

From TreasureClassEx.txt data file:

  • Act 4 (H) Super B 18 84
  • Act 4 (H) Super C 18 87
  • Act 5 (H) Super A 18 90
  • Act 5 (H) Super B 18 93
  • Act 5 (H) Super C 18 96

So after TC upgrade, they drop from Act 5 (H) Super A, that does mean TC84 at maximum. Pindleskin is only lvl 86, but his TC is Act 5 (H) Super C, that's why he can drop from TC87 (with high chance), Dac Farren for example drops from Act 5 (H) Super B (TC87 with low chance).

Killing strategy: Melee characters has a lot of problems here because of IM, also A2 merc dies a lot. You will need some resistances here because of Oblivions and their elemental attacks, as well as Ventar's fire attacks and especially Diablo's Lightning hose (it does half lightning, half physical damage) and his Inferno. Resistances: physical 45, magic 0, all other 50


Baal[edit]

Baal

  • lvl (Hell): 99
  • Location: Baal's Throne, Act 5
  • How to get there: From WSK lvl2 waypoint head allways right. No rules for WSK lvl3.
  • Drops (Hell): He drops from TC87 (low chance) and lower
  • TC (Hell): picks 7, NoDrop 15, gold 5, "Act 5 (H) Equip B" 52, "Act 5 (H) Junk" 5, "Act 5 (H) Good" 3

quest TC: picks 7, NoDrop 15, "Act 5 (H) Equip B" 52, "Act 5 (H) Good" 3 armoTC per dropped item: armo87 1:1957, armo3 1:947, armo78 1:267, armo84 1:245, armo6 1:225, armo81 1:198 weapTC is around armoTC/2

Drop analysis: As you can see, his TC is similar to Mephisto's TC, he just can drop higher runes and higher armo/weap TC. He drops the same number of items as Mephisto. Baal can drop all items in the game (of course - no uber quest keys, annihilus, cow set items etc). Again WSK and Baal's Throne are both lvl85 areas. Baal minions superuniques drop as champions (they drop gold or item), so they are not a great source of unique items, but they can drop all unique/set items in the game. Baal would be the best source of all items in the game, if it doesn't take so long to kill his minions. In addition, it's not easy to have a solo character, who easily kills Baal and all his minions and has no problems with various monsters in WSK and the throne.

Good characters are Meteorb, Hammerdin, Lightning zon (only Souls are problem, but their immunity can be broken by lower resist charges), Lightning sorc, Summoner, Blizzard (it's good to use Bonehew corpse explosion charges for 2nd wave).

Baal resistances (hell): magic 0, all other 50. Immunities of his minions: 1st wave: Colenzo - fire, 2nd wave: Achmel poison+magic, minions magic, bone warriors cold, 3rd wave: none, 4th wave: poison, 5th wave: fire.

Killing Strategy: Using slowing methods (Decrepify, Kelpie Snare, Clay Golem) will slow him and he will very rarely cast his annoying spells. Character should have more life than mana to avoid the blood mana curse.


Pindleskin[edit]

Pindleskin

  • lvl (Hell): 86
  • Location: Nihlathak's Temple, Act 5
  • How to get there: Go through the Anya's Red Portal. To have this portal activated, you should not take the Halls of Pain waypoint or not kill Nihlathak.
  • Drops (Hell): He drops from the TC87 (high chance) and lower.
  • TC (Hell): picks -4, "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" 2, "Act 5 (H) Cpot C" 2

armoTC per dropped item: armo 3 1:828, armo78 1:233, armo 87 1:186, armo81 1:157, armo84 1:154, armo51 1:142, armo69 1:132 etc. WeapTC is around armoTC/2

Drop analysis: The negative picks means that when he is killed, the game doesn't choose randomly, but allways choose 2 picks from "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" and 2 picks from "Act 5 (H) Cpot C", where "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" means: pics 1, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 58, "Act 5 (H) Good" 4. "Act 5 (H) Cpot C" is a Treasure class containing 2 picks of various potions. So he allways drops 2 items and 4 potions. Player settings has no effect on his drop. There are three unique items he can't drop: Arachnid Mesh, Azurewrath and Tyrael's Might. All three have unique qlvl=87 and Pindleskin 's mlvl=86, that's why he can't drop them. He is the best source of unique and set items from TC87. His minions can drop the same items as him, but they drop like normal monsters, so they are affected by no-drop and player settings, they drop more junk and their drops have lower chance being set/unique.

Pindleskin will drop around 1 elite set/unique item per 50 kills. He will drop around 1 unique TC87 per 1000 kills. (Yes, it's nothing easy...)

Let's take a look on minions drop, and let's say we are running Pindleskin for TC87 uniques.

(character with 400 MF, odds for Death Cleaver, ATMA says

  • Pindleskin: 1:20,425
  • minion:
    • P1: 1:1,746,880
    • P2: 1:1,069,964
    • P3: 1: 862,522
    • P4: 1: 764,260 (/players 7 command in SP)

added together Pindleskin+8minions:

  • P1: 1:18,678 1
  • P2: 1:17,719 1.05
  • P3: 1:17,171 1.09
  • P4: 1:16,827 1.11

Data in the 2nd column mean how much more uniques you will get against P1. (Or how much faster you have to be on appropriate settings against P1 to get the same number of uniques). This column stays the same for any unique armor/weapon, and it also stays the same for any amount of MF.)

Conclusion: Unless you run Pindleskin for experience, use P1 settings.

Killing strategy: Try to avoid their charges. It can be done by glacial spike (sorceress) or placing a minion between Pindle's pack and you (Valkyrie, Golem)


Other Superuniques[edit]

Pindleskin is the best superunique for MF because of his high mlvl and easy access. Here is the list of other Act5 Superuniques with standard superunique 2 item drop:

Monster Mlvl TC
Frozenstein 86 TC87 high
Snapchip Shatter 86 TC87 high
Thresh Socket 84 TC87 high
Sharptooth Slayer 84 TC87 low
Dac Farren 83 TC87 low
Bonesaw Breaker 86 TC84
Eldritch the Rectifier 84 TC84
Eyeback the Unleashed 83 TC84
Shenk the Overseer 83 TC84

Where TC87 high means armo87 1:186, TC87 low means armo87 1:1674 per dropped item!

The lower monster level - the longer list of uniques that can't be dropped. Here is the list:

  • uqlvl=87: Arachnid Mesh, Azurewrath, Tyrael's Might
  • uqlvl=86: Crown of Ages, Mang Song's Lesson, Stormlash, Tomb Reaver
  • uqlvl=85: Alma Negra, Andariel's Visage, Arioc's Needle, Arkaine's Valor, Halaberd's Reign, Kira's Guardian, Metalgrid, Rainbow Facet,Shadowkiller, The Cranium Basher, The Gladiator's Bane, The Grandfather, Wolfhowl
  • uqlvl=84: Boneshade, Dracul's Grasp, Dragonscale, Griffon's Eye, Hellrack, Medusa's Gaze, Wisp Projector, Wraithflight

Nihlathak has his own TC: picks 5, NoDrop 19, gold 14, "Act 5 (H) Equip B" 19, "Act 5 (H) Junk" 5, "Act 5 (H) Good" 3, "pk3" 1

He drops a lot of gold, junk, has chance for nodrop and items from "Act 5 (H) Equip B" ~ TC87 low, so despite he drops up to 5 items, he is not better than Pindleskin. "pk3" in his TC is the uber key.

Summary: Eldritch the Rectifier and Schenk the Overseer are worse than Pindleskin, they can't drop a lot of goodies - no TC87 items and a lot of other nice items as Stormlash, Tomb Reaver, Rainbow Facets, Wolfhowl etc. Frozenstein and Snapchip Shatter are far away from waypoints, Thresh Socket has lower monster lvl, so the best is really Pindleskin.


lvl 85 Areas[edit]

lvl 85 Areas and number of bosspacks:

Level Min Boss Packs Max Boss Packs
Mausoleum 4 5
Pit Level 1 6 8
Pit Level 2 2 3
Maggot Lair 3 4 5
Ancient Tunnels 6 8
Forgotten Temple 2 2
Ruined Fane 2 2
Disused Reliquary 2 2
River of Flame 6 7
Chaos Sanctuary 6 7
Worldstone Keep 1 6 8
Worldstone Keep 2 6 8
Worldstone Keep 3 6 8
Throneroom 4 5

In these areas, you will not get more uniques and sets than in other areas, but you can get any uniques and sets here. It's because TC of monsters are upgraded with the monster level to the highest possible TC, so monsters here drop from TC87 with high chance. The drop distribution for Devilikin in the Pit is the same as for Death Lord in Throne of destruction.

Here are the list of different TCs for monsters in these areas:

Regular melee monsters:

  • "Act 5 (H) H2H C": picks 1, NoDrop 100, gld 21, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 16, "Act 1 (H) Junk" 21, "Act 5 (H) Good" 2

Bow using regular monsters (like Dk.Archer in Pit or Flesh Archer in Act3 Temples):

"Act 5 (H) Miss C": picks 1, NoDrop 100, gld 18, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 13, "Act 1 (H) Junk" 18, "Act 5 (H) Good" 2, "Act 5 (H) Bow B" 6, Ammo 3

Regular Caster monsters (like Dark Lords, Demon Sprites, Horror Mages, Grotesques, Hierpophants, Hell Witches, Shamans) :

  • "Act 5 (H) Cast C": picks 1, NoDrop 100, gld 18, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 15, "Act 1 (H) Junk" 18, "Act 5 (H) Good" 2, "Act 5 (H) Magic B" 7

Regular Wraith - type monsters (like Wraith and Strangler)

  • "Act 5 (H) Wraith C": picks 1, NoDrop 75, "Act 5 (H) Good" 4, "Act 5 (H) Magic C" 25

Champions (no matter if it is a wraith or melee monster)

  • "Act 5 (H) Champ C": picks -2, "Act 5 (H) Citem C" 1, "Act 5 (H) Cpot C" 3.
  • "Act 5 (H) Citem C": picks 1, gld 60, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 37, "Act 5 (H) Good C" 3
  • "Act 5 (H) Cpot C": 2 potions.

So champion always drop 2 potions and gold or item (gold with ratio 3:2).

Bosses (no matter if it is a wraith or melee monster)

  • "Act 5 (H) Unique C": picks -3, "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" 1, "Act 5 (H) Cpot C" 2
  • "Act 5 (H) Uitem C": picks 1, "Act 5 (H) Equip C" 58, "Act 5 (H) Good C" 4

So bosses always drop one item and 4 potions

Minions have the same TC as regular monsters, but their mlvl is higher by 3, in lower lvl areas, their TC would be probably upgraded, but being in lvl 85 areas, there are no higher TC. Though items they drop have slightly higher chance to be higher magic quality, because the algorithm is based on mlvl-qlvl.

Bow TC leads to special TC tree filled with bows only, ammo means arrows or bolts, Magic TC means scrolls and/or mana potions. Good TC means jewelry, gems and runes and Junk TC contains various potions, keys, ammo, scrolls etc. Equip TC contains of course armors and weapons.

Note about archers: Somebody might come with a "good idea" to hunt Pit archers for a Windforce (TC87), because they have higher chance to drop bows. That's actually not true (at least for Windforce). They drop from "Act 5 (H) Bow B" - that means TC87 bow with low chance. This TC actually lowers the chance of getting Hydra Bow from the main "Act 5 (H) Equip C" TC (TC87 high chance). So they drop less Hydra Bows than melee monsters.

The chance to get unique item differ slightly for different types of monsters according to their type (h2h/cast/miss). And of course champions and bosses have higher chance for unique/set items.

Now let's take our 400MF character and take a look on probability to get Death Cleaver again (ATMA):

Boss: -- 1:40,647 Champion: -- 1:103,028 P1 H2H: -- 1:1,751,293 P1 H2H minion: -- 1:1,738,139 P1 Miss: -- 1:2,155,438 P1 Miss minion: -- 1:2,139,248 P1 Cast: -- 1:1,868,046 P1 Cast minion: -- 1:1,858,631

P2 H2H: -- 1:1,072,667 P2 H2H minion: -- 1:1,064,610 P2 Miss: -- 1:1,320,206 P2 Miss minion: -- 1:1,310,289 P2 Cast: -- 1:1,144,178 P2 Cast minion: -- 1:1,135,584

P3 H2H: -- 1:864,701 P4 H2H: -- 1:766,190 P5 H2H: -- 1:722,408 P6 H2H: -- 1:689,571 P7 H2H: -- 1:678,626 P8 H2H: -- 1:667,680

Because bosses, champions, minions and regulars in lvl85 areas drop from the same "equip" TC (armors and weapons) that includes all other "equip" TC, the rate between number of unique items dropped by bosses/champs/regulars is allways around the same. The only varying thing is the mlvl-qlvl difference used as the base for unique check. Of course regular monsters are only lvl 85, so they can't drop some items.

If we ignore the small difference between H2H, missile and cast monsters and the difference between regulars and minions, we can bring this equation:

1 boss = 2.5 champions = 43 P1regulars = 26 P2regulars = 21 P3regulars = 19 P4regulars

  • Note: The rate is different for jewelry.
  • Note2: I didn't include higher than P4, because it's not accessible in SP, also it is the same player bonus when you clearing the Pit solo in full game. Higher player bonus also doesn't change the no-drop chance much.
  • Note3: Pindleskin drops as 2 alvl 85 bosses (alvl 83 bosses for precision) - he cannot drop the uqlvl87 uniques though.

Set items (MF400, chance for IKSC):

  • NBoss: -- 1:15,208
  • NChampion: -- 1:38,450
  • NP1 H2H: -- 1:639,273
  • NP2 H2H: -- 1:391,555
  • NP3 H2H: -- 1:315,641
  • NP4 H2H: -- 1:279,682

The rate is the same as for unique items (or almost the same).

So which player settings is the best for running lvl85 areas? With using the previous equation and counting average 150 regulars/minions, 8 bosses and 6 champions in the Pit:

PX -- boss+champ+regular -- drop ratio

  • NP1 -- 8+2.4+3.5 = 13.9 -- 1
  • NP2 --8+2.4+5.8 = 16.2 -- 1.16
  • NP3 -- 8+2.4+7.1 = 17.5 -- 1.26
  • NP4 -- 8+2.4+7.9 = 18.3 -- 1.32

So you have to clear P4 Pit in less than 1.32xP1 time to get the same number of unique/sets, and that is not really doable. The best player settings for getting uniques/sets is P1. However if you do these areas not only for u/s, but for all valuable items like runes, charms, socketables, it's probably good idea to increase the player settings little bit. I use the P2 bonus most of the time (/players 3 command).

When we are talking about socketables, we can show, how MF affects number of socketed items for runewords. For simplification, we will count only Berserker Axes from regular monsters in lvl85 areas (mlvl=qlvl, so we will work with the base chance)

Chance for higher magic quality:

Magic Find Unique Set Magic rest (%)
0% 1:400 1:160 1:100 1.34 ~95%
100% 1:234 1:87 1:54 1.17 ~91%
200% 1:190 1:66 1:40 1.11 ~87%
300% 1:169 1:56 1:33 1.80 ~82%
400% 1:158 1:50 1:29 1.70 ~79%

With 200 MF You get only 8% decrease in number of white (grey) items from regular monsters, while you have 2.11 x better chance for unique items (from all monsters)!

Regular monsters drop uniques with low probability and they can't drop uqlvl 86 and 87 items, so it is a good idea to skip killing them and focus only on bosspacks. Especially on SP, where you can learn where bosspacks spawn on your mapseed and you can make the runs faster when only killing bosspacks. Drop Ratio (for Pits) is 8+2.4=10.4/13.9, that is 0.75 (against P1 fullclear).

List of lvl85 areas and monsters there:[edit]

Mausoleum: Skeleton (LI), Hungry Dead (LI); contains lots of chests including some superchests and 1 sparkly chest. Also you can include killing Blood Raven, she has special drop (TC66 at maximum)

Pit: Devilkin (FI), Dark Archer (LI), Dark Stalker (CI), Bone Warrior (CI); 1 sparkly chest

Maggot Lair (lvl3): Black Locust (PI), Death Beetle (LI), Rock Worm (PoI), Sand Maggot (PoI), Scarab (LI); contains lots of superchests, and possibly 2 superuniques (Beetleburst in Far Oasis - max TC78, Coldworm the Burrower - max TC84). Lvl 1 and 2 of Maggot Lair are lvl84 areas, where also all uniques can be dropped.

Ancient Tunnels: Embalmed (PoI), Horror Mage (LI), Invader (FI), Plague Bearer (MI); 1 sparkly chest

Kurast Temples: Blood Diver (FI), Bone Scarab (LI), Flesh Archer (CI), Serpent Magus (CI)

River of Flame: Abyss Knight (LI), Blood Maggot (PoI), Grotesque (CI), Maw Fiend (PoI), Pit Lord (FI), Strangler (LI), Urdar (no), Venom Lord (FI); Hephasto the Armorer - special drop up to TC84

Chaos Sanctuary: Oblivion Knight (CI), Doom Knight (FI), Storm Caster (LI), Venom Lord (FI), 3 superuniques (up to TC84), Diablo (up to TC84)

WSK + Throne: a lot of various monsters with various resistances; Baal minions and Baal.


Which area to run[edit]

It depends on the build. Generally running in the Chaos Sanctuary and WSK is more rewarding because of the final boss, but the monsters there are tougher for most of the builds. The areas not worth to run are Kurast temples (too small) and River of Flame (Stranglers don't drop any equip items, Blood Maggot youngs and Grotesque dogs don't drop any items at all). Sewers lvl 2 is also lvl85 area, but has only 1 bosspack usually, so I didn't include it in the list.

lvl 84 Areas[edit]

These areas are almost as good as lvl85 areas. Regular monsters here can drop from TC87 (high chance) too. Bosses can drop all uniques including Tyrael's. Only champions cannot drop Tyrael's and regular monsters cannot drop uqlvl=85 uniques. In lvl 83 areas regular monsters drop from TC87 (low chance) and bosses drop like Pindleskin - mlvl=86, TC87 (high chance). For example - Durance of Hate is alvl=83.

List of lvl84:

  • Maggot Lair 1,2
  • Sewers lvl 1
  • Ruined Temple
  • Disused Fane
  • Forgotten Reliquary
  • City of Damned
  • Drifter Cavern
  • Halls of Pain
  • Halls of Vaught

Not-so good areas for MF[edit]

  • Moo Moo Farm: alvl is only 81, drop from TC87 low chance only. However if you are going to run these areas because of runes and charms, it's allways a good idea to add some MF.
  • Travincal Council: TC78 is maximum. They drop more jewelry instead of "equip" items. Mephisto is better.
  • Areas with lower alvl than 83. Obvious reason - not everything can drop there.

Targets for getting TC3 items[edit]

This chapter is dedicated to those collectors that have difficulties to get TC3 items. Most of them are not useful, but for example Gull or Death gloves/belt have some use. So why are they so hard to get? It's because of TC organization. When for example "Act 5 (H) Equip B" TC is used - the games decides to drop between TC78 - TC87 and "Act 5 (H) Equip A", which decides between TC75-TC84 etc. TC87 is checked only once and because of that it's rolled very rarely. And from the other end - TC3 is checked only once too. That's why choosing TC3 is really rare from higher level monsters. The second reason is that a lot of TC3 uniques have high uqlvl, so monsters able to drop only from TC3 (monsters in first areas of Act 1 normal) cannot drop them, because their mlvl<uqlvl.

List of TC3 U/S:

  • [u] Pelta Lunata (qlvl 3)
  • [u] Rixot's Keen (qlvl 3)
  • [S] Arctic Furs (qlvl 3)
  • [u] War Bonnet (qlvl 4)
  • [u] Felloak (qlvl 4)
  • [S] Hsarus' Iron Fist (qlvl 4)
  • [u] Gull (qlvl 6)
  • [u] Hotspur (qlvl 7)
  • [u] The Gnasher (qlvl 7)
  • [u] The Hand of Broc (qlvl 7)
  • [u] Knell Striker (qlvl 7)
  • [u] Bane Ash (qlvl 7)
  • [u] Torch of Iro (qlvl 7)
  • [S] Infernal Cranium (qlvl 7)
  • [S] Death's Guard (qlvl 8)
  • [S] Death's Hand (qlvl 8)
  • [u] Lenymo (qlvl 10)
  • [u] Greyform (qlvl 10)
  • [u] Pluckeye (qlvl 10)
  • [u] Blinkbats Form (qlvl 16)
  • [S] Vidala's Ambush (qlvl 19)
  • [S] Sander's Paragon (qlvl 20)
  • [S] Tancred's Hobnails (qlvl 27)

target - maxTC - mlvl

  • Corpsefire 3 4
  • Bishibosh 3 5
  • Coldcrow 3 7
  • Blood Raven 6 10
  • Bonebreaker 3 5
  • Rakanishu 6 8
  • Treehead Woodfist 6 8
  • Griswold 12(6) 8
  • The Countess 12 11
  • The Smith 12(6) 13
  • Pitspawn Fouldog 6 14
  • Bone Ash 12 17
  • Andariel 15 12
  • The Cow King 12(6) 31

Let's go through the list:

  • Corpsefire, Bonebreaker and Bishibosh - mlvl 4 and 5 - they cannot drop Gull.
  • Coldcrow - she is the best - mlvl 7, can drop Gull, and the most elusive items as Knell Striker, Torch of Iro and bane Ash. She still drop only from TC3, so she is the best target for these items. (around 1.8 x better than quest Andariel)
  • Rakanishu, Treehead Woodfist: they drop from TC6 also, they drop Gull around 4times less frequently than Coldcrow.

Griswold, Smith, Countess: very high TC, they are not good.

  • Pitspawn Fouldog: high level, so he can drop Lenymo, Greyform and Pluckeye. He is better than non-quest Andariel, but worse than quest Andariel.
  • Bone Ash: good access, but high TC makes him very bad target. (5x worse than quest Andariel)
  • Andariel: quest Andariel is the best for qlvl8-15 TC3 items.
  • The Cow King: He is around the same as quest Andariel (because part of his drop is only TC6), but his level is high enough to drop all TC3. You will need second character to open the Moo moo farm repeatedly.


Comparing MF for high TC items[edit]

For TC75 and less, the best target is Mephisto, for jewelry the best source is Andariel and Duriel, who can drop all jewelry. That is nothing new. I will compare efficiency of Baal, Diablo, Pindleskin and lvl85 boss for TC78 and higher. I will count drops of Baal's minions into Baal run, and drops of 3 seal superuniques into Diablo runs. I will ignore the minions for all kind of targets. Again character with 400MF will be used. (The ratio will be around the same for all MF amounts)


Target Stormlash (TC78) Tomb Reaver (TC81) Schaefer's Hammer (TC84) Death Cleaver (TC87)
Odds Ratio Odds Ratio Odds Ratio Odds Ratio
Pindleskin 1:74967 1.0 1:9375 1.0 1:50861 1.0 1:20425 1.0
Baal (P3) 1:6222 1.2 1:859 11.0 1:5849 8.7 1:14719 1.4
Baal's SU 1:377151 0.2 1:47165 0.2 1:255898 0.2 1:102771 0.2
Baal + 5SU -- 1.3 -- 12.0 -- 9.7 -- 2.4
Diablo (P3) 1:7134 10.5 1:1223 7.7 1:47259 1.1 -- --
Diablo's SU 1:2516 0.9 1:14150 0.7 1:546573 0.1 -- --
Diablo + 3SU -- 13.2 -- 9.5 -- 1.4 -- --
Alvl 85 Boss 1:149169 0.5 1:18654 0.5 1:101212 0.5 1:40647 0.5
The Pit (13.9 bosses) -- 6.9 -- 6.9 -- 6.9 -- 6.9
Mephisto 1:46967 1.6 -- -- -- -- -- --

The number in ratio column means number of unique drops from appropriate TC equal to number of Pindleskin drops. For example for TC87 1 Baal run (including minions) is equal to 2.4 Pindleskin runs (You will get the same avg. number of TC87 uniques from 10000 Baal runs and from 24000 pindleruns). For TC84 Baal run is equal to 9.7 Pindleskin runs etc.

I personally look for TC87 only (because I have most of the items from lower TCs).

My average time per run for Pindleskin is 22 seconds. For Baal it's ~4 minutes, but I usually kill around 3 bosspacks on my way through WSK and throne. So I will add 1.5 to Baal ratio for these 3 bosspacks. So i get 3.9 "pindleskin TC87 drops" per 4 minutes of my Baalrun and 1 "pindleskin TC87 drop" per 22 seconds of my pindlerun. It's 163 "pindleskin TC87 drops" per hour when running pindleskin and only 58.5 "pindleskin TC87 drops" per hour when running Baal. For Pits it's better, I can do full-clear in 4 minutes ~ 103.5 "pindleskin TC87 drops" per hour. However for TC84 I get 163 "pindle TC84 drops" per hour from pindle and (ratio 9.7+1.5=11.2 for my Baal run) 168 "pindle TC84 drops" per hour from baal runs, so they are about the same for me.

It's really easy, just compare the ratio for appropriate TC to time per run. Pindleskin is so good for me, because I don't have a better Pit runner, and because I play SP on my fast PC where setting the new game doesn't take much time. BNet players can't set/join 150 games per hour like me when I am running Pindle, so for them running lvl85 areas will be much more important (It's still clever to start each session with killing pindle).

Note: When I talk about 168 "pindle TC87 drops" per hour, it doesn't mean that I get 168 TC87 items per hour, it means that I get 168 drops, each of them having the same chance for TC87 as Pindleskin has.

Summary: Pindleskin drops items with the same rate as 2 lvl85 bosses. Because Baal drops from TC87 with low probability, he is not a good source for TC87 uniques/sets, running Pindle or lvl85 areas is better. Baal drops about the same number of TC84 uniques as Pindle per time and probably more lower TC uniques per time. Don't be discouraged that you will not see as many uniques from Pindleskin or lvl85 areas, when comes to TC87, they are better. Diablo is bad in drops from TC84 and can't drop from TC87, that's why I don't run him at all.

MF Builds[edit]

I will not go too deep here, I will just list most efficient builds and add some notes. If I will forget someone's favorite MF build, don't be rude to me. Either I have forgotten or it's only average build and I can't list them all.

Blizzard Sorc[edit]

20 Blizzard, 20 Cold Mastery, 15+ Glacial Spike, 20 Ice Blast, 15+ Ice Bolt, 1 Static Field, 1 Teleport, 0-1 Warmth

The best build for Mephisto, Pindleskin and Andariel runs. It's because high damage, large area of effect (large monsters as actbosses are hit more) and Cold mastery that lowers cold resistances. The best amount of Cold Mastery is -175 (skill level 32 with items), because it will lower the Mephisto's cold resistances to -100. (monster resistances cannot be lowered to more than -100).

Sorcs need 63% FCR to get fast and safe teleport through areas. You can use "the +skill+FCR" weapon switch for teleporting and lowering boss life and second - MF switch - for killing. You can pack a lot of MF on this character, while still having good killing ability. Because it's 1 element sorc, she will have some difficulties in areas where CI spawns, but she still can run Ancient Tunnels (no CI, alvl=85) effectively. She can also run Baal, but there are CI monsters in the throne sometimes....

Meteorb Sorc[edit]

20 Meteor, 20 Fireball, 20 Fire Mastery, 20 Frozen Orb, 5+ Cold Mastery, 1 Static Field, 1 Teleport, 1 Warmth

The most universal build. Powerful fire skills and also good FO as backup. She can do Mephisto and Pindleskin almost as fast as Blizzsorc, Andariel maybe even faster (because she is vulnerable to fire) and she can kill effectively in all lvl85 areas and Baal runs.

Other sorc builds[edit]

Almost all main sorc builds are good MFers. On BNet lightning sorc (using lightning an Chain Lightning as main skills) is very popular - especially if her merc can wear Infinity. Or other kinds of dual sorcs as ChainLightning/FrozenOrb, Blizzard/Fireball or FrozenOrb/Meteor. All sorc use teleport and static field, these skills make wonders...


Hammerdin[edit]

20 Blessed Hammer, 20 Vigor, 20 Concentration, 20 Blessed Aim, 5+ Holy Shield, 1 Redemption

There are almost no monsters in the game immune or even resistant to their attacks (resistances/immunities of undeads and demons are ignored), so they can be effective in all areas. Even if they don't have static field, their main attack is so strong that good hammerdin can kill bosses fast (they can also use fast weapon with CB or static field on attack on switch and smite to apply CB/SF). To be fast killers, they need more expensive gear as Herald of Zakarum, good amount of +skills and FCR at least 75; they depend more on good gear, but when they have it, they could be godly. (Enigmadins are often better than sorcs, but Enigma is very hard to get). Even without teleport, they can move very quickly with vigor/charge.

Summoner[edit]

20 Raise Skeleton, 20 Skeleton Mastery, 20 Corpse Explosion, 1 Clay Golem, 1 Golem Mastery, 1 Decrepify, 1+ Dim Vision

They don't need good gear to kill effectively, thus they are popular as starting characters. All they need is bring down the corpse and then blow all monsters with Corpse explosion. That is especially effective on low player settings. This build doesn't need much +skills and FCR, so it can be dressed in full MF. They are also very safe, that could be an advantage in HC. They are slow runners though.

WW Barbarian[edit]

20 Whirlwind, 20 Mastery, 20 Shout, 20 BO, 1 Natural Resistances, 1 Stone Skin, 1 Increased Speed, 1+ Find Item

Melee characters need a very good weapon to be effective, and some leech, because they get hit more. Barbarians can run quite fast with Inc. Speed and they can also whirlwind through monsters - killing them on move makes the runs faster. They are not fastest killers, but they can "hork" - use their Find Item skill, that gives them effectively 1.4x more drops. They are quite good in Pits.

Frenzy build is also possible - they can move really fast...

Strafer[edit]

20 Strafe, 20 Penetrate, 20 Valkyrie, 10+Critical hit, passives

They are good only with the best bows in game like Windforce or upped Witchwild String. They also need some IAS and leech which limits their gear choices and they move quite slowly. But IMHO they are cool . They can do good in the Pit and in Chaos Sanctuary. The similar Multishot variant can be also used.

Trapsin[edit]

20 Lightning Sentry, 20 Death Sentry, 20 Charged Bolt Sentry, 20 Fireblast (optional, it can be Shock Web for more lightning power), 1+ Burst of Speed, 1 Cloak of Shadow

More than average and easy to build. Not so good when killing act bosses. (equip some items with CB on your merc)


Lightning zon[edit]

20 Lightning Fury, 20 Charged Strike, 10+ Valkyrie, 1+ Pierce, rest to lightning Synergies, optional 1+ Strafe for physical damage.

Good lightning zon dominates non-LI monsters with the strongest group attack in the game (Lightning Fury) and very powerful Charged Strike used against single monsters, but she has hard time against LI monsters. It could be solved by wand of Lower resist on switch or several points in Strafe and good bow on switch. Charged strike is one of the fastest boss killers. Good in Baal runs, also Chaos Sanctuary and Pits. It's the best build for killing cows. Her big disadvantage is slow moving (she has no skill increasing speed) and even if she has teleport, her casting rate is very slow...


Links[edit]

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