The past few weeks have brought a lot of changes to the game. We’ve seen Inferno nerfed, repair costs increased (and adjusted again) while drop rates have also been changed twice. The latest change to Inferno drops increased the drop rate of i61-63 across all 4 acts.
Drop rates as they currently stand:
Inferno – Act I
- iLvl 61: 17.7% to 23.9%
- iLvl 62: 7.9% to 12.6%
- iLvl 63: 2.0% to 4.8%
Inferno – Act II
- iLvl 61: 18.6% to 23.3%
- iLvl 62: 12.4% to 18.6%
- iLvl 63: 4.1% to 9.3%
Inferno – Act III and Act IV
- iLvl 61: 24.1% to 27.1%
- iLvl 62: 16.1% to 21.7%
- iLvl 63: 8.0% to 16.3%
Does that mean farming Act 3 & 4 is the only way to maximize your return on time invested in farming? Not necessarily. Allow me to explain why I think farming Act 1 may be the better option at this point in the game.
Regardless of class, provided the Inferno build you’re using allows you to avoid or mitigate large amounts of damage for a short period of time means you can ignore resists and stack your primary stat + magic find. That’s simply something you cannot do in Act’s 3 and 4 of Inferno.
MF gear is not (currently) overly expensive and building a set that gives you a base MF of 200%+ before you’ve attained any Nephalem Valor stacks is easily doable. With the right gear + 5 stack NV, you can run around in Act 1 with MF in the range of 325%+.
Having a high MF while farming doesn’t just benefit you while killing champion packs, it has the added benefit of enabling trash to drop lots of good items as well. In fact, the majority of my legendary and set item drops have come from trash mobs. While most legendaries and set items are not impressive, once the update to such items goes through, their appeal will increase as will the desire to see them drop. Regardless of ilevel, an increased rate of killing mobs means more opportunities for loot to drop.
While farming Act 1 instead of 2/3/4 means you’re less likely to get that perfectly rolled i63 you’re after, there are plenty of things that can offset this loss.
First, a perfectly rolled i61 can be just as good as a mid range i62 or low end i63. A perfectly rolled i62 can be just as good as a mid range i63. Given i61 and i62 drop rates in Act 1 are somewhat comparable to Acts 2, 3 and 4, farming Act 1 still makes sense if you’re not after a perfectly rolled i63 (which is more than likely going to acquired via the AH/RMAH than dropped in game).
Farming in full MF also means that you’ll have an increased drop rate of rares and magics from trash mobs. More items to salvage means more opportunities to receive Fiery Brimstones. The prices for these items have skyrocketed over the past fortnight. You can look at these as a secondary or by-product of your time spent farming. Inferno quality mat prices continue to hold steady (you can read more about this in my newsletter) while others have become near-worthless.
Another by-product of farming Act 1 is the repair savings you make. Even in full MF + main stat gear, it’s possible to do repeated full clears without it costing you many thousands of gold in repairs due to deaths. Compare that to Act’s 3 & 4 where it’s easy to be repeatedly killed in full resist/stam gear, costing you a small fortune in the process to attain items that are usually no better than the ones that drop in Act 1.
Having a good supply of well rolled i61 and i62 means you’ll have items you’re willing to sell on the RMAH at steep discount to the perfectly rolled i63′s which are selling for $250. The $250 price tag is out of reach for the majority of Diablo 3 players. Because of this, there are more buyers in the lower end of the market who realize they can’t get the best item cheaply but they can get something comparable for $5-$25. As more and more people sell junk items and build their Blizzard balance, these players are more likely to treat their balance as play money and purchase these lower end items on a whim instead of saving up.
Finally, there is 4 boxing (and this is what I’m currently excited about). I’m putting together a team of 4 WD’s where 3 will wear max MF in each slot while my main will wear full DPS. If you can pull 35k+ DPS, you’re already aware that you can solo champion packs in a 4 man group in Act 1 with relative ease.
Most players are not aware that while playing in a group, their MF becomes the average of all 4 players instead of their own amount of MF in gear. If 3 players are wearing full DPS gear while only 1 player is full MF, the MF player not only gimps his MF but DPS as well. The ideal strategy would be for 3 players to wear max MF while the 4th glass cannons everything; good luck organizing that in public games.
Most multiboxers are having more luck keeping their group alive in full MF in Act 1 than Act’s 3 & 4. Because farming items is a time investment, multiboxing a 4 player group increases your item acquisition rate 4 fold without any further time investment required (beside leveling the characters).
Are you having more fun or luck farming in Act 1 or do you prefer to farm Act’s 3 & 4 in the hope of finding that perfect item for yourself or to sell? Let me know in the comments below.