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English translation of Little Magic Find Guide 1.10

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 07:05 PM

The Little "Magic Find" Guide for Diablo II "LoD" 1.10

re-posted without permission by Fuhrmanator, because this version evaporated from the WWW.

"Diablo", "Lord Of Destruction", "Battle.net" and "Blizzard Entertainment" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved. The same applies for any images or game screenhots which have been used to illustrate this guide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This guide is © 2003, Norbert Raetz, Germany. Unauthorized copying, distribution or other reproduction, as a whole or in parts, is forbidden. Links to this guide on other websites are allowed.

All information in this guide is based on the actual Version 1.10 of Diablo II "Lord Of Destruction" ("LoD" for short) at patch release time (October 28, 2003). This guide has been written primarily for the Battle.net Softcore Ladder-Mode (with focus on the game difficulty "Hell"), and the described methods are not necessarily a recommendation for "Hardcore" mode players. Opinions expressed in this guide are solely that of the author, who is neither employed by nor represents Blizzard Entertainment.
1.  About this Guide
2.  "Magic Find" in Patch 1.10
3.  About "Treasure Classes", "Area Levels", "Monster Levels" and Other Things
4.  The Right "Magic Find" Equipment and Tips
5.  Which Character for "Magic Find" and Tips
6.  Gambling
7.  Thanks and Additional Info

1. About this Guide

"Magic Find" ("MF" for short) describes the dedicated search for items in the game with special magical properties through the use of special "Magic Finding" equipment. This doesn't include valuable runes because they follow different game rules. Since the power of all playable character classes in Diablo II "LoD" depends, more or less, on magical items, finding them plays an important role. While the game can be played without very good or even the best items, every advantage that can be achieved through equipment can make progess a lot easier.

This little "Magic Find" guide gives both the "Diablo II" beginner and the game veteran an easy, understandable introduction to the theme, with special regard to the changes that the game patch version 1.10 has brought. I'll deliberately forgo too detailed information about game internals, formulas and tables to keep a good overview, and to explain only those things that are important for a long-termed success in searching for and finding the magical items. If you're interested in more details (like the percent chances on a special item from a special monster, or about the "treasure classes" mentioned in the following) you can find this information on the websites listed at the end of this guide. And now have fun reading!

This is the English translation of my originally German "Magic Find" guide. Thanks to "Obi2Kenobi" for helping to put this into the final, correct native English form. The screenshots are from the German version of Diablo II "LoD" 1.10, but come with an accompanying explanation in English.

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A golden, sparkly chest in the middle of the "Frigid Highlands", which can contain valuable treasure

2. "Magic Find" in Patch 1.10

Once upon a time ... in a land before the Diablo II patch 1.10, there were hosts of "Magic Find" oriented Sorceresses with “Magic Find” equipment invading the third level of the "Durance of Hate" to kill its inhabitants in search of more and more godly items. Thousands of times daily the resident Act boss Mephisto was slain, because his high chances on very good unique items promised success within the shortest time. Another very popular fellow sufferer at that time was the unique boss monster called "Pindleskin" at the entrance to Nihlathak's Temple in Act 5. To his distress, he was even easier to reach and kill than Mephisto, and he was one of the few monsters that could drop the most sought after unique game item upon his death - the "Windforce" Hydra Bow. Other monsters and areas promised success too, but not nearly as fast as these two monsters. In view of such extreme imbalances regarding "Magic Find", fundamental changes were urgently needed, and the recently released, long awaited Diablo II patch 1.10 has finally brought them, after over two years of waiting (the first version of the previous patch 1.09 is dated August 2001).

What has changed?

Well, Act bosses, like Mephisto, still promise the fastest success on good items, and the unique boss monster "Pindleskin" still drops the very powerful "Windforce" bow (and that even more often now), but the very best game items of the so-called "Elite Class" can now be found from Act 1 throughout Act 5 in the game difficulty "Hell", and to some extent even earlier in Act 5 of the difficulty "Nightmare". Prior to patch 1.10, it was almost impossible to find usable "Elite" items before Act 5 in "Hell" difficulty, leaving aside some exceptions like the Act bosses Mephisto (Act 3) and Diablo (Act 4). "Magic Find" is really fun now because patch 1.10 promises, due to the much better balanced chances and a lot new and revised items, success not just for game "pros". The main changes will be explained in the following with special regard to the game difficulty "Hell".

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An unusual picture for Diablo veterans: The best Elite items can already be found at the beginning of Act 1 in patch 1.10 (the "Aldur's Deception" Shadow Plate in this case)

3. About "Treasure Classes", "Area Levels", "Monster Levels" and Other Things

To understand the changes regarding "Magic Find" in 1.10, a short introduction and explanation of some basic things about items, monsters and the item drop rates is needed. In Diablo II, every monster and other game items such as chests, urns, dead bodies etc (in the following: "props") have a certain chance to drop one or more items upon death, smashing or opening. Which quality the item has depends on various factors.

The Items, which monsters, chests etc can drop, can be divided into six groups:
  • Non-magical Items like potions, arrows, bolts, scrolls, gold etc
  • Non-magical Armors and Weapons of varying quality from bad to good (color: white item description or grey, if socketed or ethereal (improved basic item properties, but not repairable))
  • Magical Items with 1 or 2 magical properties (color: blue description)
  • Rare Items with 2 to 6 magical properties (color: yellow description)
  • Items of an Item Set that consists of several items belonging together (color: green description)
  • Unique Items with several unique properties (color: golden description). Items that are required to solve certain quests, i.e. the Horadric Staff, belong to this group too, but are not of interest for "Magic Find".
Armors and weapons are furthermore independent of their magical status (normal/magical/rare/set/unique) divided into the groups "Normal", "Exceptional" and "Elite", wherein again a hierarchy from "low level" to "high level" exists. For example, the "Legend Sword" with low requirements (character level 44) is the smallest 2-handed Elite sword, and the "Colossus Blade" with high requirements (character level 63) is the biggest and best 2-handed Elite sword. The armors and weapons of the "Normal" group start to drop in the "Normal" game difficulty, in which already some items of the "Exceptional" group can be found in Act 4 and Act 5, too. In the game difficulty "Nightmare", "Normal" as well as "Exceptional" armors and weapons can drop (and some "Elite" in Act 4 and 5), and from game difficulty "Hell" on, items of all three groups can drop.

The Monsters and Props that the player meets during his expeditions through the world, can also be divided into six groups:
  • Various "Props" like chests, urns, dead bodies etc that can drop items
  • Normal Monsters with certain basic properties and attacks
  • Champion Monsters with one or more (compared to normal monsters) improved basic properties (recognizable by their blue instead of white monster description)
  • Lower Boss Monsters with random special properties (recognizable by their minions and their random, partly strange names like "Gloom Weaver the Slasher" or "Snot Vex the Flayer")
  • Unique Boss Monsters ("Superuniques" or "SU" for short) with fixed and random special properties (recognizable by their minions and their unique names like "Pindleskin" or "Eldritch the Rectifier")
  • Act Bosses with fixed, strong, special properties: Andariel (Act 1), Duriel (Act 2), Mephisto (Act 3), Diablo (Act 4) and Baal (Act 5)
The Drop Chances of the items and monsters correspond with the order in the two previous lists:
  • Non-magical items like potions, arrows, bolts, scrolls, gold etc drop most frequently, and good items like unique magical armors and weapons drop the least of all. Of armors and weapons, which are divided into the groups "Normal", "Exceptional" and "Elite", the "Normal" ones drop most frequently and the "Elite" ones least of all. Elite items of higher levels are reserved exclusively for the game difficulty "Hell". Furthermore, it is worth mentioning in this regard that Necromancer wands, Sorceress staves, Paladin scepters and class-specific items, like Paladin shields or Barbarian helms, drop 1/3 as frequently as regular armors and weapons.
  • Props like chests, urns, dead bodies etc have the lowest chances to drop a good item, and Act bosses have by far the best chances on a good item, whereof especially unique Elite items are dropped most frequently by them in "Hell" difficulty. Worth mentioning in this regard is the so-called "No Drop" chance. This is an internal value which varies for each monster and prop, and which specifies how high its chance is that it drops nothing. This value is of importance for multiplayer games, because the number of players in a game influences the "No Drop" chance and thus the general chance that some item (not a specific magical item!) drops. The drop chances increase partly significantly until about 5 players in the game; after that, the bonus gets negligibly small. Champion monsters, lower boss monsters and unique boss monsters, like "Pindleskin", have a "No Drop" chance of 0%, which means that they always drop the same number of items independent of the number of players in the game. Act bosses like Diablo or Baal, on the other hand, have a specific "No Drop" chance, so that more players in the game can be advantageous.
Now that some basic things have been explained, it's going a bit into the nitty-gritty :)

Diablo II is based on an extensive level-system. In addition to the levels that are visible for the player, like the character level, the dungeon level (i.e. "Catacombs - Level 2") or the level requirements for using items, there are also a number of internal levels and groups which are utilized for the generation of monsters and items. The following terms are of interest with regard to "Magic Find":

Quality Level: All base items have a Quality Level ("qlvl"), which is specified in internal tables. Unique and set items have an additional "qlvl". This is the described quality level, which, however, is handled separately when the item a monster drops is determined. In order to drop a certain set or unique item, a monster must be able to drop the corresponding base item of that Treasure Class (see below), and it must also have a high enough Monster Level (see below) to drop the set-/unique-qlvl of the item. To avoid confusion regarding the two quality levels in the following explanations, the set-/unique-qlvl will be called "uqlvl" from now on.

Treasure Classes: The aforementioned item quality levels (qlvl) are combined as a small group in a so-called "Treasure Class" ("TC" for short) in groups of three. For example, the TC named "armo3", which belongs to TC 3, contains all armor class items (armor, shield, helm, belt, gloves, boots) that have a qlvl from 1 to 3; the TC 6 named "armo6" contains all armor class items from qlvl 4 to 6, and so forth. The highest TC in patch 1.10 is TC 87, which includes all items from qlvl 85 to 87. Previously, a TC 90 still existed, but all items of this TC have now been included in TC 87.

Area Level: Like items, the various regions (or "dungeons") in the game have their own levels, the so-called Area Levels ("arealvl"), which are specified separately for each game difficulty (Normal, Nightmare, Hell) in a special area table (see the following table excerpt).

Monster Level: The Monster Levels ("mlvl") per game difficulty are specified in a special monster table. In patch 1.10, the monster levels of the game difficulties "Nightmare" and "Hell" are overwritten with corresponding area level values from the aforementioned area table. These new monster levels affect hit points, damage, chance to hit etc as well as the quality of the items the monsters can drop. The relations between monster level and area level for "Nightmare" and "Hell" are as follows since patch 1.10:
  • All Normal Monsters and accompanying minions have their Monster Level (mlvl) set equal to the Area Level (arealvl)
  • All Champion Monsters have their mlvl = arealvl + 2
  • All lower Boss Monsters and certain unique Boss Monsters ("Superuniques"), like "Pindleskin" or "Eldritch the Rectifier", as well as their minions have their mlvl = arealvl + 3
  • All Props like chests, urns, dead bodies etc have their level = arealvl
Exceptions of this new rule are:
  • All Act Bosses : Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo and Baal
  • Certain unique Boss Monsters ("Superuniques") : Blood Raven, Griswold, Radament, Summoner (Act 2), Izual and Nihlathak
  • All Monsters of the "Defiler" Class
  • All Creatures and Items summoned by Characters, like Golems, Spirits, Bone Walls or Traps
All mentioned exceptions still have their originally specified levels.

When the monster level has been determined using the area level, the monster properties and the treasure classes for the monster type will be recalculated and reassigned. If a higher treasure class has been calculated for a monster, it will now drop items of that new class. What is interesting in this regard is that the treasure classes will only be upgraded and not downgraded, which means that the monster will drop as originally specified or better after the level adaptation. In the game difficulty "Hell", there are now (from Act 1 on) various areas with the very high level of 85, which promise excellent success for "Magic Find" (see the following table with the area levels).

The new method of determining the monster levels has important consequences regarding "Magic Find" for certain unique boss monsters. So, the previously very popular high-level boss "Pindleskin" (mlvl 88), for example, has since patch 1.10 just mlvl 86 because he is generated in an area that has now area level 83. This means that the until now for the best unique items known "Pindleskin" can still drop items of the highest class TC 87, which contains items from qlvl 85 to 87, but not the three best unique items of the patch 1.10 ("Tyrael's Might" Sacred Armor, "Azurewrath" Phase Blade and "Arachnid Mesh" Spiderweb Sash) anymore, because these have a unique-qlvl (uqlvl) of 87.

In order to find the very rare unique Sacred Armor "Tyrael's Might", one is, however, not condemned to do endless "Magic Find" runs on the high-level Act boss Baal, who would be able to drop this armor as one of the few unique monsters :) No, since patch 1.10 there are other ways thanks to the new high-level areas and monsters in "Hell" difficulty, and the whole has also become much more interesting. Instead of always doing boring "Magic Find" runs on the same boss monster, one can now pick one of the new high-level areas and hope on similarly good items there. As mentioned previously, champion monsters in "Nightmare" and "Hell" now have mlvl = arealvl + 2, and lower boss monsters, and their minions even, have mlvl = arealvl + 3. This means that these can not only drop all items of the highest treasure class TC 87 in an area with area level 85, but also without exceptions all set and unique items because here, the monster level of champions is 87 and that of lower boss monsters and their minions even 88. Champions as well as lower bosses can be found very often since patch 1.10, and they have a quite good chance to drop items of the quality "set" or "unique" if the "Magic Find" chance on the character's equipment is sufficient. There will be more about "Magic Find" equipment and the better chances since patch 1.10 in a later section.

In the following, an excerpt of the table with the Diablo II area data can be seen. The numbers in red mark the most promising areas for finding the best magical items (including all set and unique items) since patch 1.10.

Act 1 - Town________________________________________________Rogue Encampment____________
Act 1 - Wilderness 1________1_________36__________67________Blood Moor__________________
Act 1 - Wilderness 2________2_________36__________68________Cold Plains_________________
Act 1 - Wilderness 3________4_________37__________68________Stony Field_________________
Act 1 - Wilderness 4________5_________38__________68________Dark Wood___________________
Act 1 - Wilderness 5________6_________38__________69________Black Marsh_________________
Act 1 - Wilderness 6________8_________39__________69________Tamoe Highland______________
Act 1 - Cave 1______________1_________36__________79________Den of Evil_________________
Act 1 - Cave 2______________2_________36__________77________Cave Level 1________________
Act 1 - Cave 3______________4_________37__________69________Underground Passage Level 1_
Act 1 - Cave 4______________5_________38__________80________Hole Level 1________________
Act 1 - Cave 5______________7_________39__________85________Pit Level 1_________________
Act 1 - Cave 2 Treasure_____2_________37__________78________Cave Level 2________________
Act 1 - Cave 3 Treasure_____4_________38__________83________Underground Passage Level 2
Act 1 - Cave 4 Treasure_____5_________39__________81________Hole Level 2
Act 1 - Cave 5 Treasure_____7_________40__________85________Pit Level 2
Act 1 - Graveyard___________3_________36__________80________Burial Grounds
Act 1 - Crypt 1 A___________3_________37__________83________Crypt
Act 1 - Crypt 2 A___________3_________37__________85________Mausoleum
Act 1 - Tower 2_____________________________________________Forgotten Tower
Act 1 - Crypt 3 A___________7_________38__________75________Tower Cellar Level 1
Act 1 - Crypt 3 B___________7_________39__________76________Tower Cellar Level 2
Act 1 - Crypt 3 C___________7_________40__________77________Tower Cellar Level 3
Act 1 - Crypt 3 D___________7_________41__________78________Tower Cellar Level 4
Act 1 - Crypt 3 E___________7_________42__________79________Tower Cellar Level 5
Act 1 - Monastery___________8_________40__________70________Monastery Gate
Act 1 - Courtyard 1_________9_________40__________70________Outer Cloister
Act 1 - Barracks____________9_________40__________70________Barracks
Act 1 - Jail 1______________10________41__________71________Jail Level 1
Act 1 - Jail 2______________10________41__________71________Jail Level 2
Act 1 - Jail 3______________10________41__________71________Jail Level 3
Act 1 - Courtyard 2_________10________41__________72________Inner Cloister
Act 1 - Cathedral___________11________42__________72________Cathedral
Act 1 - Catacombs 1_________11________42__________72________Catacombs Level 1
Act 1 - Catacombs 2_________11________42__________73________Catacombs Level 2
Act 1 - Catacombs 3_________12________43__________73________Catacombs Level 3
Act 1 - Catacombs 4_________12________43__________73________Catacombs Level 4
Act 1 - Tristram____________6_________39__________76________Tristram
Act 1 - Moo Moo Farm________28________64__________81________Moo Moo Farm
Act 2 - Town________________________________________________Lut Gholein
Act 2 - Desert 1____________14________43__________75________Rocky Waste
Act 2 - Desert 2____________15________44__________76________Dry Hills
Act 2 - Desert 3____________16________45__________76________Far Oasis
Act 2 - Desert 4____________17________46__________77________Lost City
Act 2 - Desert 5____________18________46__________77________Valley of Snakes
Act 2 - Valley of the Kings_16________48__________79________Canyon of the Magi
Act 2 - Sewer 1 A___________13________43__________74________Sewers Level 1
Act 2 - Sewer 1 B___________13________43__________74________Sewers Level 2
Act 2 - Sewer 1 C___________14________44__________75________Sewers Level 3
Act 2 - Harem_______________________________________________Harem Level 1
Act 2 - Corrupt Harem 1_____13________47__________78________Harem Level 2
Act 2 - Basement 1__________13________47__________78________Palace Cellar Level 1
Act 2 - Basement 2__________13________47__________78________Palace Cellar Level 2
Act 2 - Basement 3__________13________48__________78________Palace Cellar Level 3
Act 2 - Tomb 1 A____________12________44__________78________Stony Tomb Level 1
Act 2 - Tomb 2 A____________12________44__________79________Halls of the Dead Level 1
Act 2 - Tomb 2 B____________13________45__________81________Halls of the Dead Level 2
Act 2 - Tomb 3 A____________14________47__________82________Claw Viper Temple Level 1
Act 2 - Tomb 1 Treasure_____12________44__________79________Stony Tomb Level 2
Act 2 - Tomb 2 Treasure_____13________45__________82________Halls of the Dead Level 3
Act 2 - Tomb 3 Treasure_____14________47__________83________Claw Viper Temple Level 2
Act 2 - Lair 1 A____________17________45__________84________Maggot Lair Level 1
Act 2 - Lair 1 B____________17________45__________84________Maggot Lair Level 2
Act 2 - Lair 1 Treasure_____17________46__________85________Maggot Lair Level 3
Act 2 - Sewer 2 A___________17________46__________85________Ancient Tunnels
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 1__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 2__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 3__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 4__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 5__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 6__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Tomb Tal 7__________17________49__________80________Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2 - Duriel's Lair_______17________49__________80________Duriel's Lair
Act 2 - Arcane______________14________48__________79________Arcane Sanctuary
Act 3 - Town________________________________________________Kurast Docktown
Act 3 - Jungle 1____________21________49__________79________Spider Forest
Act 3 - Jungle 2____________21________50__________80________Great Marsh
Act 3 - Jungle 3____________22________50__________80________Flayer Jungle_______________
Act 3 - Kurast 1____________22________52__________80________Lower Kurast________________
Act 3 - Kurast 2____________22________52__________81________Kurast Bazaar_______________
Act 3 - Kurast 3____________23________52__________81________Upper Kurast________________
Act 3 - Kurast 4____________24________53__________81________Kurast Causeway_____________
Act 3 - Travincal___________24________54__________82________Travincal___________________
Act 3 - Spider 1____________21________50__________79________Spider Cave_________________(Arachnid Lair)
Act 3 - Spider 2____________21________50__________79________Spider Cavern_______________
Act 3 - Dungeon 1 A_________21________51__________80________Swampy Pit Level 1__________
Act 3 - Dungeon 1 B_________21________51__________81________Swampy Pit Level 2__________
Act 3 - Dungeon 2 A_________22________51__________81________Flayer Dungeon Level 1______
Act 3 - Dungeon 2 B_________22________51__________82________Flayer Dungeon Level 2______
Act 3 - Dungeon 1 Treasure__21________51__________82________Swampy Pit Level 3__________
Act 3 - Dungeon 2 Treasure__22________51__________83________Flayer Dungeon Level 3______
Act 3 - Sewer 1_____________23________52__________84________Sewers Level 1______________
Act 3 - Sewer 2_____________24________53__________85________Sewers Level 2______________
Act 3 - Temple 1____________23________53__________84________Ruined Temple_______________(In Kurast Bazaar)
Act 3 - Temple 2____________23________53__________84________Disused Fane________________(In Kurast Bazaar)
Act 3 - Temple 3____________23________53__________84________Forgotten Reliquary_________(In Upper Kurast)
Act 3 - Temple 4____________24________54__________85________Forgotten Temple____________(In Upper Kurast)
Act 3 - Temple 5____________24________54__________85________Ruined Fane_________________(In Kurast Causeway)
Act 3 - Temple 6____________24________54__________85________Disused Reliquary___________(In Kurast Causeway)
Act 3 - Mephisto 1__________25________55__________83________Durance of Hate Level 1_____
Act 3 - Mephisto 2__________25________55__________83________Durance of Hate Level 2_____
Act 3 - Mephisto 3__________25________55__________83________Durance of Hate Level 3_____
Act 4 - Town________________________________________________The Pandemonium Fortress____
Act 4 - Mesa 1______________26________56__________82________Outer Steppes_______________
Act 4 - Mesa 2______________26________56__________83________Plains of Despair___________
Act 4 - Mesa 3______________27________57__________84________City of the Damned__________
Act 4 - Lava 1______________27________57__________85________River of Flame______________
Act 4 - Diablo 1____________28________58__________85________Chaos Sanctum

Act 5 - Town________________________________________________Harrogath___________________
Act 5 - Siege 1_____________24________58__________80________Bloody Foothills____________
Act 5 - Barricade 1_________25________59__________81________Rigid Highlands_____________
Act 5 - Barricade 2_________26________60__________81________Arreat Plateau______________
Act 5 - Ice Cave 1__________29________61__________82________Crystalized Cavern Level 1__(Crystalline Passage)
Act 5 - Ice Cave 1A_________29________61__________83________Cellar of Pity______________(Frozen River)
Act 5 - Ice Cave 2__________29________61__________83________Crystalized Cavern Level 2__(Glacial Trail)
Act 5 - Ice Cave 2A_________29________61__________84________Echo Chamber________________(Drifter Cavern)
Act 5 - Barricade Snow______27________60__________81________Tundra Wastelands___________(Frozen Tundra)
Act 5 - Ice Cave 3__________29________62__________82________Glacial Caves Level 1_______(Ancient's Way)
Act 5 - Ice Cave 3A_________29________62__________83________Glacial Caves Level 2_______(Icy Cellar)
Act 5 - Mountain Top________37________68__________87________Rocky Summit________________(Arreat Summit)
Act 5 - Temple Entrance_____32________63__________83________Nihlathaks Temple___________
Act 5 - Temple 1____________33________63__________83________Halls of Anguish____________
Act 5 - Temple 2____________34________64__________84________Halls of Death's Calling____(Halls of Pain)
Act 5 - Temple Boss_________36________64__________84________Halls of Vaught_____________
Act 5 - Hell 1______________39________60__________81________Hell1_______________________(Abaddon)
Act 5 - Hell 2______________39________61__________82________Hell2_______________________(Pit of Acheron)
Act 5 - Hell 3______________39________62__________83________Hell3_______________________(Infernal Pit)
Act 5 - Baal Temple 1_______39________65__________85________The Worldstone Keep Level 1_
Act 5 - Baal Temple 2_______40________65__________85________The Worldstone Keep Level 2_
Act 5 - Baal Temple 3_______42________66__________85________The Worldstone Keep Level 3_
Act 5 - Throne Room_________43________66__________85________Throne of Destruction_______
Act 5 - World Stone_________43________66__________85________The Worldstone Chamber

Furthermore, all areas with level 83 or 84 are also very interesting for "Magic Find" of Elite items, because the lower boss monsters and their minions reach level 86 and 87 respectively here, and champion monsters level 85 and 86. All these high-level areas are also very well suited to level up advanced characters, because the amount of experience points gained per killed monster depends, among other things, of their level. By the way, to find the highest rune in the game, the ZOD rune, normal monsters have to be just level 81 since patch 1.10 or, in other words, come from an area that is level 81 or higher.

4. The Right "Magic Find" Equipment and Tips

As mentioned already, monsters and props have the ability to drop one or more items. Whether or not that item has magical properties depends on whom that item drops from and how high its chance on a magical item of certain quality is, and on how much "Magic Find" bonus (MF bonus) the player has on his/her equipment.

Generally, one can say, "The more MF bonus the equipment has, the better the chances are on good magical items." It has to be noted in this regard that this chance does not increase linearly with additional equipment, but that the bonuses decrease gradually. So, before patch 1.10, an equipment setup with about +250% MF chance was considered good and +400% MF (or more) very good. Having more than 400% MF, however, didn't make much sense because the bonuses in that region decrease significantly and other important equipment properties, like resistances against elemental attacks, have to stand back automatically. It is therefore important even for "Magic Find"-specialized characters to keep the right balance between MF bonuses and other important equipment properties.

With patch 1.10, and especially in the more difficult "Ladder Mode" in the Battle.net, the monsters are significantly stronger, faster and more robust, which means that the MF bonuses on the equipment can't be as abundant as before. The game programmers were obviously aware of this, and so some especially for "Magic Finders" interesting changes are included in the game since patch 1.10:
  • There are generally more items from the higher treasure classes dropping now, and less from the lower ones
  • The quality of rare (yellow) items has increased significantly, *) thanks to a complete overhaul and extension of the magical affix pool (the whole magical prefixes and suffixes possible on magical items). So, the prefixes "Cruel" or "Godly", for example, are now also available for rare items, and the suffixes for Mana and Life leech both possible at the same time on rings and amulets (known as "dual-leech").
  • There are generally more items of magical quality dropping now (magical, rare, set and unique items). The base chance on these has been increased by about 25% on average, where especially normal magical items drop much more frequently than before.
The latter means for MF equipment in 1.10 the following:
  • For Unique Items, for example, +0% MF on the equipment in patch 1.10 is about equal to +30% MF in patch 1.09
  • +200% MF in 1.10 is about equal to +470% MF in 1.09
  • +500% MF in 1.10 is about equal to (theoretically) +3500% MF in 1.09
*) TIP: Because the base type of rare items can be transformed with new Horadric Cube recipes into their corresponding Exceptional and Elite types since patch 1.10, it is worth while to pick up and identify seemingly uninteresting normal and exceptional items because they can carry very good, improved affixes.

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A "Goldwrap" Heavy Belt transformed into a Battle Belt, which can now carry 16 instead of just 12 health potions

One has now a number of options when choosing MF equipment. There are, first of all, the good, but also rare and thus expensive, unique items or set items which carry, among other properties, a high percentage of additional chance on magical items. The MF chance on each of the following items can be - if it is socketable, i.e. by Larzuk after quest 1 in Act 5 - improved further with an "IST" rune (+30% MF chance in weapons, +25% in helms, armors and shields) or a perfect Topaz (+24% MF chance in helms and armors). Noteworthy items are:

  • "Harlequin Crest" unique Shako with +50% MF Chance
  • "Stealskull" unique Casque with +30% to +50% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Tarnhelm" unique Skull Cap with +25% to +50% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Immortal King's Will" Avenger Guard helm from the "Immortal King" set with +25% to +40% MF Chance (varies) and 2 free sockets for further improvement with 2 perfect Topazes (+48% MF) or 2 IST runes (+50% MF)
  • "Griswold's Valor" Corona from the "Griswold's Legacy" set with +20% to +30% MF Chance (varies) and 2 free sockets for further improvement with 2 perfect Topazes (+48% MF) or 2 IST runes (+50% MF)
  • "Delirium" Runeword Helm (Lem-Ist-Io) with +25% MF Chance. In addition to the MF bonus and +2 to all skills, such a helm has extraordinary defensive qualities like, for example, the chance to cast the powerful curse "Confuse" on attack, which predestinates it for solo runs. A quite amusing gimmick of the helm is the 1% chance to transform its owner into an extremely aggressive Undead Stygian Doll if he gets hit ("Delirium" chance), which also works with hirelings:
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The favorite Doll of my MF-Amazon: Undead, "Might" enchanted and very cutting!! :)

  • "Skullder's Ire" unique Russet Armor with +1,25% to +123% MF Chance (based on character level (1-99))
  • "Wealth" Runeword Armor (Lem-Ko-Tir) with +100% MF Chance
  • "Enigma" Runeword Armor (Jah-Ith-Ber) with +1% to +99% MF Chance (based on character level (1-99))
  • "Tal Rasha's Guardianship" Lacquered Plate from the "Tal Rasha's Wrappings" set with +88% MF Chance. Wearing 2 additional items of the set, i.e. Amulet and Belt, grants additional +65% MF Chance.
  • "Rhyme" Runeword Shield (Shael-Eth) with +25% MF Chance
  • "Chance Guards" unique Chain Gloves with +25% to +40% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Goldwrap" unique Heavy Belt **) with +30% MF Chance
  • "War Traveler" unique Battle Boots with +30% to +50% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Gull" unique Dagger with +100% MF Chance
  • "Blade of Ali Baba" unique Tulwar with +1% to +99% MF Chance (based on character level (1-99)) and 2 free sockets for further improvement with 2 IST runes (+60% MF)
  • "Skull Collector" unique Rune Staff with +1% to +99% MF Chance (based on character level (1-99))
  • "Tomb Reaver" unique Cryptic Axe with +50% to +80% MF Chance (varies)
  • "The Oculus" unique Swirling Crystal (Sorceress only) with +50% MF Chance
  • "Cranebeak" unique War Spike with +20% to +50% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Tankred's Weird" Amulet from the "Tankred's Battlegear" set with +78% MF Chance if at least one additional item of the set, i.e. the Boots, is worn
  • "Nagelring" unique Ring with +15% to +30% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Wisp Projector" unique Ring with +10% to +20% MF Chance (varies)
  • "IST" Rune - Its application in socketed weapons gives +30% MF Chance, and in helms, armors and shields +25%
  • "Gheed's Fortune" unique Grand Charm with +20% to +40% MF Chance (varies)
  • "Magic Find" magical Charms - Their size and MF chance varies, ideal are the small ones with +5% to +7% MF Chance here
**) TIP: Since patch 1.10, the "Goldwrap" belt can be improved with a new Horadric Cube recipe (Tal rune + Shael rune + perfect Diamond + normal unique Armor), which transforms its original type "Heavy Belt" to "Battle Belt" (requires 88 strength). After that, the belt can carry 16 instead of the originally 12 (health) potions.

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A cheap, but effective MF solution: 4 perfect Topazes in an armor with 4 sockets (a Gothic Plate in this case)

As mentioned above, this "Magic Find" guide is primarily written for the "Ladder" mode or the beginner in the Battle.net. In both cases, one starts at zero and has, with the exception of some base items, no equipment. Finding one of the aforementioned items with good "Magic Find" properties is, with exceptions like the "Tarnhelm", the "Gull" dagger, the "Chance Guards" gloves, the "Goldwrap" belt, or the runes for a "Rhyme" shield, rather low in the early stage of the game. There is, however, a completely usual item that the player finds in different qualities right from the beginning, and that increases the chance on finding magical items: the Topaz gem. The yellow gem is available in five different qualities, and it grants the following "Magic Find" bonuses when socketed in helm or armor:
  • "Chipped Topaz" : +9% Chance on finding Magical Items, min. Character level requirement: 1
  • "Flawed Topaz" : +13% Chance on finding Magical Items, min. Character level requirement: 5
  • "Topaz" : +16% Chance on finding Magical Items, min. Character level requirement: 12
  • "Flawless Topaz" : +20% Chance on finding Magical Items, min. Character level requirement: 15
  • "Perfect Topaz" : +24% Chance on finding Magical Items, min. Character level requirement: 18
The level requirements for using the gems is low (from character level 1 to 18), and they can be gradually transformed into their next higher quality with either the Horadric Cube (3 Gems = 1 Gem of the next quality) or one of the Gem Shrines found in the landscapes. Gems of the quality "perfect" can only be produced through the described Horadric Cube recipe, or be dropped during the "Hellforge" quest in Act 4.

The vendors in town sell helms and armors with 2 sockets already in Act 1 of the "Normal" game difficulty, so that one can increase his/her MF chances from the beginning. Helms and armors with a higher number of sockets can be found later in the game. An attractive, light item with low requirements is a 4-socket Gothic Plate (see the picture above), which can be found with this socket number from around Act 4 on in "Normal" difficulty. Socketed with 4 perfect Topazes, this armor grants rich 96% MF chance already at level 18. Such armor can later be replaced by a light 4-socket Elite armor with enhanced defense to better meet the increased difficulty. In addition to the MF armor, one can then - provided other important attributes like resistances, leech etc are in the green zone - wear a socketed Mask or Crown (also available from around Act 4 on) with 3 perfect Topazes, which increases the MF chance by another 72% to 168% total. However, 96% MF is already sufficient since patch 1.10 as I could also find out personally. My "Magic Find" Amazon (currently level 93) normally doesn't use more than about 100% MF during her MF runs in "Hell" difficulty in the Ladder mode, and she finds nevertheless enough very good unique and set elite items. Much more important than a high MF chance percentage is patience, because the best game items will get so rare at some point (chances in thousandth or ten-thousandth percent regions) that the MF chance has less and less notable influence - not from a mathematical standpoint but from the subjective feeling. So, one can often hear that this or that extremely rare item has been found with little or no additional MF chance. On the finding of rare runes, by the way, an increased MF chance has no influence at all. So, again: Patience is the highest priority if one is after the very best items like, for example, the unique Sacred Armor "Tyrael's Might" :)

5. Which Character for "Magic Find" and Tips

After the "Magic Find" equipment question is clarified, the question arises which character class or skills are best suited for successful, and above all, efficient "Magic Find" in patch 1.10. Now, the answer is simple: Since patch 1.10, there isn't a class anymore that could clearly dominate in all areas. In patch 1.09, I would have answered that the Sorceress is the most flexible and fastest "Magic Finder" - for MF runs in all areas in "Hell" difficulty as well as for dedicated MF runs on promising boss monsters. With patch 1.10 however, the difficulty has increased in such a manner through significantly stronger and faster monsters and their (random) distribution in the game areas, that even characters that utilize the new skill synergies cannot dominate in all places anymore. And this is, in my opinion, good because much more balance has come into the game.

After the first experiences with the new patch (in the Ladder) there are a handful of characters which can generally deal a bit better with the increased demands than others; these are: the Necromancer with a balanced skilling in the Summoning and Poison/Bone skill trees, the Amazon with specialization in either Bows/Crossbows or Javelins and good Passive/Magic skills, the Paladin with specialization on "Concentrate" and "Blessed Hammer", the Assassin with specialization on her deadliest traps, and the with natural strength blessed melee king Barbarian, who is popular for dedicated MF runs on bosses due to his ability for efficient "decapitation strikes". My personal favorites are the Bow-Amazon and the Necromancer, which I'm currently playing both in the 1.10 Softcore Ladder. My Amazon uses a very good bow, and she has a maximized, very strong Valkyrie (skill level 20) and a "Might" aura Mercenary as companions. She is primarily used for MF runs on certain boss monsters like "Pindelskin" or "Eldritch the Rectifier", and in regions that are badly suited for a Necromancer and his minions due to the many corners. The Necromancer is primarily used where his creatures have at least sufficient room for action, and in regions where overwhelming packs of enemies can be expected often, which he can overcome easily thanks to his ability for reviving similarly strong opponents. A typical example are the three "Worldstone Keep" levels and the "Throne of Destruction", which often harbor extremely strong monster packs in "Hell" difficulty. Mentionable in this regard, by the way, is that the "mischief" of the presence of monsters directly at entrances, doors and waypoints is back again in patch 1.10. Whether this little "surprise" makes sense or not is debatable. The fact is, however, that it's often a deadly trap for unprepared (Hardcore) players.

Despite the slight superiority of some specialized characters, one should choose the character for "Magic Find" that is fun and that is in one's line, because lastly, one has to play with it the whole time :) Which skills, strategies and equipment are then recommended for the chosen character in patch 1.10 would be a theme for special, separate character guides.

6. Gambling

During "Magic Find", one often finds unusable magical items, which, however, can be sold for a fair sum of gold (up to 35000 pieces of gold in "Hell") to the vendors in the towns. For the closing of this little guide about "Magic Find", a cognate activity shall therefore be mentioned briefly: Gambling. Some vendors offer the option to "gamble" certain items for a certain amount of gold. This a little bit like Roulette: One can see the base item but doesn't know if it's a normal, exceptional or elite item (for armors and weapons), and one doesn't know which magical quality (magical, rare, set or unique) the item has.

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At Gheed in Act 1 one can try his luck. Other vendors with Gambling option are Elzix (Act 2), Alkor (Act 3), Jamella (Act 4) and Anya or Nihlathak (Act 5)

Like the drop chances of good items, the chances for gambling good items have been increased as well. "Increased" is relative here though, because the odds that one gambles, for example, a unique amulet by chance is still very, very small. Nevertheless, there are certain items that are always worth to gamble. These are Jewelry (Amulets, Rings) and Circlets (Circlets, Coronets). The chance that one gambles one of these items with rare quality (with more than 2 affixes) is actually relatively good, and after a certain character level, even +2 to all skills of a character class are possible on amulets and circlets. The minimum required and optimal character levels for gambling +2 skill items are as follows:
  • "Amulet" : minimum Character level: 86, optimal Character level: 95 and higher
  • "Circlet" : minimum Character level: 83, optimal Character level: 92 and higher
  • "Coronet" : minimum Character level: 78, optimal Character level: 87 and higher
  • "Tiara" : minimum Character level: 73, optimal Character level: 82 and higher
  • "Diadem" : minimum Character level: can always get all affixes, optimal Character level: can always get all affixes
Note regarding circlets that Tiaras and Diadems (elite circlets) are not available for gambling in the gambling window, but only Circlets and Coronets. The latter can be elite items after gambling though, just like armors and weapons, and then the aforementioned level rules for elite circlets apply.

7. Thanks and Additional Info

This "Magic Find" guide wouldn't have been possible without the detailed information about the novelties and changes of the Diablo II 1.10 patch.

My special thanks go therefore first of all to Ace Ventura, whose great wisdom in all questions regarding "Magic Find" in 1.10 was extremely helpful.

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A Tibetan Monk from Ace's Ashram explains some important changes of the patch 1.10

My thanks go furthermore to the communities and the "Diablo II" modding- and code-"gurus" of The Phrozen Keep, The Amazon Basin and The Lurker Lounge, who were already busy worming out the interesting new "secrets" of the actual patch during its beta phase. Thanks go of course as well to Blizzard for making a great game and the Arreat Summit website with a lot information and strategy tips.

Those who like to have further, detailed information and statistics about the theme, may visit the aforementioned websites and their forums, or the three currently biggest "Diablo II" fansites Diablo2.de, The "Diablo II" Network and Diabloii.net.

The current (German) version of this guide can always be found here.

And now have much fun searching and finding the items!


December 24th, 2003

Edited by Nobody, 27 May 2006 - 07:13 PM.

#2 Nomad

  • Deticated Member
  • 181 posts

Posted 28 May 2006 - 02:02 PM

That's a very informative, and yet humorous guide.  Props to the original author for writing it and to Nobody for it's addition while not trying to claim it as his own (as some people would've tried to do).

Thanks for this contribution Nobody,

Nomad :hunter: