Diablo 3 Patch v1.07 Crafting Plans Strategy

We’ve had nearly two days to explore the patch and much of the early player interest and conversation concerns the Diablo 3 Patch v1.07 crafting plans/designs, where to find them, and what to craft from them. We posted all the official details about plans, Demonic Essences, and more in the patch analysis article yesterday, so I’m not going to restate all of that here. There is some new info though, or at least clarification to stress.

Cydaea double plan drop.

Cydaea double plan drop.

1) A Blizzard CM assured me that Siegebreaker is *not* one of the bosses getting a bonus chance to drop the new Crafting Plans. Only Ghom and Cydaea get that bonus in Act 3, so I guess my RNG has just been weird, since I’ve done about 6 fast runs of Ghom-to-Azmodan in Act 3, and Siegebreaker remains my best source for the new plans, having dropped 5 or 6 of them thus far. (Ghom and Cydaea have coughed up 4 or 5 each.)

2) The new Marquise Gem Designs are *not* given a bonus drop chance from those Elite Eight special sub-bosses. That drop bonus only applies to the 4 new crafting plans for amulets, shoulders, gloves, and bracers. You might get a Marquise gem plan from one of those bosses (I did, an emerald from Ghom), but they have no specially-better odds to drop them.

Vaeflare made both these points in a forum post, for the link or it didn’t happen. The big eight, to restate:

  • Act One: Skeleton King, Spider Queen
  • Act Two: Maghda, Zoltun Kulle
  • Act Three: Ghom, Cydaea
  • Act Four: Rakanoth, Izual


Demonic Essences

I didn’t ask why Demonic Essences are yellow when every other stackable crafting material in the game is light blue (color of the name when they drop), but it does seem odd. I also didn’t ask why they only stack to 100 when the other mats go to 1000, but I guess they’re more akin to jewels, which only stack to 100.

demonic-essence-stack100That said, here’s a cynical theory. Unless you’re really into crafting (and self found players are justifiably wild about the new crafting recipes) and have tons of gold to burn on that gamble, you’ll soon have DEs stacking up way beyond anything you can do with them. You can’t sell them on the AH, they only vendor for 25 gold, all the crafting recipes that use them cost a lot of gold and other mats, etc.

Basically, in a month (or less) Demonic Essences are going to seem like another useless rare item type which you’ll just leave on the ground when it drops. Thus yellow is the perfect color for them!


Plan Finding

The best way to get the plans quickly is to buy them in the Auction House. They’re all for sale and none cost that much, certainly not compared to how much you’ll spend in dozens/hundreds of crafting rolls required to roll an upgrade. (And their prices are falling very rapidly. I’d actually argue they drop too commonly, compared to how hard it was to find crafting recipes during the first 8 months of Diablo 3.)

I stressed in the article yesterday that you shouldn’t buy now but should wait for prices to drop. Happily for my bank balance, most people didn’t take that advice and every new plan has been selling briskly. Though all of the plans are selling immediately, my biggest profit by far came from Emerald Marquise plans. I found one not long after the patch went live and it sold for 12m. I found a second hours later that night and it sold for 5m. I found a third the next morning and it sold for 2.1m. I’m no economist, but I bet you could plot those points on a graph measuring time/price, and get a textbook example of a supply and demand curve.

So, how do you find plans from monsters, rather than the DiabloWikiAuction House? Kill the 8 special sub-bosses with MP turned up, and/or kill a lot of other monsters with as much MF as possible. I’ve found about half my new plans from regular bosses and even trash mobs, so it’s not at all just the Elite Eight that are worth farming. Those guys do have better odds though, and there are plenty of theories about the best runs.

Remember that you must have 5 stacks for their bonus odds to kick in, so you can’t just use the waypoints right by their levels and endlessly farm DiabloWikiZoltan Kulle and DiabloWikiGhom. That said, those two are conveniently located right near waypoints, so it’s not hard to start a game on their quest, stack up earlier in the act, then leap to them once you’re five’d.

If you want something more of a run, it’s easy enough to do an Act Three clear from Ghom on through. That’s what I’ve been doing since my TR Monk moves *very* quickly, and as I keep saying, Siegebreaker has been better to me, for new plans, than the other two. YMMV, of course.

Another good option is to take advantage of the fact that DiabloWikiNephalem Valor stacks now persist between acts, and continue on into Act Four. Cydaea is very near the end of Act 3 and Rakanoth is very near the start of Act 4, which makes those two the closest (chronologically) of any of the Elite Eight. (Plus lots of players are citing Iskatu (the purple right at the start of Act Four) as another great way to get plans, and I’ve found a few from him myself. Regardless of Blizzard’s insistence that only those Elite Eight have a plan drop bonus, many players feel other special purple sub-bosses have the same bonus, or at least a much higher chance than regular random Elites.

There are lots of other theories and first hand player reports in the big Patch v1.07 feedback thread in the forum, if you want additional ideas.


Crafting Items

As for making the crafting recipes, all you can do there is cross your fingers. There’s no skill or any way to influence the results, though fashioning an empty can of Dr. Pepper into a small and sticky dark altar devoted to the capricious gods of DiabloWikiRNG probably wouldn’t hurt. Various players on the B.net forums have been posting pics or reports of their superb crafting luck, but that’s not real informative in terms of how many tries it took them and how many players have crafted a dozens of rolls with no success to show for it.

Personally, I’ve done little crafting with no success. I rolled 12 of the Dex gloves and got 2 items that were almost decent, with maybe a 500k sale equivalence (if they hadn’t been BoA), but nothing I could consider using. Others have had more luck and/or persistence than I, and quite a few pics and reports have already been added to our new Crafted item showoff thread. Feel free to report your success or frustration and serve as an example and/or cautionary tale to others.


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  1. A fast route to find some plans is to load the kill ZK quest in A2 (The Black Soulstone -> Soulstone Chamber). Go to the Black Canyon Mines WP, find the elites there, then go to either the sewers or road to alcarnus and kill the elite pack across the bridge. Next, go to the Dahlgur Oasis, find some more elite packs and then kill the key warden (or not). Just go kill ZK after that. This run takes me ~10 min on mp3, which I think is a great MP level to find the plans.

    The price of plans are dropping fast. Real, real fast.

  2. None of the “big eight” have dropped a single plan yet. Siegebreaker isn’t much better for me, one time he dropped 2 plans, but nothing since. I got most of my plans killing trash mobs.

  3. The crafted stuff is a godsend to self-found characters. I made about 15 int armors last night and many of them were pretty good upgrades to my wizard and WD, even though none of the rolls was fantastic.

    Looking at my other characters’ equipment, there’s plenty of room for improvement. I’m actually quite excited and really looking forward to crafting more in the next couple of days. It’s like D2 gambling, but way more fun since the result is always a rare with the potential of becoming BiS.

  4. I have been running the crap out of Cydaea thru Rakanoth, as it’s a nice departure from all the A3 exp runs and all the A3 boss/legendary runs.

    Anyway. I know they didn’t list him in the plan bonus list. But Iskatu, that first boss in A4, has reliably dropped plans just as much (with my limited runs, even more-so) as Cydaea or Rakanoth. He has twice now dropped two plans at once. I can hardly believe that it’s a double random world-drop, and not an enhanced chance of blacksmith plans.

    I’ve done the run a good thirty times or more now. I have also done my normal A3 stuff, and even a bunch of Vault of the Assassin runs (which I loathe). I’ve had like 2 world-drop plans outside of the purple bosses. And Iskatu has dropped a good 10 or 12 plans in my multiple dozen runs.

    My opinion: Other purple bosses seem to have the same bonus to plan drop-rate. I never did siege-breaker, but I’m of the opinion that he falls into the same unlisted bonus category, just by your earlier screenshot.

  5. Maghda to Zoltun Kulle is awful, won’t be doing that one. So much time and effort required for Kulle, there really needs to be a fourth boss between Maghda and Kulle, I hate how he eats up the entire second half of act 2.

    • Yeah, I did that one yesterday (and Act 1 as well) just to see what it was like, and yuck. My TR monk moves with great speed, but when you go long, long dungeon stretches without any monsters, there’s nothing to bang on to help with spirit refills. Boring and slow.

      If you must do one in Act 2, it’s like someone suggested above. Start on ZK and hop around the early surface areas to stack up elsewhere (or maybe Oasis, to tie in a keywarden if you’re at least on MP4?), then take the waypoint right to ZK.

      The (lack of) monster density in Acts 1 and 2 is all the more apparently once you’re using a very fast char that requires enemies to fuel their resource. No wonder all the s2w hate anything but act 3.

      • It’s not just barb, it’s every class’s end game farm build. You maximize dps byusing aoe skills on huge mobs. The bigger the mob, the more resource you get and the more treasure falls out.

        I really hope their top priorities for the next patch are:
        – equalize acts for farming
        – turn off all cutscenes/dialog option
        – identify all button
        – craft all button

        I have yet to craft anything. I’m not sure I ever will based on my 70 hellfire of strength I have made, with zero having crit plues one of ias or chd.

      • Zoltun Kulle… NOT Zoltan

  6. Anyone sick of DEs yet? I had no idea why they are yellow instead of Blue, but now that I’ve got 135 or so (they only stack to 100) I can see the logic. In a week or two I’ll have 500 and won’t care anymore.

    AT that point DEs will just be another useless rare item type to ignore upon drops, while the light blue mats will remain useful for other crafting, gem upgrades, and profitable sales. So nice that DEs aren’t light blue also, since it’ll make them easier to avoid.

    • Eh, if anything they’re too rare. I found about 5 in 2 hours today. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong (DH with 84k DPS running A3 on MP3).

      • Maybe you had bad luck. I’m up to 200+ and not bothering to pick them up anymore. I haven’t done much crafting yet either, though. Maybe 25 dex gloves, and 1 so far with a really nice DPS from 350 dex and 10 CC and some CD, but neither my DH or Monk can really use them since I lose all my vit and res and I’d miss AS also.

        But such is the equipment puzzle of D3…

    • I have burned 80 or so DE’s now on amulet gambling. With the cost of Perf Emeralds and Amethysts (I did about 30 Vit rolls since I pretty much evenly play a DH and a barb), I have now blown more than 200k per roll.

      I love gambling – that’s pretty much the reason I played D2 for literally thousands of hours on and off over a decade. D3 just doesn’t do it for me like the predecessor.

      Sorry, Diablo, I love you to death. I hope you get more fun with the next content patch. Until then, I’m one of those PoE converts.

  7. Reminds me of the “hellfire ring” crafting fever that took hold after that one patch. Took a long time for people to realize how much it sucked. I watched some top ranked hardcore friends bang their head into the wall repeatedly back then as I tried to convince them to stop wasting time running ubers over and over again. It will also take a long time for the diehard crafters to realize this system revamp isn’t very good.

    I know it’s not all bad. I do think it’s somewhat of a blessing to the “self find only” people in that it gives them better odds (still very VERY unlikely but now at least better odds than impossible) of getting gear on par with those that shake and bake on the AH. I don’t personally see the joy in that kind of play style which I personally found to be very frustrating after several weeks of it… but hey at least it’s something for those kind of players trying to bring some fun back into the game by mentally removing the toxic auction house.

    • Yeah, it’s best not to think too much 🙂

      The craft sytem gives a bit of ‘hope’ back, but that will be crushed soon enough. I will probably craft 100 items at once, then decide based on the results if I will do any ever again…

      Overall the patch has been good for my gold balance. Like flux, I’ve been farming and selling the plans. I’m still in act3, but odds of getting something that actually sells are so much better!

      • Is your gear self found or mostly AH stuff? Do you already have top end stuff like every slot worth 40 – 50 mil+?

        I’d be curious to know if anything (of the hundred items you crafted) was an upgrade for you over those items.

        • My gear is in the 40ish mil per piece range, with a few at 100m. I use the ah, never flip items – I farm. Can do mp10 uber solo.

          I’ve settled on shoulder crafting for my barb – its possible to get 300 str, 330vit, which is impossible on a rare. Made 85 so far with some pieces of equal quality to what I have, plus some very good ones for alts.

  8. Maybe I’m just getting lucky, but I’ve just been going after Ghom. Counting the one random drop I found building up my 5 NV, I got 3 plans in 6 runs. Two “worthless?” vitality ones, and the Dexterity Amulet. Got all excited. Went through the trouble and cost of crafting it just to find that it was no where near as good as the Amulet I already had. Guess I need to pay more attention before wasting gold and gems.

  9. that’s all well n good but noone’s mentioning difficulty settings. what’s the best for gettin those plans? Nightmare, Hell, Inferno……what?

  10. Today from ghom 5 nv ap1 sadly no drop trough to raka maybee bad rng.

  11. @flux – I think you should post a quick run down on what you should craft. The vitality plans can roll more stats overall if you are looking for a particular primary stat.

    For example. Since shoulders can roll 300 str, making the vitality ones for a barb is actually better. Best str archon would roll 330 str/200 vit. Best vit archon would roll 300 str/330 vit. Gloves are similar, in that ‘perfect’ dex/int gloves would be worse than perfect vit gloves. Though gloves are a bit different since so many more things can roll and you aren’t looking for stats only.

    Bracer and amulet slots don’t have any special caps on them for different stats.

    • So basically only shoulders with vit if you are a barb…

    • That’s a good subject for another post as the logic of them is still shaking out. As you point out, it’s actually better to roll vit on some of the items (barb shoulders, all bracers?) since you can get a larger total amount of stats. Most people are still largely focused on DPS, rather than total stat gain, thus are going for the dex/str/int crafts for the potential big shiny DPS.

      That’s logical for some, though. Most players have “enough” vit yet always want more DPS; how often do you see any non-HC char with with Amethysts socketed in the armor, after all? A lot less often than you see green/red/yellow gems in armor, in my experience.

      It would be interesting to see some drop calculator info; what % of possible rolls of say, vit shoulders, would be an upgrade for the average barb, compared to str shoulders? Those might be the best option, since there are limited necessary/essential stats on shoulders, so you’re really just hoping for what… str, str+vit+, vit, res all for mods, which is 4 out of the 5 affixes. (Well, just 3 on any given shoulder, since you can’t get just vit if you make vit shoulders, and you can’t get just str if you make str shoulders.) I think the same logic works for bracers, since if you roll mainstat bracers, you’re only hoping for CC and mainstat+vit for them to be quite good, with 3 other random mods to add supplementary affixes.

      Vit gloves on the other hand seem like a poor choice, since you’d need to roll CC, CD, AS, and mainstat+vit for top quality DPS. Whereas if you take the mainstat gloves, you only need CC, CD, AS. Obviously hitting another mainstat+vit roll would be great, but not as essential as the trifecta mods.

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