Good Morning Sanctuary… What’s so good about it?

Okay, so there’s that DiabloWikiCrumbling Vault event you very rarely get in Act 2. It’s kind of misnamed now, since it no longer collapses; when we first saw this area in the 2009 Blizzcon demo, it was a large desert tomb with monsters and tons of chests. Like dozens and dozens of chests, including multiple golden ones, though they only dropped like 2 or 3x usual chests, back then. (Rather than 6 or 8x, as they do now.)

Crumbling Vault surface entrance.

The whole thing was a weird sort of race, back then. (Wiki page about DiabloWikiThe Collapsing Tomb from Blizzcon 2009.) It was a race, but not just with the clock, but with your own greed. So in that early version of the event you’d scramble along, hitting chests like mad and only grabbing the rares, while trying to ignore/avoid the monsters and also find the exit. It was a lot of fun, though it was kind of a meaningless challenge for softcore characters, since if you died you just restarted back in the surface desert with all the loot you’d picked up still in your stash. There was no Hardcore in the Blizzcon 2009 demo, but we spent some time back then debating how that sort of event would be received in Hardcore. Would players really would risk permanent death just for a speed run through an optional event dungeon?

Alas, we’ll never know since the event changed during development. Now it’s just a normal desert tomb, and the race is to get to the end of the level, where there’s a portal through to the Treasure Room… but only if you get there before the timer runs out. If you don’t get there in time nothing happens. No dungeon collapse, no death, etc. But no treasure room either.

It’s still fun for a different play style and you have to run past numerous monsters to get to the exit in time, and if you do make it the treasure room is cool, plus you can just go back down into the main dungeon after you leave the treasure room to finish off those monsters you had to run past last time.

One thing that’s amusing — the dialogue at the start of the dungeon still says it’s a timed event and that you’ll die if you don’t beat the timer. Perhaps they de-deadlied the event late in development and didn’t have time to rerecord the spoken dialogue from the NPC quest-giver? Or they just didn’t care. You can hear the whole speech in the video on the DiabloWikiCrumbling Vault wiki page, if you so desire.


Either this event is very rare or I’m just unlucky, since I’ve only seen it 3 or 4 times since launch, and before tonight I hadn’t seen it in months. The last time I got it was the first time I ever completed it post-release, and that was ironic since I got it on the PTR while testing out a new Demon Hunter on MP10. She had little trouble Vaulting her way through to the exit, but 1) it was only Normal difficulty, and 2) it was on the PTR, so my rewards were irrelevant.

Not that the rewards are so great; I mean we’ve all opened hundreds of golden chests and usually scored nothing more valuable than some junk rares and Tomes of Secret.

But… personal satisfaction!

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

As seldom as I’ve seen that event, I was surprised and delighted when I got the dungeon tonight. I was playing my Witch Doctor who only recently got to Inferno, and thus I wasn’t farming or derping around; I was actually working through Act 2 on MP1, when I got the Collapsing Dungeon in the desert area just before Alcarnus. Though she’s new to Inferno, my WD has plenty of twinks and is actually more powerful at Paragon 5 than my Demon Hunter is at Paragon 30, since the DH is glass cannon’ed out in max MF gear. Therefore, despite a lack of any real good movement skills, I had hopes for reaching the treasure room in an Inferno game when I actually got to keep the loot.

OMG Shiny!

I started off poorly; a swarm of Champion mosquitoes right by the entrance with Fast, Molten, and some other mods I didn’t stick around to count. I had to burn my Spirit Walk right there to get away from them, and I bumped into a boss pack of Sand Imps right around the corner from there, and then I hit a dead end, so I had to run back past the damn Imps. Luckily the Fast bugs had gotten hung up somewhere, probably stinging one of my Mongrels to death, so they weren’t on my heels the whole time. I had to kill some other monsters who blocked the pathway entirely, and took another wrong turn, but to my surprise and delight, I got to the exit portal with about 3 seconds to spare and a huge group of monsters on my heels.

Pausing one instant to flip them off or insult their ancestors in the Spirit Realm or whatever it is that taunting Witch Doctor’s do, I ducked through the portal and took a breath to relax and enjoy the moment in the Treasure Vault. Up a short flight of stairs stood five chests, the center one golden, and I had 5 stacks and a hope for something worthwhile. I clicked them all, like a little kid running through a candy factory, and laughed as the loot fountained out. I didn’t count it all, but there were multiple rares; more than you see in the shot below since there are too many tags to display them all.

I enjoyed the sight for a second, then moved to pick up loot… and loot remained on the ground. I tried again, realized that I wasn’t even picking up the gold… and bad words began to issue from my mouth. I ran up a bit further, already knowing what was going to happen, and after a few more seconds sure enough, there came everyone’s least favorite message.

Jay took your disconnect, and he doubled it!

So here’s my question; have I actually beaten the Treasure Vault yet?

I did completely beat it once, but that was on the PTR and Normal difficulty so it hardly counts. I beat the Crumbling Vault and got to the Vault Treasure Room tonight, but then stabbed me right in the childhood and I was denied even a taste of the loot. But not until they let me see it, just to torment me! Imagine my reaction if a legendary had popped out, and I’d been disconnected before I could pick it up?

Also, am I just unlucky on this dungeon and everyone else has gotten it eleventeen times? Or is it quite rare for others as well?

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3, Diabloii.Net Articles, Humour, Quests


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  1. That’s one of those incredibly frustrating facepalm moments. Too bad ๐Ÿ™

  2. The crumbling vault is another one of the very promising little side-concepts they were talking about during early development. Too bad that it ended up not receiving the proper attention it should have, like so many other things.

    Guess Blizzard just couldn’t find the time to make it work during their trademark greased-lightening-production-cycle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I really like the timed event feature of this dungeon, but the treasure at the end has always been a let down for me once I realized I got better loot from the champion and rare monsters.
    I get this dungeon about 1 out of every 4 tries.

  4. I love this dungeon, mainly because there are lots of elites down there. The reward could be a little better in the end, seeing the cave is quite rare.
    There should be loads of these events in the game in all acts and they should all be rare. A lot of rewarding events that only spawned in about 10% of the games would be great fun imo and make the game feel much more empty. Every single event that exist in the game atm is useless, and while doing Alkaizer runs there are pretty much zero events (there’s one in the scorpion caves with a big chest that spawns some mobs…)

    Hope they include loads of rewarding small events in the future, preferably some EXTREMELY hard so people need help from a friend even in lower MP.

  5. I keep seeing it right when I’m at a point where I can’t run through it easily (new character just hitting A2 in that difficulty).

    If I ever do an achievement run-scrub I’ll try to hit it, but playing self-found means when I run into it during my A2 runs in Inferno these days, I don’t have the EHP to survive all those packs.

    One thing I noticed is that the crumbling rubble deals significant damage to mobs. If you have enough DPS it’s possible to lure them to falling ceiling areas and clean up, but you’d still have to get lucky to have the vault entrance near the start, or not go the wrong way. The only time I ended up not dying in the vault, I managed to miss the treasure room by a few seconds.

  6. TIL crumbling vault had chest that dropped chests! inception ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  7. As far as I know you can’t go back into the main dungeon after reaching the vault room.
    So that begs the question, with just 1 resplendent chest is it even worth it going for the vault room? The elite pack density there is great and much more rewarding than the actual “reward”…

    • A big chest drops the same as any pack. So no it’s not worth it.

    • When I beat the level on the PTR, I was able to go back into the main dungeon afterwards. So I got all the treasure, and then I went back in and cleaned up the mobs. I’d hoped to do that last night since I’d even passed a Goblin there, but alas.

      Returning might not be possible now; they could have tweaked that since I got it on the PTR, or it was buggy there, or who knows.

  8. Off the top of my head there are at least two achievements for that event: one for finding the treasure room and another one for finding it with more than x seconds remaining. If the game worked correctly, you should have received the achievement accordingly.
    The disconnect is bad, but even if you had a Legendary drop, the rolls on it would probably be crap (or maybe it would be a 58 legendary nobody wants).

  9. Back in 1.0.3 when I started my first HC character, I never seen this place before even when I was playing SC at the time. So, like an idiot, I went into the crumbling vault not knowing what to expect. I didn’t know it was a timed event so I did what I could to race to the exit but I ran into a mob of 2 champ groups along the way and got my ass handed to me. It was my level 17 DH that died so I wasn’t pissed about it. Now I avoid that place like the plague when I see it in HC.

  10. I’ve seen it once or twice in my ~60 hours of gameplay. The first time I went in was with a HC character in nightmare. I was worried that it might collapse on me so I intended to portal out 20 seconds before the end time, but some monsters came and interrupted me… I’m glad they decided to change it, lol.

  11. I’ve found this dungeon a lot more once I started looking for it as part of my Leoric’s Signet runs. It seemed like it was insanely rare, now it seems fairly common. So maybe the rate changed? Or maybe I’m just hitting a RNG streak.

    Either way, it’s definitely a place where a lot more could have been done, but which somehow feels different and good enough from the rest to make me happy, despite the flaws you see going from the promised to the actual. This is one reason I didn’t play the D3 beta and paid very little attention to the pre-launch, save the launch date. I didn’t get my hopes up in a bunch.

  12. me and my friend have been farming keys in act 2, and he needs the crumbling vault for the achievement… and lets just say I have gotten more than 5 keys before hes even seen it. Its pretty rare.

  13. Funny, I wanted to get the achievement just a few days ago. So I farmed it. I estimate it spawns about 20% of the time. I kept going for the dying Necromancer and I saw many more crumbling vaults before I figured out the rules.

    – The wiki is wrong. It cannot spawn in any of the 4 four spawn points in the Stinging Winds. I saw it 5 times, and always only in the western two points.

    – Likewise, the two necromancer events only show up on the east side. (Which is probably the more popular side, if either side is popular.)

    – Unlike the two east side spawn points, the two west points are at least a screen off of the logical path through the zone. Hence, this event seems rarer than it probably is. Not enough people check. You’re not quite close enough for the minimap to tell you “hey, something neato spawned in your game!”

    – If you see The Ruins, give up. That place is useless and it seems like it is exclusive with The Crumbling Vault.

    +1 fan for this dungeon. It has a unique gimmick, the elites are packed close together, and it has a gold chest. It’s very easily “farmed” with the waypoint at the Kazim Outpost if you memorize where the two spawn points are.

    Archon Wizard + 25% frw = party at the Crumbling Vault!

    • You’re wrong about the necromancer quests only appearing on the eastern side. I was looking for the Crumbling Vault earlier on the western side and found the dying necromancer quest in the same game with the vault immediately to its left.
      I haven’t bothered to check the rest of your claims though…

  14. Either I share in your lack of luck or I just fail to check closely enough to see if it spawned. I’ve only come across the crumbling vault 5 or 6 times since release. I’ve never successfully made it through to the chest room either, though I’ve been within a screen of the room when the clock has run out.

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