Act One Farming and HC Loot Recovery?

A couple of interesting Blue posts on the EU threads today. The first asks about Inferno item farming in Act One:

Act One worth farming? Is it?
Takralus: I’d have to agree with the other here, it totally depends on your gear and your expectations, IMO. There’s lots to take into consideration. If you’re happy for a higher degree of difficulty, which in turn means you’ll kill things slower and may end up with a larger repair bill — but have a better chance of finding nice loot — then maybe it’s time for the next Act.

It seems kind of silly to even contemplate this, after watching some of the Alkaizer live stream last night, but yes, farming in Act One can be viable… but it doesn’t feel very good once you’re geared enough to farm in Act Two or Three. We talked about this on the podcast this week, and the lower item levels you get in Act One are wearisome. “Oh look, another rare level 54 shoulders!” Anything you wish you could vendor without wasting the 3 seconds to ID it first is not a real joyous find, and you get an awful lot of those in Act One.

Players who have grown very bored with farming Act Three have been talking wistfully about Blizzard’s initial design theory for Inferno; that it would be a “flat” difficulty with enemies of roughly-equivalent challenge/reward in all four acts. This would obviously be tough for progression for characters new to DiabloWikiInferno, but it would certainly expand the viable farming areas for the most powerful characters. Perhaps some sort of hybrid system can be incorporated, where players could custom select their difficulty? After all, we’ve likely got some years to wait before a Skovosian Act Five comes along in an Expansion.

Elsewhere, a fan suggests a creative method to allow Hardcore players to get some of their lost loot back.

So after your hero dies in HC his equip is lost forever. This is very annoying but somehow logical i guess. He died somewhere in the wilderness and you cant get his stuff.

I am proposing that you should be able somehow retrive that equip but in unique interesting way. For example when your next hero reaches level of your dead hero he gets a quest.
Someone aproach to him in dram for example and say that he needs to save soul in agony(your dead hero) bla bla bla.

He then needs to go to the same spot where your dead hero died and something happends. He might fight with a ghost of dead hero or make a favor to him, something like that. After that you get his stuff.

This way items in HC would have value and HC play would get something unique.
Nakatoir: I think that being able to have the gear of an old character drop at a REALLY low chance would be kinda cool, but only if it was in a way where the gear was not usable for you and bound to the account. This saves it from being a way that you can get old gear back, and just makes it so that you can be sentimental about a lost character 🙂

A very cool concept especially if the item had a tag on it like, “Belonged to [Charactername]” or something of the sort.

Here’s where the Hardcore purists (who are seldom actual Hardcore players, oddly enough) leap in and shout that this is an abomination and a corruption of the whole theory behind hardcore play, etc, etc. And in this case I think they’re right and I think I agree with them. That said, it would be kind of cool if Hardcore awarded you with something for creating another character of the same class, and exceeding your previous point of progress.

Talking to Xanth yesterday, his new Witch Doctor (this is #5, I believe) was already back to level 50, after his previous one died at Paragon 10 earlier this week. Would he be even more motivated to keep grinding away if he had a chance to get some of his lost gear back once he reached Paragon level 11? Perhaps he’ll let us know in comments…

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20 thoughts on “Act One Farming and HC Loot Recovery?

  1. Act 3 is clearly the most efficient way to farm the best gear, e.g., tons of clustered mobs, 3 easy bosses (Siegebeaker, Cydae, Azmodan), and tons of room for kiting. HOWEVER, it has become EXTREMELY boring. I find myself yawning after about 5 min of play. I play less and less every day.

    Some say Act 4 is an alternative. I disagree. The bosses are harder and take much longer to kill. Moreover, the Act itself is just not appealing.

    Act 1 is extremely fun. However, the constant low-level loot and brimstone-legendary items is enough to keep me away.

    I’d like to see another level of difficulty after Inferno, but with a flat difficulty level across all the acts: Normal -> Nightmate -> Hell -> Inferno -> Horror

    I need some variety. I can’t imagine playing Act 3 Inferno much longer. My interested is just about gone.

    • What they should have done is keep inferno really hard, make it flat difficult (maybe all acts comparable to act III). So we all farm act III/IV Hell until we can jump to Inferno. But no, people wanted to be

      • can’t edit but the end is : wanted to be able to run through inferno without having to pause farming in each act for more than a day or two.

        • EXACTLY. I’ve been preaching this since they announced they were “looking at rebalancing Inferno” for the first time. I believe the problem with the original Inferno (other than the drop rates, because that DID need to be fixed,) actually had less to do with Inferno itself, but more to do with Hell. With the way the game was and is, you can pretty much make it to Hell A1 or A2 using all self-found gear and without stopping at all. Sure, some characters/builds will have a difficult time in NM (my lvl 40 Wizard was getting thrown around pretty well in NM A2,) but not all of them will (Barb, Monk, and DH made it just fine, and I haven’t pushed that far with WD yet.) I still think that, instead of nerfing Inferno, they should’ve made Hell quite a bit more difficult.

          The problem with that, is the way newer players/gamers viewed the situation; as I’ve posted before, it’s all about the psychology of it all. As you mentioned, people felt that they shouldn’t have to stop at all, and should be able to play right through all 4 difficulties. While this notion absolutely ridiculous, the fault lies not with the impatient players, but with the way the game was designed. For what seems like the vast majority of players, Inferno was not and is not a challenge; it’s a pain-in-the-ass roadblock. There’s a couple of reasons for this.

          First, some people see it as just another video game with 4 difficulties, and in 99% of video games, extra hard difficulties just means it’s a little bit harder, but typically you don’t have to spend an excessive amount of time on any one difficulty. The Diablo series, as well as many other loot grinds, fall into the other 1%. So, when the game wasn’t what they were used to, they cried foul.

          Second is that, although Inferno was originally “advertised” as an additional, OPTIONAL difficulty, most gamers don’t see it that way. They see it as, if they only beat 3/4 difficulty levels, then they didn’t *really* beat the game. Think of it like if someone who was hardcore into fps games only beat Halo on Heroic, or CoD on Hardened. Because of that, no matter how Inferno was sold to the public, and no matter how much explaining Blizzard did or would’ve done, until those players finish all 4 difficulties, they think that they might as well have only beaten the game on Normal.

          And lastly, as I hinted at above, is how Diablo 3 was designed. By making the difficulty barely increase between Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, they caused all kinds of problems for themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, the AH also plays a HUGE factor into this, because without it we would have never seen so many people get so far so quickly (yes, some people still would have, but MOST would not have.) But anyways, since people were able to breeze through the first 3 difficulties so quickly, Blizzard created the mindset for those players that they should be able to more or less breeze through Inferno as well. Also, by making characters cap at lvl 60 just as players finished Hell, they felt unsatisfied; they wanted more. They wanted to play the game with their newly maxed out character, but why bother playing through Hell again, when there’s a-whole-nother difficulty level and better loot to find?

          So yeah. I think I’ve already written way too much, so I’ll sum it up by saying that, if the first three difficulties would’ve all been more difficult, with some extra emphasis on Hell difficulty, I think it’s possible that there would’ve been way fewer complaints about Inferno. Also, it might not have been a bad idea to make Inferno stand out somehow. What I mean is, doing something like making the word “Inferno” look significantly different than the others in the main menu, or maybe making a little message pop up when you select Inferno for the first time on each character that “warns you” of its difficulty in some sort of creative way, or maybe even having a “special quest” that had to be completed after Hell, but before Inferno, further emphasizing the fact that the Inferno difficulty is something optional.

  2. Cant rememeber i have got anything decent from act1 farming inferno, all my legendaries and sets so far have dropped in act 2 or 3 so i dont get it.. maybe just badluck.

  3. I’ve gotten 1 legendary since I hit Inferno in Act 1 I don’t have teh gear to farm later acts and I’m at Paragon lvl 7 now. I admitably don’t put too much time into it atm but I have found a few upgrades but really it’s just because I want to be safe and slowly build up gold to eventually buy something big.

  4. Here’s a question. Why not just put in a damn loot command? It was one of the few reasons to play with others in D2.

    If your buddy isn’t there or also dies… well too bad.

    • i agree , ideally they would scale the loot / XP smarter and smoother. with something like /player x.

      in which case something like /player 3 or /difficulty 3

      would represent the current difficulty and reward of the current act 3?

      if you design something like this properly and put pretty ui on it would definitively be an worthwhile experience.

      that is not to say that i think that this is a good solution …

      eg. i think that the game fundamentally lacks randomization for maps and mobs and is unrewarding for explorers (eg even big treasure chests only contain crap)- and this is the worst case for A3.
      it has the most preset map-tiles of all acts and the least amount of events. not even Monster location or variety is properly randomized – i always fight the same monsters at the same locations.

      i also wouldnt mind if monster from previous acts would make guest appearances if that means that the variety grows … maybe put skeleton summoner from act1 into skeleton packs ? put some cultists in the tower / arreatcrater ? idk everything than replaying the exact same act over and over.

  5. The thing is, farming act 3 is pretty slow if you have bad-average gear.
    For me it didn’t seem very efficient with 85K dps on the dh. If I switch out to max mf/max discipline/max movement speed/20+ pickup radius gear and use multishot/vault spam dps drops to 40K but a run still only takes around 30 minutes.

    In that time I get roughly 60 elite kills and 7-8M xp, with a few ahworthy pieces thrown in. Only picking up lvl 62+ rares and all jewelry, of course.

    With shitty gear 400mf act 1 >>> act 3 imho.

  6. I kinda split my time up between acts 1,2, and 3. If I dont feel like putting any effort in at all, and wear all MF gear I will run Act 1. I can wear most of my MF gear for Act 2, and it is still quite easy, but I do have to pay a little more attention if I dont want to die all the time. Since I dont have huge DPS on my Wiz, Act 3 is a little more tough. The packs take longer to kill, especially since I have no extra crit, but generally give fewer sub lvl 60 items. If I know I have some time to play awhile, its going to be Act 2 or 3.

  7. regarding hardcore – They’re called “bones files”. Look them up.

    “bones files” on Blizzard’s servers would kick ass. Especially if:
    a) the bonus equipment was only 1 or 2 items, not everything
    b) they were bind on equip, not bind on pickup

    I vote for BoE because it would be awesome if someone traded you back your old gear.

    It makes sense since NetHack and Rogue are the direct ancestors of Diablo and permanent death was the default in those games.

    • And, AFAIK, you could meet ghosts of your past characters in some of those games, so they could kick your ass 🙂

  8. I would go for the ability to loot a player in a hardcore co-op game. Exactly as it was in D2. The main difference is that in D2 your inventory was important as it had charms and you lost these, even if looted.

    Perhaps in D3 you could simulate some similar penalty by say randomly selecting 2 items which would not be looted.

  9. while some may argue that the AH in HC makes it less HC, permadeath and equipment loss help keep the HC AH stable. as much as i hate losing a character and their gear, having a relatively stable economy seems better than getting gear back from fallen heroes.

  10. “the lower item levels you get in Act One are wearisome. “Oh look, another rare level 54 shoulders!”” Well yesterday I got an ilev 52 in A3. Might go back to A2 for faster farming but I don’t know yet, I might do if it gave me more gold per hour (wich is possible, but the A2 items wouls sell for less). Time to try I guess.

  11. im again getting reports from firefox that diablo.incgamers is a reported attack site. cant login or send messages, thats why i post here. whats wrong?

  12. sorry cant send a private message, cant login, cant enter forums, but this is what google says:

    What happened when Google visited this site?

    Of the 230 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 1 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2012-09-07, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2012-09-07.

    Malicious software includes 25 exploit(s), 1 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 1 new process(es) on the target machine.

    Malicious software is hosted on 2 domain(s), including,

    1 domain(s) appear to be functioning as intermediaries for distributing malware to visitors of this site, including

    This site was hosted on 2 network(s) including AS30962 (COMTRANCE), AS15169 (Google Internet Backbone).

  13. It’s pretty easy to figure out what’s more efficient. Loot is Random and ilevel’s have a set % chance to drop. The only items exclusive to higher difficulties are higher quality gem/pattern drops (Which are set, one time only items).

    Anyone who seems to think X, Y or Z sets or legendaries or item types only drop in higher acts are simply providing their experience with an extremely limited and narrow view/understanding of how magic find works.

    How it pretty much works out is, if you can find/kill champions in half the time of the previous act (with the same mf) you will find equivalent quality of gear and both acts are pretty much equal in Mf’ing. In other words, finding and killing 15 champions in 10 minutes in act 1 will provide roughly the same quality of drops as killing 15 champions in 20 minutes in act 2 (ie same number of rare ilevel 63’s, same number of rare ilevel 62’s while finding less sub ilevel 62 items). If you can kill those 15 champions in less than 20 minutes in act 2 than act 2 is better for you, if not than act 1 is.

    Act 3 gives you 4x the duration of act 1 to find equal quality.

    I personally play HC and the substantially elevated risk of death in higher Inferno difficulties has me happily farming act 1 and I’m pretty aware of how efficient it is for me compared to later acts 🙂

  14. “Players who have grown very bored with farming Act Three have been talking wistfully about Blizzard’s initial design theory for Inferno; that it would be a “flat” difficulty with enemies of roughly-equivalent challenge/reward in all four acts. This would obviously be tough for progression for characters new to DiabloWikiInferno, but it would certainly expand the viable farming areas for the most powerful characters. Perhaps some sort of hybrid system can be incorporated, where players could custom select their difficulty?”

    Ever since I played the game at launch, I couldn’t understand why there were 4 difficulty levels. It makes the first 3 tiresome, a chore and pointless to do other than level up your character.

    Why can’t we simply get rid of Normal mode, and make hell as difficult as inferno is now, and scale everything appropriately? And then make inferno flat? Problem solved.

    With this solution, you remove the useless padding of the game, quicken the difficulty curve, make farming in the new Hell difficulty viable for Inferno in the later acts, and make inferno feel a lot less like a 4th tacked on difficulty level.

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