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Great guide to finding magical items – all the basics explained!

1 “Magic Find” from patch 1.1x
2 From treasure classes, area levels, monster levels and more
3 The right “Magic Find” tools and tips
4 Gambling

1. “Magic Find” from patch 1.1x

Magic Find-Guide: Mephisto, the godfather of “Magic Find”, still drops well

Once upon a time… in a land before Diablo 2 Patch 1.10, armies of sorceresses specially equipped for Magic Find raided Level 3 of the Dungeon of Hatred to slaughter the inhabitants in search of more and more divine items. The nude boss Mephisto, who lives there, died thousands of deaths every day. Thanks to his high chance of obtaining very good unique items, he promised success within a very short 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. Unfortunately, he was much easier to reach and kill than Mephisto, and he was one of the few monsters who could drop the game’s unique weapon, the Windmill Hydra Bow, which was much sought-after then and now. Other monsters and areas in the game also promised prospects of success, but not nearly as fast as the two monsters just mentioned. Given this extreme imbalance in the “Magic” find, fundamental changes were urgently needed, and the long-awaited Diablo 2 Patch 1.10, released in the fall of 2003, finally brought them to fruition after a 2-year wait.

What has changed?

Nude bosses like Mephisto still promise the quickest success on good items, and the unique boss monster Bone Skin still drops the mighty Windmill Bow (and even more often), but the very best items of the so-called “Elite Item” class can now be found in the game difficulty level “Hell” throughout from act 1 to act 5, some of them even before in act 5 in the difficulty level “Nightmare”. Prior to patch 1.10, it was almost impossible to find usable elite items in “Hell” mode before Act 5, with a few exceptions such as the act bosses Mephisto in Act 3 and Diablo in Act 4. “Magic Find has only been fun since patch 1.10, and it promises success not only for gamers who play a lot of games, but also because of the much more balanced odds and a lot of new and revised items. The essential changes will be explained in the following with special consideration of the game difficulty level “Hell”.

2. From treasure classes, area levels, monster levels and more

To understand the changes in Magic Find since patch 1.10, here is a brief introduction and explanation of some basic things about items, monsters, and the frequency with which items fall In Diablo 2, each monster and other game items such as boxes, urns, dead bodies lying around, etc. have a different frequency. (hereafter “props”) have a certain chance of dropping one or more items when they die, break or open. The quality of the item depends on various factors.

The items that can be dropped by monsters, boxes and the like can be divided into six groups:

◦ Non-magical items like potions, arrows, bolts, scrolls, gold pieces etc.
◦ Non-magical armour and weapons of varying quality from bad to good (colour: white item inscription or grey if socketed or ethereal (reinforced basic properties, but not repairable))
◦ Magic items with 1 or 2 magic properties (color: blue font)
◦ Rare items with 2 to 6 magical properties (color: yellow font)
◦ Items of an item set, which consists of several parts that belong together (color: green font)
◦ Unique items with several unique properties (color: golden font). Items required to solve certain quests, such as the Horadrim Staff, also belong to this group, but are not of further importance for “Magic Find”.

Armour and weapons are also divided – regardless of their magical status (Normal/Magical/Rar/Set/Unique) – into the groups Normal, Exceptional and Elite, whereby there is a hierarchy from “Low-Level” to “High-Level” within these three groups. For example, the legend sword with low requirements (from character level 44) is the smallest 2-handed elite sword and the colossal blade with high requirements (from character level 63) is the largest and best.

The armor and weapons of the group “Normal” fall from the game difficulty level “Normal” on, whereby some items of the group “Extraordinary” can already be found in acts 4 and 5 of this difficulty level. In the game difficulty level “Nightmare”, both “Normal” and “Extraordinary” armor and weapons can fall, from Act 4 and 5 on, some “Elite” can fall, and from the game difficulty level “Hell” on, items from all three groups can fall.

The monsters and props that the player encounters on his forays through the world can also be divided into six groups:

◦ Various “props” like boxes, urns, dead bodies lying around etc., which can also drop items like monsters
◦ Normal monsters with certain basic characteristics or attacks
◦ Champion Monsters with one or more basic abilities enhanced over normal monsters (indicated by the blue instead of white monster label)
◦ Low boss monsters with randomly generated special properties (recognizable by the servants accompanying them and randomly generated, sometimes curious names like “Blade-Touch the Axe” or “Moldy Puss of the Destroyers”)
◦ Unique Boss Monsters (Superuniques or SU for short) with fixed and randomly generated special characteristics (recognizable by the servants accompanying them and unique names such as “Boneskin” or “Eldritch the Judge”)
◦ Nude bosses with firm, strong special features: Andariel (act 1), Duriel (act 2), Mephisto (act 3), Diablo (act 4) and Baal (act 5)

The drop chances for items and monsters correspond to the order in the two lists above:

◦ Non-magical items such as potions, arrows, bolts, scrolls, gold pieces, etc. fall most often and good items such as unique magical armor or weapons fall the least. Among armor and weapons, which – as mentioned above – are divided into the groups “Normal”, “Extraordinary” and “Elite”, the “Normal” items fall most often and “Elite” items fall least often, whereas elite items of higher levels are exclusively reserved for the game difficulty level “Hell”. In this context it is also worth mentioning that necromancer and sorceress wands, paladin scepters, as well as class-specific items such as paladin shields or barbarian helmets, only fall 1/3 as often as regular armor and weapons.
◦ Props such as chests, urns, dead bodies lying around etc. have the least chance of dropping a good item, and nude bosses have by far the best chance of dropping a good item, with unique elite items in the highest game difficulty level “hell” in particular dropping the most often. Worth mentioning in this context is the so-called “No Drop” chance. This is an internal value that is different for each prop and monster and indicates how high the chance is that it will not drop anything. This value is important for multiplayer games, because the number of players in the game affects this “No Drop” chance and thus the general chance that any item (not an item of a certain magic quality!) will drop. The drop chances increase up to 5 players in the game, sometimes significantly; with even more players the bonus becomes negligible. Champion monsters, lower boss monsters and unique boss monsters like “Bone Skin” have a “No Drop” chance of 0%, i.e. they always drop the same number of items regardless of the number of players in the game. Nude bosses like Diablo or Baal, on the other hand, have a certain “No Drop” chance, so multiple players in the game can be advantageous.

Now that a few basic things have been explained, it’s time to get down to business!

Diablo 2 is based on an extensive level system. Besides the levels visible to the players, such as the character level, the dungeon level (e.g. Catacombs – level 2) or the level requirements for using items, there are also a number of internal levels and groupings used for generating monsters and items. The following terms are of interest in this context for the “Magic Find” consideration:

Quality level: All base items have a quality level (“qlvl”), which is defined in internal tables. Unique items and set items have an additional quality level called “qlvl”, which is treated separately when determining which item a monster drops. To drop a certain set or unique item, a monster must be able to drop the corresponding base item of this treasure class (see below) and it must also have a sufficiently high monster level (see below) to drop the set/unique qlvl of the item. To avoid confusion between the two quality levels in the following explanations, the set/unique qlvl is now called “uqlvl”.

Treasure classes: Three of each of the above item quality levels (qlvl) are combined in a so-called Treasure Class (TC) to form a small group. For example, the TC 3 called “armo3” contains all armour items (armour, shield, helmet, belt, gloves, boots) that have a qlvl from 1 to 3; the TC 6 called “armo6” contains all armour items from qlvl 4 to 6 etc. The highest TC since patch 1.10 is TC 87, which includes items from qlvl 85 to 87. Previously there was TC 90, but all items of this TC are now combined in TC 87.

Area Levels: Like items, the different regions in the game have their own levels, the so-called area levels (“arealvl”), which are listed separately for each level of difficulty (normal, nightmare, hell) in a special area table (see also the following table section).

Monster Levels: The monster levels (“mlvl”) per game difficulty level are recorded in a special monster table. Since Patch 1.10, the monster levels of the game difficulty levels “Nightmare” and “Hell” are overwritten with corresponding area level values from the previously mentioned area table. These new monster levels affect the monsters’ health, damage, hit chance etc. as well as the quality of the items they can drop. The ratios between monster level and area level for “Nightmare” and “Hell” since patch 1.10 are as follows:

◦ All normal monsters and their accompanying minions get their monster level (mlvl) set equal to the area level (arealvl)
◦ All champion monsters get their mlvl = arealvl + 2
◦ All lower boss monsters and certain unique boss monsters (“Superuniques”), such as “Boneskin” or “Eldritch the Judge”, as well as their minions get their mlvl = arealvl + 3 set
◦ All props like boxes, urns, dead bodies lying around etc. get their level = arealvl set

Excluded from this new regulation are:

◦ All nude bosses: Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo and Baal
◦ Certain unique boss monsters: Blood Raven, Griswold, Radament, Necromancer (Act 2), Izual and Nihlathak
◦ All monsters of the “Desecrator” class
◦ All creatures and items summoned by game characters such as golems, ghosts, bone walls or traps

For all the above exceptions, the levels originally set will continue to apply.

After the monster level is set via the area level, the monster properties and treasure classes for the monster type are determined and assigned again. If a monster has a higher treasure class, it will now drop items from this new class. It is interesting that the treasure classes are only adjusted upwards but not downwards, i.e. the monster drops after level adjustment as originally set or better. Especially in the difficulty level “Hell” there are now from act 1 on isolated areas with the very high level 85, which promise excellent success in “Magic Find” (see the following table with the area levels).

Magic Find-Guide: bone skin in act 5, before patch 1.10 the fastest place to farm valuable items, still drops well, but no more peak items

The new method of level determination has significant consequences for certain unique boss monsters in terms of Magic Find. For example, the previously very popular “Bone Skin”, which has a fairly high monster level (mlvl 88), is now only mlvl 86 since patch 1.10, as it is generated in an area that is now area level 83. This means that although “Bone Skin”, previously known for the best unique items, can still drop items from the highest class TC 87, which includes items from qlvl 85 to 87, the three highest quality unique items of the 1.10 patch (Tyrael’s Might Holy Armor, Blue Fury Phase Blade, and Spider Monster Web Spider Web Sash) will no longer be able to drop because they have the unique qlvl (uqlvl) 87.
For example, to find the extremely rare Sacred Armor of Tyrael’s Power, you are now not condemned to make endless “Magic Find” runs on the nude boss Baal, who is one of the few unique level monsters capable of dropping this armor. No, since patch 1.10, thanks to the new high level areas and monsters in the game difficulty level “Hell”, it’s also different, and the whole thing has also become much more interesting. Instead of always making boring “Magic Find” runs on the same boss monster, you can now pick one of the new high level areas and hope to get the same high quality items there.as explained above, 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 in an area with area level 85, not only all items of the highest treasure class TC 87 can be dropped, but also all set and unique items without exception, since the monster level for champions is 87 and for lower boss monsters and their minions even 88. Both champions and the smaller bosses have been very common since patch 1.10, and they have a pretty good chance of dropping “set” or “unique” quality items if the “Magic Find” chance on the character equipment is high enough. More on Magic Find equipment and the improved chances since patch 1.10 below in the guide.

The following is a section of the table with the Diablo 2 area data. The red numbers mark the most promising areas since patch 1.10 for finding the best magic items (including all set and unique items).

Patch 1.1x: Farm zones with area level 85

Furthermore, all areas with level 83 or 84 are of course also very interesting for “Magic Find” of elite items, because here the lower bosses and their servants reach monster levels 86 and 87 respectively, and the champion monsters reach levels 85 and 86 respectively. All of these high level areas are also great for leveling advanced characters, as the amount of experience gained by killed monsters depends on the level of the monster, and since patch 1.10, to find the highest rune in the game, the ZOD rune, normal monsters only need to be level 81, i.e. from an area that is level 81 or higher.

3. The right “Magic Find” equipment and tips

Magic Find-Guide: Top item for farming valuable items: The “war traveler” boots

As mentioned above, monsters and props have the ability to drop one or more items. Whether an item has magical properties depends on who drops the item or how much chance the item has of being a magical item of a certain quality, as well as how much Magic Find (MF) bonus the player has on their equipment.

In general you can say: “The more MF-Bonus on the equipment, the higher are the chances for good magic items”. It should be noted that this chance does not increase linearly with additional MF equipment, but the bonuses will gradually decrease. Before patch 1.10, equipment with a +250% MF chance was considered good and +400% MF (or more) very good. However, having more than 400% MF made little sense due to the significantly decreasing bonuses in this area, and other important equipment characteristics such as resistance to elemental attacks must inevitably take a back seat. So even with characters specializing in “Magic Find”, it’s important to maintain the right balance between MF bonuses and other important equipment characteristics.

Since patch 1.10, and especially in the more difficult so-called ladder mode in Battle.net, the monsters have become much stronger, faster and more robust, which means that the MF bonuses on the equipment can no longer be as lavish as before. The game developers were also aware of this, and so since patch 1.10 some especially for “Magic Finder” advantageous changes in the game are included:

◦ There are now generally more items from the higher treasure classes and less from the lower classes.
◦ The quality of the rare (yellow) items has increased significantly thanks to a thorough revision and expansion of the magical affix pool (totality of all possible pre- and suffixes on magical items). For example, the prefixes “Of Cruelty’ or “Divine” are now also allowed on rare items, and the suffixes for Mana and Life Extraction are both possible on rings and amulets at the same time (so-called “Dual-Leech”).
◦ In general more items of magical quality (Magic, Rare, Unique and Set items) are falling now. The base chance of these items has been increased by about 25% on average, whereas especially normal items of magical quality fall much more often than before.

The latter means the following regarding MF equipment since patch 1.10:

◦ For unique items, for example, +0% MF on the equipment in patch 1.10 corresponds to about +30% MF in patch 1.09
◦ +200% MF in 1.10 corresponds to about +470% MF in 1.09
◦ +500% MF in 1.10 corresponds to about +3500% MF in 1.09

The enormous difference in the last two comparisons is due to the fact that the general 25% increase in uniques continues, despite the steeply falling equipment bonuses in these areas.
There are now a number of options when choosing MF equipment. First and foremost, there are the good, but also rare and therefore expensive, unique items or set items that carry a high percentage of additional chance of magical items among other features. The MF chance of each of the following items can be further increased, if it is socketable (e.g. from Larzuk to quest 1 in act 5), with an ACTUAL rune (+30% MF chance in weapons, +25% in helmets, armor and shields) or a perfect topaz (+24% MF chance in helmets and armor).

Items worth mentioning are:

Helmets

◦ Harlequin crown unique Tschako with +50% MF chance
◦ Predatory unique pointed helmet with +30% to +50% MF chance (varies)
◦ Camouflage helmet unique wolfsbane with +25% to +50% MF chance (varies)
◦ Will of the Immortal King Barbarian Helmet from the “Immortal King” set with +25% to +40% MF chance (varies) and 2 free sockets for further enhancement with 2 perfect topazes (+48% MF) or 2 IST runes (+50% MF)
◦ Griswolds Heroism Corona from the “Griswolds Heritage” set with +20% to +30% MF chance (varies) and 2 free sockets for further enhancement with 2 perfect topazes (+48% MF) or 2 actual runes (+50% MF)
◦ “Delirium” rune-word helmet (Lem-Ist-Io) with +25% MF chance. Besides the MF bonus and +2 on all skills, this helmet has extraordinary defensive qualities, such as the chance to cast the powerful curse “Confuse” when attacking, which makes it ideal for soloing. A rather amusing gimmick of the helmet is the 1% chance to transform its wearer into an extremely aggressive Undead Stygian Dummy (“Delirium” chance) if hit, which also works for hired mercenaries.

Rustning

◦Skullders Zorn unique iron armor with +1.25% to +123% MF chance (depending on character level (1-99))
◦”Prosperity” Rune-word armor (Lem-Ko-Tir) with +100% MF chance
◦”Riddle” Rune-word armor (Jah-Ith-Ber) with +1% to +99% MF chance (depending on character level (1-99))
◦Tal Rasha’s Care Lacquered plate armour from the “Tal Rasha’s Hull” set with +88% MF chance. If 2 more parts of the set are worn, e.g. amulet and belt, you get another +65% MF chance.

Shields

◦”Rhyme” Rune-word shield (Shael-Eth) with +25% MF chance

handsker

◦Guardian unique chain gloves with +25% to +40% MF chance (varies)

Bælte

◦War traveler unique combat boots with +30% to +50% MF chance (varies)

Våben

◦Seagull unique dagger with +100% MF chance
◦Blade of the Ali Baba unique Tulwar with +1% to +99% MF chance (depending on character level (1-99)) and 2 free sockets for further enhancement with 2 IST runes (+60% MF)
◦Skull Collector unique rune staff with +1% to +99% MF chance (depending on character level (1-99))
◦Grave robber unique Mysterious axe with +50% to +80% MF chance (varies)
◦The eye unique Whirling crystal (only Sorceress) with +50% MF chance
◦ Cranebill unique warthorn with +20% to +50% MF chance (varies)

Jewellery

◦ Tankred’s spell amulet from the “Tankred’s combat equipment” set with +78% MF chance, if at least one other item of the set is worn, e.g. the boots ◦ Nail ring unique ring with +15% to +30% MF chance (varies) Wisp Projector unique ring with +10% to +20% MF chance (varies)

Other

◦ ACTUAL Rune – Your attachment to socketed weapons gives +30% MF chance and to helmets, armor and shields +25
◦ Gheed’s Luck unique giant spell with +20% to +40% MF chance (varies)
◦ Magic spells with “Magic Find” affix – your size and MF chance vary, ideal here are the small spells with +5% to +7% MF chance

This “Magic Find” guide is, as mentioned at the beginning, primarily written for the ladder mode or also for beginners in Battle.net. In both cases you start from scratch and have no equipment except a few basic items. Finding one of the above mentioned items with good “Magic Find” properties is rather low except for the “Cloak of Invisibility” helmet, the “Seagull” dagger, the “Guardian Loyalty” gloves, the “Gold Carrier” belt or the runes for a “Rhyme” rune-word shield in the early phase of the game. There is, however, one common item that the player encounters in different qualities from the very beginning and that increases the chance of finding magical items: the Topaz Gem. The yellow gem comes in five different quality levels, and it gives the following “Magic Find” bonuses when socketed in helmet or armor:

◦Damaged topaz: +9% chance of finding magical items, min. character level requirement: 1
◦Flawed Topaz: +13% chance of receiving magical items, min. character level requirement: 5
◦Topaz: +16% chance of receiving magical items, min. character level requirement: 12
◦Flawless topaz: +20% chance of magical items, minimum character level requirement: 15
◦ Perfect topaz: +24% chance of magical items, min. character level requirement: 18

The level requirements for using the stones is low (from character level 1 to 18), and they can be moved step by step either with the Horadrim cube (3 gems = 1 gem of the next quality level) or through one of the gem shrines in the landscape to the next higher quality level. Gems of quality “Perfect” can only be produced as described above, or they can be dropped in the “Hell Forge” quest in Act 4.

The merchants in the city sell helmets and armor with 2 sockets in Act 1 in the game difficulty level “Normal”, so that you can improve your MF chances from the beginning. Helmets and armour with a higher number of sockets can be found later in the game. An attractive, because light item with low requirements is a 4-socketed showpiece armour, which falls in the game difficulty level “Normal” with this number of sockets from act 4 on. Equipped with 4 perfect topazes, the armour then offers a full 96% MF chance from level 18. Such an armour can then be replaced later in the game by a 4-socketed light elite armour with a better defence value to better cope with the increasing difficulty level.

In addition to the MF armor you can then, if other important attributes like resistances, leech etc. are in the green area, put on a mask or crown (also available from act 4 on), which increases the MF chance by another 72% to 168%. Our “Magic Find” amazone normally doesn’t have more than about 100% MF during her MF runs in “hell” in ladder mode, but she still finds very good unique and set (elite) items in sufficient numbers. Much more important than a high percentage of MF chance is patience, because the best items in the game become so rare at some point (chances in thousandth or ten thousandth percent ranges) that the MF chance has less and less noticeable influence – not from a mathematical point of view, but from a subjective feeling. So you hear again and again that this or that extremely rare item was found with very little or no additional MF chance. By the way, an increased MF chance has no influence on finding rare runes at all. So once again: Patience is the top priority when you are after the very best items like the unique Holy Armor “Tyrael’s Power”.
“Magic Find” items can also be used on the servants for sale. Provided that the servant performs the final killing blow, the subsequent MF calculation is based on the sum of your character’s MF and all of your servant’s MF items. Thus, it is easy to get another 168% MF with a relatively low level servant when wearing a 3-socket helmet and 4-socket armor, each equipped with perfect topazes.

4. Gambling

At the “Magic Find” you can often find useless magic items, but some of them can be sold for a lot of gold at the merchants in the cities. At the end of this guide to “Magic Find”, a related activity should therefore be mentioned briefly: Gambling. Some merchants offer the possibility to “gamble” certain items for a certain amount of gold. This is similar to roulette: You can see the basic item, but you don’t know whether it is a normal, exceptional or elite item (for armour and weapons), and you don’t know what magical quality (magical, rare, unique or set) the item has.
Like the drop chances on good items, the chances of good items in gambling have been increased. However, “increased” is relative here, because the chance that you randomly gamble e.g. a unique amulet is still very, very low. Nevertheless, there are certain items that are always worth gambling. These are amulets and rings on the one hand, and hoops (hoop, crown) on the other. The chance of playing one of these items in rare quality (with more than 2 affixes) is quite good, and from a certain character level on amulets and hoops are even +2 on all skills of a certain class. The minimum required and optimal character levels for gambling +2 skill items are as follows:

◦Amulet : minimum character level: 86, optimum character level: 95 and higher
◦Mature : minimum character level: 83, optimum character level: 92 and higher
◦Crown : minimum character level: 78, optimum character level: 87 and higher
◦Tiara : minimum character level: 73, optimum character level: 82 and higher
◦Diadem : minimum character level: any (can always get all affixes), optimum character level: any

It should be noted with tires that there are no tiaras and diadems (elite tires) for gambling in the gambling window, only tires and crowns. The latter, however, can be Elite Items after gambling, just like weapons and armour, which means that the above mentioned level rules for Elite Maturity come into effect.

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