In Diablo 3 for the PC, it’s a bit more difficult to farm items compared to Diablo 2 since they’ve made maps and spawns so random.
There are still some common practices that will help you be more efficient though, which is what we’ll cover in this article.
Stock Up on Magic Find Gear
Obvious, yes, but worth noting. In Normal through Hell, it’s not that hard to have every piece of gear with MF on it. If you’re trying to farm items in Inferno however, that’s a different story. You’ll have to do a much bigger balancing act to see how much MF gear you can get away with wearing, if any.
If you can’t spare any MF gear on Inferno, then I’d suggest farming on Hell difficulty instead, because dying many times on Inferno will just end up being a waste of repairs, and worst of all time.
Stick to the Right Mobs
Single and small mob groups are essentially a time waster, so skip them. Large groups of mobs that you can kill with just as much effort will give you much more bang for your buck. The best kill order is Elites > Champions > Bosses > large groups of normal monsters.
Go Straight For the Exit
It may be tempting to search every nook and cranny of every crypt you venture into, but it’s not efficient. Every step you take that’s back tracking is a step wasted not finding mobs to kill. For this reason, you should always be pushing to the next area for more chances to run into Elites & Champions.
Think of it this way.. sure you may have missed a champion in that section you skipped, but would you rather take twice as long in a crypt for the chance at getting an extra item or two and a lot of extra time back tracking, or do the same run twice in the same amount of time and get double the items? Do the math and push to the exit.
Ignore Dead Ends & Side Rooms
Back tracking is bad, we’ve said this a couple times already, so avoid a lot of backtracking by avoiding rooms that look like obvious dead ends and side rooms with no exit. Obviously you can’t always tell, so this applies more to rooms where you can tell before you even enter that it doesn’t lead anywhere.
Nephalem Valor FTW
In my opinion, Blizzard put in Nephalem Valor for one reason.. to make it more rewarding to actually clear stuff instead of skipping everything and farming the boss.
If you don’t know what Nephalem Valor is, it’s a buff you get from killing Champions and Elite packs once you reach level 60 that increases your MF by 15% for 30 minutes and can stack up to 5 times for a total of 75% additional MF on top of what your gear already provides.
The fact that it only lasts 30 minutes is another reason you should be pushing for every exit to get to the boss as quickly as you can before your buff wears off.
Remember not to change any skills or leave the game to check the AH though, or you’ll lose your buff.
Some people may argue “well how do you know if you missed an elite or champion or not unless you clear the whole dungeon”.. and my answer is, you don’t.. but you have to factor in time as well, and back tracking.
Just like I stated above, let’s say you found the exit to a crypt in 10 minutes and found one elite pack on the way. You decide to explore the rest of the crypt, and 20 minutes later you’ve cleared the whole thing, and found a couple large normal mob packs, but that’s it. That’s 20 minutes you wasted with very little gain. Even if you found a champion, what more could you have found in the next area, and how much of that extra 20 minutes was wasted going over the same areas multiple times?
Once you factor in the Nephalem buff, it’s a no brainer. You’ve got to move quick and either get to the boss before the buff wears off, or find another elite pack or champion fast to refresh your stack.