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Where, or from which monsters, do unique/rare plans for rare/legendary/set items and gem designs drop in Diablo 3?

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So far I have 2 level 60 toons, been through inferno on each, and have never had any plans drop. The only plans I have been able to get, I bought from the vendor in the hidden camp. Figuring I'll have to farm forever on inferno to find anything. –  user55015 Sep 9 '13 at 8:45
    
@Greg, that's pretty much exactly what you have to do. –  Kenneth Posey Sep 12 '13 at 17:30

5 Answers 5

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Everywhere. From every monster of an appropriate level for the pattern in question.

Aside from the components for the Staff of Herding, the Infernal Machine plan and keys and a handful of named Magic Items which are essentially easter eggs, there are no specific drop tables tied to any specific mob or location in Diablo 3. Everything is completely random (modified by Magic Find/Nephalem Valor as appropriate).

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I had the 'Singularity' wizard magic source plans (level 50 legendary item) drop during the initial release day, I was like level 20 or so and in Act 3 normal at the time. I've seen a variety of 'rare' weapons/armour plans drops (probably 4-5 in total) and the bulk of these have dropped while farming Act 1 inferno for gold. –  kalina Jun 8 '12 at 8:37
    
@ickleislands Are you sure that magic find will increase the chances of finding plans? Do you have a reference for this? I have a hard time imagining that it would work any differently from magic find for normal items. And magic find does NOT increase the chances of finding for example a sword. Instead, AFTER the game has already decided that a sword is going to be dropped, magic find increases the chance that the particular sword will be blue instead of white (i.e. magic instead of just normal). Since there exist no "white" plans, I have a hard time imagining that +MF would help anything. –  Alderath Jun 9 '12 at 11:22
    
I think it's more a case of the game decides an item will drop, rather than the game decides a sword will drop in your example. It is a rare item, it will be affected by magic find (and it was LessPop_MoreFizz that stated that it was affected by MF/NV, not I) –  kalina Jun 11 '12 at 8:00

The best place to farm for recipes is Inferno Act 4, in the area before you fight Diablo, where lava is flowing.

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I've found exalted plans in act I inferno but only for the cheap items palliums etc mostly in the bonus dungeons.

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Hi DosMuertos, thanks for your answer. Could you add more details about your setup, for example what was your magic find %, monster power level and so on? –  Tharius Oct 23 '12 at 12:53
    
@Stephen, at 100%+ MF and MP 2 I'm getting regular recipe drops. –  Kenneth Posey Oct 24 '12 at 18:22

If you make inferno butcher runs, you will start piling up quite a few plans. I have found at least two of each of the following exalted plans: sovereign mail, sovereign helm, pallium and dread shield. Each of these are mediocre quality rare plans which sell for about 5k each on the auction house, so it's not like you get all happy about finding them (except when I found the first one and thought it was awesome). If you want to find any of the good plans I'd bet you have to search in inferno act 3/4. If you just want easy plans, grinding butcher runs for some hours is probably the way to go.

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The plans you mention were worth quite a bit (sold one of each for upwards of 100k each) during the first mad rush to get some plans on the go. Now I seem to find more Exalted Pallium/Dread Shields than I can sell... –  kalina Jun 11 '12 at 8:01
    
I've also only had those (well except helm) plans drop. And I've gotten doubles of each. All in Act I Inferno. I'm starting to suspect those things are tied to "acts" or maybe item lvl, which is what others are "suspecting": us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5836885192 –  Holger Jun 25 '12 at 10:16

After reading through the D3 forums it seems that they are just as rare as legendary items, some people claim to have gotten them in the later acts of hell, most say they've found them in inferno, one person claimed to have gotten one for a level 21 bow in Act IV normal. So my best guess would be the later acts might have better drop rates, also MF supposedly helps in finding them as well.

source: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4209931636?page=2

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