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Is there a way to maximize my chances of finding a specific item if I'm absolutely determined to farm until it drops? I understand that it could take thousands of attempts, but if I'm going to be running repeated farming runs, I'd like to be able to pick runs that maximize the chances of getting items that I'm actually interested in using.

How do I determine the best location(s) to farm if I'm looking for a specific item?

22

Maximizing your chances of a specific item is a complex set of events when an item is generated. There is a good guide here for how items are generated. More info can also be found here.

In short for weapons and armors when a monster dies or a chest is opened the item that drops is picked from a Treasure Class (TC), the TC has to be equal to or less than the monsters level(mlvl). Other items(ring, amulets, jewels, charms and runes) work a bit different, see the above links for more information on them.

Once the item has been chosen a check for the quality of the item is done, this is where your Magic Find (MF) helps. Set and Unique items can have higher item level (ilvl, some times also refereed to as quality level/qlvl) than TC, before such an item can drop the mlvl needs to be equal to or higher than the ilvl. If the mlvl is lower than the ilvl of the unique/set item it tried to spawn it will spawn as a rare with triple the amount of durability instead.

So if you want to increase your chance of getting an item you need to kill monsters with higher mlvl than the TC of the desired item and with a mlvl higher than the ilvl/qlvl of the desired item. By keeping the max TC of the monster your slay as close to the TC of your desired item, you can exclude unwanted items from even having a chance of dropping and there for increase your chance of getting the item you want.

So the questions you need to answer to get the item you want is what is the item level of the item you want, what TC is it in and where do I find monsters that are above them.

Super Uniques are very good for this since they can have predefined TC that can be a lot lower than there mlvl, reducing the number of items they can drop while keeping there mlvl high so they can drop as Unique/sets. Here and here are some list with mLVL and TC for some of them.

A good example for this is Cow King on normal, he has TC 12 and mlvl 31, this means he can drop items up to TC 12 where Chain Gloves are found and still have high enough level to drop the unique Chance Guards that are ilvl/qlvl 20 because he is mlvl 31. Usually you would need to kill level 20 monsters to make sure the mlvl was high enough for the unique version of the gloves, but because the Super Unique monsters TC is lower than his mlvl you can exclude items from TC 15 and 18 even having a chance of dropping, there by increasing your chances of getting Chain Gloves.

Here is a list of 1.10 items so you can find the TC and ilvl (listed as qlvl there)

Monster Levels

  • Regular monsters: mlvl = Area level (Alvl)
  • Champions (all species): mlvl = Alvl + 2
  • Uniques (and every minion): mlvl = Alvl + 3

Exceptions

  • Normal uses mlvls found in the game files (Monstats.txt) rather than the area level based values
  • Blood Raven, Griswold, Radament, The Summoner, Izual, Nihlathak, the Act Bosses, and the Ubers have predefined mlvls (here and here are some list with mLVL and TC for some of them)

Area Levels

Act    N   NM  Hell  Level Name
Act 1  1   36  67    Blood Moor
Act 1  1   36  79    Den of Evil
Act 1  2   36  68    Cold Plains
Act 1  2   36  77    Cave Level 1
Act 1  2   37  78    Cave Level 2
Act 1  3   36  80    Burial Grounds
Act 1  3   37  83    Crypt
Act 1  3   37  85    Mausoleum
Act 1  4   37  68    Stony Field
Act 1  4   37  69    Underground Passage Level 1
Act 1  4   38  83    Underground Passage Level 2
Act 1  6   39  76    Tristram
Act 1  5   38  68    Dark Wood
Act 1  6   38  69    Black Marsh
Act 1  5   38  80    Hole Level 1
Act 1  5   39  81    Hole Level 2
Act 1  7   38  75    Tower Cellar Level 1
Act 1  7   39  76    Tower Cellar Level 2
Act 1  7   40  77    Tower Cellar Level 3
Act 1  7   41  78    Tower Cellar Level 4
Act 1  7   42  79    Tower Cellar Level 5
Act 1  8   39  69    Tamoe Highland
Act 1  7   39  85    Pit Level 1
Act 1  7   40  85    Pit Level 2
Act 1  8   40  70    Monastery Gate
Act 1  9   40  70    Outer Cloister
Act 1  9   40  70    Barracks
Act 1  10  41  71    Jail Level 1
Act 1  10  41  71    Jail Level 2
Act 1  10  41  71    Jail Level 3
Act 1  10  41  72    Inner Cloister
Act 1  11  42  72    Cathedral
Act 1  11  42  72    Catacombs Level 1
Act 1  11  42  73    Catacombs Level 2
Act 1  12  43  73    Catacombs Level 3
Act 1  12  43  73    Catacombs Level 4
Act 1  28  64  81    Moo Moo Farm
Act 2  13  43  74    Sewers Level 1
Act 2  13  43  74    Sewers Level 2
Act 2  14  44  75    Sewers Level 3
Act 2  14  43  75    Rocky Waste
Act 2  12  44  78    Stony Tomb Level 1
Act 2  12  44  79    Stony Tomb Level 2
Act 2  15  44  76    Dry Hills
Act 2  12  44  79    Halls of the Dead Level 1
Act 2  13  45  81    Halls of the Dead Level 2
Act 2  13  45  82    Halls of the Dead Level 3
Act 2  16  45  76    Far Oasis
Act 2  17  45  84    Maggot Lair Level 1
Act 2  17  45  84    Maggot Lair Level 2
Act 2  17  46  85    Maggot Lair Level 3
Act 2  17  46  77    Lost City
Act 2  17  46  85    Ancient Tunnels
Act 2  18  46  77    Valley of Snakes
Act 2  14  47  82    Claw Viper Temple Level 1
Act 2  14  47  83    Claw Viper Temple Level 2
Act 2  --  --  --    Harem Level 1
Act 2  13  47  78    Harem Level 2
Act 2  13  47  78    Palace Cellar Level 1
Act 2  13  47  78    Palace Cellar Level 2
Act 2  13  48  78    Palace Cellar Level 3
Act 2  14  48  79    Arcane Sanctuary
Act 2  16  48  79    Canyon of the Magi
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Tal Rasha's Tomb
Act 2  17  49  80    Duriel's Lair
Act 3  21  49  79    Spider Forest
Act 3  21  50  79    Arachnid Lair (Spider Cave)
Act 3  21  50  79    Spider Cavern
Act 3  21  50  80    Great Marsh
Act 3  22  50  80    Flayer Jungle
Act 3  21  51  80    Swampy Pit Level 1
Act 3  21  51  81    Swampy Pit Level 2
Act 3  21  51  82    Swampy Pit Level 3
Act 3  22  51  81    Flayer Dungeon Level 1
Act 3  22  51  82    Flayer Dungeon Level 2
Act 3  22  51  83    Flayer Dungeon Level 3
Act 3  22  52  80    Lower Kurast
Act 3  22  52  81    Kurast Bazaar
Act 3  23  52  84    Sewers Level 1
Act 3  24  53  85    Sewers Level 2
Act 3  23  53  84    Ruined Temple (In Kurast Bazaar)
Act 3  23  53  84    Disused Fane (In Kurast Bazaar)
Act 3  23  52  81    Upper Kurast
Act 3  23  53  84    Forgotten Reliquary (In Upper Kurast)
Act 3  24  54  85    Forgotten Temple (In Upper Kurast)
Act 3  24  53  81    Kurast Causeway
Act 3  24  54  85    Ruined Fane (In Kurast Causeway)
Act 3  24  54  85    Disused Reliquary (In Kurast Causeway)
Act 3  24  54  82    Travincal
Act 3  25  55  83    Durance of Hate Level 1
Act 3  25  55  83    Durance of Hate Level 2
Act 3  25  55  83    Durance of Hate Level 3
Act 4  26  56  82    Outer Steppes
Act 4  26  56  83    Plains of Despair
Act 4  27  57  84    City of the Damned
Act 4  27  57  85    River of Flame
Act 4  28  58  85    Chaos Sanctuary
Act 5  24  58  80    Bloody Foothills
Act 5  25  59  81    Rigid Highlands
Act 5  39  60  81    Abaddon (Hell 1)
Act 5  26  60  81    Arreat Plateau
Act 5  39  61  82    Pit of Acheron (Hell 2)
Act 5  29  61  82    Crystalline Passage (Crystalized Cavern Level 1)
Act 5  29  61  83    Frozen River (Cellar of Pity)
Act 5  32  63  83    Nihlathak's Temple
Act 5  33  63  83    Halls of Anguish
Act 5  34  64  84    Halls of Pain (Halls of Death's Calling)
Act 5  36  64  84    Halls of Vaught
Act 5  29  61  83    Glacial Trail (Crystalized Cavern Level 2)
Act 5  29  61  84    Drifter Cavern (Echo Chamber)
Act 5  27  60  81    Frozen Tundra (Tundra Wastelands)
Act 5  39  62  83    Infernal Pit (Hell 3)
Act 5  29  62  82    Ancient's Way (Glacial Caves Level 1)
Act 5  29  62  83    Icy Cellar (Glacial Caves Level 2)
Act 5  37  68  87    Arreat Summit (Rocky Summit)
Act 5  39  65  85    The Worldstone Keep Level 1
Act 5  40  65  85    The Worldstone Keep Level 2
Act 5  42  66  85    The Worldstone Keep Level 3
Act 5  43  66  85    Throne of Destruction
Act 5  43  66  85    The Worldstone Chamber
  • 2
    +1, especially for the monster level list. That is awesome. – Frank Apr 30 '12 at 21:49
  • @fbueckert yea, it is a good list, edited the post to make it more clear and why it is good. – Blem Apr 30 '12 at 21:54
  • 1
    Just to clarify, let's say I'm looking for an Amber Small Charm (ilvl 40), hunting it from Act 2 nightmare onwards is a good idea? – Razgriz Feb 12 '17 at 9:56
  • @Razgriz I just wanted to point out that hunting for any specific affix is a fools errand in D2. I don't have time to go and see how many prefixes there are, but I'm developing the same system for a game I'm making, and let me just tell you, the odds of finding a specific item, with a specific affix are astronomical. I'm sure Diablo 2 is the same in this regard. – Krythic Jul 16 at 20:07
  • This pretty much only works for unique items, you can use it for farming items with random affixes, but the amount of power in the affix has, is affected by the ilvl. So you want to ilvl to be as high as possible when it is random items anyway or they will be close to useless, with some exception like twinks. – Blem Jul 17 at 12:01

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