So, as I continue to level up, I find myself wanting to explore the crafting world a little more. However, as I continue to do so, I find myself lacking an excess amount of Subtle Essence, the basic crafting ingredient.

What is the most efficient way to farm Subtle Essence? I have found that every Blue item always dishes out 1 Subtle Essence. Is it worth creating a farming character for the low levels with high magic find, or do items at higher difficulties yield more Subtle Essences?

  • Good question +1
    – Zero
    May 16, 2012 at 2:17

6 Answers 6


Higher difficulties will yield more blues mainly because of the Nephalem Valor Buff, which is given to your character when you kill unique bosses and do not switch skills. Also, higher level gear, if they have the +% to magic find attribute, will naturally have a higher percentage to magic find that only high-level characters can wear.

Thus, I think your best bet for farming blues and crafting subtle essence is to play at as high a difficulty as is safe for your character.

  • Definitely sums up what I was looking for, thanks for the quick answer!
    – Domocus
    May 16, 2012 at 2:37
  • 4
    Higher difficulties result in different materials, however. May 16, 2012 at 2:41
  • What @RavenDreamer said. If you're looking specifically for only Subtle Essence, you need a character that's fairly low level.
    – Frank
    May 16, 2012 at 3:23
  • I seem to find far more using a higher level character in Normal mode, especially due to increased magic find percentages. In fact, I seem to have more than enough to craft a full set of armor while farming with only 30% or so magic find
    – Domocus
    May 16, 2012 at 3:28

Crafting materials are linked to difficulty, so if you want to farm subtle essence, you have to play on Normal. The catch is, all magic items are equivalent when it comes to salvaging - level is irrelevant. The essence you get from A level 25 magic snake is just as good as when it's on a plane old level 3 Axe

So the easy answer is, play the easiest content you can farm with the most magic find you own, because it doesn't matter what drops, as long as it's blue.

Alternatively, if you've got the gold to spare, you can simply buy gear from vendors, then sell it. I found a relatively cheap pair of gloves for 500 gold that gave me a subtle essence without any fuss, just from one of the vendors in New Tristram.

And lastly, if you really want them fast, you can simply buy them from the auction house.

  • I also saw various ways to quickly farm it by going back to older quests, but I feel that a higher level magic find set would result in a far greater amount of blues. I'll have to look into higher difficulty crafting, however...thanks for pointing me in that direction
    – Domocus
    May 16, 2012 at 2:54
  • To keep a balance between gold income and crafting, I established for myself a "salvage cost" level, selling magical (but never rare!) items above it, and salvaging those below it. Rare items that I'm not using are always salvaged, since they are guaranteed to provide valuable components more often and offset compensate for the lost gold. May 16, 2012 at 8:39
  • Also, buying cheap blue items on the auction house. I bought many for ~100g, and a small horde of items under 500g. Jun 6, 2012 at 23:50

Honestly, given the current state of the economy, I'd say your best bet is to just farm gold, by whatever means is most effective, and buy the Subtle Essence off the auction house.

Currently, they're going for a fraction of the vendor value of even the most basic of Act 1 Normal Mode Blue Items. Eventually the market is going to settle in to a point where the value of a Subtle Essence is roughly equal to either the vendor price or the market value of an 'average' normal mode Blue. When this happens, the most efficient means of farming will likely to still be to farm gold with a high level character in the highest appropriate difficulty mode and buy the essence. The only reason you would want to farm Subtle Essence directly is if you're playing a low level hardcore character without access to any resources from a higher level character. In that case, just kill the hardest things you can kill safely, and melt the blues at the blacksmith.


Farming is for suckers, just go to the shop and buy some!

I've found the easiest way to farm subtle essence is to head over to the Auction House. I picked up 1000 Subtle Essence for 22k gold.


Yeah, after I wised up and saw the commodity market (now closed for the time being) i started buying in bulk. 200 at a time for only 4k? I'll never break again (unless the crafting update makes this much more appealing)


First of all, don't just farm gold and then buy essence, because then there will be none left for me to buy. Someone has to farm it.

Second, here is what you need, and do runs in normal with a lot of mobs somewhere:

Magic find Movement speed Thorns damage

just watch them bounce off of you and yield your rewards.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .