I farm act one a lot with my friends, act 2 is slow going and takes forever to kill all the mobs that run, but my question is, do you guys get a lot more cash from doing Butcher runs than Skeleton king runs?

We usually go back a quest or two so we get 5 stacks, lots of drops and gold pick ups. Obviously the Butcher runs take a little longer, and we have some issues with the dps being able to dodge his moves, but down him in 1-2 attempts.

Obviously there's better drops from butcher, but I always feel like I'm getting gold super fast in the skeleton king runs. We've also run from quest 3 through the whole act, that took like 3 hours though but yielded 450k, including normal AH sales (a couple of ok yellows that go for 20-50k a pop..)

I'm just wondering, barring very lucky drops, what's the most efficient way to farm gold in act 1? Like I said before, we don't really have any issues in clearing groups or bosses and everything drops fast (I'm a tank monk and I have two dps I run with that are up over 46k dmg now.), I'm just curious if anyone's noticed if Butcher run's yield considerably more gold... Thanks in advance!

Also, I'm not interested in any cheese method for farming gold, we like killing shit and getting drops we can sell or even possibly use.

3 Answers 3


The butcher run by far is much better, as you get two bosses.

You don't want to start on the butcher phase but the one before it where you kill the warden. What we did was teleport to the Cemetery of the Forsaken clear the fake tombs (If it has 2 levels it is the real tomb). There is usually a special event the Jar of Souls , or the The Matriarch's Bones quest. We would grab 3 stacks then do the event. Jar of souls usually was really nice for gold since there is just so many skeletons you can kill if you have good DPS.

Once we finished we would take the way-point to Hall of Agony level 2, exit to Highlands Crossing then to The Cursed Hold. The Cursed Hold is fantastic as there is just so many easy skeletons to kill that can drop 1K+ gold. Once you free the prisoners the warden spawns in the middle of the map. He counts as a full boss. So because you now have 5 Nephilim stacks. He drops 5 additional loot. Finish the run off heading to Halls of Agony Level 3 and kill the butcher for his normal loot and 5 additional drops due to the Nephilim Stacks.

UPDATE: The other nice thing about those 2 events that I mentioned is both of the rewards require a click to activate. What this means is you can put on all your Magic Find gear then activate the reward.

  • lol nice. That's what I've wanted to do but my dps usually just starts the game a quest back and we usually find enough guys to get us to 5 stacks, but I've wanted to go to those tombs because that's what we did for our skeleton king runs... Do you suppose you earn more gold though if you start 1 quest back like we did so that way you actually clear some trash with 5 stacks? Trying to find that sweet spot where your not just farming for items and your not just grinding through act 1... I hope this expanded question makes sense...
    – Dave
    Jun 1, 2012 at 19:33
  • @Dave the tombs are very nice in my opinion tons of easy mobs, the events plus when you take the waypoint there is a chance for a elite/rare monster to spawn in the open area and get a nice easy free stack.
    – Halfwarr
    Jun 1, 2012 at 19:35
  • Good answer. Just a note for people that just started Inferno: elite mobs difficulties is more or less the same in both runs but Skeleton King is much easier than the Butcher. Dying at SK is very difficult and failing it in group even more rare. Butcher can be a lot tougher you need a good amount of DPS otherwise he will enrage and also a good survivability.
    – Drake
    Jun 4, 2012 at 18:09
  • @Drake The warden I think makes up for it as he counts as a boss, and the easiest in the entire game in my opinion. So Doing the above run you get 1 laughable easy boss even if you can't kill the Butcher.
    – Halfwarr
    Jun 4, 2012 at 18:25
  • 1
    You might consider going to the Festering Woods before the Cemetery of the Forsaken. There are two guaranteed dungeons there, with 1 champion pack each. Sometimes there are champion packs around in the zone, too. It's a quick way to gain 2 stacks of Nephalam Valor.
    – Adeese
    Jul 9, 2012 at 21:26

I've been doing a lot of farming Act 1 Inferno, and I have it somewhat down to a science. My experiences are similar to Halfwarr's, but perhaps there's enough in here to make it useful to others.

The general formula I'm using is:

  • Pick the hardest boss (or bosses) that you feel comfortable fighting
  • Find an area where you can easily/quickly build 5 stacks of Valor by fighting weak elites/champions
  • When you have 5 stacks, fight the boss(es)
  • Go fight any other easy/guaranteed champions/elites for bonus rares
  • Exit and restart until you are out of time to play :)

Whether you pick the Skeleton King or the Butcher (or any other boss, for that matter) depends on how good your gear is and how comfortable you are playing the part of the act leading up to them, and how easily you defeat them. It's not profitable to fight in an area where gaining your stacks and/or killing the boss is going to end with you dying repeatedly, for example. I farmed the Skeleton King for 3-4 nights to earn the money and items I needed to finish out the rest of the act, and then I moved on to fighting the Butcher.

Some other specific notes for Act 1:

  • It's pretty easy to build Valor by walking to the Cemetery of the Forsaken from New Tristram, and then exploring whatever crypts are available. I prefer to walk rather than take the waypoint since there's typically 1-2 valor-building mobs on the way there.
  • Jar of Souls is okay, if you've got several stacks of valor. Typically I turn up a couple of thousand gold and a few blues, but at least the skeletons are easy to kill. Pretty much any of the other events are skippable, in my opinion.
  • If you're comfortable, skip the white monsters entirely. They're just not that profitable. The only downside is that you might occasionally run into situations where you're overwhelmed by a difficult champion/elite due to all the trash mobs in the area. I rarely found this to be the case in the Cemetery, but it happens occasionally later in the act with my current gear.
  • As noted, you can fight two bosses for the price of one if you're doing the Butcher run by not starting at the last phase of the quest. I did note that I found more elites/champions in the jail area if I skipped this boss, but given that he's so easy I'd say it's probably better to fight him rather than take your chances with the randomized elites/champions.
  • In the Halls of Agony maps, the stairs downward are always at the end of a hallway pointing up and to the right on your map. If you pick directions at crossroads that are likely to turn in this direction, you can shorten the amount of time you spend on these maps.
  • Also, on level 3 of the Halls of Agony, there's a room filled with fire zombies and fire spewing from grates. This room almost always leads to a dead end with a waypoint, so if I see this room I tend to just turn around and try a different direction.

Once you've killed the boss, if you've still got time there's a couple of areas where you're highly likely to encounter more profitable enemies:

  • Take the waypoint to Leoric's Manor, and walk back outside to the Courtyard. Usually there are one or two cultist elites/champions in this area. They're easy to kill, and there's a lot of room. Typically also there is a shrine or healing well, so it's a no brainer to take whatever loot they've got.
  • Around The Festering Woods waypoint you can find the two dungeons that would contain the keys to the Drowned Temple. These two mini-dungeons have always contained an elite skeleton group for me. Stomping them is pretty trivial. In your quick search for the dungeons, you'll probably come across at least one other elite/champion pack. There's sometimes an event southwest of the waypoint, at the top of a little ridge, which typically drops some pretty good loot.
  • At Highlands Crossing, if you walk across the bridge there's an ambush waiting. Usually somewhere right in this area is an elite or champion you can kill quickly.

Doing this just takes an extra 10 minutes or so, but you can easily fill your inventory one more time this way. I wait until after fighting the boss(es) to clear these areas, simply because fighting the boss is more profitable, and if I end up getting interrupted I'd rather use my stacks on them rather than hunting these other elites/champions.

  • I agree, my route is Festering Woods, Leorics Manor, Cemetery of the Forsaken and then Halls of Agony Level 2. During the run I do not switch my MF gear, but for the Butcher I need to get my DPS stuff and swap at the end for MF gear.
    – ayckoster
    Jul 9, 2012 at 17:18

Don't forget about the Watch Tower, which is very rich in elite bosses and goblins, with good XP if you are leveling for Paragon.

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