Prior to the 1.0.3 patch, defeating an Act boss pretty much guaranteed at least 1 and usually 2 rare items to drop. After the patch with the same build as prior to the patch I am now finding that they do not drop rare items at all. Is this a bug in the reworking of the drops or intentional to try and get us to equip armor/weapons to increase the rate of magical drops?

NOTE: Answers to this question do not take into account the changes in the 1.0.4 patch and any update afterwards.

  • After a bit more searching I am thinking this may be related to the question asked here. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/71259/… However I am still curious if the patch affected Act Boss drop rates.
    – Tapan Zee
    Jun 26, 2012 at 20:59
  • The link provided pre-dates 1.0.3, the change in 1.0.3 does affect boss drops as per the Blizzard blog post relating to the patch under the section The Nephalem Difference.
    – kalina
    Jun 26, 2012 at 21:02
  • Can you please clarify what difficulty level you're concerned with? Depending on whether you're in Normal/Nightmare, or Inferno, or somewhere in between, the answer will be different. Jun 27, 2012 at 13:04
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz Personally the issue was I was seeing rare drops in normal for first kills then never seeing rare drops in Nightmare. I am only at level 43 so I don't get Nephalem Valor or even knew about it. After I realized what was happening, I was still curious how the patch affected act boss drop rates.
    – Tapan Zee
    Jun 27, 2012 at 16:19

3 Answers 3


Before 1.03 patch the bosses were guaranteed to drop at least 2 rares if you had 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor.

In patch 1.03, bosses AND elite packs are guaranteed to drop at least 1 rare if you have 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor. Otherwise, it is not guaranteed.

  • @BlueRaja I meant that it is guaranteed only if you have 5 stacks of NV. Otherwise it's not guaranteed :)
    – Novarg
    Jun 26, 2012 at 21:27
  • I know what you meant, that's why I improved the wording rather than downvoting :) Jun 26, 2012 at 21:54

This was changed back to 2 rares per boss in a hotfix to 1.03 on June 28, 2012.

Bosses are now guaranteed to drop at least 1 Rare item for players with 4 stacks of Nephalem Valor and at least 2 Rare items for players with 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor



With 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor you will still get at least one rare from a boss, with less than 5 there is no guarantee.

Blizzard want you to farm elite packs rather than bosses and have adjusted the guaranteed drops from bosses and elite packs in the 1.0.3 patch:

The Nephalem Difference

It’s no secret that our goal for the end-game item hunt is players hunting monsters packs, building to five stacks of Nephalem Valor, and then killing a boss. While we’re seeing a lot of that occurring, what we’re missing is people feeling like it’s worthwhile to continue onward after killing a boss.

To help hit that goal we’re lowering the number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor from two guaranteed Rares to one guaranteed Rare (you still have a very good chance at multiple rares, it's just no longer guaranteed). In exchange, all champion and rare packs will now drop a bonus guaranteed Rare item when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor. The change benefits players with more overall drops, and a reason to push to continue progressing.

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