Farming the Skeleton King

The other day we took a look at what I think is the best way to farm Subtle Essence. Now I wanted to move on to what everyone else is doing and draw a comparison. In the beta everyone just runs the Skeleton King quest line over and over again. It’s easy and only takes 10-15 minutes. You get a lot of magic items and gold, but it’s hard to compare with the strategy I shared the other day. Is 20,000 gold an hour a lot? Is 60-80 Sublte Essence an hour a lot? Let’s take a look.

Farming the Skeleton King

What I did was I ran the Skeleton King 6 times on my Witch Doctor. I ran it solo three times and in a group three times (more on the difference below). I tracked how long it took, how much gold I picked up, how many magic items I found and how much gold I received from quests. Here’s the results:

Minutes Quest Gold Looted Gold Magic Items Gold/hr Magic Items/hr Total Gold/hr
9 264 600 3 5,760 20 9,460
13 264 1582 8 8,520 37 15,351
13 264 900 10 5,372 46 13,911
15 264 1400 12 6,656 48 15,536
17 264 1400 8 5,873 28 11,096
12 264 800 9 5,320 45 13,645

* I used the same values for Subtle Essence and Fallen Teeth as I did the other day to make the comparison accurate (125g and 300g). In hindsight, they are probably high.

Now, I’m sure you could do a lot better than this. This wasn’t carefully refined like my Legacy of Cain farming was. I’m going to estimate you can make 14,000-18,000 gold/hr if not more if you do this carefully with friends. I noticed that you go faster and get more gold off the ground if you’re running with a party, even a random party. It also helps to use instant cast abilities to break vases for extra gold. It’s actually really important to loot objects on the ground like corpses and kick in vases.

There is also a lot more flexibility in this strategy than the other. With the Legacy of Cain you have to go non stop doing the same thing over and over. Here you get to explore a dungeon and kick some ass in. You also receive more gold from drops than you do magic items, so if the value of magic items drops you will still be able to pull in a lot of gold.

Imagine, if you can farm 15,000-20,000 gold right now in beta, imagine what you can farm by the time you reach Act IV of Inferno… I’ll let your imagination come up with some really large numbers. Hopefully it won’t require scientific notation :p

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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  1. I think you should add gold finding in your experiments and consider the potential farming capabilities. I think we can expect to have at least 400% gold finding for normal mode.

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