Gold Find vs. Magic Find

The epic battle between + Gold Find and +Magic Find has just begun. The likely outcome in Diablo 3 will be that players want both or either + Magic Find or + Gold Find, but which one is more important? To find out, we can take a look at how much each contributes to various farming situations and see which one comes out the winner.

The other day I shared my Patch 13 results for farming the skeleton king. What we found out was the ratio of looted gold to magic items found was about 135 to 1. Here’s my raw data:

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 added up all the gold and all the magic items and divided them by each other, 6682 ggold/50 magic items, which is 133 gold per magic item. That means if you could increase one or the other you would need to be able to sell the magic items for 130 gold for + Magic Find gear to be more valuable than + Gold Find. In the beta, I’ve seen Subtle Essence sell for 90-150 gold, so this seems about right, but possibly a bit ambitious. With this information alone I would opt for Gold Find instead of Magic Find.

But that’s not the whole story. When I run the Skeleton King quest I run into at least 3 elites every run, and they are all guaranteed to drop a magic item. So that means I can remove 3 from each of the runs since these magic items have nothing to do with + % to Find Magic Item. After doing this the value of a magic item shoots up to 208 gold. Now, how many of the magic items came from normal mobs? This is where + Magic Find really does its job, since elites almost always job magic quality items anyways. It’s not looking good for + Magic Find.

Given that magic items can be worth as little as a Subtle Essence or any unpredictably high amount, we can say for certain + Gold Find is the safer venture while + Magic Find is a bit riskier. It’s also possible that there is an unknown mechanic that is in play here that we don’t understand. Either way, I am impressed how these numbers ended up coming so close to each other, it’s almost like Blizzard knows what they are doing.

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. Could it be that “Magic Find” changes also the quantity of “Randome Magic” attributes which are on the dropped Items?

  2. Very interesting.

    Didn’t MF modify the QUALITY of magic items in D2? (i.e. make it more likely to find higher tier items) Of course this analysis ignores the possibility of selling some of the magic items rather than salvaging them.

    Are there differences in the the buff percentage ranges between +MF gear and +GF gear? In other words does +MF Gear go from +1-50% and +GF gear go from +1-100% (for example)?

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