Why Farming Sucks in Diablo 3

In World of Warcraft players would repeat content countless times in the hopes that they would earn a particular piece of gear. We ran and reran raids for tokens, reputation and the chance an epic upgrade would drop. Since we knew what the drop rates were there was a pretty predictable progression curve, if your guild ran a certain raid every week for a few months, there would be a very good chance you saw most of the pieces drop and would have geared up most of your guild. Otherwise, you would at least be gaining reputation and tokens you could use towards other upgrades.

The big difference in Diablo 3 is that gear is not bound to you, so the amount of gear in the system is limited more so than in WoW. Drop rates of legendary gear are so insanely low that many players play to 60 and then through Inferno without seeing a single legendary drop. Some players report that after leveling to 60 5 times and spending 300+ hours playing they have not found a single valuable legendary. Of course, a level 60 legendary is worth 150-200k just for the Fiery Brimstone, but who wants to play for 50-100 hours to find a legendary for that?

Rares and set items are also extremely rare. Even though you will find dozens of rares and even be able to sell some on the auction house for gold, the chances of you finding a set item you will use is extremely rare.

Due to the fact that there are no predictable ways to get upgrades from farming Inferno, players have the incentive to collect gold so that they can buy upgrades. Let me know if I’m wrong, but I don’t know a single player who geared up their character without the auction house but was still able to clear Inferno or beat the first and second act in a reasonable amount of time.

The process of farming gold sucks, yet it’s the only practical way to gear up your character and this is why farming in Diablo 3 sucks. Farm X amount of gold to buy an upgrade is not nearly as fun or rewarding as beating a boss in hopes that he drops a specific upgrade; even if both activities take the same amount of time.

Why is it this way?

Why did Blizzard design the game this way? The answer is obvious, they wanted everyone using the auction house; especially the real money auction house. Bringing in $1 for every transaction and 15% of future commodities auctions, that’s a lot of revenue. Instead of creating avenues for players to gear their own characters up without trading with large fees, they made drop rates extremely low and made sure that gold was scarce enough to act as the exchange currency.

Unfortunately the only way to fix this is to create gear that binds to your character and is earned by beating a certain milestone in the game. Crafted gear would then gain value as it would be the only currency based way to gear your character. Just like in World of Warcraft some Best in Slot crafted pieces could exist, but you would still likely need a combination of manual progression vs. purchased upgrades. Until then, farming in Diablo 3 will continue to suck.

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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9 Comments.

  1. You’re new to the series aren’t you?
    I’m happy they didn’t WoWify the items drops in D3.

    • Well, in Diablo 2 gold was worthless. In Diablo 3 it’s the best way to upgrade. I’m glad they didn’t WoWify the items either, but farming for gold all day and night is boring.

  2. Well, drop rates have just been increased, so hopefully this will get better…

  3. I haven’t been paying attention to high-cost legendaries in the RMAH, but the cheaper ones seem to be becoming cheaper.

    It seems to me that inferno crafting materials are dropping in (gold) price, while items with multiple good affixes are rising in (gold) price.

    It might just be a temporary abberation, but I think the rise in prices of items might be due to gold loosing value.

    If the materials for making ilvl 62 items keep getting cheaper, and the end result get more expensive, we might see (blacksmith) crafting becoming financially beneficial.

    Endgame players will always want the ilvl 63 things, but as they only have a 8% drop rate, it seems likely that alot of players will start in ilvl 62 gear.

    It seems to me, the blacksmith will be serving a similar role to gambling in D2. It also has the same disincentive; if you don’t get an item worth millions, then the item will be worth very little; and with only 10 items allowed to auction at a time, will probably just get vendored or scavenged.

    I base this on:

    Brimstone has dropped from 180K to 120K-130K

    Essences have dropped from 1,700-2,000 to 1,200-1,300

    Tears, which dropped to 300 at the 1.0.3 patch are now well below 200.

  4. Diablo is all abput random-generated items.
    Gaining special gear by specific actions would not be Diablo. The problem is not the randomness, but that the radnom items suck most of the time… suck really hard.
    The only way to solve this in a way that suits Diablo is increase droprates and maybe do something about the fct, that even lvl63 items are usually totally crap.
    The only way to get good items, is throw the AH, for what u need money, which not only sucks farming, but farming gold got already nerfed several times.
    Blizz want ppl to play Diablo, as they used to: run around and kill monsters. However, it does not feel worth the time, couse nothing u find was actually worth the time and becouse of some extremely strong mobs and increased repaircosts, u cant even make money – well becouse also the items u find still sucks.

    Sure Diablo is meant to be hard and meant do take time and farm, but if they do not manage to make farming profitable the way they want ppl to farm, the game will soon be dead…

  5. I find it amusing how you say “a reasonable amount of time” when the game is literally still brand new. Stop rushing.

  6. Well, the game isnt exactly new anymore. And the drops still arent worth the time it takes to farm them. Ive also wasted lots of gold crafting items which repeatedly turn out to be total crap.

  7. I agree the way blizz has designed this game pushes people to ah to get any decent gear. I myself prefer to find gear myself and have not bought anything from ah. I feel it is more of an achievement than using ah as the easy way to gear. I see so many people boast about how good their gear that didn’t find them self. I have all 5 lev 60 chars and my barb and dh is happily farming in act 4 with gear i have found. Its a shame that people are forced to have to buy their gear because blizz wants to make money. I also agree that its not just about how random items drop but also how bad the drops are. I have looted so many ilev 62 and 63 items that are worse than ilev 58 items its silly. There should boundaries that separate each ilev item. I.e. each ilev item should not be worse than the ilev item below otherwise whats the point of ilev? People play the game and work hard to get gear so its important to feel you have achieved something. So far i havent got a ilev 60 legendary or green set item. I dont believe i will ever see one before i get bored of farming and stop playing

  8. I love how people seem to thing blizz is forcing players to buy gear so they can make money. I’m working on my third character to level 60, my barb has beaten inferno and can easily farm it, and I haven’t spent a penny on gear.

    As far as using the gold AH to buy, it’s not much different than d2, just easier and not as out of control (at least not yet) but I’ve geared up my barb for about 20-30k or less per item, and about half my gear I’ve found.

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