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The Pits MF Magic Finding

As the new patch rolled in, many realised that some of the high hell bosses or superunqiues they used to run for hours on end have become less rewarding. Either Mephisto was too hard to find, Pindleskin was to hard to fight, or Shenk or Eldritch just didn't drop the new elites they wanted. To add to that, most of the new ladder characters could not just jump up and go MFing in act5 of hell wearing minimal gear and having minimal magic find.

Yes the patch may have destroyed these places, but at the same time, it gave birth to a selection of new magic-finding areas in hell. These new areas could drop every single item in the game, and some of the better ones were located in act 1, of all places. One of these areas is The Pit.

For those of you who don't know where the pits are, what they are, why they are being talked about, and anything else you can think of, I hope to have it all summed up here. This guide can also be applied to most of the other new patch areas found through acts 1-3. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is fit for acts 4&5, as they are noticeably harder than the first 3 acts and require some different strategies. You can find the other high level areas listed in Appendix A. In Appendix B, you can find some information on the other favourite areas besides the pit.

This guide can also be used to enhance your knowledge about how item generation works in the new patch. Discussion of magic-find in this guide does not solely apply to the pit, but rather, it is specific to the 1.10 patch as a whole. Most questions on item generation are answered in the below sections.

An added bonus, a collection of five popular pit runner guides have been included in this guide - Meteorb, Hammerdin, Strafezon, Wind Druid, WW Barb. These guides can be found in Appendix C. Most of these builds can be used throughout the game, especially in the other, new patch areas. This guide should hopefully prove to be extremely useful, and should clear up any unanswered questions anyone may have about the new 1.10 MF goldmines - namely, The Pit.

Where/What are the pits?

The pits, officially "The Pit", is located in act 1. Contrary to what some seem to think, when people say "The Pit" they are actually not referring to the "Pit of Acheron" or "Infernal Pit", both located in act 5. If you were hoping for a guide on either of these areas, you will be disappointed to hear that this is not that guide. You will be further disappointed to hear that, to my knowledge, one does not exist, and that everyday I pray that such a guide will never be seen to the light of these forums.

Pressing on. The pit is located in act 1, more specifically, in the Tamoe Highlands - the area before the Monastery Gate. There is no waypoint for the Tamoe Highlands, so most pit runners will take the Outer Cloister waypoint and make their way from there to the Highlands. Take the Outer Cloister waypoint, exit the monastery, and follow the road. The road eventually splits, one path leads to the pit the other leads to the Black Marsh. Without going into to much detail, the best path to take is the one that splits the furthest to the left. The exact percentages, and the places to go are in a small "pit find guide", but it was lost when the forums were corrupted.

The pit consists of two levels - Level 1, and Level 2. On level 2 of the pits there is an uber chest (Chest that appears on the mini-map and drops many items). The pits have become a very popular location for Magic Finding (MF) since the release of 1.10.

Why are the pits so good for MFing?

The pits are one of several locations that have the highest area level (area_Lvl) in the game, with an area_Lvl of 85 in hell. The Worldstone Keep, The Mausoleum and The Ancient Tunnels all share this area_Lvl of 85, along with a few select others. These other areas are listed in Appendix A, and some are covered with slight depth.

The pits are only truly popular in hell. In nightmare and normal, the area_Lvl of the pit is too low to hope for many good drops. The reason the pit is popular in hell is because it has the same area_Lvl as the Worldstone, but is much, much easier. There are very few elemental monsters, only one comes to mind, so resists are not as critical here as in other areas. This means that it is easier to focus on MF.

The pit is not the only popular location to MF in. The Mausoleum and Ancient Tunnels are other relatively easy areas, with that high area level. The downfall of these areas is that they are filled with undead. Undead means no leeching for physical damage builds, which automatically voids several characters. On the plus side, the Mausoleum has no normal fire or cold immunes, and the ancient tunnels have no normal cold immunes. This means that a single element sorceress could clear the appropriate area with ease, where clearing the entire pit would be near impossible without a means to defeat immunes.

The pit, although having each regular monster immune to a single element (save poison) is often preferred. Some 1.10 builds run dual element, or have a way to defeat immunes so immunities are not always a problem. A mercenary, lower resist charges or -enemy resistance mods can all be used if in immunity trouble. The pit is preferred because of it's size - not only is it reasonably large, but it has two levels. The uber-chest and it's numerous packs of uniques/champions are other reasons it is preferred, and regarded as the new MF hot spot. Not only is the pit a hot spot for MF, but it also provides excellent XP. Pit runs can provide quick levels, so they are best started as soon as you reach hell and have sufficient equipment to withstand the run. Even at high levels, pit runs can make a slight dent in your XP bar, an added bonus to the MFing.

Which factors other than MF affect my ability to find uber-leet items?

mLvls, qLvls and TCs

First note that your character level (cLvl) has no effect on any monster drops. It is a monster's level (mLvl) that defines which items it can drop. Monsters drop weapons and armour from specific treasure classes (TC). TCs make up groupings of items with similar levels. A monster chooses a TC to drop from, and then an item in that TC to drop. In 1.09 weapon90 and armor90 were in the highest TC, now in 1.10, that TC has been dropped, and all weapon90 and armor90 items have been bumped down to weapon87 and armor87.

Sacred armour is in armor87, because of this, only monsters that can drop from armor87 can drop sacred armour. To get even more picky, set and uniques have quality levels (qLvl). If a monster wants to have any hope of dropping a unique sacred armour, they must be able to drop from armor87, and have an mLvl equal to or greater than the qLvl of unique sacred armour. The highest qLvl for a set item is only 55 - all hell monsters meet that requirement - but the highest qLvl for uniques is 87, not easily attainable.

Lucky for us, every monster in an area with area_Level 83+ can drop from armor87 and weapon87. The pit is area_Level 85, so it meets this requirement. Unfortunately, only champions and random unique bosses in the pit have a high enough mLvl to drop every unique item in the game. This means that while every monster in the pit can drop every base item, some very high qLvl items can never be unique if dropped by normal monsters with an mLvl lower than the qLvl of the item.

Monsters in the pit have high mLvls because of their area level. Several formulas exist relating area_Lvl to the mLvl of different monster types and to different props.

Normal Monsters (NOT champion, unique, etc...) mLvl = area_Lvl
Champion Monsters (Fanatic, Ghostly, etc...) mLvl = area_Lvl + 2
Random Uniques and their minions ("Arzahd The Violent" - not Pindleskin) mLvl = area_Lvl + 3

Super Uniques (SU) are monsters that have a set spawning place and their own drop tables (Pindleskin). We don't need to worry about super uniques as there are none in the pit.

These formulas tell us that any normal monster in the pits will have a mLvl of 85, any champions will have mLvls of 87, and random uniques will have mLvls of 88.

Let's finish off with an example. We have a normal Dark Archer in the pits. The mLvl of this normal monster, according to the area_Lvl of the pits must be 85. Because the mLvl of the monster is only 85, the highest qLvl item that can be dropped is of qLvl 85. Again, take note that only champions, and random uniques and their minions can achieve drops of qLvl 86 or 87.


Prop Drops

Props are various things that will spew out items when clicked. In the pit, the most prominent props are the dead rogues that scatter the floors and the uber chest on level 2. Props are affected by area_Lvl, but not in the same way as monsters. We know that all monsters in the pit can drop from the highest TC. Props do not share this property.

The TC that props are able to drop from are not affected by area_Lvl. TC selections for props are hardcoded into the game. The highest TC that the chest in level 2 of the pit can drop from is TC 66 - specifically armor66 and weapon66.

Although TC selection is not affected, area_Lvl does affect the item level (iLvl) of the items that can be dropped from props. iLvl is important because it can affect modifiers that spawn on that item (such as enhanced damage or increased attack speed). Most people will take items of high iLvl to craft with or imbue, as the potential for good mods is there.

A monster or propís level decides the iLvl. The formula we use to assign an iLvl to an item is very simple.
iLvl = mLvl (or prop level in the case of a chest)

Chests get their prop level from the area they are located in. There is a formula we use to give a prop a level.
prop level = area_Lvl

In the case of the pit, because our area_Lvl is 85, the prop level of the chest on level 2 is 85. This means that the chest will drop items of iLvl 85. The highest iLvl items in the game have iLvl 99. Our iLvl 85 items that drop from the chest are not so far off from the highest iLvl items. Items that drop from the chest, or anywhere else in the pit for that matter are very good to craft/imbue with.

Summing up, although the chest on level 2 can only drop from up to TC66, items that drop from it will have high iLvls. And although TC66 may not sound like the greatest, keep in mind that runes up to vex can drop, along with shakos, oculuses, and a handful of other uniques. The chances to get a decent item from this chest are very slim. Don't expect your haul to come from here. You should run the pit to kill the monsters, NOT to pop the chest. Saying that, if you're there, you may as well give the chest a click - luck may drift your way. Plenty of keys drop on the way to level 2, so picking one up shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

Number of Players In Game

Bluntly put, the number of players in the game increases your chances to find those uber items. Although it does not directly give you an increased chance to find a set or unique, the number of players in the game regulates the number of items dropped. More items will drop in an 8-player game than in a solo game. The chances are increased because more items are dropping, and more quality level rolls are being made to see if the dropped items will be set or unique.

Taking an example. If one sacred armours drop in your solo pit run, the chance of that sacred armour being unique is slim. If however, 5 sacred armours are dropped in one game the chances that one of them will be unique is greater. You need not be partied or within a certain radius of the other 7 players, so you can solo the pit in, let's say, a baal run. The downside to 8-player games is that monsters become harder, and only top builds can handle them. If you can manage the pit in an 8-player game do it.

Other

The same unique cannot be dropped twice in the same game. An exception to this is that, luck permitting, a single monster drops two of the same unique. This means that you cannot find two windforces in the same game unless they both came from the same monster/prop drop.

The term failed unique refers to a time when an item is dropped, but the qLvl of the monster that dropped it is too low for it to be unique, or no unique for that item exists. This unique becomes a rare of the same type with 3x the durability. For instance, if a normal monster wanted to drop unique sacred armour, but could not because it's mLvl was not as high as the qLvl of the item, a rare sacred armour with triple durability would drop instead. Failed sets are not an issue in hell, as every monster has a high enough qLvl.

How does my MF affect my ability to find uber-leets?

Magic find affects the quality of the items dropped by different monsters. The easiest way to explain the effects of MF on monster drops is with an example, but first, there are some things relating to MF you should know.

Our natural MF base is 100. All MF mods from equipment, or other items are added to our base of 100 MF, and then are further calculated to fit the quality of the item.

When we have no MF in our equipment our total MF (base and equipment) is 100%, and our chance to find a set item is increased by 100%. When our equipment MF is 100%, our total MF is 200% and our chance to find a set item is increased by 183%. When our equipment MF is 200%, our total MF is 300%, and our chance to find a set item is increased by 242%. The more MF we get, the less we gain in our chance to find a set item. These are called diminishing returns.

If you have a relatively new java platform installed, you can view a Diminishing Returns Calculator here. Use it to calculate exact percentages from your equipment MF. This calculator, along with a link to find the newest java platform is also available in the resource centre at the end of the guide.

On to our example, let's say we are travelling through the pits, and we run into a champion with mLvl 87. This champion decides he will drop sacred armour. Our MF does not change which item he will drop, it changes the quality of it. He will drop sacred armour whether our MF is 1 or 400. MF decides the quality of the item (rare, unique, set).

If the sacred armour normally has a 5% chance to be set (Immortal King Armour), and we have 100% MF in our equipment or 200% total MF, the chance that the sacred armour will be IK armour as opposed to just plain old sacred armour, has increased to 14.15%. (183% of 5 is 9.15, 5 + 9.15 = 14.15)

So you can see, more MF equals better chance that the item is rare, unique or set. The above values are completely phoney by the way, so in no way take them seriously.

Runes, jewels, charms, and more

It should taken to note that in regard to rune, jewel and charm drops, MF has no effect. Runes are purely your own luck in the pit, or anywhere else where monsters have not been given enhanced drops of one of the above types (The Countess for example has enhanced rune drops).

As we know, MF increases the chance that an item will be of a high quality. While increasing this chance, it decreases the chance that weapons or armours will be other than magical, rare, set or unique. This means that if you were solely searching for a socketed colossus blade, it would be better to run the pit, or one of the other high level areas with no MF whatsoever. Your chances to see uniques, rares, sets and magics would decrease, but you would see more normal items, that could spawn with sockets or superior or ethereal mods.
 
MF% Rare Set Unique
0 0 0 0
10 10 10 10
20 19 19 18
30 28 28 26
50 46 45 41
75 66 65 57
100 85 83 71
125 103 100 83
150 120 115 93
175 135 129 102
200 150 142 111
250 176 166 125
300 200 187 136
350 221 205 145
400 240 222 153
450 257 236 160
500 272 250 166
600 300 272 176
700 323 291 184
750 333 300 187
800 342 307 190
900 360 321 195
1000 375 333 200
1250 405 357 208
1500 428 375 214

What is the best amount of MF to have?

As was seen, as our MF increases, we slowly get less and less of our actual MF counting towards sets. This also applies to rares and uniques, but not magicals. MF is not the most important thing in the world of Diablo. First comes survival (especially if we are hardcore), then comes speed, and close behind should come MF. If we sacrifice speed for MF, we lose efficiency. It would be better to do a pit run in 5 minutes with 500MF, than to spend 10 minutes with 700MF. (These are only examples).

A good balance for me has been 500%. The balance will change depending on the build we decide on, but very few builds are completely INdependant of items and can use only MF items. 350% is a nice place to start, and stay for some, as that is where the augmentations start to really get low.

What is the best build for pit runs?

This is probably the question seen the most, and the one without a perfect answer. I have had a few experiences first hand with using different builds, but I have also grown accustomed to what others use.

First thing to know is that each normal monster in the pits is immune to one single element (fire, lightning or cold). This means that elemental users either have to run dual element, or get a mercenary or other means of physical damage. No normal monster in the pit spawns with a physical, magical or poison immunity. Although no normal monster in the pit can spawn with two immunities, know that random unique bosses can spawn with these problematic immunities. Even two element casters will not defeat these foes without another means.

Another important point to make is that crowd-control usually defines the best Pit runners. If you can target hordes of monsters, you can make your way through the Pit quickly, and without harm. I will list all viable builds for the pits that have been played with and discussed since the realisation of the pit. This list is in no particular order of speed or quality.

Paladin
- Hammerdin (Blessed Hammer Paladin)
- Shocker, Freezer, (Paladin making use of one of the holy auras - Holy Shock, Holy Freeze)
- Avenger (Pally making use of Vengeance, Conviction, and select veng syns)

Druid
- Wind Druid (Elemental Druid making use of his wind spells)
- Werebear/Summoner (Druid with werebear ability making use of the summoning tree)
- Hybrid Werebear (Werebear making use of fire skills, both in shape shifting and elemental trees)

Amazon
- Bowazon (Amazon using a bow of some sort)
- Multizon (Bowazon using multishot skill among others)
- Strafezon (Bowazon using strafe skill among others)
- Poison Javazon (Javazon using poison javelin skills and synergies, lightning fury may be a secondary attack)
- Hybridzon (Amazon using both bow and javelins usually multi/strafe + lit fury)

Barbarian
- Concentrate Barb (Barb making use of the concentrate skill)
- Whirlwind Barb (The definitive cookie-cutter WW barb, uses Whirlwind as a main skill)
- ZerkerBarb (Barb maxing berserk, it's synergies, and a second attack)
- Singer Barb (Barbarian using his warcry tree offensively. His find item ability can be quite useful)

Necromancer
- Skelemancer (Necro making use of his revives, skellys, and corpse explosion)
- Bonemancer (Necro making use of his bone skills, and sometimes poison skills)
- Poisonmancer (Necro making use of poison dagger, explosion and nova and select bone skills)

Sorceress
- Meteorb Sorc (Dual-tree sorceress with meteor, a synergy, fire mastery, and frozen orb)
- CL/FO Sorc (Dual-tree sorc making use of chain lightning, it's synergies and frozen orb)
- Charged Boltress (Sorc using the charged bolt skill and a second element - usually cold)
- Other Dual-Tree Sorc (Sorceress making use of two elements in her arsenal (other than those above))

Assassin
- Trapasin (Assassin making use of different traps of different elements. Rare immunity problems)

*None of the above should need to worry about immunities of normal monsters*

*The below (may) run into problems with immunities of normal monsters*

Sorceress
- OrbSorc (Sorc using Frozen Orb, it's synergies, and cold mastery)
- LitSorc (Sorc making use of the lightning tree - chain lightning, lightning...)
- PureFire (Sorc making use of fire ball and meteor, maxes meteor, synergies and mastery)
- Blizzsorc (Sorceress making use of blizzard, synergies/cold mastery)

Amazon
- Javazon (Amazon making use of her javelin skills)
- Furyzon (Amazon maxing lightning fury, and its synergies)

Assassin
- Lightning Trapasin (Assassin making use of traps of a single element, lightning in this case)


Those are all the common ones that come to mind. The biggest being hammerdin, wind druid, meteorb sorc, bowazons, and skelemancers. I have written a guide for five pit runners, four being in the top listing. If you want to learn about the different builds that I have not detailed, each class has it's own area in the strategy section of the forums and the users there have guides, or can answer your questions on most builds.

Also, some of the builds mentioned above have a full guide, archived in the strategy compendium. One such archived guide is the Skele-mancer guide by Nightfish. This guide includes an alternative MF build and setup and can be found here. More can be found at the main page of the Strategy Compendium.

If you can't find anything that fits your playing style try to make your own builds - this is only the beginning of 1.10, experiment, have fun with your own creations, you may like what you discover.

Wrapping up. The Pits should not be a way of life. I know it may seem that way to some reading this, but remember everything in moderation. Don't be disappointed if you don't find a windforce the first time through. Don't be disappointed if you don't find a windforce the hundredth time through. The pit has become what it has because several of the popular .09 hotspots have been nerfed, also because the game cannot be played the way it used to in the high acts of hell. Read through the below Appendices, some of them may be extremely useful to you.

The pits are somewhere to kick back, and relax, don't get all tied up in them, and don't make them the sole reason you play. I find pit runs more fun than running stationary superuniques 24/7, but that's just my thought. When I'm not pit running, I try my best to find other places that take a while to move through - usually the other level 85 areas. Continuous, quick act boss or superunique runs are the reason this game tires me out. I enjoy the game so much more when I'm just playing, and pit runs bring that feeling back to me and let's me really have fun with it.

Always remember that sometimes it's good to get out, go elsewhere, so life isn't always ~The Pits~

Appendix A: The Other Level 85 Areas
Appendix B: A subtle comparison of The Big Three of 1.10


Appendix A: The Other Level 85 Areas

List of All Level 85 Areas in Hell

This is just a simplified version of the full area level list that has been posted dozens of times. If you are looking for all area levels for all difficulties, just search, it should not be that hard to find it. All of the areas below have an area level of 85 in hell - the highest.

For some of the popular areas, side notes have been made. Boss packs are packs of either champions or random unique bosses. Note that the immunities consist of only fire, cold and lightning and apply only to normal monsters - random unique bosses can spawn with other immunities.

Act 1 - Pit Level 1 (Few Undead; Any Immunity; ~6 Boss Packs)
Act 1 - Pit Level 2 (Few Undead; Any Immunity; ~2 Boss Packs)
Act 1 - Mausoleum (Undead; ONLY Lightning Immunes; ~4 Boss Packs)
Act 2 - Maggot Lair Level 3
Act 2 - Ancient Tunnels (Undead; NO Cold Immunes; ~6 Boss Packs)
Act 3 - Sewers Level 2
Act 3 - Forgotten Temple (Upper Kurast)
Act 3 - Ruined Fane (Kurast Causeway)
Act 3 - Disused Reliquary (Kurast Causeway)
Act 4 - River of Flame
Act 4 - Chaos Sanctuary (Boss - Diablo)
Act 5 - The Worldstone Keep Level 1
Act 5 - The Worldstone Keep Level 2
Act 5 - The Worldstone Keep Level 3
Act 5 - Throne of Destruction
Act 5 - The Worldstone Chamber (Boss - Baal)

Appendix B: A subtle comparison of The Big Three of 1.10

The Big Three, no I'm not talking about the prime evils here. For me, The Big Three of 1.10 are the three easy, cheesy and sleazy MF spots of acts one and two. Believe it or not, the pits are not one of a kind - so to speak, and this guide can be adapted to any of The Big Three. Keep in mind that no other parts of the guide have been edited to follow the same suit as this section, so don't be surprised if you never hear the other two of The Big Three spoken of again.

Glancing above, we can see the list of level 85 areas. Below are the level 85 areas of the first three acts - only the first three, as the going gets tougher in acts 4 and 5.
 

Act 1 - Pit Level 1
Act 1 - Pit Level 2
Act 1 - Mausoleum
Act 2 - Maggot Lair Level 3
Act 2 - Ancient Tunnels
Act 3 - Sewers Level 2
Act 3 - Forgotten Temple
Act 3 - Ruined Fane
Act 3 - Disused Reliquary

The Big Three, in my mind, are The Pit (both levels), The Mausoleum, and the Ancient Tunnels.

The Maggot Lair is listed there, but:
 
a) It's only one level (the last)
b) Nobody likes the Maggot Lair
(I often hear the M in Maggot replaced to form a not so pleasant word)
c) It's noticeably harder than the other areas in that list

As for the act 3 locations, I don't believe any of them deserve as great recognition as the others. The temples are quite minuscule in size, you can only see 2 packs of uniques/champs at most in each one. Don't get me started on the sewers level 2, not only are they extremely tiny, and hold hardly any packs, they are near impossible to find.

To expand on the Big Three, I will go slightly more in depth with some brief info on each. Read the key at the beginning to know what you're looking for.

Area Name
Location
Advantages
Disadvantages
Normal monster immunities
Number of champion/unique packs
Best builds

The Pit
 
Act 1, Tamoe Highland - Walk backwards from Outer Cloister.
Two levels, uber chest, easy to find, many packs
Immunity problems, some ranged attacks
Immune to one of cold, fire or lightning
Level 1 -- 6-8 packs Level 2 -- 2-3 packs
Huge list in the build section

The Mausoleum
 
Act 1, Burial Grounds - Off a path beside the Cold Plains
Few immunes, all undead (for those clerics), uber chest, no ranged
All undead (no leech for melee), fewer packs
Only lightning immunes (No cold, fire or poison)
4-5 packs Single element fire/cold sorceress.
Any non-lit/physical builds listed in build section

The Ancient Tunnels
 
]Act 2, The Lost City - Look for a trap door leading into the ground
Uber chest, many packs
Hard to find, many immunes, undead (but not all - bad for both pure
clerics and those who need leech)
Immune to one of fire, lightning, poison or magic (no cold)
6-8 packs
Single element cold sorceress.
Any dual element chars listed in the build section

If I had to assign a character to each area I would say:

FireballMeteor sorc or Cleric for the Mausoleum
Blizzard or Frozen Orb sorc for the Ancient Tunnels
All other capable builds for the Pit

As I said, very slight detail. Looking at the above, many are ranking the areas from best to least. There is no real rank that should be assigned.

Yes, the Pits have the most unique/champ packs, but there are many immunes and ranged attackers
Yes, the Mausoleum has only lightning immunes, but there are few unique/champ packs and undead all over
Yes, the Ancient Tunnels have a good number of packs and no cold immunes, but it is hard to find

The best idea is to try and fabricate one character that can run all three of these areas in one go. That way, you can keep yourself interested, and on your feet at all times. If you choose to only run one of these areas, pick the one that will be easiest for your build. If you can do the pit as easily as the other two, I highly recommend it. The pit can be located most easily, it has the most packs of uniques or champs (from 8-11 each game), and I find it to be really quite easy.


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