Last week Blizzard updated their Diablo 3 guide with information about all manner of in-game things. One thing shone out though: Magic find. Previously we’d talked about magic find in Diablo 3 working pretty much the same as it did in Diablo 2 and, in many respects, that’s still true. There are however some differences. One in particular is really interesting:
Finding more and better magic items is critical to overcoming challenges and defeating enemies in Diablo III, particularly on higher difficulties. Magic find is a unique item property that can help you drastically improve your haul. It is tracked in the Inventory menu (Inventory > Details > Adventure).
But what does that really mean?
Magic find affects the quality of items you acquire from killing enemies (but not treasure chests, vases, weapon racks, or other environmental objects). It doesn’t give you a chance to get more items on a given kill – instead, it increases the chance that an item you find will be magical, and more potent than it would be otherwise.
When a monster drops an item, Diablo III randomly determines the item’s quality from a chart that includes item quality and the number of affixes present. The game randomly “rolls” on each property in the chart to determine which affixes your item will get. Your magic find score is applied as a bonus to these rolls.
For example, if a monster has a 4% chance to drop a 6-affix rare item and you have +50% magic find, it now has a 6% chance to drop that item.
Item quality is checked in the following order:
- 6-affix rare
- 5-affix rare
- 4-affix rare
- 2-affix rare
- 1-affix rare
- magic item
Using the above example, when your roll ‘misses’ a higher-level item quality, the item generator proceeds to the next lowest item quality in the chain (in this case, checking to see if you got a 6-affix rare, then checking for a 5-affix rare, and so on). Your magic find bonus applies to each roll. If the same monster has a 10% chance to drop a 5-affix rare item and you have 50% magic find, you now have a 15% chance to get a 5-affix rare item.
In a group, all players’ magic find bonuses are averaged. So, if you’re in a four person group where two players each have +20% magic find and the other two players have none, all four players will effectively have +10% to magic find.
We now know for certain that magic find doesn’t increase the number of drops but merely increases the chances that an item you find will be magical, rare and legendary. But the BIG NEWS is that it increases the POTENCY of the items that drop. The more magic find you have the more chance that you’ll get a rare with 4 – 6 affixes (these beauties are, until we know more about the Legendary item buffs, the best in game) not just any rare item.
Now some are labelling this a ‘change’ which it isn’t. It’s always worked this way. What it is is new information. We didn’t KNOW that magic find not only gives you a greater chance of magic/rare/legendary items, but it gives you better versions of rare items.
When Blizz changed Nephalem Valor so that after 4 stacks each elite pack was pretty much guaranteed to drop a rare or 2 (and bosses a bonus 3 or more), a lot of players thought that a 200%+ MF set which sacrificed dps or survivability (slower runs) wasn’t 100% necessary.
Sure it’d give you more rares in the run – no question of that – but given that NV was guaranteeing rares anyway and MF just increased the chance of seeing them, MF wasn’t as powerful in comparison to nephalem valor as it used to be. Previously you only got the MF boost from NV (no guaranteed rares). This meant that it was best added to a decent MF set. +100% MF isn’t great if a mob has a 4% chance to drop a rare but +300% is another story.
But all this debate raged at a time when we thought all rares were created equal. We only needed to get the rares, then let RNG take care of the rest. Now we know this isn’t the case – the more MF you have the better chance you have to get a 4, 5 or 6 affix rare from any rare that drops (even guaranteed NV rares).
The knowledge we’ve acquired with this guide update, has boosted the value of MF (and it’s starting to become apparent in the in-game economy). But the final twist in the tale will be revealed when Blizzard decides on plans to deal with the prevalence of Magic Find Gear Swapping. If a boosted MF at the time of mob kill has suddenly become more attractive, then this issue has become more serious. Previously, a change to MF swapping wouldn’t have bothered some of us so much – we though NV guaranteed rares in any case. But if you’ve a 300% MF set versus NV granting only 70% MF, odds are all rares just aren’t going to be half as good if you rely on NV only. What do you guys think?