If you’re planning on making lots of money (in game and out) by farming when Diablo 3 launches you’ll have to decide on a full out + Gold Find build, a + Magic Find build or a mix of the two (in higher difficulties you’ll have to exchange profit gear for survivability initially as I mention in Diablo 3 Farming Decisions. To do so you’ll need to know, roughly, what each affix does for you. So, what is magic find and what is gold find in Diablo 3?
A lot of what we know about Magic Find and Gold find in Diablo 3 is based on information gleaned from Diablo 2. Rest assured that the core mechanics of these stats no doubt remain the same:
In Diablo 2 the percentage of gold find on a character’s gear (plus bonuses from skills etc) multiplies the gold that the mob or chest or barrel (anything that’s in my ‘open and smash’ or ‘kill’ categories in Diablo 3 Guide for Beginners : Where Do I Find Gold And Items? article) will drop.
100% gold find means that gold drops are doubled: a 10 gold drop would turn into 20 gold. 500% gold find (beyond the beta pretty much) would make that 10 become 60. Now, I’ve around 130% + Gold Find in my GF gear in beta at the moment and can therefore confirm this is roughly how gold find works in Diablo 3.
In Diablo 3 the percentage of magic find on a character’s gear (plus bonuses from skills etc) increases the chance that an item dropped will be magical (blue), rare (yellow) or better. Magic find won’t make different items drop (emphasis that this is Diablo 2 mechanics – but there’s no reason to suspect this has changed in Diablo 3 from what we know so far). It’ll simply increase the chance that the items that do drop are magical or better.
Which is better?
In Diablo 2 gold find wasn’t as popular as magic find. This is simply because getting items is what Diablo 2 was all about. There was little in the way of a gold sink in Diablo 2 (gambling being an exception). Even though magic find suffered from diminishing returns in later patches (which it may still suffer from in Diablo 3) it was still rated as more important than gold find.
Diablo 3 changes this completely. Gold has value in and of itself. The recent gold fluctuations in beta (check out Patch 13 Diablo 3 Auction House Arbitrage I, Patch 13 Diablo 3 Auction House Arbitrage II and Patch 13 Diablo 3 Auction House Arbitrage III for examples) show that gold is far more important in Diablo 3 than it was in Diablo 2.
So which should I choose?
Right now, we who plan on being early players will form the test group that establish the min-maxing limits for both gold find and magic find. It’s sad but true. We won’t have easy answers for a few days (minimum – more likely a few weeks) after Diablo 3 launch, BUT you can bet I’ll be sharing what I learn and hear/read with you guys.
Sign up to make sure you get information like this first when the game launches. You don’t want to be running around with +165% magic find only to find out it hits a soft cap (diminishing returns) at +149%. Nor do you want to find out later than everyone else that +150% gold find tops +165% magic find anyway!
For now my advice is to try to imagine what will be more ‘fun’ to you. Until we know more, the fact that you adore the explosion of blue and yellow items from a Diablo 3 run is important. Until we know the mechanics better, the fact that you love storing up masses of gold to buy bargain great items in the Diablo 3 auction house (like magic find but with a choice) is important. Whichever of the two you like the idea of better – whether you’re a saver or a gambler in essence – is all you need concern yourself with until those with more time and dedication(me for example!) find out what’s the mathematical best… Even then, I’m inclined to tell you that you should do whatever you have more fun doing… unless the difference between magic find and gold find ends up anything like $10 per hour ^^
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