I realize that this might fall under the category common knowledge for most players, however if you are just starting out, this might be a place to start. So you gained access to beta, and want to gear your chars.
I use a few different methods:
Create Barb (or whichever char you find the fastest to lvl), join public game, and go through game until you kill skeleton king. This usually takes 30-35 mins, and you get 10-20 magic items from random bosses and champions, and 1-2 rare items when you kill skeleton king.
A good method for getting some rare loot for your characters, however I recommend creating a “starter set” so you quickly gear your character.
Join Public games for Skeleton King. These are usually speed runs. They yield magic items, but rare items are much rarer after you kill Skeleton King the first time with a character. The skeletons before Skeleton Kings are the only mobs that drop Amulets, so if you after amulets it might be better to do these kind of runs.
Consider going to the Cemetery of the Forsaken and down the tombs. Each entrance will lead to one of three versions of the Defiled Crypts:
The Chancellor's Tomb
Basic Side Dungeon.
You will always encounter some magic or rare champions and sometimes you will get the quests for Lady Durnholde or Jar of Souls. This can be a way to gain a few extra magic items.
Level blacksmith and create gear. This is good for the high level characters, since a lot of the crafted gear requires you to be lvl 7+. For certain classes you can even make rare stuff like the wizard off-hand or the one-handed crossbow for Demon Hunters. While the stuff you pick up can be decent, it will rarely have as great stats as the stuff you can craft.
However, your crafting depends on mats, so you need to use the 2 above tactics in order to gain materials for crafting.
Use the Auction House for either mats or gear.
I highly recommend getting a lot of +gold find items to ensure cash flow, and I guess magic find isn’t too bad either, however most of my magic items come from mobs that a guaranteed magic drops anyway. The gold will help you level blacksmith and buy shared stash tabs. Later on you can sell the extra gold on AH if you certainly find yourself being too wealthy.
A few extra tips:
* Just north of the entrance to the cathedral @ the cathedral gardens there is a small clearing where a rare mob might spawn: Caretaker McCree. So be sure to check that, when you head for the cathedral in search of the Royal Crypts.
* Usually a rare mob walks outside Cemetery of the Forsaken, so be sure to check that.
Feel free to share your tips and strategies. There are probably more and better ways, but this is what I do for now.
I enjoyed your post, although my vision of the beta is not "get the best equip in the best time".
I see it ilke: "try different chars", "different setups", "looking for bugs".
I do that too However, with a 7-month old baby in the house gaming time is limited, and so every second counts
Anyways playing through the beta with every character a few times it is kind of fun to see the difference gear makes etc with the different skills. Besides loot is an important aspect of D3 (imo), making it an important aspect of the beta to test out
I know there are probably faster ways to get geared using a friend or two, however the above ways make you test content as well.