## Act 2 vs. Act 3

• So, as i am able to Farm Act 3 quite convinient i asked my self how i might can maximize the ilvl 63 drops because killing mobs in Act 2 goes faster than in act 3. As i like probability theory i was excited to get deep into the matter but it turned out that the equations were pretty simple under some basic assumptions.

Making a decision

How can i maximize the expected number of ilvl 63 drops if i consider only the guaranteed rare drop with 5 nephalem stacks? (if i talk about ilvl 63 drop in the following, it is always in regard to the guaranteed drop)

Probability of ilvl 63 in Act 2 : 8% = p1
Probability of ilvl 63 in Act 3 : 16% = p2

Expected number of elite kills per time frame T act1 = k1
Expected number of elite kills per time frame T act2 = k2

The number of ilvl 63 drops is then binomial distributed. The expectation of the binomial distribution ist

pn, so we have p1k1 for act 2 and p2k2 for act 3.

We would like to have p1k1

0.08k1

<=>

k1

So, if my kill speed for elites in act 3 is at least the half of kill speed in act 2 , than i should go to act 3 instead of act 2. The question now is how to obtain k1 and k2. This is not only dependent on your dps but also on the general act structure.

Obtaining the expected kills per timeframe

Let n1,n2 be the expected average number of elite packs per time frame, and t1,t2 be the average expected time to kill one pack. The expected number of kills per Time frame T is then

k1 = max_{n
k2 = max_{n

(That means, you can kill either all of the average found elites or just some number until T is met)

The numbers t1,t2 are solely depend on the dps/play style (that means dependent on you) and the affixes of the elites. The numbers n1,n2 have to be retrieved statistically. One had to count the elites he finds during a timeframe for multiple games.

Any useful information?

You could approximate k1,k2 by playing for like an hour each act , and count the elite kills. If you cannot kill at least the doubled amount in act 2 then you can keep playing in act 3. The more this experiment is repeated, the more reliable is the result.

Things not considered:

Do elites in act 2 or act 3 drop more/less items per kill in the long run ? (didn't find anything on that)
Are the probabilites of higher affixes different in act 2 and 3 ? (didn't find anything on that one either)
Drops of non elite
Money loss due to deaths

These things would influence the results above as the pure itm lvl wouldn't be as relevant.

Feel free to correct on that post.
• I farm(ed) act 3 just beacuse i hate the guts out of act 2. Its been a pain in the ass in normal / first run and It still is. God i cant even tell you how much i hate it! But i THINK that act 2 is more vialbe for you.

But when you do act 3 with ease and you have no problem at all you should really farm act 3. But thats just from my personal experience and THAT I HATE the guts out of act 2. :Z

Regards Xpire.
"Tried the adventuring life. Didn't care for it. Too much pain, not enough profit." - Vidar the Collector

Number 1 DH in Crit dmg @ World. Working for NR 1 in life aswell!
• Yeah, from time to time i even go act 1. But here i was looking for a rational argument.
• Quote from OwnagerD

Are the probabilities of higher affixes different in act 2 and 3 ? (didn't find anything on that one either)

I was trying to streamline my Act 1 farming by only picking up the blue weapons with the "of death" suffix, because they have the highest damage. After extensive farming though, I realized that not a single item had dropped in Act 1. I did see a small amount of them in Act 2, but most are from Act 3. The item affixes are masked on yellow named rares by the random generated name, but it seems to work by the same system. It appears that the top affixes are locked out of the early Acts, and only drop at a reasonable rate in A3. You may get a level 63 sword to drop before Act 3, but it won't have the top stats on it. Therefore, unless you get extremely lucky, the items that will sell for 10 million gold are probably only going to drop in Act 3 and 4.
• BUMP ( to get rid of the gold spammer at the hot page. )
"Tried the adventuring life. Didn't care for it. Too much pain, not enough profit." - Vidar the Collector

Number 1 DH in Crit dmg @ World. Working for NR 1 in life aswell!
• Quote from shootingbull

Quote from OwnagerD

Are the probabilities of higher affixes different in act 2 and 3 ? (didn't find anything on that one either)

I was trying to streamline my Act 1 farming by only picking up the blue weapons with the "of death" suffix, because they have the highest damage. After extensive farming though, I realized that not a single item had dropped in Act 1. I did see a small amount of them in Act 2, but most are from Act 3. The item affixes are masked on yellow named rares by the random generated name, but it seems to work by the same system. It appears that the top affixes are locked out of the early Acts, and only drop at a reasonable rate in A3. You may get a level 63 sword to drop before Act 3, but it won't have the top stats on it. Therefore, unless you get extremely lucky, the items that will sell for 10 million gold are probably only going to drop in Act 3 and 4.

Ah, thank you very much. Anybody else made that observation? But this certainly turns the decision more in the direction of act 3 ;).

edit : I wonder if there is even a statistically relevant difference between act 3 and 4 regarding the affixes.
• I have the same problem, act 3 or act 1. Act 1 i get 3 or even 4 rares per elites. and in act 3 i get like 2 - 3. But it takes me like 5 times more time to kill act 3 elites than act 1, and in act 1 i just smash everything. SO what should i farm ? ACT 3 or ACT 1 ??
• If i am right, than ilvl 63 drops at a 4% rate. The above calculations then give :

k1*0.04

which turns out to be

k1

So, if you really need like 5 times longer per kill, you should stay in act 1. But as shootingbull pointed out, there is more than just the pure item lvl. My calculations just give an approximate help for decision. Just like you are saying you get more rares per kill ( i think because of mf gear ? ). Such things are not considered so far. I think a fully set up model would be quite large
• What about 6 property blacksmith plans? Did anyone got any from acts lower than 3? Armor plans go for a significant amount, and honestly I have never seen any 6 property recipy in act 2.
• A3 has a couple of very convenient farming areas, too, keep that in mind. A2 doesn't have a Rakkis Crossing-Seigebreaker run equivalent (or if you're geared enough, extend it to Azmodan).
• I am running 350% MF, thus getting about ~50% of the elites 4 rares. I did not get any 6 property recipe in act 1 or 2, been saving alot of mats (having around 1000 of each since all ilvl 60+ rares and blues i salvage for 2 months now).
• The affix rolls are not Act based afaik.

I got a 6 property plan in A2 yesterday (not completely sure... might have been A4). I also found a ring there some time ago that sold for 50m. All my legendaries are from A2, although of course they are almost worthless. A2 is a good place to farm if A3/A4 is too tough.

Now, concerning the "of Death" affix... it is only available on ilvl 63 items. Those drop much more frequently in A3 (about 4:1 vs. A1), so it's not surprising to not find any "of Death" weapons in A1... they are very rare.

http://www.diablofans.com/topic/57939-ongoing-project-magic-find-and-its-efficiency-a-statistical-insight/page__st__460#entry1008969
It should be relatively easy to figure out if top affixes can appear on A1/A2 items.
• This site is useful for seeing what item levels match can what prefix names
http://d3inferno.com/affixes/ItemAffixes.html

• I was trying to streamline my Act 1 farming by only picking up the blue weapons with the "of death" suffix, because they have the highest damage. After extensive farming though, I realized that not a single item had dropped in Act 1. I did see a small amount of them in Act 2, but most are from Act 3. The item affixes are masked on yellow named rares by the random generated name, but it seems to work by the same system. It appears that the top affixes are locked out of the early Acts, and only drop at a reasonable rate in A3. You may get a level 63 sword to drop before Act 3, but it won't have the top stats on it. Therefore, unless you get extremely lucky, the items that will sell for 10 million gold are probably only going to drop in Act 3 and 4.

I registered just to pipe in this is absolutely false.

Which affixes you get is totally random and not bound to any act or Magic Find. If you have an arch axe from act 1 it's just as likely to be an 1100 DPS one as one you found from act 3. The item level is the *only* variable that matters, as higher item levels can roll the higher numbers on affixes.

What a lot of people don't realize is that affixes scale with item level. If you roll "Seeking" on Archon Boots, it can go up to 20% Magic Find, but if you roll "Seeking" on a Ring, the maximum is 18%, because the ring is ilvl 62 at most, whereas the boots are item level 63.

That said, if you can kill elites twice as fast in act 2 as you can in act3, you should be farming act 2. That should be pretty obvious without trying to pull all sorts of basic probability into it.
• even if i keep farming act 1 , im not getting any loot upgrade to be able to farm act 3 . -__- either way im not making that much of gold with the AH .. im barely stuck haha
• Quote from PsiStorm
That said, if you can kill elites twice as fast in act 2 as you can in act3, you should be farming act 2. That should be pretty obvious without trying to pull all sorts of basic probability into it.

It's not probability it's just arithmetic, the drop rate is twice as high in Act III so you have to kill more than twice as fast to offset that... like you say it's pretty obvious.
• Quote from Mormolyce

Quote from PsiStorm
That said, if you can kill elites twice as fast in act 2 as you can in act3, you should be farming act 2. That should be pretty obvious without trying to pull all sorts of basic probability into it.

It's not probability it's just arithmetic, the drop rate is twice as high in Act III so you have to kill more than twice as fast to offset that... like you say it's pretty obvious.

It's not twice as high. The probabilities are 9.3 and 16.3 respectively, the ratio is 1.75. This is only for ilvl 63, if you add ilvl 62 the ratio goes down to 1.36, and so on.

I think a fair statement is that if you are more than 50% faster in A2, then it is better to farm there. More accurate statements have to take into account many details, e.g. the layout of the acts and how they affect farming speed, the probability of finding a problematic elite pack (i.e. dying), the probability of dying from stupid white mobs (i.e. the exploding guys in A3), and so on.

Personally I do both, I'm faster in A2 with my gear (and I can wear some MF if I want), but I enjoy the slightly more rewarding Elite drops in A3.
• Quote from PsiStorm

Which affixes you get is totally random and not bound to any act or Magic Find. If you have an arch axe from act 1 it's just as likely to be an 1100 DPS one as one you found from act 3. The item level is the *only* variable that matters, as higher item levels can roll the higher numbers on affixes.

Thanks for the info, I admit that my theory was proven wrong. At least we are discussing some interesting game mechanics in this thread instead of all the complaining on the official forum.
• Quote from thundersteele
It's not twice as high. The probabilities are 9.3 and 16.3 respectively, the ratio is 1.75. This is only for ilvl 63, if you add ilvl 62 the ratio goes down to 1.36, and so on.

I think a fair statement is that if you are more than 50% faster in A2, then it is better to farm there. More accurate statements have to take into account many details, e.g. the layout of the acts and how they affect farming speed, the probability of finding a problematic elite pack (i.e. dying), the probability of dying from stupid white mobs (i.e. the exploding guys in A3), and so on.

Personally I do both, I'm faster in A2 with my gear (and I can wear some MF if I want), but I enjoy the slightly more rewarding Elite drops in A3.

Yeah all true, was just speaking roughly with the twice thing.
• Quote from OwnagerD

Quote from shootingbull

Quote from OwnagerD

Are the probabilities of higher affixes different in act 2 and 3 ? (didn't find anything on that one either)

I was trying to streamline my Act 1 farming by only picking up the blue weapons with the "of death" suffix, because they have the highest damage. After extensive farming though, I realized that not a single item had dropped in Act 1. I did see a small amount of them in Act 2, but most are from Act 3. The item affixes are masked on yellow named rares by the random generated name, but it seems to work by the same system. It appears that the top affixes are locked out of the early Acts, and only drop at a reasonable rate in A3. You may get a level 63 sword to drop before Act 3, but it won't have the top stats on it. Therefore, unless you get extremely lucky, the items that will sell for 10 million gold are probably only going to drop in Act 3 and 4.

Ah, thank you very much. Anybody else made that observation? But this certainly turns the decision more in the direction of act 3 ;).

edit : I wonder if there is even a statistically relevant difference between act 3 and 4 regarding the affixes.

What he's saying is just wrong. An ilvl 63 item is an ilvl 63 item no matter where it comes from. The only thing that affects the quality of items is magic find, which makes it more likely that any given rare will have more properties.

My guess is this misconception arises from the fact that you get way more ilvl 63 items in later acts, and it takes an ungodly number of id'd 63 items on average to find one good item.