Concerning 4, I think the spreadsheet uses some empiric value for legendary drop chances that might be too high. I don't think he added the factor two enhancement, but I'm not sure.
Also, there are a lot of estimates that go into this, like the average number of elite kills, average number of white mob kills per elite pack, and average over mob drop rates. Finally, depending on how fast you farm, there's a chance you miss legendary drops.
The rest, is hard to say. It is possible to pick up a rare by accident. I don't have any other explanation. While there might be an issue with pets and MF (however Blizzard said there is none), nephalem should work on them, otherwise you only get 4-6 gear drops, not the 9-10 you saw.
1. Is a well known bug and will be fixed in 1.0.5. However in 1.0.5 the cap is increased through monster level.
2. That's surprising, and no one else has reported this as far as I know. You are aware that you must have the five stacks before killing the elite, and that most rare bosses do not count as elite as far as drops are concerned, right?
Do you know how many games in which acts you needed? I started a data collection at indiablo - I do not expect differences between act 1-3, but maybe the plan has a different chance, and it would be easier to include the data with specific acts.
I think it was as follows:
act 3: drop in 1st run
act 4: drop in 2nd run
act 2: drop in 4th run
act 1: drop in 2nd run
Well, the weird thing about those major events is that NONE of the normal quest line events qualify. It's the random events that sometimes appear and sometimes don't that give stacks.
Example 1: In Rakkis Crossing, sometimes there is a soldier sitting below some stairs that gives you a quest to go up there and look for his comrade. On the live servers, a champion pack of birds attacks you as you go up. On the PTR, there are no champion birds, but a rare (purple) mob appears a few steps further up, and you get the NV stack when you talk to the quest NPC.
There's a second event in Rakki's.
Example 2: Act two, when you walk from black canyon north-west to stinging winds, there is usually one of three random events that should give a NV stack. I haven't tried yet.
The bottom line is that only random side quests count as "major ingame events." This is supposed to motivate people to complete those quests instead of just ignoring them. They didn't feel the need to add this for the main quest line events. The description is somewhat misleading... of course a random side quest is much less important than the main quest line, in the great scheme of things. So I don't know why they had to call it "major ingame events."
Oh, good catch on the bosses. I didn't really know that the first kill has less drops.
What is the life steal penalty in act 4? I know it's reduced to 20% throughout inferno, but I'm not aware of any additional penalty in act 4.
I did get stacks from events a few times. Note that in those cases where the events involved champion or yellow elite packs, they were changed to special (purple) bosses to prevent players from getting two stacks from one event. I think that I also got the additional drops from NV stacks. I guess that boss kills don't qualify as major ingame events (they are quest events if you want). I didn't get to check any special chests.
Just wondering if anyone did collect Key drop rates on the PTR as function of monster level. It has been confirmed hat the drop chance for a key scales with ML and is 100% at ML 10, but I'm wondering it it is scaled in 10% steps or if it scales in a similar way to how the mob health scales with ML.
Had three legendaries yesterday. Long dry spell before that.
The other day in some legendary thread someone said: "Man, you guys must be lucky, I played since 5/15 and only 4 legendaries total." Look up his profile, he has like 3k elite kills. No surprise there. People get angry when you tell them that one can farm 1 Legendary/day or even 1/hour, although that's perfectly possible. I have neither the kill speed nor the MF to pull that off, but I know that there are people who can. Time played is a very bad measure, even elite kills is not very useful unless you supply the act and average MF.
Anyways, that's hardly important. It's hard to estimate how long the PTR will be up. The last set of patch notes is very short, and mostly small bug fixes. That might be a good sign in terms of getting the patch soon. One also has to note that this itself is a test of the PTR concept. This patch would be fine without PTR as well, but they probably want the PTR to test PVP.
Next tuesday might be too soon, but maybe the week after...
The most important part of the language switching thing is to be able to leave general chat. But if you can't log in in any language, it doesn't help.
The point of farming A3 is the high mob density. I wouldn't even know where to go in Act 1 to find anything comparable to Keeps Depth or Fields of Slaughter or Arreat Crater. A2 should have some good corners, but some of the mobs there will really be annoying with high MP.
The best place to farm in the future might be VotA though. Crank your monster power up just enough so you can still speed clear it (say 3-5). In normal it takes about 3-4 minutes to clear VotA, I've done a few runs recently in 1.0.4 and it takes about 5 minutes with picking up loot and actually having to kill the elites. I should be able to keep this pace with monster power 3-4, not sure about 5/6.
Say 8 elites + 400 trash mobs in 5 minutes, that's roughly 50 item drops, maybe more with additional drops from MP, and now the chance of dropping ilvl 63 legendaries is as good as anywhere in A3.Although there are some nasty elites in there, so cranking up that monster power might not be as easy.
There must be some effect with monster power that bumps mobs in act 1/2 to higher level. Otherwise this would completely kill A1/A2 farming, and I thought that monster power was supposed to do the opposite.
Also I can't imagine that the MF reward is that shallow. I could imagine that one gets up to 30 MF/power level. There should also be bonus drops. Of course you can balance these two, i.e. give less MF and increase the drop rate, but the patch notes suggest that MF is the main reward here.
I expect something like a 4x increase of mob health (+300%) and 50%-100% increased damage at max monster power. 120 MF is not enough reward for that, 120 MF + doubled drop rate (and extra elite drops) might be appropriate.
I just had a little thought concerning the loot roll order. Did you ever notice how unid'd legendaries are just called "Sword", "Polearm", "Chest Armor", as opposed to being called with the corresponding ilvl item, i.e. "Rune Sword", "Dread Lance", "Archon Armor",...
I take this as another hint that it's rolled as "item type" > quality > (ilvl or choice from eligible legendaries). But maybe it's nothing.
Well, we discussed this around page 40 last time I think. Essentially if you go into the game guide, you find that:
low level legendaries never have a base item of the same ilvl
rings, amulets and class specific legendaries of ilvl 63 don't have a corresponding base item
I think the most reasonable roll order that we deducted from this is:
item type > quality > ilvl
If you roll the ilvl after the quality, there is no problem. The other option of course is
quality > item type > ilvl
Of course there is another option with
item type > ilvl > quality
and then, when the quality is legendary, special rules come in...
Oh, that's good. To get the base XP I divide by 2.06. Results:
Most mobs give 4500 exp
Champions give 3x exp
Some mobs have increased exp, e.g. 25% (fallen firemage), 50% (herald of pestilence, demonic serpent). A few are just specially high, e.g. the golgor and malachors give 11250.
Golgors and malachors rarely appear in large groups, so they shouldn't have a huge effect. Taking something between 5k and 6k as average exp/mob should be sufficient as approximation.