Magic Find, or MF for short, is an attribute found on items that changes one of the game's mechanics that has nothing to do with your character itself. Instead, it affects the loot that is generated in a way that is usually beneficial to players looking for items of a higher value, as opposed to a player without Magic Find. In other words, similar to Gold Find, MF has a direct correlation to better gear being found.
Core Concept of Magic Find
There are a few things to know that will help towards understanding how MF really works. Even though as a rule of thumb better gear will drop, there are factors that are more important towards finding what you are looking for. The core concept of Magic Find is contained within the following list:
- 100% MF does not mean everything will be of magical quality or higher. It means that an item is twice as likely to be magical as opposed to 0% MF.
- The type of item dropped is internally decided before MF is calculated into the equation. In other words, if the game decides a Short Bow will drop, it will drop. Only then does MF affect what quality the bow will be. For more info on this process, look at Treasure Class
- MF stands for Magic Find, not Rare, Set, or Unique Find. Although MF will affect the probability of those dropping too, it is not as direct as the relationship to magic items being generated.
- Not all items are affected by MF. These are items that can only be found in one type of quality, such as runes or potions.
- MF will work in a limited manner on objects that can only be of magic or unique quality.
- Luck has nothing to do with MF. If you are lucky, you will find great gear without MF. If you are unlucky, you will not find gear despite massive amounts of MF.
Applying Magic Find to Gameplay
Since MF is an attribute, it can occur on gear, but does not have to. In turn, it may very well happen that a piece of equipment that has MF will reduce your offensive, defensive or evasive capabilities compared to a piece of equipment without MF. To make Magic Find a profiting tool, the main concern should be whether or not it is affecting your kill speed or your survivability. Simply put, MF is worth nothing if you can't kill fast enough or you are dead.
A quick demonstration of reasoning:
- Player A has 100% MF and can kill 15 monsters per minute
- Player B has 0% MF and can kill 30 monsters per minute
- Since 100% MF means Player A is twice as likely to find magical gear, but only killed half as many monsters, the effects ultimately cancel each other out and both players will find the same amount of magical gear.
To use MF to your advantage, make sure you can kill relatively fast without dying while getting as much MF as possible. It is a balancing act to get it absolutley perfect, but most likely someone who takes the time to plan out the gear properly will get it right without ever feeling like they neglected either survivability, kill speed, or MF. It is said though that a character with 300%-350%MF will be very balanced in terms of still using the character effectively while having a noticable drop improvement.
Classes to use MF
Every class can use MF, but characters that kill more monsters find more items. That is why MF characters should be built around the concept of a quick killing character. Usually this means classes with strong offensive magical skills will beat classes with strong melee skills in terms of killspeed, unless the problem of immune monsters isn't solved. One absurd deviation of this is the use of an Item Find Barbarian. He excells at his job if he is strong enough to kill the Travinical, since he can make non-boss corpses drop items twice.
Where to use magic Find
All monsters have a prescribed Treasure Class and an alloted number of items that can be dropped after a kill. This means, before you kill a number, it is already possible to predict what wont drop and how many items will drop. Using this to your advantage, you can plan out which monsters you want to go after in order to get the best benefits of using MF. For Example:
- Andariel can drop up to 7 items, but her Weapon and Armor TC both only reach to 69. This tells you that she will not be dropping Tal Rasha's Guardian plate, nor does she hold a Crown of the Ages. Since, however, she can drop many other valuable things, she is still worth the time it takes to hunt her down. When you kill her with 100%MF and she proceeds to drop all 7 items, you are mathematically increasing your chances by a very large margin simply because each drop is an opportunity to recieve something valuable, as opposed to hunting down a monster that can only drop one item at most.
In a counterarguement against what was just explained however, one can be equally as lucky by a simple application of another factor: for each monster you kill, your MF is made use of. The more you kill, the more it is used. If you kill many monsters in a very short time, you are applying your MF very often in quick succession. As a result, this method of MFing can be equally legitemate in terms of productivity. It is up to the player to decide how to MF depending on what he wants to achieve, but there is no right or wrong way of MFing. The only thing that changes is the possibility of success.
One thing that can also lead to finding more valuables is the opening of golden treasure chests found in certain locations. The amount of drops a golden treasure chest can bring forth are unparalleled in the game, which leads to a vast amount of opportunities at finding what you are looking for at the press of a button.
Single Target MF
Multi Target MF
- Flayer Jungle
- Chaos Sanctuary
- Worldstone Keep
Treasure Chest MF
- Lower Kurast
- Halls of Pain
How Magic Find Functions
Magic Find will only work to its fullest extent if the item selected to drop can drop in multiple magical qualities. An item such as a rune however can only drop in one quality, so this Treasure Class drop is ignored from the equation. A Grand Charm will only recieve a partial bonus from MF because it will either drop in magical or unique property, should the Treasure Class permit a Grand Charm to be either. Common myths such as "MF will reduce the amount of runes dropping" are untrue. This is based upon the fact that the game will first decide what type of item drops, and then apply Magic Find. If the item cannot be magic, then it will drop in normal quality. The only negative experience that could arise is if a player searches for a plain normal quality piece of equipment such as armor because it will be more likely to drop as a magical armor, but this effect can be remedied by reducing your MF.
Another property Magic Find brings with it is the increased likelyhood of Rare, Set or Unique drops. The percentage of increase is decided on how high the percentage already is, and the type of quality in question. It is important to understand that Magic Find will always raise the chances to find a magic item the most, followed by rare, set, and finally unique items. For quick reference, these are the following values for each category:
As seen by the table, Magic Find functions on a diminishing returns basis for any magical qualities. A player will need 1000%MF to reach 200% Unique Find, but only 500%MF already grants 166%. The reason even Magical Item drop diminishes is because after a certain point, you will already find a very large amount of magical weapons and armor. Adding more to this will go unnoticed.