Season 24 Ethereals Farming Guide
Overview of Ethereal Farming
Ethereals are a Season 24-specific weapon type of immense power and considerable rarity, that all hark back to signature unique items from Diablo II. To match the (mostly) irreversible disintegration of such items in the older game, Season 24 Ethereal weapons in Diablo III will disappear at the end of the Season, and you will only get to keep their transmogs (as well as the bragging rights to a corresponding Feat of Strength) if you find all 21 of them — 3 per class for all 7 classes.
This guide goes over strategies to farm up Ethereal items; if you are interested in learning about the mechanics of these powerful new weapons, check out our Ethereal mechanics guide.
Regardless of their type, item level and purpose, Ethereals share some common traits that need to be understood prior to strategizing their acquisition:
- Ethereals are part of the loot table, dropping at a reduced rate, and obey the standard rules for smart loot, meaning they will overwhelmingly drop for the class you are playing at the moment. Ethereals are not an item rarity like Ancient or Primal Ancient items, which is another important aspect of their farming.
- Ethereals cannot be traded between players, as they are account bound.
- Ethereals can drop during the leveling process, practically at any level, and will have appropriately scaled stats. This will be important for one of the strategies discussed further in the guide.
- Ethereals can only be farmed from slain monsters (trash, elites, bosses and Rift Guardians) and containers (chests, corpses, destructible objects). They cannot be obtained from bounty bags, be gambled for, or be crafted.
Ethereal Farming Strategies
Ethereals can be farmed up in two ways, and the one you choose will largely depend on your intent for those items. If you intend to use them for the purposes of endgame farming and GR progression, you will have to farm for them at max level with your chosen character(s) — a time consuming process that will only grow more arduous the more classes you spread yourself to. If you strictly want them for the transmog and the Feat of Strength, you will use a clever snapshotting method that will net the Ethereals far quicker, but they will be at a low item level that renders them useless for the endgame. Read up on the two methods below.
Farming at Level 70
If you intend to use Ethereal weapons in your endgame build, you will have to farm them at max level. This will take a considerable amount of time, and there isn't a particularly deep strategy to get the job done — simply farming Torment 16 Nephalem Rifts (the highest standard difficulty) and Level 90 Greater Rifts (since drop amounts do not increase past that point) at the highest possible speed will yield the highest number of legendaries per hour, and by extension, Ethereals. Simply pick a strong speed farming build for your chosen class, and blast away; such builds include, but are not limited to:
- Barbarian: Wastes Whirlwind/Rend
- Crusader: AoV Fist of the Heavens
- Demon Hunter: GoD Hungering Arrow
- Monk: Inna Mystic Allies
- Necromancer: Masquerade Bone Spear
- Witch Doctor: Mundunugu Spirit Barrage
- Wizard: Firebird Flame Blades
Snapshotting at Level 12
This method was discovered by fellow theorycrafters Rob and Northwar and should only be used if you intend to get the Ethereals for vanity items ONLY, to keep the transmogs for future Seasons, and get the Feat of Strength. Keep in mind that this strategy requires the help of at least one more person, so make sure to co-ordinate your farming effort with as many friends as possible. You will be required to:
- Step 0 (Preparation): The process described below can be greatly expedited if you already have an endgame character and have leveled up a Gem of Ease to 25. This way you can socket the gem into a lvl 70 weapon and make it usable to a level 1 character, so it can demolish any content care-free. Also slotting speedfarming-appropriate items in the Cube, such as In-geom, Messerschmidt's Reaver, Nemesis Bracers, etc., will be very helpful with low level Ethereal farming.
- Step 1: Create a level 1 character, set the game to Normal difficulty, and level yourself to exactly Level 12. This has been tested to be the meeting point between the smallest legendary loot table across all classes and the lowest level at which Ethereal weapons can drop.
- Step 2: You and your friend(s) make new characters of the class you want Ethereals on. Level them to no less, but ideally not above, Level 16. This is done because a 4 level difference between a "host" of a game and the invited companions keeps the game at the host's level.
- Step 3: Make a game on the Level 12 character on Torment VI difficulty (the highest you can invite non-70 characters to), and invite your friend(s) to join with their Level 16+ Ethereal farming heroes.
- Step 4: When they join, you can now safely leave the game with your Level 12 character and rejoin with the Level 16+ character you want to farm Ethereals on. The game will be snapshotted with a level 12 difficulty/loot table, as evidenced by the number in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Step 5: Do Torment VI rifts, transmute Puzzle Rings at Kanai's Cube to open a portal and clear Greed's Realm of goblins, and transmute Bovine Bardiches to clear Cow Levels.
- Step 6: Repeat the process above for any classes and Ethereals you may require.
- 20 Jul. 2021: Page added.
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