IIQ/IIR: MF Balance and Diminishing Returns guide (v2.2)

More than an explanation of how the quantity and the rarity mechanics works, I'll try to explain, under my point of view, how to balance the Magic Find of our farmer the best possible way.


- v2.1: added 540 Voll runs.
- v1.2: added a lot of new runs, new MF values and lot of new comments.
- v1.0.3: added Path of Dominus thread link at the bottom. A very good VoeHermes work about Dominus' unique drops.
- v1.0.2: added 15 more runs per MF type. 50 total runs per MF type.
- v1.0.1: added 5 more runs per MF type, and a new C=5.53 group.
- v1.0.0: 30 runs/MF type. 8 different MF values.

What is the best? Lot of quantity? Lot of rarity? More of the former than of the latter? What proportion?

The best, pulling logic and tutorials on the subject, is a correct balancing of both. Nice to increase our IIQ in order to increase the enemies drop. And equally important, increase our IIR for those items may fall as much as possible magic, rares, or uniques.

Let's use this formula to calculate a good balancing between IIQ and IIR:


C = (1+(IIQ/100)) * (1+(IIR/100))

The higher this coefficient, the greater balance we'll get on our MF gear in order to obtain more rare items.

The plot of this formula would be something like this:


Explaining it quickly: the more clear is the color of the Strip where our IIQ and IIR are, the greater our coefficient (C). In each strip, this coefficient is indicated by a rounded number.
Both using formula or graph, and testing with these or those items, you can easily calculate your coefficient.

From C=4, we will notice a very important effect on the drop. From C=8, a lot. The maximum rating that can be achieved with perfect farming gear would be near C=14.

Finally, we must consider that this formula, although very useful, is only a little reference value for several reasons:

- Patch 0.9.9: Diminishing returns introduced.
- Patch 1.0.0: 40% of the item quantity bonus for additional party members is now shifted towards item rarity. Gems and currency items still receive the old item quantity bonus.
Diminishing returns for player item quantity and item rarity have been changed so that they are slightly less effective.
Item drops from Merveil, Brutus, Vaal Oversoul, Piety and Dominus have been substantially increased in Cruel and Merciless difficulties.
- Currency drop is only affected by our IIQ.
- Drop from pots, chests and any other smashable furniture it's safe from our MF values.
- Each mob, both for "rarity" (normal, magic, rare or unique) as for "type" has his own drop values.


I made 1040 Dominus runs, splitting'em into 13 groups of 80. In each group, the MF character values were different. In addition, it were alternating values of magic find a run to another, as well as the time that were performed, to balance other possible factors (good/bad streaks, drop regulation on the server side, frametime balance... all of them factors that we don't know if they really exist or not, apart from pure luck). I only took the drop from Dominus, not those of his lieutenants.

With patch 2.1 & 2.2 I also made 1040 Voll runs (13 groups of 80) with same MF values as for Dominus.

- Dominus and Voll don't depend on modifiers or variety of enemies unlike the maps so that only the Magic Find + luck combo influences in this study.
- Each run can be done relatively quickly if you want to expand the number of trials.

- The currency drop from Dominus and Voll is almost non-existent, so the study focuses more on items.
- Every run has been done alone, so the party effects are not covered here.
- 80 runs for Dominus and 40 for Voll by MF type are a good example, but they may not be enough to draw definitive conclusions.
- RNG will be always there.



You can see above the evolution of rare and unique items according to the different values of Magic Find.
- As our coefficient increases, the amount of rare items dropped increases until you reach a more or less stable value around C=8.
- The number of unique items is also increasing, although their values are more random and less linear, even going down in the runs with more MF (just bad luck? great randomness of the drop of uniques?).

For Voll, the number of items dropped are around a half than those from Dominus (both rares and uniques) for same C values.


- Balancing IIQ and IIR increases the drop, as shown in the first graph.
- It seems that from IIQ values around 100, and IIR values around 300, the increase of the drop is not significant. A well balanced C=8 seems to be a very good value. Even a C=6 with IIQ=100 and IIR=200 should be enough.
- Exceed those values where theoretically diminishing retuns trigger isn't worth, both for survival and farming speed purposes.
- 80 runs per MF type are not a huge amount, but calculations for rare items can be enough to see how balance and DR work. Of course, with N=50 we're far from a decent sample to know how this works with unique items.

We will always get some doubts. What are the optimum settings? It's only a question of gear and luck? And of course the "psychological preferences" of each player ("I get the best drops with full rarity", "Those values are great for me", and so on...).
So, keeping all this in mind, now the farming gear and values are up to you.


"I made a farmer with 100/400 MF. Two weeks playing and no good uniques... wtf?"
A Magic Finder is designed to farm, of course. But keep this in mind: the chance to drop a high tier unique will be almost the same with 100/400 than with 0/0 (due to the small chance to drop those hi-tier uniques). The main purpose of farming is to become a yellow-drop-machine so you'll get a lot of minor currency to convert to Alterations, Jewellers and Fusings, and more some minor tier uniques.

"Diminishing retuns... meh, I'll take as much MF gear as possible"
More MF taken, more quantity/rarity drop. But don't forget the farming speed. Maybe with less MF values you can run 8 maps per hour (just an example) instead of 3 maps. That becomes more avg drop.

"I found the Holy Grail! I just need currency, so I'll take only IIQ gear, putting the IIR into negative values. I'm a genius!" (True story)
Let's take a look to the IIR definition: Increased Item Rarity % modifiers increase the chances of an item being magic, rare, or unique. For example with a total of +100% increased item rarity, you'd get twice as many magic items, twice as many rares and twice as many uniques from normal enemies.
And now an example: you run with 100/-40 MF and you drop 6 white items and 4 currency items. If you make the same run with 100/200, you'll drop the same 4 currency items, but those 6 white items will be a mix of white, blue, yellow and even unique items.
TLDR: no, you're not a genius. You'll get the same currency.

"100 IIQ!? How to get that value?"
100 IIQ is hard to get if you play the new leagues or you're a bit new in PoE. If you play STD and you manage to purchase a legacy Item Quantity gem, you can easily obtain that 100 value.

Thanks to all the people both on offical and spanish forum, sharing experiences about values, gear, formulas and all the MF related stuff. You can check the original thread on spanish community forum here --> http://poesp.com/foro/discusion-general/636.

For more results about Dominus' unique drops, please visit the Path of Dominus VoeHermes' thread. Very inspiring.
You can check too this video from klaaayveR: How to farm Dominus with multiple clients + How to balance your mf values and more.

Hope this guide will be helpful. Feedback and fixes will be great! Good luck farming!
- Attack and Spell DPS Calculator (view-thread/977942)
- IIQ/IIR balance guide (view-thread/725812)
Last edited by Chuca79 on Mar 14, 2016 10:33:47 AM
Last bumped on Feb 18, 2017 7:59:48 AM
Thank you for this INCREDIBLE GOOD WORK!
I should to read it in morning :)
Thanks dude! I always knew my 153/349 was as good as 100/500!

reading is for stupeds
Well done dude, this is probably the best miniguide I ever read.
C for 0 IIQ/IIR is 1, not 0.
Objetos raros i get its around 25+ from 1 run


so numbers pretty close
ign - FancySneakyDevil
Completed 13 ChallengesShamanics wrote:
C for 0 IIQ/IIR is 1, not 0.

Yep, was wrong on drop image. Fixed.

Thank you.
- Attack and Spell DPS Calculator (view-thread/977942)
- IIQ/IIR balance guide (view-thread/725812)
These are the types of write ups GGG themselves aught to make. Good job Chuca79!
4/13/2015 = The day so many of us got Rachel'd.

Rachel_GGG : #1 Forum Devourer
Last edited by BearCares on Dec 26, 2013 8:21:51 PM
Just saying, but: You seem to forget about the great master RNGesus. 250 Dominus runs is a lot, no doubt. But it is aswell a lot to get a 6-linked chest after using 5000 fusings while another player gets 6l after just 10 fusings.

Another example is getting one year long no good unique drops and then to drop kaoms heart + soul taker + shavronnes in just one week. Or conversely.

What I am trying to say: There are NO reliable numvers to calculate with. Either you have luck or you have no luck. Nothing else matters.

You wanna to find a key to the random generator? Well, gl on that.
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