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Diablo 3

How to get to the Secret Cow Level

Greetings! So you heard of a secret level in Diablo 3 (or maybe you haven't yet), you don't know how to get there, and you are in need of a guide to help get you there. Well you came to the right place!

First off to get to the Secret level in Diablo 3, which looks like this:

Secret Cow Level in Diablo 3

We first need to obtain a certain Staff, called the Staff of Herding. This staff is not easy to obtain, here is a quick FAQ about it:

What is the Staff of Herding?
It allows you to access the secret level in Diablo III, by following the road out of Tristram in Act I until you find the ghost cow.

Ghost of the Cow King

How do I get the Staff of Herding?
You need to collect a total of 5 items through various drops, as well as purchase an item costing 100,000g. I will explain more in-depth how to obtain these items below.

How long does it take to build the staff?
Personally, it took me about 45 minutes to completely build the staff, including research time. However, there are many reports of farming for 2-3 hours for a single piece of the staff, so the total time seems to vary greatly with luck.

How much does it cost to build the staff?
To obtain the most basic form of the staff (normal version) it costs 150,000g. It then costs an additional 200,000g to build the nightmare version of the staff, 500,000g for the hell version of the staff. The Inferno version costs 1,000,000g. The staff itself is weak and is only used to enter the secret level. Here is the basic stats for the staff:

Staff of Herding stats

How do you obtain the pattern for nightmare/hell/inferno versions?
They seem to spawn randomly on the quartermaster in the main town of Act III:

Gorell the Quartermaster

Is the staff destroyed on use?
No, you can use the staff as many times as you wish.

Does the nightmare/hell/inferno version of the staff work on lesser difficulties?
Yes, the staff can be used on any difficulty up to and including the difficulty stated in the prefix of the staff. (Note: normal version of the staff does not have a prefix, it is just the Staff of Herding)

Does the staff gain any stats?
No, it is only used to gain access to the secret level.

How difficult is the secret level?
The secret level is just as difficult as Act IV of the current difficulty. It scales as more players join just like any other level.

Do I have to refarm the materials to build the nightmare/hell/inferno version of the staff?
No, after the first form of the staff is made you need only the previous version of the staff and a sum of gold to upgrade it.


Building the Staff

Here is the guide on how to get each piece required for the staff:

It is crafted using 5 rare items and a rare recipe, you need 150,000 gold total for the normal version of this staff.

Leroic's Shinbone
Act: 1
- Found Inside of the fireplace in Leroic's Manor (Click on the burnt logs)

The Black Mushroom
Act: 1
- Found in the cathedral, most commonly floor 1 (Click mushroom pile)

Liquid Rainbow
Act: 2
- Inside of a mysterious cave in act 2 (Dahlgur Oasis)

Wirt's Bell
Act: 2
- Bought for 100,000 gold from Squirts in the Act 2 Bazaar

Gibbering Gemstone
Act: 3
- Drops from Chiltara in the Caves of Frost(Found after Bridge of Korsikk)

Plans: Staff of Herding
Act: 4
The recipe to craft the staff is a drop from Izual (Act 4 Boss)

Once all 6 items are obtained, open the window of your blacksmith and right click the pattern to learn it, you can now craft it under the weapon section.

Crafting the Staff of Herding

Now that it is crafted, you must visit The Ghost of the Cow King on old tristram road in Act 1, he will have a brief dialog with you and then open the path to Whimsyshire, the magical land of rainbows and ponies (secret level). See video:

SPOILER NOTE: The following video shows actual game footage of the secret cow level (at 2:10 in).

When you move onto nightmare or later you can upgrade the staff to get better loot and tougher challenges, this involves buying the recipe in act 4 final quest and paying 200k to upgrade to nightmare, 500k for hell and 1 mill for inferno.

The Loot!

There are lots and lots of chests and champions to grind in the Whimsyshire (secret level).

From my experience doing nightmare and hell Whimsyshire a few times now, I find that the drop quality is always the equivalent of the next Act up. So Normal Whimsyshire is the equivalent of Act I nightmare drops. I have found higher level gems than I can find in all of the difficulty in that difficulties Whimsyshire.

Thus, Inferno Whimsyshire drops should equal Act I of what we will call Super Inferno.

Not to mention I have found very few Legendary items (4 to be exact) and 3 of them were found in Whimsyshire. They weren't the best, but they each netted be a decent amount on the AH.

Also, those cute little clouds are everywhere, and with decent magic find yield a lot of opportunities to find something awesome.

I will update this section as more and more loot is found in the secret level!

Good luck on the farming and enjoy slaying the over friendly beasts!!!

Also, for LOTS of cool guides I would check out Diablo 3 Gold Secrets By Peng Joon, there's a small fee for it, but well worth it in my opinion.



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Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress FAQ
List of Legendary Items in Diablo 3
General Weapon and Item Stats Guide
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Normal Difficulty Overview
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Belial Class Guide

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Barbarian Strategy Guide for Inferno
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Monk Tanking Tips for Hell Difficulty
Monk Inferno Guide - Life Leech Build
Monk - Inferno Guide

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