Whimsyshire: The Secret Level Guide - "Diablo 3"
This area and walkthrough guide will cover Whimsyshire in Diablo 3, otherwise known as Secret Pony Level, providing all the details on how to collect the base ingredients for the Staff of Herding and how to use it to enter the pony level itself, along with additional relevant information.
- What is Whimsyshire?
- How do you enter the Secret Level?
- Assembling the Staff of Herding
- Reaching The Entrance
- Arrival at Whimsyshire
- In the Land of the Killer Unicorns - Feat of Strength
- Frequently Asked Questions
Upgrading the Staff of Herding: Kevin, Bright, Dham
Cow Level History: Pentekont, D-fan
1. What is Whimsyshire?
Whimsyshire is the special secret level of Diablo 3, which is pretty hidden and requires a significant amount of effort to reach, let alone stumble upon without knowing about it beforehand. The story of how the level came to creation is actually quite similar to the Secret Cow Level from Diablo II, not to mention even references it (we'll get to that later).
To give some back-story to the the secret level's connection with each other, I will first explain the cow level for those who don't already know. A long time ago there was a rumor that clicking on the cows in the original Diablo could possibly send you to a secret cow level. This amused the developers to the point where it became a cheat code in Starcraft, then finally an actual secret level in Diablo 2, reached by combining Wirt's Leg with a Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube.
With Diablo 3, there were some early development screenshots featuring a more cartoony color pallete than it's present day iterartion. Tons of fans got up in arms over the style of graphics, complaining it might as well be filled with ponies and rainbows. You can pretty much guess what happened from there...
Thus the magical faraway land of Whimsyshire was born into existence, in a realm separate from Sanctuary, the High Heavens or the Burning Hells, where both angel and demon fear to tread, but the hero alone can purge this land of the horrors which inhabit it and threaten to spill over all known existence, forever corrupting it.
2. How do you enter the Secret Level?
There are two main tasks one must accomplish to reach Whimsyshire Diablo 3, which will be grouped into sub-steps to make things easier. Keep in mind that his is not meant to be an easy undertaking, and it is also best and pretty much necessary that you beat the game on normal before attempting this (much the same as the Cow Level in Diablo 2).
The first will be assembling the Staff of Herding, which requires retrieving a Blacksmith plan and 5 unique ingredients that are used only for the staff, located in remote, random locations or on special monsters. While otherwise useless and unimpressive looking besides it's flavor text, the Staff of Herding is the key you will need, much like the old Wirt's Leg.
The second and far easier step (with this guide's help anyway) is to find the entrance to Whimsyshire and it's legendary gatekeeper, for whom the staff is to be crafted.
**Note: The staff is not consumed upon use or entering Whimsyshire, thus you can travel to the secret level as many times as you'd like, with all of your characters, with just the one staff. Just pop it back in your stash for another character to take out and use.
3. Assembling the Staff of Herding
Only one bovine in all of Sanctuary could possibly have a use for this.
The Staff of Herding consists of 5 ingredients and the recipe as mentioned above. However, before we even get started with where to find everything, you should start saving all your gold ASAP and trying to earn as much as possible during your searches, as if you are starting out from scratch, you will need a total of 150,000 gold to make this staff, which is a hefty price tag, but well worth it. Specifically you will need 100k for one of the 5 ingredients and 50k to craft the staff itself with your Blacksmith.
The 5 ingredients are; Black Mushroom, Leoric's Shinbone, Liquid Rainbow, Wirt's Bell and Gibbering Gemstone.
3-1. Black MushroomClick thumbnail to view full-size
"The witch Adria seeks a black mushroom? I know as much about black mushrooms as I do about red herrings." -Deckard Cain
The Black Mushroom is found as a random chance interactable object, just laying on the ground for you to pick up. You will need to search in the Cathedral level 1, which is during the quest, The Legacy of Cain. You may have to run the dungeon several times before running into it, as each time you start a new game there is a chance it will spawn here.
Just scour the entire area, looking for the faintly glowing mushrooms growing out of the floor, usually somewhere a bit off the beaten path. If you run the length of the level, just exit your game and try again. If you do find the Black Mushroom however, just click on it to make one that you can put in your inventory pop out. If you are in multiplayer game, everyone will have a chance to retrieve their own.
3-2. Leoric's ShinboneClick thumbnail to view full-size
This charred piece of Leoric was clearly once connected to his ankle and knee.
You will find Leoric's Shinbone also as a random chance interactable item in the game. The particular location where this item can spawn, is inside Leoric's Manor. The quickest way to run this area and look for the item, is to start the quest The Imprisone Angel (or any after it in Act I), then use the waypoint to travel to the manor. You will have to backtrack, going from the waypoint at the back of the Manor, towards the fireplace room which is at the front of the manor. You can see the room in the picture to the right (it's the same general layout each time) in the northeast corner of the map.
In the fireplace room, the object you will be looking for is the Burning Logs. If those are in the fireplace, you have succeeded, just click on the logs to make Leoric's Shinbone pop out onto the floor for you to pick up. If there are no logs there, just leave the game and try again. The run for this item is one of the fastest.
3-3. Liquid RainbowClick thumbnail to view full-size
The colors swirl and twist in hypnotic patterns.
The Liquid Rainbow piece is found inside of a chest which may spawn inside of a dungeon, which itself is a rare chance/special event that occurs in Act II. During the quest Betrayer of the Horadrim (or afterwards with waypoints) you will travel to the Dahlgur Oasis. Search the area to the south for a man who needs saving, standing in some shallow water named Zaven the Alchemist. He always shows up in the same location and when encountered, will offer the Mysterious Cave dungeon, and the treasures within it, to you as he no longer wishes to explore it. If you can't find him, just do the same as before, making a new game and exploring again until he shows.
Head into the Mysterious Cave once its opened and search the first level of it thoroughly, as this is where the Mysterious Chest spawns which houses the Liquid Rainbow and nothing else. The chest may be anywhere within the first level, so it may take some exploring, but once it is in your possession you are free to the head for the next ingredient (if you've saved enough money for it by now). If you still need money, consider finishing your run of the cave for the loot you'll find on the second level.
3-4. Wirt's BellClick thumbnail to view full-size
"When the demons come, close your eyes and ring this... it takes you far, far away..." -Unknown
Wirt's Bell has probably the most direct method of attainment of all the pieces you need to grab for the staff, however not by any means easy. This is where you will need that 100,000 gold mentioned earlier, as you will have to buy it for that much from a merchant.
Travel to Act II, it doesen't matter which point as long as you have access to the Caldeum Bazaar and all hell hasn't broken loose yet in the city towards the end of the act. From there, head to the bazaar and find Squirt the Peddler in the southwest section of the map. Start a conversation and open the miscellaneous items tab to find Wirt's Cowbell for sale. Even though expensive, as mentioned previously, it is really worth it.
This is the only piece without a random chance to be found.
3-5. Gibbering GemstoneClick thumbnail to view full-size
It seems to be active but it's difficult to tell.
This was the longest grind personally, taking about 10+ runs, and has the potential to be for you as well since there are two random chances involved with this item, plus it can be somewhat hidden when it does show. To find the Gibbering Gemstone, you will need to travel to Act III, during the quest Machines of War and head to the Fields of Slaughter where you are tasked with destroying the 3 Ballistae and Demonic Trebuchet.
Now for the tricky parts. The item we need is found inside a dungeon called Caverns of Frost that has a chance to spawn in the Fields of Slaughter, about 50%, since there will either be this dungeon or another one called Icefall Caves. There is always one of these two in the fields, so search until you find one of them, if it is Icefall, quit and remake the game to try again, since there will never be both. If you find the Caverns of Frost, head inside and make your way to level 2.
Now Gibbering Gemstone is a guaranteed drop from a unique mob named Chiltara, however Chiltara only sometimes spawns on the second level of the Caverns of Frost. You will need to run the dungeon until you find her, which brings the final complication, she likes to hide. Specifically, she can often spawn burrowed, which means you may have to walk near her to get her to pop out. This means literally stepping all over the place, however try to prioritize small out of the way corners or other tight spaces, since she seems to prefer these points. This is where it can be helpful to have a party, since each member will have their own drop anyway, it means more people potentially triggering her attack if she is there.
If you are lucky, she can spawn as other enemy types that occupy the cavern, thus making your life a little easier in terms of locating her.
Fun Fact: Look at the white item type name and closely at the picture of the item itself. Does this look familiar? It's the mystical purple gemstone which puzzled players for over a decade, sitting in the middle of the lobby chat window in Diablo 2. Even the description mentions the puzzling nature of the gem, which when clicked would change colors, seemingly 'turning on' and displaying text that the gem had been activated, but never actually doing anything. A great tribute to one of the greatest trolling moments in video game history.
3-6. Plans: Staff of Herding
This is where things get a little simpler. The plans for the staff are a random drop off of Izual, the fallen angel/ex-lieutenant you face before fighting Diablo in Act IV. For this you will need to start the final quest Prime Evil and fight your way through a few minutes of enemies and such until reaching Izual. It may take several runs to get the plans to drop from his corpse, however at least you know exactly where to find him every time.
Once you have the plans you can train Haedrig to make it by right clicking the recipe when you have the craft window open. There seems to be no level requirement for his training in order to produce the staff, which is one nice benefit.
Finally you will need to make sure you have another 50,000 gold along with the 5 ingredients. If so, go ahead and hit the craft button and hold the key to magical lands that await you with awe my friend.
3-7. Upgrading the Staff of Herding
You will have to upgrade the staff for higher difficulties of secret level, with the base staff unlocking the secret level in normal only. Gorell the Quartermaster in Bastion's Keep sells the upgrade plans for 1 gold each, however you must currently be in the Prime Evil quest of Act IV for them to show up. In addition, the upgrade plans will only show up for the difficulty you are on, for example the nightmare upgrade plans, are only there during Nightmare difficulty of the Prime Evil quest.
There are no additional materials, besides the previous difficulties staff and the gold cost to craft the next level up. Finally, each level of staff can open it's own difficulty's secret level and those prior, meaning an Inferno staff can open up all four difficulties of pony level.
The upgrades are:
- 200,000 Gold for Nightmare
- 500,000 Gold for Hell
- 1,000,000 for Inferno
Credit and thanks goes to Kevin for this information.
Update: Depending on your version of the game, some of this information may be outdated and you may no longer need to upgrade the staff.
4. Reaching the Entrance of WhimsyshireClick thumbnail to view full-size
Note: The staff is never consumed and you can enter the secret pony level as many times as you'd like without fear of ever losing access.
If you have made it to this step, you are in the home stretch with all the difficult parts behind you. Make sure before continuing into this magical realm, that you are at least level 30(ish) as the difficulty of the monsters here seem to be on par/a bit higher than Act IV of the same difficulty.
Travel back to Act I now with your staff and go to any quest where you have easy access to Old Tristram road (pretty much any besides the very beginning of the first quest). Have the staff in your inventory and walk through the section of Old Tristram Road that is between New Tristram and The Old Ruins. You can take The Old Ruins waypoint and backtrack to save some time.
Check the picture to the right for exact details on the entrance, the waypoint on the map being the Old Ruin's. This entrance is in the same exact place every time. Look for the red glowing light coming from the depths which can be seen over the southern cliff edge. When you approach this spot, the Ghost of the Cow King (the ex-leader of the secret cow level) should appear to you with an exclamation mark over his head. Talk to him and make sure to listen to the amusing conversation that ensues, rife with references. Once the convo is finished, the glow will change colors to a more multicolor spectrum and the entrance to Whimsyshire will be open! Click on the glowing portal and behold what awaits you.
5. Arrival at WhimsyshireClick thumbnail to view full-size
Congrats! You have now entered the secret pony level, Whimsyshire!
Sights to See on Your Glorious Journey:
No more fighting Hell's Demons. Be prepared to carve your way through onslaughts of pink teddy bears, massive pony unicorns and hordes of living pink flowers. Yes, there are elite and rare type mobs to be found to. Pretty much everything is replaced with cute versions of themselves.
Fighting the monsters here is mainly difficult due to their step up level wise from the Act IV monsters of the difficulty you are playing the secret level in, but one thing that makes your life a bit easier, is save for the elites and champions, the monsters here do not have any special attacks or abilities. All you need to watch out for are various melee swings, which can still hit pretty hard.
Twinkleroot - The weakest of the enemies, these pink flowers run around and whip at you with their stems. Kind of like the fallen as they always come in hordes and hit fall pretty quick.
Cuddle Bear - These pink walking teddy bears bounce around quite amusingly, with a jaunted run, and try to run up and headbut/hug you. Slightly more health than Twinkleroots and hit a bit harder too, but not by much. Think the Risen equivalent. Definitely the most adoringly demented of the three monsters considering kill animations. Usually found in smaller groups but occasionally in hordes.
Pink Rainbow Unicorn and Chubby Purple Unicorns - A big step up from the bears and flowers, with much more health and much stronger hits from their hove kicks while also far less common and in smaller groups. The chubby versions seem to have a bit more health, but the difference between the two stat wise seems to be minimal. Hey, ever wondered what a unicorn looks like split down the middle? The Elite and Champions will kick your ass if not prepared. These are also the fastest monsters which make can make them pretty deadly at times.
Some Info On Loot in Whimsyshire
The secret level can be a pretty decent source of loot for several reasons. First off, there are tons of sources of loot in the secret level, which means you'll get a lot of chances to find some good items. The monsters can be kind of squishy with a decent set up and the layout makes for a well enough size to be worth clearing out for the time and effort spent getting there. A few runs of Whimsyshire after beating a difficulty can help you gear up or earn some money for doing so for the next step up. If you are level 60, make sure you grab a 5 stack of nephalem valor before entering.
With the 1.0.3 patch change, you will now find items up to ilvl 63 since the loot will technically fall in the same table of percentages as Act I inferno. Although you can now find items of a higher quality, it should be noted that the overall potential to find magical items has been nerfed momentarily at the same time. See below for more information.
Loot is still as good, if not slightly better in general to whatever can be dropped in the Act IV of the difficulty you are in.
Update - Patch 1.0.3:
Since the patch nerfing magic find and thus also nephalem valor in relation to objects like chests and such, the potential value of doing Whimsyshire runs has taken a significant hit considering the sheer amount of happy clouds and so forth which presented a large portion of the loot previously. Hopefully this will be changed again in the future, but for the time being this is something worth keeping in mind. For now this information will stay as a footnote until the changes to MF level out. New changes affecting drops for the secret level will be posted here.
Lovely Presents - About the equivalent of jars or barrels that pop up and explode with a cheer and confetti when broken open. Relatively plentiful.
Happy Cloud - Equivalent to normal chests and they are EVERYWHERE. This is one of the biggest sources of loot here. Almost always connected to another via a rainbow. Make an :D face and bounce around a lot more when "opened".
Pots of Gold - Better chests that kind of squeeze out a shower of gold when activated. Pretty uncommon but there's usually a couple in each instance.
Pinata - Only one will spawn and the chance of it even being in the secret level is random, thus you're not guaranteed to find one every time. These are equivalent to Resplendent Chests, firing out a stream of loot when broken open.
6. In the Land of the Killer Unicorns - Feat of Strength
Find the hidden level.
Unlocks the Stars banner pattern and the Unicorn banner sigil.
For reaching the secret level and stepping inside to behold it's glory, you will receive a feat of strength achievement, which is otherwise hidden until received.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can the Staff be reused or does it get consumed?
A: The Staff can be used indefinitely and never gets used up.
Q: Can you share the Secret Level?
A: Yes, you only need one player with the staff to open the portal to Whimsyshire, from there everyone in the game can enter regardless of their act progression and if they crafted the staff themselves yet. You can not however trade the staff as it and all the materials bind to your account. You can share the staff between your own characters through the shared stash. Since the stash is not thread between hardcore and softcore or the different world region servers, you will need to make a separate staff in those instances,
Q: Can i get the materials on normal difficulty?
A: Yes and this is suggested since it makes farming the locations you need to get the base mats for the basic staff much easier. The only thing you need to find at higher difficulties are the upgrade plans, which are sold by a vendor. (see upgrading the staff)
Q: Does an upgraded staff still unlock lower difficulties?
A: Yes it does, each level of staff can open it's associated difficulty portal and those below it, A nightmare staff opens nightmare and normal difficulty portals and an Inferno staff will open all of them.
Well, that about covers the Secret Pony Level of Diablo 3. If there are any corrections that need to be made, or info you feel I should add, please leave a comment. Suggestions and requests are always welcome. I am working on getting a video up of Whimsyshire and reaching the entrance.
Questions & Answers
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