The Pit (Act 1) Farming Guide - Diablo 2
How to Reach: Black Marsh (WP) > Tamoe Highland > The Pit
Zone Level: Nightmare: 39 - Hell: 85
Golden Chest: Yes, On Level 2
Boss/Champ Packs: 1 - 5 // (Level 2: 1 - 3)
Hell Immunities: Lightning (Dark Archers), Fire (Fallen/Devilkin), Cold (Dark Stalker/Bone Warrior)
The Pit is one of the most popular zones to farm in Diablo 2 due to it being a level 85 zone on Hell with enemies that are significantly easier than other level 85 zones (like Worldstone Keep). For more information about why this being a level 85 zone is important check out my Diablo 2 Magic Find Guide. You can find The Pit off of the Tamoe Highlands, a zone right next to Black Marsh in Act 1.
Any build that uses mostly physical or magic damage will have the easiest time clearing out The Pit since there are no Magic/Physical immune enemies except for Boss/Champ packs that roll those immunities. Inside The Pit you'll find Lightning, Fire and Cold Immune enemies, the amount of Cold and Lightning enemies is typically random. Sometimes you get a dungeon with a lot of Fallen (fire immune) and very few Bone Warriors (Skeletons) and sometimes it is reversed. Also, the Dark Archers/Dark Stalkers I think share spawns and either one can spawn in their place.
Depending on your build you will probably have to skip some of the regular trash that you can't defeat on your own. Of course your alternative is to wait for your Mercenary to hack through the enemies all by himself if you're a build that can only deal one type of damage.
When you clear The Pit it's recommended that you do both levels of the dungeon, the second level has a Golden Chest on it (pictured above) and another one to three Boss/Champ packs that you can get loot from too. It's also one of the highest mob density areas I have ever seen in this game, rivaling Tristram for a ton of mobs crammed into a very small zone.
Depending on what you are farming for, you may or may not want to solely farm the Champ/Boss packs in this zone. If you don't feel like reading the Magic Find Guide then let me summarize this bit for you, in level 85 zones only the Champ/Boss packs have the chance to drop from the Highest Treasure Class available. The regular mobs do not. Therefore, if you're farming strictly for the best in slot items you should skip the regular enemies.
The first floor of The Pit has a layout that is randomly generated in every new game but the second floor of The Pit is always the same layout regardless of your game and difficulty. I've included a map below of The Pit Level 1 and 2 on Hell difficulty so you can get an idea of what the zone looks like. If you'd like to learn more about maps in Diablo 2 and how they work check out my Diablo 2 Maps of Dungeons Guide.
The Pit Level 1 Map on Hell difficulty. Click to enlarge.
The Pit Level 2 Map on Hell difficulty (with mobs).
Level 2 of The Pit has an Area Level of 85 but most people who farm The Pit usually skip it because of the high mob density. It slows down your run time dramatically because you have to kill so much trash to get to the Champ/Boss enemies. The Golden Chest on this floor hardly ever contains anything good either.
Dark Archers are going to be the hardest enemies that you'll encounter in The Pit. Something important to keep in mind is that in Diablo 2 any enemies that use Missile attacks hit much harder than other enemies that deal physical damage.