Arcane Sanctuary (Act 2) Farming Guide - Diablo 2
How to Reach: Waypoint in to Arcane Sanctuary
Zone Level: Nightmare: 48 -- Hell: 79
Golden Chest: No
Boss/Champ Packs: 4 - 8
Hell Immunities: Fire (Hell Clan), Cold (Ghoul Lord), Lightning (Lightning Spire), Poison (Lightning Spire), Physical (Specter)
Arcane Sanctuary is a very hit or miss farming location depending on your class and build. Ranged classes and any class that can easily navigate cramped spaces will have the easiest time farming in this zone. Sorceress' as always have the easiest time since they come equipped with Teleport. Anyone with Enigma will do great here too since that Rune Word grants the wearer Teleport.
Melee builds will still be able to farm Arcane Sanctuary but I can only recommend certain sections. Arcane Sanctuary made my list of good zones to farm because of how easily some builds and classes can exploit the terrain in this zone. In the section of Arcane Sanctuary with the Teleporters many of the enemies here will literally be unable to reach you and their ranged attacks are either nonexistent or so weak you don't even have to dodge them.
The way this zone is setup is the Waypoint is in the central portion and there are different routes you can take North, South, East and West. Each of these different routes forms a giant rectangle and at the end opposite of the Waypoint you'll either find The Summoner or some chests. Often the chests are Super Chests too which makes up for sometimes going the wrong way.
**Important** Don't kill the Champ/Boss pack Specters over top of the empty space or they don't drop loot. If you can't help it that's ok but just keep in mind this really annoying quirk about the zone.
Arcane Sanctuary - Standard Route
This is what I describe as the regular route through Arcane Sanctuary. As you can see by the map above all the parts are connected and aside from it having narrow passages it's pretty standard. Melee will do best farming this section and for Casters it'll probably be the worst section to farm. You can still use the terrain to your benefit but not nearly as much as you can in the other sections of Arcane Sanctuary.
Bonemancers and Bowzons with points into Penetrate will do great in this section of Arcane Sanctuary. Due to how the pathways are designed it will funnel the enemies in a straight line right to you, allowing your attacks to penetrate them all with massive ease. Other classes or builds who can fire off abilities in a straight line and hit multiple targets will do well here too.
Melee benefit from the narrow passages too as it allows you to only fight one or two enemies at a time even if the pack of enemies is larger. Thanks to collision the bulk of the enemies will be unable to reach you.
Arcane Sanctuary - Pillars and Stairs Route
There are two sections of the Arcane Sanctuary which have staircases like the one in the screenshot above. You can tell the two sections apart by looking for the weird pillar art that appears to be holding up the platforms ontop of it (pictured above). This part of Arcane Sanctuary has the weird pillar art whereas the other section with stairs, talked about below, doesn't have the pillar art.
All casters and ranged builds will do strongly in this section. Enemies will be slowed down drastically by the round about way they have to go in order to reach you and the collision they face on the stairs will be a boon in your favor too. Ranged can blast away at enemies from an adjacent platform while safely eating their attacks since they are so weak.
Only the Specter enemies are able to travel across the empty space but they are far and few between. For the most part you'll be fighting Hell Clan and Ghoul Lords; Hell Clan are entirely melee and the Ghoul Lords have a very weak ranged attack.
Arcane Sanctuary - Teleporters Route
This route is most easily identified by the Teleporters throughout and thus earns the moniker Teleporter Route. Compared to every other route throughout Arcane Sanctuary this one takes the cake for being the best for Casters/Ranged. Since the platforms are not connected and enemies are incapable of using the Teleporters you're able to blast away at them without them ever being able to reach you.
Classes like Sorceress' or anyone with an Enigma/item that comes with Teleport will do extremely well in this section of Arcane Sanctuary. Since you're able to navigate between each platform without even touching a Teleporter you'll be able to more easily move around the enemies without worrying about being hit.
All in all, if you had to pick a single section of Arcane Sanctuary to farm I would recommend the one with Teleporters.
Arcane Sanctuary - Stairs Route
This section of Chaos Sanctuary is the second one that has stairs and this one has many more stairs/more frequent stairs than the previous one. I would argue that this section as well is good for both ranged and melee due to the layout. All of the Hell Clan enemies you fight will only be able to come at you in pairs due to their collision and the tight staircases.
Ghoul Lords and Specters will still be able to ignore the terrain and hit you but the Hell Clan enemies are typically the main ones you fight throughout the zone. Any class with ranged attacks of course will receive the most benefit as you can stand on a far away platform and pick off the enemies from a distance as they struggle to reach you.
Having an Act 2 Mercenary (or any Mercenary that melees) will help out a lot for this layout too. He'll effectively block the entire path when he runs in there to melee for you which gives you free reign to pew pew away from the back row.