Diablo fans all know the Cow Level. In I and II, this was a gory, super hard level that was difficult to access, but dropped amazing loot. Diablo III’s secret level, Whimsyshire, is no easier to get into and it’s just as hard to survive, especially with four players. Unfortunately, it isn’t as profitable as the D1 and D2 secret Cow Levels, but it’s far more entertaining to run through. After discussing this place on the 5wowthings podcast, I was very lucky to be pulled into this level by my friend @lazervis and saw the whole craziness for myself.
The Not So Cow Level is full of cute monsters, gold and item drops giant pink cupcake heal orbs, random and elite bosses, and rainbows, sunshine and lollipops. Okay, not exactly, but there are rainbows and unicorns, carebears and presents, even little flowers. Everything is bright and cheerful, with green grass, flowers and lovely trees dotting the landscape.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though, everything still wants to kill you and it’s not so easy to kill them first. I went in on normal difficulty and (with four people) couldn’t kill anything on my own at level 36. Two of my companions were near level 60 and they had a lovely time massacring all the cute fluffies that were around. With just two players, it wasn’t so bad, but the non-champions will give players under level 40 a run for their money. My advice is to be careful and bring friends.
Accessed during Act One, getting into the Not So Cow Level requires five special ingredients and a plan to teach the Blacksmith how to craft them into the Staff of Herding. As was the case with the D2 Cow Level, you must have defeated the difficulty level you’re in before you can enter. So if you want to go in on Normal mode, you must have killed Diablo on Normal, etc.
Before you run off to get in on your own, realize that crafting the staff alone requires 50 thousand gold and five ingredients (as mentioned earlier), which are (mostly) rare drops. These are:
- The Black Mushroom, found rarely in Act 1 in a room on Cathedral level one.
- Leoric’s Shinbone, found in Act 1 in the fireplace in Leoric’s Manor.
- Wirt’s Bell, sold in Act 2 by the vendor Squirt for 100,000 gold (This also grants an achievement).
- Liquid Rainbow, found in Act 2 in the Mysterious Cave in the Mysterious Chest in the Oasis after saving the old man.
- Gibbering Gemstone, found in Act 3, it is a random drop off of the random spawn mob Chiltara in the Caverns of Frost. The Cavers of Frost are also a random dungeon and players could end up in the Caves of Ice.
- Plan: Staff of Herding, found in Act 4, it drops randomly from Izual.
Once all of these are gathered, players pay the Blacksmith to craft the staff and take it out to the Cow King’s Ghost, a spectral bovine located on Old Tristram Road near that pit with the mysterious red glow from within. The ghost only appears if you have the staff and after you give it to him, you’ll be allowed into the magical, mystical land of Whimsyshire.
Of course, that was just Normal difficulty. To access Whimsyshire on higher difficulties (nightmare, hell, inferno), the Staff of Herding must be upgraded. The plans to do so are acquired from a merchant near the followers in Bastion’s Keep (Act 4). This costs one gold, but you must also defeat Diablo on that difficulty before the merchant will offer it for purchase. Then, with the previous staff of herding and a significant amount of gold, the staff can be upgraded. It is 200,000 gold for nightmare and 500,000 for hell. Thankfully, once you have upgraded your staff you can still access the lower difficulties of the Not So Cow Level.
Want to see more? Scroll to the bottom to check out an awesome video with rockin’ sound track. Viewer beware, this secret level is not for the faint of heart. Those who can’t stand the sight of cute little bears being beheaded or unicorns mutilated beyond recognition go no further. This is still Diablo.