Guide: Getting into the Secret Pony Level
In the very beginning, there were cows. Cows with supposedly no other meaning but just grazing on Tristram grass before it got burned multiple times and soaked with demon blood. And then, there were more cows but this time unified under a bovine monarchy and all armed with halberds, ready to defend their milk and socketed gothic plates, of which they have aplenty.
As twenty Sanctuary years pass, we land at Diablo III - the hottest game of summer 2012. The larger part of the players got immediately immersed in the signature, straightforward trait of the game - kill demons, kills bosses, switch difficulty, kill more demons and bosses. But the few other click the play button with only one thought in mind:
Is there a cow level?
No, there isn't. There's something different and better or at least more shiny, often to extents that can cause epileptic seizures. Proceed, hero, into pony's lair!
Unlike the secret cow level in Diablo II where you only needed wirt's leg and a tome of town portal, getting into the secret pony level in D3 is very time consuming and requires sheer luck and large investements of money. Six items from all four acts need to be obtained, so let's not waste any more time.
Black Mushroom, Act I
If the pony level was not a reference to an old joke of Blizzard made in response to community's frown that the game was "too shiny and WoW-like", I would assume this was a pixelized representation of what the developers ate in the lunch break. After all, one does noy simply include a secret pony level or design a fast/molten/fire chain/waller monsters.
The black mushroom is most commonly found in rooms in the first level of the cathedral (although rare reports indicate that it might appear on lower levels as well) or - just rumours - around Adria's hut and is of the easier to obtain ingredients. Although it's a rare drop as every other piece, the places where it spawns are smaller and easily explorable. Just pay close attention to the terrain and watch for a clickable mushroom pack and that's it.
Leoric's Shinbone, Act I
Apparently this hidden away bonepiece is the reason why the Skeleton King prefers to teleport around instead of running after your ass. Good to see how Leoric's demise has more than one beneficial effect.
The shinbone is in the fire place in Leoric's Manor so get the waypoint to there, run back into the mansion and enter the room that is on the right side of the of the screen just below the stairs. There's a fireplace there and in rare situations there will be a pile of burnt logs in it. Loot them and acquire the shinbone. If they aren't there, restart the quest and do it till it drops or until "f**k this game" is the only thing you are able to speak out.
Liquid Rainbow, Act II
This sounds way more awesomem than how we are supposed to obtain it. The path leads through the Dhalgur Oasis in Act II - that large open territory that has flowers that kill you with poison. When in Dahlgur Oasis, stick to the right "wall" of the territory and keep going up till you find a very small, short corridor that leads south towards Zevan the Alchemist - an NPC with a blue exclamation mark on his head who will open an entrance to a mysterious cave. Inside it, search for a misterious chest, loot it and collect the liquid rainbow. Have in mind that not always will there be a mysterious chest in the cave, so this might very well be the hardest item to obtain.
Wirt's Cowbell, Act II
Not taking Wirt belongings with ourselves only takes us to boring places and this fact has stood the test of time. In order to kill ponies and teddy bears, first you will need Wirt's Cowbell.
Fortunately, this will not take too much additional time. It "only" costs 100,000 gold so you'd probably have to auction all those rares you were saving for your alt. The girl that sells it is Squirt the Peddler. She can be found in Caldeum Bazar to the left of the entrance corridor or in the hidden camp after Belial bombs Caldeum.
Gibbering Gemstone, Act III
This little piece of jewelry lies beneath the frozen wastes of Areat. Go to Act III, start the last quest, waypoint to Bridge of Korsikk and enter the Fields of Slaughter. In them, search for the Caverns of Frost and start drilling through monsters till you stumble onto Chiltara - the boss mob that drops the gibbering gem. Few people on the community boards indicate that the cave most often spawns top left, bottom left and top right of the map and there's usually just one cave spawning during a single load. So if you get Icefall Caves or anything that is not Caverns of Frost, it's reload time.
Chiltara spawns on both levels of the cave and from what I read across the boards, it drops the gemstone almost every time so all you have to do is run around the Fields of Slaughter and hope you'll get lucky.
Plans: Staff of Herding, Act IV
On to the final ingredients, hidden somewhere between the clawy fingers of Izual is the crafting plan of the Staff of Herding. Start the "Prime Evil" quest on Act IV, rush to Izual, kill the motherf***er, loot the plans that drop. Simple and elegant and for a high level anything this should be a short work on normal. The plans do not drop every single time so you will have to grind a bid until it drops.
Good news is, you will not have to farm the plans for the Nightmare and Hell versions of the staff. On nightmare, the plans appear at the vendor in the Act III keep that is directly besides the hirelings and cost 1 gold. Cheap stuff! When we reach hell, we'll personally confirm about the hellish staff of herding too!
So I have them all, having lost ten days of my life AND my girlfriend! What now?
The rest is easy. Craft the Staff of Herding via your blacksmith. Exit Tristram and start walking north by the Old Tristram Road. On the side, and if you have the staff with you, the ghost of the Cow King will appear. Click on him and enter Whimsyshire, the land of magic, unicorns and the color pink where you can grind like in the good old days when there were only cows in dull colors.
Now go, brave adventurer. Kill them ponies!