Update (29th October): Added image for each type of goblin and added more information on their mechanics.
The Diablo 3 Treasure Goblin is a creature that does not deal any damage of any kind, but has a greater chance to kill you than any other monster in the game. This is because the Treasure Goblin and it's variations can be chased and killed for a big reward, but you risk running into big packs of monsters in the process.
The Treasure Goblin is a new addition to the Diablo series and only spawns in dungeons, carrying a sack of treasure. The official description given for the Treasure Goblin (taken from the official Diablo 3 Facebook page) is:
He'll randomly and rarely appear in dungeons, but when he does you'll want to beat the candy out of him as he'll drop progressively better loot with each hit. Don't let him escape!
The lore behind the Diablo 3 Treasure Goblin is that they serve a demon lord known as Greed. While Greed is nowhere to be found in Diablo 3, the general assumption is that he is one of Azmodan's lieutenants (he has one for each of the seven sins, with greed being one of them). He may appear in a later expansion to the game.
Treasure Goblins (also known as "moving treasure chest" or "piñata") are passive at first, but as soon as you hit them they will start running all over the map, dropping gold and items with each hit. When killed, they drop a whole lot of useful items like rare and magic equipment, but you need to be fast if you want them as the Treasure Goblins open a portal and escape if not killed in time.
The Treasure Goblin seems to want to tease the player rather than escape, as he runs only to the edge of the screen before he stops and starts making all sorts of goblin-like noises to taunt the player. He will only start running again if hit. If trapped in a corner, the Treasure Goblin will simply stop moving, making him an easy target.
There are actually 4 types of Treasure Goblins, each with a different color, name, and drop bonus, but they all share the same mechanics. Here is a run down:
- Goblins can open two portals; one when you don't hit them for some time (this can be interrupted) and one one their timer runs out (this cannot be interrupted).
- Goblins cannot be "one shotted". They have a cap that limits how much damage they can take in one hit.
- They have certain milestones in their health that when hit will cleans the goblin of all debuffs. For example if a Goblin was under the effects of Bleed and Frozen and it hit one of its milestones, it would instantly shrug these effects off. You know the Goblin has reached a milestone because it will start to sprint.
- Best Crowd Control skills to use on Goblins are snares (movement speed reduction) and freeze.
- Freezing a Goblin will make it move faster for a short duration
- They are immune to the Monk skill Cyclone Strike
- Immune to Knockback effects
Treasure Goblin (Gold)
Matching his color, the vanilla Treasure Goblin has a higher tendency to drop more gold than the other variations. According to this study, from 22 kills 2 of them dropped a Legendary item. This may be a coincidence or they may have a higher chance to drop a Legendary than the other goblins.
Treasure Pygmy (Blue)
This variation may be the most rewarding one, as it has a higher chance to drop magic and rare items. The number of rare items dropped is most commonly 3 or 1, and very rarely 2.
Treasure Seeker (Red)
This version of the Treasure Goblin seems to drop more potions and gems than the others. If you need to stock up on these items, make sure you kill this one.
Treasure Bandit (Grey)
This version of the Diablo 3 Treasure Goblin has a higher tendency to drop crafting materials like the Tome of Secrets or the Tome of Jewelcrafting. If you need some upgrade materials but don't want to buy them, this goblin is a good alternative.
Apart from the variant specific bonuses mentioned above, all of the Treasure Goblins have a chance to drop magic/rare/legendary items so you would be wise to equip your Magic Find gear before attacking them.
A common misconception when it comes to the Diablo 3 Treasure Goblin is that the quality of the equipment dropped depends on how fast you kill them. From personal experience and tests carried out here, this is totally bogus and it doesn't matter at all how fast you kill the Treasure Goblin as long as you kill him before he teleports away.
Some key points to remember when it comes to Treasure Goblins:
- They have a big tendency to run into other packs of monsters, making the Goblin harder to kill.
- Due to his fast movement speed, he is easier to kill with ranged characters then melee ones.
- Make use of snares when chasing them.
- As mentioned before, use gear with high Magic Find for the best reward.
- Treasure Goblins drop better items when they are close to death.
- From Hell onwards, they are immune to stuns and benefit from reduced duration to snares.
- Familiars and pets will automatically attack the Treasure Goblin. If you want to surprise him or clear the area first, make sure you put them away first.
Although the Diablo 3 Treasure Goblin can't steal from players or from chests, he seems to have been inspired by the Gnomes with sacks from the Golden Axe series. In this game, Gnomes would show up and steal magic from the player, but the player could chase them around the screen and kick them to get it back plus some bonus ones.
A good way to farm Treasure Goblins in Inferno Act 1 is shown below:
This article was built using information from Diablo 3 Inferno Codex.