From Diablo Wiki
Resplendent Chests are Golden Chests, glowing with their inner riches. Unlike normal chests which only drop an item or two and perhaps a couple of gems, Resplendent chests release a shower of loot. The quantity varies greatly, but there are usually 1-5 rare items, 1-2 blue items, and 1-3 gems, plus numerous stacks of gold. Golden chests may also drop legendary items or plans, though those are very rare.
Golden chests are located randomly throughout the world, and may appear almost anywhere. There are some more common locations; most level two dungeons have a golden chest, and various quests and events offer a golden chest reward when they are completed.
Cursed Chests and Cursed Shrines reward players with 1 or 2 special chests, but those are Radiant Chests, which glow whitish-blue and drop better than plain chests, but well below the quality or quantity of Resplendent Chests.
Golden Chests Over Time
Resplendent Chests have been buffed in their drops several times since Diablo 3's release. They've also been moved and relocated several times. Immediately after release there were several chests that spawned every game or every-other game that could be repeatedly farmed from nearby waypoints, and the developers had to remove them as they were being exploited.
In Patch 1.0.5 Resplendent Chests were buffed in their drops, but only in Inferno difficulty. Then players with five stacks of Nephalem Valor when they opened the chest would see more loot drop. (Elites dropped bonus loot for players with five stacks as well.) At that time Golden chests were also useful to get stacked up, adding a NV stack if clicked with fewer than the five max. Some players figured how to incorporate regular chest locations into their farming runs, to get stacked up more quickly. (The Nephalem Valor system was removed from the game in D3v2 in early 2014.)
Typical loot drops from golden chests were considerably increased in that patch, making the chests worth hitting. During much of the RoS beta they were not, and players had grown used to just running past them unless the chest was right in front of their path.
Resplendent Chest Locations
Chests are sorted randomly throughout the world, and may appear in different locations every game. Even players who have cleared an area hundreds of times will still be surprised by a golden chest once in a while. Nephalem Rifts are a prime example, where chests and golden chests are totally randomized. Chest rifts have been seen, where half a dozen or more golden chests appear on the same level, in much higher density than in any other area of the game. This is random, and many Rift levels have no golden chests at all, and since there are no events or quests in Rifts, there are zero preset golden chest locations.
Even with that randomness, there are some areas of the game where a golden chest appears every game, or as part of various events and quests in any game they spawn in. Most side dungeons with two levels have a golden chest on the second level, usually fairly near the obelisk that teleports characters back to the dungeon entrance.
The following are locations that chests *always* spawn, when the event or quest does. There are thousands of other random Golden Chest locations throughout the game.
- Weeping Hollow
- Fallen Den level 2.
- Cemetery of the Forsaken
- Fields of Misery
- Cave of the Moon Clan - level 2
- Cathedral Level 4
- Skeleton Summoning Room - Golden Chest reward for killing all four skeleton posts and their spawn.
- Stinging Winds
- The Crumbling Dungeon - Golden chest in the treasure room for completing this timed event.
- Dahlgur Oasis
- Desolate Sands
There are many common random golden chests in Act 3, including the Keep level 2 and both Arreat Crater levels, but very few guaranteed golden chest locations in this act.
- The Barracks -- Level 2
- Icefall Caves - Level 2
The Act Four dungeons are all single levels, with no guaranteed chests for deeper exploration. Two of the random dungeon events may spawn a golden chest, but neither appears to be guaranteed.
- The Wolf Gate -- Gateway to the left when first crossing the bridge at the very start of the act, only when doing the quest in Story Mode.
- Westmarch Heights
- Several of the short events via the cellars offer guaranteed golden chest rewards.
- Plague Tunnels -- Level 2.
- Blood Marsh
- Golden chests in several of the Boggin den events.
- Level 2 in the huge natural cave dungeons.
- Ruins of Corvus
- Golden chests tied to several random events in this dungeon.
- Battlefields of Eternity
- Several of the side dungeons offer golden chest rewards.
- Pandemonium Fortress
- Several golden chest reward events in Level 1 and Level 2.
Reaper of Souls Patch 2.0.4 Buff
The explanation for Resplendent Chests getting a buff shortly after Reaper of Souls went live made for interesting reading.
It’s a complex game with a lot of code, bugs happen.Nevalistis: Pretty much this. We have a lot of fantastic folks working on this game, but ultimately they are all human, and this was a result of human error. For that, we apologize. We do our utmost to catch everything we can, but when things slip through the cracks, the best we can provide is as quick a resolution as possible. It’s why your threads, reports, and feedback are so important, and we can’t thank you enough for helping us track down these sneaky little buggers