Hey guys. I wanted to see for myself what zones warranted spots in my exp runs rather than blindly follow Alkaizer's route. First, I was bored with the same 5 maps, and second, as a WD, I'm not constrained by having to keep up WotB (or Archon for that matter).
My goal is not to provide some sort of bible here - there are far too many variables, such as my class, gear, spec, playstyle, individual skill level, etc. I just wanted to provide some ballpark figures for anyone who was interested. I decided on the general forum because I figure input from all players would be welcome and help us all to figure out our own ideal paragon leveling experience, rather than limiting it to a class forum.
I took data from most zones in act 3. Notably absent is Keep lvl 2 - I feel it's a great map for exp, but my specific build makes it slow and painful for me, so it wasn't an option. I did take a couple of samples from unconventional zones such as Tower of the Cursed lv 1 and the one just outside of town, but the xp/hour sucked so I dismissed them.
All data was taken with five pre-existing stacks of Nephalem Valor. I took 5 samples from each map, and in the interest of saving space I'll just post the averages. All data is highly interpretable, what works well for a WD with my build may not work well at all for someone else.
Additional notes: I rounded to the nearest quarter of a minute for easier maths. In zones with possible dead-ends such as the keep depths and arreat crater 1+2, I ended my run if I hit a dead-end unless it would take a very short time to backtrack. If I died on a run I discarded the data. I killed all goblins and did not deduct any time for doing so. My build tends to kill them quickly anyway. I pick up all recipes which I don't know, or which are for legendaries or 6-property items. I pick up all legendaries, set items, rings and amulets, and most 61+ weapons and armor with a few exceptions. I know most by name and don't waste time with ctrl+mouseover. I do not pick up blues (except gem recipes), potions, gems or tomes of secrets. Lastly, I did not separately weight the average for each run based on the total exp of the run, I simply averaged each run's exp/hour. As I said, I'm only attempting to provide a ballpark figure.
For reference, here's my WD My gear was a bit different when taking data from what it is now, I had bought a few upgrades while collecting but kept them stashed until I was done. If interested, I use this build, with much thanks to the author for providing such a detailed and well thought out approach.
Average time per run // Average exp per run (millions) // Average exp per hour (millions)
5:06 // 1.62m // 19.44 m/h
4:36 // 1.24m // 16.40 m/h
2:18 // 0.82m // 22.24 m/h
Rakkis Crossing south to fields
5:09 // 2.10m // 24.82 m/h
Fields of Slaughter
5:57 // 2.05m // 20.64 m/h
3:27 // 1.60m // 28.96 m/h
Tower of the Damned 1
2:33 // 0.95m // 22.30 m/h
3:27 // 1.77m // 31.18 m/h
1:54 // 0.62m // 19.46 m/h
My interpretation of the data: For starters, Stonefort and Keep lv 1 don't seem worth it. Secondly, Arreat Crater lv 1 and Rakkis south to Fields, maps not in Alkaizer's route and which most players ignore, yielded excellent exp for me. I feel it's probably best to start in the small zones which give lower total exp, I go Core -> Keep 3 -> Tower 1 personally. On average, you'll probably encounter the same amount of trash while stacking up no matter where you begin, but the smaller maps are guaranteed at least a pack or three, whereas on a larger map you might get unlucky and kill tons of trash before fully stacking up.
really interesting compilation, thanks for your effort.
most of your chosen zones are standard, i just wanted to comment on a few. since i'm using full mf gear for my runs, i'm a bit more focused on # of elites than amount of xp.
since you didnt post the results of your single runs, i assume there was a big difference in yield xp in this area. sometimes there are lots of trash mobs and sometimes 1/3 of the area is dead. same goes for elite packs..you can be lucky and get 4(or 5?) packs, and sometimes you only get one..
for efficiency's sake this is one of the areas i would skip.
//keep lvl 1 & 3//
keep 1 has low monster population an can be very large and full of corners and dead ends. would skip that anytime. keep lvl 3 is small and often has 2+ elite packs. i'm using it in my current route after finishing keep 2.
//rakkis crossing south to fields//
same as stonefort. sometimes huge amounts of mobs, sometimes wasteland. there is 1 random event yielding a cham pack and 2 possible dungeons, one elite pack each and maybe goblin + chest. just based on this it is very random. if you run into a spawn with 2 dungeons AND event it's very rewarding. if not, you might end with 1 or 2 elite packs after finishing the area.