Diablo® III

exp/hour ranking of areas + best exp route(s)

It's kinda saddening how nothing emerged that comes close to VotA elite density and most of the people I play with and I are only interested in DEs atm.

This really bugs me too. Act 1 rains legendaries and xp now, but the elite density is still terrible. Nothing still compares to VotA for essences (at least as far as I know)
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05/16/2013 08:39 AMPosted by Chazhang
I'll try to test out the routes later today. To help out, do you think you could list out the maximum HP of the 2 highest HP mobs in each of the zones please? It helps me figure out what gear to wear, for the zones where I only need 275k dps to 1 shot everything I can switch over to nats helm + boots and wear my leorics while maintaining similar crit chance.

Have fun. I´m still busy running the most dense areas from each act while watching the ice hockey WCH quarterfinals so I don´t think I´ll be able to write down health values today. Add the fact that in the Channels and Storm Halls there´s many possible monster family spawns which makes the job more difficult (longer). Sorry.

run. Woods --- Misery --- Agony 2 --- Hollow
1. +172,596,667 +276,035,465 +226,659,413 +214,282,659
2. +145,854,549 +231,920,585 +235,407,924 +171,203,854
3. +111,067,031 +266,532,558 +219,515,240 +176,426,361

run. Skycrown --- Keep 2 --- Rakkis --- Slaughter
1. +67,389,573 +231,992,716 +192,476,902 +205,728,296
2. +96,812,551 +214,180,105 +171,713,920 +196,583,128
3. +104,264,301 +246,079,800 +195,212,740 +182,259,272

The Festering Woods...damn I only got 3 stacks there in 2/3 of my runs and 4 in the other one. Act 1 really suffers from the worst elite density.

By the way, anyone know what´s up with the Cathedral Level 4? The first time I entered I thought wow this is the best area in the game...767 kills, monsters everywhere.
monster - base exp
Harvester 5625
Fiend 3600
Carrion Bat 3600
Skeleton 3600
Skeletal Archer 3600

But the next two runs gave me half of that (the density difference was noticeable)...I´m kind of tired now. I´ll run Act 2 again tomorrow.
Edited by Nubtro#2147 on 5/16/2013 12:32 PM PDT
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Most of the time I play support monk with group farming since my barb just can't compare to the DPS of the people I farm with (most of them in the 10 top heroscore of their class) but a support monk is always welcome when running high MP VotA. It's kinda saddening how nothing emerged that comes close to VotA elite density and most of the people I play with and I are only interested in DEs atm.

What does "DE" stand for? sorry for being noob :O
Edited by Rifter#1370 on 5/16/2013 12:53 PM PDT
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Act 1 is where it's at for me! I got 7 legendaries this morning in about 30 minutes of messing around in Festering and Fields... :)
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05/16/2013 12:52 PMPosted by Rifter
What does "DE" stand for? sorry for being noob :O

Demonic Essence. A material for crafting that can only drop from champ/elite/chest/gobs.
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I did a lot of combination act 2 runs today and I'm pretty confident in saying that Vota - Oasis - Ruins - Channels is the fastest way to go with Storm halls being a potential final zone depending on your DPS. I might try to run that zone a bit more and gain some familiarity with it to get a better picture, but from the 5 times I’ve run it so far only 1 time did it meet the necessary XP/hr to make it into the full run.

Here's the supporting data (all data points come from n=3-5):
Getting 5 stacks options:
VotA: 2:59 at 98M XP/hr
BCM + HP: 4:32 at 102M XP/hr
Net difference = 93 sec
XP/hr (M) in each zone if I had 5 stacks:
Channels: 270-500 depending on the spawn type (mean is 372 but this range is definitely the largest)
Ruins: 371
Oasis: 366
Storm Halls: 311 (with checkpoint beside it) 295 (if going from the archives waypoint; +7sec per run)
Desolate Sands: 268
Unknown Depths: 261
Hidden Aquaducts: 257

Given this data I tried doing some combination runs (n=3):
VotA – Oasis – Ruins – Channels – Storm Halls
XP/hr After Each Zone (M) 104 267 289 318 304

From here we see that after getting our fastest 5 stacks, going down in the XP/hr zones we stop at Storm halls since the Xp/hr from adding it ended up being less than stopping before it.

As for Channels there seem to be 3 different spawn types:
Murderous Fiends – Worst one and I think it might even be better to skip it.
Snakes and animals – Middle ground and worth it at this point
Skeletons – Jackpot!

Here’s my best run so far where I was able to hit 350M Xp/hr with a double skelly spawn in the channels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmSxPfWajH8
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Thanks, you just confirmed my findings. Watching your video...that´s how it should work ;)

Time to call it...VORC?

By the way, why do you have both white and yellow damage numbers activated? Doesn´t it hurt your eyes? I actually run without any damage numbers to know what´s going on - it´s difficult to see monster health bars through all the ticks.

The problem with Storm Halls beside its randomness (layout and skeletons vs fallen) is VotA. You either go VotA (fastest stacks in the game) or Storm Halls, never both (or you´ll lose the checkpoint) and have to find it in the next run.
Edited by Nubtro#2147 on 5/16/2013 3:47 PM PDT
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You can go to storm halls and VotA. The checkpoint is found on the north side of the terminus. If you hug the southern wall you can enter Storm Halls without hitting it. That's why I added the 2nd number for Storm halls to include the difference in travel time.

So from the combination of all the routes (n=3):

What people are currently doing - Festering - Fields - TWH - 261 M Avg
What we're suggesting for Act 1 - Festering - Fields HoA2 - 307 M Avg (18% better)
What we're suggesting for Act 2 - VotA - Oasis - Ruins - Channels - 318 M Avg (22% better)
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Oh you learn something new every day...nice. There is no reason to run BCM+Howling then. I personally like longer runs and maybe we should sacrifice the 15 seconds to check out Storm Halls, what spawn is in there and the density (should be IDable at first sight with enough data).

I´ll collect the data for that tomorrow/over the weekend (it´s 1:16 am here). As for Channels, I just ran one combination.

monster base exp
Spellwinder 4950
Copperfang Lurker 4500
Vile Swarm 4500
Electric Eel 3375
Accursed 1800

monster base exp
Skeletal Warrior 4500
Skeletal Raider 3375
Skeletal Bowmaster3375
Noxious Guardian 3000
Fallen Peon 2250
Accursed 1800

Agree with the routes, with an added note about optional areas that may produce very good results (Storm Halls) or good results (Depths/Oasis/Aqueducts)...in act 1 the superdense spawn in Cathedral 4 unless it´s rare...I´m wondering when they´ll nerf skeletons, hopefully not "soon" :)

EDIT: updated the following post with the Act2 route
Edited by Nubtro#2147 on 5/16/2013 4:48 PM PDT
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Excellent research!! thanks man. Post on the general discussion eventually
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Nubtro still giving so much to this community. You sir are a genius
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Thanks again Nubtro, if you get a chance I'd like your thoughts on Bloodshed

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So Nubtro. I think for the next step we need to figure out conditions for optimizing the last leg of the route:

Given there are around 3 different spawn groups of mobs in the channels:
Murderous fiends
Serpents + Bugs

We need to get accurate enough measurements of the XP/hr of each scenario (which is a lot of runs considering how easy it is to get lost now) so we can answer:

Should you even bother running the murderous fiend ones?
If so does that increase the probability that Storm Halls should be added since now your XP/hr requirement for a zone to be considered useful for the run is much lower?
Or should you just call it quits right there and restart the run?

Also, lets say you found that the first channel was Murderous fiends, you decide to skip it. You find the next channel is Murderous fiends as well, should you complete the other Murderous fiend channel afterwards if you decide to complete this one? This ones a lot harder to reason out and is gonna require some conditional probabilities.

I'm pretty certain that if you get a double Skeleton spawn in the channels you should NOT run storm halls. It will definitely drop your XP/hr.

All other scenarios are really debateable at this point and will require more data to elucidate the optimal choices.
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So I took a bit of a detour today and instead wanted to take advantage of the anniversary bonus.

Finished making my budget set (>5M gold) and tried out 3 runs on it:

1st run I uploaded = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99CiseoD-mc
2nd run I decided not to use fleet/xp shrines = 198M/hr
3rd run I also didn't use fleet/xp shrines = 211M/hr

Average of all 3 runs = 213.7M XP/hr

Without my paragon levels it would require a bit more gold to hit this level.

Without the anniversary buff I would be at around 187M XP/hr.

Compared to the McNugget Barb I made back in 1.0.7:

Cost 1.5M less, but in USD the amount is relatively the same (gold was around 5.5 c/M 3rd party. Gold is currently at 3.4 c/M 3rd party).

XP/hr increase is ~187/152.5 = 22.6% increase

Plus this set can actually farm DEs at an appreciable speed (25+/hr). The 1.0.7 budget barb had absolutely no way of tackling yellow mobs that weren't illusionist.
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I guess it´s better to just keep track of the individual Channels experience gain when you run them with 5 stacks and compare the different monster spawns. It´ll take a while to gather enough data but skipping an entire area that gives above average experience even at its worst is not my style but I understand that we want to find the best efficiency.

Hopefully we´ll do it soon enough...I´m like 12 hours of this run (VORCS) away from hitting 100 with my second Barb ._.

My act comparison result from the couple of runs I did:
Act 3: +172,853,860, +170,402,233, +179,946,578 exp / hour
Act 1: +224,989,748, +210,200,085 exp / hour
Act 2: +257,495,383, +225,951,553
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Great info Nubtro! You guys are all talking in terms of essences and XP but what about us legendary farmers!?!?! It's a lost art these days... Anyways, what's everyone's opinion on farming areas that are slightly worse than KD2 in monsters/min? Keep in mind that these are MP10 runs farming white mobs only for highest legs/hour.
Edited by mavericK#1718 on 5/18/2013 8:10 AM PDT
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Assuming drop rates are averaged out and Blizzard did a good job there, let's get a monster/hour going too, unless monster experience could be used as an indication of mob density, great post:D.
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The problem with legendary farming is that the best way to track it would be in Items/hr in each zone since mobs have different drop rates (meaning monsters killed/hr is not an accurate measurement).

The only way to get Items/hr accurately is to install a 3rd party program to monitor the drops which I'm not entirely comfortable with given that its against the ToS. I'm not sure about Nubtro but it looks like he won't be doing that either.
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Ya true, I was just kinda hoping that Blizzard balanced it well so that monsters/hour would be a pretty accurate measure for drops.
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I would never consider a third party program, that´s out of the question. When I researched trash drop % in 1.0.7 and before that for certain few A3 areas (the usual suspects KD2/Rakkis/Slaughter/AC2) I simply manually counted the number of trash drops while keeping track of lifetime kills for that area.

That´s a more tedious research than exp gain, which already takes a while. I´m not having the time nor motivation (which plays a bigger role) these days to play longer than a couple of hours. I´m quite happy actually that I was able to gather at least the info in the first post, which led us to the best exp route in 1.0.8 until someone finds a better one.

05/18/2013 09:40 AMPosted by timoseewho
Ya true, I was just kinda hoping that Blizzard balanced it well so that monsters/hour would be a pretty accurate measure for drops.

Hmm, I guess they tried, seeing as they also adjusted the drop rates of the monsters that had their base exp reduced. But I wish they would simply give us the values instead of hiding too much stuff (mechanics etc.)...which is not happening anytime soon.
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