As there are 100 paragon levels, it is very important to optimize farming speed to progress fast. Therefore many players developed different farming routes. The most important one is the Alkaizer route.
The Alkaizer Route
Named after the first player reaching paragon level 100, the Alkaizer route is the most popular farming route by now. It is designed to get the most experience gain per hour to level up quickly.
An Alkaizer run takes place in Act 3 and consists of the following levels:
- The Core of Arreat
- Tower of the Damned Level 1
- Arreat Crater Level 2
- Fields of Slaughter (accessible through the Bridge of Korsikk waypoint)
- The Keep Depths Level 2
Selecting the right Monster Power (MP)
While many players tend to play on the highest MP they survive on, this is actually a bad idea. The key in farming efficiency is to kill many monsters as fast as possible. To achieve this, we select a MP level where we kill white mobs almost instantly and where champs are
- no danger at all ( like reflect damage for Wizards/DHs )
- dead in 10 seconds maximum
This will speed the run up for good.
Now this is the most important part. Now we know the route, but still there are many hurdles in our way. In this article, i will focus mostly on pathfinding since there is much information about the run itself on the internet ( but i will make a short summary about that, don’t worry ).
The goal is to make the alkaizer run in as few time as possible thus increasing the count of runs per hour and therefore increasing the experience gain per hour. A good estimate for efficiency is the time needed for a run. It should be at maximum 15 minutes, resulting in 4 runs per hour minimum.
As some parts can be very long ( Arreat Crater for example ), the first important thing is our Movement Speed. The cap is currently at 25%, so wearing 2 items that give 12% each will give us a good boost. The first item is Boots ( i.e. Fire Walkers ), gaining the second 12% is a bit trickier. Possibilities are:
- Lacuni Prowlers (Wrists), but very expensive with Critical Hit Chance
- Inna’s Temperance (Pants), also has 1% Critical Hit Chance and 8-9% Increased Attack Speed
- The Compass Rose (Ring)
Picking up items
Now that we are running faster, we shouldn’t stop too often. Stops often occur for picking up items, gold, potions etc.
The key to making as few stops as possible is to know which items to pick up ( and which ones not ). The less we collect, the faster we get ( this is also very important for Archon Wizards as we will lose the archon if we make too many stops ).
There are many variants of item pickups ( from good to bad ):
- only legendaries/sets
- rings, amulets, legendaries/sets
- lvl 63 rares, rings, amulets, legendaries/sets
- all rares, legendaries/sets
Depending on your financial situation you’ll want to pick up more items than you actually need, but keep in mind that each pickup brakes you a bit.
For gold, I suggest you only to pickup those stacks that are on your way. Running around too much will brake you too.
Finding an optimal path
Now for the main part of this article. While there are many guides out there focusing on how to improve farming efficiency through killspeed, item pickup etc., I didn’t find a guide telling how to make your way through the levels as efficient as possible. But there are actually many ways to improve your speed by simply choosing the right way through the levels. In the following, we will look upon them one by one.
The Core of Arreat
This one is actually pretty straightforward as it is always the same level, no random parts at all. But there is one popular trick:
In the first run, we clear all the way up to the entrance to Azmodan until we get the “Checkpoint reached” message. In the following runs, we will always start at this position, running the Core of Arreat backwards ( towards the waypoint ). That way we don’t have to wait for our town portal to teleport us to town, saving a few seconds.
Tower of the Damned Level 1
This one seems pretty straightforward, too. We run a circle killing everything in our way. It seems like it doesn’t matter if we run clockwise or counter-clockwise. But there is a good reason to run counter-clockwise:
There is a possibility that a champ/elite pack will spawn on the stairs leading to the exit of this level. When running clockwise, we would need to check this position each run, running down and up. This would be wasted time if there was no champ. But if you run counter-clockwise, you can actually see the champ when running on the circle:
Arreat Crater Level 2
Many players end up in dead ends here, but there is a guaranteed way to find the right way. This level consists of many possible parts, like a puzzle. They are put one after another, completing the whole level.
There is a limited set of puzzle parts, and each one has a well defined entrance and exit. Knowing these puzzle parts will make us always take the right way.
- Blue: Entrance
- Green: Correct Exit(s)
- Red: Dead End
There are some more parts, I will try to make updates as soon as possible :-)
The Fields of Slaughter
There are quite some possibilities here. I myself prefer running some kind of a circle because then i end up at the waypoint again, ready to go for the next level:
But there is another route, used by popular players like Nugiyen, which takes more care of the middle of the map, but ends up on the way to Rakki’s Crossing. Therefore a town portal is needed at the end. Still this is also a viable path through the Fields:
The Keep Depths Level 2
Now for the last level in the run. It also has a puzzle system like the Arreat Crater, but is a bit harder to read.
There is one common pattern in this level: a circle (or more likely a quad) in the middle.
In this example picture, i marked the corners of the quad. There is such a quad ( exactly one ) in every instance of the Keep Depths Level 2.
But there is even more: the correct way to the exit is always connected to point 3 or 4 ( in this case from point 4 going to the upper left ).
But why would we want to know something about this quad ? What does that bring us ?
Knowing the layout of the level helps us to plan our way through the Keep Depths and avoiding dead ends.
A dead end is a very bad thing to happen to us because we need to walk the same way 2 times, killing monsters only on one way. Thus we waste time walking the way back.
Farming efficiently means avoiding such a situation, and especially dead ends in the Keep Depths can be very long.
Knowing our position in respect to the quad, we can plan our way to not walk the same part twice.
In the example above, I started near the 4 ( didn’t know that at this moment at all ), went the way 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 and ended in the dead end. Even though i didn’t reach the Breach ( the correct exit ), i made a quite long way killing many monsters without running the same way twice:
And this is the kind of path we want to achieve: as long as possible and having monsters ahead the whole time. It may seem wasteful at first, since there are some parts of the level still untouched ( like the way to the Breach ), but that way we’re much faster at all and can start the next run faster instead of running the same way twice not killing anythin on the second time.
So now the question is: As the starting point varies, how do I know where on the quad i am ?
As I stated, there are some puzzle parts in this level as well. Sadly, they are mostly very equal and differ only in small details. I made an example run to explain how to figure out the position anyway. It doesn’t work on every layout, but if you keep your eyes open, you will get a feeling for this matter and most likely intuitively take the right way.
Up to this part, there was no possibility to take another way. But we’ve reached a crossing, knowing it has to be a corner of the quad. Since there are only ways to the upper left and the lower left, we know we’ve reached point 1 of the quad. Finding points 1 or 2 is always the best case since then we can walk 1-2-3-4 or 2-1-4-3 and have a quite good long and stress-free run.
So we continue our way to point 2:Knowing this is Point 2, the way to the lower left is a dead end ( but still, we can make a short glance into it as there may be a champ ). So we continue our way to point 3 ( upper left ):
At this point, we teleport to town and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and …
At this point those thoughts about pathfinding seem confusing, but knowing about the “randomness” of the levels helps developing a “feeling” for the right way.
For questions, use the comments or contact me ingame hohoho#1615 on EU servers.
Good luck and have fun :-)