It’s well documented that the most efficient route for doing Paragon levels is the Alkaizer method. Essentially, you’re running Act 3 Inferno on low monster powers (or none at all) over and over. To make it efficient as possible, you’re not supposed to pick up any loot. Of course, this tactic is primarily for whirlwind barbarians but any class can utilize it.
Some players, like Moldran above, have tweaked the run to their own preference. For myself, I change the run entirely but use the premise that Act 3 is by far the best place to farm in general. My method is to start with Siegebreaker and go until Azmodan. First, I go for full 5 stacks of Nephlam Valor by starting with the Fields of Slaughter. That way, when I get to Siegebreaker, I can maximize things like Magic Find. I feel that the fight with him and the two other bosses are worth doing because they’re fairly simple and have the potential to drop some decent loot.
After slaying Azmodan, I go back to the Keeps Depths Level 1 and kill off a single elite (or pack) that usually hovers in a nearing room. Then I go to up until the room that contains Ghom. Lastly, I may exit the hold and go all the way up until the Key Warden, killing all elite packs along the way. In addition, I pick up all blues, tomes, rares and potions while playing on Monster Power 2.
So why use this route when it’s clearly published what the most efficient route is? First, my goals in playing Diablo 3 are drastically different than those attempting to hit world first Paragon levels. My aim in this route is to get experience along side making gold, possible gear and hopefully a key along the way (it can happen as I found one key on Monster Power 2 the other night). I believe I make around 300-500k gold per run. My intention is not speed at all, but focus by giving myself clear, simple goals and working towards the last one (which is the Key Warden).
I use Monster Power 2 at the moment because I felt zero through one was too easy and the loot dropped was garbage. The loot dropping for me at the moment is mostly garbage but I’m slowly seeing better loot drop more often. At Paragon Level 24, I’m seeing at least one legendary drop per run now, some of which have been quite useful. Not to mention that there is a gold and experience boost outside of the magic find boost. Just for comparison, my in game DPS is marked at 155k while my unbuffed EHP hovers at 480k. My resistances are over 500 and armor is near 5k. Usually, I only die out of stupidity or if I get surrounded. My build is a standard high level demon hunter build except that I use Perfectionist in place of Steady Shot. You can see my current gear here.
At any rate, I feel quite comfortable at Monster Power 2. I’ve considered boosting it up by one just to check out any improvements. But I feel that where I am currently is good considering my gear and speed. I believe that for me to use a higher Monster Power consistently, I would need to push my DPS another 20-50k. However, the biggest issue at the moment is that the gear I need to push those numbers either are too expensive or marginal by themselves. Instead, my current plan is to continue doing Monster Power 2 Act 3 Inferno and aim for higher Paragon levels, while seeing if I can gain any drops along the way for my alts. I figure the gold I can make through these runs will later be reinvested into my alts
That isn’t to say that I’m not inclined to do higher Monster Powers. Quite often, I’ll pair up with friends and do between 3-5. However, I think for someone soloing, Monster Power 2 is the sweet spot (at least for me). You really need top gear to push that envelope.
One thing that has interested me in all of this is that Blizzard has announced that they will nerf reflect damage in an upcoming patch. Although I’ve managed to deal with reflect damage, anyone who ever encounters a mob with reflect damage should well know what a pain it is. For someone like myself, we’re forced to compensate by utilizing life on hit gear all the time. In turn, I’ve had issues where my DPS or gear might suffer since I’ll be forced to keep it on a few pieces. From there, I won’t be as inclined to do harder Monster Powers simply because I find myself forced to use certain types of gear.
Regardless, I think this method is quite good. It’s allowed me to stay focused and do full runs per night and essentially get a level a night (or two during the weekends). Obviously, as I gain more Paragon levels, I’ll have to adjust this even more but it might mean just repeating it even more to hit my goals.