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With the introduction of monster power in patch 1.05 and a nonlinear rate of xp/mf/gf/bonus item vs monster health/damage, what is the optimal monster power to play at?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Updated for 1.07

Looks like with the increase to MP experience, the new sweet spot for xp gain has been shifted to mp5. Of course this is assuming you can optimally handle the higher MP without deaths and still maintaining a fast kill rate.

Using the official MP chart, I plotted the ratios of the gain per level vs. increase in health and damage:

I also plotted the gain vs increase in health/damage in this spreadsheet.

Note, for the damage line lower is better but for the others higher is better
Note, for the damage line lower is better but for the others higher is better
Note, for the damage line, when comparing it to monster health, lower is better, but for all other cases higher is better.

While it's obvious that monster damage scales favorably the higher you go (reasons discussed in the blog post above). The optimal point in terms of mf/gf seems to be at MP3-4. While the optimal gain point for bonus items and experience is at MP5.

When looking at damage, the optimal gain point shifts towards MP7+, this is due to the fact that monster damage doesn't scale up nearly as much as health.

Overall, if you can handle MP5, that seems to be the sweet spot in terms of gain of MF/GF/XP/Bonus item vs increased monster difficulty.

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10  
Every time an axis goes unlabeled...ummm something bad happens. The point is, label them suckers! –  user9983 Oct 16 '12 at 0:07
    
@origamiRobot my bad, they were labeled in the google spreadsheet, but the screenshot seems to be an older one –  z ' Oct 16 '12 at 0:33
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I'd go one step further and say that after MP4 the most efficient MP is the highest one in which you can one or two shot most enemies. –  Mr. November Oct 16 '12 at 1:13
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@OrigamiRobot this might happen: smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2735 –  Hex Oct 16 '12 at 5:07
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@bwarner I've updated the damage values, but since most of the gain is driven by increased monster health this doesn't affect it by much. –  z ' Oct 24 '12 at 3:58

None of the current answers take into account the base MF/GF/XP gain increases on a character, as soon as you even take into account the 75% of each you will get from a 5 stack of NV, it becomes apparent that the LOWER the MP level, the better the ratios are.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvOii4rGoFE-dFJuaVZwSjNub0FXOEZ1dVhKUXVKOUE

This only holds true for MP0 on Act 3+ because ANY MP level turns mobs in act 1 and 2 into higher level guys, so even more "bonus health"

The best monster power for farming is going to be the one where you still 'one shot' everything.

I've taken 5-10 time readings for each Monster Power from 0 to 5 on my Act 3 run. The data I compiled showed that my XP/Hour, Gold/Hour and Rares/Hour are all highest for me on MP0. MP1 doesn't make a very big dent in Gold/HR or Rares/HR (<5%) but my XP/HR drops by about 10%. Each step up in MP after that lowers all 3 stats I was computing by around 7% to 15%. The even sadder part, is that as I gain even more Paragon Levels (I'm at 72 at time of writing), this graph skews even further toward MP0 as being the best per hour, because my base MF and GF continue to go up.

If you really want to know which is best, start monitoring the time it takes YOU to complete a specific run, as well as your starting/ending xp and gold. My theory is you'll find the same thing: The lower the MP, the better the farming.

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This is true, with one exception: if you are interested in farming Hellfire rings, you will want to push the MP level up as high as you can go without sacrificing too much speed. –  Beofett Dec 19 '12 at 14:58

This is my table

MP  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
Health  150 225 326 457 639 895 1253    1755    2457    3439
Damage  109.6   120.12  131.65  144.29  158.14  173.32  189.96  208.2   228.18  250.09
XP  10  20  30  45  60  75  95  115 135 160
MF  25  50  75  100 125 150 175 200 225 250
GF  25  50  75  100 125 150 175 200 225 250
Bonus Item  1   8   17  26  36  47  59  71  85  100

Extra XP per Health -0.266666667    -0.466666667    -0.601226994    -0.682713348    -0.749608764    -0.804469274    -0.844373504    -0.877492877    -0.904354904    -0.924396627

So basically all the other answers are missing an important point. If you are constantly killing enemies, then MP will not profit you in anyway.

Think about it. Health increase by 50% and XP increases only by 10%.

Your gain comes when you "walk" a lot. So optimum MP depends a lot on the percentage of your time you spent walking instead of fighting. If you fight 100% of the time, then MP1 will reduce your XP gain by 26%. MP2 will reduce your gain by 46%, etc.

You also gain more if you're aiming for infernal machine.

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2  
If you one-shot enemies, it doesn't matter whether they have 30 health, or 30,000. For efficiency, you want to play at the highest MP level where you can still one-shot enemies. Same effort, more rewards. –  Frank Nov 20 '12 at 14:20
    
also, as a barb I find mp4 'easier' than mp3 simply due to the fact that its easier for me to maintain wotb on MP4 since enemies have a little more health. –  z ' Nov 22 '12 at 6:13

Looking purely for the XP side of things, I've constructed a similar sheet for Normal/Nightmare/Hell (and pulled in @spartacus's chart)

Gain vs health Gain vs Damage Gain vs Health + Damage

Based on charts 1 and 3, it appears that MP2 is the "most efficient", as the XP gains seem to follow a diminishing (chart 1) and linear (chart 3) ratios thereafter.

Edit again: looks like MP1 is actually the most efficient. I just added a few rows and a chart to the spreadsheet showing the differences between MP levels, and the greatest difference is 0-MP1.

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Some analysis of what these charts mean would go a long way to improving this answer. Are you able to draw any conclusions from them? Does this tell you what the optimal monster power to play at is? –  PeterL Oct 19 '12 at 20:04
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Why not also add MP0? –  gnarf Dec 17 '12 at 8:18

what you neglect to take into consideration here is the amount of time spent there http://i.imgur.com/rQrnP.png

acording to this one and a fair amount of testing I've done, there really is no reason to play on higher then mp0 when farming xp and anything other then mp1 when farming items

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The only true statistics on that chart is the experience per hour. –  leety Jan 10 '13 at 14:48
    
this is somewhat true. However, If you can 1 shot trash mobs no matter what the increase in time per run is minimal. –  z ' Jan 10 '13 at 22:29

The reason people move to higher MP levels in the first place, is the low utilization of their weapon. The monsters are being killed too fast, and its such a waste of good weapon power.

Lets face the facts, there is no way one can kill monsters 100% of the time - at least 50% of the time is spent on just walking.

But indeed there must be a good balance between the XP gained relative to the amount of health. MP level 5 is said to be the optimal point for that.

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