Path of Exile seems straightforward. Kill stuff. Do quests. Level up.
All of that is true, BUT there are some very simple playstyle tweaks that can dramatically increase your leveling efficiency. Intrigued? Read on.
The more the merrier
The biggest mistake I see new players make when they start leveling in Path of Exile is that they stop to kill every single mob. Don’t do that.
Run around the map(toward your quest objective, not just aimlessly) until you have at least four to five mobs on your tail. Then turn around and demolish them. This simple strategy will lead to you outleveling your “whack-a-mole” friends by a ratio of two to one.
This point leads to the next which is…
Always have(and use) an AOE skill
Again players new to PoE carry this idea from other games that they should only DPS one mob at a time. WRONG. What is better, to do 250 damage to a single mob, or 100 damage to three mobs? This simple concept is the core of Path of Exile. Your AOE skills will always out damage your single target skills when 3+ targets are available. Thus, your single-target skills should be reserved for bosses and unique monsters.
AOE skills literally let you kill two birds with one stone, or in this case, three risen zombies with one lightning strike.
If you can run 25% faster, you increase your clear rate of maps by 15-20%. Always strive to have runspeed on your boots. Especially later game.
Kill mobs around your level
You incur experience penalties if mobs are too high or too low from your own level.
Study the graph above. Let’s take level 40 characters for an example. You can see that for level 40 players they gain 100% experience if the mob killed is between level 33 and 45. Beyond both of those ranges the experience they gain starts to drop steadily to zero.
The actual calculation is:
((PlayerLevel +5)^1.5) / ((PlayerLevel+5+(EffectiveDifference^2.5))^1.5)
So a level 24 character gets 100% experience with mobs that are 3+1=4 levels. So monster level 20 to 28 give him full experience.
Stay within this range for optimal leveling.
Party On, Wayne
Playing with other players can be daunting to new players. Don’t be discouraged. The party system in PoE is simple to navigate. Simply bring up your social panel(by hitting S) and then find a party appropriate to your level. It’s best to find parties that are working on the same quest as you are on. Once you’re in the party, type % in chat to speak in party chat. Ask for a portal to the location of the party, then join in the fray.
Using this tactic you can find waypoints and quest objectives much faster than trying to clear the zones by yourself.
Being in a party also grants everyone more loot! Each additional player in the party grants the entire party a +50% item quantity bonus, so with three people in a party everyone gets 100% more loot!