Experience pools RNG

What should I expect from RNG regarding spawning of experience pools? Typically, I am having to do 15-18 runs (act 1, southern highlands, leoric’s courtyard and forsaken cemetery) to get 10 experience pool stacks. The time wasted from doing this would be, imho, better spent just grinding more GRs. I do not find it efficient.

I used to farm these pools back in s13/14, but gave up due to my thoughts above. I tried it again in the past few days in s25, but still experience the same crappy. RNG regarding spawn. In many cases, especially with the forsaken cemetery and southern highlands, I get ZERO spawn (no pylon, health pool or experience pool), typically ~30% of the time.

I did many runs back in s13/14 and consistently it took 15-18 runs to get 10 experience pools, in several cases, 25 runs. A few cases (and I mean a few) went as low as between 10-12 runs, but they were the odd ones out, far more uncommon than the longer 20-25 run occurences from my personal experiences.

I am also finding that 10 stacked experience pools is giving me bonus XP for around a full GR (120, ~3.5-4 mins) and a partial GR. maxroll.gg suggests that for such a GR, I’d need 5.49 pools for a single GR effort, so typically, just over 10 for 2 GRs. I’m certainly not getting anywhere near that before the 10 stacked pools are spent - it’s typically 1.5 GRs. So, is maxroll.gg wrong?

AFAIK, the act 1 pool locations that I’m farming are generally considered the most efficient to farm. I would usually ask, am I just unlucky, but consistent bad luck for an extended period of time is not random (as in RNG).



  • You can do a GR120 in 3-4 minutes
  • 10 pool stacks lasts you 1-2 GRs
  • You need 15-18 runs to get 10 pools

This is basically going to come down to how long does it take you to get the pools on average?

A quick look at Maxroll’s Paragon Calculator shows that a solo player, unpooled, doing GR120s in 3.5 minutes, with 30 seconds in town between them, would earn 2.55 trillion XP per hour.

So, that’s 2.55T/15 = 170 billion XP per GR. If you have 10 pools, you say that lasts (at most) for 2 GRs. Pooled runs are worth roughly 40-45% more than non-pooled, so that’d make them worth roughly 245 billion XP per GR.

So, that’s 2 * 245 billion XP for the pooled runs, versus 2 * 170 billion XP for the non-pooled runs, i.e. 490 billion XP vs 340 billion XP, or an extra 150 billion XP. But that brings us back to getting 170 billion XP for an unpooled GR120. So, the two pooled runs are getting you roughly 90% of the XP that an unpooled run would give you. 90% of 4 minutes is 3 minutes 36 seconds.

So, if finding 10 pools takes you longer than that, you’re wasting time and XP by finding the pools, because running another GR120 would give you more benefit.


The XP pointer buff is around half way on my 2nd GR. So, I’m not getting the full pool XP buff for the 2nd GR, or am I mistaking this? I’d say I’m getting 1* 245 billion for the 1st run, and half that for the 2nd run, for a grand total of 370 billion or thereabouts. So, by my math, that’s just over double the XP of a single run, so around 3-4 minutes yeah.

That was my assessment back in s13/14 too and it is again. What’s the point of having something in the game that’s near useless and gated by RNG…frustrating!

Now this leads into my next question - is my RNG typical, on average, for the average player? Or is, as I suspect, my RNG crap?

This also leads to another question - in a 4 man group, if the 4 of them split (like with bounties) and find a pool each, they can get 10 pools much quicker than a solo player. Does it work that way, or do pools found ONLY benefit the finder, and not the rest of the group? Because if my suspicion is correct, and that it’s like bounties, then solo players get double whammied by bad game design - massive XP buffs for group play, mobs easier to kill in groups than the same mobs at the same GR with a solo player, and if xp pools can be “shared”, then it’s easier for groups to farm them and get even higher XP from group GRs…

If my suspicions are indeed correct, it is blatantly obviously that Blizzard doesn’t know how to balance their game…

I would assume it works like everything else, if you’re in the vicinity of the pool when it’s used it’s shared, but if you’re in different zones it won’t.

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I dont know what paragon you are now, or what paragon you were in s13/14. But its absolutely not worth searching pools below lets say 3k. At low para you burn through the 10 pools in 1 grift, so you need to look again for 10 pools every gr. You calculated you need like 5 pools every grift, so doing avg of 9 runs of Act 1 for 5 pools is totaly not worth it.

This is correct, some maps you can be 5 screens apart and all benefit, some maps are weirdly divided by a magical border (like realm of fractured fate), so you need to teleport.

ps. come off your weird “RNG has it in for me” horse

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Few options,

only go for close/fast locations near way points

Stack 10 pools from Rifts farming keys before hand / rinse & repeat

Use crusader to craft Bovine Bardiches, its a fixed 2 pool inside. Bovine has 33% chance on crusader crafting

Make sure your paragon is high enough. Lower than 3-4k para in general is not really worth heavy pool hunting

Avoid solo xp farming, go into grps. 4p LF pools is way more efficient than your solo find


About pools’ locations

Act 1

  • The two sub-locations in Festering Woods: 0 or 1 pool (per sub-location)

Act 2

  • Howling Plateau, on the “start” (you don’t need to cross the “walls”) : 0 or 1 pool
  • Road to Alcarnus : 0 to 2 pools

Act 3

  • Bridge of Korsikk : just at the start of the map : 0 or 1 pool
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For solo you are wasting your time looking for pools until you hit certain paragon thresholds.
For all classes but monk it is ruffly 3k. For monk it is around 4k. Some things that I personally do to min/max this process might seem silly but they really do work. For one always roll 2 handed weapons at kadala then upgrade the polearms you get on a level one sader. Sader has the best chance to get cow sticks. Second thing you can do when your paragon is a lot lower is run t16 for keys until you get 3-4 pools then switch builds and run 1 GR. Repeat this process as long as you have your sanity. Your leveling will be slow but after a few weeks of this you will have tons of keys you need anyways. Then when you have 3-4 tabs full of cow stick you no longer need to hunt for pool for awhile. As for groups we generally only hunt for pools that are close to the way points. It should take less then a minute to scout all the locations. When all the spots are used pop a cow and remake the game and repeat. When groups spend more time then this they are just costing themselves exp.


Just for the fun of it I tried a handful of times to search for pools - mostly after running a GR - and the results were discouraging. Most of the time I searched up to 14 places in four acts, many of them with several possible spawn points. The result was usually just a few pools (but lots of shrines and health pools).

!1300/1400 paragon. So, basically, the experience pools only really benefit group players…another nice part of the game sectioned off from solo players…

Well, if you’d experienced persistent bad RNG for an extended period of time, perhaps you’d think it too…

Again, why should I be screwed cos I’m a solo player? Group play is actually easier than solo…rewards should be based on difficulty and effort, not teaming up…

Will consider farming that location if I ever get to p3000 lol…which is never.

Not even group players look for pools at that paragon. However rifts is Good for farming pools and unless u relogg when farming keys u can use the closing time to find pools.

U Only checking act 1 it seem. There is plenty of Good spots with more pools. Learn a proper route and u find more and faster.

The later season been more solo player friendly. Infact u dont even need high paragon to clear gr150 solo. U choose to play solo instead of teaming up.

4 players is stronger than one. Groups play higher difficulty than solo players when farming. To gain more exp there is a requirement to sync the 4 players with different jobs and work together. I wouldnt say that its harder to farm solo nor that it takes more effort. First u need to build the team and then each one of the players need to know what to do. It requires 4 players with knowledge which is why bad players gets kicked out from meta teams. Its not d2 where 1 player carry everyone else in baalruns.

In other words making a proper group requires alot more effort than running solo. However a proper team is more efficient than a solo player. Which u can have opinions about.

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Purely speaking about xp pools, they benefit solo players more, because they will last longer on a solo player.

I dont understand why you make such a big deal about the rng on xp pools. First you need to know the true median before making assumption, i dont think anyone has that avg of how many pools appear in a1. Nobody i know of has done 10.000 runs consecutive to make statistics about it. And wen you only run 3 spots you wil get high variance.

So you actually never have to worry about it. Like its been said even groups dont go looking for pools at 1.3k para

IMO, a gr should be ‘pooled’ entirely when you empowered it, optionally even when you die.

My pool strategy
Favorite maps:

  • Leorics courtyard: see two pylons / pools there. Go check edges of Leoric hunting grounds (pools spawn always on same places)
  • Howling plateau: learn regular spawning places on right or left side. Run trough those and go to black canyon mines. If having super fast build, run to Alcarnus and look typical spawning places (a little complex route). Otherwise teleport directly to Alcarnus. Note that near the teleport are also spawning places so make a short round already there.
  • Tower of damned two teleport places. There are couple of spawn places near teleport.
  • Battlefields, near the teleport at the top, two places.
  • Bridge of korsikk, near teleport couple of places
  • And the best: Realm of fractured fate. Run first directly down, then all a couple of kilometers top and right until spawn places stop. Make slight curves for a couple of typical spots on the way. Will get typically one or two from here per run. Sometimes more. Personal record 5 .
  • Bonus: cow map.

And when to farm:

  • Never before paragon 2000
  • Solo only if needing a short break from GR. Even at paragon 3000+ this is rarely efficient.
  • At group, this starts to be efficient when needing 2-4 pools for 5-10 minutes of gr runs. Which seems to be happening around paragon 3000 for me currently (but not before 2500).
  • Cow map can be farmed much earlier. There you can get 2 pools in about 20 seconds average in group. But not that new game must be started to get new cow map, which is slower than finding the actual pools.

But to be efficient even at paragon 3000, people need to be familiar with pools spots.
Note that cheaters (map hack) are a lot more efficient in pool farming. They might give wrong impression to many people about the efficiency, since cheating is sadly quite common.


One opportunity we have is the Tristram event. If you aim to farm the shards for gems then it can be worth the trouble to explore the maps leading to Leoric.

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With the +xp bonus on the helms the pools burn twice as fast. I get maybe 4-5 pooled rifts per bar. Before it was 8+.
I find & use cow sticks a lot and look for easy pools. But its faster grinding imo.
I think some ppl play with 2 accounts. 1 is basically a pool barb bot.


last I looked the act 1 routes were the easiest, fastest and best typically…

I would beg to differ. And 150s are build dependent.

And that just leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. That play attitude is NOT social, and it is NOT nice.

Not from my experiences. A 3 man GR119 we were smashing in like 6.5 minutes when I was struggling to do a 110 solo (several seasons ago, very early season, very low paragon - typically around 12 minutes at the time). Given that a GR119 is basically 4x the monster health and we only had 3 players, how do you explain doing 4x the damage in half the time (effectively 8x damage) over a solo player…that is NOT balanced…

That’s a very good point.

We can’t do that on console…

Well when you have people that kick you after finishing the bounties in the act and before claiming the bounty why would I want to team up

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You got carried or played ZDPS. Wasn’t really hard to explain at all.

Bot poolbarb is not really a thing. Higher end groups usualy have a zbarb who looks for pools. Some people pool up before wile doing key’s. So while running grifts the poolbarb exits the gr, looks for pool, rest do urshi and kadala, close, open gr, go to pool, accept and gogogogo. If no pool found, then stil just gogogogo, max efficiency.

But its still all moot, as you are p1400 you wont need a pool, just play and enjoy the game, dont worry about dem pools.

Well meta is meta, when you join a group it is common you know the role you are gonna play, mistakes are ok, but in a meta group you need team play, not individuals going their own way.

Well i know you like to play impale, so while that always has been a good elite hunter, if you play with different people and different classes you get the benefit from teamplay. Nothing strange about it.