From Diablo Wiki
Paragon points are part of the Paragon 2.0 system overhaul. They were added to the game in D3v2 and Reaper of Souls, when the existing Paragon system was reworked. The Paragon 2.0 system is tracked account-wide (Hardcore and Normal characters are tallied separately) and all experience earned by characters who have reached max level (60 in D3, 70 in RoS) counts towards the account's Paragon Level.
Each Paragon level gained awards one Paragon Point to every character on the account (no matter their level), which each character can assign to one of the four bonus fields in each of the four Paragon Tabs. These points can be used to boost various offensive stats, or defensive bonuses, or utility functions.
Paragon points cycle through the four tabs in order, with the 1st to Core, 2nd to Offense, 3rd to Defense, 4th to Utility, 5th to Core, and so on, forever. There is no maximum number of points, though after 800 all additional points go to the Core tab, where they must be spent in Mainstat and/or Vitality, since those are the only fields that do not max out with 50 points.
Paragon Points can be respec'ed at any time, and many players change them around depending on the needs and changing gear of their character.
In the Paragon 2.0 system, each level grants a new Paragon Point, alternating between the four tabs. The first Paragon Point must be spent in the Core Tab, the second in the Offense Tab, and so on, until all tabs have 200 points and all the fields are maxed out at 50 points at Paragon 800. Points above that are awarded only to the Core Tab, where the Mainstat, and Vitality bonuses are the only two that do not max out at 50 points and can be boosted forever.
The Core Tab has the only two bonuses that do not max out at 50 points. Movement Speed is also an odd one, since the property has a hard cap at 25% from Items + Paragon Points. Thus a character with 20% Movement Speed from gear would only gain another 5% from Paragon Points, and any boost over that would be wasted. (This is why it's best to enchant movement speed off of items, for a more useful bonus that won't be rendered redundant by Paragon Points.)
- Mainstat: +5 per point, no hard cap.
- Vitality: +5 per point, no hard cap.
- Movement Speed, +0.5% per point, maxing out at +25% with 50 points.
- +Maximum Resource:
- Barbarian: +1 to maximum Fury per point.
- Crusader: +1 to maximum Wrath per point.
- Demon Hunter: +0.5 to maximum Hatred per point. (Discipline is not boosted by Paragon points.)
- Monk: +1 to maximum Spirit per point.
- Witch Doctor: +4 to maximum Mana per point.
- Wizard: +1 to maximum Arcane Power per point.
Critical hit Chance was reduced from .2% to .1% per point during PTR testing, lowering the maximum from 10% to 5%. Prior to that, ChC was clearly the best stat to boost.
- Attack Speed: +.2% per point, for a maximum of +10% at 50 points.
- Cooldown Reduction: +2% per point, for a maximum of +10% reduction at 50 points.
- Critical Hit Chance, +.10% per point, for a maximum of 5% at 50 points.
- Critical Hit Damage, +1% per point, for a maximum of 50% at 50 points.
The Defense tab shifted a bit during development. The initial version on the PTR had Life, Armor, Dodge, and Resist All. Dodge was subsequently removed entirely from Paragon Point bonuses.
- Life. Increases +.50% Life per point, to a maximum value of +25% Life.
- Armor. Increases +.50% Armor per point, to a maximum value of +25% Armor.
- All Resistance: +5 per point, with a maximum of 250.
- Life Regeneration, +165.1 per point, for a maximum of +8252 life per second.
- Originally +33 per point with a maximum of +1650, before Patch 2.1 boosted it as part of the general healing and combat engine changes.
The Utility Tab changed several times during testing. In the initial iteration during PTR testing it held Magic Find, Gold Find, +maximum resource, and Movement Speed. Paragon point options were shuffled between the tabs and some were removed or replaced during development.
The current stats in the live game are:
- Area Damage: +1% per point, max of +50%.
- Resource Cost Reduction: 0.2% per point, maximum of 10% cost reduction.
- Life on Hit: 82.5 per point, maxing out at 4125.
- Gold Find: +1% per point for a maximum of +50%.
- Gold Find boosted by gear or Paragon Points switched from additive to multiplicative in Patch 1.0.6, granting much higher Gold Find on higher difficulty levels and making points here worth the expense for many gold-poor players.
The Paragon System
The initial Paragon system did not award points to spend. It was tracked per-character, and granted Paragon levels for experience gained once a character reached level 60. Each Paragon level (up to a maximum of 100) granted the same stat bonuses as a normal level up, plus passive bonuses to Magic Find, Gold Find, and Experience gain.
This system was popular in some ways, but for many players it felt like only the main was worth playing since that one character had all the paragon points and passive bonuses, and other characters on the account felt much weaker, even if they had equivalent quality gear.
Paragon Points and Seasonal Ladders
Seasonal ladders were added to Diablo 3 in Patch 2.1. Seasonal characters start off fresh, as if it was a new account without access to any of the paragon points, gold, equipment, Artisan levels, etc, on a normal account. During the Ladder Season, players who create Seasonal Characters build them up, earning Paragon experience once at max level, and the Paragon levels start off at 1 and grow from there.
When a Season ends, all Seasonal Characters are absorbed back into the main account, and all earned Paragon Experience is added to the total Paragon Experience on the account. The experience is added, not the levels, and since the amount of experience required increases with each higher level, the post-season total may be lower than some players expect. An account that had Paragon 400 and merged with a Seasons account that had Paragon 100 would add up to somewhere around Paragon 425. Not Paragon 500.