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Experience

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An utterly ubiquitous mechanic in many role playing games since Dungeons and Dragons, the primary progression metric for players in Everquest are experience levels, a.k.a. levels. In contrast to more modern MMOs which have a greater focus on equipment and other forms of advancement, classic Everquest's progression is much more heavily weighted towards experience. What determines the capabilities of your character is chiefly their experience level. In later expansions, the alternative advancement system supplemented a character's experience level for additional capabilities and equipment became more important.

To attain higher experience levels, characters (or their groups) must defeat NPCs or complete quests to gain experience points. When a character gains sufficient points, they attain the next experience level. Pursuit of higher experience levels is the primary goal for most of a character's career on classic Everquest.

When a character dies, they lose experience points and if enough are lost they can lose levels as well. High level Clerics and Paladins have the ability to resurrect players which may return a portion of the experience lost (up to 96%). GMs have a special ability to return 100% of experience lost when they rez a player due to bugs or unfair play.

Contents

Group Level Requirement for Experience

If the level difference within a group is too great the lower level member will not get experience. The criterion is:

Lowest Level * 1.5 (Round down) or Highest Level * 0.667 (Round up) and always at least 5 levels.

Generic Examples

  • Level 1 can group with up to a 6
  • Level 20 can group up to a 30 (20 * 1.5 = 30)
  • Level 30 can group down to a 20 (30 * 0.667 = 20)

Rounding Examples

  • Level 33 can group up to a 49 (33 * 1.5 = 49.5)
  • Level 50 can group down to a 34 (50 * 0.67 = 33.34)

Zone Experience Modifiers

See Recommended Levels and ZEM List and Per-Level Hunting Guide. Also for spawn timers see Zone Spawn Timers.

Race/Class Experience Modifiers

See also:Sortable Race Class Matrix

By Race:

  • Troll -20%
  • Iksar -20%
  • Ogre -15%
  • Barbarian -5%
  • Halfling +5%

By Class:

  • Paladin / Shadowknight / Ranger / Bard -40%
  • Monk -20%
  • Wizard / Magician / Enchanter / Necromancer -10%
  • Rogue +9%
  • Warrior +10%

Exp modifiers are multiplied not added. E.g. Troll SK would be 1.4 (class) x 1.2 (race) = 1.68 or a 68% penalty.

Server Notes:

GREEN: All experience modifiers above are in place. Class experience penalties will be removed at the appropriate time in the Classic Timeline.

BLUE and RED: Class experience penalties are no longer in effect as of 9/21/15, though bonuses should remain.

Experience Requirement by Level

Note: Not all of this exp information may be strictly classic, needs some review.

Assuming the below information is correct, you can find the EXP requirements per level and the EXP gain per mob at this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ke9KOtMcR90puNfcecUwpg2MOWsm2LtYzrT3wEKuusE/edit#gid=0.

The formula for the amount of total (cumulative) experience at the end of a level is as follows. Note this is not the same as the experience needed to complete each level:

Total XP to complete a level = L^3 * C * R * H

Where:

  • C = Class Multiplier
  • R = Race Multiplier
  • H = Hell Multiplier (based on level)
Level Multipler
1-29 1.0
30 1.1*
31-34 1.1
35 1.2*
36-39 1.2
40 1.3*
41-44 1.3
45 1.4*
46-50 1.4
51 1.5*
52 1.6*
53 1.7*
54 1.9**
55 2.0*
56 2.1*
57 2.2*
58 2.3*
59 2.5**
60 2.6

* - "hell" level | ** - Double "hell" level

For instance, for a class mod of 100 and race mod of 10 (base values), the following table applies:

Level Class Mod Race Mod Level/Hell Mod Total XP at end of level Total XP needed to complete level
50 100 10 1.4 175,000,000 10,291,400
51 100 10 1.5 198,976,500 23,976,500
52 100 10 1.6 224,972,800 25,996,300
53 100 10 1.7 253,090,900 28,118,100
54 100 10 1.9 299,181,600 46,090,700
55 100 10 2 332,750,000 33,568,400
56 100 10 2.1 368,793,600 36,043,600
57 100 10 2.2 407,424,600 38,631,000
58 100 10 2.3 448,757,600 41,333,000
59 100 10 2.5 513,447,500 64,689,900
60 100 10 2.6 561,600,000 48,152,500

The formula for the amount of XP earned for soloing a dark blue or higher mob is as follows:

XP = L^2 * C

Where:

  • L = Level of mob being soloed. (If the mob is light blue or green, the xp earned will be 50%, 25% or 0% of the stated value.)
  • C = The Zone Experience Modifier (ZEM) with base 75. In most outdoor zones it is 75, in most dungeons it is 80, in some newbie zones it is 100.

Note: As of July 2013, there is now a maximum XP gained from a single mob of 11%.

Changes to formula (2002 XP smoothing)

In Luclin era, the Hell Levels were "evened out":

September 4, 2002 3:00 am
** Experience Changes **
- We have smoothed out level progression from 50-60. This should mitigate the "penalty effect" that occurs in levels 51, 54 and 59. Note that it will cost the same experience to level from 50 to 60 as it did before. Also, death experience loss will appear different in some levels. This is an unfortunate side effect that must remain to prevent some experience exploits.

Note: The above "XP smoothing" is not in effect on P99, and is not planned on the P99 Development Timeline.

How Experience Works

Death and Experience exp lost.

The amount of exp you lose when your character dies is based on a percent of the total experience the previous level took. So the exp loss at 31 will be greater than at 32 due to 30 having been a hell level. similarly 36 exp loss on death due to a percent of 35's total exp required.

Draft 1.0 by Dumesh Uhl'Belk (ref)

First, I'll describe a sample party and use a tasty pie analogy to help make the mechanics easier to understand. Then, I'll get more number and formula based for those who want the nuts and bolts. (coming soon... when I feel like updating)

Think of each mob that gets spawned in EQ as a pie, a very tasty pie. When a PC kills a mob, he gets to eat the pie. When players group together and kill a mob, they have to split the pie. However, through the magic of the group bonus, for each person in the group beyond the first, the pie gets a little bit bigger (2% bigger in fact) before we pull out the knife to divide the slices.

Well, how do we slice the pie? How big will each slice be?

The answer is that we measure all the pie that each player has ever eaten (his total xp). Then we cut the slices in proportions matching those relative values. So, let's say our sample group is a simple trio of Bob the Bard, Chris the Enchanter, and Diane the Druid. Since Bob came into the world of Norrath, he's eaten 150lbs of pie. Chris has had 100lbs of pie, and Diane has also eaten 100lbs of pie. Our sample group has just killed a mob. This mobs' representative pie magically grows to be 4% larger than if a solo player killed him. Then the pie is split with 3/7 of it going to Bob, 2/7 to Chris and 2/7 to Diane. The classes of these characters makes no difference at all. The only thing that determined how big each slice of the pie would be was the net total xp that each of them had earned since character creation.

But what about xp penalties, you say?

As of the January 2001 timeline patch on 9/21/2015, racial penalties remain but the the class exp penalty was removed. This section is no longer accurate.

They most certainly exist. The penalties change the amount of pie that a PC has to eat to gain each level. Human warriors have to eat 90% of the pie that Human Druids have to eat to level up. Troll Shadow Knights have to eat 68% more pie than Human Druids to level up.

The important and painfully obvious consequence of this is:

  • A level 30 Human Monk has 20% more total xp than a level 30 human cleric.
  • A level 50 Ogre Shadowknight has 60% more total xp than a level 50 dwarf cleric.

Or to look at it a different way...

  • A human monk with 10,000,000xp is level 20.
  • A halfling warrior with 10,000,000xp is level 22
  • A troll shadowknight with 10,000,000xp is level 18

If the three characters above where to group together, they would all get equal slices of the pie.

But, But, you didn't say anything about the penalties when you talked about how xp is split!!! why not?

When the tasty pie is cut into slices for the group, the levels of the various PCs are not consulted (not directly anyway), only the xp totals for the PCs. The game code doesn't care if Bob is a human or an elf, a bard or a monk, level 10 or level 15... the game code only cares what Bob's total xp is.

What about zone modifiers?

Zone modifiers shrink or expand the pie before the slices are cut.

What does this all mean?!?

  1. Group with people who have similar xp totals to you
  2. Group with people who have similar xp totals to you
  3. Group with people who have similar xp totals to you

See, it was so important, I had to say it 3 times. Please note what that really means. Race/Class combos with no penalty but who are 6 levels higher than you nerf your xp more than the hybrid who is the same level as you in most cases, especially at levels below 30. In your teens, a player 6 levels higher than you has 300 to 400% of your xp total... obviously much worse than the 140-168% of your total that a equal level hybrid has.

So, final thought...

Group with good players. An equal level group with multiple hybrids generally takes no more than 16% more kills to gain a level that a similarly leveled group that has no hydrids. Good groups kill at least 16% faster than bad groups. So, group with good players regardless of class.