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Post by evilkittenofdoom Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:01 am

Ok, so this is an issue that I've been having for quite some time, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to point it out.

The XP scaling is.... lacking... as in, there's pretty much only one enemy that's worth fighting as soon as you're capable of handling them; Beholders. Every other enemy gives almost nothing in comparison to the sheer amount of XP per group of beholders.
Let's use a very simplified example (as I cannot give you a specific having not much access to NwN proper)

We have a level 12 Sorcerer. He goes down to Macedone and kills a group of bandits on his way, including one Chief. He gets 250 XP. The same sorcerer goes to the Beholder tunnels and kills ONE beholder. He gets 1200 XP.

That is a serious difference. Yes, beholders are considerably more lethal than bandits, but that's only level 12. The difference becomes more and more skewed the further up you get in levels. It's really bad when beholders give you more XP than you can get in the Dark Realms; not to mention they're generally easier to kill and they give more loot to boot. On top of that, there are few places in which to get a large amount of money, quickly, than the Beholder tunnels; each Beholder can drop anywhere from 2500 gold's worth of items/coins on upward of 25000 gold's worth.

All of this brings me to the following conclusion; the XP system is so skewed that it's almost, if not entirely, broken. Unfortunately the remedy isn't as simple as lowering the XP from Beholders and raising the XP from other enemies. In come the factors of loot, travel difficulties and other things.

So here's what I do propose. I propose that the XP system shifted a bit to allow that players, especially at higher levels, be given a slightly higher minimum XP number. I'd go as far as suggesting a minimum of 5 XP per 10 levels. In addition, increase the odds of enemies dropping decent loot. I'm not suggesting the old way where bandits dropped better stuff than you could find in an Archmage's tower, but them dropping something more than the occasional potion or wand is (IMHO) long overdue. I've killed countless bandits since that change, and only on VERY rare occasion do they drop something of worth. Rare enough occasions that I almost entirely stop searching them after level 8-12. Most other enemies are even worse or aren't far off. That, on top of crap for XP gain from said enemies, makes it pretty much worthless to fight them; and that becomes exponentially true the higher your level goes.

Now don't get me wrong; not every enemy needs to give someone 250 XP. But I would like the XP scale to be tipped a little more in favor of general enemies. And I don't want loot to drop every time, nor do I want super loot to be dropping every time, but something more than the 5XP that you get from enemies after a while, and more than the occasional wand of endure elements would be greatly appreciated.

I'd appreciate if anyone notices something odd or that I missed so that it can be addressed. I feel that the more thorough we can be with this, the better we we can get.
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Post by RustyDios Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:17 am

Maybe we simply need the dark realms xp scaling t be sorted out... as far as I know it was intended as THE place for epic-level uberness.. and whilst it is indeed a very cool area to explore, with some awesome fights , the xp scale in that area compared to the beholder tunnels is just, well, lacking .... ...

Maybe what we could really do with is an update to the beholder tunnels themselves, using all the new climb/jump/swim goodies we now have, afterall beholders are suppose to build vertically as well as horizontally and I see no reason they shouldn't have water....


Maybe another solution to masses of Epic PC's in the tunnel all "fighting for xp" is even simpler ... ... I know of three places beholders gather,
Spoiler:
the underdark tunnel, the deathwater cave, and deathwater isle near the portal
....

Maybe it's time we found the cave of deep-beholders out in the oceans, or the lair of the demon-beholders, or that tower of death-tyrants, or that breeding pool with thousands of eyeball-beholders .... ....


If getting the xp scales sorted is going to be a real issue, can we get MORE beholder tunnels to explore in various different locations , to stop all the epic pc's gathering in one dungeon/area ...... ....

Maybe the xp scale used for beholders could apply to the creatures of the dark realm, or at least the balors...


I'm not saying that xp scaling isn't an issue (and it soon comes to a point mid-teens when 4xp per kill becomes standard for a host of enemies) I'm just thinking of another way to solve the problem....
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Post by Alundaio Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:33 pm

A cave of all beholder elders would be quite a challenge haha. There are quite alot of balance issues when it comes to most mobs in Aenea. Very few places pose a challenge for ascended or reincarnated characters. The problem itself is that player's can simply become too powerful even with all of Aenea's restrictions. There is a good balance for pre-epic characters though. Which in my opinion is the most enjoyable time while in Aenea.

The problem isn't XP scaling in a sense that you can't gain levels in Epic, but that only a few creatures give large amounts of xp quickly. Because I can tell you once I hit level 12 I can be level 40 in a couple days if I tried and had enough money for Zolaras gifts to stay in the Underdark for long periods of time.

Perhaps a look into re-balancing some things and taking away some over-powered features may solve a few things.
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Post by Maeglin Dubh Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:46 pm

Well, once a certain kind of build hits 12, it can be 40 in a couple of days. Not all builds deal equally well with Beholders pre-Ascension.
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Post by Alundaio Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:02 pm

One beholder spawns when you are level 12. You can kill enough before you are unlucky enough to die. When there are gradually more and more you chance it and if you die respawn and try again. You'll always come out on top when it comes to xp debt vs. gain. I've done this with dex characters which are by far the hardest characters to level. I know Spellcasters can kill beholder's quite easily with a few tricks. Such as blindness, invisibility or casting spells that go through walls. High fort characters can do this much easier then Rogues with a better chance of survival. But trust me, it's definitly possible with any build.
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Post by evilkittenofdoom Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:15 pm

I am not in favor of taking anything away whatsoever. I personally feel that that defeats the purpose of this entire thread. I personally think that, as stated before by many others, beholders give so much XP over other creatures that there's no reason not to kill them ASAP.

That is the biggest issue that I can bring up here, and fixing that might pave the way to see how the rest of the XP scale really works.
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Post by MannyJabrielle Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:27 pm

I found dex characters are the easiest, especially with beholder hunting. I've power-levelled a character from the inn to 40th in just a tad over 6 hours off beholders.

The point about the sheer difference between bee hunting and hunting pretty much anything else is valid though. Nothing else, even "big boss" baddies offers nearly as much gain. It would be nice to see a more balanced XP gain across the board.

Or, better yet, not so much a huge boost in XP gain, but maybe a relatively small boost to general XP gain, and more baddies.

Some areas are virtually deserted. And at a 5 to 15 XP gain per kill... meh.

BUT, raise the XP to say, 25-30 per kill, and have two or three times the number of baddies, and in faster respawns... then that would be fun.

Because sometimes, it's just nice to have a huge, massive horde of baddies to obliterate... and there's not always a DM about to make such mobs for people. It's nice for the great-cleavers... although it could be problematic for AoEing casters...

But let's use the searing sands as an example. In the first floor, spawn in twice the number of mummies there are now. It's a relatively small area, but 15-25 mummies could be spread out nicely in there.... 5 or so per room, 10 or so wandering the hallways. Respawn set at say, 5 minutes.

The level below.. that could be left as is.

Level below that... that's a HUGE area. Could easily spawn in 30 to 50 baddies in there, and unless they all clustered in one spot, they'd still be spread out nicely where you could be taking on only 6 to 10 at a time.

Not talking about HUGE swarms, but just... more smashing-n-bashing fun. As long as the enemies are ridiculously hard to kill, killing 10 or 15 baddies for 20 XP each would be much more fun than wandering an area to kill 5 baddies for 5 XP each with a respawn of 15 minutes.
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Post by Maeglin Dubh Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:41 pm

Another example, I like the Orc forts, with so many orcs scattered about. Put slightly bigger spawns in key areas, and make them worth more than 5xp a pop, and it would actually be worth going to with characters who are looking for more than entertainment.
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Post by Skywatcher Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:33 pm

Good Point about the lotsa baddies to obliterate. Lyann wants to do the Dumbledore dance on a million skellies! Hmm, of course, that would crash the server and get me in real trouble, so scratch that idea heheh.

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Post by MannyJabrielle Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:58 pm

Doesn't have to be 15 or 20 in one spot... but a steady stream of cannon fodder would be fun
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Post by MannyJabrielle Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:56 pm

Something Dave and I talked about a while ago.... min-XP for kills...

Currently the min XP is 5 (if you're way over the creature's target level, or way under... though I've yet to find a creature that a 3rd or 2nd level character *can* kill that will give that little).

Dave had the idea... make min XP per kill equal to character level.

That won't make XP farming super easy by any means, you'll still get more XP bashing balor hunters and beholders at level 40... BUT, it will make taking a break from XP farming and just running around Aenea a tad more worthwhile.
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Post by RustyDios Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:19 pm

I've always hated the point where around level 25-27 nearly ALL the enemies in Aenea become 5xp per kill ... wasn't so bad when enemies spawned in droves in certain areas (if you knew where to go), but since the introduction of the Sparky system finding enemies at those higher levels seems to actually take more time then it's worth....
... Jay can (sometimes) walk from Vale to Calithia (taking sun-shelter breaks) and the combat log will have nothing but the occasional kill and "server area spam" .....
..... making the minimum xp scale with level with might mitigate this ... I mean if your trying to NOT go into the beehive/darkrealm and level up anywhere past lv25ish, expect it to be a very very long time at 5xp per kill....

... I'd almost go so far as to say lv35+ you NEED the beholders/balors just to feel like your actually making progress with the character .... there must be something that can be done to help balance things, like Super-Mage-Experimented-Huge-Goblin Dragon Riders , spawning for the higher levels, as "common spawns".....
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Post by daveyeisley Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:37 pm

RustyDios wrote: like Super-Mage-Experimented-Huge-Goblin Dragon Riders , spawning for the higher levels, as "common spawns".....

OK. Rusty, you have just earned me calling you a Strange Dude, just like Manny. Razz

Onto the points of discussion however:

1. Yes I emphatically believe minimum XP should scale with PC level. I know, I know... this would mean a 30th level PC killing a goblin would get more XP than a 10th level PC. The 10th level PC only needs 10k to level, however... the 30th level PC needs three times as much. So, while the gain would be greater in the sense of flat numbers, the percentage of level gain would be the same. For example, 10xp is .1% of 10,000 XP, while 30xp is .1% of 30,000 xp.

2. I also wholeheartedly agree that somewhere around level 28, there becomes a depressingly short list of enemies to defeat that will grant excellent XP rewards. The Dark Realm was created and opened to help with this, but... there are basically two sections to the Dark Realm... the first section is mostly filled with non-challenging weenies that don't give good XP, while the latter half is filled with extremely deadly enemies that give less XP than beholders, are less populous, and harder to kill.

Basically this means:

1. The first half of the Dark Realm, up to the Cliffs of Despair, should feature more Balors, of the regular Balor, Balor Lord, Balor Hunter, and Balor Shaman varieties. Much more populous than at current. Vrocks, Cornugons, and other demons thrown in would be neat, too.

2. Balor Hunters need to be giving about 300 xp for a 40th level PC.

3. Dark Realm Oozes, and Barbed Demons need to be giving as much XP as a beholder. (around 520 xp for a 40th level PC)

4. Marilleth Dervishes need to be giving more XP than a beholder (Marilleths should give about 700xp for a 40th level PC).

5. Darkfire Reavers, and Balor Nemesis need to be giving about as much XP as beholder Elders. (Nemesis should give a couple hundred more, so around 2,000 XP for 40th level PC).
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Post by evilkittenofdoom Tue May 22, 2012 8:55 am

I want to nudge this issue. Having been through the Dark Realm recently, I can say that it *still* was not nearly as profitable, both in loot and XP gain, as the Beholder Tunnels were.

The XP scale for the Dark Realm needs to be increased. All of daves comments here are, in my opinion, very valid points and would essentially solve this problem.

A step beyond that, these enemies need to drop some decent loot. Sure, there are several unique items that are set drops in here, but you have to know where to look, or be able to fight your way through the entire area to get them. If you don't need/want those particular items, you're pretty much better off killing liches or beholders (depending on what you're trying to get)
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Post by RustyDios Tue May 22, 2012 3:57 pm

Ah EkoD ye seem to have come back to Aenea and started exactly where ye left off... I know Aseph is a necromancer but I never knew he could bring back 1 year old threads too ... Smile

Also of note though; over 1yr on and we STILL have this xp blackhole around lv30+ with the darkrealm STILL not being all it should for xp gains ??
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