A character gains experience for each kill made in game and for the completion of the hundreds of quests scattered through the land of Ancaria. After sufficient experience has been gathered, the character will advance to a new level, allowing Skills and Attributes to be increased through the allocation of points. The experience required to reach the next level increases with each level obtained, making each successive level more difficult to achieve. Also, other factors such as penalties for staying in a difficulty longer than necessary were implemented to make achieving level 200 a great feat.
The largest penalty imposed by the developers was that of an experience decrease from level 100 onwards. For each level gained from 100 through to 200 there is a penalty applied to the experience gained for each monster killed. This penalty increases every level with a greater penalty factor being applied each 25 resulting in a larger and more visible drop in experience gained when leveling from 99 to 100, 124 to 125, 149 to 150 and 174 to 175. The following penalty factors are found in the balance.txt file in the Sacred 2 install folder.
Experience Penalty Factor
|Level||New Penalty Factor|
The penalty is applied through a simple method of multiplying the penalty factor with the current penalty rate. From level 1 through to 99 there is no penalty and thus, the penalty rate is 100% (meaning 100% of experience is gained, not 100% is penalised). At level 100 this factor is multiplied by 98.5% resulting in 98.5% as the new penalty rate. At 101 the rate is again multiplied by 98.5% giving a penalty rate of 97.0%. At level 102 this is multiplied by 98.5% giving a new penalty rate of 95.6% and so on until the character reaches level 125. At this point, and at each breakpoint shown in the table the new penalty factor of 98.0% is applied for each level from 100 to 125, resulting in the penalty rate going from 98.5%24 (69.6%) to 98.0%25 (60.3%), a decrease in experience of almost 10%. This trend is shown in the following picture, note that by level 200 the experienced received has dropped to below 5%. Also, note that while this graph is extremely dramatic it is a multiplier on the base experience rate which does increase through greater levels of monsters, character levels and difficulties, so while the experience gained from the same monster can decrease noticeably from one level to the next, it is not quite so dramatic as this graph suggests.
Other Factors in Experience
Your level is not the only factor in the experienced gained. While the experience gained from a quest is dependent only upon the quest itself and the difficulty in which you complete it, experience gained from killing mobs however is not quite so simple. In both singleplayer and multiplayer games gear with the item modifier Experience per kill +x% present, such as Mentor Potions, will increase it by the percentage stated, Hero of Ancaria Statues will increase it by 100% briefly, as will altars in the Temples of the Gods. Some combat arts also provide an experience bonus as a modification option. There is a bug present in the Ice and Blood expansion however that prevents statues or combat art effects stacking with gear bonuses. This means that if the character already has any Experience per kill +x% gear equipped neither hero statues or combat arts will provide their bonus, despite it displaying in the summation tool-tip (Σ). In multiplayer games experience is also increased if there are more players in the server, up to 5, any more will not provide a larger bonus. This also has the side effect of increasing monster toughness making it a double edged sword. Partying with other players will increase the overall experience, but may mean you get less as it is shared between those in the party within a certain distance of the kills made. This slight reduction is offset by the fact that more players can round up larger mobs and kill them faster than one player could normally achieve. Both singleplayer and multplayer games can suffer penalties to experience from staying in difficulties too long, if you are overlevelled for a difficulty then monsters are in most cases going to be a much lower level than you giving much less experience, most monsters with a grey danger circle will provide less than 50 experience, a painfully small amount when tens of millions are required for a level as you approach level 200.
Overcoming the Penalties
While the penalty imposed as you climb past level 100 will appear daunting its effect can be delayed slightly through equipping more gear with Experience per kill +x%, if playing online, playing in more servers, moving to the next difficulty as soon as possible, fighting in higher monster density areas such as the The Swamp and other areas with lots of champions. Another possibility is, that as the penalty becomes too much, to start completing high experience rewarding quests. Large chain quests such as the main chain quest in one of the regions added in the expansion, the Cursed Forest. This quest chain, The Cursed Forest, provides large amounts of experience; completion of each stage has a high chance of a set item as a reward and the high monster density in the region is also good for experience, along with the large number of bosses you must kill throughout the quest.
A table containing approximates for the maximum monster levels in each region can be found in Enemy Levels to help you to find the highest level monsters in the difficulty you are in and the Experience table shows just how much experience is required for each level and what a daunting task it is to achieve level 200 when such massive penalties are applied to the player. This is especially unfortunate for those that play singleplayer games only as they are unable to play with full servers to increase the experience gained, however changing the ExpLS100, ExpLS125, ExpLS150 and ExpLS175 values all to 1000 will remove this penalty altogether in singleplayer ONLY.