I can remember a day when EXP was just EXP. Way back in EverQuest, on release, there were some race/class combination penalties and there were those “hell” levels that took forever to get through. But by and large there were no other EXP modifiers. Fast forward to today and there are quite a few EXP modifier mechanics that have been introduced into various games as a way to get players to max level in a short period of time.
Rested EXP has become a common finding in most modern MMOs. There have been various item or potion EXP modifiers, used mostly by free to play games as a way to generate revenue. There are bonus EXP weekends. We have seen the introduction of wearable items with EXP modifiers. Also introduced have been recruiting programs that allow us EXP gains for bringing new players to the MMO fold. Some of these programs allow you to grant levels to your other characters without those characters doing anything. Some even allow you to start out at a near max level from the start.
If the stars align, you can have weekends with upwards of 300-400% EXP boosts. I have seen claims of reaching max levels, in several different MMOs, easily within a week. I personally have seen the power of these weekends on my own characters, getting dozens of AAs with minimal time invested.
As I have aged, I have actually grown to appreciate some of these mechanics as they have allowed me to keep up to date with the game while also raising a family, having a job, and trying to keep my wife happy. However as I have started writing these articles I have started reminiscing about the “good old days” of EverQuest. I quickly realize that if I could visit myself 14 years ago and bring this issue up, I would be completely against the idea of not working for your levels and experience. Oh how things have changed. Now, I am not saying give me periods of 300% increases, but I do like the idea of rested EXP for one. I imagine that in the free to play model for EverQuest Next, we will have potions to buy with station cash for EXP modifiers. I do not necessarily have a problem with this either. I do think there should be a maximum bonus EXP modifier that we are not allowed to go over. I really don’t want to have a game world where it is possible to go from level 1-max with 100 AAs in less than a week, or even less than several months for that matter. I do not think the EverQuest Next team will do that, but I do think they will allow some form of EXP boost.