The Level 47 Challenge

As of Thursday night I had three level 47 characters in EverQuest II.  I took a quick snapshot of the basic play stats for each of the characters so I could compare how much effort it took to get to level 47.  I figured that this might shed some light on the question of how much tinkering has been done with the experience and levelling curve in EQ2 over time.

Nomu Stonemantle – Templar

My first EQ2 character, rolled up on the day I brought the game home. 

Rolled: November 13 2004
Hit 47: November 27, 2005 in The Pillars of Flame
NPCs Killed: 7394
Quests Completed: 608
Adventure Play Time: 31d 10h 28m

The adventure play time is somewhat inaccurate.  It reflects the odd way that selling through the broker worked in the early days, something I will cover in another post.

While it appears that it took about a year to hit level 47, there were about three months worth of gaps where I did not play Nomu at all, so call it nine months.

Vikund Versuche – Paladin

I managed to play EQ2 for a whole 15 days before I made my first alt.  

Rolled: November 28, 2004
Hit 47: October 29, 2006 in Antonica
Hit 46: December 4, 2005 in The Enchanted Lands
NPCs Killed: 6940
Quests Completed: 462
Adventure Play Time: 19d 7h 28m

Again, adventure play time is skewed by oddities of the early days of the game.

Technically, it took me almost two years to make level 47 with Vikund.  However, I did not play EQ2 at all for 10 of those months.  I included the time to level 46 to illustrate this.  Since I stopped playing EQ2 by the end of December 2005 and levelled him when I came back  with a small quest turn-in in Antonica, I would say he was pretty darn close to 47 before then end of 2005. 

A look at the adventure level history on EQ2Players.com does not show any huge gaps where he did not level during the first year.  But he has always been my #2 character.  I never set him aside fully when playing other characters, but rarely made him the focus of my playing either.  I would call the time to 47 about 12 months of moderate play.

Blintz Plinsen – Swashbuckler

Rolled: November 18, 2006
Hit 47: March 22, 2007 in Steamfont
NPCs killed: 4007
Quests completed: 373
Adventure Play Time: 7d 5h 26m

Adventure play here is accurate.  I also was not distracted by alts very much after I started playing Blintz.  I did slow down some during January when I started playing the Vanguard open beta, but otherwise I ground Blintz along at about the fastest rate that real life and spousal tolerance would allow, four months from creation to level 47.

Comparisons

  • Adventure Play Time:  I have to throw this out.  There is no way to compare the numbers due to changes in the way the game worked. Add in the fact that at some points I ran Nomu or Vikund out to harvest for Blintz and you can see that this isn’t really worth analyzing further.
  • Calendar Time:  This is a hard one to compare as well.  Certainly Blintz’s time is significantly shorter than either Nomu’s or Vikund’s calendar time, even when adjusted for alts and time away from the game.  While I concentrated on Blintz, I did not play EQ2 itself any more than I did in the past.  I just always spread out my time on other characters before.  This is inconclusive.
  • NPCs Killed:  At last, something that can be compared.  In getting to level 47, Blintz killed only 55% of the NPCs than Nomu killed and 58% of the NPCs that Vikund slew.  That seems to be a pretty dramatic number when you consider that in EQ2, killing NPCs usually yields up the lion’s share of the exp when compared to quests.  This is a strong indicator that experience has been tuned.
  • Quests Completed:  Another telling factor?  Blintz only did 61% of the quests that Nomu completed and 80% of the quests that Vikund completed.  But when it comes to experience, few quests in EQ2 deliver very much.  NPCs killed is a better measure in my opinion.
  • General Feel:  A subjective entry, I know, but it just felt easier to get Blintz to level 47 compared to Nomu and Vikund.  With both of them, levelling after 40 was something of a slow grind, especially solo.  Both of them did most of their post-40 experience in small groups because that was where the games was optimized when it came to experience at the time.  
    Blintz on the other hand has glided through levels, both literally and figuratively, and almost always solo.  I might suggest that the swashbuckler class really suits me, but then I also have a ranger which, when it comes to soloing, plays about the same.  Things definitely felt much smoother with Blintz.

Conclusion

While the patch notes over the life of EQ2 have had entries about experience being tuned this way and that, it seems that it has ended up set to a point that allows easier levelling, especially for solo players.  As I mentioned in a previous post comparing the current WoW and EQ2 levelling curves, EQ2 now seems to very much in line with Blizzard’s own tuning of the experience tables.

And with however many million players, who is to argue with WoW as a model?  Blizzard figured out that people like to see progress in their levels, even when they only have a short time to play.  I know that I have had a lot of fun with Blintz and part of that I attribute to the constant feeling of progress.

One Last Barb

Of course, now that the EQ2 experience table is on par with WoW, offers more paths to level up, more character classes, and more races, you would think that this would translate into a game with high replayability that invites people to experiment with new characters.

Except that there is the whole “6 character limit” for your $14.99 a month.  A game with 24 classes and 17 races ought to have more character slots than that.  I cannot pass up another opportunity to harp on that issue!

11 thoughts on “The Level 47 Challenge

  1. Cuppycake

    I will never understand the 6 character max thing =/ Luckily I only really have two characters that I actually play…but man, if I was playing EQ2 fulltime I know I’ll fill up that max slot thing awfully fast with my altitis. =)

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  2. Sideswiper

    You should include the classes of the characters you are comparing. There is the possibility that the class of the character contributes to the “general feel” of how hard it is to level as much if not more so than the change in the experience table.

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  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Doh! Why didn’t I do that? Dopey me, that is why I am a noob. I’ll add those into the post!

    Nomu is a templar, so that certainly influenced the feel, but Vik is a paladin (all dressed up in ebon no less) and is able to handle solo work probably more effetively than Blintz, so I would still have to tilt towards changes in the experience gain for solo play as part of the reason EQ2 plays the way it does now.

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  4. Kilanna

    AMEN on the character slot issue:)

    I think there are soooooo many reasons why SOE should give us more character slots. To be able to really try out all the character classes and races, to therefore allow us to really try all the crunchy goodness in all the zones, this will keep the game feeling “fresh”, to keep economies robust at ALL levels of the game not just endgame, to make it easier to find groups at all levels of the game. These are the positives I can see and I am not sure what the negatives are if any.??

    With the ammount of time that you invest in leveling a toon, no-one is going to be happy about deleting an established toon to check out a new expansion.

    If SOE wants to compete with “the other game” it really needs to look at the same model and allow us 10 toons per server. I pray that the next expansion will do this.

    Oh and Kilanna is a Templar too. Lets face it they are not the most Solo friendly toon, so advancement is horribly slow compared to other classes. They are not really meant to be damage dealers though I suppose:)

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I know I can always depend on some agreement when I bang the character slot drum!

    I actually found that Nomu, my templar, could hold his own pretty well solo once I got him a rare wood imbued wand. The extra firepower the wand added allowed him to use his mana more effectively. Even in plate armor, mana is life for a solo templar.

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  6. Kilanna

    Hmm… Once again I thank you for the tip – I shall try a nice smacky wand out:)

    I just dont understand with the number of comments regarding character slots that I see on many blogs and fora that SOE have not made a change to their policy of being so limiting in the number of toons you can have.

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  7. adele

    The difference in the NPC’s and quests completed really spell it out regardless of the class, and I am amazed at the difference! I knew it was faster but I did not realize it was that much faster!

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  8. Dokia

    They made the key change about a year ago. They raised the amount of exp you get from blue mobs and SIGNIFICANTLY raised the amount of exp you get from green mobs. At this point in the game if you can find an area of groups of solo green mobs that is the best exp you can get short of a full well balanced group grinding blue/even con heroics.

    Also you made no mention of tradeskill levels. I’m assuming all your characters are unskilled? Otherwise tradeskill time will definately affect the amount of time to level. The other key factor is how you played the characters and whether they always had adventure vitality which doubles your exp gain on mob kills.

    My current “main” alt is right now a 33/38 conjuror/provisioner. I believe he’s right around 1.5 days /played. Only ever played when he has vitality and also used 1 tradeskill exp potion.

    Final point is that Swashbucklers are excellent solo classes. My old main is a 70 Swash. The only classes so far that I’ve played (played all good classes up to about 30) that can keep up with the Swash are monk and conjuror. For fast leveling with the swash you ideally want to target just turned green mobs. Preferably grouped solo mobs.

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  9. Kesselia

    Hmm…I might have to pick up my lvl 33 froggie twinked swash and see how I like being a swash again *ponders*

    =)

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  10. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    On trade skills, all of my characters have some levels invested in that. Nomu is a level 61 alchemist, Vik a level 61 woodworker, and Blintz a level 44 armorer.

    Theoretically, SOE breaks out adventure time and trade skill time on EQ2Players.com, but I think they estimated that number for early accounts because Nomu’s trade skill time seems to be much higher than I can account for.

    Anyway, I as much as discounted play time and calendar time because of things like alts, trade skills, and the like. The real indicators are NPCs killed and quests completed, which certainly jibes with your statement about blues and greens being upped in exp.

    A swashie is a mean green slaying machine for sure, but with only chain armor and no shield, adds and mobs even one level higher than your swashie can prove a challenge.

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  11. Kilanna

    Out of interest – I know that my Monk can take out a solo or pair of con green heroics as long as they dont have any ^^^ – have you tried with Blintz?

    I was quite excited last night to go hunting in PoF to complete harpy L&L.. Mostly solo con green, some blue, and the occasional white. I got probably 20-25% toward next lvl – further supporting the premise that the xp has been tweaked to make progression more “solo friendly”.

    EQII really does compare (favourably IMHO) with WoW. *SIGH* if only we could have more character slots:)

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