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Revamping the experience curve


In this Devblog 3xited (aka Exi) will explain the experience revamp that will be implemented in WAKFU. Why this revamp? How does it work? What purpose does it serve? Find all the answers here!

You probably thought that it was only a matter of changing a few experience values for each level, and that’s it. You’ll understand that this matter is much much more complicated!
 

First: Why the change?

Playing time

The playing time needed to reach the last levels currently in-game was just too high.

Levels 120/130 represented an acceptable time investment to reach “end-game” content, but level 140 was just another story. Also, WAKFU will keep evolving while higher levels unlock, and it quickly became clear that the experience curve would have to be reviewed to adapt to these higher levels.

The experience needed for each level was sometimes increased arbitrarily, especially after level 110. In the long run we don’t want experience to increase that quickly and so early in the character progression.
 

Calculating experience

The formula used to calculate experience given by monsters was becoming more and more obsolete the higher level you reached. This forced us to always use higher and higher coefficients on monsters XP. In other words, we had to craft our experience curve manually and define the experience gain case by case.

For example, the last families of Wabbit Island had coefficients of 10 while Northern Chafers had a coefficient of 5.

There was also an anomaly that could limit group experience: while a group of 6 with level 120+ could get 3.5 times more experience than in solo, a same group with level 70- could get 6 to 10 times more! At these levels it was simply not interesting at all to play solo, making it much harder for new players without a full group.

Overall the group experience was only interesting if you fought in teams of 6 characters.
 

Leveling coherency

Areas

For a precise level, the best area to go XP was not always guided enough.

WAKFU is meant to give you as much freedom as possible, but we still have to preserve a degree of coherence and reward players that will fight monsters of their levels. We cannot allow players to gain too much experience by one-shooting monsters that are half their level, without any form of difficulty.

For example, a character level 125 was still able to XP correctly in the Sadida Kingdom, despite the area being level 60 to 70. We don’t want it to give no gain at all, but it should clearly be less interesting than other more adapted areas.
 

Power leveling

On the other hand, we also want to reduce the effects of power leveling. We still want to allow heterogenic groups to play together, but we don’t want a level 20 to just stick around a level 140 XPing in an area level 130+.

A player starting from scratch with a new character will have to explore and rediscover the low level areas. His level 140 friend will still be able to help him with content adapted to the low level character.

Finally, while Wisdom is an interesting stat, it loses any purpose when being maxed at the cost of other stats, creating characters that only seek experience and offer no help in combats.
 

New system

Experience given by a monster

We began by reevaluating the experience provided by the monsters. We tried to keep the new values as close as possible from the old ones to preserve the overall scale and keep it intuitive compared to what you’re already used to.
 
Monsters XP per level

In green, the new curve; in red, the old one
 

Experience received by a player

At the end of the fight, the experience given to the player can be modified by several factors (Note that Sidekicks count as a normal character in this system):
 

Average level of the monsters

The difference between your level and the average level of the monsters fought.

A character will gain 100% XP if he fights a monster with a level difference of 10 maximum. It will then lower progressively to offer an acceptable range of monsters to fight.
 
  • Monsters are too hard
This extreme is reached when the monster has 70 levels more than the player. Passed this level, the player will not gain any XP.
 
  • Monsters are too easy
This extreme is reached when the monster has 80 levels less than the player. Below this level, the player will only get 30% of the XP of this monster. It’s the minimum value, to make sure that you will never get no experience from low level monsters.

With this system, it can still be quite efficient to fight monsters with 40 levels difference.
 

Amount of opponents

The difference between the amount of fighters in your group, and the opposing group.
 
  • More Enemies
When enemies outnumber you, each additional enemy only provides 50% of its XP.
For example:
  • 1 player fighting 2 monsters will get 150% of the experience of a combat versus one monster. ((2-1 * 50% / 1 = 50%)
  • 2 players fighting 5 monsters will get 175% of the experience of a combat versus two monsters. ((5-2) * 50% / 2 = 75%)
  • 4 players fighting 6 monsters will get 125% of the experience of a combat versus 4 monsters. ((6-4) * 50% / 4 = 25%)
Being outnumbered is therefore rewarded without being a complete must, taking the duration of the fight into consideration.
 
  • More allies
When your group outnumbers the opponent, each additional character reduces the experience received.

The characters will already get less experience because there are less monsters, but this penalty is implemented to make sure that fighting 6 times 1 monsters does not become more interesting than fighting one time 6 monsters with a group of 6.
 

Level of the character

The difference between your level and the average level of the group. Irrelevant when you fight in a group of your level, it can have an impact when characters are way below the average level: they will not help in the fight in any way.
 

Bosses

Combats versus bosses are treated differently. When calculating the experience awarded, you will always be considered as having fought a group of your size. The only penalty that will apply will come with the level of the monsters.

For example, Bosses such as the Nun or Gobby Bulga will now provide respectable experience.
 

Group Bonus

We also decided to modify the group bonus to better meet our expectations:
 
Characters 1 2 3 4 5 6
New Bonus +0% +50% +100% +175% +210% +250%
Old Bonus +0% +20% +50% +100% +160% +250%
 
The maximum bonus with 6 characters hasn’t changed: *3.5.

The intermediary bonuses have however been changed to ensure that inviting a new player to the group should always be more beneficial to the group.

The most optimized group to get fast experience should no longer be only 6 members, but 4 to 6 members. Characters with a level lower than a third of the highest level of the group will not count for this bonus.
 

Group composition

Note also that to allow everyone to find groups of monsters matching their needs, we have modified the spawning proportions of each.

In ecosystems divided in two sub-areas, you’ll find:
 
Amount of monsters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Proportion 10% 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% 5%
 
Groups of 7 monsters will now appear outside dungeons, with a lower rate than others.

Groups with more than 6 monsters will be considered as having 6 monsters in the count of opponents.
 

Combat penalty

First, you will no longer have to cast a spell to gain experience for the fight.

Also, penalty in case of death was too limiting and generated complicated situations. For example, it was often not interesting to sacrifice yourself for an ally, or take too much risk for him. Similarly, resurrection abilities were just a necessity to avoid anyone being left aside in terms of reward. Overall, it was just too frustrating to not receive experience and loots for helping your team win a fight by sacrificing yourself.
 
Experience needed per level
 In green, the new curve; in red, the old one

Total experience per level

 In green, the new curve; in red, the old one
 

Secondary characters

Important note: this feature will not be implemented with this update, but should come with the next one.

The second highest level character of your account will now gain twice more experience until catching up with the number one. The third highest level character will gain three times more experience, until catching up with the second, and then twice more until catching up with the first. And so on for all your characters.
 

XP Curve

Once all these factors have been designed, an experience curve can be generated by taking a theoretical amount of combats per level, allowing us to deduce the time needed to reach this or that level. For example, reaching level 100 requires the same experience as before, while reaching level 140 now requires 3 billion XP instead of 5.2 billion. This is still a big value, but much more accessible.
 

Challenges

To finish, another significant modification: the challenge system. We implemented the challenge system in combat to make them more dynamic and better reward risky behavior and investment during the fight. All monsters of the game will offer one challenge while dungeon combats will offer two challenges.
 

Wisdom and Prospecting limitation

To accentuate the game in this direction, we also decided to limit the maximum experience gain bonus to +150%. This includes Wisdom of the characters with equipment, consumables, other temporary or permanent bonuses and challenges bonuses. To be more concrete, you will now get to choose between equipping yourself with Wisdom items and ignore the challenges or, on the contrary, optimize your equipment for the fight, and try to accomplish the challenges to get similar bonuses.

As a result of this change, Apprentice, Initiate and Sage sets that were all implemented to help you until the revamp of the experience system will now be modified to better fit the new Wisdom cap and other in-game Wisdom equipment.


I hope you’ll enjoy these modifications, and I’ll see you when we reach level 200!
Category: Game design

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Comments (102)
Tofurby on Diet
0Cataclyst0 05 December 2013 03:12
"The second highest level character of your account will now gain twice more experience"

YES!
Eccentric Moogrr
MikuH4tsun3 05 December 2013 03:28
Man... i really hate the 2nd highest = 2x more, third = 3x more.
I really hated dofus for adding this, and now wakfu is adding this crap too.
Teethless Sharkie
Ippy 05 December 2013 04:29

(TheMightyShell @ 04 December 2013 23:35) *

(tashlol @ 04 December 2013 23:22) *
Aw, I just gathered all the matts for an Apprentice Set too :'(
I'll go ahead and take those off your hands.

As long as they're still good for tri-ele chars I don't really care what they do to the wisdom of them.

Hopefully they at least get some slight buffs with the wisdom nerf.
Bellaphone Lover
TheMightyShell 05 December 2013 05:28

(MikuH4tsun3 @ 05 December 2013 03:28) *
Man... i really hate the 2nd highest = 2x more, third = 3x more.
I really hated dofus for adding this, and now wakfu is adding this crap too.
What do you hate about it?
Lazy Bow Meow
Enzo-HC 05 December 2013 06:22
Combat penalty
First, you will no longer have to cast a spell to gain experience for the fight.

Also, penalty in case of death was too limiting and generated complicated situations. For example, it was often not interesting to sacrifice yourself for an ally, or take too much risk for him. Similarly, resurrection abilities were just a necessity to avoid anyone being left aside in terms of reward. Overall, it was just too frustrating to not receive experience and loots for helping your team win a fight by sacrificing yourself.

So? what did you actually do with this? will we no longer "die" when we get ko-d in battle?
Grizzled Dandelion
Vonboe 05 December 2013 06:55
Can someone explain the exp vs lvl monster thing?

Let's say I am lvl 15 and I'm in a three-man group with a lvl 12 and lvl 18 ( total level 35 )
do we get the normal 100% exp if we fight a group of 3 monsters which total level is 35-45, or is it based on the individual level of the monsters? for example, do we get the normal 100% exp gain if we fight a group of 3 monster with each is level 20 but a total of level 60
Bellaphone Lover
GreenEmerald 05 December 2013 07:58
How does this new experience curve affect our spell experience? Will we get a loss of spell experience since our needed experience for each level is lowered?
Scary Polter
LioVamp 05 December 2013 08:26
It would be nice if the exp for mob pack will be printed on mob group pop-up (like in dofus) to actually see which group is suitable to fight (of course the challenges will modify the final values but at least we would know the relative difference)

Star system (again from dofus) is an excellent feature too, I'd like to see this in wakfu.

Too bad capping the pp would not be compensated with drop chances revamp.

Good to see the secondary characters exp boost, nice feature.

No need to cast spells - very good.

Gain exp, loot on death with party win - sweet. (It would be even better if a dead person will revive after party victory, if not, I expect kenko will be as popular as bread).

Challenges - awesome. (I expect they would be modified/added/removed/debugged a lot).

Many good changes, many questionable (at least we will see how this will turn out in couple of days after revamp)
Teethless Sharkie
Kaitenzushi 05 December 2013 08:34

(Vonboe @ 05 December 2013 06:55) *
Can someone explain the exp vs lvl monster thing?
Pimento2 just did a great explanation on page 2 of this thread. Post #28. 
Bellaphone Lover
Loneith 05 December 2013 12:41

(Pimento2 @ 04 December 2013 19:51) *
If I am reading the revamp correctly, the revamp actually helps address this issue. Take a level 60 character killing a group of 6 polters (level 50 each, level 300 in total). The current system compares the total group level of the groups in battle (60 versus 300) and applies penalties based on that. Specifically, if the enemy group level is greater than 2.05 * character group level + 70, the characters receive 0 exp, which is clearly the case in this situation (300 > 2.05*60 + 70). The big problem with the current system is its emphasis on total group level, which is clearly flawed when considering the difficulty of two level 150 enemies versus six level 50 enemies.

In the new system, total group levels no longer matter. Exp modifiers are now based on individual player level, average enemy level, and number of combatants on both sides. In this case, the player's level (60) in within 10 levels of the average enemy level (50) and thus doesn't get any exp penalty for that. The player is outnumbered by five, so the exp given by those five enemies is reduced by 50%. This results in getting 3.5x the normal exp for a polter for completing the fight rather than 0x in the current system..

Players getting an exp penalty for fighting an enemy group with far higher enemy average level exists to counter power leveling. Remember that this is based on individual level and not group level, so if a level 60 and level 130 fight a group of two level 130 enemies, the level 60 appropriately gets 0 exp and the level 130 gets normal exp, as the level 60 would not be able to significantly contribute in this fight. This is not the case in the current exp system, which only considers the total group level (130 + 60 versus 130 + 130), allowing for power leveling. This really shouldn't affect solo players anyways as it is extremely inefficient to solo things far higher level than them.


Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you still "power" level a lower character by bringing a higher level to the fight?

A level 140 and a level 60 fight a group of 6 level 50 polters.

Wouldn't the level 60 still gain 2x the experience and the fight would go by much faster than if they had done it solo?

2 players fighting 6 monsters will get 200% of the experience of a combat versus one monster. ((6-2 * 50% / 2 = 100%)

This strategy would also allow the low character to wear full wisdom (or pp) gear since they wouldn't need to do any damage with a higher level character carrying them.

They would also be free to complete challenges for bonus wis and pp, again since they wouldn't need to do any damage or limit themselves to a certain playstyle.

Also since the monsters are lower level they wouldn't be at a high risk to die, unlike what can happen in current power leveling when one attack can kill a leecher.

Hell if you fought one of the new groups of 7 mobs couldn't you hit a 2.25x multiplier?

While the higher level doesn't get any experience at all I think it's balanced by the fact most people I know only power level their own alts rather than every person they come across.

But once you get one character max (high enough) level you could use this strategy to get a friends character to max (high enough) level and they could use that character to get your next character up and then you get their next up; rinse, repeat, profit.

And with the future bonus to alt xp it would get easier with each new character after the first.

Again you could do this to yourself if you have two accounts you just need to get one max level character to start the chain.

All these ideas are based on the premise that I stated at the start being true.

PS
Hurry with the sram and feca revamps so you guys can fix the Sadi, kthx