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Rested Experience in Role Playing Games: Why it Rocks

Introduction

Rested experience is something that was added to online role playing games to help keep players on a somewhat equal level, regardless as to if they are more casual players or more hardcore. Since leveling up in games can take quite a while to do, there needed to be a way to help people manage speeding it up. Along with this, there also needed to be some benefit you get while you are not logged in to the game so that you do not feel as if you have to spend every second in the game. This makes people feel a lot better when they go out, for example, and then come back and get a slightly faster leveling experience because of their time offline!

How it Works

It really varies a bit from game to game, but the principle is the same. You go to a safe area (most games have towns that work for this) and when you log out there, you start to gain rested experience. This is not straight up experience so that when you log back in to the game you will be a higher level than you left, but rather a multiplier to the experience you will be earning when you start playing again.

Some games have caps on how much you can build up as well, based on levels or other criteria. Along with this, games like Rift allow you to earn rested experience even while you are still in the game, running around and chatting, as long as you do so in the proper area. Even so, it does take a while to actually get any rested experience built up, so it is not something that is just going to magically happen over night. In Rift's case, you earn about a percent per hour, which is not a lot, but it is not really that bad, either, since it is free experience for doing nothing at all. Over time that can add up, as well. If you leave for a vacation over the weekend, you can come back to half a level or more just waiting to be claimed. What a surprise!

Rested Experience Earning

As stated, different games handle this in different ways. Here are a few of them:

  • Rift: if you are in any area with a Porticulum, you will be earning the rested experience whether you are logged in or out of the game. You can be chatting with others, crafting, etc. and you will still be earning it, and you can actually watch your experience bar in real time so you can watch it slowly start creeping up! It is worth noting that not only does the rested experience work for your normal leveling bar, but also for planar attunement (alternate advancement). So even if you are already at the maximum level, you still get the benefits!
  • World of Warcraft: with World of Warcraft, you have to log out at an inn. Based on what I know any inn should be fine, but the down side is that if you are logged in to the game you will not be getting any benefit. You have to log out first
  • Lineage II: this game started out with no rested experience, but many years in to its development it got some. This is a bit of an oddity in that you can not do anything to increase it (well, you can buy cash shop items to replenish it), but instead it is filled up once a week at the maintenance time. This makes it interesting because even if you do nothing special, you will still get a full rested experience bar every single week!

By far, the one I like the most is Rift's method. With Lineage II, while you do get the full bar once a week, that is not nearly as good as being able to constantly replenish it day after day, even if you are still in the game and are doing things. Rift even takes it a step further and has an item called tents that you can use while you are out in the field and you can regenerate your rested experience there as well, despite not even being in one of the porticulum areas.

It Makes Alts Easier to Level

Something many people do not even take in to consideration is how rested experience can be used to help make leveling up alternate characters easier. The trick to this is actually pretty simple, too. Instead of leveling up one character all the time, you rotate between them. If you are in a game where you need to regenerate the rested experience, you will run one down, get it to a place where it can regenerate more at and then log it out and go to another character. Keep doing these rotations until you are finished running down the rested experience on each of the characters you wish to level, and then go back to your main and play as normal.

Using this method helps maximize the leveling rate because it means that with all characters other than your main, you are leveling only when you are getting the bonus experience. While you may not be getting a lot when you think about it, even a 40% increase will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to level up, as well as your grind. If nothing else, you can look at it as being given free levels in return for doing what you are already planning to do!

How Rested Experience Can Hurt You

While I generally view the extra leveling speed as being a good thing, it can also be quite bad. If you are leveling up with some friends, for example, this can seriously offset your levels and cause a big level gap that needs to be closed at some point. This can be avoided as long as you both play the same characters at the same time and do not do things like log in on them when the other is not on, but if these steps are not taken it will be a noticeable leveling difference as you get higher and higher.

Another way this extra leveling speed can hurt you is if you love doing all of the content a game has to offer. For example, you like to do all of the quests and try getting each of the achievements. These are hard enough to do at the proper level when you are not getting free experience, but when you are, it just makes things harder. In cases like this, you will want to work on doing what you can to not get the bonus experience, that way you can still play the game the way it was meant to be.

If you end up not wanting this to happen, you will need to see how the game you are playing handles the rested experience gain. In Lineage II, for example, there is really nothing you can do to stop it (although you could keep dying and lose any experience to get back to where you want to be, though that can be a real hassle and it is time consuming). In Rift, you would just want to be sure you stay out of any towns with porticulums. With World of Warcraft, simply log out anywhere that is not an inn.

An Oddity

There is one thing about the rested experience systems that has always struck me as odd… they appear to only be in subscription based games. It is definitely possible that this is because they would rather have less people online as that means less maintenance and such (considering they will get the same amount of money from you every month whether you played every second of every day or not at all). It is also possible that this is more of a “triple a” implementation, much like we can usually tell the difference between free to play games and subscription based ones solely on how they look and feel. It is worth noting that all of the games with these systems are free now, except World of Warcraft, but they were also all subscription based at one point.

Conclusion

I love the rested experience system that is in some games, and I think all games should adopt it. It is one of the best ways to offer up some rewards to players even when they can not be in the game for some reason, and it gives a reason to take breaks as well (without feeling as if you are wasting time that could otherwise be used towards the progression of your characters). Along with this, it helps cut down on the time it takes to level up alternate characters, which is awesome considering sometimes going through the same quest chains and leveling paths can get boring. In games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, where there are differences between the classes this is a bit different, but when it comes to other games, like Lineage II, where everything you do is the same on each character, it becomes tedious. Having a way to speed that up to get out of it faster is always a welcome addition!

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