The Experience System
When you slay something, besides another exile, there are different levels of experience you get which is in relation to your level. As you gain experience for each creature you slay, it goes toward obtaining a rank in whatever you're training in. Unlike most RPGs ranks do not improve all players stats, just the stats that the current trainer improves. Also, the steps are much smaller than other RPGs making the first few hundred ranks come very fast if one is actively hunting.
Non Fighting Experience
Some non-fighting activities, such as studying in the libraries, healing, sharing, skinning and exploration give experience as well. Occasionally, one will get experience messages for no know reason. The conditions to get non-fighting and non-sharing experience are kept secret by Delta Tao, so people do not exploit the experience system.
Currently there are 4 levels of experience feedback a player gets for slaying or helping to slay something. From highest to lowest, these are: Vanquish, Kill, Dispatch and Slaughter. None of these terms equals a set number of experience points, but a range of experience points one gets for each creature slain. This feedback helps players know how good they're doing with their training, without disclosing numbers. Because Delta Tao keeps virtually all numbers secret, no solid formulas exist to tell anyone outside those working with the company what a players' actual statistics are, nor the experience point range per creature.
"Vanquish" means you've slain or helped to slay a creature that should be far beyond your means, and you get either a maximum amount of experience for it, or a little bonus thrown in for defeating it.
"Kill" means you've slain or helped to slay a creature within your range and you get a normal amount of experience for it.
"Dispatch" means you've slain or helped to slay a creature below your range and you get a minimal amount of experience for it.
"Slaughter" means you've slain or helped to slay a creature so far below your range and you get no experience for it.
Note: "Slaughter" in another sense has become the term to describe anything that increases your level, and thus what you slaughter.
The more powerful a weapon, the more it affects your slaughter. If you find that while using your best weapon you start to dispatch something, and you can just as easily take it with a less powerful weapon, switch to that one and you'll probably notice that the slaughter is lowered and you get kill messages.
Rank Counting & Trainer Messages
Many people count their ranks, but for those who don’t you can tell how many you have within a range by checking your trainer message. This chart at windsofdawn.org shows the trainer messages. Past 2000 ranks, this post on the Sentinel from Alces lists further progress messages of specialty blades copied here Rank Chart. Note that some trainers are combined trainers and a rank in them affects more than one stat, so while you might have only trained 110 ranks of Atkus, you would get the 150+ message if you had over 200 Evus.
- Thanks to Geraldus for the link to the specialty blade messages
Experience Progress messages
As one advances toward a rank Ankrus in the Temple, Asterru in the free Library, Mirkus in the Fighter hall, and several other NPCs can tell you how far along you are toward completing the next rank. Below it a chart of what they say to you in order of least progress to near the next rank:
- -2 "<Player>,<Trainer> is frustrated with your lack of progress."
- -1 "<Player>, you have a difficult task ahead of you. Remember <Trainer>’s lessons."
- 0 "<Player>, you have just begun to work with <Trainer>. Keep practicing." (<--This is the starting message.*)
- 1 "<Player>, you are starting to learn, but <Trainer> demands more effort."
- 2 "<Player>, you are making progress. <Trainer> will be pleased."
- 3 "<Player>, you are well on your way to enlightenment. Think of <Trainer>."
- 4 "<Player>, you are close to mastering <Trainer>’s lesson."
- 5 "<Player>, you are almost ready for a breakthrough. <Trainer> talks about you."
Also Raul made a Progress Message macro available here: Progress Message Macro by Raul
(*Note: The starting message is where one starts when learning a lesson. Departs can move that message to the "difficult" or "frustrated" message.)
The libraries (northeast of town center), and training hall practice rooms (in both the fighter and healer halls) in town allow a player who logs off in one to gain experience while not online (this is called studying). There are currently four types of library. There is also a mystic library in their academy which is probably equivalent to the basic library.
The basic library and training rooms cost nothing to use and give the least amount of experience. The intermediate library, to the north east of the basic library costs a few coins per day to use and gives a bit more experience.
The advanced and expert libraries cost more and more coins, and give more and more experience. They are between the basic and intermediate library, with the advanced library in another room next to the intermediate library, and the expert library in the room next to the basic library. The advanced and expert libraries are connected, allowing one to travel through all four rooms and check their prices without stepping outside.
There is one more library that gives even more experience. It is NE of the other libraries that requires a library card and charges hundreds of coins per day.
Departs & Falling
When you fall, a message is displayed in your side bar on the left of the main window, saying you may /depart or wait for help. If you depart, you end up in purgatory for a period of time and you lose a certain amount of experience you've accumulated. You will not lose any ranks you've already gained, but you can go below the starting level for the next rank, thus making your next rank take longer than it usually would have. Therefore, only depart when there is a slim to no chance to rescue you, or when it would take longer to rescue you than it would to depart and make up the lost experience.
See the Toggle section for how to communicate while fallen to increase the chance of a rescue to avoid losing experience, and continue reading. This also gives exiles who are not busy something to do: A quest to rescue you! So, there can be an upside to falling and not departing.
You do not lose any items you have when you depart, unlike some online RPGs.
How to Avoid Losing Experience
There are several things you can do to avoid departing or waiting for long periods of time to be rescued.
The best way is to take a few people with you around your level. Often when you start out you don't know who you should hunt with, so look for people wearing the same tan clothing, because chances are they're new too. If you see none, ask a friendly person in town center for advice on who is around that you might be invited to hunt with.
If you decide to go out alone to hunt (solo hunt), make sure to share with a healer (especially town and rescue healers) and a locating mystic. That way, if you fall, the healer will know to come looking for you and the locating mystic will be able to locate where you fell. You can also tell people in town center where you're going to hunt so if a locating mystic is not around, people will know where to begin to look. If you're fallen close to, or in town, often you will be rescued quickly. The further away you are from town, or if you neglected to share with anyone, the longer it will take to get rescued. If you fall to a creature that only lives in certain areas, or people know your approximate level or favorite hunting grounds, it will take less time to be rescued.
Also, if you happen to have a sunstone, and you know that you very well might fall, quickly send out a general sunstone message saying falling in <this location>, or if there's not time for all the message to be sent out, simply sunstone your location just before falling
(i.e. /think Glen to indicate you are about to fall in the Mountain Glen or /think OC to indicate you are about to fall in Orga Camp.).
- NOTE: An easy way to do this is to use the 'sunstone.mac' macro file or just the 'tf' macro and the AlternateDefault '/set loc ' code. Simply set your location when you start your hunt and then just use the 'tf' macro when you are close to falling. See the AlternateDefault macro for the '/set ' code required to set the location in advance as used by the 'tf' macro.
If you fail at all the above, you can always check the player list for a journeyman mystic or higher, a rescue healer, a friend, or the last person who saw you in the area you fell and "share toggle" them /share <name> to let them know you need help. Share toggling is sharing with a person /share <name>, then unsharing them /unshare <name>, then resharing them /share <name>. If you're already sharing with someone, simply unsharing and resharing them will let them know you're fallen and need assistance. If the person you toggled has a sunstone, they should sunstone you to let you know if they're looking for you or if they're asking others to look for you. If they tell you someone else is looking for you, share with that person, so they know about your status and what you've fallen to.
If someone asks you where you're fallen, then toggle them when they ask you if you've fallen in the location you are in. If you fall and you already have help, a /thank (good karma: GK) will tell them that you appreciate the concern, but you have help.
As part of good etiquette, you probably want to give good karma to a mystic who locates you, and the healer(s) and fighter(s) who rescue you. Saying, "thank you" when you're out of karma to give also helps. (See the section on the Karma System to see how this affects people.)