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20 XP wanted on Peragus, dead or alive


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During earlier runs through the game it often happened that my Exile was just a few hundred XP short of a new level when entering a new area or planet. In fact, during my first play it happened pretty much all of the time, so often that I thought I was doing something wrong.

 

Enemy stats, loot and other things are determined based on your level when you enter an area for the first time; as a rule the beasts are meaner and the loot is fatter the higher your level is. And this means that entering an area just one kill short of a new level is the worst possible thing one can do with regard to combat fun and loot yield ...

 

The first two areas where my characters were always few hundred XP short of the mark were the Dormitories section and the Harbinger, and so I took care to get every scrap of XP during the early levels this time because I knew the pay-off would be good. So now my brand-new maximum munch character (Munchkin, a wise and very intelligent Guardian) is in the fuel depot on Peragus, standing before the airlock that will lead her to the dormitories. She is standing there with 9980 on the XP-o-meter, just 20 XP short of the new level. I can't bl**dy believe it.

 

There is not a whole lot that can be done to maximize XP on the admin level and the mining tunnels, and I think she has done it all.

 

She killed all droids on the admin level except for one, toggled the switch that deactivates the force field (50 XP for the one remaining droid) and then reprogrammed that droid (60 XP, for a total of 110 XP vs. 100 XP for simply killing it). +10 XP may not look like much but being 20 XP short of 10000 is not fun. En route to Atton Munchkin had also milked the computer in the med bay but ignored the 3 locks, since Security XP scales linearly with level and picking the locks at level 4 yields four times as much XP as picking them on level 1.

 

Upon entering the mining tunnels Munchkin raced past the lowly droids in order to take out all four maintenance droids before crossing the level-3 XP threshold, because at level 2 the maintenance droids yield 125 XP apiece and at level 3 only the same 100 XP as the rest. That accomplished, she thoroughly de-droidified the mining tunnels and fully repaired the damaged droid at the entrance (50 XP per character level, so she got 150 XP). At that point she was still 70 XP short of level 4, so she picked one lock (30 XP) and recovered one mine (45 XP) to level up before cleaning out the area (one more lock @ 40 XP, 11 more mines @ 60 XP).

 

In the fuel depot there was no opportunity for finesse. Munchkin smashed the droids, went around with the Sonic Sensor to record the maintenance engineer's voice (maintenance console, HK, sec desk in Admin) and tricked the HK into speaking the voice lock code in two different ways (Persuade+Sonic, Intelligence+Sonic). She wrapped up several issues by milking the HK and the maintenance console for information (medical treatment, T3, history etc.), after which she was left with 9780 XP. There were five locks that she could pick at 40 per (2 in the depot, 3 on Admin), bringing the total to 9980. 20 XP short of the mark. Bummer.

 

Of course I was somewhat tempted to have her set and recover a mine while I wasn't looking, in order to make up the difference. But that would defeat the whole purpose of this particular game ... There is no real difference between using an infinite exploit to get 20 XP or doing it to get 200000 XP, might as well go to Korriban and slay a couple thousand Hssiss.

 

So, is there a way to get the missing 20 XP? In case anyone wonders, yes it does make a difference. If you enter the dorms at level 4 the lowly droids are configured such that they yield 125 XP, but if you enter at level 5 they are tastier and give 150 XP, for example.

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"addexp 20" or "addlevel" in the console should work, if you don't mind using questionabe ways to get it.

 

But as the second last paragraph says, s/he does mind.

 

 

The only thing I can think of though is if your difficulty is usually set to normal, setting it to difficult would make the XP gained from disabling mines and unlokcing doors increase. But since you've already unlocked everything, I don't think that'll help you much.

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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Yes, the temptation was rather strong and the deed could be accomplished easily ingame (e.g. without console cheats), simply by planting a mine, leaving the area, and recovering the mine after coming back. In fact I did the dirty deed in order to scout, which is how I found out that the level-5 courtesy monsters yield 150 XP instead of the 125 for level 4.

 

But unless I find a legit way of acquiring the missing 20 XP I am going to 'bite into the sour apple' as we Germans say and proceed to the dormitories at level 4. I am still a bit ahead in XP compared to earlier games and so I may be enter the Harbinger at level 6 instead of 'one drift chart download' short of level 6.

 

I might continue the game with the mine trick at another time, simply to see where it leads. But the result would have to be qualified with 'I got my char to level X but I had to cheat for 20 XP at level 4'. And if cheating once is okay, why not cheat twice? Or three times? There are sure to be situations that are close calls in a similar fashion. And why work hard for an hour in order to get an additional 20 XP if you can slay thousands of Hssiss on Korriban in the same time, for XP in the five or six digits?

 

Also, results of different people are not really comparable, unless you codify the XP crutches a bit. So one could say 'I got level 33 with only two mines'. I think something like that could work.

 

We did a somewhat similar thing with "Freelancer Done Quick", where timings competed only with other timings that had the same number of battleship kills or less. So you had T0 timings with no battleship kills, T1 timings with one battleship kill, and so on, and you could really mix up the field by flying an extremely good time with lots of battleship kills (I think my best was close to 4 hours T17, but that was a long time ago and my memory is hazy).

 

So in our case a '0 mines' result would automatically be better than any result that used any mines at all, a '1 mine' result would be better than any result using two or more mines, and so on. For the time being I am going to do an 'M0', no mines, but I'll probably try the 'M1' as well.

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########## STRATEGIES FOR MAXIMIZING XP ##########

 

For those who are interested, a little background on maximizing XP. Generally speaking and glossing over some details, the XP gained from skill checks (locks, mines etc.) increases with character level, quest/conversation XP is fixed and kill XP decreases.

 

So, if you are in some area and you can expect to cross a level-up threshold while you are there then the best overall sequence is

- slay monsters

- get any fixed XP

- do locks, mines etc. after levelling up

 

Combat XP: once you have touched an area the monsters are fixed and they will yield less XP if you gain levels. Or more precisely, if you gain enough XP for higher levels - you don't have to take the level to incur the XP penalty. This can be seen if you gain enough XP for a new level during combat; one foe yields, say, 200 XP and the next to fall gives only 150.

 

Skill check details: XP for picking locks is 10 per character level if DC >= LEVEL + 20, else 5 per level. In particular, the difficult locks that have a DC of LEVEL + 33 give the same XP as simple locks (DC26) as long as your character is level 6 or less. XP for mines is 15 per level if DC >= LEVEL + 20, else 10 per level. The criterion here is the *taken* level, not the amount of XP you have. So you can hold a level if necessary to get over a dip in the XP yield curve, or keep T3 at level 20 for recovering DC40 mines at 350 XP instead of doing it yourself at 250 apiece. Some repairs are level-dependent and some are not. Experiment to see which is which. The damaged droid near the entrance to the mining tunnels on Peragus scales with character level, for example (50 XP per level).

 

Kreia's mentor ability will add a small percentage to XP gained, but it seems that this affects only non-combat XP.

 

But all that is peanuts compared to this: monster stats and loot are fixed when you first enter an area, so you should harvest the monsters immediately or avoid touching the area at that point. If you touch the same area at a higher level then you will generally get better monsters and better loot.

 

For example, in one game I scouted the Jekk'Jekk Tarr and contacted the Lunar Shadow captain immediately before the Red Eclipse ambush, at level 18. During the ambush I gained a level and also took the prestige class, and so I was 2 levels higher when I came back to the Jekk'Jekk Tarr a few minutes later. The bounty hunters were complete pushovers and yielded 100 XP apiece. In another game I was also level 20 for the Jekk'Jekk Tarr thing but I had taken care not to enter the bar before the appointed time. Thus it was the first time I touched the area and the enemies were tailored to level 20, still pushovers but not as pitiful as earlier, and yielding 175 XP apiece. So the difference for this scene alone was about 7500 XP, simply for not sticking my nose into the place before the right time.

 

And that is also the reason why struggling for 20 XP during early levels can have a pay-off to the tune of 10000s down the road.

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The only thing I can think of though is if your difficulty is usually set to normal, setting it to difficult would make the XP gained from disabling mines and unlokcing doors increase.  But since you've already unlocked everything, I don't think that'll help you much.

 

I've made a save before going to pick the locks, and I am already playing on 'difficult' in order to make the game interesting. In particular the skill checks are not as trivial as on 'normal' or 'easy' and you have to plan a little to make ends meet.

 

For continuing without a cheat I'll resume the save from before picking the locks, as there would be little point in doing them at that time unless they help reaching level 5 before touching the dormitories.

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########## STRATEGIES FOR MAXIMIZING XP ##########

 

(snip)

 

Combat XP: once you have touched an area the monsters are fixed and they will yield less XP if you gain levels. Or more precisely, if you gain enough XP for higher levels - you don't have to take the level to incur the XP penalty. This can be seen if you gain enough XP for a new level during combat; one foe yields, say, 200 XP and the next to fall gives only 150.

 

(snip)

 

 

This does not seem to be the case for areas where enemies are respawning though. For example on Dxun when the Mandalorian camp is under attack by Sith Assassins. As long as you don't go near the door to the Command Center, the Assassins by the gate and the secondary training circle respawn indefinitely. As you level up, the new ones that spawn become more powerful and give more exp when killed.

 

(Found that out the hard way on my first playthrough since nobody told me I should go to the command center and Kreia said that we must eliminate all enemies. So I fought them for hours before I accidentally walked close to the command center and the scene with Mandalore triggered :) )

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Combat XP: once you have touched an area the monsters are fixed and they will yield less XP if you gain levels.

 

This does not seem to be the case for areas where enemies are respawning though. For example on Dxun when the Mandalorian camp is under attack by Sith Assassins. As long as you don't go near the door to the Command Center, the Assassins by the gate and the secondary training circle respawn indefinitely. As you level up, the new ones that spawn become more powerful and give more exp when killed.

 

That is good point. A similar thing seems to happen with the assassins on the Harbinger, and the key point is probably that they are spawned at that point in time. Normal monsters seem to get spawned when you first enter the area, so it is the same principle and it just applies in different ways.

 

(Found that out the hard way on my first playthrough since nobody told me I should go to the command center and Kreia said that we must eliminate all enemies. So I fought them for hours before I accidentally walked close to the command center and the scene with Mandalore triggered :) )

 

Hehe, me too. Not that I minded in any way, except that there were too many Mandalorians who kept getting in the way. In fact, there were so many Mandalorians and so few assassins that Exile & friends were not needed at all.

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(Found that out the hard way on my first playthrough since nobody told me I should go to the command center and Kreia said that we must eliminate all enemies. So I fought them for hours before I accidentally walked close to the command center and the scene with Mandalore triggered :p )

 

Lucky,

the first time I was at this scene I got Mandalore's convo already at the Battle Ring, whitout even hitting one assasin or left for the other side of the camp :)

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Upon entering the mining tunnels Munchkin raced past the lowly droids in order to take out all four maintenance droids before crossing the level-3 XP threshold, because at level 2 the maintenance droids yield 125 XP apiece and at level 3 only the same 100 XP as the rest. That accomplished, she thoroughly de-droidified the mining tunnels and fully repaired the damaged droid at the entrance (50 XP per character level, so she got 150 XP). At that point she was still 70 XP short of level 4, so she picked one lock (30 XP) and recovered one mine (45 XP) to level up before cleaning out the area (one more lock @ 40 XP, 11 more mines @ 60 XP).

If i remember right, you can also play with the computer somewhere around there (on the bridge in room with force fields in four corners) and raise the room temperature to render all droids in the mining tunnels blind, yet still have them as potential targets... which gives some extra xp..?

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Good call, I'll load a save and check the computer for the containment fields. I played with it during my first game and I don't think there was any XP to be gotten, but it is at least a chance.

 

BTW, I was able to make the Harbinger with level 6 (15106 after HK with soloing the dormitories, 15336 with running through the dormitories, punching in the code, and coming back with Kreia to have her watch the action).

 

Also, the point stoffe -mkb- has made regarding spawning enemies is even more useful than I initially thought. The assassins on the Harbinger spawn in fours, and this has two consequences:

(1) if you hit a level-up threshold while fighting them then those who fall afterwards will yield less XP; eg. 175 instead of 200

(2) in the crew quarters, the assassins that spawn at level 7 yield 225 XP apiece but at level 6 (and probably level 5) only 200 XP

This means the level-up to 7 should occur as early as possible, and either outside combat (e.g. picking locks, watching videos) or when slaying the fourth of an assassin squad, so as not to lose XP. If you watch your XP-o-meter and do the math in your head then this can be timed easily.

 

Two other cases of spawning enemies are in the fuel depot. There is a squad of four droids after you disable the force field (225 XP apiece @ level 7) but more interesting are the two droids that spawn after somebody returns from the fuel depot lift to the area where you can loot three deadly mines. You can visit this area very early with T3, and you have to do this if you want to look inside the rooms with the damaged doors in the dormitories (cannot be bashed or picked, need something stronger than minor mines to open). This time I did not send T3 there as the rooms with the damaged doors never yielded anything even remotely interesting, and therefore I left those rooms unlooted and went to fetch the mines with the Exile, after the Harbinger. So when we returned, the two droids spawned - and yielded 225 XP apiece because they were made to 'fit' (at level 7 as well as at level :p. If T3 kills them early then they yield 50 XP, I think, but that doesn't matter since T3's XP during the solo venture does not carry over anyway and so it is better to keep T3 from damaging anything while he's trying open the escape hatch (I usually have him open the door with a part/spike from the Ebon Hawk and then I race him past the angry droids).

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If i remember right, you can also play with the computer somewhere around there (on the bridge in room with force fields in four corners) and raise the room temperature to render all droids in the mining tunnels blind, yet still have them as potential targets... which gives some extra xp..?

 

Hey, you're the man! None of the options on the computer gives any XP but if you select the option to have the droids mine locked doors and the one pickable door is still locked then the game conjures a new droid out of thin air for the cutscene. At least if all droids are gone already. And after the cutscene is over the droid is still there. Brand-spanking new, tailored for your current level, a big fat 125 XP. Minus the 40 XP from lock picking this gives a net gain of 85 XP, 4 times as much as needed.

 

Thanks for sending me back there! :D

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