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Are you for or against gaining experience points only for completing objectives?


Experience Points Brouhaha Poll  

776 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you for or against gaining experience points only for completing objectives?

    • For
      452
    • Against
      217
    • Don't care
      105


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So loot is no tangible reward? The xp you get sooner or later for the objective is no tangible reward?

 

I cited gold as a possible reward. XP only for objectives would exclude fighting with random wandering monsters (i.e. getting ambushed while you rest).

 

I'm asking you directly: Would you, Sacred, avoid combat if there is no xp for it and instead sneak? I'm guessing the answer is "no", and in that case your opinion above is wrong.

 

That would depend on other factors too. First time through the game? I'd probably go combat heavy, because it's more obvious how you should build your characters, and I'd want to make sure that I'm not missing out on something. But in later playthroughs, if I knew that I could just as well sneak past every encounter rather than cast spells, coordinate my fighters, using potions etc. that would leave a bad taste in my mouth.

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No XP for combat would take all the point out of a good tatical combat system, as you'd mostly avoid combat (except for items/ gold). Of course you could make grinding required to raise your skills (Wizardry) or even for level ups by skill training (TES), but then you might just as well give XP.

 

Sacred, would you avoid combat and instead sneak slowly around needing double the time? And miss out on the loot they have?

 

You should take into account that to make sneaking fun the designers have to make it difficult as well. So since both methods give the same xp and both take time, the decision on your side is quite easy: You would sneak or fight depending on which is more fun. Or what you would see as appropriate.

 

I'm not against sneaking (or other alternatives), I'm against combat not being rewarded in some tangible way.

 

It's not that combat will not be rewarded - combat will play a large part of the game and WILL be rewarded - it just won't be rewarded by putting X experience points per body like a pinball machine racking up points for everytime you hit a button - the "scoring" will be more sophisticated than that. :disguise:

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Not all those that wander are lost...

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So loot is no tangible reward? The xp you get sooner or later for the objective is no tangible reward?

 

I cited gold as a possible reward. XP only for objectives would exclude fighting with random wandering monsters (i.e. getting ambushed while you rest).

 

Just a guess here but I suspect any wandering monsters and/or scripted ambushes of any sort that are included in game will have their own experiece adjustment and/or other method of reward - I doubt the devs are going to waste time & resources including encounters that are totally meaningless.

 

They have never said you won't get experience for dealing with an ambush by bandits or rabid racoons - they just said it will not calculated by X per body.

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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In the end, it all comes down to balance.

 

Sneaking, diplomacy and combat should be rewarded in relativity to their difficulty. We've been told that the combat will have tactical depth, and we can take that to mean that you'll have to make use of all sorts of options during combat, especially on the harder modes. Sneaking in an IE game, OTOH, meant pressing a button. If we were talking about stealth in the vein of Thief or Deus Ex, I'd regard sneaking as equal to combat (playing a stealthy sniper was sort of easy in Deus Ex, but it required some skill). But that's probably (certainly) not going to happen in PE. Therefore, I say going through the troubles of combat should have some rewards on the side, not only if it leads to you fulfilling some quest. Obviously this is especially true if there's random combat in the game.

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Games don't have random combat in them. As even random encounter are designed to be in the game. So if they decide to create random encounter to their level they will also decide reason why it is there and what reward player will get from getting through of that encounter. So if game uses objective based xp, level designer will be aware of this fact and therefore they design reward for their designed level using game's rewarding system.

 

For example a lazy way to design a random encounter would go something like this:

Decide where and how often random encounter can occur: For example 20% change when player moves from dock to marketplace in city

What the encounter will be: For example player encounter band of five ruffians

Ways to solve encounter: For example Kill ruffians or die

Rewards and punishments from the encounter: For example 100 XP and loot if survive and if die player must reload

How world will react to encounter: For example it will not.

 

In objective based xp system player would get 100 xp after combat is over

In xp per kill based system player would get 20 xp per killed ruffian

 

Both systems work in this scenario similary. But if you want make encounter more difficult on harder difficult level, but you don't want give more xp for player. Then there will start to become difference in this systems. For example in objective based system you could easilly add 5 ruffians to encounter or change ruffians to higher level ruffians and you don't need to do anything else as xp gain don't change. But in per kill based system if you add ruffians you need to lower how much xp player gets from per ruffian and this can cause problems in other levels what you have not designed if you don't add your own ruffian type in the game and same goes for higher level ruffians as they probably in default would give more xp, so you need to fix that also.

 

That is why in my opinion balancing encounter is much easier when you can put fixed xp for them instead to calculate how many kills or tasks your encounter will have and how xp should be divided so that player will get that xp ammount what you want him or her to get from the encounter.

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Good point.

 

@ Sacred... downside to that, it's... pretty much like IE again then, with Stealth getting the shaft. I'm pretty sure the devs where aiming to change that this time around.

And one can hardly stealth the entire team. So getting past enemies undetected with the whole team will be difficult (as it should be).

Which is another good reason to award XP for getting to point X instead of for "sneaking past an enemy", which may be just the rogue, instead of the full party.

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I personally like getting XP from enemies (there is a certain satisfaction to know that you are a few kills away from leveling in the middle of a fight), but I do see the validity of not doing so as it does lead to the potential for grinding. I can think of a few alternatives that compromise on the matter:

 

Depreciating XP: Each time you kill a monster you get less XP from it as you are learning less: the first time you kill a three headed devil moose you are going to learn a lot from the experience, but the more three headed devil moose you kill, you'll be getting the hang of it so will learn less and less from the experience. If you got 200 xp for your first devil moose, each additional one perhaps halves the XP so you get 100, then 50, then 25 and then so on. This then keeps the idea that fighting is an experience but makes farming for xp pointless.

 

or

 

Notability XP: Instead of getting XP for any opponent, perhaps you only get XP for certain ones - defeating a dragon would certainly get you some XP but killing rats in the cellar doesn't. For instance, named opponents might always grant you XP, but if you are just killing generic goblins this isn't really pushing you and so no XP gain. This could also include when you face monsters specifically ahead of your own level, so again, no XP for orcs, but if your level 3 party miraculously manages to kill a high level demon or wizard, this counts as a notable victory and thus gets xp, even if the wizard wouldn't ordinarily be notable.

 

or

 

Encounter based XP: You don't get XP for individual opponents, but based on the overall combat scenario when you win - if you just face, say, 6 dwarf warriors, this is fairly minimal XP as the scenario is very simple, but the more complex the opposing side it multiplies upwards. An encounter that then includes a healer dwarf would be a small multiplier higher because it becomes a more complex encounter, and then you might end up with an encounter facing warriors, rogues, wizards, clerics and assorted monsters stacking the multiplier yet higher still. This way you are being rewarded for being able to survive tactically more challenging encounters rather than just killing individual enemies.

 

So yes, I'd still like to have some XP for winning fights, but I'm open to compromises to the problems that entails, and certainly I think offering rewards for alternative solutions is also a good idea.

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I'm pretty sure objective XP encompasses the "notability XP"... as boss-type opponents (dragons, demons, dangerous wizards) will be an objective of their own.

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I'm pretty sure objective XP encompasses the "notability XP"... as boss-type opponents (dragons, demons, dangerous wizards) will be an objective of their own.

 

Often yes, but not always - there are a couple of named opponents/bosses in Icewind Dale 2 for example who you more or less run into on the way to do something else. You could of course have missions which appear when you meet such an opponent, but I'd prefer it if you were going to do it that way that they were "unspoken" missions as I kind of dislike it in a game like dragons dogma where you run into an opponent, you get a little popup saying "new mission! ambush" or somesuch which you them complete a few seconds later kind of takes you out of the immersion a bit. Even appearing in your journal just takes a bit of suspension of disbelief as it kind of implies you have spotted the evil necromancer, stopped briefly to write in your journal and written "quest to self: kill evil necromancer" before beginning the fight. A quibble I know, but I prefer things to have an organic feel to them when it's like this.

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Objective don't need to be quest/mission, game can just reward you from doing something what level designer has seen such thing that there should be xp reward from it, for example when you kill a dragon in secluded for fun of it. And if designer wants to indicate that you have done an objective by someother means than giving you xp they can always add in your journal a pragging line, like today I killed a dragon.

 

There is no need to tell player before hand about objectives they can be secrets that are only revealed if player accomplish them.

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Now you can play any way you want, I don't mind where you get your motivation from. But the game should not have to be designed to take this "meta-gaming" into account, because giving xp for kills makes balancing the game more difficult. <-- Since you always ask for our hidden agendas, look here, this is it. I gather you think it is not more difficult to balance the game with kill xp, but I'm pretty sure it is.

 

 

I think this is what I was trying to say. With objective based xp, the game design is more streamlined. As has been mentioned, this can include objectives big and small-including defeating (whether by killing or otherwise) notable opponents.

Also, it doesn't bother me in the least if others power/meta-game. I don't care if they use cheats, trainers, or save game editors. I just think the game ought to be designed with a vision in mind of how the user experience unfolds- in terms of game-play and narrative. The more simple and predictable some game mechanics are, the easier it is to design an experience around them.

I'm not married to this idea (exactly zero tears will be shed if I get xp for kills), but I'm lovin' it.

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Solutions have been presented numerous times that cleanly handles that issue. Those solutions are completely ignored, and "Objective based xp is the best" continues to be asserted. Which means the issue cannot be what was originally stated, since a number of strictly better solutions have been proposed.

 

 

I disagree.

I haven't seen "better" solutions.

 

And while you are so keen to lump every proponent of objective-based-XP into the "want to sour my fun" category, allow me then to lump you into "I-want-it-all ego gamer" category.

Balance must be mantained after all.

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To clarrify my personal position in regards to why I was suggesting a compromise, the reason I'm not fond of purely objective based XP is precisely that it is too regulated and lacks organicness, as if you just have a pure objective based system you end up with every character finishing the game having an amount of XP purely within a fixed range of "just main quest" to "just main quest + all side objectives" which means you can exactly predict how much XP a character is going to have when you finish the game.

 

Now conversely, I do think steps should be taken to minimize grinding, but I do think the possibility should be there to get ahead of the difficulty curve, and if you want to maintain the integrity of boss battles in that circumstance just have a scaling formula which means that they have hitpoints and damage that scales to your level. You certainly don't want to end up with my Skyrim problem where I overlevelled/super enchanted my stuff in the anticipation of a really hard fight and ended up killing the final dragon whose name I currently forget in about 4 shots of my bow.

 

For that matter, I think a bigger balance problem than leveling is actually the crafting system - you frequently end up either with what is a rubbish system which only produces ow end items not worth the time OR you end up being able to produce god peoples that are the equivelant of +5, vampiric, keen, and do ice fire and electric damage and double damage against dragons/humans/evil/moomins. That is way more a problem than an overlevelled character.

 

A fourth solution now I come to think of it would be to just have objective heavy XP, so while in a game like Icewind Dale lets say your XP might be about 50/50 combat/objective (made up figure), you could always do it so you got some small amount of token XP for fighting, but 85% of the total XP output was from objectives.

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To clarrify my personal position in regards to why I was suggesting a compromise, the reason I'm not fond of purely objective based XP is precisely that it is too regulated and lacks organicness, as if you just have a pure objective based system you end up with every character finishing the game having an amount of XP purely within a fixed range of "just main quest" to "just main quest + all side objectives" which means you can exactly predict how much XP a character is going to have when you finish the game.

 

 

Uumu..how is that a bad thing?

Knowing with more accuracy player XP is good for balancing encounters and quests.

 

And how is that less organic?

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I don't think you noticed Eleronds post?

Objectives != Quests

 

So even the XP between ones that do all side-quests various, depending how thorough they are in their exploration.

 

Also "just main quest" - "all content ingame" is so big a gap, it might aswell be 60% of the XP gain in game (taking into account there is more XP to be gained than the cap). Should be pretty uncalculatable to me.

And it's pretty easy either way to know how much XP you finish the game with if you try to do as much as possible, as it will be exactly [XP cap].

Edited by Hassat Hunter

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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To clarrify my personal position in regards to why I was suggesting a compromise, the reason I'm not fond of purely objective based XP is precisely that it is too regulated and lacks organicness, as if you just have a pure objective based system you end up with every character finishing the game having an amount of XP purely within a fixed range of "just main quest" to "just main quest + all side objectives" which means you can exactly predict how much XP a character is going to have when you finish the game.

 

 

Uumu..how is that a bad thing?

Knowing with more accuracy player XP is good for balancing encounters and quests.

 

And how is that less organic?

 

To combine the answers to those two, I don't think (finely tuned) balance is necessarily a worthwhile goal in itself, sure there certainly needs to be some level of it (say... to within 20% accuracy) , but I think it makes for a more interesting experience if different players are hitting the same quest at different levels. I actually think games are more interesting when they aren't perfectly balanced so that when you win a fight that is very hard and otuside your level by the skin of yuor teeth there is a real sense of achievement, and when you easily wade through what should be be a really hard fight you have a sense that you are a badass. If balance is overly tuned you end up cutting out both of these, and while you don't want either to be happening all the time as otherwise they lose that emotional buzz, having a difficulty tailored too specifically by micromanaging eaxtly where you get XP kills them entirely unless you preprogram them, and then that isn't emergant gameplay, it's just "there" and no longer so much an achievement.

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You can have purelly combat based objectives, for example you kill band of bandits that ambush you when you travel between two maps.

You can have combat heavy objectives, you need to make roads save from mosters that lurk at its sides.

You can have objectives that spawn, for example arena fight or spawning bandit encounters.

And game will have level cap, so in end game most of the player will be in somewhat same level.

Objectives don't need to be quest or even journal items. They can as just easily be something like you killed band of thugs or that you found mysterious cave or you find way inside of king's treasure room.

Objective based xp sytem don't mean that fights or what ever you need to is hard or even demanding, because you can become overpowered or goodlike if that is what level designers want. Because your xp don't make you overpowered if every encounter is scaled 10 levels over your level, your character will be in trouble even in maximum level in every fight if that is what level designer wants and that has not really anything to do with what xp system game uses.

 

And what comes to crafting sytem and that is hard to balance.

Crafting system should not kill players incentive to explore and find rare items

But crafting sytem should also not be mostly useless gimick (like you find faster better items than you can craft them, items in shops are cheaper than crafting them)

In my opinion best way to make good crafting sytem is to make it so that if you invest to it, it will save money or give you ability get better items than what you get from shops as general. And there should be also some receipts and formulas that need rare ingredients, which you need to go find from deepest and darkest corners of the world and so giving you incentive to go exploring. New Dragensang games have pretty good crafting system in my opinion. So crafting should give player to ability make some most best equipments in the game if s/he is heavily invested in crafting, but s/he should not gain ability mass produce those equipments.

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Slight offtopic: I would honestly, if I had the choice, cut out all "traditional" crafting from games and instead only have "legendary" crafting - ie. rather than go to a blacksmiths/enchanters and make a weapon, there are certain ways in the world to make legendary unique weapons through fullfilling specific objectives. Things like going to the top of the highest mountain on (real world) midsummers day and invoking a certain ritual that you found on a scroll at the bottom of a huge dungeon, or making a deal with a dragon who will temper your weapon with dragonfire if you butcher a nearby village. Even if in Icewind Dale 2 with the "ghost touched bottle" quest, you'd been able to pick a weapon of your choice to be enchanted rather than just recieving a dagger. Things like that which make item creation fun rather than an excercise is menus and skills.

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All this talk about balance sadly reminds me of MMOs. True RPGs are about making choices and dealing with the results, simulating mechanics of real life through lenses of fantasy. Life is not balanced, if you do certain things you'll be more prepared for what comes ahead. The amount of XP the game expects the character to have should be a very flexible thing and not a hard mechanic. If you fought more, then you'll be more prepared to the fights to come and not: "you should be exactly level 8 or 9 by the time you face this enemy". Making this would make a game that feels artificial, "unRPGlike" and, as I said early, very much like a poor MMO.

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But how would you design enemy that game?

 

Should it be beatable regardless of characters levels and number of characters in party?

Should it be always same or level up with player character / player's party?

Should it be easier to beat by higher level characters or should it give somewhat same challenge?

Should it give same xp for level one and max minus one level characters?

 

As these all are questions about how game balance should be balanced I don't see how you could design game without thinking about games balance?

Except randomly throwing things on map, which I don't think is thing what some one could say to be wonderful level design which is very flexible and allows player have choices and deal with them. Of course some could think that it would be excelent game if first enemy which you face can be anything from rat to ancient red dragon, where rat probably will kill you and dragon will do it definitely.

 

And experience and level gaining are balancing tools for rpgs, thus I wonder if you want to remove them from the game and make it more like fps or action game where player's playing skill determine how good your character is and so game don't need balancing for monsters in start or end as all depend how good player is.

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But how would you design enemy that game?

 

Should it be beatable regardless of characters levels and number of characters in party?

Should it be always same or level up with player character / player's party?

Should it be easier to beat by higher level characters or should it give somewhat same challenge?

Should it give same xp for level one and max minus one level characters?

 

As these all are questions about how game balance should be balanced I don't see how you could design game without thinking about games balance?

Except randomly throwing things on map, which I don't think is thing what some one could say to be wonderful level design which is very flexible and allows player have choices and deal with them. Of course some could think that it would be excelent game if first enemy which you face can be anything from rat to ancient red dragon, where rat probably will kill you and dragon will do it definitely.

 

And experience and level gaining are balancing tools for rpgs, thus I wonder if you want to remove them from the game and make it more like fps or action game where player's playing skill determine how good your character is and so game don't need balancing for monsters in start or end as all depend how good player is.

 

Well you obviously have consider balance to some degree, but it in itself is a fairly easy problem to fix - scaling encounters isn't especially difficult to automate, either in terms of having individual opponents be more powerful (worse option but easier to implement) or (harder to implement but more worthwhile) scaling the entire encounter to be more complex. For instance, if you normally would be fighting eight goblin warriors but you are levelled past that by a few levels, perhaps the encounter is then of 12 goblin warriors backed up by 2 shaman and 5 archers.

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All this talk about balance sadly reminds me of MMOs. True RPGs are about making choices and dealing with the results, simulating mechanics of real life through lenses of fantasy. Life is not balanced, if you do certain things you'll be more prepared for what comes ahead. The amount of XP the game expects the character to have should be a very flexible thing and not a hard mechanic. If you fought more, then you'll be more prepared to the fights to come and not: "you should be exactly level 8 or 9 by the time you face this enemy". Making this would make a game that feels artificial, "unRPGlike" and, as I said early, very much like a poor MMO.

 

As far as devs have said PE will not be a CoD type linear on-rails experience. If you go to areas above your level you should get a view of the grave stone picture quite easily. If you do more side quests or explore more you will have an easier time in later fights. Even if it was on rails there would be a lot of variation in player levels due to the amount of side quests they have done. So where is the hard mechanic here?

 

You bring forth an analogy with real life. In real life most fights are horribly unbalanced (the street gang against its victim, the school bully against the small kid) and over in a second. That is reality but very boring to simulate in a game.

 

Your other analogy to MMOs is a mystery to me: Balancing has taken place in RPGs since the beginning of time. Pen-and-Paper gamemasters do it with every enemy they put in front of you. cRPGs have gotten bad reviews because their balancing didn't work (Arcanum for example). Is it possible you project an uneasiness about linear games (DA:O? NWN?) into the balancing issue?

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Well you obviously have consider balance to some degree, but it in itself is a fairly easy problem to fix - scaling encounters isn't especially difficult to automate, either in terms of having individual opponents be more powerful (worse option but easier to implement) or (harder to implement but more worthwhile) scaling the entire encounter to be more complex. For instance, if you normally would be fighting eight goblin warriors but you are levelled past that by a few levels, perhaps the encounter is then of 12 goblin warriors backed up by 2 shaman and 5 archers.

 

In your previous post (#567) you feared that every fight would be the same instead of having some difficulty variation. Now you propose level scaling that would make each encounter the same difficulty! How does that fit together?

 

Before you really try to sell us on level scaling: 1) Bethesdas Oblivion did that and it was very badly received by players. One of the most popular mods turned that "feature" off. 2) When Obsidian said they would use some minimal level scaling there was a huge ****storm. They had to emphasize that it would only be on the main quest and really really small to calm the player base.

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But how would you design enemy that game?

 

Should it be beatable regardless of characters levels and number of characters in party?

Should it be always same or level up with player character / player's party?

Should it be easier to beat by higher level characters or should it give somewhat same challenge?

Should it give same xp for level one and max minus one level characters?

 

As these all are questions about how game balance should be balanced I don't see how you could design game without thinking about games balance?

Except randomly throwing things on map, which I don't think is thing what some one could say to be wonderful level design which is very flexible and allows player have choices and deal with them. Of course some could think that it would be excelent game if first enemy which you face can be anything from rat to ancient red dragon, where rat probably will kill you and dragon will do it definitely.

 

And experience and level gaining are balancing tools for rpgs, thus I wonder if you want to remove them from the game and make it more like fps or action game where player's playing skill determine how good your character is and so game don't need balancing for monsters in start or end as all depend how good player is.

 

Well you obviously have consider balance to some degree, but it in itself is a fairly easy problem to fix - scaling encounters isn't especially difficult to automate, either in terms of having individual opponents be more powerful (worse option but easier to implement) or (harder to implement but more worthwhile) scaling the entire encounter to be more complex. For instance, if you normally would be fighting eight goblin warriors but you are levelled past that by a few levels, perhaps the encounter is then of 12 goblin warriors backed up by 2 shaman and 5 archers.

 

But when you add enemies to encounter you must think should higher level player get more experience from encounter or should one implement game system where you can dial down experience gain from enemies. And if dialing down is the thing what designer wants to do, then comes to question how this should be implemented, like dropping some percentage of experience what enemis give by every player level or put fixed experience in encounters. And here comes argument between objective oriented and per kill based xp gain.

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