As a baseline, XP earned from monster kills follows the following set of rules:
- Monsters give a base experience value depending on their HP/size that linearly scales up with their level.
- Elites always give a fixed amount of XP, regardless of monster type, linearly scaling up with their level.
- Minions (of Elites) always give 60% of the XP of an Elite, making them extremely valuable targets.
- A bonus is applied for defeating higher level monsters and a penalty for low level monsters, depending on the level difference.
The XP value of Elites is significant compared to regular monsters, given you can defeat them at a comparable pace. To give some examples: Compared to the biggest monsters we found (Bear, Ice Clan Mauler), they give precisely double the XP. Compared against a small to medium-sized monster (Warg), roughly x7.7.
As you level up, zones and monsters level with you to keep fights challenging. Similar to a monster's base XP, other sources such as side quests and events also scale up their rewards. While it was possible to find much higher level monsters in the preview version due to minimum zone levels, it was nearly impossible to find monsters that are significantly lower than your character, giving us limited data on how the penalty scales against low level monsters.
From our testing, we determined the following bonuses and penalties depending on the difference between monster level and character level:
- Monster is 4 levels below character: -40%
- Monster is 3 levels below character: -30%
- Monster is 2 levels below character: -20%
- Monster is 1 level below character: -10%
- Monster is 1 level above character: +15%
- Monster is 2 levels above character: +20%
- Monster is 3 or more levels above character: +25%
Fighting monsters with a much higher level than your character do not actually grant a higher XP bonus beyond 25%. The only value that scales up after that point is the monster's base XP which slowly rises with higher levels. This makes farming high level zones ineffective unless you can comfortably defeat enemies at a pace comparable to monsters close to your own level.
Similarly, it's likely that the penalty converges towards -100% with a high enough difference to prevent farming of easy low level monsters.
World Tier Scaling
In the preview version, only World Tiers 1 and 2 were available.
- Tier 1: Base
- Tier 2: +20% XP bonus
Additional World Tiers could be inspected at the World Tier Statue in Kyovashad. Since Tier 3 begins at level 50 (same as when Paragon Boards unlock), it seems that there is a breakpoint that marks the transition between leveling and endgame, with additional difficulties granting even higher bonuses.
- Tier 3: +100% XP bonus
- Tier 4: +150% XP bonus
- Tier 5: +250% XP bonus
Check out our Difficulty Overview to learn more about the different World Tiers.
Experience in Groups
Parties have significant advantages to level up quickly:
- Base XP gained from monster kills is gained by every party member individually at full value, regardless of contribution.
- All XP is shared zone-wide. Given how massive most zones are, you can split-farm in completely different areas and get full XP from anyone's kills in your party, potentially accelerating your leveling speed up to x4.
- You can idle in a town - fully protected from any harm - and leech XP from your party members as long as the town is part of the zone they're farming in.
- When you are close together (~3 screens radius) you get a Party Bonus buff, increasing XP gains by 5%/8%/11% depending on the number of nearby party members.
Check out our Multiplayer Overview to learn more about general group play.
There are various ways to increase XP gains in the game:
- Party bonuses explained above: 5%/8%/11% extra depending on nearby party members.
- Consumable elixirs that provide various combat buffs as well as 3% bonus XP for 30 minutes.
- Campfires that add a stacking experience buff up to +15% when you stand near them.
From our testing, it appears that all XP bonus buffs stack additively.
The flame's warmth puts you at ease.
Campfires are a special source of experience bonuses found in the open world. The only known location so far is in the Kor Dragan Stronghold north-east of Menestad. After you've cleared it, the Campfire unlocks and you can use it at any time. Campfires are marked by two crossed wooden log icons on the map. When lit, the above quote is displayed and a flame is added to the icon, indicating that it's active.
While standing next to the Campfire, you gain one stack of the Campfire Buff every 8 seconds. At this rate you max out with 15 stacks after two minutes, giving you a total of 15% bonus XP. Each stack has an individual duration of 15 minutes.
- Higher difficulties grant more XP from all sources.
- Elites and Minions are valuable targets if you can finish them quickly.
- Farming low level monsters gives much less XP than normal.
- Fighting monsters more than 3 levels above your character is inefficient.
- In parties, experience is shared zone-wide, making group play massively superior compared to solo leveling.
- XP gains can be boosted through party members, elixirs and campfires.
Written by wudijo
Reviewed by Rob
Published for Diablo 4 Early Impressions