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Experience

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Sigrun kal-hiroth disarm trap xp

A character gains 30 XP for successfully disarming a trap in Awakening

Experience is a numerical statistic measuring the "maturity" of a (player-controlled) character or the general level of knowledge and skill the character has acquired. In Dragon Age games, experience points (XP) are awarded in a manner very similar to Dungeons & Dragons; e.g. for defeating enemies, completing quests, or successfully performing other tasks such as picking a lock or acquiring a codex entry. When the character reaches a set amount of experience points, he/she will "level up" and be allowed to choose new abilities according to the character's class and the particular level reached.

Dragon Age: OriginsEdit

In Dragon Age: Origins, the maximum level for player-controlled characters (the Warden and companions) is 25, which is reached at 186,000 experience points. However, it is very difficult to reach the maximum level through normal gameplay; the developers expect that most players will be level 18–22 if they complete the game and all the side quests, and level 21–25 if they complete all current downloadable content as well.[1]

In Origins, characters can gain experience points by:

  • Killing an enemy
  • Completing quests
  • Picking a lock (if successful)
  • Disarming a trap (if successful)
  • Acquiring a new codex entry
  • Donating to your allies

Experience distribution is full on-screen amount for the character doing the action (killing an enemy, picking a lock, etc.) and 2 experience points less for every other party member. For example, let's say the main character kills a genlock and the experience point gain shown on-screen is 33 XP. That character will have 33 points added to their total and each other party member will get 31 points added.

Upon gaining a level, characters receive 3 attribute points and 1 talent point each level. Rogues receive 1 skill point every two levels, while warriors and mages get one every three levels. A specialization point is granted at levels 7 and 14, and new Tactics (Origins) slots are unlocked at levels 3, 6, 10, 15 and 20.

Experience Table Edit

LevelExperienceTactics SlotSpecialization PointsTalent PointsWarrior Skill PointsMage Skill PointsRogue Skill PointsAttributes
11202[a]79
22,00120113
34,501301113
47,50130113
511,0013013
615,0014011113
719,50141[b]13
824,50140113
930,001401113
1036,00150113
1142,5015013
1249,5015011113
1357,0015013
1465,00151113
1573,501601113
1682,50160113
1792,0016013
18102,0016011113
19112,5016013
20123,50170113
21135,001701113
22147,00171[c]113
23159,5017013
24172,5017011113
25186,0017013
Requires Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
26200,50180113
27215,501801113
28231,00180113
29247,0018013
30263,5018011113
31280,5019013
32298,00190113
33316,001901113
34334,50190113
35353,5019013
^a Plus an additional talent point for the Warden depending on their origin
^b Except Sten
^c Requires Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening

Unused Characters Edit

Once obtained, any companion not in the active party will still level up. They will not gain experience as such, but if at any point they are two or more levels below the Warden, they will automatically adjust their level to one below. For example, say Oghren joins the party at level 12, and the Warden is level 11. If Oghren is left in the camp while the Warden heads off adventuring, he will not gain experience. However, as soon as the Warden reaches level 14, Oghren will instantly ascend to level 13.

This also applies to characters in the active party. If, for any reason, the Warden ends up two levels higher than another party member, returning to camp, or selecting 'change party', will advance them to the next level, regardless of how much experience remains before they would reach it normally.

Auto Leveling Edit

If you choose to have characters automatically level up, the game will automatically distribute their attribute points, skill points and talent points. By default, this will result in a well-rounded character, but one less effective at a specific role than a player-customized character. The game also tends to spread talent points between different talent trees, granting a wide variety of basic abilities but no advanced abilities. As a result, it is recommended to handle distribution of points manually.

Challenge Scaling Edit

In Dragon Age: Origins, enemies will level up with the Warden (within pre-determined limits), so although a certain base level is advisable to defeat certain bosses, there is little benefit gained through grinding experience before starting a quest, as may have been possible in some older RPGs where enemies had static abilities.

For details, see Challenge Scaling in Dragon Age: Origins.

Grinding Edit

Unlike most other RPG games, grinding in the usual sense is not possible, because all enemies are fixed - there are no regenerating monsters.

Investing Edit

Investing items in the Allied Supply Crates will grant 10 XP per item. Investing gold will make these returns:
10 XP (50 DAO silverpiece trans) 42 XP (2 DAO goldpiece trans) 225 XP (10 DAO goldpiece trans) 750 XP (30 DAO goldpiece trans). This information may only be correct for the PC version: testing on Xbox shows that either the gain is much less than that, or the Experience Table is completely wrong.

  • On the PC, the maximum gain for a single investment is 880 XP, so in order to convert money into experience most efficiently, buy stacks of 88 elfroots from Varathorn in the Dalish Camp to donate in your camp. It should allow you to donate only a single stack at a time, so you shouldn't need to return to the Dalish camp for every individual stack.
  • On the Xbox, testing confirms that not only do Elfroots not grant 10 XP per item, but there's also no apparent cap on XP. Without being able to know for sure, since you can't see XP values on the Xbox, an estimate would be a gain of two, maybe three XP per elfroot, based on the amount the XP bar moved compared to how much XP it takes to get from 22 to 23. Investing large amounts of Elfroot at once (60+ stacks) causes the game to lag for several seconds, but it eventually accepts the donation and moves the XP bar a considerable distance.
  • The PS3's investment likely works the same way the Xbox's does; however, this is currently unconfirmed. Downloaded ps3Icon ps3 version appears to be accurate on all investing accounts.

Bonus Talent Points Edit

After completing certain key plot elements (three in total during Dragon Age: Origins) the Warden will receive a bonus point in addition to the ones they gain from leveling. The exception to this being that after the completion of the second plot element, a Rogue warden will gain a bonus skill point instead of a bonus talent point.

Exploits Edit

  • During Tainted Blood, return to Duncan with the three vials of darkspawn blood but not the warden treaty scrolls. Repeat the conversation for 750 XP every time and for a bonus complete all specialization quests and you will be able to assign them to you and your companions with ease . Note that using this exploit may skew the leveling of future companions (who may have a level comparable to the Warden, but none of the abilities they should have). This exploit is currently fixed for PC (by a patch) and PS3, but still exists for Xbox 360.
  • In Traps are a Girl's Best Friend, a useful glitch allows for easy levels and gold. Purchase all the Trap Triggers that Barlin has and make as many Spring Traps as possible. The traps can be sold to Allison for 50DAO silverpiece trans and 100 experience points for each set of three. The exploit may be continued indefinitely because Barlin's supply of Trap Triggers is unlimited. To trigger the glitch you have to start conversation with Allison twice after giving her the first three spring traps and thus completing the quest. The first time she will just thank you, the second time, she will start asking about traps again.

Dragon Age: Origins - AwakeningEdit

In Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, the maximum level has been raised up to 35 (from 25 in Origins) this cap also remains in all DLC thereafter, and a newly created character starts at level 18. Experience point mechanics remain the same.

Dragon Age II Edit

The maximum level being reported is 50 (confirmed by the infinite gold/experience exploit). Experience earned is given to all companions at the same time, whether they are in the current party or not; however, it is noted that companions all have different experience totals than the main character, and this seems to be a fixed amount regardless of when they join the party. There is no advantage to maintaining one group through the game, so the party can be changed to maximize Friendship or Rivalry, or to use a better skill set for certain battles. There is no difference in experience gain for the various difficulty levels; further experience gained from combat is based on "the encounter" rather than the individual kill. (This can be seen most clearly when a significantly lesser amount is received for finishing combat, only to find a single enemy stuck in a corner somewhere that rewards a grossly inflated amount that balances the xp gain for the "full" combat.) Also, NPC allies will not "Kill Steal" from you unless they defeat an enemy unaided, meaning as long as an active party member damages the target, you will get experience even if it is killed by an NPC.

There is one trick, however, to gaining additional XP. In Dragon Age II certain experience gains are fixed: Quests, informational codex discoveries (50xp), Chests/Traps (50/100/150/200xp), and crafting materials (200xp + codex xp for first discovery). However, enemies scale to a level appropriate to the main character and consequently their xp value scales as well. With this in mind a player can maximize their xp gains by turning in Static xp quests etc. as quickly as possible to gain increased levels and postponing fights for as long as possible in order to gain greater xp from enemies that are worth more due to scaling. Using this micro-management approach will gain approximately 21,000 additional experience by the End of Act 1 (not including XP boosting items).

To level up to the next level you need to gain current_level * 1000 XP.

The infinite gold/experience glitch has been patched and no longer works.

As stated in the bugs section of A Friend there is still an infinite XP / DAO goldpiece trans exploit.

ReferencesEdit

  1. BioWare's Level Expectations

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