Posted: November 1, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Rise of Kunark

On my guild’s forums this morning, one of our newer members made a pretty astute observation:

“I was thinking about leveling a bit this morning on my way into work. I remember reading that characters at the level cap have 0 vitality when a level cap raise happens. If that is the case would it be best to stop leveling at about 69.9% to let my vitality build? If I stop close enough I can easily hit 70 from the exploration XP from traveling to the RoK zone.”

He’s got a point.  More than that, I think he’s really touched on one of those interesting quirks of Everquest II levelling.  Though it’s certainly been discussed before, I think it’s time to touch the subject of vitality and expansions once more.For those of you new to the game or unaware of all of it’s features, I’d like to take a step back to discuss the concept of “vitality”.  Without going too deeply into the detail of the mechanics, a simple way to describe vitality is that when you have vitality, you gain more experience.  You gain a little bit of vitality every hour of every day, whether you’re online or not, whether you’re using vitality or not.  It acts as a little pool of high octane experience fuel, ready to give your levelling a little boost. 

The basic concept is similar to the rest bonus from World of Warcraft, or the old “hour of power” from Ultima Online.  Basically, you get more experience during the first few hours of serious grinding, with eventual diminishing returns once the vitality well runs dry. 

It’s a pretty smooth system for the most part, which (in theory, at least) allows more casual players to keep up with the more hardcore 8+ hour a day gamers.  In practice, this simply isn’t the case (the vitality bonus simply isn’t enough to overcome a fully dedicated and committed experience player in full grind).  Regardless of the flaws in the system though, vitality is generally seen as a “good thing (TM)” by players. 

…unless you’re level 70. 

As my guildmate noted, any of us already at level 70 (i.e., 98% of the guild) aren’t building up vitality anymore.  Our vitality pools have been sitting at 0% since the day we hit 70 in the first place (which for most of us was well over 18 months ago).  If Rise of Kunark holds true to form, we won’t start building vitality till the servers come up on November 13th. 

Yet, if you turn off experience gain at level 69.99, you’ll continue to acrue vitality.  Within a day or two, you should be sitting on a full pool of 100% of the good stuff.  Come November 13, you could theoretically get a jump start on long time level 70’s, just because you’ve got the a Red Bull Rocket Boost gauge for your experience gains.  Toss in a nice experience potion or two and your first day in Kunark has you netting more than 3 to 1 on experience over the average level 70 player. Pretty neat, huh?

So yes, we’ll probably counsel our younger guildmate to take avantage of the system as best he can.  We’ll probably convince him to park his dirge at 69.99 on the Qeynos Docks and just play some secondaries in the meantime.  For the rest of us, the long climb to 80 begins in just 12 days.  I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way.  😉

  1. […] EQ2 who is close to the level cap, be sure to take a look at Clockwork Gamer’s most recent article on vitality and the expansion.  Solid advice on parking your character right before 70 in order to […]

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