Experience points are earned by completing quests or killing enemies. In Dragon's Dogma and Dark Arisen, gaining experience allows the Arisen and main pawn to gain levels, and thus ultimately governs how powerful each character becomes.
Experience point gain is the primary factor in Discipline Point gain, allowing new skills and augments to be learned which determine how well a job is performed - thus experience points are the key currency in the Arisen's development, far more so than gold.
The Arisen does not share experience points with the Main Pawn, and the main pawn does not gain experience if absent. Support pawns do not gain experience, and are instead paid in Rift Crystals currency; which is another separate calculation based on Experience Point gain. For details, see Earning Rift Crystals.
Leveling adds fixed amounts to a character's six attributes: Health, Stamina, Strength, Magick, Defense, and Magick Defense. Amounts are determined by character vocation and level range, which changes at level 10 and at level 100. Please refer to the Stats and Stat Growths page for a more detailed explanation.
Experience Points required to level increases with level and is capped at level 200. Once the level cap has been reached, an infinity sign ( ∞ ) is shown instead of a numerical value. There are no more stat gains once the cap has been reached, though a character can continue to rank up unearned vocations and purchase unearned skills with Discipline Points.
Experience is displayed in the character's Status screen as two figures separated by a slash. The first number is the current experience, and the second is the experience required for the next level.
If enough experience is earned in one go to pass the leveling threshold the excess will be added to a new count from zero. Each new level experience requirement is higher than the previous level. The largest requirements are between levels 190-199.
Increasing/Decreasing Experience Gain
There are various conditions that alter the amount of Experience Points gained. XP is calculated via the Arisen's and Main Pawn's level relationship to the other party members. This functions like a handicap; the harder the party works to kill a creature, the more experience is earned. Higher-level pawns and more party members decrease the rewards. For maximum experience gains, the Arisen can adventure alone, or with no main pawn and two hired pawns who are more than 25 levels below the Arisen.
- Reducing the number of pawns in one's party raises XP gain by 25% per vacant slot.
- A lower-leveled pawn causes the Arisen and main pawn to gain XP at a higher rate. This is capped at 25%, which corresponds to 25 levels below the character receiving XP. There is no difference in XP earnings between an empty party slot and a support pawn 25 levels or more below the Arisen or Main Pawn; they both grant a 25% XP bonus.
- A higher-leveled pawn causes the Arisen and main pawn to earn XP at a lesser rate. This is similarly capped at 25%, which corresponds to 25 levels above the character receiving XP. It is possible to cancel the XP penalty of a single high-leveled pawn by either hiring a second pawn that is 25 or more levels below the Arisen or Main Pawn, or by leaving the fourth party slot empty.
- The cap for XP bonuses or losses is 25% per party member.
Weal is an effect granted by certain items that doubles the experience gained from defeating enemies. This effect is indicated by a four-leaf clover icon.
The Bezel Crown
In Dragon's Dogma it scaled the party's experience/rift crystal earnings by 5x when a party member used it to dispatch a foe, at a cost of greatly increased Stamina use. In Dark Arisen, its effect was reduced to 2x experience.
The effect of this bow does not stack with Weal, though it will stack with Hard mode.
Increasing difficulty to Hard Mode will double the amount of all experience points gained.
There are no changes to XP earnings from decreasing the difficulty from Normal to Easy Mode or by increasing the difficulty from Easy to Normal Mode.
By traveling in Hard Mode either alone or with no Main Pawn and two support pawns at least 25 levels below that of the Arisen with a Weal item present, the maximum XP gain is calculated as the base monster XP value x 2 (for Hard Mode) x 1.25 (for one empty Pawn spot) x 1.25 (for two empty Pawn spots) x 1.25 (for three empty Pawn spots) x 2 (for Weal effect). A support pawn 25 levels below that of the Arisen is synonymous with an empty party slot in terms of XP gain.
- Experience points and Discipline points are calculated differently, Experience is gained faster by killing large "boss" monsters (like Dragons and Gazers) whereas Discipline points are gained faster by killing many small enemies (like Goblins & Hobgoblins).
- Places for high level players to gain Experience points and levels quickly are:
- Refer to Base Monster Experience Points for a list of the Experience Point value for each enemy kill.
- The game is programmed to have level parity between the Arisen and Main Pawn. If the Main Pawn is three or more levels below the Arisen, it will earn XP at an accelerated rate regardless of the enemy killed. This is particularly amusing when killing a Bat levels up the Main Pawn five or more levels.
- Testing with a Main Pawn of only 1 level lower the Main Pawn showed it received more than double the amount the Arisen gained. The effect is amplified with greater differences between Main Pawn and Arisen.