View Full Version : When to level-up a character?

06-05-2017, 01:11 PM
To level-up, or not to level-up, a character that is the question I would like to get feed-back on. The details; I have about 1.5 years or more of DDO experience running many character classes on several worlds. I am a solo player, my two highest characters are;

) Level 12 = Paladin lvl 8 / Artificer lvl 4, two handed weapons master (because I have received from game many HOLY two handed weapons), traps, UMD, repeating crossbow for range attacks
) Level 12 = Warlock lvl 8 / Artificer lvl 4, two weapons master, traps, UMD, repeating crossbow for range attacks.

I use my 4th level self-repairing iron defender to guard my cleric hireling.

I am currently playing level 8 adventures with these characters. I have enough experience points to take both characters to level 16 now thanks to past adventures on elite and daily dice roles.

I want level 16 for my Pal/Art to gain access to Paladin class enhancement REDEMPTION to obtain additional spells like “raise dead”.

I want level 16 for my Wlk/Art to gain access to Warlock class enhancement AURA OF MENACE to obtain proficiency with Martial Weapons.

I also have acquired from the auction house some great lvl 16 gear which I cannot use until the characters get to level 16.

Currently, I am only leveling up when game tells me I cannot earn more experience points without first taking a level-up. Personally, for these two characters (my highest), I want REDEMPTION and AURA OF MENACE really bad. So asking form for input, should I;

) Take fast road, level-up to 16 now since I already have the experience points to do so and take adventure penalty (loss of experience points) for doing quests lvl 8 to 16 because my characters are over-level for them?
) Continue slow road, leveling up only when game tells me I cannot earn more experience points?

All advice welcome, Thank you for your time.
UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your replies!!!

After reviewing all the replies below, this solo player went ahead and leveled-up the Warlock from lvl 12 to lvl 16. Then went back and played a level 6 quest that I had skipped named “Gladewatch Outpost Defense” at difficulty Heroic-Elite making it a level 8 quest, and after completing all objects and bonus objects, received 0 XPs. Assume that happened because I am now lvl 16 running a lvl 8 quest. So for anyone reading this post, be forewarned that leveling up does expose you to real XP penalties if you go too high. Things worked best when I was two levels about the base level of the quests I was working on. However VIP daily dice roles and the weekly dices roles moved me pass that. I could have prevented this by not accepting them, but I took those XPs.

One reply below, I understood to say, that I cannot bank more than two levels of XP points. This is not what I experienced. I was at lvl 12 with XP banked to 16 which is 4 levels higher. Now I am at Level 16 with nothing banked.

The Paladin has not been leveled up yet. Think I will play the Warlock for a bit to see at what quest level do I start getting XP again, but maybe will give-in and do him in a week or 2 from now. Who knows? Not me.

Again, Thank you EVERY ONE!!!!!

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Another update: Recommend you read KYLSTREM's post below and read http://ddowiki.com/page/Experience_point#Quests. My now level 16 Warlock/Art got zero XP for completing first time quest play thru of Tomb of the Shadow Knight (a lvl 8 quest). My character is funner to drive, but no XP after doing a quest is a bummer. From info by KYLSTREM, I gather, such will be the case for this character until I get to level 10 quests, at which point I will only be six levels about base and start getting XP from quests again. So will play remained of level 8 thru 9 quests to move story arc along and get treasure, but no XP.

PS: FYI: On solo, a level 16 characters can still die in a level 8 quests ran on ELITE when mob by incorporeal monsters, I know (smile). So don't think that because you are twice over base level, you can solo a quest like eating cake. Something can still get you (special monster types or traps), and if you are higher than 6 levels over, you will have no XP for your effort, just death when you are stupid like I was by not gearing up correctly and charging in blind.

06-05-2017, 01:23 PM
Take your levels as soon as you feel you want too; their is no right or wrong answer. It can be as soon as you have enough xp or long after the game tells you you have stopped earning xp.

06-05-2017, 01:29 PM
Take your levels as soon as you feel you want too; their is no right or wrong answer. It can be as soon as you have enough xp or long after the game tells you you have stopped earning xp.


There are plenty of quests in the game. You don't really have to worry about how to get enough XP to level.

If you are running every quest for favor, favor doesn't care what level you are.

So, level when you want. Run the quests that you want. As long as you are having fun, you are doing it right.

06-05-2017, 01:58 PM
You can "bank" up to two levels of XP. For example on level 12, you can bank all of level 13 and you end up 1 XP short of level 14.

Some sources of XP can go over the cap, for example daily dice and monstrous manual rewards. However, XP from quests and wilderness areas is lost.

06-05-2017, 02:10 PM
The only reason to level-save is to take advantage of XP bonuses (http://ddowiki.com/page/Experience_points#Gaining.2FEarning_Experience_Poi nts_.28XP.29) (or avoid over-level XP penalties) for running quests that are close to your character level. If you do a lot of PUGing, you've probably noticed a lot of groups want Bravery Bonuses (http://ddowiki.com/page/Bravery_Bonus), which means they won't group with others who are more than two levels above the quest level (EDIT: for heroic quests - epic quests have different caps on BB); so you might level-save so you can keep joining Elite-streaking PUGs. But if you're soloing, you level up at whatever pace suits you best. It may also depend on how many quests are available in your level range (http://ddowiki.com/page/Quests_by_level); e.g., there's not a lot of lvl 12 quests (and two of them are raids which are rarely run in heroics), so sometimes I'll level from char lvl 14 to 15 even though I haven't hit the XP save cap just so I can move onto the lvl 13 quests.

06-06-2017, 10:05 AM
I almost always level up as soon as possible. I can't wait to get my new feats, better gear, etc.

The only time I don't is if there is a couple of quests that I want to run, but, if I leveled up, would break my bravery bonus. In that case, I'm still not banking anywhere near an entire level. I get those quests done, pay a visit to my trainer of choice, and boom! Level up!

06-06-2017, 08:03 PM
Several considerations...

Simply put, most Players level up when they can, with some restrictions. They'll hold off on Level 6 until finishing (at least the first half of) Waterworks, which is Level 3-4.

Bravery Bonus is lost over Base Quest level +2, so PUG's often limit their LFM's to that level range. (So WW (starting Quest Base Lvl 3) would be Levels 3-5). And Bravery Bonus is a NICE bonus to XP, if you can maintain it.

(A cutpoint for Reaper XP is at Base Quest Level +1, so that's a tigher limit, but also rarer when looking for PUGs. Bigger bonus than BB, so many do put the limit at QBL+1, sure, but just not as many LFM's as simple +2 for BB.)

If you see lots of available quests in the next level, grab them - if not, bank a level or two and jump to the next group of quests.

This pattern will continue until Level 18, when most players stop until they're read to hit Level 20 (L20 -1 xp), then use any XP gem to make the shift, and then either TR or go on to Epic. Altho', for you, if you can't find the XP solo at Lvl 18, level 19 may be necessary to finish the job.

For me, because I started F2P and then went Premium, I at first tried to complete ALL material for Favor (for store points and in-game perks), so I used to stop gaining XP until I completed "all" available quests (mostly F2P at the time) in that level range. Now, I realize that I can just go back later, way over level, and crush them quickly - faster leveling, faster questing and (both now and later) faster favor earning, win/win/win. (And, as I buy more material, lots is now under level, so I have to do that, as I chase 2500 favor for Favored Soul. But next life, I'll still level when I can and then go back - it's just faster.)

(And you can find others in the same boat, and start/join a "Favor Clean-up" PUG that is just zerging, if favor is a priority. Rarely had to do that alone.)

So now, for me, the only reason to ~not~ grab a level before I'm capped (i.e. before I hit the +2 Levels XP ceiling, when you no longer gain experience) is to finish a saga or chain for end-reward, and I don't want to (or just can't) finish on my own. Gianthold is a great example - I could solo many of them by level X+3, but I just didn't want to solo some, and... still haven't memorized The Crucible (chiefly among others). :/

But if you're Level 12 and (mostly) soloing Level 8 quests, sounds like your builds are not strong enough to solo at level - np, few 1st-life are (esp if "true" 1st-life, with no "rich uncles" to kick down/craft that sweet gear.) :cool: Then BB is not an issue, so Level up when you are out of new material. (Altho', don't be shy about joining a pug and being towed a bit. Few 1st-life builds will come close to leading the kill count, ever.)

If you are planning to Reincarnate at 20, you want to keep enough XP games (from daily rolls) to get to Level 2(+)* - skip Korthos (and, for some late-bloomer builds, that painful Level 1 grind) if you can, start right in on the higher-XP Harbor quests.

(* 6000 xp (+3600/rank) for 1st TR, 8000 (+4800/rank) for 2nd.)

) Take fast road, level-up to 16 now since I already have the experience points to do so and take adventure penalty (loss of experience points) for doing quests lvl 8 to 16 because my characters are over-level for them?
As a footnote (and OT, apologies), if you're having trouble as a Lvl 12 character with Lvl 9 quests, it might be that your builds could use some fine tuning, to improve their power-to-weight ratio. You might want to consider posting your build in the appropriate class subforum (https://www.ddo.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/21-Classes), and see if the vets can't suggest some improvements to bring more juice to your game.

Just a thought. GL!

06-07-2017, 06:04 PM
Whenever you feel like it.

But be mindful of the level of your party members and the level of quests you are currently doing.

Generally, I wait to level till I leave my current group.

There are people who have figured out best xp/minute/leveling up fastest etc. and are convinced that waiting to level as long as possible is best.
Bah... boring I say.
I want that next level of power and feeling of progress!

06-07-2017, 09:52 PM
I agree with "When YOU are ready to take that level"...

And as pointed out be aware of your group. IE it is not cool to level to 7 when the group started with max level 6. Unless of course they are cool with it. Also, if you level while running with a group be considerate of how long it takes to level up. It might not be the right time to reset all your enhancements, review AH and totally regear your main and 3 back up sets of gear. :)

06-07-2017, 10:23 PM
Personally... I like to hold on to a few level points to make it easier to group with groups on Bravery Streaks...(they will let you in and not disrupt their streaks)

LV 12, 16, 18.

Lv 12 - allows for Von 5/6 Elite runs with BB (others will let you in).
LV 16 - allows for heroic Gianthold chain quests and Tor
LV 18 - allows for vale quests.

Lv 19 is a somewhat of a dead zone - I almost always go 18 to 20.

Good luck!

06-08-2017, 01:44 PM
Being mostly a solo player, I like to bank levels. Running quests two under makes things much easier when soloing on elite and if you join a PUG you are not penalizing anyone. I like to keep a print-off of the level caps from wiki handy, so I know when I'm getting close to required leveling, so I'm not in a situation that I lose xp. The only time I tend to level prior to cap is if there are no more quests to complete at that level.

The only drawback to this strategy is if you plan to run reaper. You would need to run reaper at level to avoid the xp penalty and therefore no reason to bank levels. Currently, I have little interest in reaper and am quite content in building towards running that mode in the future.

06-15-2017, 12:52 PM
This is a bit late for the show, but I didn't see this mentioned and some other newer player might get some value out of it even if the OP is all sorted out*.

I like to bank a full level. That is, I will take a level only when I am pushing up against the 2 levels banked limit. That way I get all 4 Action Points to spend immediately, and don't have to wait to get them one at a time. It's a kind of patient impatience, I guess. It does help in Reapers where every advantage counts, since my character will always be at their peak power as far as AP goes as soon as they level.

* That whole "I had 4 levels banked" thing is puzzling, but I have heard that daily dice XP stones and Monster Manual XP rewards can push you over the normal "1 XP shy of 2 levels banked" limit. But man, if the OP made 2 levels just from daily dice stones and MM XP they really lost out on a lot of XP from quests! Here's a chart of XP needed per level and per AP, so you won't have to lose so much XP in the future: http://ddowiki.com/page/Experience_point

06-16-2017, 09:41 AM
Also, the point where you lose all xp from a quest, i.e. you will get zero XP for quest completion is 7 levels above the "quest level".
see this page for a full description: http://ddowiki.com/page/Experience_point#Quests

For example, Durk's got a Secret is a level 2 quest on Normal, 3 on Hard, and 4 on Elite.

If you are level 9 and did Durks on Normal difficulty, you would get zero xp for completion (9-2 = 7)
but if you are level 9 and did Durks on Elite, then you would get some xp, although there would be a penalty for being 3 levels above it (9 character level - 4 elite quest level = 5). Would be a 75% penalty to quest xp.

Note that this is based on highest character level in the party. If you did Durks as a level 4 on elite, but you had a level 11 character in the party with you, both of you would get zero xp

There is also a power-leveling penalty to prevent low level characters from tagging along with higher level characters in quests where both would normally receive XP. So, if you thought, I want to level really fast and at level 3 I'm going to do the Pit on elite with a friend of mine who is level 9.

If you are 3 (or fewer) levels below the highest level party member, then there is no penalty.
4 levels below, YOU and ONLY you take a 50% XP penalty.
5 levels below, yOU and ONLY you take a 75% XP penalty
6 levels below, YOU and ONLY you take a 99% XP penalty.
0 xp for 7+

So, in the scenario above, you would be 6 levels below your level 9 friend. Since the Pit is a level 7 quest on normal, level 9 on elite, your level 9 friend will have no penalties.
But you will have a 99% penalty to XP.