Gaining experience allows characters to gain levels. This is almost always considered a good thing. The amount of experience awarded by each monster varies with the difficulty level, the type of monster, the level of the character, how many characters are in the game, in the party, in the area, and various other factors. The experience by area chart can be used to choose a good level-up spot, but it doesn’t account for random bosses or how fast a character can kill.
Diablo 2 Experience For Non-partied Players
Characters Under Level 25
Characters receive 100% of the potential experience from a given monster if the character’s level and the monster’s level are within +/- 5 levels. The more levels above or below that range, the less experience awarded, by the following values:
1 to 5
-5 to 0
When the difference is above or below 10 levels, the experience gained is only 5% of the maximum. This feature is designed to keep players from leveling up on much weaker monsters, and to keep low level characters from gaining a ton of experience by partying with higher level characters and moving into levels they could never manage on their own.
Characters Level 25-69
From level 25 to 69, 100% of experience is awarded for monsters within 5 levels of a character. Good experience can also be obtained from monsters higher than a character’s level:
- EXP*(Player Level / Monster Level).
Experience gains are penalized when the monsters are more than 5 levels below the character.
As with characters below level 25, monsters more than 10 levels below a character’s level are worth just 5% of their potential experience.
Characters Above Level 70
The same ratio of experience rewards applies to characters over level 70. However, all experience gained past level 70 is subject to a penalty that increases with each additional level a character gains, as shown in the following table.
- Figures apply to v1.10+. (The level 90+ penalties were much less severe in v1.09 and earlier.)
- These penalties are applied after the normal experience calculations based on clvl/mlvl:
Leveling up past level 90 has become far more time-consuming since the v1.10 patch. During v1.09, it was not difficult at all to rise from 90 to 99, and the fastest players reached level 99 in less than two days following some ladder resets in 2001 and 2002.
Experience In a Party
The total experience earned for killing a monster is increased by 35% when a party member of the killer is in the same named area, defined as the “level” on the Automap. Further divisions get complicated. To quote the game designers:
Experience Loss In Nightmare and Hell Difficulty
In Nightmare and Hell difficulties, non-hardcore characters lose experience each time they die. The experience lost is based on the amount of experience required to reach the next level, and the penalty is 5% in Nightmare and 10% in Hell.
- There is no experience loss from deaths on normal difficulty.
- It is not possible to drop down a level from experience loss.
For example, if a character needed to gain 100,000 experience to move from one level to the next, and died on Hell difficulty, the experience loss would be 10% of 100,000, or 10,000 exp. If that character restarts in town and manages to return to his/her corpse and fully loot it, the experience loss is reduced by 75%. This would cut the 10,000 loss from the example given to just 2,500 exp. If a character leaves the game and doesn’t recover their corpse until the next game, the full experience penalty remains in effect permanently.
Experience is lost for each and every death, so it’s not a wise strategy, in terms of experience loss, to die multiple times trying to recover your first corpse.
Experience loss counts for PvP deaths as well, so it’s not a good idea to duel on Nightmare or Hell. If you are going to die on the higher difficulty levels, it’s wise to do so immediately after you level up. Since the experience loss will never drop you down a level, your experience won’t drop any lower than the minimum for a given level.
Monster Experience In Multiplayer Games
Monsters are worth more experience and have more hit points when more players are in the game, or when larger games are simulated by single players using the /players X command. See the Player Settings page for much more detail on these topics.
The following formulas are used to scale up monster hit points and experience values. Monster hit points and experience value increase identically in v1.10+. For example, monsters are have 450% more hit points and are worth 450% more experience in an 8 player game.
- 1.00-1.08: Experience = X * (2n + 1) / 3
- 1.09: see list below
- 1.10+ / D2R: Experience = X * (n + 1) / 2
- X = base experience
- n = # of players in the game
|Player setting||XP 1.08||XP 1.09||XP 1.10+ /D2R|
Miscellaneous Diablo 2 Experience Info
- Monsters resurrected by shamans (Fallen, Mummies, and Fetishes) are not worth experience and will not drop items. They are only valuable to kill once.
- Monsters produced by monster generators (Foul Crows, Zombies, and Imps) are worth experience, but very little, and they do not drop items. The generators themselves are worth good experience, though.
- Reanimated horde zombies are worth full experience and may drop items when they resurrect themselves. Each kill counts for the full amount.
- Monsters killed by a character’s mercenary or minions are worth full experience. Monsters killed by each other, via Convert, Confuse, or other skills, award their experience to the character who cast the spell on them.
- If two unpartied characters attack the same monster, the character who strikes the killing blow gains the full experience. It’s always better to party up and cooperate, in terms of experience gains.