With the upcoming patch to the Test Server, we will be testing some changes to the way Fellowship Experience sharing works and we wanted to take a moment and to explain exactly what these changes are.
Currently when someone activates Fellowship Experience Sharing, a portion of the experience that they earned is shared with other members of their Fellowship who also have Fellowship Experience Sharing activated. This is directly applied to other members of their Fellowship who also have Fellowship Experience Sharing enabled.
After the next patch to the Test Server, this will substantially change. Going forward, instead of experience being directly applied to Fellowship members, this experience shared will go into a bank (specific to each member) called Vitality. So If Player A is earning 1000 experience per kill, and is sharing with Player B, C, and D, then players B, C, and D will each be receiving 250 exp per kill into their individual Vitality banks.
Once a player with Vitality experience logs in, they will receive bonus experience for any kills they are credited for, allowing them to gain experience at a vastly accelerated rate*. This bonus experience is paid out of the Vitality experience they have accumulated, and once they run out out vitality they will no longer receive bonus experience. This bonus experience will be applied at a rate of up to 5x if doing normal experience, or up to 3x if doing AA experience.
In addition, when a member of a Fellowship has reached the maximum limit of Vitality experience, Fellowship Experience Sharing will be automatically toggled off for them. The current limit on Vitality experience is enough regular experience to gain 10 levels or enough AA experience to take the player to their AA cap. Vitality experience does not expire, and is permanent (until used). If a player cannot gain normal experience, they cannot store Vitality experience.
With these changes we will include a message informing players when they gain this Vitality experience. This message is temporary and will go away once we have created a UI element to visually display this information to players.
A number of you are probably wondering, "Why are they making these changes?" These changes are being implemented to further bring the stated purpose of the Fellowship Experience Sharing feature into accordance with our greater design philosophy.
The Fellowship Experience Sharing feature is intended to support people with disproportionate playtimes to be able to level as a group. Our design philosophy is such that players should be supported in such goals, however any rewards players receive should also be a result of them taking action to earn those rewards. With these changes players will still have to go out and experience the game,; they will not receive rewards for not playing. Players will still be able to share experience with one another, and this should allow them to maintain a degree of parity in level, but without rewarding those who do not actively play EQ on those characters.
*Experience is still subject to all normal caps, which equates to approximately 10% of a level or 5 aa per kill.