How the heck did you find that out?

The basic formula and formula for mobs with a higher level than the player were already known around the web. The formulas for lower level mobs and detailed grey levels were determined by Greenman, after building an XP table based on in-game observations (see Greenman's Solo XP Table). He could probably tell you more himself, when he sees this :) Stilpu 09:55, 1 Dec 2005 (EST)


I've been keeping my personal charts up to date on my own site. The formulas did not change significantly from the BC values:

ZD = 17 for 60-79
Gray Value = level - 9 for 60 - 79
Zone bonus = 235 in Outlands, 580 in Northrend

I've updated this article to declare these values confirmed and remove the ambiguity.

-- WoWWiki-Greenman (talk) 15:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


"Char level 40-59: Gray level = Char level - FLOOR(Char level/5) - 1"

This doesn't seem right... if this was correct, the grey level for a level 59 would be (59 - FLOOR(59/5) - 1) = level 47, and then the grey level for a level 60 jumps up to level 51?
The expansion changed the rules. Although I haven't checked again since the early days of BC, it was accurate at that time. In fact, this was specifically mentioned in the "Characters over 60" section. -- WoWWiki-Greenman (talk) 15:55, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Just How

Started with the basic Mob Level = Char Level formula off thottbot. Then, I just started taking notes. The table linked above is the result of all those notes over the last 9 months or so. Anytime I play an alt, I try to check and fill in blanks on my table if the alt's level is in the right area. (I have 8 alliance and 2 horde characters, ranging from level 10-60 now.)

I pretty quickly realized that the XP awarded was linear on the difference between the Char Level and the Mob Level. For a long while I was doing linear fits on that data and trying to find a pattern for the slope of the lines. The slopes were always weird rational numbers, not clear integers or obvious fractions. My first post on this page reflects that, where I posted all the formulas I knew but said I hadn't found the pattern yet. (Check the page history, it should be there somewhere.)

One weekend I was playing with plots of the lines. I noticed that the lines seemed to group together, like they might converge for some large value of CL-ML. I replotted the fits with the lines extended beyong the gray levels in the data, and that's when it became clear: Zero Difference Plot. The groups of lines all converge at integer values for CL-ML when XP goes to zero. That's where the ZD came from and that is the trick to the whole formula.

Since the first publication here, I've just continued to track my characters and fill in holes in my table. My main (Greenman the Druid of Lothar) went from 54 then to just reaching 60 last night, so that confirmed all the high level numbers. About the only big hole left to fill is to make sure the gray level is right at level 9, and I'll probably have to make a new alt to get that unless someone wants to report the number here.

-- Greenman 10:30, 1 Dec 2005 (EST)

Just out of curiosity, would it be worth making a table (like the one on Character towing) for xp gains at each level? I've already started one in powerpoint with a range of +/- 4 mob levels (red and green mobs) as well as xp to level and even same level mob kills to level. If it could be useful I'd be more than happy to put it on here although I wouldn't know how to start a table and I'm only up to lvl 18 so far. Ndoki (talk) 05:53, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Ungrouped XP division

According to this article, if an ungrouped player damages your enemy, then you won't get the full experience. What about non-damaging debuffs or stuns? Basically I'm a rogue trying to help lower level players grind levels, but I don't know the best way to do it. I was wondering if I could just cheap shot and kidney shot their targets and let them do all the damage. Would that work? --Bendyr 13:04, 24 March 2006 (EST)

I haven't tested such things. My guess is this: most of the reduction is a function of damage done to the mob. There is a smaller deduction for receiving heals from a third party, even though those heals do not cause damage to the mob. I suspect the same is true of stuns.

Bottom line: test it. Get the person that you are powerlevelling to tell you how much XP they are getting. Have them solo a mob at level X, then stun another level X mob to help them, and see how it changes. -- Greenman 09:35, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Hunter's pet XP

"Presumably a level 60 Hunter still needs to hunt non-gray-con mobs to gain experience for their Pet, until the pet also reaches level 60. Otherwise, the solo experience for a level 60 player is effectively zero, regardless of the level of the mob." This is incorrect. A pet will only gain XP (and loyalty) if the Hunter (and the pet) kills a green-con mob. Even at level 60, the "possibility" of XP for the Hunter, must exists for the pet to gain XP. --Dracomage 13:29, 3 May 2006 (EDT)

"A hunter still needs non-grey" is correct. However, it is worded poorly. Your wording would be better. --Stfrn 14:21, 3 May 2006 (EDT)

Yellow, orange and red-con mobs would also get xp for the pet. So just saying "green-con" is incomplete. That's why I said non-gray-con. -- Greenman 18:07, 3 May 2006 (EDT)

The exact amount of exp a pet gets is determined by the same formulas as the hunter, except that the Mob's level is modified by the difference between the hunter's level and the pet's. ex. A level 15 hunter and his level 13 pet kill a level 15 mob. The hunter gets the experience for a level 15 mob kill by a level 15 character, while the pet gets experience for a level 17 kill by a level 15 character. --Raging Epistaxis 23:17, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Burning Crusades updates

XP is higher in the new expansion zones than in the "Old World" zones. See my data page for details as I collect them.

--Greenman 23:26, 25 January 2007 (EST)

A simple 2 party test

Test 1

level 70 warrior level 23 druid in Scarlet Monestary Cathedral First single elite killed lvl 36 grants 144 xp to lvl 23 druid

Test 2

level 50 druid level 23 druid in Scarlet Monestary Cathedral First single elite killed lvl 36 grants 180 xp to lvl 23 druid

Group XP level differences

Needs formulas for groups bigger than 2 people. Seeing as how 5 mans are generally done with 5 people... and usually you see levels like 40, 38, 38, 37, 35. It is difficult to derive this from the two-man group formulas.

The expected trivial generalization for groups is this one:

For a group of 5, the modifier is 1.4, so for a group of 5:

For example, if I'm level 38 in that group:

However, it's necessary to check if that generalization actually corresponds to reality and in which cases. For example, the formula is certainly false for groups with a very high level player (ex: 40, 38, 39, 37, 70) killing a low level mob. --Hdante (talk) 16:31, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Indeed there is a certain difference. The other day I ran SM with an 80 and 2 30's. The experience gotten for each of the 30's was 98 for a mob kill of level 35. Using this formula the xp should have been 152 per kill (with a 2.5x elite multiplier). There is a definite effect when grouping with a substantially higher level.

No, the formula should give 0 XP, because MXP = 0. Where did you get the 152 from ? --Hdante (talk) 17:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The MXP wouldn't have been 0. A 35 is red to a lvl 30.
The MXP is the experience the highest level in the group would get (lv 70, in that case). --Hdante (talk) 04:12, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Interesting effect noted, which does not seem to be accounted for in the formulas thus far. I was receiving a run for my lvl 14 from a lvl 55 and received 31 XP from a lvl 14 Elite. a level 8 joined our group, and from then on I received 44 XP from the same level mob, a % increase in XP just for letting someone else into the party. This tells me that the penalty for having very high level characters in the party must be somehow related to the proportion of the total character levels in the group. --benjaminjsanders (talk) 06:07, 11 October 2009 (Central)

Cataclsym Updates

I have started to update this for 4.03a and Cataclysm values. The Basic Formula has changed to be relative to Mob Level instead of your Char Level. The base XP formula also has a different value for the constant at each new mob level as well. I.e. its somewhere above 2000 for level 80 and somewhere over 4000 for level 84. ZD is verified to be 17 for 80-84.

There is also an issue when you are at or above the level when new content becomes available (i.e. level 60 questing in vanilla, level 70 questing in Outlands, or level 80 questing in Northrend) The XP that you get drops by 90% for the same level mob (reported value). Plata (talk) 01:28, 6 December 2010 (UTC)