New characters begin the game with zero experience (EXP). (Although, new characters receive EXP equivalent to the word count of their starting character background.) Characters grow in EXP over time and level up. As a character gains EXP he will become more powerful over time. With more power comes more potential for exploration and adventure.
When it comes to player-versus-player combat or player-versus-boss combat, a character's EXP matters greatly. For more details on that aspect of the game, check the Combat Guide. We believe the things that really build up a character besides his EXP are custom abilities, equipment/gear, and backstory.
How to earn experience
To make a character more powerful you must earn EXP by contributing to role-play sessions. The more you write in your sessions the more EXP you earn. At the end of every completed role-play session EXP is awarded. The longer each post is, the more points the session will be worth. More words equal more EXP. The more writing you do as a character, the more powerful that character will become.
For example, a specific post during a role-play session is 320 words long, that post is worth 320 EXP. If it's 500 words long, it's worth 500 EXP. It doesn't get any easier than that, right? Special considerations apply to different session types, but at the base level, word count directly equals EXP.
Leveling up in Solaris RPG is very simple. The formula for determining a characters level goes like this:
LEVEL = (EXP/50,000) * 100
We feel that having levels gives players some perspective.
Beyond simply leveling up, characters in Solaris RPG also earn ranks. Characters begin the game as a Civilian and work their way through the ranks as a Trainee, to Cadet, to Soldier, Champion, and beyond. A characters level of experience determines his rank. Once a character reaches level 100 he will begin to earn Master ranks. After ten tiers of Master ranks there are five tiers of Elite ranks. After the Elite tiers comes the Elite Master, Grand Master, and Lord Marshal ranks. New ranks will be added as characters reach higher tiers of power.
Unlocking Ability Slots
At levels 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 characters unlock what we call a Custom Ability Slot. Players may use these "slots" to add completely unique custom abilities to their characters. (See the Custom Ability Guide for more details.) After achieving level 100 a character will continue to gain more EXP but will no longer unlock Custom Ability Slots.
Veteran Character Creation
When you reach level 100 on one of your characters you have the option to convert him into a Veteran character. These special characters are stripped down versions of regular characters that are used purely for role-play purposes, and maybe some light combat. You can play as these characters whenever and however you choose but they won't gain additional experience points.
Instead, the EXP they earn will go towards another of your own non-Veteran player characters of your choice. This is useful as a method of making your main character more powerful without having to play as him all the time. Veteran characters do not have equipment such as items, weapons, armor or custom abilities listed on their profiles. If a situation occurs the player behind the Veteran character may play as if the character had generic equipment.
Some players may think of Veteran characters as a means of finalizing one or more of their regular characters. For example, if you have one main character at level 100 and you convert him to a Veteran character you can make your new character much more powerful right out of the gates because the EXP from the Veteran migrates to your new character. Afterwards your old Veteran character will still exist and would be looked upon as being at least as powerful as a level 100 character.
Upgrading a new lets you bring him up to speed immediately while you "close the book" on your previous character. As I mentioned before, you can still play as your old character, but any EXP will go to one of your non-Veteran characters. A player could potentially create new characters this way repeatedly, each time making the next guy better and more powerful than the previous.
Any player who already has multiple pre-existing characters may choose to convert them into Veteran characters at any time. The converted character's current EXP points may be combined with another of the player's regular, non-Veteran, characters. The downside is that any custom abilities or equipment will be removed from the newly converted Veteran character.
Just a final note. All characters who are converted to a Veteran character will remain in the game world indefinitely, unless killed off for story purposes by the controlling player. Veterans will never be removed for inactivity.
Additional ways to earn EXP
There are many ways beyond completing normal role-play sessions to earn lots of experience in Solaris RPG. Players can submit ideas for new creatures and world areas for direct EXP gains based on word counts plus extra bonus EXP wherever noted. If you ever submit anything to the Guidebook you will earn EXP directly equivalent to your word count as well. If you ever want to earn some quick EXP, just submit a new idea via the submission forms section and reap the rewards!
The Speed Session Challenge
A Speed Session (or SSRP) is a quick role-play session completed over the forums involving multiple characters. The idea is to start a session comprising of a predetermined number of characters/players and finish it within a specific time frame. Standard RP sessions can span several pages in length gradually, with ten responses per page, the problem is a standard RP session may take days or weeks to complete when multiple players are involved. For each page of speed session, the EXP multiplier for the session increases by a factor of one.
Please be aware that players should not make a bunch of short responses to inflate the speed sessions bonus multiplier. The minimum word count per response is fifty words, so keep that in mind. Having a high multiplier with a low word count isn't going to help earn lots of EXP. If your group does a session with many pages of tiny responses, the multiplier will be high, but the word count will be low. Players must strike a balance between each response's word count and the overall pages of the session; this means, the more words per post, the better, to an extent. Too many words per response will slow you down though.
This section will explain the allowed lengths of speed sessions. Keep in mind this whole idea is experimental at the moment, so please be patient while we test this new system out and iron out the details. There is one critical rule of doing speed sessions, that is to make sure the entire session is completed within the allotted time frame. The player who starts the session must set a thread lock counter at the beginning of the session. In the next section, I will explain the allowed lengths of speed sessions with the multiplier base per each tier.
Speed Session Time Limits
One-Hour Session - The one-hour speed session's base multiplier is 4X; this means the first page is automatically worth quadruple EXP points and each additional page will increase the multiplier by one. For example, a four page one-hour speed session has a total multiplier of 7X EXP!
Two-Hour Session - The two-hour speed session's base multiplier is 3X; this means the first page is automatically worth triple EXP points and each additional page will increase the multiplier by one. For example, a four page two-hour speed session has a total multiplier of 6X EXP!
Three-Hour Session - The three-hour speed session's base multiplier is 2X; this means the first page is automatically worth double EXP points and each additional page will increase the multiplier by one. For example, a four page three-hour speed session has a total multiplier of 5X EXP!
Speed Session Rules
50 Word Minimum - Each response to the session must be at least fifty words in length.
Multiplayer Only - Speed sessions must involve more than one player. Solo sessions are not eligible.
Time Limitation - A one-hour session must be completed within ONE hour from the time of the starting post.
Session Tagging - A speed session must be tagged as such either using a prefix like "SS" or using the tag feature.