Each character's strengths and abilities are measured by two types of levels: their Base Level and their Job Level. In order for a character's Base Level or Job Level to increase, they must earn Base Experience Points or Job Experience Points, respectively. The primary means of gaining Experience Points "EXP" is to kill monsters, although there are a few alternatives, such as completing quests with EXP rewards or redeeming Hugel medals.
Base Level, frequently abbreviated to "BLv", "BaseLV", "LV", "LVL", or simply referred to as a character's "level", is the primary and broadest measurement of a character's growth in Ragnarok Online. Each time a character gains a certain amount of Base Experience, their Base Level increases, and the character is given a certain amount of Status Points, which can be used to increase their Stats. Each Base Level requires an exponentially greater amount of Base Experience Points, resulting in an atypically steep growth curve that sets RO apart from many other MMORPGs.
Characters begin at Base Level 1, and can reach as high as Base Level 99. Because of the maximum Base Level cap, players must carefully balance their stats so that they will be properly distributed by the time they reach 99, and they are unable to earn any more Status Points. Each time a character dies, they lose an amount of Base EXP equal to 1% of the Base EXP needed for their next level, with exceptions for deaths in the PvP arena, inside WoE castles (Do note you DO lose EXP if you die in guild dungeons, even if you are killed by other players), in most cities, and in a small assortment of other maps, which are usually quest-related.
Aside from the Status Points earned with each Base Level, there are a number of other benefits to raising your Base Level. For instance:
- A dramatic increase of HP and SP is obtained for each level.
- A character's Base Level is added to their DEX to determine their HIT rate.
- A character's Base Level is added to their INT to determine how much HP their Heal skill (if learned) recovers.
- A character's Base Level is added to their AGI to determine their FLEE rate.
- At level 99, a character's sprite will be glorified with an "aura" effect.
- By leveling a Novice class character to Base Level 45, they may become a Super Novice.
- Many equipable items have a Base Level prerequisite to prevent the use of very powerful items by very low-leveled characters to gain an unfair advantage.
- Some quests have Base Level prerequisites or offer better EXP rewards to higher-leveled characters.
- Some dungeons have Base Level prerequisites.
See Also: Base Experience Chart - Lists the amount of Base EXP needed to reach each Base Level.
Job Level, frequently abbreviated to "JLv", "JobLV", "JLVL", or simply referred to as a character's "job", is the secondary measurement of a character's progression in RO, and is strongly tied to the character's Class. Each time a character gains a certain amount of Job Experience, their Job Level increases, and the character is given a single Skill Point, which can be used to learn a new Skill (depending on which skills are available to their Class) or develop a Skill they have already learned (frequently unlocking new Skills). Each Job Level requires an exponentially greater amount of Job Experience Points, and many monsters give a significantly lower amount of Job Experience than Base Experience when killed, often resulting in a much slower rate of Job Level growth than Base Level growth.
All characters begin at Job Level 1, and every time a character changes from one Class to another, their Job Level resets to 1. As a Novice or High Novice, a character can reach Job Level 10, at which point they are ready to change to a First Class or a High First Class. (Please note: the Super Novice class is neither a First Class nor a High First Class. In order to become a Super Novice, the character must reach Base Level 45 as a Novice.) After changing to a First Class or a High First Class, the character can level as high as Job Level 50, although they are free to change to their Second Class or Transcendent Second Class as soon as they reach Job Level 40. Advancing past Job Level 40 has some benefits, including:
- At Job Level 50, exemption from some portions of some Second Classes' job change quests. (For instance, a Job Level 50 Mage is not required to collect items as part of the Wizard Job Change Guide.)
- An additional Skill Point for each Job Level past 40.
- At Job Level 50, bonuses or rewards upon completion of the Second Class job change quests. (For instance, a Job Level 50 Archer can order special instrument-class weapons after completing the Bard job change quest.)
Maximum Job levels:
- First Class: 50
- Second Class: 50
- Transcendent First Class: 50
- Transcendent Second Class: 70
- Super Novice: 99
- Ninja and Gunslinger: 70
Because of the maximum Job Level cap, players must carefully use their Skill Points so that they will be properly distributed by the time they reach their maximum Job Level, and they are unable to earn any more Skill Points. Each time a character dies, they lose an amount of Job EXP equal to 1% of the Job EXP needed for their next level, with exceptions for deaths in the PvP arena, inside WoE castles (As with Base Experience, death in guild dungeons, results in losing 1% Job EXP, or 3% on Valkyrie), in most cities, and in a small assortment of other maps, which are usually quest-related.
Aside from the Skill Points earned with Job Levels, there are a number of other benefits to raising your Job Level. For instance:
- A character receives bonuses to their Stats at certain Job Levels, depending on their Class.
- Many gameplay algorithms use Job Level as a factor, including:
See Also: Job Experience Chart - Lists the amount of Job EXP needed to reach each Job Level.
Transcending / Rebirthing
After a character reaches Base Level 99 and Job Level 50, they can complete a short quest in order to "Transcend" or "Rebirth" their character, which will reset the character to Base Level 1 and Job Level 1, reset all Stats to 1, remove all Skills, and reset the character's job to High Novice. As a transcendent character, the leveling process begins again, this time requiring significantly more EXP in order to earn each level.
As the reborn character grows, they can eventually reach a maximum Base Level of 99 and, after changing to a transcendent second class, a maximum Job Level of 70. Transcendent characters receive many benefits, including:
- A 25% bonus to their maximum HP and SP
- New skills available only to transcendent second class characters
- A maximum Job Level on their second class that is 20 levels higher than non-transcendent characters can achieve, therefore:
- 20 additional Skill Points
- Stat bonuses for 20 additional job levels
- The aura surrounding the sprite of a level 99 transcendent character is brighter than that of a normal level 99 character, and the bubbles are purple instead of blue.
The primary means of gaining EXP in Ragnarok Online is by killing monsters, although some of the game's quests offer EXP rewards. There are several Leveling Spots to choose from, depending upon what type of character you play.