I've had a lot of trouble finding solid information on the behavior of bonus XP gear in multiplayer, so I decided to do some testing and get some information of my own. I am testing only based on the +Bonus% stat that is listed in the character page, which can be increased by a ruby in helm, cains' set, etc.
First off, an easy one:
- +Bonus% gear is multiplicative with difficulty. Putting a +41% XP gem in a helm gives 41% more XP per monster than without the gem. I've seen some people who say that this stat is additive with difficulty (i.e., 200% difficulty bonus + 41% gem = 241% bonus, which is actually a much lower real increase), but this is does not appear to be the case.
The rest of the tests use two players, each level 16 with a flawless royal ruby socketed into the helm, which has a +41% listed experience bonus. This is equipped/dequipped as needed for testing various combinations. Player 1 is the one killing monsters, and Player 2 is stationary for all tests. This may not be a necessary difference to mention, but we tested it anyways.
- Player 1 with gem/ Player 2 without: +20.5% average XP increase
- Player 2 with gem/ Player 1 without: +21% average XP increase
- Both players with gem: +41% average XP increase
This was tested with both players in close proximity to each other, with players just outside of the Strength in Numbers buff radius, and with both players across the map from each other. The Strength in Numbers buff does not impact overall XP (it's still an extra 10%, so do it, but it doesn't affect any of the other numbers; purely multiplicative). Distance in a map also does not affect overall XP.
From each of these tests, it makes sense that the XP bonus is being split between players in the same map. We also tested players in different maps and players in town, and it seems that players MUST be in the same map for this XP sharing to occur. If a player with +0% XP kills a monster in area A while another player with +41% XP in area B kill the same monster type at the same character level, the second player gets 41% more XP than the first player (assuming they are the only players in their respective levels).
Your actual XP increase is the average of the +Bonus% XP of everyone in the same map as you, so equipping a ruby with helm in a group will split the effect of the XP boost among each player. To have the same effect as you would in solo, every player would need to have a ruby in their helm.
This also means that when powerleveling, it might be better for the powerleveler to also equip experience gear to level his players more quickly.
Note: this does not account for more complicated situations, such as if two players are close enough for a Strength in Numbers buff, but a third is too far away. It should still serve as fairly definitive evidence towards bonus XP being shared. I assume the same applies to lvl 70+ characters (with the 90% reduction, of course) but don't feel a strong need to test it.
Source: Original link
© Post "+Bonus% XP stats" for game Diablo 3.
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