The answer is that any bonus help you can get in SWTOR to allow you to level faster is a good thing and the rest xp is a often overlooked help in that regard. This guide is designed for all user experience levels as this information pertains to all those that will play SWTOR.
The rest xp system is not a new mechanic to those who have played MMO’s before. It is a tried and true system used in many MMO’s designed to help you level faster by providing you a bonus to your xp gain rate for a limited amount of time based on how long your character stays in or is logged out in what is called a “Rest Zone” in SWTOR. An all around nice benefit to the person behind the keyboard.
*Note- there is a game tip that pops up on some loading screens which states that “you accrue rest xp while in or logged out in a rest zone.” It seemed to accrue at the same rate either way. The tool tip that pops up when you mouse over the xp bar states though “when you are logged off in a cantina” so there is a discrepancy here in the game material.
I waited until release day to test the time equation before publishing this because I wanted to make sure that this information was tested under that build so that it can be as accurate as I can make it at release. Understand that this figure wont be exact down to the second as predicting and timing how long it takes me to log off and back on within a certain time frame was very difficult on release day especially, but it should be close enough to give you a very good feel for what the rest xp system can do for you.
On your xp bar it is displayed as:
a amount of xp you have / out of a amount of xp required to reach next level
If you have rest xp built up the bar will turn from its normal gold-ish color to green and the amount of rest xp you have acquired is denoted in the pop up you get when you mouse over the bar, for example:
468/535 Experience Points (1 rested)
“you are in a rested state. While in a rested state you gain double XP. You can get into a rested state by logging out of the game in a cantina.”
On my first time trial I logged off inside the “Poison Pit Cantina” on Hutta. The cantinas and a few other select locations in the game like your personal starship or the “Sith Academy” for example, are designated as “Rest Zones”.
The longer your character stays logged off inside a rest zone or in a rest zone, the more rest xp you accrue until you log back in or leave the rest zone on that character and then it stops building up. The amount of rest xp built up on a character stays with you until you use it by gaining xp once again and fully deplete the bonus. When you use your rest xp you gain experience at double the normal rate for certain activities that gives you xp.
The first set of times I recorded I logged off while setting a timer for 15 minutes and pared it down until I got to the point where I got a gain. Trying to judge as best I could about how long it would take me to log back in and trying to get it as close to the gain point as possible. I went into the log off with 0 rest xp built up.
After a few tests with a level 1 character in 12 minutes I had accrued 1 rest xp point. That means that as it seems to be working now that for every 12 minutes as a level 1 that you stay logged off in a rest zone you earn 1 rest xp point on average.
The second set of time trials went from how much rest xp was collected based on the 12 minute length while logged in and afk but still within the rest zone = @ 1 rest xp per 12 minutes so that seems the same.
So as far as I can tell, taking into account the variance in times when logging back in I feel pretty sure in saying that the rest xp rate acquired is about 1 point per 12 minutes as a level 1 character while logged off and it seemed to accrue the same while in the rest zone and still logged in.
From these shots you can see the bonus gain in xp as I fight the same mob without any and then again when I have rest xp bonus, I get double xp gain for the same mob type with xp bonus.
At this point I thought I had it figured out but I soon saw I was wrong in this thinking as I discovered something else. I logged on with a level 11 character and the rest xp gain was much, much faster. On the order of 1 rest xp point per 20 seconds as a level 11 character!
After this realization hit me I now understand that either the rest xp gain rate is increased as you level or possibly there is a character statistic that when raised increases the rest xp gain rate. At this time I am not sure which it is but it definitely does increase as you level, which when you think about it makes perfect sense due to the fact that as you level you will need ever increasing amounts of experience points to level up.
So what is the big deal about this system after seeing this you say? Well the short of it is, if you end all of your gaming sessions while inside a rest zone or try to spend your afk time while in a rest zone you will be able to double your exp gain for a limited time doing nothing other than making sure you practice this. Make it a normal gaming pattern just like hitting a vendor to sell your junk, make it just a thing you practice.
Always end your gaming sessions by logging off in a rest zone!
Bioware has admitted in the past that they are so proud of the work that they have put into the story of this game and that they fully intend for people to re-roll so that they can experience all the different story branches in the game. When presented with this type of game play you have to find and use every advantage given to you when it is obvious that you are going to want to make many characters and level them through the game.
This strategy in my mind is very do able and something I highly recommend if you want to find all the help you can to level in SWTOR!
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