Playing with higher level friends

I did a quick search and didn't see anything jump out at me, apologies if I missed it somewhere. Can anyone tell me, if there is any sort of EXP gain penalties if you are playing with higher level friends? I have some friends that have started playing the game, and they seem to be gaining exp way slower than I did at their levels. Is it because I'm so much higher of a level than they are? Is that taking away some EXP from them ?

Thanks for the help!

There is no EXP penalty for grouping with higher level characters (there isn't even an EXP penalty for fighting enemies that are much higher level than you); in fact, they are getting a multiplicative EXP Boost from being in a party with multiple players.

It could be a perception thing on your part (ie. you just remember it going by faster for you, when in reality it was the same speed), or it could just be that they are using lower EXP Boosters, or even that they are going about unlocking stuff differently than you did (ie. not taking the same COs you did, not accepting their ARKS Mission rewards, etc.).

Awesome. Thanks for help AndrlCh! I didn't think there was a penalty, just wanted to make sure tho.

For the record (in case anyone encounters it in old guides), there was a level gap penalty originally (I believe it was 7 or 11? levels above you), but it was removed in a later update.

@Aida-Enna I vaguely remember it being 5 levels on SH. If my memory serves me right, I am picturing an image in front of me seeing one of the 3 Tower Defense EQ's on SH (Sadly can't remember which one it was.) with a level requirement of 50 or 55 (Sorry, can't remember that one exactly either.) but do remembering the 'yellow text' indicating that the penalty would be lifted at level 55 or 60. (Depending on the level requirement.)

Wish I had a more concrete example or proof of it, it has been so long ago. I could be wrong though and may have been daydreaming it.

@ErinXh I think it actually might have been 5, now that you mention it. I'll try to crawl old versions of the patch and see if I can find out for sure.

I'm not sure what it was when the game first started, but Episode 2 made it so that the EXP Penalty kicked in only when you were more than 10 levels lower than the enemy, then at some point (sometime during or before 2014) the gap was increased to 15, and that's where it seemingly stayed until it was completely removed.

EDIT: Found it through the swiki page edits:

At launch, the EXP penalty started at 5 levels difference.

On 07/17/13, the penaly was changed to start at 11 levels difference.

On 6/11/14, the penalty was changed to start at 16 levels difference.

I can't find the exact date of the removal, but I imagine it was sometime during Ep.6.

@AndrlCh The restriction was removed on the 3/20/2019 maintenance. It was the same time as the change or sub-class XP earn rate from 10% to 25% and the sub-class level cap change from 55 to 70.

@Fiona-Respha THANK YOU! I have had such a hard time finding both of those pieces of info fro some reason (probably because bumped's search function is obtuse sometimes).