The Experience Point Systems and the Battle Estimator
Here are the things that will accumulate experience.
1. Familiarity with an area -> Spending time in an area, especially time familiarizing oneself with that area, will increase your Familiarity, making it easier to find things, and sometimes, find people.
2. Experience in your professions and traits -> Do enough Leatherworking and the skill will increase, however this is different, in most cases, from going to actually learn the advanced levels of a skill. Only in a few cases will enough basic practice simply 'push you into the next tier'.
3. Actual stat points -> This is slightly complex. Training activities give you literal exp points toward your stats. A stat levels in the following manner.
Level 1 is reached at 3 exp total.
Level 2 is reached at 10 exp total.
Level 3 is reached at 23 exp total.
Level 4 is reached at 40 exp total.
Level 5 is reached at 63 exp total.
And so on. For those who wish the formula, it is simply Level^2 (that's squared, kids) x 2.5 rounded up. Each stat levels individually. It is therefore indeed 'easier' to raise lower stats than it is to raise higher ones, but the overall effectiveness of stats increases as they rise, due to reaching 'exceptional' ranges. This can be used to get more stat points overall than other players, but that may still not be very effective since stat comparisons vs situations are more important than total stats. This is not to say that min-maxing is a particularly good idea either. Though it may seem simple to 'make up your weaknesses' faster, also bear in mind that an activity that requires a stat yields less exp when the stat is low, to begin with. Overall there is very little benefit to trying to take advantage of this without taking some extreme measure and long term time investment. Best to just let the stats fall where they naturally do.
4. Weapon stat exp multipliers -> This is the most complex. Each weapon has a certain exp build modifier attached to it, and it is from this that your base battle exp is calculated, before your own general 'genius' is applied. A minor scuffle using a Greatsword as main weapon would, for example, grant 1 DEX Exp, 4 STR exp, 3 RES exp, 1 FCS exp, 2 RSN exp. A longer battle would have 'multipliers' on top of this, up to a truly heavy threat or group action where you stand to gain up to 5x those or more, as basic 'exp from using weapon in the conflict'. Other exp is assigned due to the battle strategy and other factors, on top of the basic weapon stat exp. For reference, normally battles will occur as a result of a story event or encounter, and you will be alerted of the situation and THEN told to write the strat. Of course if you prepare a strat for dragon fighting and run into a dragon, feel free to tell me 'just use the one I sent before'. Due to the reduction in message volume foreseen, most strategics and even basic fighting style data e-mails/PMs will be documented and stored.
The above leads into the complex issue of the battle estimator...
The Battle Estimator
Every creature or person in the Empire has a basic overall 'threat level'. A threat level is not a measure of direct strength, but rather a measure of how much damage the being is likely to do to you in a fight. Nothing more or less. Understanding this is key to understanding how the battle estimator works.
A creature of threat level 3, regardless of its type, or any perceived advantages you have over it, is very likely to take off 30% of your health in a combat situation, grant you a basic 33 exp, and make you 3x more tired than fighting a creature of threat level 1.
This is simply the nature of the creatures, and the estimator. Because of how the creatures are in themselves, their own special abilities and advantages are also left out of the calculation, and only their base physical abilities are taken into account. There is not much point in claiming to have an advantage outside of your own strategy that 'should' make the estimator have you take less damage.
Only two things can outright reduce the threat level of a creature type, relative to the player. The player's own 'strategy threat', which is raised based on their strategies, and the number of performances that result in less actual damage, or more actual exp, than the estimator indicates. The better your strategies are, the higher this will be raised. Though it does not make your character actually stronger, and raises the bar for what is expected of you in strategies, it also allows you to take less damage via the estimator (also lowers your exp rewards but that is made up for later).
The second thing is to actually become statistically stronger, which will prompt the Admin to increase your character's Strength threat (this is calculated based on main weapon, relation of main weapon to stats, and essences). Most players have similar Strength Threat values, since, again, advantages, and in some cases, not even skills, are taken into account, however immature characters (not adult) or those with a large number of noncombat essences (essences that are literally nearly no use in a fight) will have reduced Strength Threat values in most cases, compared to the norm.
Having a larger party fundamentally decreases the threat level of a creature type when it is encountered, however this is because the damage it does gets spread over the whole group. The strategy written must therefore include the efforts of all members of the group.
Healing essences are considered to be counterbalanced. They do not help in attack, and therefore would lower the Strength threat, but they allow the player to fight longer and more safely, therefore raising it again. In other words, having a healing essence does not negate your battle damage, its use is already factored into the Threat level calculation. To be even clearer, a character with a healing essence is considered to have one less combat essence, and therefore would take 10% more damage, however since they use that Healing essence to heal that extra 10% during the course of the battle, the overall estimation is still close to correct.
When the official battle is written, any necessary adjustments to the outcomes placed on the character for that day, by the estimator, will be done by the Admin. This includes everything from refunding money paid to Aeslmancers that was not really needed, to manually 'entering' one or two extra actions into the parts of the day spent recovering. Similarly, if the battle went worse than the estimator predicted, penalties will be incurred.
For this reason, players are encouraged, if confident that their battle went better than estimated, to add extra filler requests to that message. Conversely, if you have a 'bad feeling' about your battle, make the appropriate arrangements.
For the record, all battle estimations are based on 'slightly bad luck' in the battle, so 'better than expected' is more likely than the alternative, though please note that most creatures in Hanjia likely to attack you will find a way to hurt you, even if it does not 'seem' like they would.
No battle strategy needs to be sent for enemies of threat levels 0 or 1. Send in the case of a threat level 1 only if you really need to, or want to. Send no strategies for enemies of threat level 0. These will be ignored.
Players are strongly advised not to try to engage in multiple battles with enemies of threat level 2 or higher, in one day. Not only does this complicate site updating considerably (though not to the point where most easygoing players will mind), but damage to your character slowly weakens them, increasing the threat level of other creatures (though not your ability to escape from them, or success in most other activities).
High threat level battles are serious. Fatiguing, damaging, and overall likely to 'throw off' any plans you have for the rest of the day, if any. Take them seriously, especially in dangerous areas. It may be greatly in your best interests to run from dangerous aggressive ones (often slow enough to escape from, but multiple encounters may result in death) or ignore powerful docile ones (since they won't attack too often anyway).