For those wondering whether the seemingly never-ending grind to the next level is worthwhile, a recently published study by scientists at the Rotterdam Institute may give you a new reason to keep grinding.
The study, which looked at the relationship between experience points (XP) and lifespan, showed that there exists a distinctly positive correlation between the two. Higher XP individuals tend to live longer, and those who live longer tend to have higher XPs, the researchers found.
In digging into the data, the scientists came up with some theories about the strong correlation. “Higher XP people have more health, increased power, and generally greater stats in all other areas,” said Dr. Reginald P. Gammer, lead author of the study. “They also tend to have collected more useful items, currency, weaponry, and armor, which gives them an advantage over lower XP individuals.”
The double-blind study allowed the research team to use anonymized data from the completed tasks, quests, missions, deeds, and other accomplishments by a cross-section of more than 100,000 participants. The data was collected through the use of terms detailed deep within end-user agreements that likely none of the participants read.
The research team also looked at whether the use of XP boost supplements, which accelerate the acquisition of experience, are as effective as supplement-makers claim. “While such supplements appear to have some positive effect, they are not as effective as the natural procurement of XP,” explained Michael M. O’Connell, a research fellow and Ph.D. candidate who worked on the study. “Based on the data, the slower agglomeration of XP through incremental task fulfillment gives users an advantage by presenting more opportunities to learn effective techniques and obtain useful artifacts.”
While the data favored non-supplemental XP maturation, O’Connell added, individual cases of enhancement could result in extremely long life. Ultimately, it comes down to the particular stats and skills of the person, regardless of how their XP was acquired.
So, if you were holding off on collecting those 10 rare flowers for the medic to make an infusion of healing tea, or if you were hesitant about killing those 20 enraged beasts to help keep a village safe from attack, you can rest easy knowing that the XP you earn will keep you alive and questing for a long time to come.