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During character creation, I'm allowed to choose a god to worship, all of which grant different permanent game bonuses. One of the options is to worship no god, which yields a paltry 1% experience bonus, by far the weakest of the options. If this source for the experience/level progression is correct, that only amounts to 19,480 of 1,948,000 experience by level 40 (max level), which even by that point is only about 1/8th of a level. With such a small bonus, you'll barely level faster than followers of gods, and the cap effectively means that at max level, you no longer have a bonus relative to them, seemingly make this a poor choice.

Is there any other gameplay or story benefit beyond that character creation benefit for not worshipping a god, such as extra availability of quests or not having some opposing god's followers hate you, or anything like that?

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Excellent question, I was wondering the same thing. –  Aubergine Feb 7 '12 at 14:27
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Excellent title. =D –  Toast Feb 7 '12 at 16:09

4 Answers 4

I know nothing of the other classes but my atheism went from lvl 1 to lvl 2 through the completion of a quest now i get plus 3% exp and 5% gold. from it alone. I'm sure others get theirs but i dont agree that this is a bad choice for anyone. because even when you're capped you still get the plus 5%gold..unless it extends again i'll post again if it does.

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If you are doing a speed playthrough, the "no god" option is phenom. It also stacks on top of other EXP bonuses obtained throughout the game. If you are a completion then this is the most horrific option statistically. As a completionist you will max level (without the 1% bonus) well before the very end. Essentially, the most important level is 36 so don't even consider the level 40 that important. Level 36 will allow you the highest tier destiny (or class). Because of this, you will get to max level (as a completionist and without the 1% exp bonus) about 60% to maybe 70% through the game.

Again, if you are doing a speed run then that would mean it is highly likely you will not get to level 36 even by the end game thus consider the 1% exp bonus a free 3 or 4 levels at the beginning of the game (i.e. you will need the least amount of exp to achieve those levels) and maybe more.

Edit:

Because someone decided to question my math skills I will post some logic:

Let us say that you are trying to just get the top tier destiny (i.e. Class). That takes exactly 1351000 exp. 1% of that is 13510 exp. You require 14000 in order to get to level 6. That is practically the first 5 levels of your character.

Edit: (again)

Per GameFaq member raffydturtle The following are the leveling charts:

1: 500 2: 1600 3: 3300 4: 6000 5: 9500 6: 14000 7: 19700 8: 26600 9: 34900 10: 44600 11: 55900 12: 68800 13: 83500 14: 100000 15: 118500 16: 139000 17: 161500 18: 186000 19: 213500 20: 244000 21: 277500 22: 314000 23: 354500 24: 399000 25: 447500 26: 500000 27: 557500 28: 620000 29: 687500 30: 760000 31: 839500 32: 926000 33: 1019500 34: 1120000 35: 1230500 36: 1351000 37: 1481500 38: 1162200 39: 1777500 40: 1948000

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I've run the math on this, and that 1% bonus doesn't come anywhere near 3 or 4 "free" levels. –  Sterno Mar 5 '12 at 4:09
    
Let us say that you are trying to just get the top tier destiny (i.e. Class). That takes exactly 1351000 exp. 1% of that is 13510 exp. You require 14000 in order to get to level 6. That is practically the first 5 levels of your character. if you push to anything above level 36 then it is the first 6 levels of your character by that point. I don't mind when people would like to disprove a fact but please be sure you are accurate. You will not get the levels outright but as you go through the game. –  Ekopalm Mar 5 '12 at 4:21
    
@ekoplam If you read my question, you'll see that I have a similar experience calculation, though for level 40. My point (badly stated in my original comment) is that it's misleading to call those "free" levels. Call it instead what it is...about 13k xp. With that 1% xp bonus, sure, it comes out to be ~13k by level 36, but throughout the entire experience you've never been 3-4 levels ahead of where you'd otherwise be. You've been a few kills ahead of where you would be. Anyway, we agree on what's happening, I think we just disagree on the utility of it and my issue was with your phrasing. –  Sterno Mar 5 '12 at 5:36
    
I think I see what you are trying to say. Fundamentally, if two people played the exact same way through the game until they reached level 36 then they would both be level 36 simultaneously with one person reaching it only slightly earlier (miniscule in comparison) as opposed to being 3 or 4 levels ahead of someone else. The 1% would only help those looking for every ounce of getting to the max level as soon as possible. 13510 exp per 1% with a 15% bonus would not be significantly more than a 14% bonus character. –  Ekopalm Mar 5 '12 at 5:43
    
Exactly. I think we're on the same page. Have an upvote! –  Sterno Mar 5 '12 at 5:46
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Having now completed the game, I can say that choosing to worship no god does not seem to have a story effect or any other benefit besides the explicitly listed experience bonus.

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1% bonus experience might not seem like much - and it isn't - but there is one particular benefit it has over every other benefit - namely, there are very few ways to get bonus experience.

The other buffs can be earned by, say, visiting the shrine of Mitharu for +5% health / mana, or Vraekor for 6% bonus fire damage / resistance.

But there is no "No God" shrine (it's a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it?), so the only way to get that bonus experience is to be an atheist.

Choosing to follow no god gives a minor (but tangible!) benefit for those min-maxers who want to race to the max level as soon as humanly possible.

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It would be too weird to be an atheist and then go worship a god at a shrine :s –  Marcelo Feb 7 '12 at 16:06
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@James - Polytheists, by definition, aren't atheists. –  Shinrai Feb 7 '12 at 17:23
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The problem with that example is that even if you're not a vegan, you acknowledge that vegetables exist :) –  Tacroy Feb 7 '12 at 19:16
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To be fair, the game doesn't call it Atheism. You just don't choose a god to worship (maybe you believe in them all, but think they're all big jerks!). I took some liberties with the question title. –  Sterno Feb 7 '12 at 19:50
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@RavenDreamer The shrine bonuses are temporary, while the bonus from picking a god is permanent, so it's not like the shrines are a real replacement for following a certain god. Also, the shrine bonuses do not match the patron god bonuses, the shrine to Ethene for example, does in fact grant +20% experience gain for the buff duration. I abused the Ethene shrine in Haxhi to get +20% exp on every single troll in the area early in the game. –  user20519 Feb 26 '12 at 9:05

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