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Sometimes when I kill an enemy, I get a popup saying that I received bonus experience for the kill.

gw

Why do I get this bonus XP? I can't seem to narrow it down the variables. It happens whether I'm partying or solo, and whether I'm in an event or just grinding regular mobs.

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"Bonus Experience - When you kill an enemy in the world, you might see 5 xp + 2 xp pop up . What this means is you’ll gain bonus experience depending on how long an enemy has been alive in the world, which gives you even more incentive to explore."

Enemies that have been alive (bear with me, that's a huge article. Somewhere halfway through) for a longer amount of time than other mobs give bonus experience based on the amount of time they've been around. This is to discourage grinding in one place.

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It has nothing to do with the difference in level? I thought you got bonus xp also by killing mobs above your level –  stoldark Aug 25 '12 at 11:59
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@stoldark: You get more experience, but it's not specifically labelled as "bonus" experience I don't believe. –  Matthew Scharley Aug 25 '12 at 12:07
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The article that I quoted and linked to states that the information has been obtained directly from Arena Net. I've also gone out and tested this; mobs that have just spawned do not give any bonus experience, whereas little-explored areas have more bonus experience. –  Confuzzledmaniac Aug 26 '12 at 6:25
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An early level 80 player mentioned she grinded on out of the way areas where mobs had 2-3k bonus experience and only 2-3 hundred regular exp. I personally have gotten 500+ bonus experience from a 100 exp enemy. therefore it seems that they is a very high cap on the amount of available bonus exp, and that it is often worth seeking out –  Lawton Sep 7 '12 at 13:38
    
Is it safe to say it applies to resource nodes too? –  Frhay Feb 6 '13 at 15:24

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