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Alternate Advancement

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For direct links to each Alternate Advancement tree, see: AAs

Alternate Advancement, previously referred to as Achievement Experience, is an alternate and additional experience system in EverQuest II. Alternate Advancement is earned in addition to normal experience (with all experience being converted to Alternate Advancement at the level cap). Alternate Advancement can be used to acquire special abilities and powers that allow you to customize your character, boosting their skills and efficiency beyond the the limits of their level alone. Many players refer to Alternate Advancement points as "AAs" because of a very similar system that existed in EverQuest I. The ability to customize a character with AA means you can focus on skills for various purposes like solo play versus raiding.

Likewise, the AA window in-game (accessed by pressing L) is divided into separate sections (or tabs) for various types of AA abilities. For example, a player with a Paladin will see a separate tab for specialized skills as a Paladin, one for their abilities as a crusader, and so forth. These groups of skills (in specific tabs) are often referred to as trees, because each area of specialization allows players to allocate points in a very loose linear manner that often "branches out" to unlock different abilities as you progress. The more points you put into each tree, the more choices you will have (in most cases).

With Update 53, a "slider" was added to allow players to adjust how much XP earned goes toward leveling in combat and how much goes to gain AA Points. Due to this change, it is no longer wise or necessary to completely disable combat XP. Only those with Gold Accounts (paid subscriptions) are able to adjust the slider at will however, while those with Silver and Bronze Accounts have their slider set (and unmovable) at a 50/50 percentage split to gain combat XP and XP for AA points. The slider (near the top of the AA window) can be toggled to set the % of XP gain you want to allocate to each, starting at level 10. The higher the percentage, the more XP you can apply to gaining AA Points and the slower you will gain levels. While leveling fast may sound attractive, the points you spend in the AA trees make your character far more powerful and efficient. Neglecting AA in favor of leveling fast often makes it difficult to catch up at higher levels in the game.

Class and Subclass AdvancementsEdit

Fighter AAs

Mage AAs

Priest AAs

Scout AAs

Heroic AAs Edit

introduced with [information needed]. More details are available

Fighter Heroic AAs

Mage Heroic AAs

Priest Heroic AAs

Scout Heroic AAs

Prestige AAs Edit

Prestige Talents are like a new type of Alternate Advancement (commonly called AA Points) that were added with Live Update 63. In the past, all AA Points that players earned had to be shared between the various AA trees for adventuring and for tradeskills. When Skyshrine content went live in 2012, this new type of AA was added for further specialization when characters reached level 90 in adventuring and level 90 in tradeskills. Now players will find a Prestige AA tree specifically for each type of game play. In other words, players now gain these AA Points to "spend" in the Prestige AA tree for adventuring and separate AA to spend in the Prestige AA tree for their tradeskill. AA gained for these trees can only be spent in the corresponding Prestige AA tree. Rather than having to adjust the XP slider to gain these new points, Prestige AA is automatically gained at a rate of 20% per level to max out these trees between 90 and 95. For more details, see Prestige Abilities for adventurers and Tradeskill Prestige to learn how they impact crafting.

Tradeskill AA Edit

With Live Update 61 came the edition of an AA tree that allows the customization of tradeskill (crafting) abilities. Unlike the adventure-focused AA trees that vary by class, all crafters have access to the same skill modifications. The AA Points for Tradeskills are earned at a set rate and can only be gained by increasing levels in a tradeskill. Because they can be used by all tradeskill classes, abilities are general; they provide bonuses to harvesting, the successful completion of crafted items, durability while crafting, and so forth. For more details see Tradeskill Alternate Advancement.

Who can earn Alternate Advancement? Edit

You begin earning Alternate Advancement at level 10 and at that point earn 5 AA to distribute.

How do I earn Alternate Advancement? Edit

You can earn your new powers by completing quests, defeating notorious enemies, acquiring rare treasure, exploring dangerous places, and by earning adventure experience once you have reached the maximum level for expansions that you have. These accomplishments earn points that allow you to choose new powers and specialties to set your character apart from the crowd.

You earn Alternate Advancement by:

  • Up to 280 AAs will be granted as part of leveling up. (since Thursday, December 18, 2014)
    • Every level after 10 until level 90 characters will receive 3 AA points.
    • Every 5th level characters will receive an additional 2 AA points, for a total of 5. (applies at level 10 as well)
    • Once a player reaches 280 AAs, all AA grants will cease. If characters are not at 2 80 AA points upon reaching level 90, they will receive additional points to reach 280.
  • Completing quests (See Soloing Timeline) that are rated for level 10 or higher.
    • Repeatable quests generally give AA on the first completion only.
    • Some quests do not award Alternate Advancement.
    • To maximize Alternate Advancement gain, only complete quests that are the same level, or lower, as your character.
      • Completing a quest a lot higher in level than your character level (red con) will result in less Alternate Advancement gain.
      • Out-leveled (grey) quests give the same Alternate Advancement as even level quests.
  • Defeating special enemies, such as named bosses, for the first time - if they con green or higher. See Monsters that award AA.
    • If the special monster is gray to you, then you can mentor a low level friend to make it green, so as to earn Alternate Advancement from it.
  • Looting rare treasures (this includes status items and the various ancient treasure vendor items). See Items that award AA
  • Exploring the world, finding landmarks and generally clearing the fog of war from the map. See Discovery Locations.
  • Completing collection quests
    • All collection quests reward Alternate Advancement experience. However if you complete a collection quest before reaching level 10, you will not be awarded AA exp.
  • Moving the AA slider to convert some combat XP into additional AA XP. If you have purchased the current expansion and have gold membership (paid subscription) all XP converts into AA points automatically when you reach the level cap of 95. [information needed] (This should be double checked. Tradeskill Prestige AA is earned between 90 and 95 at a 20% rate after level 90 until level cap.)

Aa slider detail

Close up detail of the AA slider, located in the upper left corner of the AA window

As noted above, by using the AA conversion slider (after you have reached level 10), you can select a percentage of the experience (XP) you wish to divert to your AA. For example if the slider is moved to 0% then none of the common level experience you gain from killing monsters will be diverted to your AA. The 0% setting is the default setting. You still will gain AA though by turning in quests and killing specific mobs. If however you place the slider at 100%, you will no longer receive standard adventure XP. All your XP, including the amount gained by quests will be converted into AA. The slider in essence is a percentage of standard adventure level XP diversion. This can be incredibly usefull if you decide you wish to complete a series of quests without leveling or you wish to retain your current adventure level but want to advance without the standard XP going to waste.

For EQ2X Players Only:

If you have a Bronze or Silver membership, your Alternate Advancement Slider is locked at 50/50. Gold membership is required to adjust the slider to other ratios.

How can I spend my Alternate Advancement points? Edit

You can earn a maximum of 350 Alternate Advancements Points, if you have the Tears of Veeshan expansion.

Since GU61, from levels 1 through 50, you will be limited to spending 100 AA points total: 50 points each in the Class and Subclass trees. The Shadows Alternate Advancement tab now unlocks at level 50. The Sentinel’s Fate Alternate Advancements now unlock at level 80. The Heroic Alternate Advancement tab now unlocks at level 80. Beginning with level 70, this limit is raised to 200 AA points total: 70 points for the Class and Subclass trees and still 60 points for the Shadows tree. Upon reaching level 81, the cap limits are removed. You can spend up to a maximum of 100 points for the Class and Subclass trees and a maximum of 70 points spent for the Shadows Tree, plus 50 points (for 300 AA total) on the Heroic tree introduced with Destiny of Velious.

PvP servers have an additional cap placed on the number of Alternate Advancement points you can assign. Players under level 30 cannot assign more than 1.5 times their adventure level in Alternate Advancement points. For example, at level 22 you can assign no more than 33 (1.5 x 22) Alternate Advancement points. Any additional Alternate Advancement points you may have will be stored until you reach a higher level and are able to assign them.

You can spend (assign) points in any tree at any time, but you must follow the tree's progression and restrictions (the Shadows tree has restrictions based upon total number of points spent). For the Class tree, you must spend 4 points in each bubble (except the beginning ability) in order to progress to the next. You can spend a maximum of 10 points in each bubble. When you spend 22 points in any one line, you can apply 2 points to the "final" ability. These abilities are usually very useful, and you get a prefix title along with your ability. After you earn the "final" ability, you can spend up to 10 points on the endline ability which will boost the "final" ability.

As for the Subclass trees, each tree is different. As a general rule, you have to spend 5 points in the first horizontal line to be able to spend points in the next horizontal line. Some abilities have only one or two ranks, but require more than one point to raise them. Every 20 points you spend in the first 4 horizontal lines, you are able to spend one point to acquire a end ability. After spending a minimum of 70 points on your Subclass tree, you can add points to the bottom-most line (added with Sentinel's Fate) for subclass-specific upgrades.

The Shadows tree is the most straightforward of all the trees. It will have total points spent requirements displayed in red text across each row letting you know how soon that row will become unlocked. You may spend up to five points for each ability in a given row except for the abilities on the far right side of each line. To access those endline abilities, you must spend a minimum of 10 points in the line beforehand.

The the first line of the Heroic tree is locked until you have spend 200 points across all other trees. The second line is locked until you spend 10 points in the first line of the Heroic table. The third line is locked until you spend 240 AA across all trees and 20 AA on the heroic table. Lastly, the fourth line is locked until you spend 275 AA across all trees and 30 AA in the Heroic table.

How can I respec my AAs? Edit

With the launch of LU67 the freedom to create multiple AA builds and change AA specs was made easy, with the addition of the Alternate Advancement Profiles, which allow players to have 3 different builds they personally customize. In addition, players who would like to have their AA automatically placed in the AA trees for them can choose to use pre-made Character Advancement Templates designed to be used for solo play, groups, and PVP. This gives player the ability to switch between a total of 6 AA specs as it suits their needs.

Rather than using a Mirror of Reflected Achievements, players can now switch between AA specs at any time and place, provided you are not in combat. This allows players to have up to 3 personally customized builds for solo play, grouping, and raiding if they choose or three different AA specs for different roles that apply to one or two types of play. For example, if you primarily group and play a class that can both heal and off-tank, you might have two personally customized Alternate Advancement Profiles: one to maximize healing skills for some groups and one for off-tanking in another group. Instead of using the Mirror of Reflected Achievements, players will now see a button to toggle between "view mode" (in which the current AA build is locked) and "build mode" (that allows players to reset and change the AA spec) near the bottom right corner of the AA window.

Respecing Character Development Traits Edit

NPCs are only necessary to reset traits now. These traits are found in the AA window (press L), click the top button on the left and there are 3 tabs for these traits. The choices here are based only those abilities or traits that are innate to the character's Race, the Focus Effects for a class, and the generalized Training for each Class.

If you decide you do not like the choices you made for Character Development Traits you can visit the NPCs below, hail them, and they will remove all of the choices. Note that you will have to choose new traits for each tab related to the character's Race, Focus Effects, and Training.

To respec your Character Development, visit one of the following Counsels:

The first Character Trait respec costs 1s [These costs may need to be checked since GU76 went live. The next amount seems to be 10 silver, but it's unclear if this is price change is impacted by level?]

Helpful tips on earning Alternate Advancement Edit

  • AA XP is earned starting at level 10, thus you cannot get AA from any mobs, quests, or collections that are below level 10 even if you are above that level.
  • Though people refer it as Prestige AA, the Prestige Talent Trees for combat and tradeskills are not technically AA, because these points are gained independent of normal AA. Talent Trees are unlocked at level 90, with a set amount of Prestige XP gain (20%) between 90-95.
  • Lore and Legend quests give a very good amount of Alternate Advancement and will give you a mastery strike (a type of bonus) against the mobs for which you complete the quests.
  • Heritage Quests can earn you much more Alternate Advancement than normal quests.
  • When entering a zone for the first time, try to pick up any Bootstrutter quests in the zone so that you can complete the quest while gaining the discovery Alternate Advancement.
  • It is no longer necessary to mentor down for gray quests. Starting with LU 45, you earn AA XP from all quests, even if they are gray. However, you must still mentor down if you want to earn AA XP from named monsters.
  • Adjusting the slider can be extremely helpful when players need to gain adventure levels or AA quickly, since the slider can be set to give as much as a 100% gain to AA or as low as 0% to AA. The slider acts as a means to keep your AA gain in balance with XP gain though, and even with it set to 0% to gain more combat XP, a small percentage will still go to AA XP. For this reason, you can think of the ability to adjust the slider as bonus XP for AA.
  • In order to have a balance between combat XP and AA Points when you reach max level, players typically want to have approximately 2-3 AA Points for every adventure level. For this reason, it is not uncommon for players to complete quests in several of the starter zones (Gororwyn/Neriak/New Halas/Kelethin) after they reach level 10.
For EQ2X Players Only:

If you have a Bronze or Silver membership, your Alternate Advancement Slider is locked at 50/50. Gold membership is required to adjust the slider to other ratios.

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