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The AA system has been changed with the release of the Reign of Shadows expansion. This will affect both base class and subclass abilities, but won't directly affect the Shadows, Heroic and Dragon abilities. The expansion has also introduced new Prestige AA abilities. It is likely most existing profiles will need to be updated and re-committed.

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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.

Class and Subclass Advancements[]

Fighter AAs

Mage AAs

Priest AAs

Scout AAs

Heroic AAs[]

introduced with [information needed]. More details are available

Fighter Heroic AAs

Mage Heroic AAs

Priest Heroic AAs

Scout Heroic AAs

Prestige AAs[]

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.
With the launch of Reign of Shadows you can earn Bonus Prestige Points from certain achievements.

Tradeskill AA[]

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.

Earning AA Points[]

You begin earning Alternate Advancement points at level 10 and will have 5 points to distribute. You can earn a maximum of 350 Alternate Advancements points on the standard servers. The maximum number of points you can earn on a Time-Locked Expansion server depends on which expansions have been unlocked on that server.

You can earn your new abilities 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. After you have earned 280 points, you will complete the achievement Up, Up, and Away!

You earn Alternate Advancement points 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.
    • On the standard servers, you can visit a Timeless Chronomage in your city to temporarily reduce your level so the monster won't con gray to you. This option is not available to players on a Time-Locked Expansion (TLE) server.
  • 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 reached the current expansion's adventure level cap, all experience will automatically be converted in to AA XP.

The Conversion Slider[]

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

The AA conversion 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 necessary to completely disable combat XP if you wish to remain at your current level.

  • The slider is located in the upper left corner of the AA window. By default, this window can be opened by pressing the "L" key in-game.
  • Those with Free-To-Play accounts have their slider set (and unmovable) at a 50/50 percentage split to gain combat XP and XP for AA points. If you have reached your maximum of AA points, the slider is automatically set (and unmovable) at a 100/0 percentage split, with all experience going towards adventure leveling.
  • Once you have reached the level cap for the current expansion, all adventure XP gained from killing monsters and completing quests will be automatically converted to AA XP.
  • The maximum number of AA points you can earn is capped at 340 until you reach level 95. If you are under level 95 and have 340 AA points, the AA slider will be effectively locked at 0. If you want to stay at your current level, you can no longer divert experience to AA and you will need to disable combat and quest XP completely.
  • Those playing on a Time-Locked Expansion (TLE) server cannot earn AA until the Kingdom of Sky expansion unlocks, and will not be able to change the conversion slider until The Shadow Odyssey expansion unlocks. Until that time, it is locked at 0% and cannot be changed.
  • You must have an active All Access membership to adjust the slider.

By default, the slider is set to 0% for players with an active All Access membership, and 50% for free-to-play players. If the slider is at 0%, no experience gained from killing monsters will be diverted to earning extra AA beyond that which is automatically granted by leveling. You will continue to gain AA by turning in quests and killing unique monsters at the normal rate. At 50%, half of all earned adventure experience will be converted to AA experience.

If the slider is set to 100%, all adventure XP, including the amount gained by quests, will be converted into AA XP. The slider in essence is a percentage of standard adventure level XP diversion. This can be incredibly useful if you decide you wish to complete a series of quests without leveling, or if you wish to retain your current adventure level but want to advance without the experience going to waste.

Spending AA Points[]

You can spend up to a maximum of 100 points in any one of the Alternate Advancement trees. You can assign points in any tree at any time, but you must follow the progression and restrictions for that tree's abilities, and some abilities require a minimum level. The abilities in the base Class and Dragon trees are organized vertically in columns. The abilities in the Subclass, Shadows and Heroic trees are organized horizontally in rows.

In your Class tree, you can spend up to a maximum of 10 points in each ability. When you spend a total of 22 points in any one of the first three abilities in the same column, you can apply 2 points to the fourth ability. These abilities are usually very useful, and you get a prefix title along with your ability. After you earn the fourth ability, and you have spent at least 70 points in the Class tree, you can spend up to 8 points on the fifth ability which further improves the abilities in that AA line. The final ability in this tree unlocks after you have spent at least 16 points in the Shadows tree.

In your Subclass tree, you can spend up to 5 points in each ability, and the abilities are organized in rows. To spend points in the second row, you must spend at least 5 points in the first row. To spend points in the third row, you must spend at least 10 points in the first and second rows. To spend points in the fourth row, you must spend at least 15 points in the previous rows. Every 20 points you spend in the Subclass tree will unlock one point in Expertise, which can be assigned to an ability in the fifth row. You will be able to unlock abilities in the sixth row with additional points in Expertise, but this requires you to have spent a minimum of 70 points in the Subclass tree. To unlock the final ability in the Subclass tree, you must also spend at least 10 points in the Shadows tree and have a point of Expertise.

In your Shadows tree, you can spend up to 5 points in each ability, except for the endline abilities. You must spend at least 5 points in a given row to be able to spend points in the next following row. To unlock the endline ability for each row requires you to have spent at least 5 points in that row. The exception is the final row, which has two "endline" abilities. Each requires 2 points, and to unlock the first you must spend at least 5 points. To unlock the second, you must spent at least 10 points in that row. Note that if you are under level 50, the only abilities you can spend points in the first row are Hearty Constitution (increases maximum health) and Enhanced Mind (increases maximum power).

In your Heroic tree, you can spend up to 10 points in each of the abilities in the first three rows. To spend points in the second tow, you must have spent at least 10 points in the Heroic tree. To spend points in the third row, you must have spent at least 20 points and to spend points in the fourth row, you must have spent at least 48 points.

The Dragon tree is organized vertically, much like the columns in your base Class tree. You can spend up to 10 points in each ability in the first four rows. To unlock the final ability at the end of a column, you must have spent at least 30 points in that column.

Alternate Advancement Profiles[]

With the launch of LU67 the freedom to create multiple AA builds and change AA abilities was made easy with the addition of profiles, which allow you 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 templates designed to be used for solo play, groups, and PVP. This gives you the ability to switch between a total of 6 AA builds as it suits your needs.

You can switch between AA builds at any time as long as you are not in combat. This allows you to have up to 3 personally customized builds for solo play, grouping, and raiding if they choose or three different builds 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 profiles: one to maximize healing skills for some groups and one for off-tanking in another group.

There is a button near the bottom right of the window, next to the Commit button which allows you to switch between "view mode" and "build mode". In view mode, the current build is locked and cannot be changed. In build mode, you can reset your AAs or remove certain abilities and reassign the points. Once you have made your changes, click the Commit button to finalize them. When you commit the change to your AA build, all buffs will be removed from your character, including class specific buffs, harvesting tool buffs and any pets you may have summoned.

Time-Locked Expansion Servers[]

When playing on a Time-Locked Expansion (TLE) server, The maximum number of AA points available and which AA trees are accessible will depend on which expansion is currently unlocked. You will not be able to begin earning AA points until the Kingdom of Sky expansion is unlocked. At that point, the progression through the content is as follows:

  • Kingdom of Sky: Base class tree, 50 points total
  • Echoes of Faydwer: Subclass tree enabled, 50 additional points, 100 points total
  • Rise of Kunark: 40 additional points, 140 points total
  • The Shadow Odyssey: Shadows tree enabled, 60 additional points, 200 points total
  • Sentinel's Fate: 50 additional points, 250 points total
  • Destiny of Velious: Heroic tree enabled, 50 additional points, 300 points total
  • Age of Discovery: 20 additional points, 320 points total
  • Chains of Eternity: Prestige tree added
  • Tears of Veeshan: Dragon tree enabled, 30 additional points, 350 points total

Tradeskill AAs are enabled on the TLE servers as soon as the Kingdom of Sky expansion is unlocked on the server.

Players on a TLE server cannot change the AA conversion slider until The Echoes of Faydwer expansion unlocks. Until that time, it will be locked at 0% and AA can only be earned through normal questing, discovery, collections and killing unique monsters.

Changing Character Traits[]

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. On the Time-Locked Expansion servers, Focus Effects are not available until The Shadow Odyssey expansion is unlocked.

If you decide you do not like the choices you made for Character Development traits, you can click the Reset Your Traits button above the tabs. You will be shown a confirmation dialog, and the cost for the first time you reset your traits will be 1 silver. These costs will increase each time you reset your traits.

Helpful Tips[]

  • 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 past level 90 (level 90 and 20% towards next level gives the first point).
  • Lore and Legend quests give a very good amount of AA XP and will give you a mastery strike (a type of damage bonus) against the monsters 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 AA conversion slider can be extremely helpful when you need to gain AA points quickly, because the slider can be set convert more of your adventure XP to AA XP. You can think of the ability to adjust the slider as bonus experience for AA. The conversion slider can only be changed if you have an active All Access membership.
  • In order to have a balance between adventure 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, some players complete quests in several of the starter zones (Gororwyn, Neriak, New Halas and Kelethin) after they reach level 10.
  • You no longer need to worry about getting too far behind in AA points. If you reach level 90 and do not have at least 280 AA points, you will be automatically awarded enough AA experience to grant you 280 points.
  • See the Free-To-Play page for details on limits to AA that may affect All Access and Free-to-Play accounts.