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EQ2 offers you numerous ways to advance your character's development. Your character can attain 100 levels of experience in his chosen adventure class, and 100 levels in a tradeskill class that you choose later. In addition, your character will earn "alternate advancement points", which are used to add or enhance your character's abilities. Each adventure class has three trees of alternate advancement to invest in.

In this guide, we will describe each of these character development paths.

Experience Edit

The most obvious way to develop your character is to earn levels in his class. You gain levels by filling your experience bar with experience points. There are several ways to earn experience points in EQ2:

  • By killing a non-trivial creature
  • By exploring a new location for the first time
  • By completing a quest
Xp bar

The experience bar. Your current experience level is shown at the left. The yellow bar shows your progress through this level. The globe at the right shows your vitality.

Your Experience Bar shows your progress through each level. The yellow bar shows your overall progress toward 100%. The lower blue bar is like a "magnifying glass", showing your progress through each 10% of the level. This magnified view is mainly useful at later levels, when experience accumulates more slowly.

Each time you fill another 10% experience toward your next level, you get a perk, as your health and power are instantly regenerated.

Experience required to reach a level:

Level Experience per level Cumulative Experience
2 600 600
3 800 1,400
4 1,000 2,400
5 1,400 3,800
6 1,800 5,600
7 2,200 7,800
8 2,600 10,400
9 3,000 13,400
10 3,400 16,800
11 3,800 20,600
12 4,200 24,800
13 4,600 29,400
14 5,000 34,400
15 5,500 39,900
16 6,000 45,900
17 6,500 52,400
18 7,000 59,400
19 7,500 66,900
20 8,000 74,900
21 8,500 83,400
22 9,000 92,400
23 9,500 101,900
24 10,000 111,900
25 10,500 122,400
26 11,000 133,400
27 11,750 145,150
28 12,500 157,650
29 13,250 170,900
30 14,000 184,900
31 14,750 199,650
32 15,500 215,150
33 16,250 231,400
34 17,000 248,400
35 17,750 266,150
36 18,500 284,650
37 19,250 303,900
38 20,000 323,900
39 20,750 344,650
40 21,500 366,150
41 22,250 388,400
42 23,000 411,400
43 24,000 435,400
44 25,000 460,400
45 26,000 486,400
46 27,000 513,400
47 28,000 541,400
48 29,250 570,650
49 30,500 601,150
50 32,000 633,150
51 33,750 666,900
52 35,750 702,650
53 38,000 740,650
54 40,500 780,900
55 42,500 823,400
56 45,500 868,900
57 48,500 917,400
58 51,500 968,900
59 54,500 1,023,400
60 57,500 1,080,900
61 60,500 1,141,400
62 63,500 1,204,900
63 66,500 1,271,400
64 70,000 1,341,400
65 73,500 1,414,900
66 77,000 1,491,900
67 80,500 1,572,400
68 84,000 1,656,400
69 87,500 1,743,900
70 91,000 1,834,900
71 94,500 1,929,400
72 98,000 2,027,400
73 101,500 2,027,400
74 105,000 2,132,400
75 108,500 2,240,900
76 116,500 2,357,400
77 132,500 2,489,900
78 152,500 2,642,400
79 172,500 2,814,900
80 192,500 3,007,400
81 212,500 3,219,900
82 232,500 3,452,400
83 252,500 3,704,900
84 272,500 3,977,400
85 292,500 4,269,900
86 312,500 4,582,400
87 332,500 4,914,900
88 352,500 5,267,400
89 372,500 5,639,900
90 392,500 6,032,400
Level 90+ unlocks with 280AA
91 518,156 6,550,556
92 757,500 7,308,056
93 871,125 8,179,181
94 984,750 9,163,931
95 1,098,375 10,262,306
96 1,212,000 11,474,306
97 1,325,625 12,799,931
98 1,439,250 14,239,181
99 1,552,875 15,792,056
100 1,666,500 17,458,556

Tradeskill Experience Edit

In the previous section, we described adventure experience. There is also tradeskill experience. Your character has a second experience bar for tradeskill experience, which earns levels in his tradeskill. You can see your tradeskill experience bar by right-clicking the experience bar and choosing it from the pop-up menu.

You earn tradeskill experience by crafting items. See the Taking Up a Tradeskill section below for details.

Alternate Advancement Edit

Starting at level 10, you'll earn a third type of experience: alternate advancement (AA) experience. At this point, you'll have three experience bars. You can see your AA Experience bar in your Skills Window (press [L] to open it). This experience bar goes toward earning Alternate Advancement Points, which you use to customize your character. See the Alternate Advancement section below for details.

Vitality Edit

When your character is well-rested, he earns twice as many experience points from every victory in combat. (There is also vitality for tradeskills.)

Each time you get double experience from vitality, you consume a bit of vitality. If you play for long periods of time, you may run out of vitality, at which point you'll stop earning double experience. How do you regain vitality that you've "burned"? Simple - it regenerates about 0.5% every hour, whether you're logged on or not. It takes about 1 week of real time to accumulate 100% vitality (if you started with none).

There's a little yellow arrow on your experience bar, which shows you the point on the bar at which your vitality will run out. If you have lots of vitality, then the arrow is probably at the end of the XP bar. Point your mouse at this arrow to see a tooltip about your vitality.

Debt Edit

When you die, you incur experience debt. This debt shows up on your screen as a small amount of red on your XP bar. While you have debt, your combat victories will only give you half as much experience as usual. Debt will evaporate over a period of hours if you were to wait, but you can repay it immediately by killing a handful of monsters. You may also use a Wand of Forgiveness, but these are a one off /claim item with only three charges.

Alternate Advancement Edit

Main Articles: Alternate Advancement, Alternate Advancement abilities
Aa slider detail

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

Alternate Advancements are the principle way of customizing your character. You'll begin earning Alternate Advancement Experience at level 10. Each time you fill up your Alternate Advancement Experience bar, you'll earn a point. You'll spend these points to learn special abilities and powers that specialize your character. These abilities are often called "AAs", which is shorthand for "Alternate Advancements" or "Alternate Advancement abilities".

You earn Alternate Advancement Experience by:

  • Completing quests. Generally quests that are level 10 or higher give alternate advancement experience. If it's repeatable, then you get alternate advancement experience the first time only. To maximize alternate advancement experience gain from quests, only turn in a quest when it becomes the same level as your character, or lower. Turning in quests higher in level than your character will result in an award of less alternate advancement experience. Some quests do not give achievement experience.
  • Defeating notorious enemies. The first time you kill any "named" monster that cons green or higher to you, you'll earn alternate advancement experience.
  • Acquiring rare treasure. The first time you loot any type of item that says "treasure" in its description, you'll earn alternate experience.
  • Exploring new places. Whenever you discover a new location and get Discovery Experience for it, you'll also earn alternate experience.
  • Conversion from adventure experience. After you reach the maximum adventuring level, all of the adventure experience that you earn will be converted into Alternate Advancement Experience as well. You can also use the Alternate Advancement Slider to contribute a portion of your adventuring experience, from 0 to 100%, before hitting the maximum level.
  • Completing collection quests. Some collection quests do not award alternate advancement experience.

Unlike some other games, you do not earn Alternate Advancement Points automatically each time you level. The more you focus on the above activities, the faster you'll earn Alternate Advancement Points.

Alternate Advancements are very significant to the performance and play style of your character. Many players are strongly motivated to do activities that earn Alternate Advancement Experience. If you spend a lot of your time questing, you'll typically earn at least one Alternate Advancement Point per level.

Tip Tip: If you have a Free or Silver membership, then your Alternate Advancement Slider is locked at 50/50. Only those who upgrade to Gold membership can set the slider to other ratios.

Your Alternate Advancement Trees Edit

Bard AA Tree

An example Alternate Advancement Tree: this one is for the Bard classes.

Press L, or choose Alternate Advancement from the EQII Menu, to open the Alternate Advancement window. The first tab, called "Character Development", is where your Racial Traditions are listed; these are described later in this guide. The last three tabs contain your Alternate Advancement trees. Here you can browse the Alternate Advancements and spend the points that you earn.

You have three Alternate Advancement Trees that you can spend points on: a "Class" tree, a "Subclass" tree, and a "Shadows" tree.

  • The "Class" Tree typically grants new abilities and enhances your attributes, and is a good place to spend your first several points. Each branch of the Class tree focuses on a certain style of gameplay, and may change the way you approach combat. Two subclasses always share the same Class tree; for example, the Category:Warden and Category:Fury subclasses are both the Druid class and share the druid Class tree.
  • The "Subclass" Tree typically enhances your spells and combat arts, and is a good place to spend points after you have earned a branch of the Subclass tree. Points spent in the Subclass tree will gradually improve your character's overall performance.
  • The "Shadows" Tree starts off with general benefits, and provides more specific benefits to your class as you invest further in it. Each section of this tree is unlocked by first spending points in the Class and Subclass trees. Because of this, the Shadows tree is a focus for high-level characters.

Spending Alternate Advancement Points Edit

Each time you earn a new Alternate Advancement Point, just click on an available Alternate Advancement in the tree to learn it (or to improve an existing one). If it's an activated ability, then you'll get a new icon in your Knowledge Book, on the Abilities page. Drag this new icon to your hotkey bar, then try it out!

The Alternate Advancement Trees show you the order of prerequisites for each ability. You must start at the top of the tree and 'buy' your way down the tree. When you've spent enough points on one ability, the next ability in the 'tree branch' will be unlocked. It takes about 20 points to unlock the best ability at the end of each 'branch'.

You can spend your achievement points in all three Alternate Advancement trees with a maximum of 50 points in each, until you reach level 70. At adventure level 71 the cap for each tree is raised to 70 (except for the Shadows tree which is limited to 60 points). The maximum number of points you can earn is now 250, with 100 spent points maximum each for the Class and Subclass trees and 70 spent points maximum for the Shadows tree, since the inclusion of the Sentinels' Fate expansion on February 21st 2010.

Changing your Mind Edit

Your choices of Alternate Advancements are only semi-permanent. In your home city, you can visit an Advancement Counsel NPC to reset an entire Alternate Advancement tree and spend your points differently. The first respec (per tree) costs 10g; after that, 1p and 10p (though never higher than ten platinum). The cost resets after 30 days without a respec for a particular tree. You can also receive Class and Subclass respec cards, available through the Achievement Counsel NPCs. You can also use AA Mirrors, available through the commission crafting system to swap between a two different specs.

Racial Traditions Edit

Main Article: Traditions

Every race in EQ2 has two starting Innate Abilities, and gets to choose a Racial Tradition every 10th level. You can view and select your Racial Traditions on the first tab of the Achievements window (press L or select Achievements from the EQII Menu). The Racial Traditions system is fairly well described in the window itself in-game.

Innate Abilities Edit

Every race in EQ2 starts with two or three special Innate Abilities. These are shown in the Character Development tab in your Achievements window (press L or select Achievements from the EQII Menu). Some innate abilities are passive, while others are activated. If your race has an activated innate ability, then a hotkey was probably created automatically on your hotkey bar when your character was created. Otherwise, you'll find the activated ability in your Knowledge Book.

Choosing Traditions Edit

Every 10th level (starting at level 10), you'll get to choose a new Racial Tradition. Your race has a unique list of ten Traditions to choose from. Once you reach level 80, you'll have enabled eight of them.

  • Some racial traditions are activated, and have a cooldown timer. These will be found in your Knowledge Book, in the Abilities section, and can be placed on your hotkey bar.
  • Some racial traditions are passive effects that are always in effect. These do not have hotkeys or effect icons.
  • Most races have at least one racial tradition that enhances a specific Tradeskill.

Changing Your Mind Edit

As with Alternate Advancement, your choices of Racial Traditions are only semi-permanent. In your home city, any Advancement Counsel NPC can reset your Racial Traditions.

Taking Up a Tradeskill Edit

Main Article: Taking up a Tradeskill

Your character actually has two classes: an Adventure class and a Tradeskill class. Your Tradeskill class has its own experience bar, and earns its own levels. You even have a separate section in your Knowledge Book for Tradeskill abilities.

Initially, you are a generic Artisan. If you choose to develop your tradeskill, then you'll choose a Tradeskill Class later, as you rise in levels.

For more details, see the Taking up a Tradeskill User Guide.

Further Development Edit

For more ways to develop your character, see the Goals Guide.

Index of Beginner's Guides
The Basics
The Details
The Adventure