What are AAs?

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"AA" stands for alternate advancement, and were introduced with the Luclin expansion. From level 51, you can allocate a proportion of your experience to a separate pool, which can be spent on AA points. Most people say they got for all or nothing, so as to achieve their current targets (AA or level) faster.

AAs let you do things like run faster, have "crit" nukes, "crit" hits in melee, resist damage better, have stronger pets, and all sorts of things; some spells are replaced by AAs you can buy, freeing up a spell slot. Each AA, in this sense, costs between 1 and 12 AA points. At 51, an AA is the same cost as leveling from 50-51 again; but at any point between 55 and 85, you might be able to earn as much as 10 AA points in an hour (with low AA boost - see below). In special circumstances you may be able to earn a lot more - or a lot less; a reasonable bottom marker might be 2 AAs per hour (but that would be really bad).

There are no limits on AA points; you can buy all that are available to your class. I have characters with between 25 and 3,500 AAs; the max for most classes is between 3,500 - 4,500 AAs. Some AAs are almost useless; others actually are useless! And some are essential to your class. It's common to start allocating exp to AAs from 55 up; EQ is designed so that a level 75 character, in level 75+ content (that's Secrets of Faydwer expansion, after the first couple of zones), is assumed to have 500+ AAs; and a level 80 character to have 1,000+ AAs (for Seeds of Destruction, tier 3 and above).

If you have very few AAs, you earn them at a bonus rate: with zero, this is about x5; and this drops down in stages, until at 2,500 AAs there is no boost at all.

This was introduced with SoD, starting at x2.25 with zero AAs, dropping to zero boost at 1,000 AAs. This upper limit may have been raised to 1,250 at the launch of Underfoot, but I haven't seen this confirmed by SOE. At the start of HoT, the limit went from x5 at zero to x1 at 2,500 AAs. During VoA (June 2012) this should be patched to x10 dropping to x1 at 4,000 AA.

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