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Customizing AAs

What are Alternate Advancements?

The Alternative Advancement system was introduced during the Luclin expansion of EverQuest. AAs were gained by contributing some portion of gained experience to the AA experience pool, diverting experience from the standard leveling experience pool.

By default, when a player reaches level 51, the player unlocks the option to dedicate experience to Alternate Advancements. AAs are accessed inside Everquest using the default "v" hotkey.

"Ranks" in Alternative Advancements

AAs often have "ranks" available that allow you to progress the ability, making the effects more powerful at each rank level purchased. These values are stored in the aa_rank table. For example, Innate Run Speed has many ranks to represent the levels it can be trained.

Innate Run Speed from your aa_ability table

Notice the field first_rank_id. This field allows us to then explore the AA ability to find out additional parameters:

Innate Run Speed, Ranks 1 - 3 in the aa_ranks table

Notice the two columns for previous and next rank id. At the first rank of Innate Run Speed, we know there are no earlier ranks, so the prev_id field reads -1. **The next rank ID is then **63, which then goes to 64, and then goes to 672. Notice that these rank IDs are not always consecutive. Obviously we can infer that Innate Run Speed has at least four ranks, since our next ID takes us to 672--if the AA stopped at the third rank, we would have instead seen a -1 value.

Let's take a look at rank ID 672 and find out how far this goes...

Innate Run Speed IV and V in the aa_ranks table

Note again the prev_id and next_id column values. We remember from the previous step that we left off at ID 64, and see that the next ID is 673. We see at ID 673 that we finally reach the end, indicated by the -1 value in the next_id column.

Now we know: there are five ranks of Innate Run Speed in the PEQ Database as of this writing.

In order to find out what the advantage of Innate Run Speed 3 compared to Innate Run Speed 2, we will have to take a look at the effects of each rank.

Rank Effects in Alternative Advancements

The effects of each rank of an AA is stored in the aptly named aa_rank_effects database table.

Let's examine the rank effects for our Innate Run Speed AA:

Innate Run Speed aa_rank_effects

We see that at all ranks, the spell effect in use is 271, and we see that the base1 value increases at each rank.


If you haven't read up on Spells for your EQEmu Server, you might want to take a quick look at the Spells Guide before continuing.

271 is SE_BaseMovementSpeed and BV of the effect is percent. While SE 271 does not have limit or max value, it unfortunately does not stack with other movement increases. To summarize in a table, here is each rank of Innate Run Speed:

Rank Increase To Movement Speed
1 8%
2 14%
3 21%
4 28%
5 35%

If you're thinking what I'm thinking, we could definitely take over the world by adding several more ranks to Innate Run Speed--we already know that SE 271 does not have a max!

Add a new Rank

Start by adding another AA Rank:

INSERT INTO aa_ranks (`id`, `upper_hotkey_sid`, `lower_hotkey_sid`, `title_sid`, `desc_sid`, `cost`, `level_req`, `spell`, `spell_type`, `recast_time`, `expansion`, `prev_id`, `next_id`)
    (NULL, -1, -1, 62, 62, 1, 51, -1, 0, 0, 3, 673, -1);

Using the NULL value will cause the Auto-Increment feature to work for us, and provide the next available ID for our new rank. Don't forget that we need to tell the original highest rank of Innate Run Speed (673) that it now has a new rank. How do we find out what ID auto-increment just chose? We can make use of SQL's LAST_INSERT_ID() function:

SELECT LAST_INSERT_ID(); -- Returns the id INT value

Since you may have customized your server, I will leave this value set using this function through the rest of the guide. It's important that you keep track, however, as your insert ID may change! You can now run a query to change the existing "-1" next_id value to the latest ID:

UPDATE aa_ranks 
SET next_id = LAST_INSERT_ID()
WHERE rank_id = "673"

That should be it--we have created a new rank! Now let's assign our rank effect to scale up Innate Run Speed 6.

Add a New Rank Effect

We'll want to assign the next AA Rank Effect to our new rank of Innate Run Speed.

INSERT INTO `aa_rank_effects` (`rank_id`, `slot`, `effect_id`, `base1`, `base2`)
    (LAST_INSERT_ID(), 1, 271, 42, 0);

And now we have finished adding Innate Run Speed 6, which provides a movement speed increase of 42 percent!

Command Description
#reloadaa loads changes to the DB to the world
#resetaa Requires a player target, resets their AAs and refunds the points
#resetaa_timer Resets your target's AA timers so that AAs can be used immediately
#setaapts [value] Set your target's available AA points
#setaaxp [value] Set your target's AA experience