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I guess you know the following situation. You’ve established a main, brought it to endgame territory, and then want to try out a new play style. Are you “bis” and simply ran out of things to do? Or maybe you realize you have trouble getting into groups because you’re not being part of the meta? In all cases you obviously start a new character, a so-called “alt” or “alternate” one. Other MMOs refer to this as mules sometimes, because they typically are simply used as extended inventory space to store items. This and other ways to utilize alts can be found here by the way.
But this article will only deal with level 70 alts you actually plan to play with (for leveling purposes you can look up this guide, which also lists shortcuts you can take). When players bring up alts, they normally are not eager to go through the full gearing process again. Gladly you don’t have to, because with an established main you can supply many items that bind to account directly to your alts. Your main basically becomes the starting point in terms of item progression. You will also normally have a little more ADs to buy stuff compared to brand-new players.
A Basic Alternate Character Gear Setup
With that in mind, let’s set up our alternate character:
- Item Level 500+ gear from one of the following sources:
- Artifact Weapons
- “Vistani” from the Ravenloft intro (Vistani Icon)
- “Primal” from the Brave Seal store
- “Pioneer” from the Omu campaign
- “Masterwork” from your guild or Auction House
- 2x Rings from one the following sources:
- Enchantment ranks of your choice from the Auction House for all slots.
- At least blue Reinforcement Kits from Professions or Auction House.
- Artifacts from one of the following sources:
- Class Artifacts you’ve already unlocked
- Artifact from the Artifact Recovery quest
- Heart of the Red Dragon from the Dragonborn Pack
- Artifacts from the Auction House. Pick cheap ones with stats you like, there are plenty. Current examples are Charm of the Serpent, Soul Sight Crystal, or Skull Lord Staff.
- Artifact Neck: Either one from the Auction House (Mantle of Atropal Essence) or one from the Ravenloft campaign store (Apocalypse Choker). Make sure to not buy outdated stuff by checking this list.
- Artifact Belt: Either one from the Auction House (Cincture of Atropal Essence) or one from the Ravenloft campaign store (Apocalypse Bindings). Make sure to not buy outdated stuff by checking this list.
- Shirt / Pants:
- Active Companion:
- Con Artist Companion from the Emporium Vendor in Protector’s Enclave (rank up to level 25 to unlock all slots)
- 3x Bonding Runestones from the Auction House
- 3x Rings from one the following sources:
- Passive Companions:
- Cheap ones from the Auction House for your street credibility (aka item level). Depending on how “finished” you want your character, you could also look up the stuff you’ll eventually need. Some specific pets are expensive, others reasonably priced.
- Companions from the Trade Bar store. Only pick up those that fit the build long-term.
- Account unlocked promotion companions. If you own some of those, it’s a no-brainer to claim them with your alts.
- Account unlocked ZEN Mounts are your first choice when it comes to equipping alts. If you have some available, get them into your stable.
- It’s unfortunately not a great time to get Mounts for a bargain on the AH. Check running events, because a lot of those offer Mounts as prize for participating. Some even bind-to-account, which means you can farm on you main. You can also look up this guide that lists other available sources. In case you plan to throw ADs at expensive Mounts, make sure you can use them long-term.
- Buy blue Insignias from the Auction House for your street credibility (aka item level). It doesn’t hurt to get Insignias and Insignia Bonuses you actually need. Most blue ones are reasonable priced so you shouldn’t run into any trouble.
As you can see, in contrast to our guide for bringing up new characters, you have a lot more options and your general item level starting point is a little higher. All of the stuff can either be bought or farmed with your main. So ideally you already have all the items available when setting up your alt and have to do little to no grinding on the new toon. An additional idea of the initial gearing process is to get the setup as close as possible to the final build (in case you aim for one). That way tweaks down the road shouldn’t be major. In that regard also make sure you’ve read this article about the importance to build around Armor Penetration.
In terms of gear you’re able to pretty much bring alts from zero to hero within a short amount of time, but it’s not equally easy with campaigns. The above setup is decent, but shouldn’t boost a character over 11,000 item level unless you have a huge surplus of refining points and can get your Artifacts and Artifact Gear to a higher level than purple. So you still need to do some campaigns and grab boons before you’re truly endgame ready.
I’m a huge fan of grabbing the Campaign Buyout Bundle from the ZEN Market at one of those major 40% sales. If you have the currency it means you can set up a character in the 13-14k range instantly. Otherwise you obviously have to do the grind yourself. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, lower item levels might already do by the way. 11k-12k is more than enough to perform basic Salvage farming or similar for example.
As you can see, it’s not terribly difficult to set up a basic yet potent alternate character with items that mains can supply or buy. The devs have done a decent job over the last couple of modules by introducing a variety of account bound gear to enhance alt play. It definitely shows as alternate characters are that much easier to bring up than new ones. There’s still some grind involved, but a well set up alt can definitely get into the action at level 70 right away!
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