For those that are max AA, this doesn't mean as much, but it is becoming a big deal for starting players and those for non-boxers without alts. AA and some items are limited either by level or spell name. Let's take an example of items first. If you get the latest and greatest TBL raid robe, chances are it became worthless when TOV (a level expansion) came out. The reason is the robe lists which spells it modifies, and it doesn't modify spells that didn't exist when the robe was created. So instead of an enchanter getting a 9% bonus to their biggest nuke during TBL, they get no bonus to their TOV nuke. As a result, the better strategy for an enchanter is to ditch the raid robe, and get the TOV group robe with the 7% mod instead. Raid items are supposed to be better than group items for at least a couple of expansions, but this has been a problem I have seen since at least ROS for every level expansion. The AA side is even worse. Many of your spells either have level caps, or the new spell in a series is not even listed until you buy the next rank of the AA where the spell becomes available. In some cases, having a level cap makes sense. Gift of Mana (I am saying this from memory right now, so hopefully I have it right), when it procs, makes your next spell cost 1 mana. The different ranks of Gift of Mana are the same, except they affect higher level spells. It makes sense to tie that to levels, so there is a reason to buy the new rank. But many others give you an increased bonus, AND unlock the effect on higher level spells. For those, there is no reason to put a level limiter in the first place. You could allow them to use the old bonus on new spells, and when they buy the next rank, they get the better bonus. The worst situation is the spell focus/synergy AA. They list the spells that it affects and only the highest ranks affect the level 115 spells. I think the original goal of the focus AA were to be for only individual spells, and max rank would be something like a 10% bonus. So if you were trying to catch up, you might skip the AA for the older spells, and just head to max level and work on the max level AA first, and then maybe go back to the older spells when you had time. However, with AA consolidation, 2 things happened. One, you have to buy the early spell ranks before you could unlock the current spells, and the small bonus has become much more significant, over 20% of the spells effect. This has resulted in many negative consequences. Focus AA are not awarded for old expansions during auto-grant. The point of auto-grant was to help returning players get caught up, and at least be in the right ballpark when playing with max'd players. So as the bonus for Focus AA increases, the difference between a new level 115 and a max AA level 115 is increasing. Another negative consequence is that a player does not see any benefit on spending AA on a focus until they buy the final rank. The best example of this is synergy. A new level 115 won't see any benefit from buying synergy ranks until they buy the final rank - which costs a total of 1400 AA. The spell focus also makes it undesirable even for a max player to adopt the use of new spells when the expansion comes out. To take an example for a druid. Their level 112 heal spell, Viravida is not enhanced until you buy the 7th rank of the focus AA. You can't even buy that rank until you ding level 113. Until then, you are better off using the old spell. Making it better for players to not use their new spells and abilities until levels later is a poor game design. So, what is my solution? Remove most level restrictions on AA. Only put a level restriction if the absence of the restriction would make future ranks worthless (like Gift of Mana described above). For items that list spells in a certain category, update at least the last expansion items to include the higher level spells when you add it. For focus AA, enable auto-grant and cause all ranks to modify all versions of the spell. One thing that would probably make maintenance easier for devs, but would probably be a fair bit of extra work, would be to add a new field to all spells that contains the spell category. Once spells have a spell category, you can just tag the items/aa to that category, and you won't have to go back and update older AA/items each time you add a new spell to that category. Maybe spend some of your time allocated to nerfs to instead work on adding spell category instead.