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  • Discussion: AA Guide / Pathlist (Checklist)

    Mod edit: I've copied this fantastic guide Solithan put together, deleted one reply with suspect malware in the signature, and left this open for commentary / feedback / discussion. This is a fantastic outline that deserves to be noticed & taken note of! Thanks Solithan!

    Here's an updated version a bit more complete. ** Current threw SoD**

    Ok I’ve made this as a check list for new and old Necromancers. If you ever wanted to know what AAs you “should” have or in what order to take them, consult this list. This is written from the perspective of taking a level one and pushing him up to 80 with 90%real/10%AA or maybe 80/20. Careful spending can get you very far in this class as we have very few “must haves”. Due to length I’m not listing the full details of each AA. Following this list you should have all the prerequisites needed to get the next one on the list as well as the appropriate level.

    Format ** what to get ** when that ability becomes purchasable **

    [__]First purchase up to Rank4 Innate Run Speed (level 51 for first 3 ranks, level 61 for next)
    [__]Next get rank 1 of Mnemonic Retention (level 55)
    [__]Next get rank 1 of Spell Casting Mastery (level 55)
    [__]Get Rank 1 of this next Death Peace (level 66)
    Now you should be at 18AAs
    Go back to
    [__]Spell Casting Mastery and get ranks 2 and 3
    You should now be at 28AAs.
    Now lets pick up some Damage
    Max this AA line out
    [__]Critical Affliction (level 65)
    You should be at 64 AAs spent now. Are you lvl 70 yet?
    If so go get this:
    [__]Encroaching Darkness (level 70)
    Then max:
    [__]Gift of Mana (level 66/68/70)
    At this point you should have 91 AAs spent.
    You should be above level 70 at this point so work this next.
    [__]Gift of Radiant Mana (level 71)
    At 94 AAs spent its time to boost damage again.
    Max this
    [__]Affliction Mastery (level 70)
    At this point you should have 121 AAs spent.
    And time for more damage boosting abilities! Max this
    [__]Blood Tithe (level 71)
    Should be at 157 AAs and at least 75th level now.
    [__]Go back and pick up rank 2 of Mnemonic Retention
    [__]Then snag rank 2 of Death Peace (level 76)
    At 163 AAs now hit
    [__]Gift of Exquisite Radiant Mana (level 76)
    At this point you should be at 178 AAs and at least 76th level preferably 80th
    You guess’d it,…Time for more damage! Max this:
    [__]Destructive Cascade (level 78) *come back to this once you hit 81 and finish maxing*
    Then Max this:
    [__]Greater Blood Tithe (level 76)
    Now at 242 AAs Believe it or not you’ve maxed out your damage potential on your Dots so its on to some other stuff. At this point I’d suggest adding some survivability especially for raids.
    Its hard to argue with this next AA so get it max’d
    [__] Natural Durability
    Often on raids and sometimes in groups we run low or out of mana believe it or not. Most often with mobs that DoT Drain our mana. A cool trick we get helps out a ton and I suggest getting it next.
    [__]Blood Magic (level 70)
    Here you should have 266 AAs
    At this point I’d suggest a very useful AA that helps survivability on raids and in groups.
    [__]Willful Death (66)

    At this point its time to push all the way to lvl 85 if you arn't there already.
    2 of the most powerful AAs we get come in at that level (3rd spire and deathbloom)

    At level 85 we obtain access to a very powerful AA refered to as 3rd Spire. There is a prereq that is required. This AA is a "must have" and it has Teirs that apply to both solo and pet use.

    [__]Fundament of Intellect - needed to get the Spires -
    [__]Fundament: First Spire of Necromancy
    [__]Fundament: Second Spire of Necromancy
    [__]Fundament: Third Spire of Necromancy
    These AAs are activated and temporary. Teir 1 boosts your chance to crit on your dots. Teir 2 boosts the damage of your pet and Teir 3 increases the damage of your crits. It is raw fact that Teir 3 is the most powerful Activated AA we get and its potential damage is far greater then the previous Teirs. Once you get 3rd spire, you'll never use any other.

    If you have any problems with mana and Blood Magic doesn't cut it, here is your answer.

    While it doesn't add damage it does allow you to keep your damage going significantly and the only reason its listed down this far on the list is because of the lvl 85 requirement. This AA will probably change the way you play.

    Now go back and get ranks 3 and 4 of
    [__]Mnemonic Retention

    This will give you 12 slots. More slots means more dots = more damage. Simple.
    Also at 85 more ranks of
    [__]Destructive Cascade and
    [__]Critical Affliction
    Both further boost your DPS.

    It is time to make a choice. Are you going to tap tank or use your pet. This is mostly a personal preference and some folks head down both paths at the same time but largely from here on out you either increase your pet dps or you increase your survivability in a fight while also boosting your life tap nuke damage. I’ll let you decide but lets Assume you want to head down both. I’ll highlight which of the lines should be best to take and assume the Rank 1 of each AA is more potent then others so often folks just grab rank 1 of the entire path then go back and fill in.

    Necro are known for their utility. We get several AA in that respect. This utility can help the raider or grouper and either Tap or Pet line alike. The 350 AA range would be a good time to invest in some of these. Some folks argue “you can’t live without these” I don't know if that's true but they will certainly make life easier.


    [__]Cloak of Shadows
    [__]Spell Casting Reinforcement Mastery
    [__]Call to Corpse
    [__]Summon Remains
    [__]Focus of Arcanum
    [__]Innate Invis to Undead
    [__]Deathly Pack

    SPIKE DPS can fall into either Tap Tank or Pet so I’ll list it next, however you’re probably best served by going down a path and picking these up later, post 500AAs.

    [__]Wake the Dead
    [__]Army of the Dead
    [__]Rise of Bones
    [__]Swarm of Decay
    [__]Gathering Dusk
    [__]Life Burn


    The key to tap tanking is being able to take the hits and heal more then you take.
    Remember this: First avoid it, then mitigate it, then soak it.

    [__]Combat Agility
    [__]Shield Block
    [__]Combat Stability
    [__]General Sturdiness

    Now that you can take the hits, let’s take care of part 2, dealing damage and healing. Bring your nuke damage up and the chance to critical heal, I’d go 1 for 1 on each.
    [__]Spell Casting Fury
    ++[__]Fury of Magic
    +++[__]Destructive Fury
    [__]Theft of Life
    And finally add this in to keep going threw stuns
    [__]Persistent Casting


    Ok, much like you your pet gets similar AAs and the same theory applies: First avoid it, then mitigate it, then soak it. You’ll also want to boost his damage and pick up additional ways to heal him and keep him alive.

    When dealing with your pet for any reason there are some great pet utility AAs that should be picked up, many guild make this a requirement to have a pet on raids. I will list by group by include numbers indicating purchase order.

    [__]Suspended Minion (#1)
    ++[__]Persistent Minion

    [__]Pet Discipline (#2)
    ++[__]Advanced Pet Discipline

    [__]Pet Affinity (#3) *best way to keep pet alive is with buffs*

    [__]Feigned Minion
    [__]Companion's Relocation

    [__]Fortify Companion – pet rune (#4)
    [__]Companion's Agility – pet avoidance (#9)
    [__]Study Companion – pet avoidance (#10)
    [__]Companion's Durability – hp

    [__]Death's Fury – chance to crit (#5 rank1)
    ++[__]Death's Wrath – increases crit chance
    +++[__]Companions Fury – increases crit chance
    [__]Quickening of Death – flurry (#6 rank1)
    ++[__]Companions Alacrity – increases flurry chance

    [__]Mend Companion (#7 rank 1)
    [__]Companion's Blessing – pet heal (#8 rank 1)
    [__]Replenish Companion

    After 10 I’d go back in and fill in ranks and bounce around filling them all out.
    Last edited by scrat; 08-24-2010, 12:18 PM.

  • #2
    I get asked some questions about the guide so I'll include this snippet:

    The AA guide is just a guide and it works on the premise that an 80/20 mix will get enough AAs while you level, which might not be the case. Also it’s used as a check list to make sure you didn’t miss anything if you were following your own plan.

    At some levels it is easier to get AA xp then others. This is because of the level difference between you and the mob and the difficulty of the mob. These break points are often referred to as Sweet Spots. The generally accepted Sweet spots are: level 65, 70, 75 and 80.

    You can’t even begin to acquire AA until 51 and while some become available at 51 that is not a good time to stop. Just set to 20%aa and level up to 65. Once at 65 switch over to 100%AA and make sure you have up to 64AAs spent on the following: Run4, Mnemonic Retention1, Spell Casting Mastery3, Death Peace1,Critical Affliction6. At this point, while there are still AAs you could purchase your better served by advancing in level to the next bracket and moving along with the guide. With the higher levels come better gear and spells that outweigh the AAs you could get by staying.

    Feel free to bank up to 30 before moving out of your bracket but do move on. The fear is that you might not be able to get AAs this fast ever again, but rest assured there is indeed a way to get the same rate at the sweet spot levels described above. Just consult the various hunting guides.


    • #3
      I just started using this again since I'm so gimpy and having something to look at on one page is great!

      Thanks for this Guide!


      • #4

        Any suggested updates to the order of this guide, now that expansions have continued to roll out? I'm getting ready to pick up from level 72 and make the trek to 80 at about 60/40 or 80/20 so I can AA while I level, and want to do so in as efficient a path as possible (so I can spend more time levelling and less AAing "needlessly".
        Necromancer of 70 levels and 250AA
        Winter's Legacy - Saryrn
        Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!
        (We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.)


        • #5
          It, infact is up-to-date.

          The cold truth is we got very few "must-haves" this expansion.

          Just make sure your buying them in order.

          Also if it says "Max this line" and you don't meet the level requirements for some rank, remember that to come back and get it when you are that level.

          If you look at the UTILITY section you'll see Whisperwind, for example. This is from the newest expansion. While its very cool, its just utility and put in as such. Also just FYI the UTILITY section is in no particular order.

          Encroaching Darkness is an example of an AA that made the must have section early in the list, as its amazingly useful.

          I'll add to this list when the next expansion comes out, but remember I poll the community when making this list, so until the community gets around to testing the AA and commenting it probably won't make the list.


          • #6
            Thanks for the heads up on the relevance. (May want to put a note at the top noting which expansion it's current through, so as to minimize confusion. Just a suggestion.)

            I departed during TSS, so coming back to a list like this that points out the big ones from the last three expansions is useful to me. I'll take a look through it tonight, see where my ~270AA are already spent, and then go find something to kite! Thanks for keeping the list up to date!
            Necromancer of 70 levels and 250AA
            Winter's Legacy - Saryrn
            Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!
            (We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.)


            • #7
              @ 270AAs you should still be working the Check Boxes.
              Print off that section and compare them to what you currently have spent. Buy what you are missing.

              Odds are you bought some stuff not on the list, no worries, just fill in where needed until you have all the check boxed materials and continue on from there.

              Good Suggestion on the Currency Indicator. I see about adding something.

              P.S. adjusted the Thread name(minor change) and Guide to include Expansion.
              Last edited by solithan; 06-23-2009, 08:57 PM.


              • #8
                I will not debate order because that would go on forever due to differing play styles lol. Other than that on a glance-through the only thing that I strongly suggest you add as a necessary and imperative aa for dps is 3rd spire (and obv the path to get there). 3rd spire is, hands down, our best dps burst aa and can be used once every 10 min. I would probably still suggest getting all dot crit aas first (since 3rd spire is an overcrit mod).


                • #9
                  Yeah, oops. Somehow that part of my revision didn't get added in. I noticed it earlier and I've added it back in now.

                  I think I was debating on how to add it in and ultimately decided to add its own paragraph and mostly because of the level in which it becomes available.


                  • #10
                    Good guide but. . .

                    I have to ask about survivability at 85 with 350 AA? Is this based on being able to solo decent XP with ease? I know it's a personal preference but I follow the "Early and often" approach because XP really is so much better 60-70 and easier at 75 than 85 due to mob HP counts for cons.

                    In my one experience with a raid guild, pre-SoD, they required lvl 80 minimum 500 AA, 800 for tanks and healers. Without good friends a 350 AA necro at 85 isn't likely to get many groups due to terrible sustainable DPs and low damage output in bursts. They will fold like a crapcake in a rainstorm, as will their pets. Soloing will be entirely based on hopefully hitting that 78+ mob with their snare and keeping out of range long enough to keep refreshing it as they drop less dots over time to conserve mana.

                    I took it to the other extreme, over 400 at 60 when I left Charasis. (killer place to AA at 60, btw. get a Staff of the Undead Legions and tap-tank with a DC pet from South Wing, can get a caster that hits 3x as hard as your summoned pet and buffs itself) Gained to 600+ AA at 70, 1500 at 75, and have gained over 250 since I hit 80. I'm surviving encounters that splat 85 raid wizards because I can take the hits long enough to get off an FD and I have Willful Death maxed. My regens are capped until 81, Planar Power is capped, Discordant Defiance is either capped for level or nearly so, meaning most (group mob) spells slide off me.

                    A fellow necromancer in guild is only 350 some AA at 78 and he ran OOM helping kill one golem in the path to Crystallos, I took down the golem and four oozes. It's nice having a guide, but considering what most necromancers have to take on by ourselves it's a bit sparse to keep the motivation up.

                    What I can say is; having been 1700+ AA and 85 in the past, I MUUUUUUUUUCH preferred AA'ing before I capped level this time. 300-400 AA at 75 in the time it took me to gain less than 100 at 85. (great place at 75, wind nymphs in DSH. at 70 they were 12%+ per kill and only took 5 dots with a pet. 75 took 3 dots and a pet for 8%. most mana efficient I had found at the time, plus the added necklace quest was an additional 18% per turnin) I usually killed 12 nymphs in a run so 144% AA there and if I dropped a necklace I usually dropped 1-3 putting it at 162%-198% for one run of nymphs. That sounds pretty bad AA compared to headshot but it took less than a 2 minutes per nymph, usually kiting 2-4 at a time, so roughly 20 minutes for that. 5-6 AA an hour, I never use pots. A geared pet helps but you have to keep more DPs on the nymphs to avoid them aggroing on the pet.
                    -=Galkharasi Szragodesca=- Grand Occultist, Favored of the Gods


                    • #11
                      I'm confused. What exactly are you asking?
                      Magelo way out of date due to laziness...


                      • #12
                        I think he was more expressing his personal view on aa'ing and the path depicted above being contradictory to his preference- which is totally cool. The "right" path varies from player to player dependant on their style, time & goals.

                        The guide above is one that stresses the most important, the most impacting, DPS centric approach - which is the path most requested by those just starting out & typically ignorant of what the AA's actually do. Nobody knew pet flury would suck so bad until somebody bought it & tested it; this is a lessons learned for DPS freaks thing.

                        Many players, especially those in active guilds - find themselves placing more weight on survivability aa than finishing up pet dps lines or self utility.

                        Just to state the obvious - aa is an amplifying circular thing. The more you have, the faster & easier you kill. I remember being 67 and being totally godlike getting 4 per hour. Then at level 72ish I was getting 6-7 per hour and I was master of the universe. Now, at 85 I can get over 10 per hour and find myself parsing logs to see what I did wrong. Some feel cheated if they dont hit 15 per hour.
                        --Retired, May 2012--


                        • #13
                          As Scrat said, its pretty much a guide but let me address some of your concerns as to why it was written the way it was.

                          You bring up the subject that I refer to as "Sweet spots".
                          The idea is that, at some lvls it is easier to get AAs then at others. This is true and I won't argue that, however, its not a blank check to stay that level forever picking up worth"less" AAs. There are better AAs at higher lvl breaks. Also, in many cases there are ways to get AAs at the same pace as the sweet spot you previously had. For example, while 5-6AAs per hour might seem like a lot, many folks will say that you should be closer to 8-10 with 16-20AAs on a burn.
                          (Check out the Subscriber section for more details)

                          I have to ask about survivability at 85 with 350 AA
                          According to the guide, THAT is the perfect time for you to question survivability, not before then. The guide indicates at 85 with 350AAs you have some options. If you're concerned with survivability, go with the Tap-Tank path.
                          Some folks are perfectly comfortable with their lvl of survivability and so they choose to focus on utility or spike DPS.

                          With healer mercs or being in groups in general, the concern about survivability is fairly situational. If you're always in a group with a healer, merc or otherwise, its likely you have no concern about staying alive. If you raid, the Utility might be more important or the spike DPS. If you solo one of the other paths might be better. And ofcorse at that level is harder to argue which AA is more important so it becomes more subjective.

                          In summary, if your lvl 85 necro with 350AAs has followed the path properly he should DPS as well as any other equally equiped necro. As DPS is our primary role, this is all we can ask for. The rest is up to personal preference. I tried to organize the paths in a top-down most useful for that path approach so you know,for example, to get agility before stability, but I'm not going to say that Agility is any better or more useful then Wake the dead. I Will say that critical affliction is better then expansive mind and thats why the guide is written like it is.

                          P.S. the guide hasn't been updated for UF yet but I'll get around to that soon. I've just been a bit bogged down with stuff and ofcorse, I wait for the populace at large to weigh in on the AAs. Clearly Death Bloom is a must have and a driving force behind getting to lvl 85


                          • #14
                            10 an hour without lesson? Will have to play around and see what I can do, obviously I have fewer AAs, and 50-60% Focus vs. your 80%, so mine will be a little lower

                            This guide is a very very good start, I just started playing a necro 5 months ago (took 19 or so months off), and I was totally clueless on the class specific AAs. Some great info on here


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Noobieguy View Post
                              10 an hour without lesson?
                              Crazy eh?

                              Check this thread

                              People quote lesson burns so they get 50% more xp but its only 30mins not an hr, so if they say 18AA lesson burn thats 18AA/HR if they can keep it up the entire time.
                              Last edited by solithan; 04-13-2010, 07:25 PM.