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 A crash course in Alternate Advancement

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Posts : 442
Join date : 2009-07-19
Age : 30
Location : NYC

PostSubject: A crash course in Alternate Advancement   Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:15 am

This guide is made with the intentions of getting you familiarized with Alternate Advancement (AA) and how to use it, and how to feat it.

I. Earning ranks in AA feats
II. The AA feat types
III. Feats you'll need in Khitai dungeons
IV. Using Perks
V. So which AA feats should you go for?
VI. Some AA feats to remember

I. Earning ranks in AA feats

The first thing you need to understand is how to earn more points to spend on ranks of the AA feats. There are three point types, plus a timer method.

Timer: You can place any feat you have unlocked the ability to feat into on a timed learning method. Click the "timer" option at the bottom of the AA screen, then click the ability in the AA tree you wish to put on timed learning. It will display the amount of hours (totaled from both offline and online hours) required for the feat to be learned while on timer. This method works best for the last ranks of feats or the major archtype and class specific AA feats (explained later). As you earn points to spend, you can save them to drop into a timed feat when the timer has reached a point that allows that feat to be learned for far less points than before you began the timer.

Prowess points: Prowess points are earned through hitting one-million totaled Prowess experience. Prowess experience is earned through all PvP related activity. When you hit one-million in total, you will earn 3 Prowess points and 1 Expertise skill point. Prowess points can only be spent on the right side of your AA map.

Mastery points: Mastery points are earned through hitting one-million totaled Mastery experience. Mastery experience is earned through all PvE related activity (questing, killing NPCs, raiding). When you hit one-million in total, you will earn 3 Mastery points and 1 Expertise skill point. Mastery points can only be spent on the left side of your AA map.

Expertise points: Expertise points are earned one at a time in conjunction with hitting one-million mastery or prowess experience and can only be earned individually through epic-quality (purple) experience jars which are purchased from Mystic Supplies vendors in exchange for rare trophies. You can spend Expertise points on either side of the AA map.

II. The feat types

There are several feat types. Some span across all classes, others are only for archtypes of a certain kind (I.E. Soldier, Mage, Rogue, Priest). Others are only for specific class types.

General AA feats: The general feats are the top 1/3 (The blue background) of your AA map. These feats include perks and feats that increase your protection, critical ratings, weapon damage and other minor (but very helpful!) buffs.

Archtype AA feats: The archtype feats are the middle 1/3 (red background) of your AA map. These feats include perks and feats which can be learned spells and abilities that are something only your archtype can learn. For example, Celestial Gaze is a priest archtype AA feat/spell. It is a frontal cone instant-heal spell and thus, as a heal, is only available in the archtype Priest AA map.

Class specific AA feats: The class specific feats are the bottom 1/3 (white background) of your AA map. These feats include perks and feats which can be learned spells and combos that are for your class only. Usually the involve new ranks of old combos that offer new combat bonuses (such as applying a debuff to the enemy) upon using or casting them.

III. The feats you'll need in Khitai dungeons

There are several feats that are available to certain archtypes that are neccessary to do certain dungeons while out in Khitai. I will give a brief listing of them now, but do remember these aren't overly neccessary if you don't plan on doing much Khitai hard-mode dungeon running.

Rogues: Rogues get two very important feats named Tainted Weapons and Finely Honed. Tainted weapons removes all healing effects from the target, while Finely Honed removes all aura and bubble effects from the target.

Priests[b/]: Priests who plan to do hard mode khitai dungeons need the feat called Steadfast Faith. This spell removes all "ruin" effects from themselves and any allies positioned in a frontal cone in front of the priest.

: Soldiers can a specific feat named Resolve. Resolve removes any wrack effects placed upon them by an enemy.

Mages: Mage archtypes get a neccessary Khitai feat called UNbinding charm. This removes specific debuffs (each mage type can remove a different debuff) from themselves and their team.

IV. "Perks"

Perks are AA feats which must be equipped on your AA Perk bar in order to be used or effective.

To equip a perk, open your abilities tab and select the mini-tab titled Perks. On the bottom of the perks screen are options for General, Archtype and Class perks. Select the feat/combo/perk you want to equip, and drag and drop it onto the corresponging colored square on the perk bar. If the perk bar did not automatically open for you, click the small button on the left of the accessory hotbar under your HP/MP/Stam bars.

Some perks are automatically applied and do not need to be equipped to be active. These are passive perks which effects are applied regardless of what perks are on your perk bar.

V. So which feats should you go for?

This depends. My suggestion is to figure out exactly what you want to do as your class in game. If you plan to do hardmode Khitai dungeons, you'll likely want to hurry and unlock the Khitai neccessary feats (mentioned above) and learn them as soon as possible. If not, you can skip over them entirely or prolong learning them until you see fit.

I usually begin any new 80 off by putting on timer/unlocking Decisive strikes, at least 2 ranks. You could also go for pressing strikes - it's a matter of what you prefer. Then you'll want to get at least one point in the five different "ward" feats which raise elemental protection. These are passive feats so remain active for you always, and help a ton over time. If you plan to PvP more often than PvE however, you'll want to go for Field of War sooner than decisive/pressing strikes feats.

From here, the options are really up to you to decide what you want out of your character. But I'll give a few tips regarding how specific playstyles/classes should feat their AA's.

Tanks: A tank should do their best to get feats that aid in tanking, obviously. The feats for forced engage and stall the advance are great, and empowered irritate is always helpful. But you'll want to begin your journey down the AA trees (after the initial stuff i mentioned) by getting Chromatic Warding, which is awesome protection overall to swap to against enemies that use magic damage, and Elusive nature (which awards critigation chance, which makes Khitai armor much more useful as it makes the critigation amount of Khitai armor apply much more often.)

Healers: Celestial gaze can be a very handy extra heal for a priest to have in their arsenal if you plan to make use of Khitai armors which apply heal rating. Each healer's AA's that are used for healing make use of heal rating, and some of them are extremely powerful heals or buffs. Sleuth of Bears for a bear shaman is an example of these feats.

DPS: If you're planning on being a dps class (or are a rogue or mage archtype) you'll want to eventually max out Decisive and pressing strikes for critical rating, critical damage, spell damage, and weapon damage. From there you'll want to learn some new combos at the bottom of your AA tree and feat for 'improved combo name" or "improved spell name" to increase thedamage done by those skills. As a rogue, you'll also want to feat for Pit Fighter (increased damage overall) and Soothing Venom (hate decrease).

VI. Some feats to know

A list of feats you should always keep in mind and/or look to feat into in time.

Mending: A healer AA feat which increases the critical hate rate of your "big heals"

Chromatic Warding: A perk that increases protection against all spells.

Elusive Nature: A feat which increases a character's critigation chance. use with Khitai armor to make Khitai armor's critigation amount apply more frequently. Especially helpful for tanks.

Coils of the Serpent: A ToS only AA feat which is arguably the most useful and powerful AA feat in the game. This spell channels a constant flow of AoE thunderbolts upon a target that hits all enemies within a wide range proximity to the main target.

Void of Madness: A DT only AA feat which is considered extremely powerful and helpful. This feat applies random buffs to the DT with every critical hit, ranging from crit damage/rating, combat rating, magic damage, armor and other helpful temporary buffs.

Rear Guard: A soldier AA feat which applies a buff to all priest archtypes in group. This feat increases the heal rating of all priest's in the soldier's group, and therefore can be very important.

There are many other important and helpful AA feats to choose from. These are only some of the ones to keep in mind. Always read through your list of possible abilities that you can feat into and choose the ones that best fit what you are trying to accomplish as your character.
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A crash course in Alternate Advancement
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