Necromancers of Guild Wars 2

August 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 24 Comments
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Unofficially we’ve known that necromancers would be the next profession announced since the first videos from gamescom started to pour in. I had been sort of betting on the assassin for various reasons, but wasn’t very surprised after Ghosts of Ascalon that the necromancer showed up at the convention.

I had also been betting on the necromancer being more of a summoner. Guild Wars 2 seems to me to be placing a lot of faith in mechanics outside the usual hack and slash, Tornado’s, full fledged dodging, environmental weapons, etc. While the necro clearly summoned things through the gamescom videos it didn’t appear all that significantly different from the original necro.

At least I got one thing right. That crouching form in the silhouette (phtobucket for Tiger) is the necro. I’ve been calling that one for ages.

I have no doubts that they can fully change each silhouette to whatever profession they want of course

One of the things I’ve been criticized for as far as the blog goes, is that I want Guild Wars 2 to be significantly different than Guild Wars. I don’t want to play the same game for the next 5 that I’ve been playing for the last 5. Others though really want, not just a semblance, but a very familiar experience with the game.

For the most part I’m happy with the changes, and if anything, saddened by the things that stay the same. I think the necromancer is a mixed bag for both me and the conservatives who don’t want any progression.

The article starts out with a brief description of just what a necromancer is exactly and then dives into the special skill types that necromancers have.

Wells in Guild Wars were centered around corpses. If there was one nearby, you’d cast a Well and within a circle centering on that corpse, various effects were applied. They could be helpful or hurtful. Well Of Power returned both health and energy while Well of Weariness deprived enemies of energy. In Guild Wars 2 it doesn’t appear you need a corpse to start one, just as with how minions don’t require corpses to be summoned any more. This is a definite boon to both wells and minions. Competition for corpses often lead to minion masters being mutally exclusive to Well users. Not only that but you can use a Well at the beginning of a fight, instead of part way through.

Minions are a special skill type we saw in the gamescom videos. They seem more varied in design than they did in Guild Wars. Bone minions appear more like half-rat, half something else, creatures as opposed to small bi-pedal flesh golems. They’re still just minions though, I don’t think there is any large difference there. However the addition of a secondary skill once you’ve summoned a creature does add to diversity of skills. If you wanted your minion to explode that would require 2 skills in an 8 skill bar. Here its one skill in a 10 skill bar.

Manifesto video profession art confirmed

Marks sound like a combination of ground based curse and trap. You can possibly use it to support your allies, or damage enemies, or both. I like the idea of a timed release/remotely triggered detonation. I’ve yet to see it in action in any videos unfortunately so I have little to say about it.

Fear has been getting a lot of criticism since it was discovered through gamescom. Most of that goes something like “OMG WoW rip off? I think so!” Which to me is ignorance exemplified. I mean I don’t know exactly how long its been a part of D&D but I’m just going to go ahead and say for effing ever. I’m not sure how I feel generally about it being in Guild Wars 2 however. I’ve run up against it in various games and thankfully have found it to be an annoyance at worst in those games, but when it leads to death it is exasperating that you have no control over it. Hopefully it will be challenging, rather than frustrating. I’m not much of a PvPer so I assume they have stronger feelings about it.

There aren’t any surprises when it comes to the necromancer after gamescom, and that extends to the weapons. Nox was shouting from the hilltops about using daggers a long ways back though so kudos to him on that. I never really saw the Axe coming before gamescom to be honest. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either. The dagger makes sense, but does a one handed axe go with a spell caster?

I’ve talked about the unique mechanic a bit before, but I may as well quote from them here on Death Shroud.

Death Shroud is a special ability–usable by a necromancer at any time–that utilizes his life force as a secondary health bar. Instead of entering a downed state when his health is reduced to zero, a necromancer automatically activates the Death Shroud ability and assumes a spectral form. In Death Shroud, a necromancer has a number of special skills. For example, a necromancer can summon a shadow fiend, a special minion unique to this form.

It is a flashy unique ability to be sure. A black cloud that flies around attacking people. What they don’t mention is that you build up that secondary health bar with various skills while normally playing, and that Death Shroud slowly uses it up and when empty Death Shroud ends.

That is the new necromancer. I went back and read what i had written about it before they started releasing classes and realized other than my guess about it being more of a summoner (wrong) I didn’t have much else to say about it.

One thing I can tell about my conception of how the professions are working out is that they’re staying more true to Guild Wars than I had previously anticipated. Even most of the skills names and the skills (if not exact replicas then in intent) are the same.

It’s a mixed bag, but I’m not disappointed. How could I be? Just look at this game. Gorgeous.

Goths are pretty cute I admit

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24 Comments

  1. “Fear has been getting a lot of criticism since it was discovered through gamescom. Most of that goes something like “OMG WoW rip off? I think so!” Which to me is ignorance exemplified. I mean I don’t know exactly how long its been a part of D&D but I’m just going to go ahead and say for effing ever. I’m not sure how I feel generally about it being in Guild Wars 2 however.”

    I could give a crap about the WoWhiners. Everything these days is based in something else and ANet already said they were looking to other games for concepts and ideas. Of course a few ideas are going to come from WoW…it is a successful game.

    That being said, I find fear to be an interesting mechanic for GW2. I posted about it earlier in my blog. I see it as a great opportunity to get baddies to run headlong into ground-based effects laid by the necro (e.g., poison cloud) and other professions (e.g., ranger traps, ele’s fire wall, etc.). The AI will likely tend to avoid some of these, but it gives necros a unique edge in battle. Additionally, if the fear mechanics stay the same in PvP, it’ll make players run headlong into said effects. Afterall, most PvPers worth their salt are going to avoid these ground-based effects anyway.

    • “That being said, I find fear to be an interesting mechanic for GW2. I posted about it earlier in my blog. I see it as a great opportunity to get baddies to run headlong into ground-based effects laid by the necro (e.g., poison cloud) and other professions (e.g., ranger traps, ele’s fire wall, etc.). The AI will likely tend to avoid some of these, but it gives necros a unique edge in battle. Additionally, if the fear mechanics stay the same in PvP, it’ll make players run headlong into said effects. Afterall, most PvPers worth their salt are going to avoid these ground-based effects anyway.”

      Good point I didnt even think of it being used that way. I think I like it now lol.

    • I just want to see more of fear in action. the over powered nature of the skill demo videos don’t give much of a clue and i didn’t see it used much in at gamescom.

    • yeah and it they said that fear will make the enemy run straight away from you, and in the mmo i play it makes them run around randomly…so at least it’s a bit different

      • yeah that is an interesting point. running in a straight line away means melee will have to catch up to this person. On the other hand…it is far too predictable which could blow up in anets faces.

        we’ll see i guess.

  2. Yeah I wasn’t too surprised that the necromancer was the next reveal, though the way they revealed it took me a little by surprise. I didnt really have any picture in my mind of what all was going to be shown in the demo. I mean I figured there would be alot of revelations, but I guess it didn’t really occur to me that a profession reveal would be a part of it without it being revealed on the website first.

    I am really liking the direction they have gone with the necromancer from what I have seen of it atleast. It really looks like it is going to be a fun class to play. I think mine will probably be a Charr, I always like the Charr necro’s in GW.

    Death Shroud looks really cool and as far as I know it’s a pretty unique idea atleast as far as MMO’s go, I certainly havent seen anything like it in any I have played. Kind of interesting that it acts as the necromancers downed state. Which raises a question atleast for me. What happens if you use death shroud until you run out of life force and then get downed before you can build any back up?

    I pretty much share your sentiments about fear. I can certainly understand the concern people have about it though, same goes for stuns and really any form of croud control or shutdown. Like all other things so long as it is balanced E.G. very short 1-3 second duration, and not spammable, I dont really have a problem with it. But honestly without having a designated healer, which would be the prime target for fear if it existed in GW, I dont see it being much more than melee repelant. And well it really fits with the class.

    • “I think mine will probably be a Charr, I always like the Charr necro’s in GW.”

      “Which raises a question atleast for me. What happens if you use death shroud until you run out of life force and then get downed before you can build any back up?”

      My necro will very likely be a charr as well. I’m already brainstorming a surname that will be menacing enough 🙂

      As for your death shroud concern, the discussion over at GW2Guru is that your life force is also your downed meter, so if you have no life force and you’re downed, you go directly to defeated. Likewise, Life Transfer will net you some life force while you’re in death shroud (or downed) so that’ll keep the life force meter up a bit more. I haven’t seen official confirmation of this yet though.

      Death shroud is more powerful than the other profession downed states, but I think the possibility of immediate defeat if downed with no life force is a good balance.

    • obviously there has been shapeshifting and what not in other games, but i’ve not seen people turn into inanimate objects like a cloud or a tornado. innovative as far as i know.

      I assume when you’re downed death shroud runs on your consciousness meter, but i don’t know.

  3. The good news is that the next proffesion will be somthing we never saw!
    (Or mesmer)

    • or assassin.

      • I believe mesmer and assassin 2.0 are the other 2 adventurer professions. I have a feeling we will see one of these two revealed next. I am more interested in mesmer than assassin, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the assassin is next.

        • mesmer as adventurer? not scholar? really?
          i see it as mesmer the last scholar, ass as adventurer, monk/cleric/soldier/heavy armour, and new class as adventurer

          • I think the charr that appear at the end of the “evil rise” video is a spiritalist. At leas it summons a “fire spirit” that have chains, like the spirits at GW.

            So, my guess is that the last scholar (we have two scholars until now, necromancer and elementalist) will be spiritualist.

            • the last scholar will probably be mesmer, in my opinion. however I don’t know what video you’re talking about, if you could link it that would be great.

            • The video is GW2 Evil Rises, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJioGbsK2XY&feature=fvsr

              At 5:00 (near the video end) you see a charr casting something and a huge fire “phantasm” appear. I just noted that thing have chains, like the spirits conjured by spiritualists.

              Currently, we know 4 from the 8 professions. And we know too that are 3 light armor professions, 3 medium armor professions and 2 heavy armor professions.

              We have elementalist and necromancer (2 light armor), ranger (medium armor) and warrior (heavy armor).

              So, we can wait one more light armor (mesmer? spiritualist?), two more medium armor (assassin? spiritualist? monk?) and one more heavy armor (paragon? maybe a new class, as knight?).

              However, monks are a healer class at GW and we know there are no healers at GW2, so problably there are no “healer” monks at GW2. And heavy armor is not the proper armor for a “kung-fu style” monk. That make me think the next heavy armor will be paragon or maybe a new “heavy armored” class, something like paladin or knight.

              That are my guesses. And for now everything we can do is conjecture.

              PS

              Sorry the bad english, my native language is portuguese.

            • ohhhh the original trailer. I see. Uhm, the chain you mention I think is part of the setting, the dungeon they’re in. A decoration.

              The profession itself to me is unclear. but the flame effigy we see looks a lot like the charr effigy you can see in Guild Wars: Eye of the North.

              I think its a racial skill, as some racial skills have been mentioned to summon creatures. I don’t think there is any solid evidence of it being a particular profession.

              as for the remaining professions, i’ve blogged about this before but in short form here’s what I think.

              Assassin and the brand new class they’ve hinted at for medium armour.

              the mesmer for the remaining scholar with light armour.

              there is concept art of a soldier class with a blue theme and valkyrie like armour and a mace that suggests a heavily armoured cleric/paladin like class for the soldier/heavy armour class.

  4. Just a point on the Axe; Arenanet like to link back to the past, a nod to the games heritage.
    Axes were used on a regular basis by casters in GW1, namely the classic Totem Axe. I still farm these, mainly because it’s a nice relaxing way to pass 45 mins or so 🙂
    Also, less common, but an axe i use on my 600 farmers is a modded Flame Spitter 🙂

    Necros though didn’t particularly use Totem axes as they didn’t generally use enchants.

    • I just don’t see that as being basis enough for axe being one of their main weapons. I understand there is precedence but it just doesn’t translate for me.

    • I can see the logic in that, but I’m of the opinion that they want necros to look dark, evil, cruel, menacing, and creepy. What’s more menacing than a creepy guy with an axe? A sword is more versatile and acceptable. Gentlemen carry swords. But if you carry an axe, that says something.

  5. “However the addition of a secondary skill once you’ve summoned a creature does add to diversity of skills. If you wanted your minion to explode that would require 2 skills in an 8 skill bar. Here its one skill in a 10 skill bar.”

    I’d like to know how many minions a Necro can have out at one time. If your minion raising skill is replaced when you raise a minion (i.e. Taste of Blood), does that mean you can only have one minion of that type out ever? Does that also mean that you need 4 different minion raising skills on your skill bar, just to have four minions? If so, it doesn’t seem like much of a skill bar space saver to me. In fact it’s the opposite. It would mean playing an MM would require having the same 6 skills on your bar just to get an army going.

    It’s obviously too early to speculate fully on this, but I’m interested to know how it will work.

    • I dont think the GW MM is going to be making a return it certainly doesn’t look that way. The description of bone minions says it summons 3, however in one of the numerous demo videos it clearly summoned 4. So I think possibly that there will be ways to increase the number of minions summoned to an extent either through higher level skills or maybe through traits.

      Here is the vid,

      At 1:10 he summons 4 bone minions. So without speculating too much I feel pretty confident we will be able to increase the amount of minions, but I think the massive armies of undead days are over.

    • Come on man, we both know the gw minion master was and is completely over powered. Running around 9 minions made a lot of stuff drop dead easy. Reducing the number of minions is an obvious change.

      • Yeah I like the change myself, and I like that they added utility to them other than just meat shields.

      • I agree 10 minions was incredibly OP. Especially with the change to Aura of the Lich, which allowed you to insta-army. I was more interested to know how it would work in GW2. Summoning 4 minions off one skill sounds right on the money.

        Cheers for the link Matt.


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