Necromancer Skill Video Breakdown

August 26, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 31 Comments
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After each profession is released I tend to try and pick apart the skill videos that come with those reveals. You can check out my ranger breakdown, my warrior breakdown, and the elementalist breakdown that I’ve also done.

Thanks to Tigerfeet I was informed somewhat early of the videos and viewed them on youtube. Somebody had been trolling the site’s code and found the videos. Arenanet quickly asked people to not post the videos to youtube, but to no avail. I won’t point out who probably isn’t in arenanet’s favor at the moment.

The necromancer skill videos.


One of the first asura we’ve really seen in a skill video, there have been glimpses in the races trailer or manifesto video but otherwise, nada. He’s standing there pretty confidently, not sure if thats an idle animation or a natural standing stance.

He sets off the Well Of Poison, or Poison Cloud, or some form of Mark, I’m not really sure. In any case its a circle with poison in it. Pretty cool poison effect. I like how he stamps the staff down as he’s casting.

The unfortunate branded enemy (norn?) even clutches at its throat as it goes down. Nice. If I never mentioned I like how the Branded creatures have crystals growing out of their bodies, and that they seem to come in all types of living things that happened to be in the area at the time of the branding, well, yeah.

The Doom skill effect of a Dhuum like reaper is cleverly conceptualized. I just sort of love that its such a shout out to Guild Wars. The effect itself doesn’t seem to move much, which in its own way is creepy, but I think I’d prefer something more animated. The skull that appears over the enemy is kind of classic fear effect. Its better animated, and drawn but still pretty standard. The black smoke pouring down over their heads is a nice touch though.

That staff he’s wielding is pretty good right? Nothing particularly stands out about it, I just sort of hope there are optional colours.

The Branded creatures appear to be wearing just what is growing out of them. The necro is difficult to see due to the low lighting. He appears to be wearing cloth, perhaps with some kind of shiny leather vest a la Anakin Skywalker. Can’t really tell unfortunately. There does appear to be a pouch. That’s it!

The setting is quite obviously the SteelEye Span as you can see it in the background. I’ve been thinking about that name and decided it’s less a fortress and more a fortified bridge across the Brand, probably protecting a road or something. There is crystalized plants visible and a lot of dead earth but not much else to speak of.

The sounds are one of the best parts of this video. The snarls and eventual death wails of the mobs (particularly since different species and sex have different snarls and wails) are appreciated as usual, but the skill sound of the summoning of Dhuum and then the creepy drone of the skull hovering over them is pretty good.

What is with that asura hair? Has anyone seen a good asura hair style yet? I think if I go asura I’m going bald.

That ogre is particularly well done I thought.

Bone Minions -> Putrid Explosion

Some very strong impressions of the ritualist armour on this charr. The blindness, or at least blindfold, is the first thing I noticed.

Some typical magic waving of the hands, except the focus is lost from the hand in doing so. The three minions appear out of 3 small black circles, typically bubbling with black ether. The minions themselves creep me out. Human skulls attached to rat or even racoon like bodies. They hop like rabbits almost. The charr points at them to cast Putrid Explosion, and their death writing is even more creepy. You’ve just created some minions and now with their imminent destruction they grab their skulls as though in pain and writhe around. The blackish green skill effect, with greenish blood splatter is wicked.

I don’t think I ever got a good look at the focus, but the wand is standard enough. Glowing ethereal source of light, metal guards and metal rod supporting it. The focus seems to emit some light, but the general darkness prevents seeing much else.

I honestly got a vaguely shamesque/dom feeling from the armour. Leather bracers, straps, suggestions of bone decorations. The gloves that fall off ogres must be huge.

The setting is difficult to tell other than the somewhat swampyness in the background. It’s otherwise rocky and I don’t remember much of that. Not to mention the character was charr and was fighting ogres who we’ve mostly seen in charr areas. New? maybe. I like how there are floating wisps of light.

Apparently charr catch phrases are just snarling, grunting, and moaning. The blood splattering as the minions blow up is a good touch, but what is becoming clear is the creepiness that arenanet wants associated with the necromancer. They’re really working on that. I like how you can hear their approach as they’re being summoned, a sort of wail. The minions have their own death cries for crying out loud. Detailed. Not to mention the splatter sound. What is that sound effect at the end, the sort of low horn-like ambient sound? From the setting, a skill, added to the video for effect? Last but not least, the sound of insects.

That ogre on the left reminds me of a Star Trek alien. Maybe. Just not sure what race. Or maybe I’m thinking Star Wars.

Mohawk Lady

Grasping Dead

This is probably the coolest necromancer skill video. You can tell somebody put some effort into coordination too.

So the usual waving hands and hip swaying, and then a row of actual skeletal hands springs forth from the ground and grasping and grabbing at, what looks to be, some kind of fire skale. The fact that arenanet didn’t get lazy and just turn Firewall or similar skills into a blackish green wall of ether and instead actually animated rows of arms staggers me. What an amazing god damn skill. Some of the arms actually try to give the impression they’re pulling the victim down into the ground too, and there is earth being thrown around to top off the effect.

The wands seem to be pretty standard. The charrs is maybe a little more tribal and odd but otherwise normal. I can’t get a good look at the charr focus, but the humans is plainly a skull. Possibly of a Gaki. The woman’s is harder to make out. It’s spikey and strangely shaped.

The armours are straightforward. The charr is wearing the same from before, and woman’s is like a goth princess outfit. Bodice, short puffy prom skirt, striped pants. The human male is like a cross between them, leaning on more of a human shaman style, but his hair is so Criss Angel I want to smack him in the face.

The setting is more charred charr homeland, somewhere near the Brand I suppose. Bones scattered about, rocky outcroppings, nothing much living around.

The sounds are eerie again. They’re working hard to make the necromancer creepy on the sound end. The bone appendages make more of a flesh ripping sound I thought, which personally I’m going to have to deduct points for, but otherwise fine. The ground rumbling quite fits with the skill. I’m not sure about the metallic shink when they unsheathe their weapons but upon re-sheathing them it sounds a lot better.

I loves a woman with a mohawk.

Locust Swarm

Ooooh mohawk lady. Is that heat emanating from the creature?

What the hell is that first skill. Its spreads out in all direction like a black ripple effect, at which point green teeth enshrouded in black ether chomp down on the Branded. The teeth are green and have giant incisors. It doesn’t kill anything, in fact its hard to tell what it did as they were all standing perfectly still before rushing the necro. The skill effect may as well be worthy of an elite though. Like how she puts her hands up and then sort of pushes out as the ripples go outward. Kind of karate like. I’m sensing kind of an asian influence on necro body animations during casting.

She then hauls out the reddish, interesting looking warhorn. The skill itself is similar to Hunter’s Call in that the graphics vibrate with the resonance of the sound. The locusts appear almost directly from inside the warhorn itself. Nicely done. The insects themselves are well portrayed by fast flapping insect wings. They really do look kind of like undead glowing locusts to me. Obviously they’re showing of the skill by having it hyped up by developer hacks, I doubt you can just run around bumping into enemies. However, the necro appears to be using a speed buff, and I didn’t think necro’s would have their own speed buff. Take note of the light greenish short trail of movement signifier.

She’s got an axe and the warhorn. I’ve made my sentiment known about necros and axes. The warhorn at least looks fresh.

Setting? Dragonbrand at night.

Typical spooky ambient sound effects. Why do the locusts make a banging noise when attacking enemies? Totally doesn’t make any sense. Locusts themsleves sound noises pretty good. Warhorn noise the same as before? I think so. Liked the female Hiyeee when she cast that first spell. Too much banging over all.

Life Blast perhaps

Life Siphon

The same charr from before. Different setting and monsters though.

The first spell looks to be Life Blast. Which does more damage the more life you have, apparently. It reminds me very much of Hadouken only green. There is a wavy magnetic field like aura of blackness emanating from the blast before it fires, and I like how it sort of knocks the harpy back. Or maybe he just moves back, more likely. He moves into this pose when he casts as well, again reminding me of asian influences. Like as though Bruce Lee were setting his stance for attack or defense, and instead casting Life Blast.

He does a similar pose for Life Siphon I think, but then he sucks in orange globs of life energy. His right arm is stretched behind him and his hand has a rippling whirl effect as the globs get sucked into the charr. There are little orangish explosions around the harpy as they’re sucked out of him and repeated when they get to the charr too.

You get to see a couple harpy skills. The white glare of a harpy bow attack and the barrel roll, or loop de loop or whatever. Nice skill effect to show just what happens with the wing when he hits you. Interesting that he moves kind of super fast during the attack too.

He (or is it a she? I’m suddenly certain Tigerfeet will have something to say about it) seems to be wielding a dagger and some kind of dream catcher chakram perhaps? Am I wrong in thinking actually that he wields two different focuses during this video, one at the beginning, the middle, and back to the original. Either way the darkness makes little certain.

Setting is the shiverpeaks I’d assume. I suppose the Blazeridge mountains could have snowy zones, and that might make sense with the harpies. We’ve never seen harpies in frozen areas have we? Very a-typical shiverpeaks background if you ask me. Love the snow effect here. Wasn’t used enough in Guild Wars.

I guess the snow footfalls are okay. Coming from Canada I’m probably a little too expert to be unbiased on the subject. Harpies sound good, in general. The sound does sort of recall to mind fearsome bird beasts. I like the charging sound of Life Blast but the hitting sound is typical bang. Love the sound of that harpy bow, the stretching of the bowstring the twang of release. Very jet like harpy wing noises from that harpy skill. I like that Life Siphon literally has a slurping noise. Lose the explosion sounds.


I’m really liking what they’re doing with the black and green skill effects. They’re fluid and well animated. They don’t tend to take any particular form but I appreciate the billowing, pulsating, bubbling ether that comes from necro skills. And its prevalent in virtually every skill you see too.

Creepy amount of light, creepy sounds, creepy atmosphere. They were really, really, going for atmosphere with all of these videos. Definitely trying to give the necro skill videos something to differentiate themselves over the other professions. I kind dislike that they were all in the dark, I would have liked to have seen more details but whatever.

Glad they showed a couple new animals, would appreciate if they stopped using ogres. I can appreciate them not wanting to show off every creature they’ve got before the game comes out though. Same with the settings really.


  1. I’m sold!!! I’m playing Necro in GW1 now and this looks amazing.

    • how long have you been playing gw1?

      I really do think necro is one of the most impressive professions so far.

  2. The creepy sounds definitely stood out for me in all the videos, in a good way.

    The axe: I actually like the look of it, as long as they are kept on the small side. Considering the necromancer’s use of dead bodies, a small chopping tool makes sense, as it could also be used as a weapon.

    The necro armor seems more like bits and pieces from GW1’s mesmer, ranger and ritualist; instead of the bone/scale look of many of the GW1 sets. A bit boring to be honest, but I expect all of the profession videos are using rather basic armor styles. I remember some of the charr armor from the gamescom demo looked fairly nice, so it should be interesting to see all the types once the game is released.

    • axes, bleh. I can’t blame them for diversifying, but I think guns and pistols make as much sense as an axe. they just chose it because its creepy.

      yeah the prom dress reminds me specifically of some of the kurz mesmer stuff. but you’re right, high level stuff probably looks great.

  3. They all look great, but I think they should add some Bruce Campbell sound bites for grasping dead.

    • I’m betting there are bruce campbell catch phrases through out the game, just not in that skill video.

  4. Yeah, the charr that you see is a female. The males are more…well, ugly, really. They also have bigger horns. The female charr look more…well, more feline than the males.


    In other news, I’m so rolling a charr necro >_>

    • Now that I watch the videos again, though, for being female charr, they sure do sound…masculine…

      • ah ha! not so easy then to judge the sex of fantasy species then is it?

        • …Apparently not. I will now proceed to blame everyone and every thing save for myself in an attempt to save face.

  5. It’s really more of a fauxhawk, as opposed to a mohawk… not that I’m being picky 😉

    • yeah but i stopped myself from calling it faux hawk, i thought “who is going to know what faux hawk means?”

      I guess most people would have though.

  6. Why can’t they ever portray the necromancer class in a happy light? How about a charr skipping in a lovely field of daisies as he gracefully slaughters cute, fuzzy bunnies and raises his fiends?!

    Can’t wait to play the necro!

    • I would like to see that. only broadcast on a children’s show.

  7. […] [Hunters Insight] Necromancer Skill Video Breakdown […]

  8. Quote:-
    “Arenanet quickly asked people to not post the videos to youtube, but to no avail. I won’t point out who probably isn’t in arenanet’s favor at the moment.”

    You linked (point) to a GW2 fansite, pointing an accusatory finger I may add, with no explanation, as if there is some wrong-doing on their part. Perhaps you should share with us the sins they supposedly committed 🙂

    • I was just teasingly pointing out who posted the videos early. i don’t think it matters personally, since the demo showed a crap ton of necro skills.

      • Not trying to make a big issue of this, I am teasingly pointing out that it looks bad, and is essentially untrue anyhow.

        • its true that they posted the videos early. sure they weren’t the original people who found the videos, but they contributed.

          I’m sorry but i don’t think that excuses them at all.

          but again, its a minor issue.

          • I don’t know if you have some hidden agenda, but I do not see any links to all the sites that posted the videos, nor any to the sites that did not take them down.
            The videos were posted amidst the chaotic amount of information from Gamescom. They were posted in good faith on the assumption that they were Gamescom related materials. As soon as this was found not to be the case they were removed.
            This matter may not be important to you, but it is to people trying to do the right thing.
            I am sorry to say this but your saying that it is a minor issue will likely lose you the credibility you may wish to engender in your readers.

            • hidden agenda? please don’t get paranoid. that video is the one i saw and posted about. they didn’t take it down. “hiding” it from the channel isn’t even close to the same thing. who links a channel? people link videos which is how i found it.

              its a minor issue because most of the skills in the skill videos were available on videos from the demo and there are a lot of videos from the demo.

              If its important to you to point out all the people, every single person, who posted the videos early, then please do so, you have a blog. I was just giving a friendly poke to the ribs of a fellow fan site. I wasn’t try to be overly critical or ruin them in some way.

  9. I’d like to see the accusation removed as well. We did upload the video to Youtube, but we gotten the footage from another (bigger) fansite. Once we noticed ArenaNet was not pleased that this big fansite shown the footage, we kept our video hidden on Youtube, not viewable for public. By the time we did so, other Youtube users already downloaded and re-uploaded our video. It was not our own channel showing this video.

    We also made an announcement on our own website that we removed the footage to let ArenaNet publish it first.

    I hope this can be changed in your blogpost, or at least digg deaper to find the real source who first published the video.

    I’ll still keep reading/liking your blog though 😉

    • I apologize if pointing you guys out hurts your rep, obviously if you made attempts to hide the video after you found out, thats fair enough. but you never took the video down.

      It was the only video I saw, so again I apologize that you weren’t the original people who found the videos and spread them. I probably should have specified that you were only one of many who discovered the videos. I mean obviously guru is the site you must be talking about, but i never saw anything about it there.

      and like i said, its not a big deal, I think the only skill I saw in the videos that I didn’t in the demo is grasping dead.

      I’m not going to change the post because i think its a minor issue.

      • Your facts are incorrect, they did take the video down, immediately they found that there may have been a problem, and it stayed down until the official reveal.

        Pity when an inaccuracy is pointed out that you don’t seem willing to have the same respect and take then same action..

  10. As to the video getting out before the official release (and I didn’t see any of them or any info until the official release, so I don’t even know which video it was), this seems to clearly have been a goof by ArenaNet. The text on the official site for the Necro reveal even says, “Just in time for gamescom…”, which it wasn’t, it was released AFTER gamescom. Somebody goofed, the profession was not revealed before gamescom as ArenaNet had pretty much said they would do and then they goofed again by having those files on their site and able to be accessed. Duh!

    For Regina Buenaobra to then (as usual) lay blame on the players instead of on ArenaNet is typical NCSoft CM arrogance. I assume she must have trained the Aion CM’s, considering they are even worse. ArenaNet goofed, plain and simple. Next time they should get their act together. They had been doing good with the info releases until they botched this; they should at least own up when they make a mistake.

    They also goofed up not having any official demo game play footage to release at gamescom BEFORE somebody in the gaming press started posting phone camera footage on the internet. Seriously, did they not think that would happen? In fact that blurry video is still being used on most general gaming sites as an example of GW2, rather than a high quality one that would have been on these sites if ArenaNet had released one.

    • that’s a pretty good point yarr. I’m not sure why they made the reveal after when the profession reveal probaably gone off a lot smoother before the con. It would have had more effect in my opinion, rather than having details drip in from crappy videos.

      as for throwing blame around, I don’t think anyones interested in that. Its just Ms Beunaobra’s job to protect the interests of her bosses. Right now thats controlling information.

      Can’t agree with you more about having high quality videos available, i think i have said the same thing a couple timeso n the blog.

  11. The mechanics and aesthetic is just different enough from the elementalist. I see now what they meant by every class having damage support and control. I have to assume the next class will be the new monk… After all this death and darkness, we need some preservation and light 🙂

    This marks the halfway point in the list of professions. Still quite a few to go, it feels like forever.

    • Maybe i should give up on predicting the next profession. if we’re going scholar, soldier, adventurer, scholar, solider, adventuerer then yeah, the new monk.

      if we’re going by the silhouettes slowly spreading out from the middle…. mesmer or assassin.

      if we’re going by least interesting (elementalist) to most interesting (new classes) then assassin or mesmer would fall between new monk or new class.

  12. […] bloggers and community wigs have been covering the news like mad, as well. Hunter over at Hunter’s Insight goes into some pretty in depth detail on the videos. Nox of Conjure Phantasm’s response was […]

  13. […] bloggers and community wigs have been covering the news like mad, as well. Hunter over at Hunter’s Insight goes into some pretty in depth detail on the videos. Nox of Conjure Phantasm’s response was […]

  14. […] bloggers and community wigs have been covering the news like mad, as well. Hunter over at Hunter’s Insight goes into some pretty in depth detail on the videos. Nox of Conjure Phantasm’s response was […]

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