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Old May 7th, 2012, 09:05   #1
Ivan
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Reflection on the Necromancer

So as requested, here's my reflection on the Necromancer class which I played 100% of the time in the beta.

My play style mostly revolved around using the ability known as Death Shroud

Now in Death shroud you gain access to a set of abilities, I utilized my build by getting the most uptime for Death shroud. To do so, you need to gain life force, which is gained by killing enemies and using certain abilities that grant life force.

In General PvE, I ran with Staff and Switched set with Axe/Dagger. The Axe grants basic damaging abilities that grant life force, the dagger however, adds utilities such as transferring conditions. A scenario of fighting a group of mobs or a veteran went something like this:

Quote:
>Summon Flesh Wurm, which is a ranged immobile minion that does decent damage, if you cast the spell again, you "shadowstep" to your wurm's location, killing it and poisoning all foes in a radius of 1200(?).

>Use Deathshroud when at full Life Force

>Open with the second ability in Deathshroud known as 'Dark Path' which shadowsteps you to the enemy if it hits and then Chills them, which makes them really slow.

>Use my shadowstep back to the wurm to gain safe distance

>Switch to staff, which grants the ability to cast marks

>place all of my marks between my snared foe and myself, making me highly difficult to catch with all the conditions such as fear, slow..etc..

>If the enemy is close, I switch back to axe and spam the second ability to regain life force, if enemy is whacking my face off, I use my heal and try to shut them down with Daze/Blind or Fear to regain distance. If I can't regain my distance I use my Spectral Armor, which grants you life force when you take damage (perfect!)

>repeat when wurm is off cooldown, but no way they are alive after all this
The above was really good combo for taking down veterans/champs, normal mobs died way too fast for this. I did that also when I was fighting high level ettins, which worked really well since they outleveled me by far.

Didn't see much underwater combat apart from the Kraits. I handled it pretty easily with the Underwater abilities of Death Shroud, but then again I didn't really test alot of weapons underwater, I just used a spear.

I noticed Necros to have alot of health as well compared to other classes, and even if you are taking a heavy beating, Death Shroud will "freeze" your hp and your Life Force will be treated as a mana shield (2gud). Too bad I can't say the same for the minions, which only were able to handle normal mobs but died instantly against Champion/Veteran AoE spells, I hope they give them more hp or something

For Itemization, I just went full Power/Precision + some Condition Damage thanks to my favorite ability in the beta.

How did you guys find the Necro?
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Last edited by Ivan; May 7th, 2012 at 12:43.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 10:32   #2
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I didn't have enough time to sample a necro during the BWE but based on your description I'm tempted to choose a necro over ele when the game goes live. I had a really hard time trying to keep mobs comfortably far away from my ele, and it sounds like the necro has at the same time more options for staying safe and more resilience to begin with (high health and minions and death shroud).
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Old May 7th, 2012, 10:54   #3
Ivan
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AI doesn't react well to this, they ignore the wurm, but in PvP if someone is to kill that wurm and you shadowstep in, its an oh shi- moment where you have to recover asap

I went for the Minion Master style of play and hated it, then focused more on spamming Death Shroud, which is amazing damage and sustain
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Old May 7th, 2012, 12:05   #4
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Nice to see I played my Necromancer completely different to Safo, yay for more feedback!

I played a human Necromancer up to around halfway through the second area, 100% done in Queensdale (minus the dirt-napping skill point everyone has mentioned).

I wanted to go out all out minion mastering since that's always been the style of Necromancer I've enjoyed (damn heroes stealing my build!). Obviously you start off with the Blood Fiend, first minion down. I took the Bone Fiend as my first "choice" talent/skill/whatever they're called and I was a little disappointed that you only got 1 of them, but I soon forgave the system for that. They seemed to do moderately decent damage and didn't die too often providing I kept my distance - I didn't find myself using the second click on the Bone Fiend much simply because I barely ever saw it actually have an effect (it roots the fiend in place and in return, its attacks root enemies in place). For my second skill I took Bone Minions, but these suffered from the exact issue Safo mentioned above, they die instantly - no chance to use their second click ability (basically a manually triggered Death Nova), they didn't tank much and didn't do much damage. Luckily I had enough points spare to pick up Shadow Fiend, which I found to be much more useful. The on-use Blind made for a great gap filler in monster control, though the fiend did still die alot.

Weapon-set wise, I tried just about everything but all in all I never found much of a reason to swap away from my staff. The "Marks" on skills 2,3,4 and 5 are basically ranged traps - so I had great fun laying all 4 together just in front of a melee enemy, aggro it - they trigger all the traps (which inflicted bleeding, chilling, poison and fear on top of their damage) - once they started attacking I'd trigger the Shadow Fiend blind (all the while throwing new marks down when off cd) followed by using Death Shroud and hitting skill 3 (I think? Another fear effect anyway).

In contrast to Safo, I found myself not using Death Shroud very much, simply because the playstyle I went for wasn't really complemented by it all that much. It was a useful emergency button due to the health freeze - especially using the life transfer ability to keep Death Shroud going for much longer and kicking out some decent damage at the same time. I'm looking forward to looking more into the conditions/death shroud playstyle next beta event for sure.

Overall the Necromancer did just about everything I wanted it to do aside from mass minions, which I can understand the reasons for it not being there. Don't think there was ever any doubt that I'd be playing Necromancer main in GW2, the weekend just solidified it.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 12:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsorrow View Post
Overall the Necromancer did just about everything I wanted it to do aside from mass minions, which I can understand the reasons for it not being there. Don't think there was ever any doubt that I'd be playing Necromancer main in GW2, the weekend just solidified it.
I did do that at the start, but then come the elite mobs where they just kept dying to their AoE to spells and when they take aggro, they can't hold for merely a second. I did use that Rooting minion which made kiting a piece of cake

Unless I was doing something wrong, I must suck at minion management if they kept taking aggro and dying >_> however I loved those minions you could use to detonate, they dealt nice aoe damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsorrow View Post
In contrast to Safo, I found myself not using Death Shroud very much, simply because the playstyle I went for wasn't really complemented by it all that much. It was a useful emergency button due to the health freeze - especially using the life transfer ability to keep Death Shroud going for much longer and kicking out some decent damage at the same time. I'm looking forward to looking more into the conditions/death shroud playstyle next beta event for sure.
The Life Blast(first ability) in DS was doing wayy too much damage at higher levels you simply can't ignore it, could be a beta thing but it was one of my main damage output and tried to make the most of it, DS also served well like an oh shi- button that I used in some cases, but in general PvE it was really simple kiting.
And with DS, Dark Path shadowsteps you in and chills the enemy, when you port back you chill the enemy with Chillblains mark, only effective conditions remover will help them from that perma slow (I'm not sure if such a thing as diminishing returns exists in GW).. even if they did get to you and snare you, you still have your second oh shit spell which is Spectral Armor , takes you almost instantly to 50% life force and you could use your 3rd spell to fear and regain distance.


after all NS, I'm finally playing FearDotDotDotFearDotDot xD
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Last edited by Ivan; May 7th, 2012 at 16:44.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 14:41   #6
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I had a lot of fun with a minion master build in PvP. Bone minions were fantastic. Their little explosions were devastating. In PvP they don't die too fast because opponents would obviously prefer to bash your own face. Flesh golem has a knockdown secondary cast attack to stop fleeing squishies or people who want to beat your face. Shadow fiend's blind makes you all the more difficult to kill. Because nobody wants to waste precious damage attacking minions they almost never die. Having a bunch of minions up also makes you harder to target as your opponent has to cycle through several more targets before finding you in the back.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 14:48   #7
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I also played the Necro 100% of my time in the BWE. As I spent most of time just reading and exploring around, I don't think I got a chance to really explore the potential of the class during the BWE - something that I will definitely want to do more of next time around.

As a result, my playstyle for the weekend was much more like Nightsorrow's, and I honestly didn't use the Death Shroud feature that much. I think I was just trying to get the basic skill machanics down first, before adding in the "special sauce".

I, too, found myself using a staff most often, and switching to axe/dagger when it was needed for close melee stuff. The healing minion that we started with in slot 6 was pretty good, but I agree that ALL minions are a bit squishy, and could use a little more toughness in general. I forget the type of minion I had for slot 8, but he was an ethereal black shade looking one that was a damage dealer, with a secondary function where you could send him out and blind your target opponent. That guy definitely saw a lot of use!

That's really about all I can add. It took a while for me to get used to positioning and movement in GW2, since it is SO different from GW1. I was a click-to-move player, so now I have to WASD, and I bound my dodge button to "V" so I could try and get used to htat mechanic, as well. Necros are a light armor, squishy class, so I spent a lot of time learning how to AVOID being hit.

Next time I will definitely explore Death Shroud further, and see if I can get the hang of those skills, too! Thanks for the write-up on that mechanic, Safo!
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Old May 7th, 2012, 16:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
I was a click-to-move player, so now I have to WASD, and I bound my dodge button to "V" so I could try and get used to htat mechanic
Thats a good way to get started, best to move away from clicking as possible

I did the same to the dodge mechanic,bound it to a different key....really felt clunky double tapping to dodge :/


Quote:
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Next time I will definitely explore Death Shroud further, and see if I can get the hang of those skills, too! Thanks for the write-up on that mechanic, Safo!
guess I was the only one who enjoyed DS

I would like to try other mechanics too, but that'll wait till Release since I really really want to play thief next BWE
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:17   #9
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Played necro long enough to unlock some weapons. I didn't enjoy the profession at all. Necro emphasizes my grudges against the combat system. I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't get any help on how to improve my style. I did read the tooltips and use the skills accordingly but it felt like anything ranged was slow and unnecessarily complex, and melee was too dangerous. What was your BWE2 necro experience?
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:51   #10
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I played a necro for a little while (up to level 9) and while I liked the class, I was unsure about the heal. Having a minion that dies to aoe and other attacks be the basis of my heal seemed off. I unlocked well of blood but didn't get enough time to experiment with it.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 10:55   #11
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Started a fresh (as far as that counts for necrotic beings) necro in the short stress test last night. I was not disappointed although I was just short of getting into lvl 7 where I could use the weapon swapping from Axe/focus to staff.
With Ivan's good experiences and advice in mind I tried the potential of Death Shroud and found it very useful. Definitely something I will be developing more next time out there. What I also learned from experience is that using it as a last second resort before your normal health goes completely out is not a good idea in enemy mobs because you return with the same very low health once your life force in DS runs out. It's a lot better to go into DS as soon as your life force is filled up. Coming out of DS with a well filled health bubble feels great.
I am not sure if I like the changed vision when you are in DS. The graphics are adjusted a bit to reflect some sort of "shroud vision" which of course is less clear than normal. Maybe something to get used to.
The healing minion you get in the beginning isn't that great, but that's only fair considering the other ways of escaping defeat you have as a necro. I'll share more experiences when I develop my anomander dark more in the next beta (when? when? when?).
Hmmm, now I think of it: since DS replaces your skill bar and is always the same, irrespective of the weapon(s) you wield, do your weapon buffs and stats still apply for toughness, power or precision e.g.?

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Old July 20th, 2012, 17:26   #12
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Started a fresh (as far as that counts for necrotic beings) necro in the short stress test last night. I was not disappointed although I was just short of getting into lvl 7 where I could use the weapon swapping from Axe/focus to staff.
With Ivan's good experiences and advice in mind I tried the potential of Death Shroud and found it very useful. Definitely something I will be developing more next time out there. What I also learned from experience is that using it as a last second resort before your normal health goes completely out is not a good idea in enemy mobs because you return with the same very low health once your life force in DS runs out. It's a lot better to go into DS as soon as your life force is filled up. Coming out of DS with a well filled health bubble feels great.
I am not sure if I like the changed vision when you are in DS. The graphics are adjusted a bit to reflect some sort of "shroud vision" which of course is less clear than normal. Maybe something to get used to.
The healing minion you get in the beginning isn't that great, but that's only fair considering the other ways of escaping defeat you have as a necro. I'll share more experiences when I develop my anomander dark more in the next beta (when? when? when?).
Hmmm, now I think of it: since DS replaces your skill bar and is always the same, irrespective of the weapon(s) you wield, do your weapon buffs and stats still apply for toughness, power or precision e.g.?
almost a month, but I just noticed this

You are completely right about using DS at start, that way you can have it up again when you are losing your Hp.

Something I learned from Starcraft II/WoW is to lower graphics when you are doing PvP, visual clutter can affect your performance. I'm hoping there is a disable for the DS visuals

Your stats remain for sure, at least thats what I found out.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 17:18   #13
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I'm not going to have much time to fiddle with necros (or anything else) this beta, but right out of the gate, the combination of being a high HP class, and the deathshroud mechanic seem to make them quite survivable, if you're used to power shifting... I really do think my first alt will be an Asuran Necro. :3
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 15:24   #14
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I rolled an Asuran Necromancer this last beta weekend, and have to say that it was excellent fun. I didn't really get the hang of Death Shroud, but I can see the potential. The trick really is to switch as soon as the bar is full, and stay there as long as you can, at least if you're aiming for survivability.

For my style of play at least, I thoroughly enjoyed the Necro. Contrary to other professions, there was no combination of weapon skills that I didn't enjoy. I didn't really love some of the slot skills, but I found several of them that we're quite useful and meshed well with the build I was using, which was a condition-heavy one. I ended up using the scepter most, where the #3 skill hits for extra damage based on the number of conditions on the enemy.

I think I'll certainly roll a Necro for my first toon come release, I just need to decide the race now.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 19:38   #15
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I played a necro this time around and got to around level 15. I seem to be taking a less popular route in playing the class, in that I didn't use minions and I skipped out on the caster weapons entirely. But I still had a lot of fun! I'm intrigued by the idea of playing a melee necro that heals itself through on-hit and on-crit health steals, using the faster attack speed of the dagger to steal health more often.

I knew I wouldn't be able to level high enough to really test out such a build, so instead I popped into sPvP for a while and set up a level 80 version of the build. I focused on precision (crit chance) and healing power (life steal) and was able to get my necro up to 57% crit chance which resulting in almost constant crits against the target dummies. The crits didn't seem quite as prolific against real targets in PvP, so the dummies must boost up crit chance somehow.

I'm not the greatest at PvP, but I was still able to hold my own fairly well. I do get the impression that this build may not be as powerful overall as other necro builds, since its sorely lacking on the AoE side and doesn't take advantage of conditions nearly as well. You also have to contend with the dangers of melee range, and the difficulty of staying on top of opponents. But the fact that it seems to work at all is quite nice.

Thankfully I had a decent number of snares available.

Unholy Feast (axe #3) has a great range and its a multi-foe cripple. The only gap closer I had was in death shroud (#3 as well?) and also doubled as an AoE chill. Lastly, the dagger #3 skill was an immobilize. There may have been more snares available through utilities, but I didn't dig too deeply yet. For sure the sylvari has one (which is like a utility version of the ranger elite grasping roots).

The death shroud gap closer didn't work so well as a gap closer, and was more useful for its snare, because the cool down on when you can leave death shroud again after entering it means that you can't unload anything too brutal right after your teleport in. The surprise ambush aspect of many gap closers is absent here. But it does is leave you in a nice place to use Life Transfer, especially if you were able to catch multiple people with the chill.

I'll definitely want to play with this more and my first alt will probably be a necro.

I'm curious to see how far I can push without resorting to staff/scepter/minions, though I suspect I might eventually have to tap some of those. I think I'd go minions first, at least for PvE, since the AI is so easily foiled by multiple targets (and my main is a ranger anyway, so I'll already be used to playing with pets).

So my ranger and necro (main and 1st alt) will see heavy use of axe and dagger. Maybe I should just see what other classes have access to axe and dagger and try those next. I didn't really like thief, perhaps because its missing axe.
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