Simple Improvements to Death Shroud and Boons
Some background on me: I’ve been following the Necromancer and posting on the Guru forums since pre-BWE, back to when Dark Path was a teleport that could go through ceilings, and when you could trait Necrotic Slash to be a ranged attack. I play some sPvP, minimal dungeons, and primarily WvW on my Necro, Mesmer, and Warrior.
I feel that the Necromancer and Death Shroud aren’t as bad as many here claim them to be. Surely we have several bugs, as most classes do. DS isn’t a great profession ability — its just about average, but a bit boring and a bit too lopsided for those that focus on power.
One area that the Necromancers are severely lacking is boons. Despite DS, my Mesmer is significantly more ‘beefy’ or ‘tanky’ than my Necromancer due to the high uptime of several boons like Aegis, Regeneration, Vigor, and Protection. As Necromancers, we are limited to some Regeneration, and very limited Protection. Note: Well of Power also provides us boons on conversion, but this has a high cooldown and is far from as reliable as other professions.
My proposal are some very simple improvements to both Death Shroud and some traits and trait lines that might help fix some of these issues.
1. Improving Death Shroud itself
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t feel that DS is really very underpowered. With a good amount of Power and Precision, it can hit pretty hard. However, its rather niche for those that are specced this way. I’m not going to try to reinvent new abilities to replace what we have — I don’t think that is a realistic option for the Devs at this point. However, I do believe that much of what would improve DS already exists, and it lies in the underwater version of DS (linked: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Death_Shroud).
Some combination of these abilities would make for a well-rounded DS that is useful and fun for all specs of Necromancers.
Life/Plague Blast- Allow the land version to also transfer one condition to the enemy. This spell would also greatly benefit from being a shorter cast time. Adjust damage to balance, if necessary.
Dark Path/Water- I think these abilities work well as they are, and wouldn’t recommend any changes.
Doom/Wave of Fear- I’m a big believer that our Fear is underpowered, especially as it was billed as a key component of the profession. I’d greatly prefer the underwater version, and would help reaffirm Fear as being a Necromancer-focused condition.
Life Transfer/Gathering Plague- I am a proponent of having BOTH of these abilities in both land and sea forms of DS, putting one as the 4th skill, and adding the other for a 5th skill.
These changes work off of abilities that we already have in the game, and therefore have theoretically been balanced at some point. These would also make DS much more valuable for conditionmancers and support focused Necromancers, and make DS more enjoyable.