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State of the profession.

Necromancer State Profession Axe Death Shroud Rating

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#1 Nostredeus


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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:22 PM

State of the profession (PvP): UPDATED IN RED Rumor updates in teal at the end.


We're looking okay here, the crazy range on the cripple is perfect for chasing and the retaliation is a nice mechanic for team fights. The vulnerability is fairly terrible but does allow for cover over any better conditions the opponent may have and feeds somewhat into Feast of Corruption. The trouble here is clearly the damage nerf since BWE2, but even then there are a number of reasons to believe that a Direct Damage (DD) build is subpar in comparison to a Hybrid or a Conditions build.

What we need: A slight increase in damage OR an overhaul of vulnerability, give us might or retaliation instead and we're good to go. (Obviously balancing the number of stacks, although I hear the vulnerability is included for PvE reasons so perhaps keep vulnerability but add retaliation and leave the damage as is.)

State of the weapon: 8 (From 1 to 10 with 1 being trash and 10 being good to go)

Recent stress test changes: Unknown if there are any damage changes, some traits now allow for increased damage:

-Target the Weak2% increased damage for each condition on a foe.
-Strength of UndeathYou do 5% more damage if you have at least 50% Life Force.

-Axe Training Axe damage is increased and axe cooldowns are reduced by 15%.
-Blood to PowerDeal 5% more damage while health is above 90%.

There is also a slight nerf to hybrid builds but that is somewhat compensated by the tweaks to other traits:

-Barbed Precision Critical hitshave a 66% chance to cause Bleeding. (Slight nerf)

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 10 (From 1 to 10 with 1 being trash and 10 being good to go)

Dagger MH

We've got a strange situation here; clearly the design is to have less DD than the axe but to make up for it with survivability, whilst that's a good idea in practice the current MH dagger doesn't give enough survivability for it to be worth it largely due to the fact that Life Siphon is a channel and compassion as an attribute is trash with regards to how much it actually contributes to increased healing. Clearly AN is having problems here because making compassion do more will give the Necromancer increased healing across the board, something that will cause crazy balance issues.

What we need: There is a trait which can help us here “Bloodthirst” in the Blood line; its effectiveness should scale in line with compassion/healing power essentially meaning Bloodthirst does more than currently whilst also preventing dagger from being abused by builds which don’t invest in Blood. At the moment taking Bloodthirst does contribute to the usefulness of the dagger in a considerable way but frankly it needs more and this is the only way it’s going to happen without making consume conditions into a crazy heal. Bloodthirst might need to be moved to Grandmaster but if that happens then it should be swapped with Vampiric Rituals to allow Blood Necros the ability to have both. Vampiric Rituals should also scale in a similar way. A removal of the channel from Life Siphon might also be worth testing or an extremely large increase in the effectiveness of Dark Armor which is currently +400.

State of the weapon: 6

Recent stress test changes: The changes to Bloodthirst will work wonders for the effectiveness of life steals, it probably means a moderate life steal build will tick something like 350+ healing each time Life Siphon ticks (if my memory serves me well enough). We could do with something more here but life transfer (Death shroud) is able to be on a shorter cool down so perhaps it isn't going to be necessary, time will tell.

-Bloodthirst Siphoning health is 50% more effective.

The Life Siphon animation is still a bit too long and could benefit from the Dark Armor change I suggested, but beyond that tweaks to numbers/animations are all that is necessary.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 8

Dagger OH

We’re looking good here with a nice condition manipulation that really lends itself to a Sceptre/Dagger build but also provide utility to axes and dagger main hands. Enfeeble is good but could do with a slight tweak since the time spent casting it is almost not worth spending when you could just cast Blood Curse on a sceptre instead especially with that cast/animation time, I mean wow who thought that was a good idea.

What we need: A tweak here, not much, simply increase the stack of weakness/bleeding or decrease the cool down and like triple the speed of that cast time/animation. Frankly the weapon will be somewhat useful without either of these changes but perfection is worth attaining.

State of the weapon: 8

Recent stress test changes: I didn't test the animation so I can't pass judgement on this one, frankly I'll have to keep this at an 8 until I see some proof one way or the other.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 8


It’s a nice weapon but Reaper’s Mark needs serious work to be more than just a “oh it’s off cool down I suppose I might as well fear the guy on the edge of the Control Point” or an interrupt. All of the other marks do their jobs fantastically and it offers great support to a team making it a decent choice for a secondary weapon.

What we need: Reaper’s mark needs a crazy buff, halve the cool down and increase the fear duration to 2 seconds from 1 second. At the moment it does little to nothing and is useable perhaps once maybe, if things are dragging on, twice in an engagement.

State of the weapon: 8

Recent stress test changes: Having no real changes to Reaper's mark this weapon is looking like it will be keeping it's 8 rating, there are some minor changes though:

-Greater Marks Increases area of marks.and marks become unblockable.

Greater marks now has the added bonus of making marks unblockable, which does more than just add that effect but combines two previous traits into one allowing a Staff necromancer the ability to take a different trait. Beyond that things aren't much different, I'm going to bump the staff up to a 9 because it will benefit from many of the other damage increases the trait changes bring.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 9


A great condition application main hand and a staple of the Necromancer, it’s probably in the best state as far as weapons go, Feast of Corruption could do with a bit of a damage increase but frankly it’s not the reason you take the weapon so Necromancer’s everywhere are probably happy with just using it as a life force farmer.

What we need: Increase Feast of Corruption damage, but we’ll live without.

State of the weapon: 10

Recent stress test changes: Feast of Corruption might not have had its damage directly increased but a number of traits will achieve similar effects:

Blood to PowerDeal 5% more damage while health is above 90%.
Target the Weak2% increased damage for each condition on a foe.
Strength of UndeathYou do 5% more damage if you have at least 50% Life Force.

With those tweaks the sceptre looks to be nigh on perfect.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 10


There are some real problems here; not only is Reaper’s Touch terrible but Spinal Shivers is a great skill that people want to take and likely aren’t willing to sacrifice their slot 4 for, or if they do wish they didn’t have to bring that deadweight skill. It is also the case that Spinal Shivers is somewhat outclassed by Corrupt Boon and that honestly doesn’t help.

What we need: I could probably come up with a convoluted way of redeeming Reaper’s Touch but the Necromancer could use the slot for something more interesting with the same animation to save work I can provide suggestions but there are plenty of decent Necromancer skill suggestions around. Spinal Shivers needs to outclass Corrupt Boon, but only slightly; I’d recommend lowering the cool down to 20 seconds.

State of the weapon: 7

Recent stress test changes: Reaper's Touch is still plainly terrible and it needs serious work, the upside however is:

-Spiteful Talisman Increases focus range and reduces focus skills cooldowns.

All that needs to happen with this weapon is a huge change to Reaper's touch and we will be golden.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 8


I’d hazard a guess that this is the most used off hand especially when used in conjunction with an axe main hand, though it has big room for improvement. The Daze is decent and the cripple can lock down runners but the cool downs, oh got the cool downs; a two second daze on a 30 second cool down, that’s honestly crazy.

What we need: A cool down reduction would do here; the skills are currently at 30/30 I’d recommend 20/25 respectively though I can’t imagine the weapon will get no usage at 25/30.

State of the weapon: 9

Recent stress test changes: Well the cool down increase we were looking for is clearly absent however they have provided use with a reason to feel somewhat cheery:

-Deep Breath Warhorn skills recharge 15% faster and the duration of all warhorn effects is increased.

Whilst I can't be sure how long this duration increase is it does provide somewhat more of a reason to take this weapon and at least a justification for the cooldowns; presumably it is a 3 or 4 second daze when this trait is taken.

NEW (Predicted) State of the weapon: 10


Nope, just nope. That was my reaction when I realised how much of a survivability hit the DS received from BWE2 to BWE3. “They did what?” That was my reaction when I realised there was a three second cool down on leaving DS even after its survivability was destroyed. There are two options for this mechanic and frankly traits will allow A-net to implement both; either the mechanic is used as a buffer to soak damage and survive until heals are ready/cool downs are up, or the mechanic is used as a button that rewards quick reactions by absorbing some attacks.

What we need: DS should have the stability trait moved to Master and the Grandmaster traits should be “Death Shroud recharge is reduced by 66%” and “Death shroud is reinforced”. The former is a somewhat weaker death shroud that can be used every 3 or 4 seconds with the express intent of absorbing attacks for players with quick reactions such as that 100blades attack that seems to be ticking everyone off. The latter plays like a slightly less durable BWE2 death shroud but with a cool down of 10 seconds. The default, untraited, DS would be similar to what we have now in BWE3. The 3 second cool down to leave death shroud should be dropped faster than an overzealous baby in a bouncer.

State of the mechanic: 4

Recent stress test changes: So not much has changed here, I believe they have gotten rid or at least shortened that 3 second cool down to leave death shroud but the survivability seemed about the same as it was in BWE3; here's to hoping things change. Other interesting changes:

-Path of Midnight All Death Shroud skills recharge 15% faster.
-Strength of Undeath You do 5% more damage if you have at least 50% Life Force.
-Unyielding Blast Life Blast pierces and causes Vulnerability.

The first of the above traits will be highly useful for firing off Life Transfer making the necromancer a touch better at supporting and a tiny bit tougher to kill. There are a few increased methods of generating life force so it looks like Arena Net has decided to go with the "use death shroud as another dodge, kinda" style, the second two traits will also increase the damage output of the necromancer.

NEW (Predicted) State of the mechanic: 7


Wells are interesting, useful and broken all at once; these utilities provide for a fantastic Cross Profession Combo (CPC) field and some really interesting mechanics as well as the ability to trait for them to be an interesting source of life steal. The trouble is the pulse rate, the duration is low and it pulses once every two seconds (as of BWE3) meaning the only way this is going to have any effect is if you immobilise the opponent for at least two seconds. Whilst this does breed synergy with the Dagger, which is no doubt the point given the existence of Vampiric Rituals in the Blood line; it simultaneously makes them unusable in any other situation which is basically all of them. But for a moment let’s imagine the well is place AND they are immobilised in it so one tick goes off, even then they are dodging straight out and all that will have been achieved for a skill on a 45/60 second cool down is 1 blind/boon removal/application of weakness.

What we need: What I’d love to see is a persistent effect on a 0.5 second tick which would give it the increased utility of being a zoning tool and wouldn’t be any more powerful than skills such as chaos storm or null field. But barring that decrease the cool downs and increase the tick rate to 1 second.

State of the utility: 4

Recent stress test changes: A couple of changes here, nothing to do with pulse frequency or cool down but with a bit of live data I'm expecting that will eventually change:

-Vampiric Rituals Wells also siphon health every time they pulse.
-Bloodthirst Siphoning health is 50% more effective.

The above traits increase the utility these skills will have for 'blood' necromancers, a welcome addition that will no doubt see some play. A cool down decrease or pulse frequency increase is still sorely needed.

NEW (Predicted) State of the utility: 7


AI, ‘nuff said. Honestly the AI of minions is still pretty terrible, if you want a minion based profession to work in a game it has to be totally under player control it has to be the case that the minions target the Necromancers target. Now I know what we hear here it usually sounds like “but rangers have control Necromancers don’t that’s why they are different” and I sympathise but let’s be clear the Ranger will still have much more control than a Necromancer even with this AI change it’d be a permanent pet/throwaway pet distinction. Moreover health regeneration needs putting into the game, having a 5% HP Bone Fiend bouncing around before a fight does nothing but instantly put one of your sources of damage on cool down once it dies. Alternatively a button could be added to destroy all currently summoned minions, perhaps in exchange for life force to spice things up, the reason is minion utility cool downs can be triggered before the minions die in combat allowing Necromancers to control their combat readiness before they engage.

State of the utility: 3

Recent stress test changes: Two minor changes provide minions with a small buff, jagged horrors now spawn more reliably and minions draw conditions better. There are still far reaching problems here.

NEW (Predicted) State of the utility: 4


We’re looking good here also; spectral armor is in at least half of all Necromancer builds because its provision of utility is crazy-good, spectral walk is the best personal movement speed boost (IMS) in the game (corrections welcome) and gave us the IMS we were missing in BWE1, spectral grasp is useful for peeling off opponents (usually irritating Guardians) and spectral wall is useful for the protection and the Etheral field but the vulnerability is clearly lacking in utility.

What we need: This is probably the best designed set of skills the Necromancer has so my only criticism is that vulnerability is possibly the least useful condition for Spectral Wall (SW) to apply and either Vulnerability needs changing or the condition SW applies does.

State of the utility: 10

Recent stress test changes: An already high quality set of utility skills received a small buff during the stress test, not directly to the skills themselves more so in their synergy. Likely this change was made to provide these utilities as options to more builds and weapon sets.

-Spectral Attunement Spectral skills have longer durations and grant a small amount of Life Force on use.

This will do little to change the way they are used but does lend evidence to the theory that Arena Net is trying to set Death Shroud up as a tool to be used as a short term dodge like avoidance mechanism for large bursts or other important to dodge skills.

NEW (Predicted) State of the utility: 10


The only bone to pick here is the self applied conditions, frankly it’s a nice idea badly implemented. The principle is to put conditions on yourself then send them at an opponent or use them for consume conditions/a well/an offhand, the trouble is you’re better off just using a sceptre if you want bleeds, an axe if you want vulnerability, a sceptre or staff if you want poison and an off hand dagger if you want weakness. What this all means is they are just a negative that really takes from the utility of these skills, personally I’d like to see them be more powerful along with the negative that they sacrifice life force or health much like the old GW1 blood magic skills. I’d then like to see this augmented in some way through blood magic traits to really give the necromancer that flavour it has lost in the cross over.

State of the utility: 9

Recent stress test changes: None.

NEW (Predicted) State of the utility: 9


There’s some real variety here:

Undeath: This needs a buff, either the passive should be worth having or the active should be more than a weak version of an Elementalist’s glyph of Renewal (Earth), an Engineer’s Toss Elixir R, a Ranger’s Elite Nature's Renewal and a Warriors Elite Battle Standard. It’s clearly outmatched in its purpose by every other profession with similar options and combined with its cast time it’s not screaming “master of death” really is it? Either increase the size of the cast area or decrease the cool down; whichever is chosen the cast time/animation time needs to be decreased.

Plague Signet: Perfect.

Signet of the Locust: It needs increased healing, perhaps it could also benefit from the Bloodthirst change I mentioned in the Main Hand Dagger section.

Signet of Spite: The power increase is negligible, it could benefit from either a new passive effect or alternatively a much higher power increase.

State of the utility: 8

Recent stress test changes: SotLocust will benefit from Bloodthirst, a welcome piece of news.

NEW (Predicted) State of the utility: 9

If people enjoy this kind of summary/discussion I’m willing to do the same with traits and keep this going as changes are made apparent. You're welcome to disagree but please bear in mind that the purpose of this thread is not to overhaul entire aspects of the Necromancer but simply to suggest those things that will make it more viable as a PvP profession, please therefore do not suggest far reaching mechanics changes such as overhauling death shroud.

(The precedent I have set should demonstrate the limits of the discussion.)

The reason for doing this:


Jon Petters: We haven’t. It is our current opinion that Necro is one of the two
professions that need to most love right now. Everyone will get some
help, but as I told many players in game, Necro needs more than most.
That does not mean there are no strong Necro builds, but necro just
needs more viable builds and more good traits.

Random Guy: Mind telling us what the other profession you’re looking at?

Jon Peters: Technically all of them, but obviously Thief, Mesmer, Necro need the
most help. We now have 5 weeks left and are 100% focused on bug fixing
and balance, which include a lot of creating new viable builds. For
those not familiar with game development, that is a lot of time,
especially with the really smooth build making process we have. I

should probably post this in general too.

What is left to be changed?

Axe - 10/10

MH Dagger - 8/10 [A large buff to 'dark armour' and a tweak of the numbers with, perhaps, the inclusion of a life siphon on the Skill 1 chain will put this weapon squarely at 10/10]

Dagger OH - 8/10 [An increase in the speed of the animation on Enfeebling Blood and it's a 10/10]

Staff - 9/10 [Increase the fear duration on Reaper's mark to 2 seconds from 1 second and it's a 10/10]

Sceptre - 10/10

Focus - 8/10 [Reaper's touch has got real problems, this skill needs totally reworking, the other skills on this weapon drag the score up hugely. Give Reaper's touch a purpose and the focus will be a 10/10]

Warhorn - 10/10

Death Shroud - 7/10 [Arena Net need to decide what they want to do here, I've provided an option whereby the grandmaster trait changes the playstyle of the mechanic however if Arena Net are looking to make DS into a method by which Necromancers can absorb high damage attacks quickly then they need to provide the Necromancer with the cool downs to be able to do so.]

Wells - 7/10 [An cool down decrease or a pulse frequency increase would make these skills much more viable on multiple builds.]

Minions - 4/10 [Minions need to have a much more use-able AI and a function for tackling minions that are near to death.]

Spectral - 10/10

Corruptions - 9/10 [The self applied conditions aren't working as desired, perhaps a different "downside" should be applied?]

Signets - 9/10 [Signet of spite needs a power increase, or better yet have it increase damage by x%, and Signet of undeath needs to be more powerful or have a shorter cool down.]

All told the necromancer is almost in a good place and we're gettign to the stage that a couple of tweaks are all that are necessary. Special attention should be given to the purpose of Death Shroud, Minions, Wells and Reaper's Touch.



The above changes include some interesting Necromancer tweaks:

  • No longer locked into death shroud for 3 seconds when you enter death shroud.
  • Putrid Mark: Moved to slot 4; increased recharge from 15 seconds to 25 seconds
  • Mark of Blood: 10r->6r (r = recharge?)
  • Chillbains: Moved to slot 3  
  • Putrid Mark: Moved to slot 4, 15r->25r; works now.  
  • Reaper’s Mark: 45r-40r
  • Curses: Terror: 276-366dmg -> 300-600dmg​
  • Vulnerability now increases damage by 1% per stack

Vulnerability being changed to a percentage based damage scale is huge for Necromancers, I don't know if that will apply to conditions but if so the Necromancer is in a really great place with that condition.

The Death shroud change is perfect, it's almost as if they were listening. The direction A-net is taking is fairly clear at this point, a weaker more tactical death shroud which can absorb key attacks on a shorter cool down. They do need to consider moving the stability trait down a tier so the play style becomes more functional and isn't neutralised by a single CC attack.

Mark of Blood is really very strong now and a Sceptre/Dagger + Staff build will see a lot of play, Reaper's mark has had a small buff but not something to write home about; I still want to see that 2 second fear sometime before release. Putrid mark really didn't deserve that but perhaps A-net can see a meta I can't.

Terror has had a large increase in the upper boundary for its damage, it's not really much but every little helps.

Edited by Nostrecorax, 13 August 2012 - 05:06 PM.

#2 Egoist


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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:43 PM


Axe is probably a 7 since its not as strong as staff or scepter. I'd rate scepter as a 9, i was dropping crits of 1.1k from feast with my condition build in WvW at level 24, that makes me think that at higher levels with the multi stat crafted armour (power, precision, malice) could make this extremely powerful. Other than that i'd say your right on the money.

Death Shroud...

Its been a little over nerfed but its still a strong mechanic, the 3 second cooldown on getting out of it does need to go and i wouldn't complain if they buffed it a little more, i'd rate it at being in a better state than main hand dagger so probably a 7. But i only used it for aoe healing and dodging burst so i might be talking out of my ass.


Are very weak in pvp, in pve they are probably excellent for challenging content depending on the situation. I think a 4 is justified but if they make the changes you suggest they could make some pve encounters a little easy.


Definately the weakest part of the necromancer agree entirely.


Some of the strongest skills we have, but grasp sometimes misses due to simple strafing which could do with looking at. If someone dodges it i think fair enough but if it misses because they are moving its annoying. Other than that i pretty much agree.


Excellent skills, i like the mechanic for applying conditions to myself but sometimes i wish the conditions was longer lasting but less serious. I'd rather see more weakness/cripple to pass on or consume rather than short duration poison and vulnerability which sometimes goes off before the heal cast time goes off.


Pretty much agree, not tried undeath but i love plague. If spite was condition damage like the guardian signet it would be more worthwhile.

I'd be interested in a look at traits. I am running a spvp build at the moment with 30 curses and 30 reaping and i've experimented with the extra 10 points in spite blood and death and to be honest the 5 point minors are all terrible, my favourite so far is blood for life transfer healing but regen at 90% health is pointless.

Edited by Egoist, 23 July 2012 - 10:45 PM.

#3 Fury N

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:48 AM

If its true that they are going to be giving the Necro some love, that is great. I was having loads of fun with my survivability/condition build this past weekend, it was virtually impossible to lose a 1v1 situation and most 1v2s were doable

#4 Ethias


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:45 AM

I'd give Axe a 7 as well; might is an interesting idea, but I think that doesn't fit too well with the Necromancer theme.

Scepter I would give a 9, as well, because Feast doesn't scale well at all imo.  It just doesn't hit hard for a full condition build - typically the people who will use it.

#5 Draehl


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:10 AM

OH Dagger - 10 - This serves it's purpose of being defensively oriented extremely well. My offhand of choice.

Scepter - 9 - A solidly designed weapon that fills it's role well. I would add an auxiliary effect to Feast of Corruption as its seems to steer towards direct damage. If you're just focusing on condition damage it's definitely good damage, but something extra for the less DD focused builds would be welcome.

Staff - 8 - I really like the skills on this weapon. The cooldowns are a bit long, however, and Reaper's Mark seems a bit generic especially given the horrendously long cooldown. I feel like this is more of a secondary weapon you use to support your primary and doesn't support using as often as you might another weapon set.

Axe - 7 - Good overall. I feel that Unholy Feast doesn't quite fit on this weapon, however. I mean, it works, but seems more fitting on a more defensively oriented weapon like MH dagger. A replacement would be welcome.

Warhorn - 7 - I like the design behind this, but the cooldowns and cast time are prohibitive. Numbers tweaks would bring this up to a 10.

Focus - 7 - It's a workable weapon set, but I just don't find the skills very interesting.

MH Dagger - 4 - I'm giving this a four because I love blood magic and can tell the direction they may go with this. Overall a rather terrible weapon, however. #1 is generic DD with life force gen. #2 hardly heals at all. #3 seems just fitting to allow a full channel on #2. This weapon needs a complete overhaul. #1 should be lifesteal, lifesteal, lifeforce. #2 would do well to be a leap attack that applies poison to enemies and regen to allies. #3 should simply combine Life Siphon and Dark Pact into a single Immobilize / Siphon skill.

#6 Nostredeus


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:19 AM

View PostDraehl, on 24 July 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

MH Dagger - 4 - I'm giving this a four because I love blood magic and can tell the direction they may go with this. Overall a rather terrible weapon, however. #1 is generic DD with life force gen. #2 hardly heals at all. #3 seems just fitting to allow a full channel on #2. This weapon needs a complete overhaul. #1 should be lifesteal, lifesteal, lifeforce. #2 would do well to be a leap attack that applies poison to enemies and regen to allies. #3 should simply combine Life Siphon and Dark Pact into a single Immobilize / Siphon skill.

I could see them going with a large overhaul of the MHD, I expect you're right on the money with what we'll see for skill 1 and 3 and your skill 2 seems highly plausible and synergistic although I worry about them writing animations in this amount of time so they might go with something else in slot 2. Whatever goes in slot 2 I couldn't agree more with your suggestions for 1 and 3.

#7 Alter E

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:31 AM

Minions overall suck, however Bone minions burst and elite minion are well worth what they bring to the table.........

#8 Draehl


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:38 AM

Thanks! I definitely would like to see this be our "tank" weapon. In fact I wouldn't mind them cementing the other weapons slightly more into certain roles.

Staff = Support/AoE
Scepter = Conditions/kiting
Axe = Direct damage/rapid strikes for crit builds
Dagger = tank/longevity

#9 Spell


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

After BWE to be honest only build that is really viable is cond damage with a bit of power or pure cond damage. Im not sure if Im right but Axe damage got hit big time and with nerf to Shroud you actually cant pump out so much damage as before.
Problem I have with Staff for sPvP is that you cant have 2x Sigils which is crucial for my build.

#10 Darkheron


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

By and large I agree with what you have posted.  I think maybe 4 is a little harsh for wells, but they could certainly be better.  Even changing them to a 1s pulse would be more helpful.

As for DS, it is still useful, but highly annoying for me at the moment.  I used to be able to pop into DS and quickly absorb a big hit, use DP for a closer, or the fear for an interrupt, and then pop back out and continue on.  Now I'm stuck in DS for 3-5 seconds (depending on any lag) and it just feels really awkward. Without a doubt the "shroud dancing" builds were OP last BWE, but I didn't expect them to try to fix the issue in this way.  It just makes it cumbersome and non-fluid IMO.  

The reality is, that given the necromancer's low mobility, and the fact there is no other way to even get stability, the DS stability trait should be moved to Adept, or given as the first minor.   Yes it would be OP given the way DS toggles I guess but I don't see how you can make the only option for stability ( which is crucial for this class ) a 30 point trait.

My feeling is that honestly, DS is an implementation that never should have been done in the first place.  It is going to be an inflexible nightmare to balance the way the have it now.  Here is a repost of a portion of one of my posts in the official forums on the subject:

"As for DS, the more I play necro the more I think it should never have even been. Rather, I feel like they should have left the lifeforce mechanic, and then provided profession skills and utilities to utilize the lifeforce pool. This would have been much more flexible, entertaining, and ultimately easier to balance IMO. Something along the lines of:

F1: Corpse Explosion: Use accumulated LF to do an AoE poison explosion on a nearby corpse.
F2: Reapers Regeneration: Gain health regen based on the amount of LF you have.
F3: Shroud of the Grave: Create a PBAoE stability effect with effectiveness/duration based on your LF Level.
F4: Death Blast : Fire a bolt of death for a single target DPS spike.

Just suggestions off of the top of my head, but all of the above profession skills should be useful to anyone playing a necro regardless of build or playstyle in a variety of situations while not providing any mobility or hard control since those seem to be nonos for necros. Using each would completely drain LF and you would have to rebuild the pool.

Then you add utility skills that use LF, but allow for players to customize how they want to use the pool. Such as:

-1 Summon Nightax: Works on the same principal as the elementalist conjures, but conjures and ax or a scythe for melee users and duration/effectivness based on LF pool at the time of conjure:

-2 Enhance Anguish: Use your LF bar to put a condition amplification debuff on the target.

-3 Masters Blood: Feed your LF to your nearby pets to heal them.

So on and so forth. In the end, this would have been a much more entertaining idea then forcing people into DS and then trying to balance everything around a whole another state of being IMO.  

The MH Dagger is indeed a bit of a mess, but I stongly disagree that it should be made a "tanky" set.   It should be focused on single target DPS as survivability in GW2 comes by default with range and control, and we already have 3 good ranged sets with control.  I don't really want yet another medium DD set built for survivablity.  We need something that rewards the risk/reward DPS you get with most other classes in the melee/ranged tradeoff.  

I do like Draehl's suggestion of how to begin fixing MH dagger though, except combining the imob and lifesteal channel into one skill would be imba IMO.  I have been lobbying for a leap on the MHD for a while now.  I believe you could put lifesteal on the dagger auto, but I would keep it fairly low and and instead focus on substantially upping the DPS, while reducing the % lifesteal gain from the attacks.  At the same time I would buff the lifesteal gains on the CD skills that actually are designed for lifesiphoning by upping their dps and then adjusting the % life gain for balance. Mainly Life Siphon and Signet of the Locust.

Edited by Darkheron, 24 July 2012 - 02:02 PM.

#11 aga


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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

I agree with most of what the OP said, but giving dagger MH a 6/10 was incredibly generous imo. I'd give it a 1/10. I tried a lot of different builds in sPvP over the 3 BWE's and dagger MH is just useless, with the other weapons you can out survive most people and do pretty decent damage over the time. But with dagger, sure you can survive, but the damage you do it so low, if you're always auto attacking with your first skill you have to sit in melee range, where you take a lot of damage and the heals you get back just don't cut it, even when you're fully traited to boost daggers/life steals. The immobolize is ok, but it's shot range and long cd (20-25sec, don't remember exactly).

It could be a different story in PvE, but for PvP dagger MH is a no go, in its current form.

#12 CasKirensys


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:12 AM

I've only used Dagger MH/OH and Scepter, so I can only comment on those 2.

I agree with pretty much everything that has been said about the Dagger - Surely skill 1 wouldn't be OP by having small life steals that act instantly with each attack?

The Dagger OH for me is absolutely perfect, I actually couldn't change it in anyway,

Scepter? Only thing I think is that Feast of Corruption needs a change/buff or something.. Might (will) seem strange, but I think maybe make it scale with Condition Damage, but actually scale down with each condition on the target. Just to stop it becoming too powerful with a full condition build?

#13 Sep


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:26 AM

FoC used to remove all boons on the target. While being a complete boon remover is quite overkill I think having it remove 1-2 boons wouldn't be bad. And make the damage/LF scale per boon on the target as well as per condition.

#14 Olim


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:59 AM

I hate being stuck and locked into DS. This is an aweful change that makes me feel helpless in a fight if I need to adapt. As a necro besides condition stacking builds I don't really feel like a powerful baddass master of death, just a meh damage dealer. The necro needs a lot of work and powerful (more squishie) builds with escape/avoidance mechanics.

#15 qweikeris


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:14 AM

problem with the Scepter is it's as boring as it can get.

#16 Nostredeus


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:01 PM

View PostDarkheron, on 24 July 2012 - 02:00 PM, said:

As for DS, it is still useful, but highly annoying for me at the moment.  I used to be able to pop into DS and quickly absorb a big hit, use DP for a closer, or the fear for an interrupt, and then pop back out and continue on.  Now I'm stuck in DS for 3-5 seconds (depending on any lag) and it just feels really awkward. Without a doubt the "shroud dancing" builds were OP last BWE, but I didn't expect them to try to fix the issue in this way.  It just makes it cumbersome and non-fluid IMO.  

The reality is, that given the necromancer's low mobility, and the fact there is no other way to even get stability, the DS stability trait should be moved to Adept, or given as the first minor.   Yes it would be OP given the way DS toggles I guess but I don't see how you can make the only option for stability ( which is crucial for this class ) a 30 point trait.

I couldn't agree more with the chat about stability here, essentially the game is designed in such a way right now that Necromancer's have the most painful hard counter of any profession. Simply knock them down, or worse have your giant blue hammer do it, and they're removed from play. I believe the changes to traits I mentioned would deal with this and allow for two very distinct ways of using the death shroud without being too over powered.

#17 Requiamer


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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:18 AM

I think the weapon and the skill are really good, some really need to be balanced like the MH dager ones, but they are very well designed and fit perfectly. Can anyone explain me the axe nerf, it is the central necro build weapon to me, both because of the range, and the neutrality of it's skills and raw damage orientation, put it back at a central place, imo that was a mistake to do what you did with the axe. So overall those aspects are good, to be tweaked but good.

But the builds? Ho my! they have a lot of work to do here, and not just tweaks. Some builds like the life leach don't exist, and the rest *shake head in despair*. Condition and mark oriented builds are the only good ones. Poisoner is also very lacking or almost inexistent.

As other said i want my survivability back, naturally not as OP at it use to be, but i want it back. DS is better now imo, but i kind of miss the ability to have a DS weaving ability, i think it could give a lot of backup for numerous interesting builds, also there is a traits for this (50% timer reduction, but i found it useless since the "out" of ds timer wasn't affected, and you really don't need a 50% reduction in the "in timer" since you need to build life force anyway most of the time). In a lot of situation you should be able to go in and out DS, it was one of the base off necro and it went away, a lot of builds was relying on this ability, so bring it back even if we need to trait/signet it heavily. Imo that was the worst thing in the last nerf, i'm all for the heavy life force leaching though, being able to lock an entire spvp team on you without consequence was stupid. I still think you should have some tanky ability too, after all one aspect of the necro is the reverse of the guardian isn't it?Somehow the formula seam to have been swapped from a low constant into a related to the damage done, and i would prefer to have the sensation that we get a constant damage even it is high or maybe have it scaled with steps so to speak, it seam that burst damage was getting you out of ds faster than little spike, that is the only thing i didn't liked much and took away the tanky sensation, i hope it make some sense :/ )

Overall weapons and skills are very good, honestly thumbs up. Same for DS, spectral, well, poisoner, life leach, life force, plague concepts, minion, they are top notch, i just like them all, conceptually i really like the class. Builds is where the work must be done.

Edited by Requiamer, 27 July 2012 - 11:24 AM.

#18 Louis8k8


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Posted 27 July 2012 - 12:54 PM

I agree with weapons. I used everything and decided on scepter/warhorn with quick switch staff.

However I disagree with utility. Spectral is 10 in sPvP but a lot more situational in PvE or WvW.

I'd rank signets 9 and DS 7. At least with my trait allocation, DS lasts for seemingly forever and almost cheap as I get to alternate between 2 heals and DS that I rarely lose in 1v1 (unless against guardian or some pro ranger).

I have no experience with corruption. But I plan on going bleed + self bleed -> consume conditions. That sounds amazing.

#19 Artaz


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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:10 PM

View PostLouis8k8, on 27 July 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:

DS lasts for seemingly forever

Did you play Necro in BWE3?  In BWE3, my issue with DS being reduced in longevity effectiveness is that it is no longer a viable option to build up lifeforce quickly/enter DS/spam Life Blast for single target damage (Reaper's Might/Power/Soul Reaping/Lich build).  ANet removed a pre-BWE3 valid build option (for the sake of balancing DS "second-life bar").

As Necro currently stands, the only viable builds are a few condition/support options.

DS is still a valuable tool but creating a build around the mechanic is very difficult right now (with the 3-second cannot remove oneself from it/lower uptime while in it).

EDIT:  Context PvP only; PvE allows for a larger pool of options

Edited by Artaz, 27 July 2012 - 01:12 PM.

#20 Louis8k8


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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

I don't think it's weak at all in PvP. You're right on that it can't be a stand alone build like pouring everything into shroud alone, but I think hybrid builds with DS incorporated is better than something like a 100% pure condition/nuke build for PvP.

Yes I played necro in BWE3. I played elementalist, guardian and ranger in the past 2 betas. So any talk about how good DS used to be doesn't mean anything to me since I don't know. But as of right now, I feel it's definitely worth investing into than completely ignoring. That's for traits however. Since DS isn't a weapon or utility. The only utility I use is that's affects DS is spectral armor (and maybe that corruption bleed skill).

Edited by Louis8k8, 27 July 2012 - 02:04 PM.

#21 Nostredeus


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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:35 AM

Updates made in RED to reflect the latest stress test and its build.

#22 frags


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:19 AM

View PostNostrecorax, on 03 August 2012 - 04:35 AM, said:

Updates made in RED to reflect the latest stress test and its build.

Nice, clean roundup of the changes; gracias Nost!

#23 Egoist


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:03 AM

I agree mostly with your update, i wouldn't rank anything 10/10 though as there are improvements that could be made to all skills.

Scepter is the strongest weapon but feast needs higher base damage to take advantage of the traits you mentioned and the cripple skill has the same issue as enfeebling.

Axe needs some higher base damage if necros are going to compete in close range burst fights as they are still well behind the curve even with trait changes.

Mh dagger needs an even bigger damage increase.

Warhorn is basicly a zero damage off hand that adds short cooldown utility skills, i'm not against that but its not 10/10.

Focus needs help as you say.

Oh dagger is as you say.

Staff looks good with traits but even with them its not amazing.

The damage opinion depends what they do with death shroud tbh.

Death shroud is as you say, i'd like to see them remove the leaving cooldown and allow us to interact (stomp/revive) while in ds.

Utilities are as you say, i don't think ethereals are 10/10 though. Wall is only moderate at best, it needs a better punishment than vulnerability for running through it. Grasp is too easy to dodge just by strafing as well.

Underwater skills are great btw, used them in wvw and happy with everything, though unlocking the ds underwater skills is a pain.

Three things the necro needs...

1. A stability option for stomp/revive weather its ds or something else.

2. Better evasion, vigor or more movement skills.

3. A good support option other than plague signet, weather through traits or well rewrites.

Bonus. Survivability back to bwe2 levels, at the moment we are squishier than most other classes. Perhaps not full bwe2 survival but moving back towards it.

#24 Nostredeus


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:20 AM

When I say 10/10 I mean for a release, it is no doubt the case that Arena net will make sweeping adjustments as a meta develops and as they acquire live PvP data. :)

#25 relshdan


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:00 AM

if all traits work.......i'm sorta okay with the state of the profession.

i love PvE necro.....any build works.
in sPvP maybe only condition is viable....and  now life siphon has been boosted, so it might be fun to theory-craft around.
give me a good  DD guild and we can survive until more viable builds are available.

#26 Nostredeus


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:07 PM

We might have gotten the removal of the 3 second cooldown to leave death shroud, that's really great but frankly it looks like there's a few things to do. Vulnerability is also really ace now.

#27 Fan


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:51 PM

That random guy was me lol.


Jon peters just mislead the necro community though, from the comment he gave us saying necro will get love but yet more nerfs?  -1 for him

Edited by Fan, 13 August 2012 - 07:53 PM.

#28 Sprawl


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:16 PM

View Postrelshdan, on 04 August 2012 - 03:00 AM, said:

if all traits work.......i'm sorta okay with the state of the profession.

i love PvE necro.....any build works.
in sPvP maybe only condition is viable....and  now life siphon has been boosted, so it might be fun to theory-craft around.
give me a good  DD guild and we can survive until more viable builds are available.

I think it's pretty clear people are looking for 4 viable builds for the most part for spvp:

1. condition
2. siphon
3. MM
4. DD/power/crit

It's up for ANet to deliver that.

Edited by Sprawl, 13 August 2012 - 08:17 PM.

#29 Fiero


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:33 PM

View PostSprawl, on 13 August 2012 - 08:16 PM, said:

I think it's pretty clear people are looking for 4 viable builds for the most part for spvp:

1. condition
2. siphon
3. MM
4. DD/power/crit

It's up for ANet to deliver that.

I'd be surprised if they make serious changes to minions with sPvP in mind other than improving the AI. Given their track record in GW1, I think minions are going to be relegated to PvE.

edit: I'd be ecstatic if we got at least three of those builds in competitive shape.

Edited by Fiero, 13 August 2012 - 08:34 PM.

#30 infusco


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:00 PM

Take into consideration that this is a very different game than GW1 when it comes to minions. You needed a lot of corpses to be able to build up a high damage minion army there, which is something you'd never be able to find in pvp.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Necromancer, State, Profession, Axe, Death Shroud, Rating

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