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Would I like necromancer?

elementalist now necromancer

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#1 HughPR

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

Hi :) I'm mainly an ele and I really enjoy playing it but I'd like a profession. I prefer DPS-style professions but I'm not particularly good at tank/melee professions (here meaning guardian and warrior, although I know they have ranged).

Would necromancer be a good choice for me? What equipment should I try out to see if I like it?

How do necros fair as aoe professions? I understand that they excel at aoe condition damage. Given that I like ele nuking, is it likely that I would like this?

#2 Al Shamari

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

I think if you enjoy playing your Elementalist, it's fair that you should give Necromancer a shot. It's a very interesting caster class, and as you've so stated, one of the best condition classes in the game. Epidemic will simply destroy mobs. I think that due to some of their mechanics, many people are skeptical or afraid to play Necromancers. And, many of the fan boys who have been with Guild Wars since the beginning have strayed from the class due to the fact that they can't build a true "Minion Master" anymore. In basic, they're underrated. But, having spoken with many people who have played them and tried them out, once you've given them a chance and figured out how powerful things such as Death Shroud and Epidemic tend to be, they fall in love. Besides, they're a rather easy class to level through the game, provided that you have some small protection granted to you by your minions.

#3 HughPR

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 31 December 2012 - 07:16 PM, said:

I think if you enjoy playing your Elementalist, it's fair that you should give Necromancer a shot. It's a very interesting caster class, and as you've so stated, one of the best condition classes in the game. Epidemic will simply destroy mobs. I think that due to some of their mechanics, many people are skeptical or afraid to play Necromancers. And, many of the fan boys who have been with Guild Wars since the beginning have strayed from the class due to the fact that they can't build a true "Minion Master" anymore. In basic, they're underrated. But, having spoken with many people who have played them and tried them out, once you've given them a chance and figured out how powerful things such as Death Shroud and Epidemic tend to be, they fall in love. Besides, they're a rather easy class to level through the game, provided that you have some small protection granted to you by your minions.

Also, I've been told in other forums that mesmer is not really that great for general pve but great for wvw, dungeons, and pvp. Is necro good for pve, as this is what I mainly play. How does it fair in dungeons, wvw, and pvp?

Thanks for the reply.

#4 Al Shamari

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

View PostHughPR, on 31 December 2012 - 07:22 PM, said:

Also, I've been told in other forums that mesmer is not really that great for general pve but great for wvw, dungeons, and pvp. Is necro good for pve, as this is what I mainly play. How does it fair in dungeons, wvw, and pvp?

Thanks for the reply.
You're right. The reason however that Mesmers don't function at their highest level in PvE play, is because of how the A.I interacts with Mesmer "clones". They become rather gimmicky unless you trait towards them, and even then they're still rather "weak" in many aspects and only used for their shatters for the most part.

However, Necromancers are very good in PvE from what I've seen, just underrated. I can't attest for how well they preform in PvP. Minions aren't nearly as gimmicky as Mesmer clones, they can provide you with much needed additional protection in early levels. They preform amazingly well in high level dungeons, specifically against large mobs through their usage of Epidemic. Death Shroud as multiple capabilities, including being able to (in basic) function as a second health pool in "oh shit" moments, making it an extremely useful, unique mechanic. I say give it a shot.

#5 HughPR

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 31 December 2012 - 07:31 PM, said:

You're right. The reason however that Mesmers don't function at their highest level in PvE play, is because of how the A.I interacts with Mesmer "clones". They become rather gimmicky unless you trait towards them, and even then they're still rather "weak" in many aspects and only used for their shatters for the most part.

However, Necromancers are very good in PvE from what I've seen, just underrated. I can't attest for how well they preform in PvP. Minions aren't nearly as gimmicky as Mesmer clones, they can provide you with much needed additional protection in early levels. They preform amazingly well in high level dungeons, specifically against large mobs through their usage of Epidemic. Death Shroud as multiple capabilities, including being able to (in basic) function as a second health pool in "oh shit" moments, making it an extremely useful, unique mechanic. I say give it a shot.

Thank you very much for your help! I bought myself a gaming mouse in the Steelseries sale so I shall go about making a necro tomorrow for the new year!

#6 Swoopeh

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:42 AM

View PostAl Shamari, on 31 December 2012 - 07:31 PM, said:

You're right. The reason however that Mesmers don't function at their highest level in PvE play, is because of how the A.I interacts with Mesmer "clones". They become rather gimmicky unless you trait towards them, and even then they're still rather "weak" in many aspects and only used for their shatters for the most part.

Having played both lv80 Necro and Mesmer in explorables and general PvE I must say I don't wholly agree with this;
- Mesmers are pretty awesome in PvE, solid dps, good group support and pretty amazing utilities, no less a solid PvE class than Necros.
- The illusions are the Mesmer's main gimmick and part of the gameplay is the meta game where you have to decide whether to leave your phantasms up for DPS or shatter them after they've fired. They can die quite easily, especially when you don't trait into them and/or use Signet of Illusions but that's part of said meta game - if you expect them to die on certain fights use them as cannon fodder and shatter right away, else keep phantasms up a little longer. Also important to note is that in dungeons illusions tend to take aggro off your team mates which means you reduce incoming damage on them to 0 :) Beefed up (traits+signet) they don't die all that easily either.
- I found illusions to be far less finicky than Necro minions - those generally run rampant pulling every mob in sight then dying so you can deal with the pack they pulled. Not helpful in Orr or any dungeon. Most Necro guides will testify to this and tell you to use Blood is Power, Epidemic and Well of Suffering instead. Illusions on the other hand are made to be simple - they don't move a lot and their behaviour is mostly predictable. Ranged ones stay next to you, melee ones spawn on the mob and stay there, Izerker moves in a straight line. If any of them might pull something you quickly shatter them, problem solved. Personally it feels like more control. On low levels though as you said minions can help, especially with soloing harder content.

Now on to Necro itself, the plus points imho:
- Death Shroud as Al mentioned is really amazing. That and the inherent high health pool make Necros rather hard to kill.
- King at applying conditions really fast, spread with epidemic and stuff just drops like a stone. Necros have some of the best AoE potential in the game.
- Plague Form basically is a 30 second perma blind (if you spam the blind option) on entire packs of mobs which basically means they can't hit anyone in your party.
- Really great at support, especially if you trait your wells to add protection and lower the well cooldown.
- Loads of cripples and chills allowing for loads of kiteage.

And the bad things imho:
- A lot of damage is from conditions, there isn't much in the way of burst like with your elementalist. It is possible (will link the vid below) but requires you to set things up first. You'll see lots of smaller damage numbers instead of a few huge ones.
- Because of previous point they have a longer ramp up time for their DPS.
- A lot of condition damage is bleeds but there can only be 1 bleed stack on a mob with a max of 25 stacks and it's shared between every other person applying bleeds (higher damage ones getting prio) so that may severely limit your damage.
- Minions are buggy and pull stuff, basically useless at higher levels. The elite one does have it's uses but the rest is better replaced.
- Not a lot in the way of viable weapon combos, you're basically stuck with scepter/dagger for one and probably staff or axe/focus for the other.
- Staff nr1 sound is the worst sound in the game :P

Useful links:
http://lopezirl.com/...s-guide-to-pve/

And this one's interesting as it focuses on burst with axe through building vulnerability:
http://www.guildwars...ybrid-tutorial/

#7 Al Shamari

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:48 AM

View PostSwoopeh, on 01 January 2013 - 01:42 AM, said:

Having played both lv80 Necro and Mesmer in explorables and general PvE I must say I don't wholly agree with this;
- Mesmers are pretty awesome in PvE, solid dps, good group support and pretty amazing utilities, no less a solid PvE class than Necros.
- The illusions are the Mesmer's main gimmick and part of the gameplay is the meta game where you have to decide whether to leave your phantasms up for DPS or shatter them after they've fired. They can die quite easily, especially when you don't trait into them and/or use Signet of Illusions but that's part of said meta game - if you expect them to die on certain fights use them as cannon fodder and shatter right away, else keep phantasms up a little longer. Also important to note is that in dungeons illusions tend to take aggro off your team mates which means you reduce incoming damage on them to 0 :) Beefed up (traits+signet) they don't die all that easily either.
- I found illusions to be far less finicky than Necro minions - those generally run rampant pulling every mob in sight then dying so you can deal with the pack they pulled. Not helpful in Orr or any dungeon. Most Necro guides will testify to this and tell you to use Blood is Power, Epidemic and Well of Suffering instead. Illusions on the other hand are made to be simple - they don't move a lot and their behaviour is mostly predictable. Ranged ones stay next to you, melee ones spawn on the mob and stay there, Izerker moves in a straight line. If any of them might pull something you quickly shatter them, problem solved. Personally it feels like more control. On low levels though as you said minions can help, especially with soloing harder content.
Not to get into a debate about something entirely off topic but, I wasn't saying that Mesmers are by any means "weak" in PvE, nor a viable class. I've had them around on countless series of fractals and high end dungeon and they offer a lot of viable options. I was however saying that in PvE, I do find clones to be quite gimmicky and they're at their prime in PvP play where clones actually serve a higher purpose and can seriously allow you to lay ruin on a confused opponent player. Where as the A.I doesn't quite function like a real player and clones buy you much less time, or are destroyed much more quickly.

Anyways, you're right about Necromancer minions at higher levels, they can serve to be quite the hindrance. However, when leveling your Necromancer, they're extremely useful to help soak up some damage and serve useful in open world game play where there isn't a mob at every corner.

#8 HughPR

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

Really confused now! I'm not sure whether I should give mes a longer shot or necro a try. My favourite thing about ele is the ability to do a lot of damage from afar, whilst having the support there when I need it.

I like the look of both of the other caster professions, so I think I really need to level up my mes (and later a necro) to maybe 40, so that I get an elite and have practice using it. I like the mechanic of mesmer, it just doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment, so maybe I need a bit more practice. Even though mes is perhaps not best in solo PvE, I don't think I mind that too much, as I would say that ele isn't that suited to solo unless you use D/D due to its glass cannon nature. Is this fair to say?
A bit off-topic, currently using staff and sword-focus on mes, do you think that there's a better combo for me, perhaps using GS?

#9 Swoopeh

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 01 January 2013 - 01:48 AM, said:

Not to get into a debate about something entirely off topic but, I wasn't saying that Mesmers are by any means "weak" in PvE, nor a viable class. I've had them around on countless series of fractals and high end dungeon and they offer a lot of viable options. I was however saying that in PvE, I do find clones to be quite gimmicky and they're at their prime in PvP play where clones actually serve a higher purpose and can seriously allow you to lay ruin on a confused opponent player. Where as the A.I doesn't quite function like a real player and clones buy you much less time, or are destroyed much more quickly.

Fair enough, I just got the feeling there was an undercurrent of "mesmer isn't a full potential pve class" which, at least in my experience, isn't the case :)

View PostHughPR, on 01 January 2013 - 11:53 AM, said:

Really confused now! I'm not sure whether I should give mes a longer shot or necro a try. My favourite thing about ele is the ability to do a lot of damage from afar, whilst having the support there when I need it.

I like the look of both of the other caster professions, so I think I really need to level up my mes (and later a necro) to maybe 40, so that I get an elite and have practice using it. I like the mechanic of mesmer, it just doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment, so maybe I need a bit more practice.

Lol sorry for confusing the topic a bit :) I think both classes are pretty awesome and worth a try. If you take it back to the root of the mechanics you get:

- Mesmer: (assuming berzerker build) mainly direct damage, high burst and a lot of crit. Indirect damage through phantasms and shattering, not so much from your character itself. AoE is very good but can be limited range. Survivability through clone distraction/stealth, aegis and mobility (blink/phase retreat/portals).
- Necro: less bursty, less high numbers but more of them, better AoE than mesmers (slower but bigger areas and more damage), really tough to kill.

Both have great support, mesmers are more about timing your support while necros are more about layering multiple things (wells, blinds, cripples).

If you don't mind the lack of burst then Necro is a solid and enjoyable class with a cool theme. Probably worth trying them both out, thats the beauty of GW2 - things are account bound and there's no trinity so level whichever class you want and try them out in dungeons :)

View PostHughPR, on 01 January 2013 - 11:53 AM, said:

Even though mes is perhaps not best in solo PvE, I don't think I mind that too much, as I would say that ele isn't that suited to solo unless you use D/D due to its glass cannon nature. Is this fair to say?

I can't comment about the soloing capabilities of Eles but seeing my GF play one it does seem they are often more glass-cannony unless you go for a toughness build and gear.
I can however say that Mesmers are in fact pretty good at soloing in PvE, just not at the start where your illusions die when a mob looks at them and you cant pump them out fast enough to distract them. Also you won't have the best skills available at lower levels and possibly not the right weapons either. The moment you can beef up your illusions and have the right weapons and utilities you can take on hordes of mobs solo without a problem, even in confined spaces and with veterans in the pack. You just have to make sure to keep more than 1 illusion up while staying at range, mobs will go for the illusions 9 out of 10 times. With my current gear it's pretty much Mirror Blade -> Mind Stab -> izerker -> dodge into the mob(s) (dodge creates clone) -> shatter and everything's dead.

View PostHughPR, on 01 January 2013 - 11:53 AM, said:

A bit off-topic, currently using staff and sword-focus on mes, do you think that there's a better combo for me, perhaps using GS?

To start off I would defo say GS (dps) + staff (defense) is MUCH easier than sword. Being in melee range means you have to make sure you don't get hit and at lower levels that's more difficult. Fights go a bit like this: pull with GS Mirror Blade -> Mind Stab -> izerker, switch staff -> iwarlock, walk up to the mob and put chaos storm on yourself and them while strafing around them bouncing projectiles. Just before chaos storm ends phase retreat out of it to get a chaos armor combo finisher, switch to GS and repeat. Shatter when your first phantasm is off cooldown and youre not standing next to the mobs (after shattering immediately create more illusions to avoid getting aggro).

Skills: Feedback, Null Field, Signet of Illusions, Phantasmal Disenchanter, Portals, Blink, Decoy.
Elites: both are amazing, I prefer Time Warp.
Traits: there are a lot of builds available but I want to note that Deceptive Evasion (dueling) does make life a LOT easier. Any time you dodge you leave a clone and mobs always go for the clone. Makes shaking aggro so much easier. Note that they don't overwrite phantasms.

Anyway, both classes are good fun and quite different to play. Whichever you pick I hope you'll enjoy it.

Edited by Swoopeh, 01 January 2013 - 02:36 PM.


#10 HughPR

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

Brilliant, thank you very much. I think I'll stick with mes for the moment but maybe give necro a try at some point, especially as my mes is now lvl 25 so close to elite! :)

#11 mazut

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

View PostHughPR, on 31 December 2012 - 07:22 PM, said:

Also, I've been told in other forums that mesmer is not really that great for general pve but great for wvw, dungeons, and pvp. Is necro good for pve, as this is what I mainly play. How does it fair in dungeons, wvw, and pvp?

Thanks for the reply.

In Gw1 I play mainly necro and mesmer and Mesmer there is just great. That said in gw2 mesmer even with its illusion summons dont feel that unique and its even get boring. If illusions are changed to pets and get some love it may become way better and interesting, now its just underwhelming, sadly. Necro on other hand still keep my attention since day one. Ofc this is personal preference, try and decide, but you need to level it at least to 30+ to have the full feeling about it or higher.

#12 mazut

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

View PostSwoopeh, on 01 January 2013 - 01:42 AM, said:


And the bad things imho:
- A lot of damage is from conditions, there isn't much in the way of burst like with your elementalist. It is possible (will link the vid below) but requires you to set things up first. You'll see lots of smaller damage numbers instead of a few huge ones.
- Because of previous point they have a longer ramp up time for their DPS.
- A lot of condition damage is bleeds but there can only be 1 bleed stack on a mob with a max of 25 stacks and it's shared between every other person applying bleeds (higher damage ones getting prio) so that may severely limit your damage.
- Minions are buggy and pull stuff, basically useless at higher levels. The elite one does have it's uses but the rest is better replaced.
- Not a lot in the way of viable weapon combos, you're basically stuck with scepter/dagger for one and probably staff or axe/focus for the other.
- Staff nr1 sound is the worst sound in the game :P



-Minnions are not that buggy and they pull stuff by default. They are not controled and if you run in aggro range they will pull anything. Its the same in gw1, its intentional. They still had some slow respos time, from time to time, but I play with them and I manage. So its playable(need some work)
-To say there are not weapon combinations is just wrong. I play scepter with focus and axe with warhorn and this are very useful combos...
-Staff 1st skill has the greatest range of all skills in teh game, probably like 1500 range, it just stop auto attack at 1200. Its not spike dmg, but the staff is more of utility/support weapon. Overall necro dont have burst damage, but with certain builds you can do very high damage with axe or dagger combinations. And minions actualy deal huge ammount of damage if traited and using putrit explosion and charge easily can kill your target in few secs in PvP. Its huge spike with the axe second skill + fear and daze to interrupt healing and DS skills.

#13 Swoopeh

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

View Postmazut, on 06 January 2013 - 10:24 AM, said:

-Minnions are not that buggy and they pull stuff by default. They are not controled and if you run in aggro range they will pull anything. Its the same in gw1, its intentional. They still had some slow respos time, from time to time, but I play with them and I manage. So its playable(need some work)

By saying that they're buggy/pully I'm talking about the general issues with pets in this game. Sometimes they just move about 900 feet away from you when you move a little for no reason and then pull things. Sometimes their pathing makes them take a route through a pack of mobs. Sometimes when they are fighting a mob both the minion and the mob start moving way out of your range (like 1500 feet or more) for no reason at all which can even cause the mob to reset. And they really shouldn't start pulling nearby enemies on their own, it's unwanted behaviour (no going AFK near mobs that you wouldn't otherwise pull). Instead they should attack whatever the Necromancer is attacking.

View Postmazut, on 06 January 2013 - 10:24 AM, said:

-To say there are not weapon combinations is just wrong. I play scepter with focus and axe with warhorn and this are very useful combos...

Sorry I wasn't really clear with this point and that could be misinterpreted so it's good you bring it up. I meant that 1 of the weapon combos you generally end up for maximizing damage is scepter/dagger (condition build) or axe/focus (power build), the other weapon is always staff. Generally the bread-and-butter combo is scepter/dagger and staff. You can of course play other combinations but their damage potential isn't that great.

View Postmazut, on 06 January 2013 - 10:24 AM, said:

-Staff 1st skill has the greatest range of all skills in teh game, probably like 1500 range, it just stop auto attack at 1200. Its not spike dmg, but the staff is more of utility/support weapon. Overall necro dont have burst damage, but with certain builds you can do very high damage with axe or dagger combinations. And minions actualy deal huge ammount of damage if traited and using putrit explosion and charge easily can kill your target in few secs in PvP. Its huge spike with the axe second skill + fear and daze to interrupt healing and DS skills.

I never said staff is bad, just that it has the worst sound in the game which I added jokingly but do find a problem myself. It's way too loud and grates my nerves. It does in fact have a 1200 range, not 1500 (check the tooltip/wiki). And yes staff is a very good weapon, it's pretty much mandatory which is why I didn't mention it in the previous point.

I've tried making different weapon builds and they just feel a bit lackluster. Pretty much every Necro guide you'll find will recommend scepter/dagger mainly, and then you have some more gimmicky builds (dagger/dagger tank or axe "burst") but I never found those particularly good. Also I was only commenting on PvE as that is what OP plays mainly, though as he did ask how Necros are in PvP I'm sure your insights are welcome :)

#14 CjR

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

View PostSwoopeh, on 01 January 2013 - 01:42 AM, said:

- Not a lot in the way of viable weapon combos, you're basically stuck with scepter/dagger for one and probably staff or axe/focus for the other.

I have seen a couple dagger/(warhorn) builds floating about that leverage some combo of Might, Power, Toughness, Vampirism and Crit-Life-Steal food that can hold its own in PvE. I have not links at hand, but they're somewhere in this or the official forum.

#15 umbraticus

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

View PostCjR, on 07 January 2013 - 02:24 PM, said:

I have seen a couple dagger/(warhorn) builds floating about that leverage some combo of Might, Power, Toughness, Vampirism and Crit-Life-Steal food that can hold its own in PvE. I have not links at hand, but they're somewhere in this or the official forum.
like this one?
http://gw2skills.net...Ouck6sEZkxOjZGA
this is my pvp dagger build which uses might stacks and deathshroud to completely WRECK faces :D




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