Necromancer Guide Index
1.0 - Necromancer Basics
Questions and halfway-intelligent answers designed to give you a better feel for the class.
Why choose necromancer?
You're not a back row root-and-nuke specialist like most mages, you're not a damage-absorbing "tank," and certainly not a healer (except to your pet). You wield the dead as weapons (pets), and specialize in reducing your enemies' health slowly over time by a variety of means, most insidiously the lifetap -- the conversion of some of the damage you cause your opponent into power for you.
Necromancers are excellent in a protracted fight; few classes can hope to match a Necromancer's pet damage plus DoTs (damage over time spells), but don't expect to do massive damage in typical short-duration combat. Thus, Necromancers are in high-demand for endgame raids, making this subclass an excellent main character choice (though its uniqueness makes it a popular option for alternate characters too).
Are necromancers the best soloers in the game?
Hmm. Being good at soloing depends on a lot of things, namely choosing your targets wisely and casting your spells efficiently. Necromancers can most certainly hold their own in solo combat, but please don't choose this class hoping for the imbalance you might have enjoyed in EQLive at one time. The Sept. '05 Combat Changes have put all the classes on a mostly even keel when it comes to solo combat, but yes, you can still solo 3 linked mobs of your level at a time if 1) you have a rigorously upgraded tanking pet (probably adept III or better, 7 steps above the apprentice I you're granted when you earn the spell), and 2) you're willing to risk it (adds can always happen along and wreck your day!).
What's the best race for necromancy?
The most fun race for you is always the best race. That said, you want intelligence, and lots of it. Erudites, gnomes, and dark elves are the best starting choices from an intelligence standpoint.
What should I look for in terms of equipment?
Not much. Mages typically choose their gear based on the Intelligence and Power it grants (first) and how cool it looks (second). Cloth armor is an oxymoron; you're much much better off not getting hit once you get past level 24 or so. Don't forget to equip a +INT symbol in your ranged slot, there are a ton of these symbols out there. Weapons are also a preference thing, since you're pretty much stuck with blunt objects and can't use a shield, a 2-handed staff is the popular choice.
Once you hit level 20, it's always a good idea to complete your armor quest for necro specific armor. This is a great way to get completely geared without having to spend a lot of hard earned coin! Ten Ton Hammer has the armor quest guide for the cloth wearing classes, to make those quests easier for you.
What's the single most important thing to remember as a necromancer?
It's all about the pets. Pets are your link to a long and successful career in necromancy. Harvest from day one to build your skills, harvest like a mad man from your teens on in hopes that you'll come across a rare that you can have an alchemist convert into an adept III pet summoning spell. I can't emphasize enough the importance of upgrading your pet early and often.
Learn to master your uber pet. In tight settings (like dungeons) where pathing is a problem, learn when your pet is about to wig out from a pathing error and keep him close. Summon a new one if your old one gets lost- unlike EQLive it doesn't cost you a "bone chips" spell component.
Know the difference between your pets. There's a "soldier" and a "fighter" that are excellent while soloing (or in a small group fighting easier mobs with no tank)- these guys can take a lot of damage and taunt like the dickens to keep the mob from turning to whack you. There's the "warlock" - an offensive pet that's excellent while you're grouped with a tank. And then there are a bunch of efficient DoTs disguised as pets that you can cast alongside your true pet- these rats and such cannot take commands through your pet window but take advantage of your pet buffs and last until they or the mob are dead.
Finally, experiment with your pet buffs. An offensive stance might work best for some situations, and a defensive will work best for others. Find the right combination for the moment so you'll know how to react next time.
Necromancer Guide Index
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