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Guild Wars 2 Profession Preview: Necromancer

Updated Sat, Sep 11, 2010 by Xerin

Necromancer

Profession Type: Scholar

Armor: Light

Weapons: Axe, Dagger, Scepter, Focus, Warhorn, Staff.

The Necromancer is a class that deals with one thing very well: death. Necromancers are historically portrayed as those who can make the dead arise as a zombie at their command and inflict deathly plague and disease on those who stand in their way. In Guild Wars this is about spot on and it seems that Guild Wars 2 will take no deviation.

During gamescom 2010 ArenaNet gave us a glimpse of the Necromancer as it was a playable class in their live demo and now we have the full fact sheet available on the Guild Wars 2 official site detailing what the class is about, what skill types are available, and some videos of skills in action.

One neat thing about the Necromancer is that it was available for demo play at gamescom and we were there to bring you some amazing coverage. If you think the Necromancer is a cool class or want to see it in action then be sure to see our Extended Look at the Gameplay of Guild Wars 2.

Minions

Before we launch into the skills and abilities I figure we should have a brief chat about minions in Guild Wars 2. Minions are somewhat similar to their original GW counterparts but have been changed significantly. The first thing of note is that the minions no longer suffer degeneration and therefore are always available once summoned until you destroy them or they die from damage. This means that Necromancers can always have minions available. So far it also seems like corpses may not always be required for every type of minion.

Another thing to note is that minions are a two part spell. The first cast will summon the minion and then the skill is replaced with an ability that will consume the minion and heal you, do damage, etc. A good example is the Blood Fiend ability. You can summon a Bone Fiend to help you (who will heal you as he attacks) and then use “Taste of Death” to destroy the Blood Fiend and heal yourself. Other minions are Bone Minions which you can use Putrid Explosion to blow them up or Bone Fiends which have Rigor Mortis that makes the Bone Fiend become a stationary turret that immobilizes enemies.

Minions will no longer be massed from corpses though so you can only have as many as the skill summons. However, they will remain uncontrollable by the Necromancer (unlike Ranger pets) and will have their own unique A.I. to determine how and where they move.

Unique Skills

Necromancers have four unique skills in addition to their primary special ability “Death Shroud.”

  • Wells: Wells seem to be like Ranger traps (except not triggered by movement) or spirits. You place the well down at your feet and it does something to the area around it, like the Well of Blood which causes regeneration on nearby allies.
  • Minions: As described above, minions are uncontrollable allies that fight alongside the Necromancer. The skill will first summon the minions and then change into a second skill that will consume the minion for an additional effect.
  • Marks: These are ground targeted spells that have a variety of potent effects. Mark of Blood sounds interested because it deals damage to the enemy and regenerates nearby allies which could be useful in a lot of situations.
  • Fear:  Necromancers appear to be the only profession capable of causing Fear. Fear will make a target flee away from the Necromancer allowing them to gain distance and provide room for more spell casting.

Skills

Five skills were showcased in the Necromancer profession overview and a few more were shown at gamescom 2010. We’ll go over the five shown on the profession overview and you can get a look at a few more at our Extended Gameplay Video.

  • Doom: A Death Shroud ability (meaning you’ll need to be downed or have Death Shroud activated) that will make an enemy flee from you for a short duration which should be enough time to get off a few spells while they’re fleeing.
  • Bone Minions + Putrid Explosion: We’ve gone into details about minions above, but it’s an example of the skill works. Summon your minions, send them at your foes, and then blow ‘em up for massive damage.
  • Grasping Dead: An ability used with a scepter, Grasping Dead sends out a line of hands that cause bleeding and cripple.
  • Locust Swarm: An ability used with a warhorn, Locust Swarm summons a swarm of locusts that hover around you and appear to attack enemies and steal life from them.
  • Life Siphon: Easy enough ability to understand. You can use it to damage and steal life from enemies.

Life Force & Death Shroud

Life Force is the Necromancer profession specific passive ability. Every time an enemy dies near a Necromancer he or she will gain Life Force. In addition to that, many abilities will help fill the Life Force pool. After so much Life Force is gained you can enter into “Death Shroud” mode which consumes Life Force but gives you a powerful skill set. Additionally, if you enter a “downed” state you will automatically enter into Death Shroud mode and use your Life Force as your new health bar until you have slain an enemy.

Death Shroud is an ability that transforms you into ghostly figure with a new skill set. Abilities such as Doom are included along with Shadow Fiend (that shadowsteps to your enemy and does a ton of damage), Life Transfer (which heals you), and Deathly Swarm.

This combination means that Necromancers get essentially two health bars in addition to all new form that lets them use different abilities than what their skill bar normally allows. It makes for an interesting gameplay mechanic because Necromancers may end up being a bit tougher than Warriors when it comes to taking damage.

Well that’s what we know about Necromancers currently. Come join us on the Ten Ton Hammer community forums and share your desires to play the Necromancer class or talk about anything at all related to Guild Wars 2.

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