Necromancers are the masters of death and undeath, and utilize fire, poison, disease, magic and corruption magics to overcome their foes. Their choice to purvey the necromantic arts has alienated them from most old-world civilization - in many places they are killed on sight and not allowed to buy or sell. As such, the necromancer is forced to be a highly independant class - very few support classes can enhance the necromancer arsenal, and items/gear do not provide the same benefits to their Damage over Time spells as they do for other classes that utilize instant magics.
Necromancers have a deep affinity for undead, with limited abilities to mez, slow, fear and charm them. However, don't confuse affinity as meaning innate bonuses to destruct; the ability to destroy undead best lie with clerics & paladins and their innate hate for the undead. The Necromancer is classified as anti-natural, the necromancer does contain some very limited unique abilities regarding the destruction of Animals and Plant based mobs.
Necromancers are the premier DOT (damage over time) casters, and also have a cohort of other abilities & utilities that are very powerful. The Necromancer can solo exceptionally well from level 1-95 provided their targets do not summon and are not immune to changes in run-speed. This is accomplished using a variety of abilities, particularly via the means to halt or slow a mobs movement speed and utilize your built agro to "kite" the mob around (or use fear spells earlier in the levels and chase it as it runs away from you) while doing full capacity damage at range. The ability to split mobs utilizing feign death increases this capacity as well as drastically increasing personal survivability when things go awry...or even just agro management.
Also, the necromancer has excellent self-generated mana regeneration abilities in the game, commonly referred to as lich. The greatest benefit lich has compared to other (superior) regeneration capabilities is that necro lich is passive, requiring no further intervention or attention other than standard longterm re-buff efforts. In addition to lich, at the highest levels the Necromancer gains the ability to Death Bloom- which is an activated AA form of burst-lich, draining an enormous amount of health while returning an enormous amount of mana for a short period of time. This lich combo results in the necromancer having the highest mana regeneration capabilities in the game, which translates into extreme independance & sustained DPS capabilities.
Necromancers are sought after in raids & groups for numerous abilities, but primarily for their outstanding damage capability.
- DPS is the overwhelming reason to seek out a necro. This is accomplished by stacking DOTs and utilizing other class abilities that make those DoTs and effects more destructive. By utilizing feign death to manage aggro, the necro can DPS with near impunity. However, since the necromancer requires -time- for their spells to do damage, their DPS contributions are usually inversely proportional to that of their group i.e. the better the group (shorter the fight), the worse the necromancer contributions. The worse the group (longer the fight), the more the necromancer contributions excel. As a rule of thumb, the longer the fight the more DPS the necromancer can provide...up to a point. For long duration events, the ability for a necromancer to continue destruction is unsurpassed.
The necromancer can also compliment their groups with the ability trigger group heal spells as a result of casting detrimental spells. This brings a good measure of the necromancer independance to the entire group.
Necromancer have hands-down the most efficient detrimental spells in the game from a pure Damage per Mana (DPM) aspect...but in practical application in the fast-paced group game the necromancer endures the worst DPM of all spell casting classes because 30-80% of their DoT damage potential is wasted on a corpse because the spells are unable to run their full course. Only during solo activities and the more lengthier (raid) fights can the necromancer generally get their efficiency as advertised. However, the high mana regeneration capability compensates for this.
Some more unique DoT characteristics is: spells are applied fully or resisted fully...unlike instant damage spells (nukes) which can be partially resisted. As such, the necromancer spells typically have a greater resist mod and generally are much more reliable to land.
DoT spells can score critical ticks, but there is no visible report of this. You don't get a "you score a critical blast!" message, ever, from a DoT. The damage simply doubles, and any extra damage via AA is applied, quietly. You need to monitor your damage reports to see your critical DoT strikes, or parse the fights afterwards.
- Their ability to pull is minor in the group or raid game due to the difficulty surviving taking hits as a silk wearer re: extremely low AC caps and HP. From a pure pulling skill / efficiency viewpoint they are inferior to bards, enchanters and monks and from a survivability viewpoint are even surpassed by their hybrid shadowknight -thus necromancers generally don't play this role in a large raid or difficult group content. However, the necromancer can generally split off mobs quite well as long as they are not immune to changes in run-speed or linked. One the the biggest reasons necromancers are inefficient pullers is the 1-minute agro dump and long reuse timer on perfect feign i.e. a necro takes an awful long time to split some targets compared to those that can clear agro at will or mem-wipe/blur.
- Their ability to feign death and then rez in case of a wipe in worst case scenarios was once a calling card feature before banners & campfires. Their rez (93% exp return) consumes an essence emerald (which requires the willing death of another player) so the necro is rarely utilized in this fashion considering how plentiful rez is. Prior to the introduction of Mercenaries, the necro rez was extremly powerful and only surpassed by a cleric. Today, every player can rent the services of a Mercenary and give 96% XP ressurections, and all priest classes & hybrids can resurrect.
- While Necromancers can also fear and mez and slow undead in limited fashion, neither of these abilities gets any usage on raids, outside of perhaps Sendaii, the Hive Queen. Both abilities are NPC-level capped to prevent the necromancer from being effective on current content. This pattern continues with undead Alternate Abilities, which lags the player level by at least 5.
- They can cast a group recourse line of spells which returns mana to all group members, which is useful to a caster DPS group, or a healer group. Only after extreme investments in AA and gear does this mana tap become marginally beneficial for the necro personally, and even then it comes at the cost of a spell gem which translates directly into decreased DPS potential. In their mid-life (50s) the necromancer gained a variety of short-term group buff abilities such as AC tap, health tap, strength tap - but those abilities were discontinued and made obsolete with time.
- Necromancers are also considered one of the 3 "pet classes" as they have undead pets to do their bidding from very early levels and receive benefit from pet focus items. Of the pet classes (magician, beastlord, necromanter), necromancer pets are moderately weaker (due in large part the inability to support them as well as magicians or beastlords), but we do gain benefit from items with pet focus effects. The Necromancer pet can be equiped with magician-summoned gear to dramatically improve their survivability & capabilities. The necromancer has two pet varieties - a warrior and a rogue. The warrior has slightly better survivability but reduced dps compared to the rogue (which requires proper positioning at the rear of targets to allow backstabbing). The Necromancer does have the unique ability to command their pet to /feign, but it is restricted to be successful only 75% of the time which ultimately guarantees your pet dies 25% of the time you need it to survive a bad pull or agro.
- Traditions, necromancers were long-ago utilized for their ability to transfer mana directly from themselves to a single other player character. This twitch line of spells is loathed by many members of the class as it requires the necromancer to cease all DPS (the main reason you keep them around) in order to give a very very small amount of mana to the recipient. The spell line has been discontinued years ago. As spell costs and mana pools have continued to increase, it is extremely obsolete today. Unfortunately...even today, the occasional ignorant raid leader will still send calls for necro's to start twitching or pumping when clerics report LOM status. Simply ignore the requests and continue DPS'ing if you find yourself in this situation and odds are you will receive compliments for twitching anyways.
- More on pets - being a pet class the Necromancer has Alternate Abilities and "clicky" swarm pets in addition to their normal undead minion. However, these swarm pets are highly fragile and cannot survive NPC assault be it melee, Area Effect damage spells, Ripostes, Rampage or even large damage shields. These swarm pets are generally pure DPS additions.
- Lastly, the necromancer class is very fun & rewarding as long as you are not determined to be the best in all situations. Necromancers are arguably the most independant of all classes (most abilities are self-only), making it a prime choice for those that plan to solo the majority of their careers - or those wanting an alt to solo when they are bored (or frustrated) with their main. However, necromancers are also outstanding additions to raiding guilds because of the extreme DPS potential. The continual learning strategy that opens up with levels, abilities & skills keeps a ton of content open to the solo necromancer that otherwise requires group efforts. However, despite the grouping penalties - the necromancer is still usually required to find groups to do any content that drops equipment upgrades or advancements in progression.
Unlike most classes, the introduction of mercs changed the necromancer solo options very little until you have obtained the highest levels of character progression & amassed zounds of AA & tier5 mercs due to the fragility of our pets and being a silk armor class. They are mostly used as buff & rez bots. However, at the highest levels mercenaries can & do allow the necromancer to accomplish things solo or with minimal help that was previously extremely impossible.
This page last modified 2012-01-10 09:31:33.