Forums » Pantheon Classes

Necromancer Worries

    • 13 posts
    April 15, 2018 10:34 AM PDT

    I am afraid all evidence points to the following: The team may or may not be sure what initial flexibility will be necessary to balance the role of the necromancer and bard classes in particular (especially when it comes to group content).

     

    https://youtu.be/4vebn1AN6KY?t=1975


    This remark from Chris Perkins left me more than troubled. Since the classes have not been tested by anyone yet how do we know if we will be able to achieve harmony between obviously and blatantly overpowered and watered-down dump of nonsense? Also, if these classes may or may not exist before launch how on Earth are mechanics going to be implemented that these classes should specialize in (iconic abilities)? If a corpse is lost... who summons it? Will unconventional buffs and heals such as leach/reverse leach (sharing caster health) and lich (one of the strongest buff effects in the game) not even be considered until all of the other classes can achieve harmony in group/raid setting without them? If so, why will these abilities even be necessary? Yikes!!

    I'm afraid there are a long list of conditions that must be met for both of these classes in the world before they can exist (usefully) and have a somewhat unique identity. I'm here mostly to talk about the necromancer, so I will do that:

    My first concern is this: Chris Perkins very expertly broke down archetype of different healers and how each one will shine, but he never addressed supplementary heals or improvisational heals and abilities that may eliminate or mitigate the need for intense traditional healing. Slow was mentioned... ok. What about life/mana leaching, mana sharing, life sharing, regen, secondary crowd control (those efforts coming from classes specifically outside of enchanter), balancing non-enchanter charms (those you would get from say... necromancer or bard), targetted feign death, supplementary rez from bard/necro, the list could go on for a long time...

    How are we going to critically implement these abilities into the mechanics without ending up with disasters like the vanguard necromancer or the stupid crazy overpowered nature of the bloodmage when put in the right hands? I had seen many a blood mage AE life leach/tank crowds of 3dot and 4dot SOLO and live to loot the goodies and reap the exp sustainably! We are talking, in some cases, 15-35 mobs. Bam. Bloodmage? NP. How are we going to potentially put this kind of power in the necromancer's hands and leave most of the practical implementation of the mechanics untested until post launch? On the other side of the spectrum, the necromancer that was dumped at our feet in vanguard was a big ball of fluff and "fun" that suffered to solo what a sorcerer could plow down with ease and was never needed in groups. This was painful to witness. It would ruin me to see it again... I adore the iconic necromancer class.

    I apologize for leaving a very serious and somewhat cynical tone behind in my wake. I do apreciate everything the development team is doing and I look forward to testing in alpha. I especially want to thank Chris himself for taking the time to do this interview and for all of the hard work that the Creative Director has obviously pumped out very quickly. Please keep up the good work dev team and testers!


    This post was edited by Jordan at April 15, 2018 11:45 AM PDT
    • 2209 posts
    April 15, 2018 10:54 AM PDT

    I think the bard class is more important, overall, than the necromancer class, at least when it comes to prioritizing which one makes it into the game first.  This is because it takes up a spot in the "control" sphere which is exclusively represented by the enchanter class right now.  Bards are generally known for providing strong group utility and it makes too much sense to have them factored into the overall difficulty curve sooner than later.  If you don't design the game with them in mind, then it's quite likely the game will need to be re-balanced afterwards.  I'm not saying the same isn't true for necromancers, but I tend to think they would have less of an impact on overall encounter difficulty/design.  I have always viewed necromancers as more of a DPS class.  While it's true that they also have a fair amount of utility, it's been long-stated that neither class was promised for launch.  Hearing the bard news was a great bonus and depending on how quickly things ramp up, maybe it's possible we see necromancers sooner than later as well.

    • 13 posts
    April 15, 2018 11:12 AM PDT

     

    oneADseven said:

    If you don't design the game with them in mind, then it's quite likely the game will need to be re-balanced afterwards.

    Yes! Thank you for stating this so clearly. This is one of my ultimate concerns... I just could not find the words to spit it out correctly. More work will need to be expended in the end if development of these roles is not integrated into the base game. This will result in overhauls that may be undesirable to the community and not necessarily favored by the devs (like nerfs!).

    oneADseven said:

    I have always viewed necromancers as more of a DPS class.

    No. This is not right. Any necromancer worth his salt will tell you that necromancer DPS is situational. Much of "necro dps" only happens when soloing. In a group the necromancer must take the role of healer, cc, life/mana management, and controlling a potentially powerful charm.

    A Necromancer should also dabble in the "crontrol" archetype via fear, stun, root, snare, charm, and even short mezzes (secondary mezzes if you will) such as screaming terror.
    I'm afraid everyone is forgetting this :(

    Many players that have not dedicated a significant amount of time to end-game necromancer play do not understand these nuances of the class. This is what I find so concerning.

    If it helps you to understand, oneADseven, an end-game necro functions much the same way as an end-game bard. A master necromancer is almost like a bard in the sense that they can produce almost any spell effect, but with a big ol spellbook and no fancy armor or swords. Also, instead of sharing these effects with their group constantly, they mostly have to suffer long cast times, self-only versions of these buffs and effects, and long cooldowns... and don't forget some spells that simply just cost a terrible price: Essence Emeralds hurt everyone's wallet!

    The fact that necromancers can control and raise the dead is mearly a quirk of this dark sorcerer when played practically. The stereotype of a necro being an "undead version of a magician" is so damaging to the traditional class. A necromancer is nothing like a magician... When you try to make a necro a "pet class" you get that vanguard garbage we saw.


    This post was edited by Jordan at April 15, 2018 11:46 AM PDT
    • 244 posts
    April 15, 2018 11:52 PM PDT

    Let's not make the necromancer a jack of all trade, as he wasn't really. While I agree it's a class that had it's level range of utilities, a lot of spells weren't updated at higher levels or had only unique "version" during levelling.

    Let's talk about dark empathy, as an example, while the ability was worthwile when obtained at lvl 8, it was quickly becoming rather weak and unable to sustain a fighter in battle. Far from useless, because the natural HP regen was really low and thus it helped breaking downtimes in the lack of a healer or another hybrid able to heal, but far from beeing enough outside of regen pauses and powerlevelling. The rate at which this spell was "upgraded" and the later version beeing designed about "dot yourself to hot your target" made it even less reliable as a partial healer role.

    The debuff line was interesting but the STR and AC debuffs were quite invisible, and even now I'd have a hard time mathing them out, where the slows were an unmatchable force everyone wanted or had to use later on.

    The fear controlling... unless they give a non running fear to the necromancer, I fear (joke here) that it will never be used due to beeing unreliable even with a snare on. It worked in open spaces but quickly fell when in walled areas.

    The mana battery part is certainly an important aspect, but I wouldn't wan't anyone to be used just for that, as it means you stop playing your character in favor of someone else that will play much.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the necromancer had nothing worthless outside of his DPS. The necromancer clearly had a vast toolkit that allowed a bit of flexibility and that was what made him one of the best soloers of EQ1, because he could react to many situation by just himself. But when he was in a team, his field of action reduced due to his tools beeing less effective than thoses of another, or simply not needed anymore. But frankly, almost every class having access to spells had it's tool, tools that were invaluable in solo but that fel down when teaming with others. Rangers could snare/root/DS/buff physical, even hold aggro with flame lick spam, but when was it used when teaming with others ?

     

    The fact that necromancers can control and raise the dead is mearly a quirk of this dark sorcerer when played practically. The stereotype of a necro being an "undead version of a magician" is so damaging to the traditional class. A necromancer is nothing like a magician... When you try to make a necro a "pet class" you get that vanguard garbage we saw.

    Well, trying to make the necro something different than a "pet class" is also wrong, as much as calling magician "a pet class" while they had such tools and a wide spectrum of spells. Sure they relied entirely on pet aggro while soloing when the nec could fear kite, but remember necromancers had warriors, rogues and monk pets that had a wide variety of use too. Both had different pets of different uses (less subtle with magician associating pet element to a role, sure), both had pet heals, both had pet buffs. But one had more dots and debuffs while the other was more nuke oriented when it comes to complement the pet DPS.

     

    I think you might a bit "over fantasize" the role or possibilities of a necromancer. Every class should shine in it's own way, including the necromancer, but beeing to potent or multi potent is not something that will bring the game into a good balance.


    This post was edited by MauvaisOeil at April 15, 2018 11:53 PM PDT
    • 216 posts
    April 16, 2018 1:16 AM PDT
    I really like your understanding of necros, Jordan. They should be an incredibly interesting class to play, and I hope they are awarded the potential you imagine.
    • 1560 posts
    April 16, 2018 11:11 AM PDT

    I'd hope Necromancer arrive fully baked with lots of cool utility and niche spells, but to not be primarily pet based would feel odd given necromancy "is a practice of magic involving communication with the deceased – either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge, to bring someone back from the dead, or to use the deceased as a weapon"

     

    • 189 posts
    April 16, 2018 3:23 PM PDT

    I think any class design that requires a rebalance of the game is probably broken by definition.

    Personally, I think necromancers should be defined by two things:

    1. Use of health, mana, stamina - either allies, enemies, or their own - as a resource.
    2. Undead servants

    It's also cool if their class design makes party play a little awkward.  I like the idea of necromancers as loners that shun civilization and thrive in the dank corners of the world.  Fear as crowd control was a great example of this in EQ1.  It was great solo but hard to manage in a group context.

    • 101 posts
    April 16, 2018 8:18 PM PDT

    “”“MauvaisOeil April 16, 2018 2:52 AM EDT Let's not make the necromancer a jack of all trade, as he wasn't really. While I agree it's a class that had it's level range of utilities, a lot of spells weren't updated at higher levels or had only unique "version" during levelling. Let's talk about dark empathy, as an example, while the ability was worthwile when obtained at lvl 8, it was quickly becoming rather weak and unable to sustain a fighter in battle. Far from useless, because the natural HP regen was really low and thus it helped breaking downtimes in the lack of a healer or another hybrid able to heal, but far from beeing enough outside of regen pauses and powerlevelling. The rate at which this spell was "upgraded" and the later version beeing designed about "dot yourself to hot your target" made it even less reliable as a partial healer role. The debuff line was interesting but the STR and AC debuffs were quite invisible, and even now I'd have a hard time mathing them out, where the slows were an unmatchable force everyone wanted or had to use later on. The fear controlling... unless they give a non running fear to the necromancer, I fear (joke here) that it will never be used due to beeing unreliable even with a snare on. It worked in open spaces but quickly fell when in walled areas. The mana battery part is certainly an important aspect, but I wouldn't wan't anyone to be used just for that, as it means you stop playing your character in favor of someone else that will play much.”””

    A lot of this could be said for the bard... also the necro did have a fear that acted similar to mez on a cool down. Necros were not desired for their damage per second since their DoTs cost more mana than they did dmg before the enemy died unless it was on a boss and even then their DoTs didn’t stack with other nevro’s for the longest time. They may not have been a jack of all trades but they were definitely had quite a bit of utility that dramatically changed the game mechanics when they were around. A good necro could even FD pull.

    edited to add parenthesis around the quote since I’m using the mobile version and copied your original post Mauvais. 


    This post was edited by Darch at April 16, 2018 8:21 PM PDT
    • 244 posts
    April 16, 2018 11:56 PM PDT

    No worries, got it right .

     

    However the bard was meant to use songs, and thoses song were either beneficial or detrimental, it's not like giving mana to his group was cutting him of his playstyle, except if he had to use a lute to do so (I remember with my bard, beeing a perma battery in a group in HHK, doing a cycle of song with booming voice, lute, and an instant mp regain. The group of caster loved it, but I really felt like I was doing nothing else :/ ).

     

    Dots in eq could last up to a few minutes themselves, and had a big stacking problem, that's right. And necro's were awesome for big costly CR with coffins, but beeing only mana batteries ? Isn't that outdated in design now ? Would the necro in Pantheon trade his dps for bringing mana refresh to his group like the current enchanter, beeing a buff/controller and not a "dps class".

    • 17 posts
    April 17, 2018 1:37 PM PDT

    I think when it comes to necromancer it is problematic from a few angles. Not to say it shouldn't be done, just that it is a difficult class. 

    If you consider the necro as presented in MMOs (particularly EQ) or is analogy in WoW, the warlock, it suffers in this games overarching design. I know many of you may be thinking what the hell do you mean.

    The basic overall design as has been presented thus far is that of a quadrintity. Tank, Healer, DPS, and last but by no means least, CC. In fact I would say of the 4 DPS is only semi-optional one. That brings us back to the identity problem I started discussing. DoTs. Necro damage is typically expressed as DoTs. This is directly counter to using CC. Most CC tends to break on damage (or at least have a chance of it). Thus if you have a necro (who is focused on DoT damage) they are making the CC job at a minimum more difficult, or at worst, impossible.

     

    Now I personally see a solution.

    Make Necro a CC class. There are 3 tanks. 5 dps (3 physical dps, 2 magic dps), 3 healers, and just 1 CC (2 if bard is CC). Necro could very easily slot in as a CC class.

    Use the idea of actual necromancy (its kinda been lost in most games outside of tabletop gaming) as the theme. Instead of DoTs they raise the dead and use death magic.

    They could provide fear (a summoned spectre invades the mind of a target) (make this work as a CC that dibiltates instead of causing the mob to run about like a headless chicken on meth).

    They could provide CC through animating the dead, hands reach up from the ground to grab a target (root).

    A summoned pet that can off tank a target.

     

    Personally the old MMO tropes of disease and poison dot damage don't actually need to be used. They are not actually what necromancy needs to be for necromancers to be a fun class and to fit into the games overall desgin. The life stealing, mana sharing, and self sacrifice can be a nice secondary focus behind the CC. Much like Enchanters provide mana regen, haste and slows.