Core Necromancer Discussion — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Core Necromancer Discussion

Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited August 19, 2019 in Necromancer

To catch Arenanet's attention in this discussion of core Necromancer, I would like everyone's help to present a case for additional core profession improvements. In this post are some of my views on core and elite specializations for context in this discussion about core Necro followed by some suggestions. I know all of you have your own ideas and suggestions regarding core Necro and hope you will share them, too. Please do not be overly critical of any poster's suggestions, mine included, I hope, and focus your post on what you think needs attention along with an idea or more to make your point.

Overview of Common Build Types
Necromancer has three main variants and multiple sub-variants:

  • Core Power Necromancer - power-dps with non-damaging conditions for sustain and anti-mobility
  • Core Condi Necromancer - condition-dps using ranged, damaging single-target and AoE with less non-damaging conditions for sustain than power-Necro
  • Core Minion Master - pets for easy-mode
  • Power Reaper - very strong cleave skills in greatsword, Reaper Shroud, and in shouts
  • Hybrid Reaper - very strong cleave skills in greatsword, Reaper Shroud, and in shouts but trades power for primarily bleed generation
  • Support Scourge - barrier-sharing on demand; barriers are effectively shroud-sharing but do not preclude incoming heals and includes condition management and minor boon-sharing or condition dps
  • Boon-hate Scourge - hybrid power/condition damage build focusing on offensive and defensive AoE

Core Necro background
Necromancer originally had three builds, though all were sorely lacking compared to other professions; power, condition damage, and minion master. That was a good build variety for 2012.

Power Necro had only Death Shroud, one or two fears, a siphon heal on dagger, protection on Spectral Armor, and a whole lot of non-damaging conditions like blind, weakness, cripple, and chill for damage avoidance. Axe was buffed a remarkable number of times once the low damage and negligible group value of its vulnerability application became apparent. Main hand dagger used to be the only good power weapon with war horn providing the best utility for off-hands. Staff offered very good flexibility in its utility skills and was a mainstay in both power and condition damage builds.

Condi-dps Necro relies, as always, nearly 100% on scepter auto-attack for dps. Scepter was good in 2012 and is still good, today. Like every other weapon, it has been changed and buffed since release but still remains very much like it was at release.

Reaper Background
Reaper was introduced with Heart of Thorns as a direct and powerful fix to core Necromancer's very low power-cleave ability. Main hand dagger had long been a single-target weapon and had only recently been upgraded to a 2-target cleave on auto-attack. Unfortunately, that cleave count was still too low and Necro continued to have trouble getting groups in dungeons and fractals. Reaper suddenly had massive amounts of cleave across every greatsword skill and all shouts. While Reaper has a lot of cleave, it does not have a great amount of single-target power-dps but it is still far above core Necromancer in that regard. Reaper originally had a great deal of chill sources and chill duration giving it stronger sustain in PvE and could shut down opponents in PvP. Chill duration was subsequently nerfed for obvious balance reasons but Reaper is still strong in that condition.

Hybrid Reaper is a kind of Reaper sub-variant much the same way as boon-hate Scourge is. The Deathly Chill trait enabled the use of condition damage equipment and originally proc'd condition dps directly off of the chill it applied. That created problems: First, chill stacks in duration so players would knock a damaging chill off of a boss in PvE shutting off chill condition damage. Second, Reaper had very few options for applying chill at range leaving ranged condition damage to scepter, which has only bleed and poison for dps, resulting in builds where dps is stretched across chill, bleed, and poison with all of them needing 100% duration increase. After balance nerfs and Path of Fire specializations, the hybrid Reaper is not competitive, anymore.

All Reaper builds are very selfish and offer very little group support in terms of boon-sharing, healing, or utility skills like reflects.

Scourge Background
Barriers were introduced on Scourge to give Necro group support and adding AoE boon hate was a balance-bandage Arenanet realized they needed, badly, with the boon spam resulting from Heart of Thorns. More torment and burning were just to give Scourge some independence. The very first thing Arenanet did after Path of Fire was nerf burning and start separating condition application by shades. That should show what Arenanet's priorities are. They actually increased barriers from the beta-weekend and more than once after Path of Fire. I think Arenanet regards Scourge as primarily a support spec with boon hate and will adjust balance around those two roles.

If barriers and boon hate have low of a value, Arenanet can increase their value by nerfing healing and boon-share provided by other professions. That ought to remind everyone of more recent balance patches. Always remember that if group support has value it should have an opportunity cost like personal sustain or dps. Scourge can still hard-carry random PUGs and is a key zerg component in WvW.

Scourge offers some unique support including sharable barriers (mini-shroud), a bit of boon-share, some condi-management, and even a teleport. When combined with healing power and core Necro's Blood Magic, Scourge can help prevent, or quickly recover from, downed-state.

Core Necromancer Wish List
What core Necro does not have is substantial boon sharing or condition management (anymore). Well of Power, as one example, requires substantial buffing in the number of conditions it converts into boons. Putrid Mark, as another example, had its condition transfer nerfed a long time ago and no longer clears allies. If Death Magic gave substantial reason to take as group support and use in boon duration builds, that would fill one of the largest remaining gaps in Necromancer build variety. With that in mind, here is what I propose:

Death Magic
Spite is purely power-build support, Curses is purely condition dps support, Blood Magic offers group help for countering downed state, and Soul Reaping aids both shroud and dps.

Death Magic supports minions, though it does not require 3 traits, some of which are cross-purpose, and damage reduction. DM also focuses on toughness even though, in PvE, toughness is a large factor in the aggro mechanic and Necromancer does not have the skill set necessary for hate-control and mob positioning. Toughness also steals aggro from pets, which is a good option when it is desired. Flesh of the Master both increases pet health and helps steal aggro from them. Necromantic Corruption increases minion dps and draws conditions making it my favorite, and often only, minion trait. Death Nova, on the other hand, goes back to being controversial to me as it proc's Lesser CPC on minion death and generates a Jagged Horror on opponent death. Minion death is something like RNG while the temporary Jagged Horrors only happen after they were needed; normally in open-world PvE.

Personally, I would offer two minion traits; one to increase minion dps and the other to increase minion support skills.

  • Necromantic Corruption: Minions receive additional health and create Jagged Horrors when an opponent dies. Let the player decide on whether to hold aggro via equipment stat's and/or Corruptor's Fever.
  • Death Nova: Minion active skills also proc Lesser CPC and draw conditions from the Necromancer Instead of Flesh of the Master, Putrid Defense would be a good fit for a Major Adept on MM builds. Move it to the top Adept slot.

Other Death Magic trait suggestions follow.

  • Armored Shroud bothers me. It is a minor, which makes it automatic when taking Death Magic and, as stated before, interferes with aggro control in a group. I would change it to convert conditions on the Necro and allies, slowly, into boons while out of shroud and faster when in shroud. That would make Shrouded Removal mostly redundant so both Shrouded Removal and Flesh of the Master leave empty slots.
  • One Major Adept slot I would fill with a group support trait that improves core utilities. For example, Wells all give a boon of some type to allies; WoB - protection, WoD - stability, WoS - fury, WoC - resistance, kitten - might and retaliation.
  • The other Major Adept slot could have something traditionally selfish for dps improvement like getting power in exchange for precision. Necromancer has a lot of precision-increasing traits and it is relatively easy to cap crit chance. Taking Death Magic should carry some sort of penalty but right now the reduction in dps is too severe.
  • Minor Master Soul Comprehension has been a topic of discussion for a long time and the forum is filled with suggestions. One more suggestion is to have it also give life force when an incoming attack is successfully avoided. Dodged or interrupted attacks should be rewarded. LF on enemy death is only good in open world PvE.
  • Dark Defiance is still bad. It seems like it is a garbage can the worst traits were collected in. I would change it to enable finishers on all off-hand weapons. Necro has almost no finishers. There may be a bit of work to update the weapon skills but think it is worth it for the flexibility and group utility it adds
  • Deadly Strength currently offers power based on a percentage of toughness. Change this to power based on a fixed amount of Life Force, please, in and out of Shroud.
  • Corrupter's Fever offers still more interference with the game's aggro mechanic. To make Corrupter's Fever good in PvE, I suggest it copy self-inflicted conditions on a target. With this change, Master of Corruption is not so much a burden upon the Necromancer and this can still be used with Putrid Defense.
  • Unholy Sanctuary works in PvP but is too selfish and undesirable in PvE. Add a strong group support skill to Unholy Sanctuary like a reflect dome, AoE weakness, cripple or blind, or even a boost to Vampiric Presence.

Buff the Condition Damage DPS
I would like to see more burning return for condi-dps if it can be done on Core. Necromancer does not really have a condi-dps spec but that can be fixed in core Necro without having to buff either Reaper or Scourge. There are a lot of ways to do that, too, like disabling the nerf to Epi-bouncing when running only core Necro or increasing the stack and duration of conditions applied in Death Shroud, which, by the way, offers the longest shroud up-time. Core Necro can definitely be a condi-dps spec and it can also be a single-target power spec like it used to be. The mechanics are already there. It just needs some freshening up. One great way to do that is with Dhuumfire. Add burning to critical hits on the third strike of scepter's auto-attack chain, Putrid Curse but trade Soul Reaping's Dhuumfire with Banshee's Wail in Blood Magic. Soul Reaping is still too good to pass up while Blood Magic does not have much selfish dps improvement for the amount of group support it offers.

Dagger DPS and Mobility Countering
Dagger has three design features: Power damage, melee sustain, and countering mobility skills. The first and last could use some strengthening. Dagger's auto attack strikes need more damage given the game's power creep. Dagger could also use additional mobility counters. Life Siphon and Dark Pact have both been refreshed but the auto attack chain has not. I also suggest adding a 0.5 second chill on Necrotic Stab, the second in the chain, and increasing the cleave to 3 targets when dagger is traited by Quickening Thirst.

War Horn
Change the number of impacts on Locust Swarm from 10 to 15 so the skill lasts 7.5 seconds.

Focus
Increase the ammo count of Soul Grasp from 2 to 4 to account for it missing so often but put it on full cool down if it connects. We can just spam slow-claws until it actually works on something/someone.

Staff
Staff' has not seen a buff in many years. While its utility is still good, its potency has decreased with the new specializations. Staff's main issue is the very low damage output, especially in PvE, rather than the utility. Damage can remain low if utility is boosted for more strategic play.

  • Necrotic Grasp: Increase the power on this slightly and remove the projectile finisher. A 20% chance to be a finisher on an auto-attack this slow is just RNG.
  • Mark of Blood: Increase the bleed stack in PvE only from 2 stacks of 8 seconds to 3 stacks of 8 seconds and make Mark of Blood a blast finisher in all game modes. This will give a reliable and frequent finisher on staff but one that only proc's when there is an enemy in the trap/Mark.
  • Chillblains: Increase the poison stack from 2 for 8 seconds to 4 for 8 seconds for PvE only and increase the damage a little for all game modes.
  • Putrid Mark: For both PvE and WvW/PvP have it also transfer up to 3 boons from the Necromancer to 5 allies within the mark as well as the current 3 conditions on Necro to up to 5 targets so it also works as a boon duplicator, if the Necro has boons. This will remove boons from the Necro as well as conditions but it should aid in might-stacking and allow some of Necro's few, but long duration, boons to be shared to great effect in PvE. In PvP, proc'ing Spectral Armor and giving it away could make very interesting play.
  • Reaper's Mark: Add a combination field to the mark that can be changed depending upon specializations and traits. Core Necro = dark field, Chilling Darkness or Reaper specialization = ice field, Dhuumfire trumps all specializations and traits to lay a fire field, Scourge = light field unless Chilling Darkness is selected, then it leaves a water field.

Signets
Make Signet of Undeath a 240 radius skill and move much of its cast time to an after-cast.
Make Signets of Suffering also trippel the effects of Spiteful Renewal and Plague Sending. Do the same with Shrouded Removal, too, if that trait remains. Double the number of conditions transferred on Putrid Mark and Deathly Swarm.

Death Shroud
Life Blast: Reduce the number of targets from 5 to 1 and make it a projectile finisher.
Dark Path: If pathing issues for the claw and shadowstep are not fixed, yet, make the projectile fly in an arc like that of Epidemic.

Terror
The Necromancer or any group member within a 240 radius can also inflict Terror on opponents when using any skill or bundle that proc's fear. This should have a cool down associated per person casting. Adding this to Terror will improve Necromancer's and other profession's group utility.

Fear of Death
Reduce fear duration extension (expertise bonus only to fear) from 100% to 50% and make interrupts proc a 0.5 second fear and give it a 40 second cool down if it proc's on any target. Keep the 15% Life Force generation. This will increase the fear availability for Necro but only with luck or skill.

Wells
Well of Power: Double the number of pulses over the same duration so it can handle condition bursts better.
Well of Darkness: Add a 0.5 second bind to each pulse to aid in anti-movement.

Summary
Death Magic is in dire need of attention. It is still very selfish in a game where selfishness and low damage output are absolutely not compatible. Several traits and skills feel as if they lack group utility and/or damage output. Personal sustain on Necromancer is not too much of an issue but the plethora of counters to Necromancer's innate anti-mobility tools have been overwhelmed by the additional condition management added with the expansions and balance updates.

Another area lagging due to the changes along the way are combinations, particularly finishers. Dark fields now create dark auras but Necromancer is still left with less desirable fields and a dearth of options to finish combinations. Adding a few more to a game with so many already should not be such a problem.

Main hand dagger cleave should be increased to 3 and its auto attack chain strengthened in melee proficiency with more potent damage and ant-mobility/disengagement.

Finally, Necromancer's condition damage dps is severely lacking. I very much agree that Scourge should not provide both a high dps and high group support so I ask the condition damage dps and the handling of allies' conditions be strengthened on core Necro. I am still waiting for a weapon to swap from scepter's ranged condi-dps to melee condi-dps. Reaper was never a good fit being so highly focused on cleave/AoE but at least it is less incompatible than it was at Heart of Thorns' release while Scourge needed nerfing because it was just too powerful even when traited for a support spec, much less a boon-hate spec.

Afterword
This is a pretty long post, especially for me, but these are a few of the changes I would like to see in core Necro. Other professions are in the same boat with their own core but may not be as easily adjusted without making their elite specializations stronger. Death Shroud, because it is a transform exclusive to core Necro, can be buffed without affecting elite specializations. I suspect that was a factor in the 16 July Necromancer balance update.

I think Arenanet is well aware of the difficulties that remain with Necro. I only hope they refocus core Necro on selfish, single-target power and multi-target condi dps specs with strong anti-mobility and condition management skills but add some additional group utility to Death Magic so it can do more than support minions and bunkering. For those of you who make it to the end of this ridiculously long post, thank you and please do not hesitate to write one of your own in the hope that, together, we can help Arenanet bring core Necromancer more in line with specializations and expectations for end-game activities.

Comments

  • LucianDK.8615LucianDK.8615 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Some really good words here. I think it ultimately boils down to shroud. Anet being terrified of making necromancers stronger because of the shroud.
    But yes, Core is in -dire- need of attention for just basic qol improvements and general damage increases. The damage just isnt there without an espec. And even then its still depressingly low.

  • Basically everything with the necromancer needs the usage of a duster and the care of a dev that loves the profession half as much as we do. That person doesn't seem to exist, sadly. So... at least the usage of the duster could be good. Many things are left untouched since... sometimes 5 years. :o

  • Dadnir.5038Dadnir.5038 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    Personally, I would offer two minion traits; one to increase minion dps and the other to increase minion support skills.

    Personnally I think 2 minion traits are already to many, but well...

    • Necromantic Corruption: Minions receive additional health and create Jagged Horrors when an opponent dies. Let the player decide on whether to hold aggro via equipment stat's and/or Corruptor's Fever.

    I said it in another thread, but I'd personnally prefer Necromantic corruption to buff minion's active skill

    • Death Nova: Minion active skills also proc Lesser CPC and draw conditions from the Necromancer Instead of Flesh of the Master, Putrid Defense would be a good fit for a Major Adept on MM builds. Move it to the top Adept slot.

    Death nova being able to summon a jagged horror is the corner stone that justify the 4 (not 3) minion traits in DM. Your suggestion is pretty good thought, I approve.

    Other Death Magic trait suggestions follow.

    • Armored Shroud bothers me. It is a minor, which makes it automatic when taking Death Magic and, as stated before, interferes with aggro control in a group. I would change it to convert conditions on the Necro and allies, slowly, into boons while out of shroud and faster when in shroud. That would make Shrouded Removal mostly redundant so both Shrouded Removal and Flesh of the Master leave empty slots.

    Well, the first minor being a toughness trait is a common thing in defensive traitline. It would probably be hard for ANet to use your arguments to justify a change.

    • One Major Adept slot I would fill with a group support trait that improves core utilities. For example, Wells all give a boon of some type to allies; WoB - protection, WoD - stability, WoS - fury, WoC - resistance, kitten - might and retaliation.

    I'm against that, there is already a well trait in blood magic. No more than a single trait by utility skills. If necessary, try to exploit the numerous dark field the necro have but not something directly tied to well.

    • The other Major Adept slot could have something traditionally selfish for dps improvement like getting power in exchange for precision. Necromancer has a lot of precision-increasing traits and it is relatively easy to cap crit chance. Taking Death Magic should carry some sort of penalty but right now the reduction in dps is too severe.

    Power for precision isn't thematically fitting for a defensive traitline.

    • Minor Master Soul Comprehension has been a topic of discussion for a long time and the forum is filled with suggestions. One more suggestion is to have it also give life force when an incoming attack is successfully avoided. Dodged or interrupted attacks should be rewarded. LF on enemy death is only good in open world PvE.

    Agree.

    • Dark Defiance is still bad. It seems like it is a garbage can the worst traits were collected in. I would change it to enable finishers on all off-hand weapons. Necro has almost no finishers. There may be a bit of work to update the weapon skills but think it is worth it for the flexibility and group utility it adds

    Personnally I find that dark defiance is among the better traits of DM. I don't think adding more to it or changing it would be good design.

    • Deadly Strength currently offers power based on a percentage of toughness. Change this to power based on a fixed amount of Life Force, please, in and out of Shroud.

    I'm not sure I like this suggestion, it would punish entering shroud or using life force and that's not something I see as a "good thing".

    • Corrupter's Fever offers still more interference with the game's aggro mechanic. To make Corrupter's Fever good in PvE, I suggest it copy self-inflicted conditions on a target. With this change, Master of Corruption is not so much a burden upon the Necromancer and this can still be used with Putrid Defense.

    Well, it would be simpler and more effective to make it reduce damage in %age instead of the toughness buff.

    • Unholy Sanctuary works in PvP but is too selfish and undesirable in PvE. Add a strong group support skill to Unholy Sanctuary like a reflect dome, AoE weakness, cripple or blind, or even a boost to Vampiric Presence.

    Unholy sanctuary should just give barrier instead of sending the necromancer into shroud... Well, some are against the idea so...

    Buff the Condition Damage DPS
    I would like to see more burning return for condi-dps if it can be done on Core. Necromancer does not really have a condi-dps spec but that can be fixed in core Necro without having to buff either Reaper or Scourge. There are a lot of ways to do that, too, like disabling the nerf to Epi-bouncing when running only core Necro or increasing the stack and duration of conditions applied in Death Shroud, which, by the way, offers the longest shroud up-time. Core Necro can definitely be a condi-dps spec and it can also be a single-target power spec like it used to be. The mechanics are already there. It just needs some freshening up. One great way to do that is with Dhuumfire. Add burning to critical hits on the third strike of scepter's auto-attack chain, Putrid Curse but trade Soul Reaping's Dhuumfire with Banshee's Wail in Blood Magic. Soul Reaping is still too good to pass up while Blood Magic does not have much selfish dps improvement for the amount of group support it offers.

    Well a buff to condition damage isn't necessary in PvP/WvW. As for PvE I'd rather see boon corruption being able to interact with the breakbar than adding condition damage on every skills that don't have any.

    Signets
    Make Signet of Undeath a 240 radius skill and move much of its cast time to an after-cast.

    I disagree, aftercast are way to punishing in the game. The skill is already hardly worth using if it punish you with an aftercast, it will be unbearable.

    Make Signets of Suffering also trippel the effects of Spiteful Renewal and Plague Sending. Do the same with Shrouded Removal, too, if that trait remains. Double the number of conditions transferred on Putrid Mark and Deathly Swarm.

    That's to much.

    Death Shroud
    Life Blast: Reduce the number of targets from 5 to 1 and make it a projectile finisher.

    Well, I'm not sure it's worth the trade.

    Terror
    The Necromancer or any group member within a 240 radius can also inflict Terror on opponents when using any skill or bundle that proc's fear. This should have a cool down associated per person casting. Adding this to Terror will improve Necromancer's and other profession's group utility.

    That would be strong, maybe to strong. What magnitude of CD are you thinking off?

    Fear of Death
    Reduce fear duration extension (expertise bonus only to fear) from 100% to 50% and make interrupts proc a 0.5 second fear and give it a 40 second cool down if it proc's on any target. Keep the 15% Life Force generation. This will increase the fear availability for Necro but only with luck or skill.

    This would hardly increase the fear availability unless fear proc on fear, but I'm not against the suggestion.

    Wells
    Well of Power: Double the number of pulses over the same duration so it can handle condition bursts better.

    I'd rather have it lose it's ability to be a targeted aoe and have a reduced cast time (1/2-1/4)

    Well of Darkness: Add a 0.5 second bind to each pulse to aid in anti-movement.

    That's to strong. Add low amount of physical damage per pulse if there is really a need for something to be added.

  • Nimon.7840Nimon.7840 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Ok. First I'd remove the f2-4 trigger F1 dmg on scourge, so only F1 and 5 do dmg now (no burning, torment, power dmg or whatever when using f2-4.

    Yes. Would be a nerf for wvw.
    Also rework staff to be a support+utility weapon
    Then: rework sand savant
    Make it hit 5 allies but only 3 enemies

    • yes another nerf for dmg scourge in wvw.

    What would we need to get back?

    Make core necro Condi master. Give deathmagic more Condi pressure

    So you can play curses/deathmagic/+X

    Overall just nerf scourges offensive power, make it almost pure support.
    And reaper being power dmg, and core Condi dmg

  • XECOR.2814XECOR.2814 Member ✭✭✭
    1. Rework staff away from marks. Make staff aa chain.

    2. Consolidate minion traits in DM and add "condi to boon conversion while in shroud" trait in vacant slots. (Just an idea)

    3. Merge putrid defense and corrupter's fervor and balance numbers.

    4. Add toughness AND vitality increases power in Deadly Strength.

    5. Beyond the veil gives prot+regen instead of just prot to self and minions on shroud exit.

    6. In the empty slot of corrupters fervor trait, make a new trait that copies boons on you to minions on shroud entry and gives some flat boon duration(10-15%).

    7. Bump numbers on unholy sanctuary heal or have it be % oh hp.(4-5%)

  • Lahmia.2193Lahmia.2193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Well of Darkness: Add a 0.5 second bind to each pulse to aid in anti-movement.

    That's to strong. Add low amount of physical damage per pulse if there is really a need for something to be added.

    Adding damage equal to that of Well of Corruption would be my suggestion. That way it could be a viable alternative to corruption, when boons aren't a problem and also be able to trigger various life stealing Blood Magic traits (like it use to before it was fixed).

    "Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death."

  • Dadnir.5038Dadnir.5038 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 19, 2019

    @Nimon.7840 said:
    Ok. First I'd remove the f2-4 trigger F1 dmg on scourge, so only F1 and 5 do dmg now (no burning, torment, power dmg or whatever when using f2-4.

    Agree, I'd even go further and remove most F5 damage to replace them by a pulse of weakness and a very weak amount of power damage (just enough to proc on hit/on crit effects).

    Also rework staff to be a support+utility weapon

    I don't think staff really need a rework. The skill kit itself is "fine", neither to strong nor to weak. The AA is frustratingly slow but that's all we can really hate on it.

    Then: rework sand savant
    Make it hit 5 allies but only 3 enemies

    • yes another nerf for dmg scourge in wvw.

    I disagree here, if the F1 trigger and F5 damages are removed, sand savant is a trait that don't need any change.

    What would we need to get back?

    Make core necro Condi master. Give deathmagic more Condi pressure

    Nope, DM need to provide support. Nothing more nothing less. Having this design where minions "support" the necromancer and are supported by the necromancer at the same time is the fondamental issue of the traitline.

    So you can play curses/deathmagic/+X

    Overall just nerf scourges offensive power, make it almost pure support.
    And reaper being power dmg, and core Condi dmg

    Personnally, I'd make combo more relevant for the necromancer. This is where the profession is lacking and it could be very interesting to balance the scourge's damage. With the F1 proc and the damage on F5 removed, Demonic lore/sadistic searing could be reworked to:

    • Sadistic searing: When you use a punishment skill, the area covered by your shades become dark fields that pulse vulnerability every second for 3 seconds. Punishment recharge 20% faster.
    • Demonic lore: Your combos carry the power of darkness adding torment whenever you succeed in performing a combo. Using your F skill proc a whirl finisher on you and each of your shades.

    If you modify how the breakbar system interact with boon corruption/ripping (counting the boon removal as if a stack of vigor was removed when it's not in breaking phase and as if a stability stack is removed when it's in breaking phase), then scourge would probably be "fixed" in both PvE and WvW, maybe a bit weak in PvP (which wouldn't really be an issue altogether).

  • @Nimon.7840 said:
    Overall just nerf scourges offensive power, make it almost pure support.
    And reaper being power dmg, and core Condi dmg

    I highly disagree, your suggestions would destroy build diversity.
    Scourge add much needed condi application with torch and its specific utilities. Core necro is really lacking on this point.

    Core is clearly overshadow by elites, and I think death shroud should get buffed a little more to make it more attractive. I would make it a strong ranged single target dps. Currently, life blast is its only ranged dps skill. I like 4 and 5 as it is, but 2 and 3 are limited.
    Dark pact could be a very strong ranged hit, rewarding its difficult landing hit.
    Doom should add another effect. A single target fear is not great (as fear is only great fully traited). At least, make it aoe fear.

  • LucianDK.8615LucianDK.8615 Member ✭✭✭✭

    yeah, core necro has seriously fallen by the wayside. Theres no reason to play it at all, which is sad.

  • Next LS or expansion I'd be happy with tweaks to core across the board, especially necro. Many of us bought into the cinematic of the necro charging forward minions in tow, only to realize they were nothing more than mindless sponges. Whether it happens or not let's hope any changes aren't misguided.

  • Noodle Ant.1605Noodle Ant.1605 Member ✭✭✭

    PvE-wise, the massive gap between ~20k and 31k (or at least 29k) IMO unfortunately can’t be fixed with ‘small’ fixes. Fortunately, 31k and 29k are quite low on the dps spectrum, so accidentally buffing reaper and scourge by fixing core would be seen as a bonus rather than a problem.

    Thanks to gamemode skill splits, PvP is unaffected by boosting the coefficients on shroud skills such as core shroud #4 by a whopping 50%, which coincidentally already exists on reaper shroud #4, which btw already pumps out even more dmg without the 50% dmg increase. Additional condi stacks can be added to appropriate skills.

    Apart from having a weak core shroud, both power and condi core necro suffer from the fact that they have complete garbage OH weapons (that even scourge switches between torch and... torch, and you can theoretically get away with running OH dagger on reaper). This should ideally be a main priority, along with ‘updating’ core shroud.

    The Curses traitline is unnecessarily unusable by core power builds (as its replacement for the reaper traitline) and offers surprisingly little to condi builds besides 2/3 traits in the entire line. Potentially a good area to look at - e.g. could fit a necro version of Modified Ammunition in the grandmaster slot and slightly rework corruptions (so core condi actually has decent utility skills) and its respective trait.

    pChrono (main), cWeaver and pReaper. An asura who likes snowflakes.

  • Tukaram.8256Tukaram.8256 Member ✭✭✭

    Core necro is my main character. I run a minion master with marks (staff?). He can outfight and out-survive any of my other avatars. He is also the only one that can survive in HoT. During the 3 weeks of the Pavilion boss bashing I played no other characters. Core necro is still pretty sweet.

  • Kiroshima.8497Kiroshima.8497 Member ✭✭✭

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    Death Magic
    Spite is purely power-build support, Curses is purely condition dps support, Blood Magic offers group help for countering downed state, and Soul Reaping aids both shroud and dps.

    I disagree with SOME of these labels.
    Spite is not PURELY for power builds. The might stack helps both condi and power damage, as does the vulnerability on targets under 50%. There's also a very out of place sustain trait for some reason. We should remove that probably and replace it with something else, especially since Necro lacks low CD heals to use it with. The boon rip on shroud is useful on any build.
    Curses also is useful for power builds, as it has access to Fury on shroud, precision in shroud, and 2% crit rate per condition on the target. Weakness on crit is useful on all builds. The rest are condition but it isn't PURELY for condition builds.
    Blood Magic is pretty accurate, it definitely isn't the sustain necro needs or wants, but it has some weird condition management (transfer from allies to yourself), a well trait (when 3 out of 4 wells are for attacking in a support/sustain traitline) and the group healing transfusion.
    Soul Reaping is just general useful yeah.

    Other Death Magic trait suggestions follow.

    • Armored Shroud bothers me. It is a minor, which makes it automatic when taking Death Magic and, as stated before, interferes with aggro control in a group. I would change it to convert conditions on the Necro and allies, slowly, into boons while out of shroud and faster when in shroud. That would make Shrouded Removal mostly redundant so both Shrouded Removal and Flesh of the Master leave empty slots.

    Agree, but instead of this, make entering shroud grant the necro Protection. Protection reduces condition damage taken while in shroud (33%).

    • Minor Master Soul Comprehension has been a topic of discussion for a long time and the forum is filled with suggestions. One more suggestion is to have it also give life force when an incoming attack is successfully avoided. Dodged or interrupted attacks should be rewarded. LF on enemy death is only good in open world PvE.

    Instead of this, synergize more with protection. Regenerate Life Force over time while you have protection.

    • Dark Defiance is still bad. It seems like it is a garbage can the worst traits were collected in. I would change it to enable finishers on all off-hand weapons. Necro has almost no finishers. There may be a bit of work to update the weapon skills but think it is worth it for the flexibility and group utility it adds

    Adjust to break stuns, cooldown increased to 40 seconds. Enemies you fear grant you stability (no icd). No longer grants protection.
    Adds much needed stability to core necro.

    • Corrupter's Fever offers still more interference with the game's aggro mechanic. To make Corrupter's Fever good in PvE, I suggest it copy self-inflicted conditions on a target. With this change, Master of Corruption is not so much a burden upon the Necromancer and this can still be used with Putrid Defense.
    • Unholy Sanctuary works in PvP but is too selfish and undesirable in PvE. Add a strong group support skill to Unholy Sanctuary like a reflect dome, AoE weakness, cripple or blind, or even a boost to Vampiric Presence.

    Both corruptor's ferver and necromantic corruptions have nothing to do with corruption, which is really weird. Will also be swapping purpose with unholy sanctuary (will be group focused).
    Necromantic Corruption: adjusted to Minion Attacks and Abilities Corrupt Boons. No longer transfers conditions to your minions (moved).

    All grandmasters adjusted to be minion focused, but still work WITHOUT minion skills.
    Death Nova: Shroud 5 generates Jagged Horrors over time (whenever torment would be applied, does not scale with number of enemies, caps at 5 minions). Altered by Elite Spec:
    -Reaper: Generates 1 minion, 2 if target is under 50% health, 3 if target is under 25% health.
    -Scourge: Generates 1 minion at the final pulse per Sand Shade. (Sand Savant caps out at 2, having 4 regular shades out spawns 4).
    Corruptor's Ferver: No longer grants Toughness nor Condi Damage Reduction. Instead grants stacking regen (similar to Warrior's minor trait). Max stacks 30. Conditions grant 1 stack, Corrupting Boons grants a bonus stack, your minions also contribute to these stacks. This Regen works during shroud. This is the selfish sustain option.
    Unholy Sanctuary: Minions absorb conditions from nearby allies. Whenever you or a minion you control transfers a condition from an ally to themselves (works with plague signet for example), removes a condition from an ally, or converts a condition into a boon on an ally, heal them and gain life force. This is the team play support option.

    Buff the Condition Damage DPS
    I would like to see more burning return for condi-dps if it can be done on Core. Necromancer does not really have a condi-dps spec but that can be fixed in core Necro without having to buff either Reaper or Scourge. There are a lot of ways to do that, too, like disabling the nerf to Epi-bouncing when running only core Necro or increasing the stack and duration of conditions applied in Death Shroud, which, by the way, offers the longest shroud up-time. Core Necro can definitely be a condi-dps spec and it can also be a single-target power spec like it used to be. The mechanics are already there. It just needs some freshening up. One great way to do that is with Dhuumfire. Add burning to critical hits on the third strike of scepter's auto-attack chain, Putrid Curse but trade Soul Reaping's Dhuumfire with Banshee's Wail in Blood Magic. Soul Reaping is still too good to pass up while Blood Magic does not have much selfish dps improvement for the amount of group support it offers.

    Core Necro's Shroud lacks condi dps because the only skills are Shroud 2 (very slow, doesn't hit anymore in wvw/pvp) and Shroud 5 (melee over time). Dhuumfire is actually ok as is. Instead add bleeding (short duration) to Life Transfer, and torment to Doom (more stacks when enemy is closer).

    Dagger DPS and Mobility Countering
    Dagger has three design features: Power damage, melee sustain, and countering mobility skills. The first and last could use some strengthening. Dagger's auto attack strikes need more damage given the game's power creep. Dagger could also use additional mobility counters. Life Siphon and Dark Pact have both been refreshed but the auto attack chain has not. I also suggest adding a 0.5 second chill on Necrotic Stab, the second in the chain, and increasing the cleave to 3 targets when dagger is traited by Quickening Thirst.

    Dagger actually isn't a power damage weapon. It's a utility weapon like staff. It has a siphon, a rooting corruption, condition transfer, and aoe corrupt.
    Dagger needs to grant life force on all parts of the auto chain, as well as all of the skills. Dagger should be your go to when you want to go into shroud as often as possible while retaining a variety of useful utility skills.

    Death Shroud

    Also interacts with Minions!

    Life Blast: Reduce the number of targets from 5 to 1 and make it a projectile finisher.

    Pass, this is a nerf in most situations. It greatly weakens Necro's ranged aoe pressure while in shroud (which is already only Life Blast btw since Shroud 2 is so bad atm). If anything I'd rather see it be an aoe than piercing but don't mess with its target count.
    Additionally, commands Minions to attack the targeted enemy (like ranger function).

    Dark Path: If pathing issues for the claw and shadowstep are not fixed, yet, make the projectile fly in an arc like that of Epidemic.

    First, REVERT the projectile. It's so bad now.
    Additionally, using the 2nd skill (the teleport) spawns a Shadow Fiend, then tells all Shadow Fiends to use Haunt on the target.

    Terror
    The Necromancer or any group member within a 240 radius can also inflict Terror on opponents when using any skill or bundle that proc's fear. This should have a cool down associated per person casting. Adding this to Terror will improve Necromancer's and other profession's group utility.

    Na, just make it AOE. If cast with no target, center on the Necro instead.

    Fear of Death
    Reduce fear duration extension (expertise bonus only to fear) from 100% to 50% and make interrupts proc a 0.5 second fear and give it a 40 second cool down if it proc's on any target. Keep the 15% Life Force generation. This will increase the fear availability for Necro but only with luck or skill.

    Too bad Necro has a whopping 2 interrupt source that isn't fear on Core (spectral grasp and warhorn 4). Definitely a no.

    Wells
    Well of Power: Double the number of pulses over the same duration so it can handle condition bursts better.
    Well of Darkness: Add a 0.5 second bind to each pulse to aid in anti-movement.

    Well of Power sounds good. Well of Darkness should block projectiles though, merge with Corrosive Poison Cloud and create a new well.

  • Ghostt.1293Ghostt.1293 Member ✭✭✭

    i wish that all core classes can wield elite spec weapons without equipping the elite specs.
    if want some traits for that specific weapon then i equip the elite spec in the trait lines

  • ZDragon.3046ZDragon.3046 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 3, 2019

    @Dadnir.5038 said:

    @Anchoku.8142 said:

    Well of Darkness: Add a 0.5 second bind to each pulse to aid in anti-movement.

    That's to strong. Add low amount of physical damage per pulse if there is really a need for something to be added.

    not at all. (thiefs new smoke ring does this and is very solid but not op) and that one even block projectiles which well of darkness will not do. A player pretty much cannot attack you standing inside this without resistance because you cant just easily cleave through the blind for the short duration the wall is up. This idea of his would actually give necromancer a proper damage avoidance tool when used properly. Via conditions without giving it evades, blocks, invulns which you also wont ever agree should happen for necro no matter who or how some one makes the claim

    The current Well of darkness is more of a joke, as its blinds proc so slowly that its rather easy for some one to cleave right through it and ignore it making the utility not worth taking in most cases.

    I would argue that as a pure defensive type of well it would be justified and bring it up to date.
    Even if they added some kind of strike damage to it its unlikely that its going to be more strike damage or even as much strike damage as well of corruption which already hits kinda meh....
    I would rather have a proper damage negation utility than one that can easily be cleaved throught but does a 800 critical damage strike on top of super slow blinds.

    I hate to say it but his idea on well of darkness is pretty justified and by far not too strong.
    Your idea seems pointless as the skill still would not be worth using in any game mode.

    Not even in pve end game where you want more burst you would still run suffering and corruption over darkness. wells for a more bursty setup. Unlikely that you would drop signet of spite for that.

  • Flumek.9043Flumek.9043 Member ✭✭✭

    For PVP, you could have ALL of the above + fix death magic to make invulnerable.... still wouldnt help.

    Untill our weapon skills remain slow + clunky, while enemy opens on us with blind ... its gg.

    And they wont increase our PVE dps, because their data shows that plebian casual majority is even worse than a casual player in gold, meaning they instadie to AI and do 0 dps.

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 4, 2019

    I’m one of the few that do not want unholy sanctuary changed it is a very good sustain trait that nobody really knows how to use for some reason. If they just changed the passive heal to maybe converting damage to healing or converting remaining life force on shroud exit into health I’d be good with that but DO NOT change the auto enter shroud mechanic, or it’s CD

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