To preface this post, I promised myself not to put time and effort into reworks anymore after suggesting plenty of changes with many others in the first 3 or 4 years after the game released, hoping for improvements and fixes for many of the issues that Necro suffered from right out of the gate at launch, without ArenaNet responding to or addressing anything for years.
Recently though, with an announced Death Magic rework as well as seeing ArenaNet take some feedback to heart with the planned upcoming patch, I (unfortunately) got inspired again.
Additionally the currently announced Scourge changes, a spec that has been carried as usual for Necromancer purely by it's profession mechanic which was masking the lacklustre core, seem to leave Scourge in a pretty bad spot across the game, calling once again for deeper core changes.
On that note, before getting into my proposed Weapon changes, I'm fully aware Necromancer needs a lot more fixes and overhauls, be it many Traits or even entire Traitlines, Utilities and Elite Spec mechanics, but one thing I rarely see being discussed is Weapons and even if just in a very limited scope, even though the Weapon skills in my opinion are one of the most lacklustre part of Necromancer when compared to other professions, and a big reason Necro is and always has been in such a weird spot.
Generally all you will find on Necromancer Weapon skills is Flat or Condition damage, some LF gain here and there and some debilitating conditions, with Boon Corruption/removal being the only unique feature on some of them.
Barely any skills provide hard CC and no mobility, evades or blocks are found on them at all, as well as severely lacking in Combo fields or finishers, compared to other Professions.
This puts Necromancer in the weird spot of only ever providing damage and corruption, which across each game mode either tends to be too little or too much, while lacking the playmaking potential and often undervalued small skill based interactions other professions provide.
I didn't have time to rework the entire class in tandem, neither do I have the resources to go over and compare efficacy with every other similar skill to make precise adjustments, so don't get too hung up on specific numbers (or names for that matter), I obviously don't have access to playtesting servers, nor a team to test these changes with. Take buffs and nerfs simply as indication of the suggested direction the skills should move in with the provided numbers serving as examples.
Anyway, here we go (and yes, a certain Staff change might be bold/controversial, but it's just a fun idea I had, feel free to comment on it):
Necrotic Grasp's cast time reduced from 3/4s to 1/2s. Increased Projectile velocity by 20%. Increased base damage by 20%. Increased power scaling from 0.666 to 0.9.
Mark of Blood base damage increased by 80%. Scaling increased from 0.33 to 1. Bleed count increased from 2 to 3.
Chillbains is now Sand Swell *, renamed Grenth's Gate (visual effect tinted Green instead of Yellow, changed sound effect), removed Barrier and Punishment effect of boon conversion, CD 35s, cast time 1/2 seconds. (Moved to 5)
Putrid Mark now Chills and Posions in addition to it's previous effects. (moved to 3)
Reaper's Mark CD reduced by 8s to 25s. (Moved to 4)
1.2 Necrotic Stab's base damage increased by 30%, scaling increased from 0.7 to 0.9.
1.3 Necrotic Bite's base damage increased by 20%
Life Siphon's bleed interactions removed. Base damage increased by 30%. Scaling increased from 2.7 to 3. The Heal component is now shared with allies within the 600 range.
This skill is now a Whirl Finisher as the drained Lifeforce whirls around the Necromancer.
Dark Pact has been reworked into Dark Descent and is now a 600 range targeted Shadowstep instead. Immobilize duration reduced from 3s to 2s. Boons Converted to Conditions: 2. Self-Bleeding removed. Radius 240, number of Targets 1. CD increased from 15s to 20 seconds.
This skill is now a Leap Finisher.
Soul Grasp's aftercast reduced. LF gain increased from 11% to 15%.
Spinal Shiver's cast time reduced from 1s to 3/4s. Aftercast reduced.
Wail of Doom's CD reduced from 30s to 20 seconds.
This Skill is now a Blast Finisher.
Locust Swarm's CD reduced from 30s to 25 seconds. Siphon Health reverted to Damage and triggers it's 2s Cripple again. Duration increased back from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. Inflicts it's effects every 1 second instead of 0.5 seconds again.
Range incrased to 240. Damage increased by 25%, scaling increased from 0.2 to 0.5.
LF gained increased back from 1.5% to 2%.
1.3 Chilling Scythe's chill duration increased from 2s to 3 seconds.
Gravedigger's CD reduced to 6 seconds. Cast time increased from 1 1/4 seconds to 2 seconds.
Instant recharge upon hitting targets under 50% HP functionality removed.
Now spins twice per cast, doing 800 (2.5) damage and 1000 (3) damage respectively.
Deals increased damage to targets under 50% HP, 10% in PvP/WvW, 50% in PvE.
Grasping Darkness pull speed increased drastically. (GS 5, unfortunately the forums automatically list it as 3 even though it says 5)
Let me know if you think anything is completely out of line OP or lacklustre.
Obviously there would still be a lot else to do regardless, be it via Trait adjustments or further weapon changes, but I think these could be an interesting direction forward for Necro.
I'm looking forward to your feedback.
R.I.P. Build Templates, 15.10.2019