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Soulreaping and elite specs


yann.1946

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As at this moment most elite specs are based on changes to the necro shroud and strong minor traits like  sinister shroud among others soul reaping is always a strong choice as a traitline choice to complement the elite spec.

 

I would love it if the next elite spec changes something else then the shroud, for example adding a giant minion like the mech for the mechanist or some lifesteal and lifespreading vampire themed spec. What does everyone else think about it? 

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As I tried to explore here, the lack of build diversity isn't really the fault of SR, Spite or Curses, but just that there aren't any valid alternatives in Death or Blood Magic. 

Especially from a PvE PoV, almost the only reason to ever pick one of those lines is Corrupter's Fervor in DM and Transfusion in BM, and picking an entire line for just one good Trait over another full line of decent Traits is a lot to give up and generally not worth it outside of very niche use cases (such as Hsc running BM for Transfusion). 

 

Even if Anet added a Minion or Lifesteal focused spec (both of which I'd also like to see in the game thematically for Necro), they will still likely have to give it a "Shroud" designated ability - otherwise it's going to end up worse than Harbinger in terms of dead/non functioning Traits and lack or core synergies - considering how much is built around that mechanic (and not just in SR). 

So as usual, SR for CDR etc. and Spite if it's power based, or Curses if it's condi based, will be a given, no matter what they do for any new spec. 

Harbinger already came with fairly low SR synergy, not caring at all about LF pool size, not requiring much LF generation, already having very low CD's on Shroud (which SR reduces by like ~1s), having no Fear in Shroud and Dhuumfire being incredibly nerfed while on the spec - and it's still the meta pick for it, simply due to complete lack of alternatives.

 

Sooner or later BM and DM just need to be looked at - they both have enough dead/extremely underperforming traits that don't really see much use in any game mode to create a new valid line for them.

Edited by Asum.4960
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Apart from scourge, I do agree that the devs haven't been especially original with the specs main mechanic (but at the same time it's also true for most professions).

The true issue is that most of the necromancer is designed around a "need" to use shroud. Power damage? The shroud! Defense? The shroud! Support? The shroud/shades!... Etc. The weapons are intentionally "weak" so that you want to use them mainly to build LF in order to use shroud. Even Dhuumfire exist for the sole intent to promote the use of the shroud for condi build.

Unfortunately, core traits design limit the variation of main mechanic form as there is a need for a spammable (or almost spammable) shrd skill#1 in order for no less than 3 different traits to work. There is also a need for a "shroud stance" to cater to the traits that passively give you effects while in shroud, while entering shroud and while leaving shroud. There is a need for a Shrd#2 and a shrd#4 for some other traits.

- I'm all for a minion as a main mechanism but what would be the shrd#1, shrd#2, shrd#4 and shrd "stance" that would cater to these traits? Would the LF be the minion's health, wouldn't that be OP due to the possibility of gaining LF (Look at how the resilience of the engineer's mech make other profession hate on it)? In the end, the only thing I can picture is yet another regular shroud to control your pet which would lead to the same: "we need SR to be the optimal".

- A vampire spec? Would that even be original? Wouldn't the devs just put a regular shroud with a bunch of skill that steal life and don't crit? You'd have abysmal damage and OP survivability (nobody would be happy in competitive modes and even less people would be happy in PvE... Maybe role players would be happy...).

- Technically we could have a dodge spec which could eventually minimalise the necromancer's reliance on shroud but wouldn't the devs push on with the shroud despite that? Something like: "if you want to regen your endurance you'd have to go in shroud!" or "The dodge out of shroud is nice but the dodge in shroud is hundred time better, so you know what to do, right?"

- We could even imagine a shroud that actually let the necromancer keep access to it's utility skills... Woah! What a novel idea... 🤪

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4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

As I tried to explore here, the lack of build diversity isn't really the fault of SR, Spite or Curses, but just that there aren't any valid alternatives in Death or Blood Magic. 

But that doesnt have to be this way though, if we have a minionmancer spec then the dps variant of it will use death and either spite or curses. THe reason there are no good alternatives is because most of the good kit is in shroud atm.

4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

Especially from a PvE PoV, almost the only reason to ever pick one of those lines is Corrupter's Fervor in DM and Transfusion in BM, and picking an entire line for just one good Trait over another full line of decent Traits is a lot to give up and generally not worth it outside of very niche use cases (such as Hsc running BM for Transfusion). 

That is more a consequence of the elite specs not really synergizing well with the specs, or do you disagree?

4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

Even if Anet added a Minion or Lifesteal focused spec (both of which I'd also like to see in the game thematically for Necro), they will still likely have to give it a "Shroud" designated ability - otherwise it's going to end up worse than Harbinger in terms of dead/non functioning Traits and lack or core synergies - considering how much is built around that mechanic (and not just in SR). 

That i disagree with, you can just let it keep the standard shroud but give good synergies with another traitline.

For example (and this is going to be a little extreme), make the mechanic a giant minion who does good damage and then let on of its attacks spread a lot of smaller minions as an attack. The synergy with DM would be undeniable.

4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

So as usual, SR for CDR etc. and Spite if it's power based, or Curses if it's condi based, will be a given, no matter what they do for any new spec. 

Well that is what i would like to see changed. (there was a time when the meta condireaper spec didnt run spite for example)

4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

Harbinger already came with fairly low SR synergy, not caring at all about LF pool size, not requiring much LF generation, already having very low CD's on Shroud (which SR reduces by like ~1s), having no Fear in Shroud and Dhuumfire being incredibly nerfed while on the spec - and it's still the meta pick for it, simply due to complete lack of alternatives.

It still gains a dps increase from dhuumfire and soul barbs though (and for solo play the vuln on shroud autos is also pretty usefull).

On top of that, harbinger is designed to be in shroud a lot (look at the GM traits)

4 hours ago, Asum.4960 said:

Sooner or later BM and DM just need to be looked at - they both have enough dead/extremely underperforming traits that don't really see much use in any game mode to create a new valid line for them.

I dont think its a problem with the traits perse, just that they dont really have good sinergy. (And transfusion might need to be looked at with how strong it is.)

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3 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

Apart from scourge, I do agree that the devs haven't been especially original with the specs main mechanic (but at the same time it's also true for most professions).

The true issue is that most of the necromancer is designed around a "need" to use shroud. Power damage? The shroud! Defense? The shroud! Support? The shroud/shades!... Etc. The weapons are intentionally "weak" so that you want to use them mainly to build LF in order to use shroud. Even Dhuumfire exist for the sole intent to promote the use of the shroud for condi build.

Yes, but an elite spec could be designed to not revolve around it.

3 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

Unfortunately, core traits design limit the variation of main mechanic form as there is a need for a spammable (or almost spammable) shrd skill#1 in order for no less than 3 different traits to work. There is also a need for a "shroud stance" to cater to the traits that passively give you effects while in shroud, while entering shroud and while leaving shroud. There is a need for a Shrd#2 and a shrd#4 for some other traits.

You can just not change the shroud. and reduce damage inside it by halve to compensate getting an extra mechanic.

3 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

- I'm all for a minion as a main mechanism but what would be the shrd#1, shrd#2, shrd#4 and shrd "stance" that would cater to these traits? Would the LF be the minion's health, wouldn't that be OP due to the possibility of gaining LF (Look at how the resilience of the engineer's mech make other profession hate on it)? In the end, the only thing I can picture is yet another regular shroud to control your pet which would lead to the same: "we need SR to be the optimal".

You dont need to change the shroud though, your going into it from the wrong perspective. You dont need to change the original shroud perse, just make another mechanic that synergizes well with DM or BM

3 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

- A vampire spec? Would that even be original? Wouldn't the devs just put a regular shroud with a bunch of skill that steal life and don't crit? You'd have abysmal damage and OP survivability (nobody would be happy in competitive modes and even less people would be happy in PvE... Maybe role players would be happy...).

Or they give a weapon which lifesteals and a bar which changes depending how much lifesteal has been done in combat. using that to change how certain skills behave. (the theme where a vampire goes more feral the less blood they have absorbed)

3 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

- Technically we could have a dodge spec which could eventually minimalise the necromancer's reliance on shroud but wouldn't the devs push on with the shroud despite that? Something like: "if you want to regen your endurance you'd have to go in shroud!" or "The dodge out of shroud is nice but the dodge in shroud is hundred time better, so you know what to do, right?"

- We could even imagine a shroud that actually let the necromancer keep access to it's utility skills... Woah! What a novel idea... 🤪

You could be purposfully unoriginal thats true. 😛

 

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16 minutes ago, yann.1946 said:

Yes, but an elite spec could be designed to not revolve around it.

True ... but I don't know why Anet would do that when Shroud is the class mechanic and so much of the trait system is designed around the class mechanics. I mean, think about how the class structure in this game works and how dependent the mechanics are on them. If a class exists with a unique mechanic ... and you DON'T use it, it's just a class that ignores the mechanic and all the features related to it. Conceptually, that has LOTS of problems related to the integrity of the class development. ... BTW, this isn't theoretical either, go ask the Mesmers how much they like Virtuoso. 

In otherwords, let's have realistic expectations about how Anet IS going to create especs around Shroud, like it or not, regardless of the limitations of the class or it's mechanic. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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1 minute ago, Obtena.7952 said:

True ... but I don't know why Anet would do that when Shroud is the class mechanic. I mean, think about how the class structure in this game works. If a class exists with a unique mechanic ... and you DON'T use it, it's just a class that ignores the mechanic. That conceptually has LOTS of problems about the integrity of the class development.

In otherwords, let's have realistic expectations about how Anet IS going to create especs around Shroud, like it or not, regardless of the limitations of the class or it's mechanic. 

Druid gained celestial avatar as a mechanic and just kept the standard pet (and later nerfed pet damage when druid).

So its not unheard of. Daredevil and mirage gained a mechanic on dodge, which was not in their core mechanic list.

 

And there is a pretty big difference between "not revolving around it" and "not using it".

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9 minutes ago, yann.1946 said:

Druid gained celestial avatar as a mechanic and just kept the standard pet (and later nerfed pet damage when druid).

So its not unheard of. Daredevil and mirage gained a mechanic on dodge, which was not in their core mechanic list.

 

And there is a pretty big difference between "not revolving around it" and "not using it".

OK but ... they gained things in addition to their class mechanic. Not sure what you are proposing by not having the design 'revolve around' the shroud here. The shroud will IN SOME WAY be part of how any Necro espec will work. Even Engi toolbelt skills are 'replaced' by Golem skills that you are modify with trait selection.

You give example of a big minion like a mechanist golem? Maybe ... anything can be imagined. The question is how it integrates with the class concept and the pre-existing traits and skills. I'm of the belief that if Anet CAN integrate their ideas with the existing class mechanic, that is a preferred approach. I personally think it's a bad idea to depart from espec designs around the existing class mechanic since such an espec will benefit less from class changes. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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13 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

OK but ... they gained things in addition to their class mechanic. Not sure what you are proposing by not having the design 'revolve around' the shroud here. The shroud will IN SOME WAY be part of how any Necro espec will work. Even Engi toolbelt skills are 'replaced' by Golem skills that you are modify with trait selection.

They will be part in the same way that a pet is a part of a druid for example.

13 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

You give example of a big minion like a mechanist golem? Maybe ... anything can be imagined. The question is how it integrates with the class concept and the pre-existing traits and skills.

But that part is pretty easy atm. The thing is death magic is also a part of necro identity. It is a big miss in my opinion that there is such a bigg focus on one part of the classes design, while ignoring the other. (thats what reaper did well, they had a minion based shout atleast.)

13 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

I'm of the belief that if Anet CAN integrate their ideas with the existing class mechanic, that is a preferred approach.

Depends on the integration

13 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

I personally think it's a bad idea to depart from espec designs around the existing class mechanic since such an espec will benefit less from class changes. 

I am of the completely opposite opinion, Lets look at thief for example

 

Daredevil -> dodges

Deadeye  -> modified steal (which is a class mechanic)

Spectre -> a shroud.

 

These three dont all work around modifying the steal skill of a thief, and i consider that a good thing and something to strife for.

A class is more then just their f skills after all.

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16 minutes ago, yann.1946 said:

They will be part in the same way that a pet is a part of a druid for example.

But that part is pretty easy atm. The thing is death magic is also a part of necro identity. It is a big miss in my opinion that there is such a bigg focus on one part of the classes design, while ignoring the other. (thats what reaper did well, they had a minion based shout atleast.)

Depends on the integration

Well, sure ... again, you could argue Anet could do ANYTHING ... but what is more relevant is what they HAVE done. Don't assume the integration ensures existing skills/traits will be maintained to make an espec 'not revolve' around the class mechanic. It didn't for Virtuoso or Mechanist. 

Quote

I am of the completely opposite opinion, Lets look at thief for example

 

Daredevil -> dodges

Deadeye  -> modified steal (which is a class mechanic)

Spectre -> a shroud.

 

These three dont all work around modifying the steal skill of a thief, and i consider that a good thing and something to strife for.

A class is more then just their f skills after all.

Yeah, again, Anet can do anything they want, but they ARE going to limit what they do based on the class mechanics and themes they have for the classes themselves. Maybe I'm just not getting what is the discussion here? Anet can make themes like 'big minion' on a necro and not have it 'revolve' around shroud? Yeah they can do that. They can do anything they want. 

Here are my two biggest concerns:

1. Class integrity - I play because of theme. I don't want to see necro specs that DON'T have shroud interactions. I think that's a really bad idea to not focus on the mechanic for variation in the class, even though Anet has decided that's a valid approach to espec design. 

2. Integration - I detest designs where options become irrelevant. 'Not revolving around' the class mechanic has a greater chance of this happening. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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30 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

Well, sure ... again, you could argue Anet could do ANYTHING ... but what is more relevant is what they HAVE done. Don't assume the integration ensures existing skills/traits will be maintained to make an espec 'not revolve' around the class mechanic. It didn't for Virtuoso or Mechanist. 

I'm specifically talking about what i think they should do, because what they have done is been restrictive in some sense.

Quote

Yeah, again, Anet can do anything they want, but they ARE going to limit what they do based on the class mechanics and themes they have for the classes themselves. Maybe I'm just not getting what is the discussion here? Anet can make themes like 'big minion' on a necro and not have it 'revolve' around shroud? Yeah they can do that. They can do anything they want. 

The "and themes" are the important part of my post. They should not drop class themes because it is problematic to link to the class mechanic.

Quote

Here are my two biggest concerns:

1. Class integrity - I play because of theme. I don't want to see necro specs that DON'T have shroud interactions. I think that's a really bad idea to not focus on the mechanic for variation in the class, even though Anet has decided that's a valid approach to espec design. 

I would argue the theme of necro is more then just shroud. That is the reason i made this post after all, we arent exploreing some necro themes because we have so many space which are shroud based. Why have not more of a lifesteal and minion themed spec. There still are options for shroud based mechanics ofcourse, but why not tap into other aspects of the fantasy?

Quote

2. Integration - I detest designs where options become irrelevant. 'Not revolving around' the class mechanic has a greater chance of this happening. 

Like how DM is pretty irrelevant to most necro specs? How blood mostly gets used for one trait?

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8 minutes ago, yann.1946 said:

I'm specifically talking about what i think they should do, because what they have done is been restrictive in some sense.

Well, why do you think that is? It's probably got lots to do with maintaining the integrity of the class. 

Quote

The "and themes" are the important part of my post. They should not drop class themes because it is problematic to link to the class mechanic.

I would argue the theme of necro is more then just shroud. That is the reason i made this post after all, we arent exploreing some necro themes because we have so many space which are shroud based. Why have not more of a lifesteal and minion themed spec. There still are options for shroud based mechanics ofcourse, but why not tap into other aspects of the fantasy?

Like how DM is pretty irrelevant to most necro specs? How blood mostly gets used for one trait?

OK ... I'm not arguing that Necro isn't just about it's Shroud but it's just not clear to me what you are proposing here. The examples you gave don't necessarily exclude the shroud mechanic. I don't think they purposefully should either. The restriction we experience isn't shroud related because Anet has shown they can create a 'shroud' mechanic in many different ways to give variety. 

I think the question from a Necro-focused players should be what interesting ways can the shroud be used to make an espec, not how to avoid it. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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I can see an e-spec based around having a "pet" servant that replaces the shroud mechanic. At least having a powerful zombie / skeleton / ghost that fights alongside you is way more consistent with the core theme of the profession than shroud is.

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47 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

Well, why do you think that is? It's probably got lots to do with maintaining the integrity of the class. 

And some uncreativity, scourge for example is breaking a lot with the classical shroud design.

47 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

OK ... I'm not arguing that Necro isn't just about it's Shroud but it's just not clear to me what you are proposing here. The examples you gave don't necessarily exclude the shroud mechanic.

I never said you should exclude the shroud, i said we should make a spec which doesnt revolve around it.

47 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

I don't think they purposefully should either. The restriction we experience isn't shroud related because Anet has shown they can create a 'shroud' mechanic in many different ways to give variety. 

In your world the dps specs of necro will always be elite spec+soul reaping+curse/spite. I dont consider that variety (although i agree the current shrouds feel preety different)

47 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

I think the question from a Necro-focused players should be what interesting ways can the shroud be used to make an espec, not how to avoid it. 

I disagree, the question should be "what are cool aspect of necro to explore". If shroud is part of that thats fine, if shroud does not really fit with it, thats also fine.

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Life steal? I am sorry to rain on your parade with my doomsaying but sadly Anet does not believe in that idea and case in point is the removal of "Vampiric Rituals". The rest of the trait line that supports it is just a bunch of useless traits on the way to get to Transfusion or Unholy Martyr which don't support lifesteal. In fact the minor traits in blood magic are better than most of the major ones. Furthermore, the weapon for this is dagger MH and we all know how obsolete and defunct it is. Back when Vampiric Presence had no icd the fast auto attack on dagger had some use but now this wouldn't even be worth it anymore. I believe reaper has some synergy with lifesteal in trait for shouts but it also is a dead concept and this is all there to it for Anet it is just a passive on hit crap. This isn't happening as much as I wanna roleplay as a vampire with sword mainhand. This is Anet and their roleplay went as far as plague doctor with potions and a pistol. It is always gonna be about shroud. If I want to play a nice Necromancer class that tickles my roleplay fantasy I'd hit up Diablo 3's Necromancer design. 

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Throwing my two cents in,

This is true of just about every class.
Warrior, Discipline.
Thief, Trickery.
Ranger, Beastmastery
Guardian, Virtues.

The class mechanic trait line has a lot of value in most/all of their specs.

It is good to have diversity and to not feel like anything is mandatory, but I think so long as there's flexibility, it's okay.
Necro is fortunate in that many traits and utilities are good/great and flexible between game modes. Personally I think Necro has some of the best trait selections of any class because there are few that are just outright bad in every area of the game. For the majority of them, they might be bad in one place but great in another.

To be clear, I'm not disagreeing with the OP either. If a new spec came out that made Soul Reaping less appealing, great. But I also don't think it's an issue as long as there's flexibility, and there is.
Thief is in much worse shape wherein Trickery is quite literally mandatory to make any build work, and Warrior isn't far behind with it's dependence on Discipline. 

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14 hours ago, Shroud.2307 said:

It is good to have diversity and to not feel like anything is mandatory, but I think so long as there's flexibility, it's okay.
Necro is fortunate in that many traits and utilities are good/great and flexible between . 

You hit the nail on the head.

Imo, we are at a point in the game where each class has at least one spec that is viable in most game modes, and/or allows for build diversity/differing play styles. Necro has Reaper as a tank option, Scourge as support, either as DPS, etc. Per the OPs ideas, I'm in full favor of a spec that fills one's thematic desires rather than trying to build another spec that automatically pushes out 30k DPS. Personally, I would love to see a minion spec, or a revamp of DM to include a significant of overhaul of minions. 

For those that see Shroud as thematically necessary to Necro, great! I don't see the barrier to making this happen. The minion can simply rely on life force for abilities, and those said abilities can proc traits such as Unyielding Blast or Dhuumfire.

For those in favor of a minion spec, which scenario would you like to see?

Scenario 1: One giant minion (think Risen Abomination) that plays like Mechanist, where life force is spent to buff/control the minion. For those saying LF is thematically necessary to Necro, the minion skills can proc traits like shroud would. 

Scenario 2: A minion spec that plays like the "Enemy of my Enemy" story in POF (why are we a cooler necro in this story than the class itself?). Think swarm. 

Concern for either: How should the original minion skills be treated? 

Very curious if people would rather see a single pet based minion spec or a swarm spec with multiple minions. Let me know your thoughts! 

Edited by DeathsProphet.7460
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52 minutes ago, DeathsProphet.7460 said:

Very curious if people would rather see a single pet based minion spec or a swarm spec with multiple minions. Let me know your thoughts! 

Personally I find like I'd favor a shroud that summon "fantasms". Short lived minions that appear, do their business (drain a condition from me thanks to necromantic corruption and deal it's burst of damage tranfering the condition) and then disappear, potentially proc'ing death nova when they disappear.

Outside the AA the devs can fill my shroud's attack with those kind of "minions" and I'd be "satisfied".

AA: Life dart (or whatever): Send a dart of life force to deal a certain amount of damage to a single target and poisoning it.

Skill#2: Fantasmal Specter: Summon a ghost (illusion) that shadow step to your foe dealing damage and immobilizing it.

Skill#3: Fantasmal Banshee: Summon a ghost (illusion) next to your target that will howl, fearing foes around it.

Skill#4: Fantasmal Vampyr: Summon a ghost (illusion) that will launch a flurry of attacks onto your target draining life for you with each hit.

Skill#5: Fantasmal Creeper: Summon a ghost (illusion) that will charge toward your target before exploding into a poisonous haze knocking down foes around it.

 

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