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Shroud, Minions, and Life Steal: A Necro Rework


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I saw some other posts about reworks and I figured I should share some of the notes I've been putting together. I’m not trying to claim that the changes I’m proposing are the best. These are just some suggestions based on my observations from over 5,000 hours on necro. These changes are predominantly PvP focused, but I do still consider some of the PvE pain points. The numbers in the skills are for reference only, what's important are the mechanical changes.

General Philosophy

Good gameplay is one that is highly reactive and feels skillful to play as or against. Much of necro's mechanics promote passive gameplay that can feel simultaneously ineffective for the necro and frustrating for the opponent. In high level PvP, necro is easily focused due to limited access to sustain, mobility, and stability. A skilled player will play around the shroud defense taking advantage of the low sustain, or they will do enough damage to chew through it in seconds. In low tier matches necro can feel unfair by outputting high damage while seemingly being immortal due to long shroud uptime and the low damage in that tier. In PvE, necro is difficult to support as it cannot be healed in shroud, and its damage is inconsistent since it can be forced out of shroud in certain encounters.

Based on this I consider three major flaws in necro's design

  • Rewards a passive unreactive playstyle
  • Merged offensive and defensive capability
  • Inconsistent and unreliable effectiveness

Profession Mechanic

Death shroud provides a lot of offensive capability while allowing the necro to ignore most damage abilities. Additionally, there are not a lot of ways to gain life force out of combat. Putting necro in a position where it doesn't have access to it's only defense. A split of the defensive and offensive capabilities of death shroud, doing away with the second health bar and adding a short burst of barrier on a low cooldown, would create more opportunities to interact and prevent shroud camping. It would force you to time the ability with heavy hitting attacks feeling more skillfull. A third ability would provide lifeforce making shroud access more consistent while also interacting with minions.

I also introduce a new mechanic here, Rapid Regeneration, as a way to make health sacrifice viable. This also has some fun synergies with the blood magic and life steal changes.

New Mechanic

  • Rapid Regeneration: Like Superspeed for Regen
    • Healing per Second: 2000

Abilities

  • Death Shroud: Consume a portion of your life force to assume a spectral form and gain new skills for a short time. Exiting early refunds life force based on the remaining duration.
    • Lifeforce cost 33% 
    • Duration 10s
  • Armor of Life: Create a barrier of life to protect you for a short duration.
    • Lifeforce cost 25%
    • Cooldown 5s
    • Barrier 25% of max health
    • Applies Armor of Life for 5s.
    • Damage Reduced: 50%
  • Taste of Death: Sacrifice health and all your active minions to gain life force. Apply rapid regeneration for 2.5 seconds.
    • Health Cost: 4803
    • Cooldown: 40s
    • Life Force from Health: 36%
    • Life Force per minion: 5%

Minions

A big issue with minions is the unreliability of the utility they provide. By putting so much focus on the minion you are promoting passive AI gameplay. This in turn makes the skills both less effective as utility and unfun to play against. The philosophy here is to reverse that function by giving the active abilities to the necro and summon a minion if certain conditions are met. This would make the skills more active and reliable. The minions would become a byproduct not the focus. Some bonus consequences of these changes would eliminate afk farms (at least from necros) and provide necro with some much needed options for mobility.

  • All minions lose health over time
  • Minions Capped at 12
  • Remove summon skills and give the minion’s active to the necro
  • Summon a minion whenever you successfully hit a foe with these actives

Abilities

  • Soul Feast replaces Taste of Death
  • Soul Feast: Heal yourself and siphon health from nearby enemies. Summon a blood fiend that heals with each attack if you successfully strike a foe.
    • Healing: 3960
    • Life Siphon Damage: 500
    • Life Siphon Healing: 500
    • Max Targets: 5
    • Cooldown: 16s
  • Putrid Explosion: Let out a putrid blast. Spawn a bone minion if you strike a foe.
    • Combo Finisher: Blast
    • Damage: 1273
    • Maximum Count: 2
    • Count Recharge: 16s 
  • Rigor Mortis: Launch an immobilizing projectile. Summon a bone fiend that attacks at a range if you strike a foe. 
    • Damage: 66
    • Immobolize: 4s
    • Maximum Count: 2
    • Count Rechage: 25s
  • Haunt: Shadowstep to your target gaining lifeforce and applying conditions. Summon a shadow fiend if you strike a foe.
    • Damage: 700
    • Blindness 5s
    • Chilled 3s
    • Weakness 5s
    • Lifeforce: 10%
    • Range: 1200
    • Cooldown: 20s
  • Necrotic Traversal: Teleport to target location, gaining lifeforce and leaving behind a putrid blast at your initial position. Summon a flesh wurm at your destination if you strike a foe. 
    • Range 1200
    • Cooldown: 40s
    • Life Force: 10%
    • Poison 2x 9s
    • Combo Finisher Blast
  • Necrotic Charge: Rush forward gaining stability and launching foes in your path. Summon a flesh golem if you strike a foe.
    • Range: 1200
    • Cooldown: 30s
    • Stability: 3x 15s
    •  Launch: 400
    • Ignores chill and cripple
    • Removes immobilize

Traits

  • Unholy Sanctuary is replaced by Blood of the Master
  • Blood of the Master: Taste of death has reduced recharge. Armor of Life now regenerates health. Your minions are affected by Armor of Life.
    • Recharge Reduced: 25%
    • Life Force cost per minion: 5%
    • Healing per Interval: 192
    • Interval: 1 second

Life Stealing

This ability never really excelled in GW2 as it never felt effective enough to sustain a large health pool. This is primarily due to the fact that you need to attack to gain any healing. Other classes have forms of passive healing which allows them to sustain while kiting. If life siphon were buffed to make up for this lost sustain, then it would feel unfair because it would allow necro to passively ignore more damage while attacking. 

Instead, active life stealing attached to telegraphed skills would feel more rewarding and could be evaded denying the necro the sustain. This is how life stealing functioned in GW1 and it worked. Life Siphon is an example of life stealing implemented correctly. It is a long channel high reward healing skill. And, it is not classified as “Life Siphon Damage” allowing it to crit.

  • Active life stealing abilities are classified as normal damage
  • Reduce or remove passive lifestealing effects

Abilities

  • Remove the bleeding qualifier on Life Siphon, increase damage and healing by 20%
  • Soul Grasp is replaced by Soul Reap
  • Soul Reap: Send a spectral reaper to steal life from your enemies. (Bigger projectile to make it more noticeable, swings scythe as it gets close to target)
    • Projectile: Homing
    • Damage: 1198
    • Life Siphon Healing: 1295
    • Range: 1200
    • Cooldown: 15s
  • Locust Swarm: Send out a wave of locusts to attack your enemies and heal your allies (Like lich 3). Swarms attach to targets hit with the wave.
    • Damage: 197
    • Healing: 221
    • Duration: 5s
    • Number of Impacts: 10
    • Range 600
    • Number of Targets: 5
    • Number of Ally Targets: 5
  • Grasping Dead: Summon skeletal hands to steal life and cripple in the target area.
    • Damage: 465
    • Life Siphon Healing per Target: 440
    • Bleeding 2x 12s
    • Cripple 5s
    • Number of Targets: 5
    • Radius: 240
    • Range: 900
  • Signet of Vampirism:
    • Signet Passive: Steal life from nearby foes
    • Signet Active: Heal yourself and mark your foe. Steal life from them after a short delay.
    • Passive Life Siphon Damage: 177
    • Passive Life Siphon Healing: 195
    • Active Damage: 290
    • Active Initial Heal: 4264
    • Life Siphon Heal if Hit: 2960
    • Delay: 2s
    • Range: 1200
  • Signet of Undeath:
    • Signet Passive: Generates life force when in combat
    • Signet Active: Sacrifice health to revive one downed ally in target area. Apply rapid regeneration.
    • Health Cost: 9606
    • Lifeforce per 3s: 2%
    • Rapid Regeneration: 5s

Traits

  • Blood Bank now converts expiring barrier to life force in addition to its other effects.
  • Blood Bank: Gaining health grants a proportionate amount of barrier. Conversion increases at full health. When barrier expires it is converted into life force.
    • Full Health Healing Conversion Rate: 100%
    • Healing Conversion Rate: 5%
    • Life Force Conversion: 100%
  • Transfusion now causes life stealing abilities to heal nearby allies
  • Transfusion: Life stealing now heals nearby allies. Activate shroud skill 4 to partially revive nearby allies. Up to 5 nearby downed allies are teleported to you upon using shroud skill 4.
    • Revival per Pulse: 1%
    • Healing: 216
    • Number of Targets: 5
    • Pulses: 9
    • Radius: 600
    • Teleport Distance: 600
  • Vampiric Presence no longer  passively life steals or applies it’s effects to allies.
  • Vampiric Presence: Slowly build up vampiric essence while in combat to deliver a life stealing strike. (A green essence builds around the necro. It begins flashing when Vampiric Presence is ready)
    • Charging Duration: 10s
    • Life Siphon Healing: 2132
Edited by Zex Anthon.8673
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4 hours ago, The Boz.2038 said:

Minion rework must-haves:
1- Full stat inheritance.
2- Clear use case and a "detonate" flip-over for each minion, which makes it cease to exist.
3- At most 2 (two) traits devoted to minions in any way, shape, or form.

1- I agree, but the scaling should be very different in PvE vs PvP

2- Thats what I attempt to achieve with the Taste of Death change. Make it a profession mechanic that consumes all minions for life force. It would still provide value to non minion builds with the sacrifice life to gain life force.

3-I think minion traits should be limited to death magic. However, any minion trait should also provide value to non minion builds. My Unholy Sanctuary/blood of the master change would allow minion builds to sustain the max (12) minions while still providing the non minion builds with suatain on Armor of Life.

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51 minutes ago, Dr Meta.3158 said:

I will have to read this in depth later. But Rise! I think is the best designed minion skills despite the minions themselves being lackluster and bringing down the main mechanic of the skill outside of pve.

Agreed, which is why I think the flip over actives should replace the summon skills. Rise! Summons a minion for every target hit. The actives could function similarly if they successfully hit a target.

This would make the skills more consistent since the actives that provide utility are always available. Not dependent on whether your minion is alive or not. It would also provide necro with more mobility options outside of flesh wurm with haunt and charge.

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Being able to substitute with haunt would be pretty sick. Not sure how charge would work outside of just summoning a golem in the charge animation then you're just left with a slowly rotting away flesh golem for a bit. Which honestly would be better than now. Just mainly because this is just bulls charge + pet and not so much a caster ability.

The entire idea of temporary, slowly rotting away minions that spawned off of utilities skills used for their actives would be best I think. Similar to how Spectral abilities have a specific ability they're mainly used for, but the side effect is lifeforce.

Wells could be the same thing but with lifesteal, corruptions are sortof like that but with "downsides" (self-inflicted conditions) and Signets of course fit the mode too with passive.

Edited by Dr Meta.3158
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4 hours ago, Dr Meta.3158 said:

Being able to substitute with haunt would be pretty sick. Not sure how charge would work outside of just summoning a golem in the charge animation then you're just left with a slowly rotting away flesh golem for a bit. Which honestly would be better than now. Just mainly because this is just bulls charge + pet and not so much a caster ability.

The entire idea of temporary, slowly rotting away minions that spawned off of utilities skills used for their actives would be best I think. Similar to how Spectral abilities have a specific ability they're mainly used for, but the side effect is lifeforce.

Wells could be the same thing but with lifesteal, corruptions are sortof like that but with "downsides" (self-inflicted conditions) and Signets of course fit the mode too with passive.

I was imagining charge to be like ride the lightning or druid staff 3 where you would turn into a ball of green shadows. The flesh golem would be summoned on the first target hit. I think it is powerful enough for an elite skill. It can hit multiple targets, it launches instead of knockdown, and it provides stability. 

I don't think wells should lifesteel, unless they steal life on the final pulse and there was a well telegraphed build up to it. My lifesteal changes talk about ways to remove passive life steal in favor of something more interactable. And the importance of distinguishing between life siphon damage and regular damage. Since the wells already do damage on each pulse, the life siphon strike on the final pulse shouldn't crit as it's only used as an indicator of whether or not the skill hit. Skills like focus 4 should be reclassified as regular damage since it's primary effect as a weapon skill is to do damage.

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I like the minions idea because I've made a post before regarding how some Minion actives could be altered to apply to the Necro themselves.

Honestly summons that just take up a slot to *exist* is pretty dated in modern Gw2. Even Engi Turrets have toolbelt to allow them to gain utility from Turrets taking a slot. 


 

Edited by Yasai.3549
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1 hour ago, Shadowmoon.7986 said:

Mechanist is a kitten to the game, we do not need mechanist 2.0. We also do not need to buff afk farming even further. Active play styles should be rewarding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

not if you make them correct.

The main use should come from the opening of the ability and not the minions passive damage. The passive damage of the minions should be low !

But the minions should always be summoned even if the main purpose of the ability gets blocked/evaded for example.

 

The secondary effects of minions should be given by choosing death magic traitline when they rework that with the minions rework.

The secondary effects should be focused on applying non damaging conditions by the pets attacking passively.

To not reward this with overwhelming pet passive gameplay, the internal cooldown on those abilties should be made appropriate!!!

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2 hours ago, Shadowmoon.7986 said:

Mechanist is a kitten to the game, we do not need mechanist 2.0. We also do not need to buff afk farming even further. Active play styles should be rewarding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exactly, which is why minions should be a side product of an active utility. Also, you should have to work to maintain a large army.

The changes I propose would almost eliminate afk necro farms because the max amount of minions would be too burdensome to maintain for a siginificant duration. Paired with requiring to hit before summoning a minion and many of the actives are targetted mobility abilities. It becomes very difficult to design a bot that can maintain its farm.

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1 hour ago, arazoth.7290 said:

But the minions should always be summoned even if the main purpose of the ability gets blocked/evaded for example.

I disagree.  The bulk of the utility is on the active. The summon is the reward timing the skill properly. Requiring a hit would introduce counterplay against mm builds. A skilled player would be able to widdle down the army and prevent the necro from replacing its minions.

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