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Balancing the necromancer's special mechanisms


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It will be unpopular but, I don't really care.

Introduction:Since release the necromancer's special mechanisms have been a source of struggle and imbalance even if for most of the time it was mostly underpowered instead of overpowered. The main offending point is that the mechanisms are used simultaneously as the main mean of defense and offense while also being a great part of the necromancer's support. Simply put, it does to much at the same time and when it's brought to a decent level of anything it become overpowered.

The mechanisms:The core shroud have been plague by a really poor kit of skills since release. It's a slow semi ranged form which always struggled to achieve anything until the last patch where the numerous buff to survivability end up paying when the global damage have gone down.

The reaper shroud started out as low damage fast attacking melee form which wasn't satisfying for the player base and ended up pushing ANet toward a path of damage increase that led the shroud into it's current state of main mean of damage. While it's now satisfying to play without being at a competitive level of efficiency, it's ability to soak damage at the same time that it deal damage is a true issue.

The scourge's shade mechanisms followed the lead of the previous shroud and ended up leaning heavily on damage as well. The other professions have been crying about it's damages since release and ANet apply the nerf bat again and again to no avail until they just broke the thing.

The solution:The solution is, before all, a shift in the way the shroud is viewed. It can't be help for the shroud to be the necromancer's defensive mechanism since it naturally shield the health pool, so there is a need to go back toward a shroud that is poor at dealing damage. And to balance out the necromancer's damage, there should be a way to use LF to increase the out of shroud damage output.

In essence, my suggestion to balance thing would thus be to create a flip skill "exit shroud" that will be affected by the trait that currently buff the in shroud damage, while reducing the base shroud coefficients.

Core:F1 Death shroud can now be flipped into Death surge.Death surge: absorb all remaining life force giving increasing your ferocity by 150 for 6 seconds + 1 seconds per 20% LF consumed.Awaken the pain: you no longer gain might when entering shroud, now gain might when using Death surge.Life from death: now apply when you use death surge, heal increased based on the amount of LF consumed.Soul barb: grant 10% damage buff while under the effect of death surge.Death perception: grant 33% critical chance and 150 ferocity while under the effect of death surge.

Life blast: reduced coefficient to 0.666 in PvE (0.444 in sPvP/WvW), reduced cast time to 3/4. (basically staff auto damage and attack speed)

Reaper:F1 Reaper shroud can now be flipped into Reaper scythe.Reaper's scythe: Push all remaining life force into your scythe giving you the reaper shroud skillset as a kit for 6 seconds + 1 second per 20% LF consumed. While you use this kit you are under the effect of death surge, your life isn't shielded by life force you can use your ustility skills. (releasing the kit does not refund life force).Reaper onslaught: Gain ferocity and quickness while you use the reaper's scythe

Scourge:Shade skills effects also happen at the scourge position.F2, F3, F4 no longer proc manifest sand shade.F5 Desert shroud no longer deal damage or apply torment but periodically blind foes and put you under the effect of death surge.Herald of sorrow: Change desert shroud to no longer blind foes. Instead using desert shroud consume all LF, extending the duration of desert shroud by 1 second for every additional 1k LF consumed. (6 seconds base at 4606 LF cost, potentially + 5-6 seconds without additionnal vitality, can last up to 25 seconds with an heavy vitality build in sPvP)Sand sage and blood as sand now also grant their full effect when you are under the effect of death surge.

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No. Just. No. These are horrible changes that neither improve on offence nor on defense. If anything, you're making necro even more vulnerable in PvP/WvW. Death Surge....you can't replace a mechanic, especially the single mechanic core has just for a stat increase that can easily be achieved by traits. So you spend all that time building up lifeforce for just a stat increase? And how does an increase in ferocity help with various other builds? You are clearly only thinking about dps. Now I do agree Death Shroud needs some work cos the skills within aren't that great, but that could come either in the form of skill rework or adjustment of numbers (as a bandaid until they can rework). And what's your beef with Desert Shroud? Why gut Scourge's "best" offensive shroud skill like that? And the rest of your scourge changes means that a druid invested in Harrier gear will probably outdps a dps scourge.

All these are hard nerfs. You can preface it with "change our view on shroud" all you want, doesn't change that these changes are bad.

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The idea is not too bad but it does make F1 much simpler when people complain about Necromancer being too easy to play at lower skill levels.

Now, if F1 could be used to supercharge skills on the normal skill bar and there was an F2 block (Reaper), reflect (core), or barrier (Scurge) skill for sustain and all use cost LF, then Shroud could be separated from the transform provided key shroud skills are enabled on some normal skills.

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The only issue with this is that it does not handle not having hard defenses and would require a major rework across the core kit of all elite specs to have the things that other professions have.

Which is gonnan take alot more work and will likely have alot more broken states before its properly balanced.

Your solution only looks at the main target problem without considering the overall that is necromancer.

  • The amount of damage they would need to rebalance back to the core weapons
  • The defensive utilities they would need to power creep and rework
  • The number of traits they would need to rework and redesign outside of the ones that are just on f1 trigger

ITs a ground up rework which is very expensive and time consuming. Overall the safer bet is trying to tone down the damage reduction or the totall pool for proper adjustment.

That said if you wanted to remove shroud in general why not just say make something similar to holo forge kit transform

f1s are now kits that trans form you and dont protect your hplf slowly drains over time while the form is active. Skills now have lower cooldowns but each skill consumes a set amount of LF

Even then though still would have to reconsider so many other things from a defensive aspect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@"Methuselah.4376"I think you didn't understood (or try to understand) what I wrote.The point is that you keep the shroud, except damage in shroud are heavily reduced. You then have the possibility to "trade" the shroud for a temporary increase in damage out of shroud.

As for desert shroud, the fact is that this skill doing damage is an issue. It's been an issue since PoF release and for the sake of stopping the unending streak of stupid nerf all around the issue, it need to be reworked into a more neutral skill. What I do with it simply make dealing damage with "out of shroud" tools easier.

@kroof.5468It's more akin to revenant than guardian thought. It doesn't make the necromancer blander than it already is so it's no biggy.

@"Anchoku.8142"It doesn't make F1 much simpler. It give you the choice to use LF for defense or spend it all for offense. The "shroud" would still be there for defense but not for offense. The goal is to dissociate the offense from the "in shroud" state, not to remove the shroud.

@"ZDragon.3046"I don't think there would be a need for more defense. All in all what I suggest don't touch the necromancer's defense (or support) at all. I'm just redirecting the damage source from "in shroud" to "out of shroud" and using life force as a "fuel" for the "out of shroud" damages in the form of a "buff" for which you sacrifice all your LF.

As for what would be needed to be tinkered with it's not much more than what I wrote (well, Reaper shroud would most likely need some damage toning down, while reaper's scythe would keep the current coefficients). At most they would have to touch the "on shrd#1 use" traits (which are already a balance issue since HoT due to the fact that those traits work way better with some e-spec than the core.).

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