One Step From Death: Designed Inefficiency (Part 5)

Continuing my look at the necromancer’s situation in each game mode, I’m going to cover the place where necromancer suffers the most: player vs. environment.

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One Step From Death: The Dance of (Self-Countering) Death (Part 4)

To conclude my series on necromancer, I am going to look at each of the game modes and the necromancer’s place within them. First off is sPvP.

Necromancers are immobile, lacking stability and reliant on being ignored in fights to do any appreciable damage. Their stunbreaks are few, their means for avoiding damage limited to manual positioning and dodge rolls.

All of these negative consequences are the result of a poorly-executed attempt to create both skillful play on the part of the necromancer, and counterplay for those against her.

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Holding Strong: Stronghold Potential & Pitfalls

Taking a quick break from necromancer, here is @Poliatore with a look back at the Stronghold Public Beta, and what it can, and shouldn’t, do.


Before April 14th, we only knew theory, blog posts, or some videos made by a few known faces. And we didn’t get to try it ourselves until the Public Beta dropped.

Therefore, after trying it myself for 25 matches (more or less), I’m going to outline the potential that Stronghold has and the possible pitfalls I’ve seen. But first…

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One Step from Death: The Dwarf and the Demon (Part 3)

After looking at all the problems necromancer has, including its core weakness, ironically, of Death Shroud itself, now I’m going to look at the suitor seeking to steal the hearts of necromancer mains everywhere: the revenant.

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One Step from Death: Shrouded in Black and White (Part 2)

A few days ago, I said that I was outlining all the problems with necromancer, then proposing solutions in followup posts. I unintentionally lied.

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One Step from Death: The Necromancer’s Curse (Part 1)

During last week’s Ready Up, all of the trait changes currently in testing were gone over, in what I dare to say is the most transparent ArenaNet has ever been about information in development. Kudos on it, but one positive action does not a trend make.

Part of those trait changes was a look at the rather disappointing results of the necromancer changes (livestream notes here, includes pictures of the traits). Where other professions had terrible traits replaced with intriguing ones, or popular builds retained or even strengthened, the necromancer had practically no change.

And no change is the last thing the necromancer needs as a profession. They’re just one step above pariah status in PvE (yay, Triple Trouble?) and one step below worth taking in high-level sPvP (and far tougher to play due to its mobility/stability weaknesses). The only place they “belong” is in WvW, where the strength of wells and marks isn’t as neatly sidestepped as in sPvP, and boonstripping and chill are ridiculously powerful compared to PvE’s lack of need for both.

As I started looking into the necromancer’s problems and potential fixes, I realized that the profession as a whole is in a serious pickle. It’s stuck between its unique mechanics, the overall intent of the profession, and how much it doesn’t have in common with the other seven (soon to be eight) professions in the game.

Further, solving the core problems depends on what assumptions I make. There’s a bunch of unknowns in the necromancer equation, and without filling in some assumed values there’s no way I can solve them.

So in a break from my normal approach of problem/analysis/solution, I am going to be writing a post series about necromancer. Today, I will go into its problems, the core issue summed up in a single phrase: attrition is the mission.

Disclaimer: I am a necromancer main. My intent is not to make the necromancer godly powerful in all contexts forever and for always, and I seek to use my experience with the profession to analyze deep down what the problems are. If I sound biased, call me on it. Also, for illustration purposes I’m hijacking both of my necromancers (Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2) over the course of this post series.

Continue reading One Step from Death: The Necromancer’s Curse (Part 1)