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.