How exactly does a necromancer play?

#1synister666Posted 4/23/2012 12:35:39 PM
I'm kind of confused as to how it actually plays because I've seen a lot of videos where it seems like hack and slash gamefplay with summoned minions. It almost seems like a melee class with with life stealing and damaging barriers (locust swarm) with multiple pets. I don't see too many direct damage spells or dots and this is supposed to be a caster class. I'm used to playing a lock in WoW so maybe I'm just comparing 2 classes in my mind from 2 different games that are nothing alike. Can you play as a ranged caster with a necro or is it more melee based? I prefer to stay ranged as melee has never been my cup of tea so I may choose an elementalist instead if a necro if thats the case.
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#2Golden_MeanPosted 4/23/2012 12:49:17 PM
Equip a Staff or Scepter main hand.

You are now ranged with access to a variety of DoT/Debuff/Status Ailment-applying skills. It's that easy, don't overthink it.
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#3Phazor58Posted 4/23/2012 12:51:01 PM(edited)
Necromancers are extremely versatile in Guild Wars 2. They can definitely be ranged casters. Their spells primarily consist of life stealing abilities and skills that put conditions (bleeding, poison, etc) on enemies. The ranged weapons for necros are scepters and staffs. But necros can also use axes and daggers. They're not going to be doing melee damage like a warrior, however. Even with the axes and daggers they'll still be able to cast from range, though if you want to hit someone with you weapon you need to be in melee range (and there are a few melee skills that do life stealing damage).

Now here's where the versatility kicks in. Necros can act as "tanks" with their minions holding off enemies. They can also use their Death Shroud ability to go into a mode where they lose life force (which they build up through certain attacks) rather than health. This allows them to sit in close range taking hits (without losing health) while also dishing out a good amount of damage with their Death Shroud skills.

You'll probably be utilizing multiple roles if you play as a Necromancer. But that's true for a lot of the classes. Elementalists, for example, use earth magic which can buff up their defensive skills. This allows them to get in close as well, to an extent.
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#4im_boredPosted 4/23/2012 12:52:06 PM
It really depends on how you build your class (Weapons, Utilities, and Traits).

You can use this tool to play around a bit with different builds
http://www.gw2tools.com/skills#n
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#5Cool_new_namePosted 4/23/2012 12:59:06 PM(edited)
If it's anything like GW, the necromancer will curse the crap out of you.
I'm not interested in the necro yet, so I have no idea. But I hope they are similar to GW1.
#6ixfirebrandxiPosted 4/23/2012 1:02:15 PM(edited)
synister666 posted...
I'm kind of confused as to how it actually plays because I've seen a lot of videos where it seems like hack and slash gamefplay with summoned minions. It almost seems like a melee class with with life stealing and damaging barriers (locust swarm) with multiple pets. I don't see too many direct damage spells or dots and this is supposed to be a caster class. I'm used to playing a lock in WoW so maybe I'm just comparing 2 classes in my mind from 2 different games that are nothing alike. Can you play as a ranged caster with a necro or is it more melee based? I prefer to stay ranged as melee has never been my cup of tea so I may choose an elementalist instead if a necro if thats the case.

Staff necros in this game are a pretty interesting class. Basically what you do with a staff is you can throw down "mines" at pretty large ranges and anybody who steps on them gets a different effect on them. You can place these mines from short range to long range and they work exactly like any other aoe skill with a radius cursor. Each mine has their own effect, to name a few you have fear, poison, chill, damage, transfer ally conditions to enemies.

Scepter necros play like a more traditional warlock. They have long range conditions and nukes on the main hand and you have a choice of focus/warhorn/dagger offhand to provide support / damage / control

Also note to be efficient in guild wars 2 you will need to use two weapon sets to be effective, so if you want to go straight up range you will need to go scepter/offhand and a staff.
#7Cool_new_namePosted 4/23/2012 1:00:19 PM
I hear they feel like the tankiest caster class in the game.
#8prevoraPosted 4/23/2012 1:02:14 PM

from the amount of hours i have seen on the necro in gw2 , they will be a very tough profession to take down because of all the tools they have at their disposal , fear for kiting , marks , wells ,  debuffs , health steal , and minions , that and from the looks of things , they are a damage over time type profession , so build for toughness and make sure you can out last your prey because in the end the amount of damage you will be doing will far exceed anything depending on how long it carries on , this is their blessing as well as their curse ,  since they are not burst damage  .  but damage over time  , they will out damage anyone  in the end .

 

#9ixfirebrandxiPosted 4/23/2012 1:08:48 PM(edited)
prevora posted...
from the amount of hours i have seen on the necro in gw2 , they will be a very tough profession to take down because of all the tools they have at their disposal , fear for kiting , marks , wells , debuffs , health steal , and minions , that and from the looks of things , they are a damage over time type profession , so build for toughness and make sure you can out last your prey because in the end the amount of damage you will be doing will far exceed anything depending on how long it carries on , this is their blessing as well as their curse , since they are not burst damage . but damage over time , they will out damage anyone in the end .

this is not true, with Axe and spec'd into the power trait line you can have pretty high bursts
#10Duke DarkwoodPosted 4/23/2012 1:04:44 PM
Basically - your combat skills (1-5) depend on your weapon type. You can choose axe or daggers and be a melee role, or you can stick with scepters and staves to be a "traditional caster".

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/List_of_necromancer_skills#Weapon_skills

There's a list of what skills they get based on weapon combinations. Note that in any given build, for any profession, with any weapon type, skill "1" is usually "repeatable" (as in, it can act as an "auto-attack" once you use it on an enemy). Although I'm told this option can be disabled.

(Also, "spear" and "trident" are underwater-specific weapons, so those skills will only be applicable when underwater.)

Also, one more thing to be aware of: Since every profession except Elementalist (due to Attunements) and Engineers (due to Kits) can have a "swap weapon", you can basically pick two builds to go with. Maybe one melee and one caster, or maybe the two different types for casters (staff and scepter&focus, for example). Maybe even two melee, although necromancers have ONLY two real melee setups (dual dagger or axe&dagger).

Lastly: Charts are fine and good, but if you've preordered, or signed up and get picked, you can simply go into the beta and try it out yourself. Try melee. Try caster. You can mix and match Necromancer weapons 10 different ways! (There is a chart on wiki that says they have 12, but it counts the aquatic builds.)
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"As the good archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself." -Danilo Thann