Necro traits, balance and opinions

Necro traits, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Well this is a write up on our traits, and how I think they can be improved, where necessary. You can find my previous thread, about our skills here. Enjoy the read, it’s a little bit of a long one, and all discussion and feedback is welcome.

Spite

Spite has a few good traits, but it also has a lot of crap ones, which is pretty typical of all our trait lines.

Parasitic bond is pretty terrible (even if it worked at all, which last time I checked, it doesn’t), since the whole idea of bonuses after killing something is pointless except when facing trash in PvE. This needs to be basically junked and replaced with something that is actual useful when it matters – during the fight.
EDIT: Someone just today noticed that they did fix this trait, it now heals a bit over 1k (haven’t tested to see if it’s flat or % based). Regardless, it’s still only useful while facing a whole bunch of mobs.

Death into life seems like an alright trait, until you remember healing power is a pretty poor stat, especially for necro’s, and doesn’t scale with life steal at all. If healing power was actually useful, this trait might be as well.

Siphoned power had a very marginal use previously, where it would always activate during DS (as with all hp trigger effects). However now that it’s been fixed it truly it a very poor trait, especially for a GM minor trait. The might duration isn’t that long (5 seconds?), so upping the hp trigger to 50% or something and this trait could be just dandy.

Death’s embrace is a trait every (most?) classes have. It’s basically a waste of space, but I guess our 3rd skil will do a ton of damage?

Spiteful talisman is fairly useful, mainly for spinal shivers as the extra range does not affect the range of the bounce on reaper’s touch (600), limiting its use there. If they bounce range also increased by 300, it would be even more useful, but is still good as is, allowing you to use your focus skills frequently during a fight (although seriously, spinal shiver’s cast time is pretty ridiculous.)

Spiteful removal is yet another on kill trait, which only has a niche use on some condition heavy group of mobs that may or may not actually exist. As with all on kill traits, this should be dumped.

Signet mastery is pretty weak considering our signets aren’t actually that good. It would be better if it was merged with signet power, although I would still never use it myself, perhaps some people would with the recent locust signet boost.

Spiteful spirit is a very solid trait, the duration is a little short (although any longer would probably make it too strong with the DS CD reduction trait), but when used properly it is extremely helpful. Encourages smart use of DS, which is always good.

Reaper’s might is a kinda, sorta alright trait. Life blast fires too slow for it to be terribly effective for might stacking in PvP, but in PvE it could be useful, especial if you have some added boon duration. Nothing really wrong with this trait, but looks poor compared to unyielding blast.

Spiteful marks adds damage to skills that overall don’t do terribly much damage to begin with, although a fair few people seem to like it. It could do with a plain old boost to 15-20%, or cause an added effect of some sort.

Signet power should be merged with signet mastery, or boosts very considerably, 3 stacks of might is a joke.

Training of the master is fine, minions aren’t. Would be better in my view as an adept trait, so people going MM aren’t pigeon holed so much in trait choice.

Chill of death is a nice trait that can help with finishing an opponent off, stripping any inconvenient protection/stability or whatever. Slightly less useful in PvE, simply because most mobs don’t have boons.

Axe training gives a bit of a lackluster result for a GM trait, although that’s more because the axe itself isn’t that amazing right now. Currently not worth investing 30 points for, but if the axe got buffed a bit more (that is to say, axe 1), it could be pretty decent.

Close to death is a pretty good trait, save for the complaint that it doesn’t affect condition damage. Also bolt to the heart, an elementalist adept trait that does the same thing only at 33% hp makes this seem not quite so great for a GM trait.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

Necro traits, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Curses

I would say that curses is possibly our best trait line, in that all three minor’s are good (or at least useful), and that the majority of the major’s are legitimately useful.

Barbed precision is a good little trait, although it’s 1 second duration is lackluster compared to the warrior’s 5 second version, it’s still useful for a bit of extra damage.

Furious demise is a great trait, that helps me get 97% crit chance in WvW, and is generally very nice for power builds. If only all our traits were as useful.

Target the weak is a very good trait, that also provides synergy with other trait in the line (such as barbed precision and withering precision) to improve its effect. Is overall not as good as the thieves version (10% more damage as long as they have a condition on them), but is still very good, and edges out in larger fights. Great against bosses in PvE.

Toxic landing is invaluable in WvW, but pretty much useless elsewhere, but I can’t ask any more of it than that. One thing I notice however is that often the toxic field won’t form even though it’s definitely not on CD, and that it’s CD in general is rather long for its effect.

Hemophilia is a great trait, and many necro’s wouldn’t leave home without it.
Chilling darkness is a great trait now that it works with plague form, although in general we don’t actually have that many ways to blind. Still a solid trait none the less.

Weakening shroud is a decent trait that I personally use quite often. My only gripe with it is the CD (15 seconds) which I think should be 10, but I can live with it as it is, as weakness is rather good in PvE where mobs don’t (often?) crit, and in PvP where the reduced endurance recharge rate alone I find rather nice.

Reaper’s precision is a bit of a joke, even at 50% I wonder whether I would consider it, as it’s effect (just 1%!) is simply way too low. Boost the amount and/or chance, and it could be decent, as well as giving scepter users another way to build some LF.

Terror is a trait that seems to becoming popular recently, especially since the patch upped its damage, although I’m not a personal fan due to that difficultly of getting multiple long duration fears (mainly in PvP) with the condition damage to back it up and still be viable. But regardless, the trait itself is solid.

Master of corruption lacks a bit – epidemic has a short CD to start with, I have problems with blood is power and poison cloud that I’ve written In my previous thread, leaving only corrupt boon that it proves useful for. I think it would be more interesting if this trait removed the self applied condition gimmick of corruptions, or even added them to the applied effects.

Banshee’s wail is a personal favorite of mine, giving you a 3s aoe daze and access to permanent swiftness with no other investment save having spectral walk on your bar (although you have to activate the horn and walk as soon as they come off CD to keep swiftness up nonstop). If the tooltips actually updated to reflect the boost of effect from this trait it would be perfect.

Focused ritual is a great trait as is, allowing you to project you circles where ever you need them to be, without putting yourself in the thick of it. I feel that the four well traits (focused rituals, ritual of protection, ritual mastery and vampiric rituals, although focused rituals and ritual mastery are clearly the best of the 4) would serve us better if they were merged into 2 traits, and free up those other two spots of other useful traits.

Spectral attunement I guess is a decent trait, but as far as I’m aware, is basically wasted on spectral grasp, which is a bit of a problem when that a quarter of the skills it effects (maybe make the life force on use better for grasp then the others?).

Lingering curses is a staple for most, if not all scepter users, and is generally a very good trait. My only complaint is that making it a GM trait sort of forces you into making a crit heavy build, even though conditions don’t inherently gain that much from crits.

Withering precision is (in my opinion) an extremely good trait, it’s fairly easy to apply permanent weakness on someone (weakening shroud also helps), which is useful in of itself, but also works well with target the weak as I’ve mentioned before. This is how traits should work together. Also people undervalue weakness, at least in my opinion.

Death magic

Death magic has a few rather decent traits, but it’s clear that Anet made this as the ‘minion trait line’ , which would be fine, if It didn’t pigeon hole you into with its minor traits, or better yet, if all necromancer had reason to actually use minions in the first place (because I don’t know about you, but for a necromancer, I don’t do much necromancy). As with everything to do with minions, fix their AI first, then we can take a legitimate look.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

Necro traits, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Reanimator… dear oh dear, I’m pretty sure everyone already has a firm opinion about this trait, so I’ll simply say if they want to keep it as is, the jagged horror needs to be more useful. My favorite suggestion was to make it do something when it died, which would make its woefully short life seem like less of a waste.

Protection of the horde is a simple, yet effective trait for MM build’s, but I’ll say once again that I don’t like forcing this trait line to be about minions by putting something like this as a minor trait.

Deadly strength is another simple trait, but it’s certainly a useful one, if you can justify 25 points into death magic.

Dark armor could actually be fairly useful, considering we have a few key channels, namely axe and dagger 2, and life transfer. If for example, you were running axe training, you are going to spend quite a bit of time channeling ghastly claws (the CD is what, 6.5seconds or something?), making you a fair bit tougher to kill. This tends to get overshadowed by greater marks however, which in general is of greater use.

Greater marks, last I checked didn’t actually make marks unblockable, but having the larger area alone is extremely useful for staff users, and is a staple trait for good reason.

Minion master is a good trait for well, minion masters. It does well for that build, so I suppose you can’t really ask more of it.

Ritual of protection of protection is lacking simply because you’re unlikely to have more than two wells in a particular build, and their CD’s are so long that I have to wonder how I could justify using it. Perhaps if the duration was as long as the well itself, (that is, 5 seconds) it might be a little better. This is also part of the reason why I think the well traits should be combined, as I mentioned earlier.

Staff mastery is a decent trait, I supposed. It’s only problem is that it’s simply overshadowed by greater marks, which is simply far better than staff mastery. Pretty much the only time you would use this is if you really love the staff, and used it in the 20 point slot.

Shrouded removal is actually rather good, it’s only a shame that it’s in this trait line, otherwise I would be using it myself. While not as good as the guardian’s straight up 1 condition per 10 seconds trait (since you’re unlikely to being going in and out of DS every 10 seconds just for this trait), It would be very strong if you were using it with near to death, although I’m not sure in what situation you would realistically be using these two traits, it’s something to keep in mind.

Spiteful vigor is a nice idea (I’m a fan of retaliation), but I don’t think the duration is long enough to justify it. It doesn’t even activate on the blood fiend’s active heal, so you can’t make a gimmicky use of that. Up the duration by just a few seconds and this could be great however.

Reaper’s protection is a pretty useful trait in PvP, giving us a nice two second fear on CC, often stopping or interrupting an enemies burst, and it’s even better with the newly buffed terror. The CD is rather long, but with the right build it is well worth it.

Death shiver is a nice idea, but the rate at which you’re applying vulnerability is just way to slow. 1 stack per second, with a slightly shorter CD would be far more useful, as having to stay in for 12 seconds just to manage 4 stacks of vulnerability is simply just not worth it. Alternatively of course they could make it a few stacks per tick, but I like the idea of encouraging you to stay in DS a while, as most other bonuses are purely ‘on entering DS”.

Flesh of the master is pretty straight forward, although as I’ve said many times before, minion AI needs to be fixed before I can say how balanced this is, although at the moment minions in general are fairly squishy.

Death nova is pretty uninspiring to be honest, having the poison, and the field is great (totally adds to our variety of combo fields, right?), but some straight damage would make this much more interesting, and more useful, as it’s a bit sad when you look at mesmers inflicting confusion and random conditions and whatnot when their illusions die.

Necromatic corruption might be good? I dunno, fix the AI etc etc. Also this would in general be pretty poor for PvE, due to the lack of many boons.

Blood magic

Blood magic is a bit of a mixed bag, but overall good do with some serious improvements to fix redundant or effectively useless traits.

Full of life is a good trait, not amazing, but that bit of regeneration is going to be applied every 30 seconds pretty much for the entirety of a fight, so I don’t think I can ask more from a 5 point trait, although it would be nice if it worked while in DS.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

Necro traits, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Vampiric is a pretty disappointing trait, you have to hit I believe 4 targets a second to beat regeneration, it gain anything from healing power (last I checked), and like all healing, does nothing at all during DS. What’s really bad about these health stealing traits, is that in PvE/WvW, Food gives you a far, far stronger life steal (320 or so hp per crit, against 25 per hit) for no trait investment at all. Sure, food in general is very strong, but when it’s like ten times stronger than your traits, it really does not impress. I understand that Anet might be worried that if it was stronger we could somehow make some unkillable build, but honestly all of our life stealing needs a fair bit of a buff before it’s even worth considering. (I’m sure some people will strongly disagree with me over my opinions on life stealing, and I would honestly love to be proven wrong, as that would mean we have more viable builds.)

Blood to power would be great, if the trigger was under 90% instead of above it, as you’re unlikely to spend a great deal of time in any fight above 90% health. Quite disappointing considering it’s a 25 point trait.

Dagger mastery isn’t that great for a few reasons, firstly, it’s one of only a handful of weapon CD reducing traits that is 15% instead of 20% (necro funnily enough has 3 out of 4 of them), and secondly you’re unlikely to get the full use out of the trait, as having two daggers is rather rare; I think our daggers are the only weapon that is radically different when used in MH and OH. I want to say merge dagger mastery and quickening thirst, but I honestly wouldn’t use it even then, as it’s pretty easy to get permanent swiftness, or simply use a locust signet for more reliable speed. A simple damage buff instead of/along with the current bonus would be much better in my opinion.

Bloodthirst boosts a weak mechanic to slightly less flabby levels. Maybe if you were using vampiric, vampiric precision, bloodthirst, omnomberry pies, dagger mastery and spammed life siphon a lot it would be useful, Who knows. If life stealing was more reasonable, then this trait would be as well.

Mark of evasion was once a glorious trait, giving a blast finisher to bolster our pretty lackluster collection of finishers, allowing us to do some interesting interactions with our team mates. Although the finisher was removed (and the bug with the number of bleeds ignored), it’s still a pretty decent trait, giving you some nice aoe bleeds and regen, and is probably the best adept trait of this line.

Ritual of life has a pretty good effect, but I’m more interested in making sure my allies don’t get downed in the first place. Never the less, if you expect yourself to be reviving a lot of people, this is a good trait for it.

Vampiric precision is in the same boat as vampiric.

Transfusion… is actually pretty good, giving your allies a fairly decent heal every now and then. I only wish it would heal yourself, as currently the only way to do that is to activate life transfer at such a time that you’ll get knocked out of DS due to damage/degeneration after you started casting. A pretty decent support trait, if only we had more.

Vampiric master is in the same boat as vampiric, as well as the ‘fix the AI boat’.
Ritual mastery is rather nice, because wells in general, are rather nice. What’s more to say?

Deathly invigoration heals for a abysmally low amount, giving something like a large tick of regeneration worth of health. Needs a noticeable buff.

Quickening thirst was, and is, the poorest way for a necro to get a speed boost, as swiftness is so much easier to get and maintain, and now locust also out shines it, not having to rely on the weapons in your hands to give you that movement speed. Give us a trait to boost dagger damage, make a 20/25% speed boost only need one dagger, or better yet, bring it back to the old 10/5% levels but make it stack with locust.
Fetid consumption is actually a pretty good trait to keep you nice and condition free in PvP, if MM builds weren’t broken/were viable. Trait is fine, other than bone minions not working with this trait the last I checked (which was a while ago).

Vampiric rituals could possibly be good in PvE, if used with vampiric, vampiric precision, bloodthirst, omnomberry pies, multiple enemies that weren’t inclined to move, and multiple wells. Or something like that. Guess life steal is good, after all. Edit: actually, I’ve been told bloodthirst doesn’t effect this trait. Whelp.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Soul reaping

Soul reaping has some real gems in it, and none that strike me as downright bad, so it’s unfortunate that it’s secondary bonus (crit damage) is completely wasted unless you invest in some precision. Overall, a very solid trait line (as far as necro trait lines go).

Gluttony, oh dear. I, along with many others, were hoping for a lot from this trait going into the 14th patch, but we came out pretty disappointed. At least it works now, but when you look at certain other 5 point traits in the last trait (cough mesmers, rangers, elementalists, Thieves, Guardians cough) there leaves a lot to be desired. Just spamming dagger one, you get 0.6% life force roughly every two seconds. You lose 4% per second in DS, and it’s roughly equivalent to 130 hp if you lose it via damage.

Last gasp is a very good trait, if every trait we had was as useful, I wouldn’t be making this thread. The only downside is the fact that you lose the spectral armor buff if you go into DS, which you should be doing very often. If Anet doesn’t want us to get the benefit of spectral armor/walk inside DS, fine, but why make it removed the buff altogether?

Strength of undeath isn’t the strongest trait, but it’s by no means useless, as you’ll have over 50% life force for a good period of time in most fights, depending on your weapons, and format (starting with zero LF in PvP, oh dear).

Fear of death I suppose could be useful in TPvP if you have good team mates to take advantage of the momentary fear to start getting you up/finishing off the enemy, although as only a one second fear, it has to seriously fight for a slot against some much more generally useful traits.

Vital persistence lets you well, persist in DS longer. This is a trait that is more useful in PvE rather than PvP, as you’re more likely to stay in DS for longer periods of time. Would be nice if they increased the effect of this trait, or just in general reduced LF degeneration, although this trait is still very much regardless.

Path of midnight is a good trait regardless of format, and allows you to maximize your use of DS by being able to actually use those skills more often.

Spectral mastery would be great if it effected last gasp (which as far as I could tell, was not the case), but without that I don’t really feel it’s that great, simply because you’re unlikely to have more than one spectral skill on your bar at a time. If they gave spectral armor stability, as I mentioned in my last thread, I think that would change a fair bit, at the very least in PvP, and I would be more inclined to use this trait.

Speed of shadows would be nice, if it stacks with any other speed boost. Sadly, as is, it’s in the same boat as quickening thirst – completely redundant in light of the competition. (Ok, so I lied, there is one useless trait in this line)

Unyielding blast is another great trait for getting the most out of DS, allowing you to strike multiple enemies at once, and put meaningful stacks of vulnerability (2 for 10 seconds, compared death shiver’s 1 every 3 seconds). This is a very solid trait, and greatly helps making DS more potent.

Mark of revival is great for keeping melee opponents off your back while getting up a team mate, the only real problem this trait has is the stiff competition from adept and other master traits for its slot.

Decaying swarm in my eyes was once an amazing trait, as it would proc when you took a hit in DS regardless of your health, giving me even more delicious locust swarm, which I’m a big fan of. Sadly, now that the hp triggers are working properly, this is a rather poor trait, as the 25% hp trigger is simply far too low to make it useful (ok, so I lied again, but at least this one used to be good). If this triggered at something more reasonable, such as 50%, I would be much more inclined to start using it again.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Master of terror was a trait that I previously considered… niche, to put it kindly, but now that terror can put out some serious damage, using this to secure those 2 and 4 second fears is now a legitimate consideration, although it’s still more of a WvW thing then a PvP thing due to the difficulty of getting that magic 100% fear duration without pizza.

Soul marks isn’t the fanciest trait, but it does give you much better life force generation (which is a problem for a fair few builds), especially with the rate at which you can spam mark of blood.

Foot in the grave is the crowning jewel of necromancer traits (at least as far as PvP is concerned), giving us precious stability on a very short CD. Although the duration isn’t amazing, having any stability at all really is a game changer, allowing us to deal with the plentiful CC we encounter in this game, as well as doing shroud stomps/revives through debatable use of game mechanics (although even then, the duration isn’t long enough to guarantee the stomp). I really can’t emphasize how useful having some stability is in this game, and literally the only downside to this trait is the fact that it requires 30 points in soul reaping, and that you then can’t use the other GM trait, near to death.

Near to death is another really good trait, cutting your DS CD in half, which makes it so much more tactically flexible, and les punishing for using it at the wrong time. It also means you can use certain ‘when entering DS’ boosts more frequently, most notably being furious demise, giving you (at least in theory, it’s not actually practical) permanent fury.

The fact that you have to toss it up between foot in the grave and near to death is really unfortunate (although in PvP/WvW I would say foot in the grave wins hands down), but it’s how our traits should be. We shouldn’t have to look at our traits and think ‘hm, which traits can actually be useful to me’, and instead (like most other classes), think kitten there are so many good traits to choose from, which traits would be best for me”. This would really turn making a build from a rather disappointing experience into a fun one, where you’re trying to make the best build you can, rather than one that simply isn’t bad.
It’s my hope that some of my changes might someday make it through, and start us on that path, but regardless of whether that get used or not, Anet just has to look at traits and skills and ask ‘how can we these interesting and useful, how they might work with other elements of our class and how we can make people want to use them?”

Once again I thank you for taking the time to read all this, and encourage you to provide feedback or discussion (dev’s especially!).

Also I would like to advertise this thread again, as I like a lot of the idea’s he has about DS and the trait lines, so take a look here as well, if you’re interested.

And one last thing, Anet could you please put all the changes you make in the patch notes? There were some great fixes you put in, but we had to discover on our own to find them, making it hard to keep an accurate list of our bugs, as well as making a poor impression to the community then you might otherwise deserve.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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Posted by: Kiriakulos.1690

Kiriakulos.1690

On the interest of getting some discussion going and keeping this short I’ll only post about things I disagree with, mostly this comes down to how situational or sub-par our “good” trait choices are compared to other classes’.

Barbed Precision and Target the Weak are objectively worse than both Warrior’s minor traits. Since our bleeds are only 1 second long we need a full 100% to give it an extra tick, a warrior would only need 20%.
Target the Weak’s increase per condition is too situational outside of world boss fights, keeping 5 or more distinct conditions going against an enemy takes way too much effort compared to a simple bleed for warriors or ANY condition for thieves and they get a straight 10% increase from that.

Hemophilia gives 20% increase bleed time, Warriors have deep cuts that gives 50%, same trait slot, same line.

Withering Precision isn’t a bad trait, but it shouldn’t be a grandmanster greater trait.
Thieves have an easier time keeping weakness going with their Master’s minor trait then we do with this and weakness is an odd condition.
The main issue is that it only reduces non-crit damage and any player that deals alot of white damage tends to trait high into critical damage and chance, both of which are unaffected by weakness. So it doesn’t affect the main source of physical damage in the game. I’d trade in the reduced energy recharge for turning 50% of crits into normal attacks any day.

hum that was short, but the real issue with Necromancers isn’t our lack of “great” traits it’s the lack of synergy between traits and builds, it’s a harder problem to fix then just buffing numbers, traits do need to be rearranged and many redesigned.

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Posted by: lettucemode.3789

lettucemode.3789

Parasitic Bond and Spiteful Removal trigger when you gain credit for a kill, not just when you get the killing blow. At least, I’m pretty sure about that. If it is true then the traits are fine, you can gain health and lose conditions just for tagging in a zerg. Will test and report back.

EDIT: Yep, you just need to tag. So I disagree with OP’s assessment, these traits are fine. https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/necromancer/Parasitic-bond-FIXED/first#post1052091

Death into Life is fine, it gives power necros more uptime through regen or dagger 2.

Siphoned Power is good on paper, and it’s useful when you have high toughness and can take lots of hits at low HP. Could use a buff.

Axe Training is outclassed by Close to Death, I see very little reason to ever take it. It should be moved elsewhere.

I’ve seen Reaper’s Precision used in condition builds that lack a lot of life force generation, and I think that is its niche. Could use a buff, though.

Spectral Attunement works with Spectral Grasp, I tested it last night. Not sure what you mean when you say it’s wasted.

Reanimator is fine now. They reduced the degen rate and remove the cap of only 1 at a time. Someone posted earlier this week, saying they could have 3 – 5 out at a time. With 20 extra toughness per minion I’d say it’s quite good now.

Greater Marks used to have a bug where it could still be blocked. That was, like, months ago. They fixed it. When was the last time you checked?

I use Vampiric and Vampiric Precision extensively. I find that they allow me to make a build that is very defensive and offensive at the same time, and really plays into the strength that Anet touts concerning the necromancer – attrition. All those siphons basically act like bonus toughness, mitigating some portion of the incoming attacks. They are not intended to be used to nullify all damage, except maybe for the channel on dagger 2 (heals over 3k with my build). I run a knight’s power build with these two traits and Bloodthirst and I’m pretty untouchable in WvWvW. I am working on a simple video to show the build off, might post that in the next day or so depending on my motivation.

Vampiric Rituals only works well in PvE, and believe me, I’ve tried using it everywhere. It needs to be affected by Bloodthirst or otherwise buffed.

Gluttony is fine now. Only an extra .6% from dagger 1 chain, yes, but an extra .3% from marks, .8% from axe 2, .3% every time you take damage while under the effects of Spectral Walk or Armor…it adds up. I have trouble using all my life force on my necro, believe it or not.

For Last Gasp, you keep the protection boon when you go into DS. The reason the buff is removed is because they don’t want you gaining life force while in DS simply for taking damage. Which makes sense.

Spectral Mastery is a solid trait. You can get perma-swiftness more reliably than taking Banshee’s Wail, there’s more leeway in between casts to keep it up all the time. The other spectral spells really shine when using this, especially combined with Spectral Attunement. Fine as is.

Speed of Shadows is almost useless, as is Quickening Thirst, forgot about that one earlier. Agree.

(edited by lettucemode.3789)

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Posted by: Manos.5486

Manos.5486

Individually I think we have some decent traits. But I’m not a fan of the trait placement among the trees. For example, I don’t think staff and minion abilities should be in the same tree. Wells and Spectral abilities are spread over too many unrelated trees for example.

Also, it seems to me like the major trait options in our survivability trees (Death and Blood magic) do precious little towards actually increasing our survivability. Minimal self buffing in there, no vigor, no stability. limited bonus condition removal, few automatic (at x% you gain y) abilities, etc. And most traits are only useful if you take wells or minions. There are very few universal traits that other classes get access to. There are a few, but they’re either not very good (ie deathly invigoration), or are pretty situational and probably won’t be of much help (like spiteful vigor).

It seems a pretty ambitious task to rejig the whole tree for Necros though, so it will never happen. But I’d like to see fewer minion and well traits and more universal traits.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

There are some points that are worth mentioning. Greater Marks applies to Mark of Evasion and Mark of Revival. Ritual of Protection also applies to Ritual of Life.

Other than that, I don’t have much to add.

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Posted by: QSpec.4298

QSpec.4298

I won’t comment too much on the direct list. I will say that I think that virtually every trait we have should be examined. They are largely ineffective, almost universally boring, and when they are useful, they seem to be randomly placed in the trees.

That said, I would be careful when comparing traits. Not every class should have commensurate traits. Just because a Necro gets +10% on something doesn’t mean a Warrior should also have +10%. The bigger picture is much, much more important. Moreover, a lot of these comparisons compare a Necro tier 1 passive to another classes tier 2 passive, which by virtue of where they are, the tier 2 should be stronger (it requires more investment).

That said, I do not feel as if I have any meaningful trait choices when going through the Necro trait lines. One should really roll a thief or mesmer and pick traits. Doing that alone is fun. So many of the traits choices feel good and interesting if not completely useful.

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Posted by: QSpec.4298

QSpec.4298

Parasitic Bond and Spiteful Removal trigger when you gain credit for a kill, not just when you get the killing blow. At least, I’m pretty sure about that. If it is true then the traits are fine, you can gain health and lose conditions just for tagging in a zerg. Will test and report back.

I don’t think they are that fine though. They are essentially wasted skills until you win the fight. They could be useful in WvWvW and PvE, but they are virtually worthless in sPvP. They should make them traits you can choose to spec into (with a commensurate buff) instead of making them mandatory traits. The same should go for the guardian passive that is also “on kill”. There is precedence for this in the warrior and ranger trait lines.

Death into Life is fine, it gives power necros more uptime through regen or dagger 2.

Also not fine. We are talking literally 10s of extra hit points. It does increase the survivability of the necro slightly, but it would be barely passable as a tier 1 trait, much less a tier 2 trait. It is largely as good as there being nothing there.

Reanimator is fine now. They reduced the degen rate and remove the cap of only 1 at a time. Someone posted earlier this week, saying they could have 3 – 5 out at a time. With 20 extra toughness per minion I’d say it’s quite good now.

I covered this above a bit. I agree with you. I love seeing the little blood rat running around in PvE, and I don’t think there is much of a problem there any longer. That said, he is still a relatively rare and/or useless thing in sPvP. The extra damage is pretty minor (about a tick of blood every two seconds is my guess.. does anyone have numbers on this?), and the extra defense is wanted during the fight, not after it.

I use Vampiric and Vampiric Precision extensively. I find that they allow me to make a build that is very defensive and offensive at the same time, and really plays into the strength that Anet touts concerning the necromancer – attrition. All those siphons basically act like bonus toughness, mitigating some portion of the incoming attacks. They are not intended to be used to nullify all damage, except maybe for the channel on dagger 2 (heals over 3k with my build). I run a knight’s power build with these two traits and Bloodthirst and I’m pretty untouchable in WvWvW. I am working on a simple video to show the build off, might post that in the next day or so depending on my motivation.

Well… you are about the first person I have heard say that they are okay. I think the problem is the damage they “mitigate” is almost nothing. Seriously, I ran an sPvP vampiric build. It was fun, and I did fairly well. Then I took off the vampiric traits, and I continued doing just as well. Over the course of a fight, it will “mitigate” a few hundred (at most) damage. This (in the burst environment of pvp) amounts to about 1 hit. If you win by one hit, you can certainly rest assured it was your vampire build, aside from that, you are missing better traits and better builds IMO. I would be interested in seeing your video though (and equally interested in seeing a video with the exact same build sans the two traits in question).

Gluttony is fine now. Only an extra .6% from dagger 1 chain, yes, but an extra .3% from marks, .8% from axe 2, .3% every time you take damage while under the effects of Spectral Walk or Armor…it adds up. I have trouble using all my life force on my necro, believe it or not.

I’m iffy on gluttony. It is a pretty minor amount, but it is a 5 point skill. It might be silently helpful (never really feels helpful but does add a tiny bit more survivability). I wouldn’t say useful, but I certainly wouldn’t say useless just yet.

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Posted by: lettucemode.3789

lettucemode.3789

Hey QSpec, I do very little sPvP, so my statements are coming from an almost exclusive WvWvW experience. You disagree with several of my points, that’s fine, I defer to your experience in sPvP. My Vampiric build is definitely less effective against burst classes like thieves since the fights are much shorter (though I still often win), and from what I understand sPvP is rather full of burst builds, so I agree it wouldn’t work as well there. I haven’t tried my build in sPvP at all actually, mostly because the Knight’s trinket is different (vitality instead of toughness).

(edited by lettucemode.3789)

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

The problem with the vampiric traits is you can simply use life steal food, and put those traits somewhere more useful and you’ll have better life steal anyway. So yes, the traits aren’t useless, I just can’t justify using them, in sPvP I find them even worse.

And sure, parasitic bond/spiteful removal could be useful in a zerg fight in WvW (although they both have CD’s), in general they’re not that useful – sure, I’d rather have them then nothing, but I’d much sooner have something more generally useful as well.

Death in to life is in a similar situation, you’re unlikely to get much more then 100 healing power out of it, which hey, it’s free stats, but the effect is very low (12.5hp/s with 100 additional healing power for regeneration).

Yeah, axe training is clearly out classed.

When I meant spectral attunement was wasted, I was more referring to the extended duration part then the life force part, so yeah, not entirely wasted, but you don’t get the full effect either.

Reanimator does have a CD, so to get 3-5 out with just the trait would require to to give them a good bit of regen, but yeah, not impossible.

I haven’t explicitly checked greater marks for quite a while, I do use it in sPvP though, but then there isn’t a message saying ‘not blocked’, so I guess I never noticed, whoops.

With gluttony, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that it actually works now, but spamming dagger 1 non stop is 60 LF or less per second extra, once again it’s a ‘better then nothing’ sort of deal.

I know that you keep protection from spectral armor, but what I’m saying is to simply not making the spectral armor buff work in DS, same as regeneration for example. regeneration doesn’t heal you in DS, but it doesn’t just remove it for no reason either. Currently it means that if I jump into DS for just a moment to interrupt, I’m throwing away a really good buff, for no real logical reason.

Yeah, nothing wrong with spectral mastery, It’s just most we often don’t run around with multiple spectral skills to take advantage of that, since we need the slots for other stuff.

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Posted by: Softspoken.2410

Softspoken.2410

Protection of the horde is a simple, yet effective trait for MM build’s, but I’ll say once again that I don’t like forcing this trait line to be about minions by putting something like this as a minor trait.

As far as I can tell, this is the only minor trait in the game that has no effect unless you take a specific category of heal / utility / elite skill. Every other minor trait in the game can be utilized with weapon skills, the class specific mechanic, or general mechanics such as dodging(1) or the presence of boons & conditions, but this one from the necromancer requires the usage of a minion skill, something it’s very easy to build a skill bar without including. The only minor traits that I can find that come close are the Guardian minors about symbols.

Back to the point though: this shouldn’t be a minor/forced trait, at all. As far as I can see, no other minor trait requires you to slot a specific category of skill that is not available on any of your weapons to receive an actual benefit. Reanimator nearly gets it by, except that it’s a really limited minion summon.


Necromancers have exactly one trait that relates directly to dodging, endurance, or even vigor: Evasive Marks. Many other classes(2) have an entire trait line of minors that plays with how endurance is used. It feels like a hugely wasted opportunity.


There are a few other classes that don’t have a set of minors about the dodge mechanic.
Elementalists have a few traits relating to endurance and vigor scattered throughout their lines, rather than being consolidated anywhere specific.
Mesmers are also mostly left out of the party, getting only two traits about vigor and Deceptive Evasion to modify how endurance plays in their builds.
Rangers would be left out of the party, if they didn’t have Natural Vigor which makes me drool at the mouth a little.


There is no third level of footnotes. You have dug too deep, and have awoken a creature of flippantry and sarcasm.

(edited by Softspoken.2410)

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Posted by: lettucemode.3789

lettucemode.3789

The problem with the vampiric traits is you can simply use life steal food, and put those traits somewhere more useful and you’ll have better life steal anyway. So yes, the traits aren’t useless, I just can’t justify using them, in sPvP I find them even worse.

I have about 50% crit chance (full exotic Knight’s armor, some points in Curses). My normal hits siphon for 38 and my crits siphon for 51. So a single channel of Axe 2 or Dagger 2 will get me 508 health average. Omnomberry Pie heals for 325 30% of the time, Superior Sigils of Blood heal for 430-ish 15% of the time.

I disagree that the food is better. Even with 50% crit the blood magic siphons are more reliable. I use the sigils and pie in addition to the siphons, and at this point if I ditched the Blood Magic traits, I’m cutting my lifestealing in half, or worse.

I’ve been thinking about swapping those points out, though. I’ve been pretty committed to 20 points in Blood Magic for maybe two months now, and I have a hard time deciding whether to take Foot in the Grave or Close to Death b/c I can’t have both I have several days off work to test it, so we shall see.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Omnomberry buff and Sigil of Blood both scale off of healing power, though. On average your Omnomberry Pie is stealing 97.5 health per hit before healing power kicks in. That is significantly more than your siphoning from traits.

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Posted by: lettucemode.3789

lettucemode.3789

Other responses:

I tested out Death into Life yesterday…you’re right, it’s not very good. Should be higher, especially since any heals only use a fraction of your healing stat anyway.

Fair point about Spectral Grasp. It’d be cool if it made the Chill last longer, I know that when using it with Spectral Wall the protection boon you get lasts longer than stated on the tooltip. Will have to test this too.

I guess Gluttony is better-than-nothing, but it’s 5 points on the way to really valuable stuff, like Last Gasp, so whatever.

I still think that Parasitic Bond/Spiteful Removal are fine as “throwaway” traits. Maybe you are a condition-based WvWvW build, you have used 60 points and are looking for one last 10-pointer that will serve you well. If you want more universally-applicable traits, that’s fine. Personally I don’t have a problem with niche traits, though the necromancer does seem to have a lot of them.

(edited by lettucemode.3789)

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Posted by: lettucemode.3789

lettucemode.3789

Omnomberry buff and Sigil of Blood both scale off of healing power, though. On average your Omnomberry Pie is stealing 97.5 health per hit before healing power kicks in. That is significantly more than your siphoning from traits.

Ooo, I like math. With that logic, the Sigils do 64.5 health per hit, and the siphon traits do 63 health per hit.

…you know, I’m beginning to see the point…

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Well, the Sigil math is off because that has a 2 second cooldown while neither the traits nor food have any cooldown. How much of a factor that is depends entirely on what skills you are currently hitting with.

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Posted by: CrazyAce.3842

CrazyAce.3842

For the most part Necro traits seem okay, EXCEPT for the Death Magic trait line. Being forced into Minion traits when you’re not a minion build is annoying beyond measure. I have 4 other lvl 80s and I’m pretty sure no other class forces the player to use certain build characteristics in a trait line like this. isn’t the very purpose of Minor traits to be useful to almost any build, then you choose Major traits to suit your utilities, weapons, and play style? It just doesn’t make any sense.

In my opinion, (5) Reanimator should be switched with {1} Dark Armor (though it may need to be lowered to +200 toughness while channeling for balance) or {VI} Shrouded Removal, and (15) Protection of the Horde should be switched with either {I} Dark Armor (leave +400 as-is) or {VII} Spiteful Vigor, in order to bring the trait characteristics in line with other professions, such as Mesmer.

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Posted by: CrazyAce.3842

CrazyAce.3842

Other responses:

I tested out Death into Life yesterday…you’re right, it’s not very good. Should be higher, especially since any heals only use a fraction of your healing stat anyway.

Fair point about Spectral Grasp. It’d be cool if it made the Chill last longer, I know that when using it with Spectral Wall the protection boon you get lasts longer than stated on the tooltip. Will have to test this too.

I agree. Healing needs to affect your siphoning a little more. Having Siphoning Health from Vampiric capped at 38 (which doesn’t scale with healing or ANYTHING) when you take both traits {II} Bloodthirst and (10) Vampiric, is beyond ridiculous. It’s not like the necromancer has a super fast attack rate anyway, bar a few of the channeled abilities. {V} Vampiric Precision seems fine, though. That does seem to scale a little with healing power, though IMO not enough to offset the loss of a defensive stat (toughness or vitality, take your pick) when you spec for +healing.

Personally, I’ve been having issues with Spectral Grasp. While I’m fine with what it does (the chill duration is fine), it’s been not hitting recently even though I’ve been within line of sight AND well within its 1200 range. If you ask me, this ability’s “projectile speed” needs to be increased or something to make it work more like the Thief’s Scorpion Wire (which I’ve never had any trouble with). And there are a lot of times where it only jerks the target a few feet and doesn’t actually reach me, and thus the target doesn’t get chilled. Overall, it seems to miss an awful lot because either it seemingly misses or doesn’t work as intended… my success rate with it is roughly 60% or so. Or maybe I’m just using it wrong. Does anyone else have these problems with Spectral Grasp?

(edited by CrazyAce.3842)

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Spiteful Vigor is not as good as people make it out to be. It ONLY triggers off of Consume Conditions. This is probably a bug, but it does not trigger off of either of our other healing skills.

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Posted by: CrazyAce.3842

CrazyAce.3842

Spiteful Vigor is not as good as people make it out to be. It ONLY triggers off of Consume Conditions. This is probably a bug, but it does not trigger off of either of our other healing skills.

No, it’s supposed to be like that. It’s supposed to be like the Thief’s {III} Vigorous Recovery (gain vigor upon healing) in the Acrobatics trait line. That skill also only work with the slot 6 healing skill, even though I’m also specced to heal whenever I am in stealth. It does not give me vigor when the healing ticks in stealth.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Spiteful Vigor is not as good as people make it out to be. It ONLY triggers off of Consume Conditions. This is probably a bug, but it does not trigger off of either of our other healing skills.

No, it’s supposed to be like that. It’s supposed to be like the Thief’s {III} Vigorous Recovery (gain vigor upon healing) in the Acrobatics trait line. That skill also only work with the slot 6 healing skill, even though I’m also specced to heal whenever I am in stealth. It does not give me vigor when the healing ticks in stealth.

No, I mean it doesn’t work with either Blood Fiend or Well of Blood (both slot 6 healing skills).

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

when I tested spiteful vigor I specifically tested it with blood fiend to see if it would proc on the summon as well as the active. It didn’t proc on the active, but it most definitely did on the summon. I never bothered checking well of blood, but I can if you want.

And on omnomberry pies, they become better and better compared to the traits the higher your crit is. My build once had 20 in blood magic, but mark of evasion got nerfed/fixed and I realised that food gave me better regen, and freed up precious trait points.

One thing I do find strange about the food is I notice the number isn’t always the same, maybe it’s because I’m hitting them 4-5 times a second and I just can’t read, or something causes a very small fluctuation in the life steal. Maybe I’ll test this in a bit.

With spectral grasp I found that after a while you can sort of feel when it’s going to work/get obstructed by nothing (just remember that unlike dark path, spectral grasp will only travel it’s listed range, so don’t use it if they’re moving away from you, and only just in range). The biggest problem I find is ranger pets/other stuff walking in front of my target and taking the bullet for them.

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Posted by: CrazyAce.3842

CrazyAce.3842

No, I mean it doesn’t work with either Blood Fiend or Well of Blood (both slot 6 healing skills).

Well that’s not good. It’s gotta be a bug. It should definitely proc on the initial heal, at least.

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Posted by: hermit.1573

hermit.1573

best post in the forum