Necromancer mechanics in Battlegrounds.

wheem_ESO
wheem_ESO
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After playing Battlegrounds a bit on the PTS, I've become a little skeptical of the long-term viability of offensive Magicka Necromancers in that environment, and that primarily comes down to the class' mechanics. (Note that I say "long-term" because I'm assuming that various numbers will be getting tweaked and balanced as time goes on; ie, I don't expect Blastbones to be hitting for 6-9k damage in BGs by the time Elsweyr goes live.) Stamina Necromancers may very well have big issues as well, but they at least have access to the overall Stamina toolkit, which is quite strong.

I'll start with Blastbones:
While the damage is currently too high, and its ability to "body block" is a problem, the spell is really hamstrung by poor pathfinding, lack of speed, and potential bugs (on more than one occasion I've had an apparently not-stunned enemy Blastbones stand in my face for >= 1 second before finally exploding). The skeleton's poor mobility can be a real issue in some terrain, especially if you're actually trying to use the ability from range. The most obvious anecdote I can think of was from Foyada Quarry earlier: I was standing on the rocky area below one team's base, and an enemy Necromancer summoned a Blastbones from the platform below his spawn. It navigated the terrain at such a leisurely pace that it never got more than maybe 2/3 of the way to me before the timer ran out, even though I was standing flat footed and staring at it, making no effort to escape or CC.

Counterplay is great, but I think it's a very real problem that simple terrain and general movement - even that which isn't a specific attempt to avoid the Blastbones - can defeat a skill that Necromancers will absolutely need in order to kill anyone. Furthermore, the Necromancer won't even be able to abandon their first target and fully switch to another until the Blastbones' duration expires. There have been a number of times that some Stam build goes sprinting away from me, leaving my Blastbones greyed out for what feels like an eternity.

Next up - the corpse mechanic has several issues:
1) The duration of corpses generated by Necromancer abilities is too short. If the timing of your "pet" or armor buff running out doesn't just so happen to line up with you needing to use up a corpse for an ability, you're...boned B)

2) Corpse location restrictions in the highly mobile nature of many Battleground fights. If you strictly play Domination games, or defense in Capture the Relic, this may not be a huge deal, but otherwise it's definitely a problem. That's especially true for abilities like Renewing Undeath, where one needs to actually have a corpse inside the spell's area for the cleanse + HOT portion of the ability to function; I find it quite difficult to make good use of the ability in non-dueling PvP, especially since many of those debuffs will just be instantly reapplied (even via effortless procs).

These two issues combined make the corpse mechanic quite difficult to actually use at all, much less effectively, in Battlegrounds (and probably many Cyrodiil fights as well).

Then there's the problem with Magicka Necromancers having extremely limited offensive options, especially if the problem(s) with Blastbones don't get corrected. All you really have, insofar as controlled/targetable abilities go, are the Blastbones and Ricochet Skull.
1) The damage on Mystic Siphon is incredibly low, and will be very hard to land even if that goes up + the above corpse mechanic issues get taken care of. I saw ticks of ~200 in Battlegrounds, and that's when I was actually able to get it to hit someone. Perhaps a damage increase + area pulse around the caster would make it a bit more usable?

2) Boneyard's small area of effect makes it not really worth using. I've played around a bit with Avid Boneyard and using my own synergy for some added burst, but it doesn't really work very well. Not only is it pretty hard to actually make connect, but the damage seems fairly lackluster even when it does land. It could be used to inflate your scoreboard numbers in some matches, but it's not truly effective for Battlegrounds PvP.

3) Skeletal Arcanist's damage currently seems to top out around 1.2k or so for me, and is oftentimes closer to 900'ish. I might could get it a little higher with a glass cannon set up, but not enough for it to be worthwhile - especially since Magicka Necromancer has nothing comparable to Streak, and will thus get dogpiled and exploded. And since the Arcanist always seems to target the closest enemy, and can be line-of-sighted and whatnot, it's actually often worse than simply having a casted DOT that does the same damage (and who would really want a DOT that ticked for around 1k every 2 seconds?)

4) Hungry Scythe certainly doesn't look like a viable Ricochet Skull alternative, since the damage is far lower and requires melee range (and Magicka Necromancers don't get the tools necessary for that playstyle). The health-scaled HOT attached to the Magicka morph is far too weak to be worthwhile, as well.

Stamina Necromancer builds don't really seem to suffer these same limitations. They get access to the same two worthwhile abilities that Magicka setups do, as well as the full Stamina toolkit. There is no Carve, Rending Slashes, proc bleeds, etc...for Magicka builds to stack with Blastbones and their spammable; just a Wall of Elements that everyone will move out of (especially after the nerf to Wall of Frost), and perhaps Destructive Clench/Reach (which, when not used as a Spammable with a Master's Staff, isn't great damage).

Finally: I assume it's a bug, rather than design issue, but many times I'll have corpses generated by other Necromancers (and obviously there's a ton of them out there right now) appear as though they're usable by me, even though they aren't. They'll look the same as mine, and cause certain abilities to light up when targeted, yet not be usable. (I was actually able to use other people's pet corpses after they finished up some duels outside of Wayrest, though.)

I was really hoping that Magicka Necromancer would be a viable replacement for my Magicka Warden, due to the PvP frustrations I have with that class, but so far it feels like a bit of a letdown.
  • DisgracefulMind
    DisgracefulMind
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    I'm going to be honest, I really hope they don't over-nerf Blastbone damage for Magicka Necromancer because without it they won't really be deadly in any way at all.

    EDIT: I'm in the same situation as you, my Magicka Warden is my main and I was hoping to have a bit of a different class to play with, but there's so many issues with it currently.
    Edited by DisgracefulMind on April 17, 2019 4:44AM
    Unfortunate magicka warden main.
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  • BalticBlues
    BalticBlues
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    wheem_ESO wrote: »
    I assume it's a bug, rather than design issue, but many times I'll have corpses generated by other Necromancers (and obviously there's a ton of them out there right now) appear as though they're usable by me, even though they aren't. They'll look the same as mine, and cause certain abilities to light up when targeted, yet not be usable.
    This really worries me. PvP often requires extremely fast reactions.
    Therefore, each corps should be equal, no matter where it comes from.
    Otherwise skills are not reliable and Necromancers will not be playable in PvP.

    Edited by BalticBlues on April 17, 2019 4:59AM
  • Alucardo
    Alucardo
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    I'd like to add something about blast bones, a regular ability that hits harder than an ultimate in an AOE does NOT need major defile. This skill is currently far too strong. Either the damage needs to be adjusted, or the defile needs to go.
    Stam necros are critically popping people for 11-13k with this ability. With the major defile for 5 seconds you have very little chance to recover from one burst attack on a regular build.
    I really hope this is changed while on pts.
    Edited by Alucardo on April 17, 2019 5:41AM
    (sqweee )>--- ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
  • xAk_MoRRoWiNdx
    xAk_MoRRoWiNdx
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    Aside from the bad corpse mechanics, and AI and glitches and stuff, looks good to me! About time Magicka feels the pain that Stam has had the entire time with having the bad morphs or bad kit set up!
    New to forums and stuff so I 99.9 percent probably won't see your response and such, so use the at symbol at me I guess? IDK :/. This BBCode stuff is really cool!! :D.
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    • Revokus
      Revokus
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      Aside from the bad corpse mechanics, and AI and glitches and stuff, looks good to me! About time Magicka feels the pain that Stam has had the entire time with having the bad morphs or bad kit set up!

      I say you were spoiled with stam warden being good since the beginning. Necro should have had a focus on Magicka since it's a caster first in the lore.
      Edited by Revokus on April 17, 2019 6:31AM
      Playing since January 23, 2016
    • Marcus_Thracius
      Marcus_Thracius
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      necro needs more buffs - nerf all the free classes plz - but a bit warden but just a bit - make necro op again
      Here Zos take my money
    • Thraben
      Thraben
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      wheem_ESO wrote: »
      After playing Battlegrounds a bit on the PTS, I've become a little skeptical of the long-term viability of offensive Magicka Necromancers in that environment, and that primarily comes down to the class' mechanics. (Note that I say "long-term" because I'm assuming that various numbers will be getting tweaked and balanced as time goes on; ie, I don't expect Blastbones to be hitting for 6-9k damage in BGs by the time Elsweyr goes live.) Stamina Necromancers may very well have big issues as well, but they at least have access to the overall Stamina toolkit, which is quite strong.


      I was really hoping that Magicka Necromancer would be a viable replacement for my Magicka Warden, due to the PvP frustrations I have with that class, but so far it feels like a bit of a letdown.

      To be fair, StamNecro will be fine, roughly on par with Stemplar but mainly used to fight enemy groups (still below StamWarden). I won´t spoil too much, but you can easily get 18k burst on players without even using your Dawnbreaker.

      MagickaNecros .... well, they might be the weakest PvP magicka class of them all. High ranged (AoE) burst, but lacking the survivability options of a Magsorc. They aren´t even particularly good healers in PvP.

      And that´s a good thing. Not every new class should be OP.
      Edited by Thraben on April 17, 2019 11:55AM
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    • wheem_ESO
      wheem_ESO
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      I'm going to be honest, I really hope they don't over-nerf Blastbone damage for Magicka Necromancer because without it they won't really be deadly in any way at all.

      EDIT: I'm in the same situation as you, my Magicka Warden is my main and I was hoping to have a bit of a different class to play with, but there's so many issues with it currently.
      It's feeling like my Magicka Warden all over again; the "required" offensive ability is overpowered in some situations, and borderline worthless in others. And when it comes to the Warden, making Shalks blockable somewhat helps the first situation, while making the second one worse.

      If the damage on Blastbones stays the same, premade groups of Necromancers with some properly timed CC may very well start 1-shotting people even without Ultimates (and since they'll all be Stam-spec'd, you'll have to deal with Major Defile if you do manage to survive). Meanwhile, solo Magicka Necromancers won't really be able to land kills on good players when every Blastbones gets blocked, avoided, or healed because it's delayed and predictable, and their only other reliable damage comes from Ricochet Skull (or some other spammable as a replacement). At the moment, when most people don't know a lot about Necromancers, you can combo the Flesh Atronach with a Blastbones and make opponents explode, but I expect both of those things to get damage nerfs, and probably a toning down of the Atronach's Major Vulnerability as well. Even if they don't get nerfs, though, good players with decent ping and a little practice probably won't die to the combo all that often. So, like an offensive Magicka Warden, the "Magcromancer" becomes an inflexible one-trick pony that'll generally be easy to counter. (Unless of course some of the other offensive abilities and the corpse mechanic get improved sufficiently, which is one thing I was hoping to highlight with this thread).
      Alucardo wrote: »
      I'd like to add something about blast bones, a regular ability that hits harder than an ultimate in an AOE does NOT need major defile. This skill is currently far too strong. Either the damage needs to be adjusted, or the defile needs to go.
      Stam necros are critically popping people for 11-13k with this ability. With the major defile for 5 seconds you have very little chance to recover from one burst attack on a regular build.
      I really hope this is changed while on pts.
      I honestly don't think that AOE Major Defile needs to exist in the game, unless they want to attach it to some PvE boss mechanics or something. It's worse when connected to abilities that are powerful even without it, and worse-again when attached to Stamina builds, who are already generally superior to Magicka for offensive roles. (Sidenote: I'm fine with a change to Corrupting Pollen for my Warden, though I'd rather have seen a change to how the ability functions, rather than losing the defile as soon as someone leaves the circle...which will of course be easier than ever with Wall of Frost nerfs and Race Against Time buffs).
      Aside from the bad corpse mechanics, and AI and glitches and stuff, looks good to me! About time Magicka feels the pain that Stam has had the entire time with having the bad morphs or bad kit set up!
      While I know that some Stamina players are annoyed with having to use more "generic" setups, with more weapon abilities and fewer class options, that doesn't mean that they aren't effective. In fact, Stamina has been pretty dominant in BGs (and small-scale Cyrodiil fights) since Morrowind's release, 2 years ago. And if ZOS starts adding more Stamina morphs for class abilities, it puts Magicka builds in a bad place since we don't have 4 different offensive weapon lines to choose from.
      Thraben wrote: »
      And that´s a good thing. Not every new class should be OP.
      Yea, I don't want Necromancers to be OP. I just want to avoid a repeat of Morrowind, where my (Magicka) character is easily countered, but the Stamina variation is OP and gets me further nerfed because of it.
    • Revokus
      Revokus
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      wheem_ESO wrote: »
      I'm going to be honest, I really hope they don't over-nerf Blastbone damage for Magicka Necromancer because without it they won't really be deadly in any way at all.

      EDIT: I'm in the same situation as you, my Magicka Warden is my main and I was hoping to have a bit of a different class to play with, but there's so many issues with it currently.
      It's feeling like my Magicka Warden all over again; the "required" offensive ability is overpowered in some situations, and borderline worthless in others. And when it comes to the Warden, making Shalks blockable somewhat helps the first situation, while making the second one worse.

      If the damage on Blastbones stays the same, premade groups of Necromancers with some properly timed CC may very well start 1-shotting people even without Ultimates (and since they'll all be Stam-spec'd, you'll have to deal with Major Defile if you do manage to survive). Meanwhile, solo Magicka Necromancers won't really be able to land kills on good players when every Blastbones gets blocked, avoided, or healed because it's delayed and predictable, and their only other reliable damage comes from Ricochet Skull (or some other spammable as a replacement). At the moment, when most people don't know a lot about Necromancers, you can combo the Flesh Atronach with a Blastbones and make opponents explode, but I expect both of those things to get damage nerfs, and probably a toning down of the Atronach's Major Vulnerability as well. Even if they don't get nerfs, though, good players with decent ping and a little practice probably won't die to the combo all that often. So, like an offensive Magicka Warden, the "Magcromancer" becomes an inflexible one-trick pony that'll generally be easy to counter. (Unless of course some of the other offensive abilities and the corpse mechanic get improved sufficiently, which is one thing I was hoping to highlight with this thread).
      Alucardo wrote: »
      I'd like to add something about blast bones, a regular ability that hits harder than an ultimate in an AOE does NOT need major defile. This skill is currently far too strong. Either the damage needs to be adjusted, or the defile needs to go.
      Stam necros are critically popping people for 11-13k with this ability. With the major defile for 5 seconds you have very little chance to recover from one burst attack on a regular build.
      I really hope this is changed while on pts.
      I honestly don't think that AOE Major Defile needs to exist in the game, unless they want to attach it to some PvE boss mechanics or something. It's worse when connected to abilities that are powerful even without it, and worse-again when attached to Stamina builds, who are already generally superior to Magicka for offensive roles. (Sidenote: I'm fine with a change to Corrupting Pollen for my Warden, though I'd rather have seen a change to how the ability functions, rather than losing the defile as soon as someone leaves the circle...which will of course be easier than ever with Wall of Frost nerfs and Race Against Time buffs).
      Aside from the bad corpse mechanics, and AI and glitches and stuff, looks good to me! About time Magicka feels the pain that Stam has had the entire time with having the bad morphs or bad kit set up!
      While I know that some Stamina players are annoyed with having to use more "generic" setups, with more weapon abilities and fewer class options, that doesn't mean that they aren't effective. In fact, Stamina has been pretty dominant in BGs (and small-scale Cyrodiil fights) since Morrowind's release, 2 years ago. And if ZOS starts adding more Stamina morphs for class abilities, it puts Magicka builds in a bad place since we don't have 4 different offensive weapon lines to choose from.
      Thraben wrote: »
      And that´s a good thing. Not every new class should be OP.
      Yea, I don't want Necromancers to be OP. I just want to avoid a repeat of Morrowind, where my (Magicka) character is easily countered, but the Stamina variation is OP and gets me further nerfed because of it.

      Agree with all of that please @ZOS_BrianWheeler it would be a real shame if magnecro is subpar to stamnecro in pvp. Necromancer are primarily ranged casters one would think it would be the same as for sorcerer with a focus for magicka performance first. Also stamina has already insane debuff, dots and bleed pressure paired with burst(stamplar against magnecro is insane I had to be a purge bot to even survive..) and what does magnecro have ? Only situationnal burst no pressure really and lackluster defense with difficulty to go on offense when pressured.
      Edited by Revokus on April 17, 2019 4:45PM
      Playing since January 23, 2016
    • Lucky28
      Lucky28
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      I'm going to be honest, I really hope they don't over-nerf Blastbone damage for Magicka Necromancer because without it they won't really be deadly in any way at all.

      EDIT: I'm in the same situation as you, my Magicka Warden is my main and I was hoping to have a bit of a different class to play with, but there's so many issues with it currently.

      yeah. without blastbone mag necro's damage output is far too low. I think boneyard should get it's area increased a bit and maybe put a Magic or frost dot on Hungry scythe (necro has a passive to increase dot damage, but i feel it's kinda going to waste a bit). mag necro could use something.
      Edited by Lucky28 on April 17, 2019 5:12PM
      Invictus
    • Joy_Division
      Joy_Division
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      Thanks for the specific feedback!


    • Revokus
      Revokus
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      Thanks for the specific feedback!
      Why is there no question about the perfomance for pvp/pve for the class in the necromancer feedback thread format ?
      Edited by Revokus on April 17, 2019 6:08PM
      Playing since January 23, 2016
    • DKMaestro
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      Ok - can I just petition that we call them StamCro and MaCro please?!

      Really have high hopes for Macro, as I am not much of a stam player. Like the utility they bring, but obviously they need some balancing before live.
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