I'd like to also add that the poor state the class is in in PVP does not instill much confidence in players like me that the arcanist won't suffer the same fate. Please prove me wrong!
As a necromancer, I want to be able to control the poor souls I've reanimated and bound to my control, but as it stands, it feels much more like I called in a few drunkards that might do what I want them to but will likely just hang around and waste my time.
They really don't need an entire rework. Defensively the tool kit is there, the problem is you can't put out enough damage to make other players stop beating your head in, so then you run into a sustain issue trying to out heal the damage/get out of the way spamming RAT.
I would like to see blast bones just fire off like a missile as soon as its animated, instead of wandering around like he lost his car keys somewhere. Change the damage to scale off distance traveled rather than time.
Some kind of sticky class DOT would synergize with its passive 10% DOT bonus. Flame Skull is clunky, slow moving, and underwhelming compared to Silver Shards or even Force Pulse, which are available to any class.
The cherry on top is how expensive the class ults are. Reanimate blast bones could be VERY fun and effective, if it didn't cost 350 ult. This can be fixed by putting a stipulation into the ult like Incap has. Where if you cast it after a certain amount, it has a secondary effect. So, make it cost 200 and raise 3 blast bones, but if you cast it at 300 it can resurrect 3 players as well.
Vet Necro player here. Thousands of hours across 2 necro toons. Mostly play PvP, but I enjoy endgame PvE content such as Trifecta runs etc. Long comment inbound.
Here's the thing: I don't entirely mind Graverobber going away. Was it OP? No, not at all. It was strong, but more importantly it was the only thing keeping Necro afloat.
The real issue is that the devs have removed the Graverobber playstyle without adding anything else in return. Necro's class kit is severely lacking. There are 3 major pain points that absolutely need to be addressed.
1) No access to Major Sorcery/Brutality or Major Prophecy/Savagery. The lack of either of these buffs in the class kit means that necromancers are forced to run 2 non-class abilities to get these buffs, or are forced to run Blue/Green potions.
2) No class identity. The class identity was high aoe burst via Blastbones and Graverobber, but without Graverobber they will not fit this role nearly as well as other classes like Warden or Nightblade. They have DoT passives that could make them a strong DoT class, but they only have 2 class DoTs, both of which are AOE which hinders their use in both PvP and more mobile PvE fights.
3) Clunky class mechanics and abilities - especially offensively. This issue goes in tandem with both of the points above. It's no secret that Blastbones often acts drunk; when it works it's an exceedingly strong burst ability, but the weirdness with targeting makes it inconsistent. This would be ok, but Blastbones isn't the only Necro ability to behave inconsistently. The Arcanist/Archer and Spirit Mender both have their own targeting issues. Why is it that Necromancer can't command their Pets with the Command Pet keybind? Beyond just the targeting, their class skills are often sidegrades to non class skills at best. Skulls is worse than nearly every other spammable option, the Arcanist and Archer don't do nearly enough damage to warrant their targeting issues, and skills like Empowering Grasp or Bone Totem are bordering on useless in every scenario. "Buffs" to the timers for the Arcanist/Archer actually nerfed Necromancer pretty harshly, as it reduced Corpse Generation for their other skills (since you need to wait half the duration of the ability before it generates a corpse). Couple all of this with the fact that Necros don't have an on demand class stun and you'll find that Necros end up running very few class skills as a result.
Necro has been crutching on Harmony/Graverobber for a long time. Was it overnerfed? Absolutely - the nerf to the Harmony trait was more than enough to make necromancers remove Boneyard from their bar, so the additional nerf to the damage really only hurts Necromancers using the Graveyard to give their teammates a synergy in a group setting.
So what does Necro need?
Firstly, Necromancer is a very lopsided class. Defensively they don't need much, but offensively they're dead in the water. Here are some basic things I think would vastly improve the necromancer kit:
- Access to one or both of the Major Offensive buffs via a class skill
- Access to an on demand stun (something every other class has now)
- A sticky class DoT. This could be tied with the first point, as giving Necro a sticky DoT that also gives them Major Sorcery/Brutality or Prophecy/Savagery would help alleviate the issues they have with bar space.
- Easier corpse management. Corpses should last twice as long as they currently do. Corpse gameplay is extremely clunky and could use another pass, but at the very least this change would mean that Necros don't have to micromanage as much to get the most out of their skills
- A substantial buff to their spammable. There is no reason (across any class) that a class spammable should be the worst option in 90% of gameplay scenarios. As it stands, there is no reason to use Skulls over a weapon spammable, Silver Shards, or Elemental Weapon. What's wrong with it, exactly? There are two major things wrong with this spammable. First, the projectile speed is far too slow to be useful in PvP. Second, neither morph's added effect is really enough - the damage is lackluster and the added effect of 20% damage on the third cast is nowhere nearly as powerful as something like the added effects of Concealed Weapon/Surprise Attack/Whip.
- Being able to command the Archer/Arcanist as well as the 3 Blastbones summoned by the Animate Blastbones ultimate with the command pet keybind/medium weave. As a necromancer, I want to be able to control the poor souls I've reanimated and bound to my control, but as it stands, it feels much more like I called in a few drunkards that might do what I want them to but will likely just hang around and waste my time.
These changes would put Necro in a good-but-not-great spot. The truth is that a lot of their class mechanics are just too clunky. Necromancer requires far too much micromanagement and still only barely keeps up with other classes. Plenty of their abilities could use tweaking - Empowering Grasp for example should probably give its buff passively while slotted, as hitting the pets with this ability is an example of this unfun and unpractical micromanagement.
@ZOS_Kevin please pass this along to the dev team. Harmony was the only thing keeping the class afloat, and whether or not it gets nerfed, Necromancer needs serious changes to remain viable and fun to play in today's meta.