The Necromancer - a suggestion.


Can't get enough of FH
Dec 26, 2003
Thought I'd post it here for comments and advice first, before I chuck it through the Mythic Camelot Herald feedback form.

Dear Sanya,

Whilst understandably you are not the be all and end all of class balance and alteration issues, I felt it pertinent to bring these suggestions to you via the Herald feedback form rather than leaving them to rot on the ‘usual’ forums.

These suggestions relate in particular to the Necromancer class in the Albion realm. As you are no doubt aware, there are so many issues and bugs related to this class that something needs to be done. Matt Firor has been quoted in an interview as stating that the Necromancer is a hopeless case in terms of fixes and alterations. What I will endeavour to do here is suggest a fairly fundamental change to the class, and relate bugs and experiences to these changes from my own level 50 Necromancer, named Lithi on the European/UK server Prydwen.

First of all:
The Necromancer pet:-
This is the fundamental feature of this class – in effect, the Necromancer is the pet – all spells are cast through the pet, and in 99% of cases if the pet dies the Necromancer does too. Whilst this adds a uniqueness to the class, unfortunately due to pet coding issues there are countless bugs and problems with the class:

Pet pathing and control:–
I am certain I do not need to elaborate on this to any great deal. In certain zones, pet pathing is ‘wonky’ at best, with the pet often following the necromancer shade in a zig-zag fashion, or for example in Avalon City often going off in a completely different direction and subsequently suffering a forced release of control.

Line of sight:–
With the shared line of sight between Necromancer and pet, often spells fail to cast when both pet and shade seem to have perfect line of sight – a prime example of this is the Catacombs of Cardova in Cornwall.

Facilitate painworking:–
An issue that seems to be related to spells ‘proccing’ through the pet, and the pet unable to queue more than two spells at once. This spell will fail to fire if more than two spells are queued, and likewise takes a lot of care and attention to the pet to get to fire at all.

Deathsight Mastery line of spells:–
The primary line of Necromancer specialisation, due mainly to the simplicity and ease of use of the spell types, this line does however suffer issues regardless – mainly related to the casting of the ‘instant’ melee-use lifetap spell (Scream of the Dead), which only actually casts once the pet swings in melee (Even when the pet is set to ‘passive’ he makes a melee swing when this spell is cast). With my own Necromancer, my ‘shade’ is easily able to cast three Scream of the Dead spells between the swings of the pet’s two handed sword – further exacerbated by player dexterity buffs/bonuses.

Painworking Mastery line of spells:–
A relatively unpopular specialisation, this line again suffers the problem of the instant cast DOT spells, and the Facilitate painworking spell. Suffice to say, that given the issues with these spells many players do not feel this line is worth taking.

Death Servant Mastery line of spells:–
The more popular secondary line for Necromancers, again this line suffers the issues of the Facilitate Painworking (Used in conjunction with the PBAOE damage) and instant damage spells.

Pet when buffed by an enhance specced cleric:–
Again, another issue I am certain you are aware of. A Necromancer pet when buffed with player constitution bonus spells such as the cleric Benediction of Fortitude spell, instead of gaining in constitution and therefore hit points instead gains in armour absorption. This, combined with a 50 enhance spec ‘buffbot’ character with several levels of Mastery of the Arcane, and the Necromancer Deathsight-spec ‘Intimacy with Death’ 9pt melee absorption spell often results in an effective absorption of over 80%. As you can no doubt imagine, this is open to abuse. Likewise – when a pet is in receipt of the level 50 Enhance dexterity buffs, a Necromancer properly timing it can cast 3 spells with Facilitate Painworking whilst his pet is being hit in melee.

Pet ‘con’ RE: Player vs Player combat:-
As mentioned earlier, the Necromancer in many senses ‘is’ the pet. Forgive me for being flippant, but making a player in essence a level 44 blue-con ‘mob’ when fighting other players is frankly ridiculous. A Necromancer in Realm vs Realm combat absolutely has to have capped magical resists to stand half a chance vs enemy spellcasters – and even then the level 44 pet is effectively the same as a level 50 player without magical resists.

Necromancers are unable to use power potions, buff potions, endurance potions, heal potions, alchemy procs, reactive procs, charges, etc etc ad nauseum whilst in shade form. And when out of shade form, they are effectively incapacitated and using these charges/potions would be of little to no use in any case, as they can perform no spells apart from the pet summon.

Armour degradation:-
Whilst in Europe we are currently on patch 1.62, moving to 1.65 shortly and have yet to see the change to armour degradation (No degradation whatsoever vs all armour pieces suffering a degradation check when the pet is hit), many Necromancers are awaiting this change with trepidation. I myself am worried about this change – having spent a significant amount of time and effort gathering the necessary cash and items to create a stat-capping armour set for my Necromancer, I am loathe to see it all start falling apart within a short span of weeks.

Suggested change:
Eradicate the Necromancer pet/shade setup. Instead, when the Necromancer casts his ‘summon pet’ spell, have the Necromancer morph into the pet model – in coding terms, this would no doubt be similar to the way Beserkers morph into the bear form, or Heros morph in to the Stag form. In one fell swoop, this eradicates many bugs and issues of the Necromancer class:–

Pet pathing would no longer be an issue.
Line of sight becomes the normal player set up.
Facilitate painworking could be removed and replaced by the standard cloth caster ‘quickcast’ ability.
Player buffs affect the Necromancer as a normal player.
Instant cast spells would be instant, rather than based upon a pet’s melee combat speed.
The Necromancer would be able to use alchemy procs, charges and potions as per a normal player character.
Armour degradation also affects the Necromancer as a normal player.

Understandably, with this change many of the Necromancer spells would need rebalancing – the Deathsight specification Shriek of the Dead becoming a timer based melee-range instant, the ‘pet buffs’ being removed in favour of standard cloth caster buff spells (AF Shield, Bladeturn, and self-absorption spells in particular – this last perhaps in conjunction with the Deathsight specification melee absorption spell, effectively giving the class studded-level armour).
Likewise, changes would need to be made to the Necromancer ability to use weapons – perhaps enabling them to equip swords, shields, and two-handed weapons but not specialise in them.

As an example, a Deathsight Necromancer would cast his level 45 ‘Summon Abomination’ spell, and polymorph into the abomination model currently used for the pet. Equipping his focus staff, he then attacks monsters or players with his Soul Vacuum spell until they reach melee range. When he enters combat, he changes to his two handed sword and proceeds to unstyled melee on them, casting his 5-second timer based instant lifetap spell until they, or he, are dead.
Or perhaps the Death Servant spec’d Necromancer relying on other players to ‘tank’ for him so he can cast his pbaoe damage spell instead of relying on a buffbot for 80% absorption and 3 spellcasts in melee.

I can understand Mythic being reluctant to make such a fundamental change to the class this late after it’s inception, but I and I am certain many other players feel that the Necromancer class is fundamentally flawed as it stands. Please, I beg you, approach this change with an open mind. I would like to be able to play my Necromancer as a proper character rather than a buffbotted powerlevelling tool.

Roalith – Level 50 Armsman
Lithi – Level 50 Necromancer
Prydwen – Albion, GOA, Europe
Eyes & Ears team member (GOA voluntary player ‘spy’)


Fledgling Freddie
Dec 22, 2003
[11:22] [Sat 17 Jan 09:45:12](Roalith!
[11:22] [Sat 17 Jan 09:45:17](Roalith! read and comment pwease o//


Well said however as you said at the beginning all of the flaws are known. Some are easier to fix than others, some mythic have very far down their priority list. The necro seems to be seen as a pve king, especially for the purpose of PL so 'fixing' them in rvr would make an extremly powerful class.

As far as the pet change goes it has been posted, discussed, reevaluated by every TL and the necro community since the class was created and SI released. There are always people for this change, there are always people against this change. Personally I like the pet, it gives me (the shade) more freedom and allows me to do things no other class can, eg scouting, getting lord room GT, ability to run away if a pull goes wrong and so on.

If anyone has subscribed to VN and are able to search the necro forums finding some topic along the lines of 'Should we be a lich mode' will find a discussion on this. Comes around every few weeks, usually when mythic change the class in someway :p


Can't get enough of FH
Dec 22, 2003
Mythic won't sort the Necromancer for a very long time, I'd be surprised if it was this year. Next they'll screw over another class that people have spent ages leveling and so the cycle is complete :)

Why I've finally /quit and thrown my DAOC CDs out with the rest of the garbage.

yay about time!


Fledgling Freddie
Jan 9, 2004
I like my necro tbh, and prefer the shade mode as opposed to direct control of pet (for reasons already stated) but if they could just fix ONE thing I would ask that the pet NOT take melee swings when on passive mode - this screws up instas and facilitate painworking. This one thing kills me more often than all the other bugs put together.


Fledgling Freddie
Jan 7, 2004
An idea very similar to this one has been bounced around the necro vnboards for quite a while and has even been suggested by the TL on a past report iirc. If you do a vnboard search for lich mode you should be able to find it.

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