It is interesting the different styles of necromancer each of these games offers, from the classic D&D style of EQ1 to the “You might think they just did this to be different without any consideration for the game’s fun” of Guildwars2.
One core necromancer power in EQ1 was the fear kite – the ability to cast damage over time spells on a target then fear it so it ran away while slowly dying with your pet beating upon its rump.
This fine tradition of xp grinding was very nice for solo, groups on the other hand were a little less keen when you began fearing the mobs they were trying to wail on away!.
So of the games I have delved into which allows for the quintessential fear kiting necromancer?
Age of conan
The necromancer by 9 had no fear spell so ill have to skip that one for now – according to some on the web the necromancer fear/snare combo does exist and is very nice in pvp.
If there is a standard way of doing something then you can bet GW2 has done its utmost to be the special snowflake of difference – its my general bugbear with GW2 as a whole – the game has some fantastic aspects but they have tried so hard not to be a “standard” mmo that I think they sometimes miss out on some good basics like questing and for the necro any fear ability.
A necromancer in GW2 does get a fear spell (called Doom) it is only usable when a necromancer is in death shroud (a special ability mode that has a limited duration) so it is not really useful for kiting as a way of xp grinding.
Everquest1 at level 5 I was able to fear kite a white con (even level mob) with ease, clinging darkness, poison bolt, fear and pet would do the rest while I sat about regenerating mana. Everything in Everquest1 is slow so it was hard to tell if I was better doing that than just casting life tap and poison bolt on mobs, I think I was but until my little necro gets up a few more levels the power of fear kiting wont truly start to shine.
At 85 the fear spell of my necromancer would send a foe running for about 3 steps before the combined damage of my dots and pet would break it – its not bad as a CC but does not really work as a kiting method – that being said I was using an auto 85 character and my skill ranks and alternative advancement points (talent tree) were not spent so there could be a way to spec into a solid fear build.
In Rift the necromancer talent tree does not get a fear, that is actually a warlock spell but as the standard gravelord build is necromancer/warlock/dominator you do get the ability to fear kite mobs. Out of the box the fear is instantly broken by damage but further along the warlock tree you get an ability called Phobia which gives you +2% of their maximum health in damage before the fear breaks up to 6% with 3/3 points spent.
Given that still leaves you with a large % of health still left when fear breaks I can see kiting being less efficient than just using your warrior pet to tank while you nuke things.
Next post Ill do my necromancer reviews and then look towards the next class challenge.