The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best Necromancer class?

    
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Alive again!

Do you like to play with dead things? Heck, who doesn’t? It’s one of the most well-adjusted activities that any person can do while causing all sorts of awkward silences at Thanksgiving meals. And thanks to MMOs, we can engage in necromantic play without being arrested and subject to many tut-tuts from passers-by.

Many — not all, but many — MMORPGs include Necromancers in their class line-up, even if they’re not called that by name. Summoning skeletons, exploding corpses, and yanking souls out of bodies like taffy is all part of a day’s work for them.

So which MMO has the best Necromancer? Personally, my favorite is my Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft, because I like having friends who don’t have tongues to make snide comments back at me.

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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KodaiRyu
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KodaiRyu

Not really necromancer but Ragnarok Online Creator has homunculus what battle with you after you create it and that’s my favorite.

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Ben Stone

EQ2 and GW1 for me. Not a fan of what they did to Necro in GW2. DDO palemaster build also fits the bill quite nicely.

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Bruno Brito

Not GW2, for sure. I’ll assume EQ2 Necro is good, simply out of concept.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

EQ and EQ2 very cool, I think though my favourite Necro in an MMO was in Vanguard, all the spells you would expect for a Necro with cool lore sorta flavour to them as well as being able to equip your minion thing, abomination I think it was called, not sure but I think there were a few pets much like EQ. Also for non MMO, Diablo franchise has done Necro’s very well. Personally I am not really a RPer but I always enjoyed the mechanics of pet + dot’s of Necro’s typically that I have played.

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James F Tillman

Shadowbane

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Hurbster

Subtle Jim here…

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Matt Redding

I’m going to be another person saying Guild Wars 1 but for a different reason: the variations. If you wanted to be an undead army type necromancer, you could. If you wanted to use death magic to curse other people and drain their life, you could. If you wanted to use blood magic to steal life and inflict poison, you could. If you wanted a little of each of these approaches you could do that too, and it worked!

Necromancers also had a very appropriate feature where their mp-equivalent was replenished when things died around you. Literally death fed you casting power back, actively.

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wratts

Because I don’t see it getting a shout out, I’m going to say Necro from Age of Conan. Great aesthetic, the ability to go either pet spec or lich spec, spell trees that either focused on necrotic dots or life-stealing cold. A variety of pet options, from exploding minions to minor liches that would stand back and cast spells with you. Just a tremendously fun class

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Ben Stone

Oh I loved those exploding minions. I won’t say its my fave necro ever, but it was a lot of fun. My friend and I were duoing as a Tempest of Set and Necro, and between the lightning damage going off from each minion and the explosions, it was easy to kill players 20+ levels higher. Good times!

Bereman
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Bereman

Agreed, AoC’s Necromancer is definitely one of the better implementations in recent memory, at least in an MMO. Minions of varying flavors, or the Lich builds…played it when the game launched and even with so, so, so much of the game broken at the time I still had plenty of fun with it.

Second place I’d say goes to ESO’s version, which I’d say has more to do with how certain skills are treated as “criminal acts” which tends to fit in well with how Necros are treated in the various lore where they appear. The actual abilities are mostly standard skull n’ bones n’ death varieties, and I do wish there was a “minion master” way of playing it…but that little bit of “I can get in trouble if I reveal too much of my necromancer powers” flavor puts it in a solid second place for me.

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Doulos

MMOs cannot make a balanced character class that is a necromancer.
A “real” RP, lore type necromancer has a something like a Fibonacci power curve with unlimited growth.

Raising dead gives experience, thus doing it makes a necromancer better and better at raising. And the undead stay around until destroyed. Hence the existence of stray undead that outlived their masters. Thus a necromancer can just keep working on making more and more undead, faster and faster.

What makes Necromancers strong is that if you leave one along for long enough 1 even crappy necromancer alone can eventually raise an entire army.

That is just not something you can balance in an MMO. Guildwars attempted by putting time limits on the raised dead to allow for ‘unlimited raises’, but that is completely opposed to lore.

Thus, my answer is Necromancers are not possible as balanced player characters in an MMO.

Necromancers work in games with an army size scope. Like a Total War game.

Bereman
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Bereman

Vampire Counts in Total War Warhammer do definitely feel like proper necromancers. They are a ton of fun to play (at least for me), what with the ability to pull up massive, powerful armies at the sites of previous large scale battles and the true nature of the easily replenish-able zombie fodder.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

GW1. Hands down. Back when you could do Sorrow’s Furnace infinite minion summons was maybe my favorite time for that game farming green weapons to sell for tons. I don’t even remember the names of the weapons anymore lol.