Necromancer Closed Beta Feedback

  • I was lucky enough to be invited into Blizzard's closed beta for the necromancer in Diablo 3, and this post is intended to be the source of my feedback regarding the "feel" of the class as it stands now. This post will likely contain my frantic first impressions as I record them from memory. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and compare your necromancer impressions down below.

    To begin, I transferred the contents of my main characters over to the closed beta to take advantage of multiple resources such as paragon points, money, gems, etc.

    Without the paragon points, I started out the life of my necromancer as a hardcore character. The first few levels blew by quickly and I paused at every level-up to check my talents, moves, etc. Within two hours of playing, I noticed that despite my attempts at trying out the new talents... corpse exploding was the only reasonable method to deal with high density rooms of creatures and the rifts of adventure mode. The necromancer, in my hands, was just chaining explosion after explosion of gore and body parts, and it was shocking how well it was working. Without the Necromancer's class specific items and legendaries implemented into the game, it is difficult to give an accurate response on how the necro is "supposed" to be experienced.

    I abandoned the corpse exploding for my posterity, and focused on summoning/raising creatures. The skeleton summoning ability came as a passive "spawner" with minimal interaction except to incite the skeletons to attack a specific target while consuming the necro's main resource "essence" in the process. The cost felt reasonable, but the AI for the skeletal creatures does reflect the status of a closed beta, and I look forward to them being able to auto acquire creatures/follow me around much more fluidly in the future. The active function on the move felt almost required for every group I approached because my skeletons got tripped up on the air behind me. I do like the skill though.

    The blood golem summoning has been lackluster overall for me; I understand that the partical effects of the different runes havent been added, but the only strength I've noticed of the blood golem is its ability to suicide into corpse piles for an obvious "Revive" or corpse explosion combo. I would appreciate seeing a number counter interface for the rune that allows the blood golem to consume corpses and gain damage. Was trying to see if the golem became a monstrous force after eating a ton of corpses all in one sitting/if the corpses ran out over time, but without a counter for its buff I couldn't really keep track.

    More than half of the passive trait skills for the necromancer seemed interesting. Much is spread around in health regen, partial invulnerability after the use of big cooldowns, and even thorns while also maintaining the staple movement speed and cheat death talents as well as generic damage amplifiers. Others may disagree but the wide variety of talents gives me a good impression of the necro's opportunities - makes me think that its future set armors will have just as widely varying potential.

    At level 70, my character has wound up with a build that centers around dumping all of his essence at once into the skill that raises a skeletal mage with extra power for the amount of essence spent, summoned skeletons, Revive, Curse of frailty, the generic defensive cooldown bone armor, and the blood siphon essence generator.

    Engagements in a torment 4 rift would begin with the skeletal mage getting a few easy kills for me, and then I proceed to trounce the rest of the rift with wave after wave of revived monsters, my skeletons, and the curse of frailty auto killing the creatures once they reached 15% hp.

    I love revive. I enjoy that it hearkens back to the D2 necro - that it doesn't just keep the revived creature with generic statistics - and that each creature retains its core attack animations/expected damage. Revived fallen lunatics will blow themselves up on mobs, revived "Accursed" (from act 2) will explode into a poisonous cloud after their revive expires, and mallet lords still pack the biggest punch in terms of auto attack damage. What I haven't enjoyed about the move is its limited duration (seemed like 12 seconds). Gives me hope that a future set for the necromancer with capitalize on revive and increase its durations (the passive for it increases it by 25% currently)

    Diablo 3 is fast paced, and the necromancer imprinted itself in my mind as a high octane corpse exploding character with obscene health regain options who has to focus on reviving creatures constantly throughout the fight. But the potential for thorns, tank necro, and straight hp sacrifice necromancer play styles give me great hope. Nothing wrong with a pet build either, but I do hope that corpse exploding doesn't become baseline for almost all the builds. It is too early to tell.

    My current build for the necromancer takes advantage of its ridiculous capability to regain health, but even within a high level rift (for the gear he has currently) I find little need to spend health to empower my moves. Most of the final rune options for each of the necromancer's skills have some sort of interaction with using % of the necro's hp to empower a spell. Some of the spammable skills, like bone spear, do not warrant a need for using your hp to make the skill stronger. The benefit of using that rune is almost trivialized by the other runes for the skill.
    I hope that either through numbers tuning/set bonuses that this changes. My health on a hardcore character is utterly vital to my quality of life experience, and to be able to sacrifice it/talent/itemize for its regeneration should (I think) have a "high risk high reward" playstyle to it.
  • Hey all, just as a heads-up there is already a forum for beta participants to share their feedback on the Necromancer. If you're participating in the beta and have thoughts to share on your experience with the class, please share them here.

    Thanks so much!