Blizzard Entertainment gave me access to the Beta version of the Necromancer class in the game Diablo 3. I thought I would write out what I have experienced and talk about a few strategies I found. I will say this right now. Just because I like or don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. It just means I like it or don’t like it.
First, let me tell you about my gaming rig. The computer I am using is one I built on my own, a “Frankenstein” computer you might say. (A few people have said it’s a monster of a computer.)
- Motherboard – ASUS P8Z77
- Processor – Intel Core i7 3770K
- Memory – 24GB of G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 RAM.
- Video card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 video card
- Operating system – Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-bit
- Storage space – three hard drives totaling 9TB of space
- ASUS VG23A
- Logitech G110
- Borderlands 2 edition Logitech mouse
Now that we have all the technical details out of the way, let’s talk Diablo 3. To be more specific, let’s talk Necromancers.
As of April 14, 2017 I have reached level 20 and here is what I have found out through playing. For your Primary skills you have Bone Spikes, Grim Scythe, and Siphon Blood. For your Secondary skills you have, Bone Spear, Skeleton Mage, and Death Nova. Your other skills include Corpses, Reanimation, Curses and Blood and Bone. Let’s talk about each of these power. We will start with Primary then Secondary and on down the list.
For the Primary skills we have Bone Spikes, Grim Scythe, and Siphon Blood. I’m not too fond of the Bone Spikes. Maybe in later levels they might become more powerful, but up to level 20 they seems rather boring. Grim Scythes, on the other hand, are a bit better. And once you get Dual Scythes then they seem like a lot of fun. Siphon Blood is another good one. Just as it sounds, Siphon Blood drains the target of blood and heals you. But it is not a channel spell. Well, not in the traditional sense. As long as you keep it activated it will continue to draw out the blood. So you don’t have to worry about a timer shutting it off. Although, I could see how that might be useful in a few cases. By the time you reach level 20 you unlock two runes for Bone Spikes and Grim Scythe and one rune for Siphon Blood.
At this moment, I would like to talk about the Secondary skills. They include Bone spear, Skeleton mage, and Death Nova. Bone spear is just as it sounds. You conjure a spear of bone then hurl it at the enemy. I have to say this is a fun one as it doesn’t stop with the first enemy it hits. That’s right, it keeps going. I think I have hit four enemies at once. Plus, your first rune makes it so that the spear become more powerful after each target that is hit. Yummy. Skeleton mage is an interesting one. Here you initially raise a skeleton mage that will send balls of magic at any enemy around. Later, the raised skeleton mage just gives off an aura that destroys anything around it, furniture or enemies. Later still you summon a skeleton archer to attack any available enemy. It’s hard to say which one is better here since each one is useful in its own way. Finally, we have Death Nova. This is one of the last secondary skills you get so I haven’t use it much. Still, it seem that when used you explode with blood. You don’t die, blood just explodes from you possibly killing your enemies. This is good if you are being overwhelmed and you need some personal space. When you reach level 20 you should have two runes for Bone Spear, three runes for Skeleton Mage and one rune for Death Nova.
Let’s move on to the other skills. We will start with one of my favorites, Corpses. Corpses has three skills, Corpse Explosion, Corpse lance, and Devour. I completely love Corpse Explosion. Here is how it works. When an enemy dies they drop a corpse. You can explode this corpse and have it damage the remaining enemies. The best part is when there is a massive amount of enemies, say 20 or 30. Each time one of them dies, a corpse drops. So you kill off the first two, two corpses drop. Explode those two corpses causes two more corpses to drop. Those will kill off two, four or however many enemies. Now the battlefield is littered with corpses. Corpse Explosion blows up each one all at once. This usually kills off the group rather quickly. But it does look like a bloodbath. Your screen will fill with red. Then as the blood falls away you see the bodies of your enemies falling back down. It is after all, an explosion that went off. Call me sadistic but I do love blowing up my enemies with the bodies of their fallen comrades. Now after that spectacular mess you would expect something called Corpse Lance to be along the same lines. Well I did. I was a bit disappointed when I used this skill and nothing exploded. Maybe I didn’t do it right? One thing about the Corpse skill is well, you need a corpse. If you are fighting someone like The Butcher, who is just one demon, none of your Corpse skill will work. Finally, we have Devour. Devour has you absorb the corpses so you can quickly gain Essence, which is how all your skills are powered. With the exception of your primary skill. Since I am still in the early levels of the game I don’t feel a need to quickly gain Essence. I would rather have exploding corpse’s then quick Essence gain. But I am sure later in the game this will change. At level 20 I have only unlocked one rune for Corpse Explosion and Corpse Lance. Devour gets its first rune unlocked at level 23. Which shows that it’s more of a later game skill.
The Reanimation skill is another fun one. The first one you get is called Command Skeletons followed by Command Golem. Army of the Dead and Land of the Dead get unlocked later, level 22 and level 38 respectively. Because of this I will only be talking about the first two. Command Skeleton has you summon skeletons one at a time until you have seven skeletons. This differs from the Witch Doctor in that the Witch Doctor summons zombie dogs for those they have killed. The Necromancer can raise skeletons at any time. Plus, they stay with you even after you log out. For those that have played with the Witch Doctor know how useful the zombie dogs can be. The same is true with the Necromancer’s skeletons. The other skill that is unlocked by level 20 is Command Golem. For those that have played the Witch Doctor know that it is possible to have zombie dogs and a golem. (Plus other minions that you can summon. The Witch Doctor can literally raise and army to fight for them.) The Necromancer on the other hand must choose either the skeletons or the Golem. I like the skeletons because I believe that more is better. An interesting trick of the Golem is that you can send it somewhere and command it to dissolve into a bunch of corpses. I haven’t use this skill yet, not on purpose at least, but I can see how that would be useful. Reaching level 20 unlocks two runes for Command Skeleton and one rune for Command Golem.
Here we are going to talk about the Curses skill. The first two curses you can unlock are Decrepify and Leech. I haven’t really use them much since I can take of most enemies with all the skills previously mentioned. Still, I will talk about them a bit. With Decrepify you can slow down your enemies and reduce their damage. Leech curses the enemies so that there is a chance their attacks will heal you instead of hurting you. I have used these two skills when things got rather hairy. By the time you reach level 20 none of the Curses have had their runes unlocked. Decrepify will have its first rune unlocked at level 21. Your third curse, Frailty, will unlock at 22. Then Leech gets it first rune unlocked at 23.
The last skill we will talk about is Blood and Bone. At level 20 you will only have unlocked one skill here, Bone Armor and it’s pretty straight forward. You take the bones from an enemy and form it into armor for yourself. When I say “take the bones from an enemy” I do mean a living enemy. You don’t use corpses for this. Therefor this would be considered an attack. A rather nasty one at that also. Unfortunately, it does have a cool down. On the plus side, you can attack up to 8 enemies at once. Another thing, this spell only last a minute. The good thing about that though is that you can use the skill again after 10 secs have passed. So you can use it as a regular attack in rotation with the other skills.
Now that we have gone over all the active skills, let’s talk about the passive skills. For those that don’t know, you are able to unlock a slot where you can add a passive skill. You unlock them at level 10, 20, 30 then 70. When you reach level 20 you should have unlocked six passive skill, Fueled by Death, Life from Death, Stand Alone, Bone Prison, Commander of the Dead, and Swift Harvesting. I will start by talking about the ones I use, Stand Alone and Swift Harvesting.
Stand Alone will increase your armor by 100 % but that number will be reduced by 10 % for each minion you have out. Since I have seven skeleton out it’s reduced by 70 % meaning my armor is increased my 30%. If I switch to my golem then my armor gets increased to 90 %. (Remember each ONE minion reduces it by 10 %.)
Another passive skill I am using is Swift Harvesting. With this my attack speed using any of my primary skills is increased by 15 %. This might not be much but since the attack happens with each click of a mouse, this means more of those clicks will register as an attack. And each attack gains essence so you are gaining essence 15 % faster.
The other passive are not bad but I feel those two would work best for me at this point in the game. So let’s talk about them. We will start with Fueled by Death. With this one your run speed is increased by 3 % for 5 seconds. So if you consume five corpses, remember you consume all the corpse at once, then your run speed would increase by 15% for 25 seconds. This can be handy for those that feel a need to get through the game quickly. I have no need for that so I did not chose that. Remember, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
The next passive skill is Life from Death. Here you gain a 20 % chance that a health globe will spawn when you consume a corpse. If you are playing the game on normal difficulty, you really don’t need this. If you pace yourself you will have more than enough life to get through the game. If you increase the difficulty, you might want to consider this.
With Bone Prison each time you use bone spear, bone spikes or bone spirit you get a 10 % chance to imprison your enemies for 3 seconds. This can be rather handy but when you consider the other option is Stand Alone, well the math speaks for itself. Maybe at level 30 or 70 this might be an option but not at 20. Sorry Bone Prison
Finally we have Commander of the Dead. With this the cost of essence for Command Skeleton and the cooldown for Command Golem is reduced by 30 %. That is a good reduction but the way I see it is like this. When you activate Command Skeleton the skeleton stay out. You don’t have to activate them again. So a 30 % reduction on a skill you will use rarely does not seem like a something I will need.
So that is what I think about the new Necromancer class in the game Diablo 3 from Blizzard Entertainment. Once again, these opinions are all based on how I would play the Necromancer class. There are some people that would want the increased speed or would prefer Bone Spikes over the other primary attacks. Also I have only played to level 20 so it’s quite possible that some of the skills I discounted here actually become rather useful. And skills I raved about become cumbersome. To end this article I thought I might include a video of me playing the first five level. It is edited so you can see how the skills work during gameplay.