The newly revealed Necromancer class has a lot going for it: ghastly minions, gory spells,and a killer (huehue) design. Players can look forward to slaughtering foes of Sanctuary with him (or her!) in the second half of 2017 with the “Rise of the Necromancer” pack.
Today, we break down the reveals from the Diablo panel to see what the Necromancer is really about.
As one of the Diablo franchise’s most memorable classes, the Necromancer went under an exceptional amount of brainstorming before its current iteration was born. Dubbed the “darkest” class in the game, this commander of the dead was designed to be as cool as he is deadly.
Armor variants touch on the Necromancer’s ability themes: blood, bone, and reanimation. A priest of Rathma (in itself a whole other topic), Blizzard looked at him from several angles: king of the dead, crypt keeper, bone saint, even a sort of “rockstar of the dead” aesthetic. Cool note: you’ll notice in the “Armor Set Concepts” slide that the middle set has pumping hearts in the shoulders.
The Necromancer effectively relies on two resources: essence and corpses.
Essence is tracked in the usual resource orb on the right, and is used for skills like Bone Spear (more on that later). Essence has no default regeneration like mana, but can be built up by using certain skills.
Corpses are the remains of all monsters slain. Only Necromancers can see and use corpses, but they pop up whenever the player or their allies slay baddies. Corpses are used to power certain abilities, and, probably, summon certain minions.
These aren’t all the abilities that will be at the Necromancer’s disposal, but they show off some of the basics. Necromancers focus on Blood spells, Bone spells, and Curses. In the future, more types of minions, curses, and golems will be revealed.
- Command Skeletons: Passively summon 10 skeletons; use the ability on your hotbar to have them attack your target
- Corpse Explosion: Pop some corpses laying around–up to 10 at a time
- Bone Spear: Slice through many enemies at once with this projectile; great for building up piles of corpses
- Blood Siphon: Draw blood out of your enemies, regenerating your essence and health
- Blood Rush: Slough off your skill and kick out your bones, slipping through the battlefield as organs and blood (basically Blink)
- Blood Golem: No details on how to summon him, but presumably this brute minion would cost a corpse
- Army of the Dead: Summon, like, 100+ skeletons to bumrush one enemy or all of them on your screen
- Decrepify: Curse a large area, slowing enemies by 80%, reducing enemy damage by 20%, and clumping them up to mulch them into fresh corpses
Necromancer vs. Witch Doctor
The Necromancer was purposefully designed to distinguish it from Diablo III‘s other minion-based class, the Witch Doctor.
Thematically, the Necromancer is a grim, dark, brooding, and gritty character. While the Witch Doctor has some sinister themes, it is often with a light-heated air and a jungle twist, such as with using frogs, chickens, and other symbols. The Necromancer focuses on more minions on screen at all times, and uses the most elemental forces of life: blood and bone. His curses betray a sinister will.
Necromancer abilities focus more on the duality of passive/active. Whereas Witch Doctor minions are summoned passively and pretty much do their own thing, Necromancer minions are summoned passively but can be controlled. For example, Command Skeletons passively summons 10 skeletons to your aid, but actively using the ability causes them to all focus on a single target.
Rise of the Necromancer Pack
The “Rise of the Necromancer” pack can be purchased sometime in the second part of 2017. It will include not only the new hero class, but also cosmetic goodies, 2 more character slots, and 2 stash tabs on PC.