Following last years’ Blizzcon reveal of the Necromancer class, the team at Blizzard brought a little of that Blizzcon excitement to this years’ Pax East show in the form of the female Necromancer class, finally giving those of us who weren’t able to attend Blizzcon a chance to get our hands on Sanctuary’s newest hero.
It was awesome.
For those of you that missed the Blizzcon reveal, the Necromancer class focuses on the powers of life and death, using the corpses of enemies as bombs, a risen undead army, or simply as a way to refuel essence, the driving force behind the Necromancer’s skills.
The build shown off at Pax was focused on maximizing damage, while creating a circle of ever replenishing health and essence. Using the Necromancer’s Grim Scythe ability to damage and replenish essence I was able to keep a rotation up that allowed almost infinite use of Blood Nova, a devastating AOE attack that not only causes massive damage to enemies around you, but also drains your health. This health drain was able to be countered by simply using the Necromancer’s Leech curse, with this curse running any damage done to enemies was returned to me in the form of health, allowing me free reign of the map, although I did have some help with the Golem that she could summon. Check out the attack screenshot gallery below, along with a list of the skills available and their animations in the build that was shown.
After spending some time playing the Necromancer class I got a chance to sit down with Diablo III Senior game designer Matthew Berger, and Diablo III Lead Game Producer Rob Foote and discuss how they saw the class being played, and the synergy with other classes, and the one thing that came up in the discussions regarding this, was the fact that there was no definitive answers, as both commented that players always continue to surprise the development staff from the moment characters go live on the PTR (public test realm) by finding new skill synergies, or equipment synergies that the developers themselves didn’t see coming. I personally feel that a Necromancer/Crusader combo may be deadly.
During the course of conversation, the design and personality of the Necromancer were also brought up, with the focus on the character art to be more of a rock star type look than any of the other heroes. Personality wise, it was stated that Necromancer is a lot more blasé about the day to day demon killing that goes on in Sanctuary, due to the fact that she’s “seen things” as it was put. Which makes me wonder, considering the story line of Diablo III and what was already seen by the other heroes of Sanctuary, what the hell exactly has the Necromancer seen that goes beyond an eternal struggle between Angels and Demons, that could probably be a whole new Blizzard game in itself.
While an homage to the class in Diablo II the Necromancer class has been completely re-imagined as well in order to take full advantage of everything Diablo III has to offer, with voice acting and story to follow the character so that players will be able to get the full Diablo III story experience with the character. Along with the story, new Necromancer focused armor sets, and Legendaries have been introduced into the game, giving players all new loot to hunt for. The Rise of the Necromancer pack will include the character, an in game pet, cosmetic wings, two additional character slots, a portrait frame, pennant, banner, and banner sigil, for players purchasing the DLC on PC, they get the added bonus of two additional stash tabs. While no official price point has been provided by Blizzard, there have been rumors, of a 10 to 20-dollar price tag popping up around the internet, but then again, it is the internet, so take that as you will.
No official release date has been revealed for the DLC pack, but when asked, I was told later this year. So in the meantime, check out the gameplay footage below, and as always stay tuned to ill Popcorn for more Diablo III news as we hear it.
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