Halloween Journal: Necromancer Skills

Hi everyone, we don’t need a botched Halloween tie-in this year, we have the real deal! Let’s continue our journey into the dark arts by having a look at the first Necromancer Skills:

WhisperOfTheFallenWhispers of the Fallen

This global sustained spell allows the Necromancer to listen out for the spirits  of the recently fallen to see details of battles which would normally not be visible. Any battle that takes place within a certain distance of the necromancers cities or fortresses can be seen by the player. The player can watch a replay of the battle, and the hexes where the battle took place are explored on the map. Great sustained low level reconnaissance / early warning spell.

Corpus FuriaCorpus Furia

The return of an Age of Wonders favorite, now with improved particle and sound effects. Causes the corpses of dead units to explode violently on the battlefield. Each corpse deals physical and blight damage to all units in the vicinity.  Careful tradeoffs must be made, as the Necromancer has many other uses for bodies.

corpusfuria4

DarkRitualDark Ritual

This spell sacrifices population on the target friendly city in order to spawn an undead unit.  Available Undead include the lower tier Necromancer units, but more powerful creatures such as wraiths will sometimes appear.  This spell is great for last ditch defenses

Animate RiunsAnimate Ruins

Instantly rebuilds a target razed city and transforms its population to undead, so all the units produced in the city become undead Ghouls.   An Evil Necromancer can purposefully deploy a scorched earth strategy to gain undead populations in this manner.  For more on Ghouls see the Cities of the Dead Development Journal

BlackPlagueUndead Plague

Infected rats infest the target enemy town.  Every turn a few hundred people will die in the town, while at the same the nearest undead city you own will gain the same amount of population. Since undead cities gain population much more slowly than living cities, this spell is an important part of the necromancer’s economic strategy.

undeadplaque50

Don’t mind the Lost Souls tonight and see you next time with more on the Necromancer and other cool features for the upcoming DLC!

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Home Forums Halloween Journal: Necromancer Skills!

This topic contains 82 replies, has 43 voices, and was last updated by  Nyanko 5 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 83 total)
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  • #132248

    Lennart Sas
    Keymaster
    #132250

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Looking very good.

    Whispers of the Fallen is a bloomin’ brilliant idea, might I just say. Really cool.

    #132252

    steveraptor
    Member

    Dont want to be the party pooper, but does’t look too exciting.
    Corpse explosion is a classic, so nothing new there.
    Rest of the spells looks pretty boring/situational.
    Dark ritual is basically the WL summon militia with a different icon.
    Whispers of the fallen is going to colide really badly in MP, since every battle is mostly auto-combat anyway.
    Undeadplague is nice, but considering u need to keep that running to sustain pop growth, its a very bad idea.
    what if i want to play with no cities options? i have no place to cast that spell and my city will grow very very slow…again very situational.

    Im not pleased with what i see…

    Sorry.

    #132253

    RMZ1989
    Member

    I am impressed and disappointed at the same time.

    Disappointed because I wanted to see the Grim Reaper, and impressed because all these skills are absolutely amazing!

    Love the flavor in these skills like Whispers of the fallen and Undead Plague, Undead Plague also has very sick animation! Like the fact that we can spawn some neutral Undead units with Dark Ritual like Wraiths(probably Carrion Birds too I guess).

    Animated Ruins are also great, but it seems like that you will play “evil” Necromancer most of the time with that way of city conversion.

    All in all, love it! Keep up the awesome work, I can’t wait for this to come out and I will play the hell out of it! 🙂

    #132254

    Taykor
    Member

    All new skills are awesome! (And old ones are welcome too.)
    They seem both useful and atmospheric.

    #132258

    thabob79
    Member

    Animated ruins was one of my favored if not my favored death sphere spell in the Aow2/aowsm. The new concepts for undeads seem awesome!

    #132259

    terrahero
    Member

    The Whispers of the Fallen, i suppose is good for when an enemy army gives itself away by getting into a fight. No idea how far the range is, but i usually build plenty of Watchtowers anyway.

    Corpus Furia, it looks great, nice animation. In the end i never used it to much myself, always was a bit to situational for my taste. Enemies need to stand on or near a corpse, but i suppose this does open some interesting tactics. Kill an enemy unit thats next to one of its allies, then explode it.
    Ofcourse, your units need to be out of the way. But corpses play other useful roles, so it better deal some really fine damage! Blight is fairly often protected or resisted against as it is.

    Dark Ritual is indeed very similar to the Warlord skill. Sacrifice population for a unit. From what i read here, the main difference is in the quality of the unit.
    For the Warlord its the starting tech in its unit tree and very early-game, i assume for Necro its not and might be a bit later game (my guess mid, or early-to-mid).
    Especially if it can end up pumping out some Wraiths, which is a few notch’s above tier1 irregular for sure.

    Animate Ruins, not much to say. Its a classic if i ever did see one. Opens up for some interesting strategies in combination with a certain specialization.

    Undead Plague is an interesting ability. To boil it down it could be a -100pop growth ability. But its population adding to your Undead cities means you might not actually want to take over an independant city just yet. As population growth options in an Undead city are fairly limited. Altough from what i understand, not exclusive to a spell like this.

    And i still got hopes for Mind Decay making a return, but so far whenever i hope for something regarding the Necromancer i seem to be off base 😛 So instead some reverse psychology.
    I hope we DO NOT get Mind Decay.

    #132261

    Decker87
    Member

    This is so cool! I’m happy to see animate ruins.

    #132262

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Corpus Furia, it looks great, nice animation. In the end i never used it to much myself, always was a bit to situational for my taste. Enemies need to stand on or near a corpse, but i suppose this does open some interesting tactics. Kill an enemy unit thats next to one of its allies, then explode it.<br>
    Ofcourse, your units need to be out of the way. But corpses play other useful roles, so it better deal some really fine damage! Blight is fairly often protected or resisted against as it is.

    I can see it being quite useful in siege battles, actually, at least in the early game, where your enemy doesn’t have many methods to circumvent the walls and gates, so is funnelled into choke points. Kill someone in the choke points (or have one of your own troops die in it) and then use Corpus Furia to good effect.

    #132263

    what if i want to play with no cities options?

    This already exists with choosing a production class. No city options hurt production classes, but favour Summoners. Ditto Settler starts, which is why I can’t understand the people who claim that these are more balanced…but…anyway.

    Point is it doesn’t seem any more debilitating for a Necromancer than it currently is for a Warlord.

    Whispers of the Fallen is the very definition of asymmetrical scouting, and is similar in concept to some of the ideas raised in the Warlord discussion thread. Suffice to say I love this idea.

    I don’t know how useful it will be in the early game, but certainly late game it gets more interesting as you can see what is going on around you. I imagine it will be hard to creep and take a necromancer unaware.

    #132265

    RMZ1989
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>terrahero wrote:</div>
    Corpus Furia, it looks great, nice animation. In the end i never used it to much myself, always was a bit to situational for my taste. Enemies need to stand on or near a corpse, but i suppose this does open some interesting tactics. Kill an enemy unit thats next to one of its allies, then explode it.<br><br>
    Ofcourse, your units need to be out of the way. But corpses play other useful roles, so it better deal some really fine damage! Blight is fairly often protected or resisted against as it is.

    I can see it being quite useful in siege battles, actually, at least in the early game, where your enemy doesn’t have many methods to circumvent the walls and gates, so is funnelled into choke points. Kill someone in the choke points (or have one of your own troops die in it) and then use Corpus Furia to good effect.

    It might work differently now when we have groups of units, so you maybe won’t even need to kill a whole unit for Corpus Furia to work. You maybe need just to damage the squad, kill some units in it, as bodies would be created already.

    If that is how it works, it will be a lot better and more useful than before, because you won’t really need to kill one group, but just to damage few of them, and then cast Corpus Furia and you will get the same effect as Hornet Swarm/Chain Lighting, you will have a huge AoE damaging spell that will deal quite a lot of damage.

    But we will see how it works in the end, that might be too powerful. 🙂

    #132268

    Garresh
    Member

    Dont want to be the party pooper, but does’t look too exciting.<br>
    Corpse explosion is a classic, so nothing new there.<br>
    Rest of the spells looks pretty boring/situational.<br>
    Dark ritual is basically the WL summon militia with a different icon.<br>
    Whispers of the fallen is going to colide really badly in MP, since every battle is mostly auto-combat anyway.<br>
    Undeadplague is nice, but considering u need to keep that running to sustain pop growth, its a very bad idea.<br>
    what if i want to play with no cities options? i have no place to cast that spell and my city will grow very very slow…again very situational.

    Im not pleased with what i see…

    Sorry.

    Respectfully disagree. Been playing necros in every game for a long time, and this feels like a nice throwback to D&D style necromancy with a nice mix of unique new mechanics. I’m a huge necromancer fan and this looks really well done imho.

    #132269

    Garresh
    Member

    @BBB lol yeah I’ve noticed very few of the beta players play settler start no cities. Never understood that myself, as it makes you ridiculously dependent on hearts or domain spells to ever expand. Also, I don’t think I’ve seen halflings in settler start no cities once. They’re basically unplayable in that mode, due to no answers to terrain penalties.

    #132271

    Arlow
    Member

    i love this! what a great halloween treat, thanks as always

    #132272

    Ravenholme
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>steveraptor wrote:</div>
    what if i want to play with no cities options?

    This already exists with choosing a production class. No city options hurt production classes, but favour Summoners. Ditto Settler starts, which is why I can’t understand the people who claim that these are more balanced…but…anyway.

    Point is it doesn’t seem any more debilitating for a Necromancer than it currently is for a Warlord.

    Whispers of the Fallen is the very definition of asymmetrical scouting, and is similar in concept to some of the ideas raised in the Warlord discussion thread. Suffice to say I love this idea.

    I don’t know how useful it will be in the early game, but certainly late game it gets more interesting as you can see what is going on around you. I imagine it will be hard to creep and take a necromancer unaware.

    And as I understand (and I could be very wrong) – A Necromancer doesn’t necessarily have to Ghoul a city, but he has little advantage (apart from access to living Racial troops) to doing so, as all his class units etc are set up to synergise with the Undead and Ghouls.

    #132273

    LordTheRon
    Member

    Oh nice goodies. I really like the undead plague animation.

    #132274

    Garresh
    Member

    And rogues have no reason to research courtesan ambassadors in no city mode, but often have to to get other techs. And how do you think Theocrat players feel when the game host turns off Inns? Ditto Partisans. Game is balanced very well at default settings. If you turn off elements over personal preference, you cause problems.

    #132275

    steveraptor
    Member

    Im going to be abit more through on my opinion.

    I just don’t see how Whispers of the fallen is working with auto combat, especially since replays are disabled in MP games for convenience, so if u can’t watch auto combat this pretty much is useless, especially in the early game, where scouting is extremely important.
    it also makes it annoying for other players while the necro player is watching battles since it makes then turns last longer and people get impatient.

    Animate ruins pretty much forces you to go evil alignment if u want to utilize this spell, but that shouldn’t be a big issue, im fine with that.

    Dark ritual = summon militia, nuff said.

    Undead Plague – like i said before relaying on this spell to grow ur cities to stay on par with other classes might become a problem, since this can be dispelled by other players/AI, and its going to make a nuisance to keep it up and running and keep reinforcing it so it wont be removed, and i already mentioned the fact of the need of cities to cast that upon.
    I guess the best bet is to put that on neutral cities.
    But then its a double edged sword, since if u capture that city for urself, that spell is lost and u need to find a different city.
    considering that whispers of the fallen ain’t going to help u locate those cities early at the start, that’s just making things harder.

    @BBB
    Yes, this problem exists already, but then why to make the problem bigger making a class that will suffer from that problem and be limited to game starting options/rules?

    Corpse explosion – yeah, its cool, buts its so overused in pretty much every game that has necromancer in it…nothing to be excited about.

    In general nothing of those features are “Extra-ordinary” or “out of the box” interesting/fresh that makes them attractive.
    They are pretty much straightforward and some of them already exist in game (dark ritual) or overused (corpse explosion) by alot of games already.

    #132276

    steveraptor
    Member

    And rogues have no reason to research courtesan ambassadors in no city mode, but often have to to get other techs. And how do you think Theocrat players feel when the game host turns off Inns? Ditto Partisans. Game is balanced very well at default settings. If you turn off elements over personal preference, you cause problems.

    Not researching CA and is much less of a problem then gimping ur city pop growth which has a direct impact on all production and city borders expansion.
    But i can see the point ur making, so i understand.
    Even though, assuming default settings, relaying heavily on a spell to keep an important feature such as pop growth on par with others is not a smart idea, i posted the reasons already in my “long post”.

    #132277

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Steveraptor – it works with auto-combat by, I assume, showing you the afterbattle report, even though it took place outside your field of view in the fog of war. I assume from that window you can then choose to watch the replay (which would allow you to see how your opponent is fighting in combat, spells, etc), but you don’t have to. I imagine the MP meta will be to not watch it for courtesy’s sake.

    It is kind of obvious that is how it will work.

    As for city growth, we’ve seen nothing to suggest that all cities taken by a Necromancer are ghouled automatically, and even if they are, we know from the dev journal on undead cities that there are breeding pens which give them slow growth whilst Ghouled. Undead Plague will be useful simply to get a boost to the population growth.

    You can see the slow growth of your cities otherwise as the trade offs for having Undead units/cities.

    #132279

    steveraptor
    Member

    @BBB lol yeah I’ve noticed very few of the beta players play settler start no cities. Never understood that myself, as it makes you ridiculously dependent on hearts or domain spells to ever expand. Also, I don’t think I’ve seen halflings in settler start no cities once. They’re basically unplayable in that mode, due to no answers to terrain penalties.

    Almost all the players i play with in MP choose settler start + no cities.
    this is the first time i was introduced to those settines, when i first when into public MP games.
    Also i started doing so in my 3v3 AI games with my friends.
    For me its much more balanced that way instead of relaying on luck to get nearby neutral cities.
    Its depressing and annoying that in every game, one of us get an insane start and get 3-5 cities by turn 15, while another suck with 1-2 city due to bad start.
    This effectively eliminates that problem.
    I see no problem playing halfling settler+no cities, they always start on their favorite ground in every game, and to deal with terrain, like the good folks here told me and i started using that, is using creation adept to turn hated terrain into temperate, im playing alot of halfling games this way, so no issues there.
    Each and hes taste i guess.

    andway..back to topic

    #132280

    RMZ1989
    Member

    Dark ritual = summon militia, nuff said.

    I don’t quite get this. You simplify it way too much, to me it is exciting just because you are able to summon Undead units(and even neutral ones like Wraiths that are super awesome!) and as Necromancer, you should be favoring units quite a lot.

    Looking that way, all of the summoning spells are the same(and there are quite a lot of them) because hey, they summon creature in exact the same way. You can’t just ignore what creature you are summoning just because the spell is the same.

    Yes, Corpus Furia isn’t anything new, but unlike in previous AoW games, here Necromancer can do a lot of stuff with corpses and you have to make choices when it is a good time to use it, unlike some other AoE spells that you can and probably will use right away anyway.

    All of the classes have some skills and spells that are almost identical or quite similar(Hornet Swarm and Chain Lighting for instance), I don’t know what exactly have you expected from these spells and skills. They just can’t be very different from other classes.

    #132282

    esvath
    Member

    Cool! I could not wait for the release date.

    #132283

    steveraptor
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>steveraptor wrote:</div>
    Dark ritual = summon militia, nuff said.

    I don’t quite get this. You simplify it way too much, to me it is exciting just because you are able to summon Undead units(and even neutral ones like Wraiths that are super awesome!) and as Necromancer, you should be favoring units quite a lot.

    Looking that way, all of the summoning spells are the same(and there are quite a lot of them) because hey, they summon creature in exact the same way. You can’t just ignore what creature you are summoning just because the spell is the same.

    Yes, Corpus Furia isn’t anything new, but unlike in previous AoW games, here Necromancer can do a lot of stuff with corpses and you have to make choices when it is a good time to use it, unlike some other AoE spells that you can and probably will use right away anyway.

    All of the classes have some skills and spells that are almost identical or quite similar(Hornet Swarm and Chain Lighting for instance), I don’t know what exactly have you expected from these spells and skills. They just can’t be very different from other classes.

    Do not mistake “Damaging” spells from spells that tailor how ur class is played.

    Chain lighting and hornet swarm are same spell with different type of numbers, it doesn’t really make the sorcerer or the druid unique in their own way.
    What do set the different is their “Special” spells that fashion and build every class to be unique in its own way.
    The necromancer spells mentioned here (except corpse explosion) are the spells that makes ur class what it is unique to others, for example, like mana batteries for dread, iron grip for rogue and hallowed domain for theos, Whispers of the dead for necros…

    #132286

    terrahero
    Member

    Whispers of the Fallen also reveals that area. Even if you dont replay the battle, it should atleast give you some terrain information aswell as a heads up something was going on there.
    And you might get the summary report, like all other battles you want to rewatch, that shows you the units involved from both sides and who got away alive. All usefull information without actually watching the battle.

    Animate Ruins can be usefull in other situations aswell, if the AI employs a scorched earth tactic, which it does from time to time. But if you want to use it entirely yourself, then yes you might have to dip into the evil side a bit. Which shouldnt be to much of a limitation to be fair.

    Dark Ritual is a very similar mechanic, but it gives you different units, random units.
    Ultimately some skills will be close to others in mechanic. Fireball is just a Vengeancefull Frost, only a different damage type. Manticore Rider is just a beefed up Gryphon Rider. A Fire Dragon is just the fire version of a Frost Dragon. Steam Power is just a slightly different version of etcetc.

    As for Plague, that wasnt going to be the only way an undead city grows. There were going to be some “breeding pens” as a city upgrade aswell. So you are not entirely dependant on a spell, it simply boosts the population growth.
    And yes, it will be situational and limited, as was explained during the City of the Dead journal, Undead cities get various advantages. As a trade off, they do not grow. Its by design that they do not expand anymore, or atleast very very slowly.

    #132290

    decoy
    Member

    Nice weekly update. I like the direction the class is going in, very death and destruction like.

    Whispers of the Fallen is a nice idea. I need to see what the range is on it though and for those that say it’s going to be useless for MP you can still see the battle report on the history list. That should be enough for MP to make it useful.

    Corpus Furia Nothing special to say about this spell. It’s a nuke and I’m glad necro gets one.

    Dark Ritual The spell overlaps with WL summon militia but then you can say that about other summon spells overlapping. It is still a different unit compared to the WL spell and it fits the theme of a necromancer. It is a classic necromancer spell and you can’t get away from it. Also nice that it can summon higher level units. This could be good or bad depending on what the new units are going to be like.

    Animate Ruins A more niche spell I think but it is not a bad spell. You can find a use for it. It really pushes the necromancer to take destruction adapt for its tool kit. We will see if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Some classes are dependent on certain specialization in some people views but that’s not to say you can’t play a different style still. Animate Ruins probably won’t force someone to play destruction adapt though.
    Undead Plague an offensive city enchantment that I can’t say I can give any opinions on till I understand how important an undead population is. Lots of variables could make this a must have spell or an afterthought. Very careful balance will be needed to ensure that this spell isn’t needed but at the same time useful if the player cast it. The enemy city losing population isn’t that important to me unless you set the amount greater than the default 250.

    That is all my thoughts on these spells. Looking at this list of spells I really don’t want to cast the 2 city enchantments if the current mana upkeep is still the way it is. It too expensive with the current upkeep and I don’t think you will see many people cast them if it continues.

    #132292

    See no problem with Whispers. It tells you the location of the enemy, explores the map and shows you the enemy units (via the report even if auto resolved) and it does all this in an interesting way.

    Plague. Again I see not problem. It’s makes the Necro economy unique. What might make it more interesting is if you could cast it on friendly (non-undead) cities with high pop growth in order to fuel your undead settlements. Also cities taken by the Necro don’t get auto-ghouled so it’s not a must have.

    Ritual. Provides class units instead of racial ones like Raise Militia and is also more powerful. Since population is more precious for the Necro it’s a more difficult (and therefore more interesting) trade off. Keeping a good balance between undead and “living” cities is an important part of Necro gameplay it seems.

    Corpse Explosion. A common spell yes but this isn’t Diablo, it’s a turn based strategy. Killing an enemy unit or getting enemies to pile up on one of your own units to set up a good explosion will provide interesting tactical choices.

    #132295

    Garresh
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Garresh wrote:</div>
    @BBB lol yeah I’ve noticed very few of the beta players play settler start no cities. Never understood that myself, as it makes you ridiculously dependent on hearts or domain spells to ever expand. Also, I don’t think I’ve seen halflings in settler start no cities once. They’re basically unplayable in that mode, due to no answers to terrain penalties.

    Almost all the players i play with in MP choose settler start + no cities.<br>
    this is the first time i was introduced to those settines, when i first when into public MP games.<br>
    Also i started doing so in my 3v3 AI games with my friends.<br>
    For me its much more balanced that way instead of relaying on luck to get nearby neutral cities.<br>
    Its depressing and annoying that in every game, one of us get an insane start and get 3-5 cities by turn 15, while another suck with 1-2 city due to bad start.<br>
    This effectively eliminates that problem.<br>
    I see no problem playing halfling settler+no cities, they always start on their favorite ground in every game, and to deal with terrain, like the good folks here told me and i started using that, is using creation adept to turn hated terrain into temperate, im playing alot of halfling games this way, so no issues there.<br>
    Each and hes taste i guess.

    andway..back to topic

    Starting without nearby neutrals sucks, but its not a deal breaker. I mean that game I posted on YouTube I had no cities around. None. And I still took out a player with 3x my forces. And he’s a good player. Meanwhile, on settler start you are forced to take terrain adaptation specializations or lose. Creation or Fire adept shouldn’t be mandatory. They’re good enough as is. Neutral cities still require you to put down the resources to use them. Either large amounts of gold, or time, or military, which means losses either to sieging the high value cities, or a mix of time and losses from doing a quest for them, with less rewards than just clearing.

    Most cities are small, and in that case you can spend 180 gold on a settler instead of 225 gold buying up the city. And if you’re settling, you get to pick the location which means you can capitalize on high value things like ruins.

    Even factoring in all these opportunity costs and choices, you *still* have to garrison these cities, or that wonderful city you spent 700 gold on will be taken by your neighbor who spent 700 gold on infantry, while you were busy bribing the locals. You can’t consider balance in a void. Besides which, by removing cities from the game, resource distribution of nodes becomes *truly* random, whereas city spawns actually somewhat normalize them. I’ve had games where in settler start no cities Im surrounded by hostile terrain, with less than 5 gold mines within *30* hexes. I can’t expand. I can’t really develop much. So what are my options? Attack…

    In some ways, this is no different than other modes, but I strongly dislike large regions of empty space on a map, and the idea that a player can’t use an area because he didn’t have the right race and specialization combo. That’s not how a game should work. We should be faced with choices, some optimal, some less so. Removing cities *hardens* all these choices, so that some choices are still good, most others are awful. And if you don’t have a tool to make a good choice, such as creation adept, then you no longer have any choices except attack. And that’s not including the balance issues it raises between classes.

    #132297

    Garresh
    Member

    Anyways, even factoring in these things for how necros interact with cities, I fail to see a problem.

    #132298

    AwesomeLion
    Member

    Awesome! When can I buy this? =)

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