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Focused Feedback: Necromancy Revamp


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Necromancy

Dark Blast, Gloom, Life Drain

  • These powers now have a 70% chance to summon a Spectral Minion to your side!
  • These Specters are temporary, lasting a maximum of 90 seconds as their health fades away by the second.
  • These Specters cannot be healed or regenerate, but have decent resistance to all damage and defense against AoE attacks.
  • These Specters cannot be commanded or upgraded, but slotting your personal attacks will improve their attack stats.
  • Each attack can only summon one Specter, for a maximum of 3 if all attacks are used.

Henchmen (general)

  • Powers have been adjusted for area and duration.

Zombie Horde

  • Can no longer be slotted with heal enhancements or sets.

Grave Knights

  • Can no longer be slotted with heal enhancements or sets.

Lich

  • Can no longer be slotted with heal enhancements or sets.

Enchant Undead

  • Henchmen passive resistances have been moved to this upgrade.
  • Enhant Undead now accepts Resistance sets and enhancements.
  • Lich's Petrifying Gaze has been moved to this upgrade, no longer grants Life Drain to the Lich.
  • Resistances now grant mag 1 Hold and Immobilize protection, as well as 50% resistance to Stun/Hold/Immobilize.

Dark Empowerment

  • Now accepts Healing sets and enhancements.
  • Lich's Life Drain have been moved to this upgrade, no longer grants Petrifying Gaze to the Lich.
  • Slotting this power with heal enhancements will enhance Life Drain's heal.
  • Dark Empowerment range increased from 30' to 50'.

Soul Extraction

  • Recharge lowered form 600s to 300s.
  • Only works on active Henchmen, not Specters.
  • Will extract the soul from each Henchman for 60s before the Souls vanish.
  • The extracted souls are still linked to their bodily hosts, if the host of a soul is defeated, the soul will also be defeated.

Extracted Souls

  • Phase Shift's heal has been increased to a 12s duration from 6s. Scale lowered to 0.5 per tick from 1.0.
  • Now have 13% positional defenses, not enhanceable.
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Having played necromancy a lot on live and being one of my favorite sets I hopped in to play with this
 

First of all, PETS. Wow I love pets. This is the pettiest pet set now and I love it for that. It will force me to reconsider my build to take some of the attacks for more pets. Which is a good thing; the attacks should be serious power considerations for every MM, even if they ultimately fall into the realm of "skippable."


Let's go top down on changes


Attack changes - spectre pets
Love it, glad they don't clog up pet window (same as Gang War). They're cute, if barely visible, but I think that's good because there will be a lot of pets on the board now and it's better if they aren't taking up a lot of visual space. Though I do have one complaint. They're uncontrollable; they should not have a hitbox. They're going to get in the way especially if there are 3 of them running around per mastermind, blocking doors and causing issues. They're ghosts, I'd recommend just not having a hitbox.


Lich
Lich doing more damage is not too bad, and I like the AoE increase. Lich overall has never been a big damage dealer though and probably still won't, which is fine!


Enchant/Dark Empowerment
Being able to slot this power for RES/healing is very interesting! I see you're doing this with most of the enchant powers which will, on average, save a lot of slots and possibly allow for higher values


Soul Extraction
Besides the attack pets this is likely THE most interesting change. It seems to make pets out of all living zombies which means six pets per cast instead of one. Previously it was possible with high recharge to have two ghosts permanently, if targets allowed. Now you can have six without issue. This is a BIG change and it's super neat. I would have to play more to see how they operate and what they all contribute. You also actually have incentive to keep the zombies alive now, whereas previously you almost WANTED them to die so you could create ghosts. But the process of making a ghost, resummoning, and rebuffing was kind of a hassle. So this is much better.


Cool changes overall. Only real feedback is the possible hitbox spam. If that's addressed, it looks great to me.

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Very nice changes overall.

 

I'd still like to see at least the grave knights to also get lethal resistance (they are kinda wearing armor?)  Being the heavy knights and in melee I feel they kind of need it and it is appropriate.

 

Can agree on the hit box thing in that they should act at least the same way as all the other MM pets (if they don't already) and let other players easily get through them.  (Same always wished for illusion phantom army but different topic). 

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Ported a mid-30s Necro/Electric to Beta.  Did a mission with my initial build (has Life Drain but no other attacks), respecced and added Dark Blast, did some more.  Finally, bumped to 50 and gave it a try with my planned endgame build for the character (with a couple adjustments again for blast-y sake) and did just a little more than that.

 

Overall thoughts:

Nice! Necro feels so much more fun with Soul Extraction not requiring me to wait for a pet to have to die (and all the pain of resummoning and such that accounts for).  I'm normally very much on the high horse of liking to make click powers perma, but I'm seeing close to 50% uptime and it's generally fun enough that way.  I'm gonna try experimenting with a couple other secondaries, too, I think, because as things stand just having a friggin army of souls following me about makes for an incredibly fun MM and I like having excuses to get blast-y.  A Demons/Pain concept I've been sitting on for a while might work even better as a Necro if these changes stick.

 

Possible considerations/suggestions:

With all the added blasting, Endurance is a bit more of a woe than it was before.  This is not, inherently a bad thing.  However, it does make me want to...ration a bit better.  Would it be possible to use the power-tray ring tech to identify which of the three blasts does or does not have a Specter out and associated with it?  That would help give a better idea of which powers might be a priority if I'm trying to bring a shade-y friend back out while also trying to keep my zombies...um...alive?  Uh, let's just say upright.

Also, this second one I'm not sure about because it's very hard to measure, but may bear looking into.  With /Electric, specifically, comes the issue of Chaining powers, with target caps and diminishing effects.  I noticed that as I had the Shades spawning, they were getting hit by the chains and, unhealable (and unbuffable?) as they are, the UNAFFECTED indicator was popping up, sometimes a couple of times on the same Shade.  If the Chains are smart enough to not count unaffected targets towards their caps and similarly avoid the the lessening effects then this is not an issue.  But like I said, it's hard to measure, due to limited duration and the unpredictability of the Chain effects.  If some confirmation can be given on this it'd be reassuring (and if, say, the Shades do "use up" Chain effects, maybe it'd be possible to at least maybe make the Shades grant a little bonus static? Wouldn't solve the diminishing effects but would ensure that it didn't waste a hit).

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I ran both a necro/time and merc/time through a +1/x3 radio council mission at level 30, bosses on,  and just used auto enhance with SO's only.  Was interested to see how both did after buff in a sort of standard test.  

 

Damage wise they both seemed decently close, mercs seemed to kill a bit faster.  Didn't actually time it and ended up with different maps, so can't be totally objective on clear speed.

 

Survival wise though I can say merc did very well and only lost a couple of tier 1 soldiers on average per mission.  Necro did not do nearly as well and I lost all 3 tier 1 zombies a couple of times and a couple of grave knights as well.  I can say I still think necro needs a bit more survivability imo.  Probably a lot of it was that council of course do a lot of lethal damage, and zombies have none whereas mercs have good resistance there.  But lethal is the most common in the game, so I think that is going to carry over on average.

 

As previously mentioned as well, at times necro now has a LOT of pets out at once, which is very cool, but the new ones aren't pushable and are solid.  I can see them getting in the way and blocking doors, narrow passages, etc. as probably an issue on a team.

 

As it stands I'm very excited to start a merc MM on live.  Necro is better and the buffs are nice, but still would like to see them (leaning toward both tier 1 and tier 2 pets after testing) get some lethal resistance, even if it is a lower amount than their other resistances.   Anyways, thematically why wouldn't a zombie be able to at least somewhat shrug off bullets/sword slashes? (unless you take their head off with it).

 

As @Lazarillo mentioned, I also had more endurance issues on the necro.

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My initial thoughts in my brief testing tonight:

  • omg please, please look at the MM end tax, especially for Necro
  • These changes are really cool, even though I didn't have any specters appear that I could tell, but soul extraction has a pretty massive end cost, and we're supposed to be utilizing our primary attacks plus secondaries? Ouch
  • Not all of us gild our alts out with attuned IO's, or even basic IO's and such, so someone that hasn't built up a lot of inf to slot their necro character is going to struggle with balancing the primary attacks with everything else
  • For those who have auditory sensitivities, Necro is now almost as loud as Demons, though only in combat--that life-steal noise added into the second upgrade is pretty screechy
  • The zombies are pretty tough now, but kill speeds still seem a bit slow (granted, that's at level 28 with basically nothing slotted up yet because I hadn't added to the toon after copying it to beta; just wanted to see the changes before I went to sleep).
    • Yes, I know all the sets can't be amazing

Overall the changes seem nice, soul extraction is really fun. I look forward to messing with it more.

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Global: @Valnara1; Formerly @TigerGoddess on Live

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. 🙂

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); ACE 9000 - Fire/Rad Sentinel

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I love the additional slotting options on Enchant Undead + Dark Empowerment. Slotting Resist IOs make the Pets tankier and Heal IOs into Empowerment gave them hefty self heals via their siphon life powers.

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4 hours ago, Lazarillo said:

Would it be possible to use the power-tray ring tech to identify which of the three blasts does or does not have a Specter out and associated with it?


This is an interesting idea. I could see it going either way of course, depending on the design intent.

If the game gives you rings it's almost an incentive not to use those powers while they're lit up, if you're really only using them to put pets on the board. You could consider this a good thing though, because it frees your thought process up to actually use your other powers, and you don't have to distractedly try to keep track of hard to see pets.

Of course, you could also argue doing that makes it into more of a game of whack a mole trying to poke powers to light up the board so you're "allowed" to move on to your other powers for maximum efficiency.

You could also address this problem by making the pets spawn 100% of the time instead of 70%. I did notice they already spawn even if the attack misses. But if the purpose of the change is to give you a reason to use the powers in general, none of these changes may have the desired effect. If it always summoned a pet, you'd just periodically do your 1 2 3 and move on. But it's not as though I won't be doing that anyway, and trying to keep track of if one of those failed to summon a pet so I can come back to it. Pulled back enough, is that good "incentive" to use the powers or is it more like upkeep maintenance with RNG involved?

Though I suppose players are going to do whatever they're going to do. I'd be curious to hear what the devs want this to look like in play though.

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On 10/4/2022 at 8:29 PM, Riverdusk said:

I'd still like to see at least the grave knights to also get lethal resistance (they are kinda wearing armor?)  Being the heavy knights and in melee I feel they kind of need it and it is appropriate.

 

Thematically speaking, Necro pets should have some lethal resist anyway.  They're fucking dead, what's "lethal" even mean at that point?

 

And because some people around here either can't grasp context or have the reading comprehension of a cinderblock: yes, I am joking.

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33 minutes ago, wackodraco said:

Per my testing, Soul Extraction -> Burnout -> Soul Extraction seems to just resummon the 6. No Gang War type shenanigans.

(This is not to say that I believe that it should, merely an observed fact.)

And if anyone asks, that is working as intended.

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These are exciting changes. I'm glad MMs are getting attention and I think the changes you're making are fun, thematic, and interesting. I was excited to test.

 

Some initial thoughts:

 

The Blasts:

  • The specters have very minimalist graphics, just a sickly-green floating tennis ball trailing a bunch of streamers below it. Energy Font and the Dominator version look much better. I'm more able to notice the specters by the leadership and IO aura buff icons rotating around them than by their actual physical appearance. It feels pretty underwhelming.
  • "These Specters cannot be healed or regenerate, but have decent resistance to all damage and defense against AoE attacks". What this means:
    • 4 mag protection to Terrorize and Sleep
    • 1 mag protection to Stun
    • 50% resistance to Terrorize and Sleep
    • 100% resistance to: healing, run speed, and recharge
    • 38.04% resistance to smashing, lethal, fire, cold, energy, negative energy, psi, and tox damage
    • 19.99% defense to AoE
  • I don't think this is really going to change my thinking on my necromancers. I already take Gloom and Siphon Life because they deliver procs at a decent rate. I don't take Dark Blast, because it does not. Summoning the specters is a neat trick, and may be a real help while leveling (especially if they can take aggro), but I don't see getting all three as anything especially important.

 

The Pets:

  • "Powers have been adjusted for area and duration" - what they're saying here is that the zombie AoEs are bigger and will try to do more damage. Details:
    • Projectile Vomit
      • Wider arc. Live: 40ft, 20deg cone;  Brainstorm: cone arc increased to 30deg
      • Longer DOT.
        • Live: has a DOT component that is 6 ticks of 90% chance for 1.25 over 5.10 seconds after a 1s delay
        • Brainstorm:  16 ticks of 80% chance for 1.17 over 15.10 seconds after a 1s delay
        • This may sound sexier than it is. My understanding is that when that DOT tick chance fails, it cancels the rest of the DOT.
        • 8.5 potential damage (if the target lives for 6 seconds) becomes 18.72 potential damage (if the target lives for 16 seconds). Compared to what I heard they did to mercs, this sounds like peanuts.
    • Zombie Vomit
      • Larger AoE. Live: 8ft range, 5ft radius Targeted AoE. Brainstorm: radius increased to 7ft.
      • Longer DOT. Identical parameters before and after to Projectile Vomit's dot.
    • The Lich cones all looked unchanged to me, but the tedious nature of comparing the two code states means I was relying on my memory of cone dimensions from playing my dark defender. I may easily have missed something.
  • It would be pretty cool if more detail were available here. It's fussy to compare pet powers across the two states. I know it's a pain in the butt to keep notes on the changes you make, but not as much of a pain in the butt as it is to compare the two code states as a player. I was hoping to test two MMs tonight, but I spent a lot of time decoding the patch notes, so... less feedback, I guess.

Enchant Undead:

  • "Henchmen passive resistances have been moved to this upgrade." There is a lot hidden in this patch note. Here's a quick before and after of the Necro resistance scene:
    • Zombie Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 25% Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 20.25% Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox (this is lower at base, but can be enhanced - on Live it can't be enhanced)
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 25.41%
    • Knight Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 26% Cold, NE, Psi, Tox (no Smashing; value is 1% higher than Zombies)
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 27% to Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 33.89%
    • Lich Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 26% NE, Psi, Tox (no Smashing or Cold; value is 1% higher than Zombies)
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 33.75% to Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 42.36%
  • "Lich's Petrifying Gaze has been moved to this upgrade"
    • I like this change. Getting both hard controls at 32 is a big step and I prefer the idea that you gradually earn your hard controls for the Lich rather than getting them all at 32 (or 26 or w/e the t9 power comes).

 

Dark Empowerment:

  • Now gives the life stealing attack upgrades to all three pets (before it was just Zombies and Knights; Lich got theirs from Enchant Undead)
  • The life stealing attacks have a stealth buff: each of them gives a maxhp buff worth ~25% of their heal effect. This can't be enhanced or buffed. This does not exist on Live.

Soul Extraction:

  • The Soul Extraction ghosts are noticeably slower than the zombies. Masterminds already suffer hugely from most of their power being unable to keep up with even a moderately fast team; this problem is made worse when half their power arrives well before the other half; worse yet when you consider that you want Gang War-style chaff generators in times of extreme need. Please match the pet speeds.
  • The ghosts all have:
    • Resists: 50.35% to Smashing, Lethal, Cold, NE, Tox
    • Defense: 13.07% to Melee, Ranged, AoE
  • The changes to this power are where the set's offensive buff sits. My proc offense build, which sits at 155% global recharge with Hasten running and has a single +5 acc/dmg/rch enhancement in Soul Extraction, has a 1:46 recharge time on this, meaning 60 seconds of Ghost Time, and 46 seconds of Sad Time. That's a massive increase in offense over live, and it shows. Ideal play is to get the recharge nice and low and mash the Soul Extraction button with your paw whenever it's up.

 

 

Then I did some tests. All my tests were DA dailies from Maharaj, on my 50+3 Necro/Dark who has all pet auras slotted (which gives +35% res to all and +10% def to all to pets within range).

 

The Cakewalk: +0/x0, which, given my level shift, meant that minions were grey. This was mainly to get some initial power impressions that you see above. As on Live, this was a total stomping of the enemy.

 

The Moderate missions: +4/x4 (but remember I'm +3, so this is effectively +1), and my only use of my secondary was sometimes opening with Fearsome Stare because letting the pets open was risky. Oh, and Shadow Fall, except on one escort mission. No use of active incarnates. Otherwise it was just Necro blasts (Gloom and Siphon) and providing Supremacy/Leadership/IO auras.

  • These were okay, but not comfortable. The pets occasionally died. One of the missions was the one where you have to escort some CoT mage to an altar, so I had to have Shadow Fall off. At the altar you get ambushed. I got aggro from an enemy spawn at the same time the ambush showed up, and those two spawns thoroughly and quickly crushed us. I think I would have died even if I had been using all my powers and playing well.
  • I ran one and a half missions just setting the pets to aggressive and letting them start engagements. That went mostly okay - their health would drop from the enemy alpha strike, but then they'd heal themselves up. Occasionally one would miss the heal and die. I did all this without using Soul Extraction because I wanted to get a handle on the corporeal pets on their own, because they have survivability problems.
  • When pets miss a heal, they're very vulnerable to dying from the next attack wave.

 

The Hard mission: +4/x8. I used my secondary plenty. Only passive incarnate use.

  • This one was rough. It was against the Talons of Vengeance, and there was a T intersection with one spawn right inside each branch of the T, within about 20 feet of each other.
  • That intersection killed me many times. I tried plenty of things to make it work: opening with Darkest Night on one pack and Fearsome Stare on the other while Darkest Night took effect; trying to pull one group with Darkest Night; letting the pets open; using bodyguard mode and taking the first alpha myself.
  • Bodyguard was especially rough on the pets - they dropped hard when I used it. I always got mezzed and it wasn't a good approach. More on this below.
  • I even switched to my Scorpion Shield tanky build with softcapped SLE defenses, in the hopes that my higher defense would mean bodyguard mode hit the pets less hard and allowed them to survive longer than 15 seconds or so. It didn't work.
  • It may not need saying, but the blasts and their little pets were meaningless in this encounter. I had much more important things to do with my animation time and two more bodies that don't interact with Bodyguard would not have made a difference even if they were summoned passively at the start of the fight.

 

My Thoughts:

 

An aside before we dig in: did pet attack mechanics get changed? On live they're kind of derpy and sometimes stand still doing nothing even when they should have recharged attacks available, or they get stuck standing 9 feet away from their target and so can't use any of their 8 foot melee attacks, or whatever. I didn't see any of that on Brainstorm. Attacks flowed smoothly and quickly and the zombs were moving through their attacks like they had purpose. Could be purely a perception thing. On to the set feedback.

 

The increased offense from new-look Soul Extraction is really nice. The tuning of the power now is such that it will be very tempting just to wait for it to recharge if you're soloing x8 missions at or near your capacity to handle. I don't know if that's something you want or not.

 

The changes to the blasts are thematic and fun, and maybe valuable while leveling up, but I can't see them making the blasts good at 50. Why not? Because...

 

The zombies are super brittle. They're admittedly tougher than p4 zombies, sure. But only very marginally tougher. Yes, Knights got Smashing res and Lich got Smashing and Cold res. That's nice, and it was a bizarre omission in the first place. But going from 0% Smashing res to 34% is not a huge deal when you have a small health pool to begin with; and most especially when you still have 0% Lethal res.

 

Which is the big problem, in my opinion. Zombies have 0% resistance to Lethal, Fire, and Energy. These are not exactly uncommon damage types. You could have buffed the SCNPT resistances to 80% across the board and I don't think it would have changed my experiences much; with 0% LFE resistances, they are always going to be a short step away from death. This is even worse because your tankiest minions, the ghosts, are incredibly vulnerable because they die when their corporeal counterpart does, and that happens a lot.

 

Bodyguard mode makes this even more obvious. As the MM takes damage and the undead are hit with splash damage, you can watch the pets' health drop. Once the first pet drops, each other pet starts taking more damage via bodyguard, and another follows, and suddenly there's a cascade and it all goes bad very quickly.

 

My guess is that the maxhp buff was meant to counter this. But let's face it, a 5% maxhp buff is not a meaningful layer. If the goal is to give them more room to float while they wait for their heals to land... I mean, Grave Knight will only see a difference there if the difference between life and death is less than 38.55 hp at level 50. Plenty of attacks will push right through that without having realized it was there.

 

But they're tougher than in p4, so why is this an issue? Well, part of it is that they're not great in p4, either. But I think it becomes more obvious in this situation because of the higher offense they have via the bigger aoes and the Soul Extraction ghosts. Necro hits harder in p5, so you want to take them against tougher enemies, but they're glass cannons. They can't really hang in there against enemies they want to be fighting because they have three enormous holes in their defensive scheme. And they don't have the blaster-style approach of just melting everything before they can counterattack, so bad luck or the wrong enemy group (fire-based or energy-based or lethal-based AOE, I guess) can just trash them.

 

Right now, I think you should consider giving pets total resistance coverage. The idea of defense holes is interesting and thematic when you're a scrapper trying to plan your build or when you're choosing your IO sets. I don't think it's fun and thematic when it's something you have no control over and no way to plug the gap. I have never heard an MM say anything like, "Well, you know zombies are weaker to lethal damage, so we'd better avoid enemy groups that have it." And the IO system gives us no way to plug these holes. Right now it's just a thing that makes pets brittle and that we can do nothing about, so sometimes your pets just die real easily and there's not a meaningful player choice that can be made to prevent or avoid it. If there was some way a skilled MM could direct specific damage types to herself in order to spare her pets, this setup might be interesting and fun, but there is no such thing in this game, so it just feels arbitrary. "Oh, pet 1 died instantly and pet 2 just got scraped. I guess one of them took the wrong damage type / got a bad roll / was in an aoe / got the wrong aggro"... in a CoX battle, there are so many possibilities it doesn't bear thinking about in the middle of a fight, it just winds up feeling like the pets are fragile... because really, they are only as strong as their biggest defensive hole.

 

I guess another thing you could try would be letting the Specters be part of the bodyguard economy. This might make me reconsider the value of the blasts. Because their health decays, you can't really bank them as bodyguard health for long periods. It also would make repeated blasting a more tactical decision than just summoning the little things at the beginning of the fight and then moving on to your real work; if your pets are taking a beating, getting a couple more Specters out would become a priority. That would require some indicator of which blast power has a specter out and which doesn't, but I think it would be worth the work, because players would have tactical decisions to make based on your new mechanic, which I think would be a mark of a successful feature.

 

I think these changes are cool. I like the ways you're thinking. I like that you want to make Necro the swarm set. I like that you're trying to make the blasts meaningful and I like the ways you're thinking about doing it (even if I think you need to go bigger with the blast effects across the board if you want to succeed). I love that you're finding interesting and thematic ways for the vintage sets to do more damage.

 

Caveats:

I have only tested with /Dark Miasma. It may be that the res buffs sit better on a /Sonic or a /Cold MM. If I have testing time, I'll give a necro/cold MM some time on Brainstorm.

 

I realize testing using incarnate dailies is not a conventional way to test. If folks have better ideas about how to test this, I'm open to ideas. I'd also love to hear from other experienced necro players what their impressions are on Brainstorm.

 

I don't do a whole lot of solo x8 play on MMs because it's super tedious, even on the ones (bots/cold) who can handle it fine, so maybe there are some big brain strategies I'm missing.

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9 hours ago, Booper said:

And if anyone asks, that is working as intended.


That's pretty much what I expected. The old version could stack pets if your recharge was high. You could get 2 permanently, maybe 3 briefly if your recharge was really extreme. 4 probably if you used Burnout. But now that it summons 6 by default I would definitely expect replacement behavior (like most pets do).

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The updates to Necromancy are very interesting! The attacks that summon specters in particular are 'huh' worthy. They're still not really worth using as attacks (Drain Life has life drain if you want that, but that's about it), but the summoning specters mechanic is worth investigating.

I can see certain builds with less-active secondary power sets building some for specters. At the very least I think someone with a better head for builds than I should try it; giving them more damage might be worth it, or just putting end reduction on the attacks to get them relatively cheaply. I'm not sure on this: in the bustle of a Mastermind fight they are VERY hard to track, and their contributions are lost under all the other orange numbers, so probably some dedicated testing is in order. Apart from that, if a Necromancy Mastermind does have the spare power slot, grabbing one and not slotting it is probably an entirely viable option to get more chaff on the field.

 

That said, the big limitation is liable to be action-heavy secondary sets: any secondary set that wants you do do a lot of clicking is going to find using the attacks to summon specters probably not worth the time taken and end drain; they have better clicks for the cost. All said and done, however, this has given the necromancy basic attacks more consideration than they have had historically! At the very least this is progress in the right direction.

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As far as power changes for the zombies go, there's very little. The RES was moved to the first upgrade like other sets. Lich gets Petrifying Gaze at the first upgrade instead of second. The knights do have Death Shroud now though, so both of them contribute a bit of extra damage by virtue of having damage toggles going at all times. You can see the power icon and the FX here.

image.thumb.png.cf7d1190b00fb19f5dbb1d4e64dee89a.png

As of this latest patch the spectres look like this. They still have hitboxes BTW which I'd rather they didn't since you can get 3 and can't control them. They even get in the way and jostle you a bit when they appear.
image.png.759b12e65ed804df0f96da75638aae3b.png

I also noticed while playing ninjas that you get power icons on your buff bar to indicate the crit chance buff being active, one for each power that's contributing. Zombies instead gives you a single stacking icon instead of distinguishing which power summoned a spectre. I'd much rather it work the way ninjas does.

Edited by Dispari
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2 hours ago, Dispari said:

As far as power changes for the zombies go, there's very little. The RES was moved to the first upgrade like other sets. Lich gets Petrifying Gaze at the first upgrade instead of second. The knights do have Death Shroud now though, so both of them contribute a bit of extra damage by virtue of having damage toggles going at all times. You can see the power icon and the FX here.
 

 

Thanks, I didn't realize things had changed until I saw your post. Is there a list of the changes, or did you find this just by noticing an update and then logging on and checking?

 

I like the new specter look! The damage aura on the Grave Knights is interesting, too. It may serve as a kind of passive taunt, or at least a collection of stray aggro, to redirect damage from the slightly more fragile zombies.

 

I also notice that the maxhp buffs in the pets' self-heal powers are gone now.

 

Edited by Scrapulous
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1 minute ago, Scrapulous said:

Thanks, I didn't realize things had changed until I saw your post. Is there a list of the changes, or did you find this just by noticing an update and then logging on and checking?


Logging in to check the powers and compare it to City of Data.

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On 10/4/2022 at 5:35 PM, The Curator said:

Dark Empowerment range increased from 30' to 50'.

I only saw this and thought radius, not range of cast, but PLEASSSSSSSEEEEEE make these upgrades, if not going to auto's, a pbaoe buff so you don't have to actually target the pet to cast them. Please make them pbaoe, so you can just fire them off right after you summon the pet without needing to target them.

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23 hours ago, Scrapulous said:

I also notice that the maxhp buffs in the pets' self-heal powers are gone now.

It's just in their second tier upgrade by default now. So like if you use it all your pets go up by about 150ish hp, more hp on lich, less on zombies, and it is boosted by the heal enhancements in the upgrade. Personally I like it alot more this way.

Edited by Ryko Nailo
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20 hours ago, summers said:

It would be really great if the Spectres could have no player character collision detection like the rest of the summons.

 

I believe Capt P said he was going to look into this.  And can't recall, do Gang War Thugs block doors?

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8 hours ago, Ryko Nailo said:

It's just in their second tier upgrade by default now. So like if you use it all your pets go up by about 150ish hp, more hp on lich, less on zombies, and it is boosted by the heal enhancements in the upgrade. Personally I like it alot more this way.

 

Oh! Good catch, thanks for the correction.

 

It's weird, though. I have a single, unboosted level 50 heal IO in Dark Empowerment. Here's what I get for my upgrade figures:

image.png.bd689bf4f0a5facb2b1034e8ffba3adc.png

 

I would have expected a single percentage, resulting in an increase that scales with pet maxhp, similar to how maxhp set bonuses work. But this isn't that at all. In fact, it's neither a flat hp increase nor a percentage, but ... something else? It's weird.

 

I'm guessing you have more heal enhancement in your Dark Empowerment, and that's why you're seeing 150 hp where I'm seeing ~72.

 

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1 minute ago, Scrapulous said:

 

Oh! Good catch, thanks for the correction.

 

It's weird, though. I have a single, unboosted level 50 heal IO in Dark Empowerment. Here's what I get for my upgrade figures:

image.png.bd689bf4f0a5facb2b1034e8ffba3adc.png

 

I would have expected a single percentage, resulting in an increase that scales with pet maxhp, similar to how maxhp set bonuses work. But this isn't that at all. In fact, it's neither a flat hp increase nor a percentage, but ... something else? It's weird.

 

I'm guessing you have more heal enhancement in your Dark Empowerment, and that's why you're seeing 150 hp where I'm seeing ~72.

 


A lot of player +HP powers are only partially enhancable, so I wonder if that’s what’s happening here…

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