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Elder Scrolls Online: The Necromancer - Reaper Time

William Murphy Posted:
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The Necromancer is the best sounding part of the new Elder Scrolls Online chapter, Elsweyr. That’s just my opinion, but I’m a sucker for new classes, and the Necro is being treated with care and attention as one of the game’s most requested classes since it launched years ago. Knowing that lore purists would raise an eyebrow at the class, there’s always reminding folks that ESO takes place way before any of the main TES games, and that Necromancy has been present among the enemies of the game since ESO launched.

One of the coolest parts I’ve learned through the VODs of the dev team’s stream is that people in towns and NPCs you talk to will react poorly to you if you go in there all skeletons and darkness blazing. They will still talk to you, but you’ll hear gasps, hear people talk about your evil ways, etc. But though this is awesome, the main thing I wanted to know about the Necro was... will I have a skeleton army?

The answer to that is both yes and no, thanks to the excellent coverage over at ESO fansite Alcast.

Like most other ESO classes, the Necromancer has three distinct trees, each one focusing on a role. The Reaper is DPS, the Bone Tyrant is for tanking, and the Living Death tree is for healing and support. Of the three, I’m definitely leaning towards the Reaper, because it’s the closest one to being full of summons and pain, but I can see myself easily mixing in some heals or defense skills to make a hybrid build for dungeons. Let’s take a look at the Reaper skills this week.

Reaper Skills

  • Burning Skull
  • Summon Skeletal Mage
  • Skeleton Bomber
  • Graveyard
  • Siphon Energy
  • Bone Dragon Breath

While a lot of these aren’t fully explained in depth yet, it’s clear thanks to Alcast what some do. First up, the burning skull is basically a fireball that looks more metal. The Reaper also has a Skeletal Mage, which I suspect will have a morph that allows a skeletal warrior for melee pet status, but it’s unclear as of yet. It’s important to note that the summons on the Necromancer aren’t permanent like the Clannfear on the Sorcerer, but rather skills that last a certain amount of time. What I’d like to see is a morph that allows you to summon two skeletal mages at once, or one beefy skeletal tank, depending on what you desire.

Skeleton Bomber, at least from glancing at the images and info shared, seems to be that you might want to time your skeleton summons, and when they’re nearly about to disappear, send them off to explode at your enemies. Then you summon another, and in this way the class will likely be far more interactive than the normal summon classes like Sorcerer or Warden.

Graveyard most definitely seems like an AOE debuff or damage skill, possibly along with a snare. A great way to keep people from running away, most likely. I’m curious to see what the morphs of such a skill would be, and how the stamina and magicka builds might differ around this whole skill line.

Siphon Energy really seems curious to me. The drawing above almost looks like you’re taking energy from corpses and enemies to give back to yourself? Could it be that, as suggested, many Necromancer skills gain in power if there are dead bodies nearby? If so this definitely seems like one.

And lastly, there’s the incredibly awesome looking and hopefully super-potent Bone Dragon Breath. I mean, just LOOK at that drawing. Surely it’s just a big AOE wall of fire, but it’s glorious and badass. Still, other skill lines’ ultimates like Bone Colossus and Resurrect may be far more useful as Ults. We’ll take a look at those trees in later columns.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.