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I have to say I am surprised a bit by what I’ve seen and read about the necromancer in GW2. I’ve posted a bunch on GW2Guru about my thoughts, though most of my posts were speculation before the profession was revealed at Gamescom. I was hoping for some sort of unique mechanic associated with the gathering of souls and speculated about a soul battery based on some sort of energy gained for slaying baddies that could be used to affect spells.

Yeah, we got something like that alright.

I appreciate the concept of the Death Shroud, especially regarding both the updated mechanics of death in GW2 and the general lore associated with necromancers. As a unique profession mechanic, I’m still not sold. I am a big fan of versatility and, from what I’ve seen about the death shroud, you’ve got 4 skills and a limited amount of time to use them, and it’s unclear whether these give you an advantage in combat. Sure, it’s pretty cool and I like how it looks in the demos, but after the novelty of “ooh, that’s cool looking” wears off, I’m not so sure I’ll see much benefit in using it in battle. This is, of course, me speaking out my butt since I haven’t personally played the demo and I know there’s a good chance that the final version will be different from what was presented at Gamescom. But hey, what’s a blog without opinions?

What I do like about the death shroud is that it also plays the role of the necromancer’s downed skills. It makes sense that, of all the professions, necromancers would be most proficient when they are dieing. This is where I see a clear advantage for the death shroud. Warriors have “Throw Rock,” but necromancers have “Doom.” If nothing else, the downed skills for the necro sound like the necromancer is in control.

I see a lot of returning skills that I like. I’m also appreciative of the return of minions and I hope that necros a) get a few more to play with both in quality and quantity, and b) get a flesh golem equivalent in GW2. I’d like 10-12, personally, and the demos showed 6-7. As for blood magic, a big thank you to ANet for resurrecting that wonderful, if underused and misunderstood, attribute line. It gets a lot more use in GW2 and appears to be tied to daggers (hooray for logic!). I’m also a fan of the fact that necros get to use axes. Because really, what’s more menacing than a creepy guy carrying an axe?

Death magic appears to be strewn throughout the skill lineup without specifically saying it is death magic. Curses are, well, I’m not sure where. There’s a big debate about curses and hexes in general on the GW2Guru forums. I’m not sure how curses will play out in GW2. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m happy to report that wells are returning and I’m curious about “marks.” Mark of Blood and Reaper’s Mark are two reported skills that use this mechanic. I hope we’ll learn more about this tomorrow in the official reveal on the GW2 website.

All that being said, I’m gonna roll a necro. At this point, I’m 99% sure that my necro will not be Belzan. I’ve come to this decision for a number of reasons including character lore and personal interest in other professions (and possible professions). People change a lot in 250 years…