ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 745
I see that some of the most common concerns regarding the Necromancer have been addressed (Lichform, Undeath Link, and Dark Empathy), thankfully, the issues of style of play remain.

In essence, the Necromancer is still just a kind of crappy, clumsy Archmage with resource problems.

Thus, I will yet again return to the Necromancer and try and propose some solutions. First, here are some problems:

1. Soul resource... there is good way to replenish souls that doesn't either eliminate it as a resource constraint entirely or require really, really stupid farming like leaving a bee-sprouting tree.

2. The talent spread is still so, so unforgiving for the class talents.

3. Lack of a generic... curious for a such a thematic class, and given #2.

Thus, here are my new suggestions:

Move the entire Necrosis tree into the Generic category but remove "Impending Doom" and keep it in the class talents. Then add a new generic skill that lets you recover souls. I'll keep my older name idea because I like it. Introducing my new "Harvest" skill...

Harvest - active skill that lets you trade life for ripping open the underworld and pulling souls from it, at a steep price.

This skill reduces your life down to zero (better have Blurred Mortality up) as well as your heal mod to zero (goal is to reduce healing) for 10 turns in exchange for "x" number of souls.

Tweak "Undeath Link" such that it would apply to any minions that one might have, whether Shadows, Golem, or summons... for the Adventurer class.

Then, get rid of the abysmally half-assed addition of the Ice tree into the Necromancer class and make all of the Necro's nuke damage a blend of cold and darkness, 50/50.

Lastly, redo the Shades tree (probably need a new name as it's thematically weird anyway). You'll now no longer need the inexplicable Curse of the Meek.

1. Shadow Tunnel... I'll rename it "Traversing the Veil." It's still a minion teleport as they traverse the underworld except now it comes with a useful price, namely that it has "x" chance of bringing back unwanted poltergeists with them... I'd say up to 3 or so.

They'd not be too hard to kill and you can harvest souls from them, if you kill them. Their level would always be well above yours as only the strongest souls can overcome your magic. This would make it risky...

2. Impending Doom... cause it to do damage in the form of darkness/cold rather than Arcane.

3. Mark of the Sepulchre...

Sustain that would grant the Necromancer an unholy mark which would convert "x" percent of damage into cold/darkness, which would make Frostdusk super useful.

Make the cost of this steep, namely, that it consumes a soul each turn... if it runs out of souls, it starts picking off your minions. If it runs out of them, it starts draining your life QUICKLY... I'd say 20-33% per turn of max positive life.

Once you hit negative life (or without Blurred Mortality, you'd just die), the sustain shuts off, releasing some of the souls, which if you have Animus Hoarder, you can recover.

4. Frostdusk... unchanged.

There... you've made the class more efficient by a notable degree, and addressed the resource problem.

The only thing you've lost is Forgery of the Haze, which is terrible and doesn't make any sense anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Magical Girl

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:36 am
Posts: 429
Do people complaining about souls ever read what curse of the meek does? :(

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:55 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 745
Sheila wrote:
Do people complaining about souls ever read what curse of the meek does? :(


Sigh...

This has been well-hashed over...

The problem is that it's buried in a locked tree with skills that don't compliment a wide-range of builds, and it requires four talent points invested, to be useful, in an already strapped class.

It limits the Necromancer build options to little more than a crappy version of the Archmage. People want a true hybrid and the Necromancer makes sense but for some reason, they keep adding those features and skills to other classes instead of fixing the bloated and inefficient Necromancer. I guess they have a reflexive fear that it'll be too similar to the ol' Diablo 2 Necro because being slightly influenced by one of the best and most successful games of all-time would be tragic... or whatever.

If you have any other thoughtlessly snotty replies, save 'em. Maybe I'll come back in another year or two and check in... yeesh.

This community is as welcoming and engaging as ever.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:28 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:38 pm
Posts: 287
I like these suggested changes. Archer was changed to make it better, and while it still needs some tweaking, it is a lot of fun to play. Why not change Necromancer so it is fun to play too?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:24 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:07 pm
Posts: 72
Delmuir wrote:
Sigh...

This has been well-hashed over...

The problem is that it's buried in a locked tree with skills that don't compliment a wide-range of builds, and it requires four talent points invested, to be useful, in an already strapped class.


You initially described Curse of the Meek as "inexplicable," which doesn't seem to be at all what you're saying it is here. Even if that's what you meant I definitely see where Sheila's coming from. Also, your changes to shades seem to make taking the category significantly less useful. Shadow tunnel gives you enemies so you can get souls, except now that's redundant out of combat because of harvest, and in combat it's significantly less useful than curse of meek. Impending doom uses more commonly resisted damage types. And you get a new sustain with an enormous cost that converts some of your damage into the only two types of damage you deal anyway. I don't see how any of this works with the class.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 568
I agree that Necromancer could use a significant overhaul, and Animus and Necrosis both feel like generic trees to me. I also agree that there's too many taxes of different kinds in order to feel like a Necromancer. Why does an archetype that is traditionally associated with minions have to reach a particular breakpoint in order to shoot through their own minions safely, to not be shot in the butt by their own minions, to have their minions keep up with them without decaying? It doesn't enhance the experience of playing a Necro to make them micro-manage auto-explore. One of the things I love about TOME is that, like the Dominions and Endless Legend series of fantasy war games, it's not scared to make thematic execution of a class concept a more important value than class balance, I suppose I just disagree that Necromancer feels properly Necromancer-y.

Is anyone happy with Corruptor as it is? Maybe we could smash the two classes together and make one better class out of the pieces. I think the Bone and Blood trees would be generally a good replacement for the Necromancer's Ice damage toolbox (maybe giving Consume Soul a Vim generating component), and I think there's room for a better version of advanced summoning where you could pick the specific undead you wanted for a given Soul cost (perhaps something in a drop down menu, a la Psionic Minion). In a perfect world, I'd also like to see some additional corpse-creating or body-part dropping system somewhat like a demonologist's bind demons ability, where the Necromancer gets a Fleshcrafting tree for creating a mix-and-match permanent minion rather than a Bone Golem and perhaps steals some of that "make animated Blood minions" ability that's on one of the artifact swords.

However, given the lack of consensus on whether the Necro needs fixing, and certainly a lack of consensus on what that would look like, I'm not holding my breath. I do love well-realized Necromancer archetypes in games, but Possessor at this point gives me all the necromancy I need (Psionic Minion is great, Necromancer hosts regenerate souls, and Psychic Blows AoEs are minion-friendly, and Forgery of Haze is amazing as long as your character is significantly dangerous).


Last edited by Snarvid on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 875
There's probably room for a Necromancer overhaul if someone came up with a compelling design along the lines of the Chronomancy rework. At this point I don't think it's very likely though, as the development team all have a lot going on with upcoming DLCs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:19 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 300
When do you remake the Lich creatures in necromancers btw? They are some Doomed AM hybrid that doesn't fits :p


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:13 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
So, I've been thinking about this for a bit now; specifically about souls as a resource. I think they might benefit from being reworked. There are a few things with them that I'm not a fan of.

    - Fluffwise, they're not very strong; souls have a very strong common-language meaning, and souls as a resource fail to capture that. The most obvious example is that certain effects can give you two souls from a single creature; in most fantasy settings and real-world beliefs, most beings have only one soul (at most). I'm not saying TOME mustn't have multiple souls per creature, but as it's only defined mechanically rather than lore-wise, it's weird. An easy solution for this would simply be to have them be called "soul slivers" or something similar, though that has drawbacks as well.
    - They are similar to the Alchemist's Gems in that they're a somewhat limited resource. However, unlike the Alchemists's Gems you can't carry very many, requiring you to gain new souls on a steady basis. This drastically reduces your endurance during long combats with one or a few foes. While alchemist's gems are _technically_ a limited resource, access to them in general is nearly limitless; the limitation is in the quality of them.
    - They are also similar to Vim in that they're regained through combat. However, unlike Vim you can't increase it without killing enemies (except through regaining destroyed undead). This also drastically reduces your endurance during long combats with one or a few foes.
    - They are key to the Necromancer's most iconic feature, but due to the issues above, you are mechanically incentivized to avoid using the feature on a regular basis.

Now, one way to solve this would be to make souls act more like Vim, adding a feature that lets you drain a non-neglible amount souls from still-living foes. Another would be to make them more like alchemist's gems, allowing you to hoard hundreds of them to keep for rough fights. I'm not sure I'm a fan of either. The first has thematic issues and still encourages you to go further into the blasty playstyle, while the second either makes souls an irrelevant resource or adds a lot of complexity (through soul quality, like gem tiers) for very little depth.

My thoughts have instead centered around a third solution; making souls more limited, but less needed. I think this could improve the situation in regards to both thematics and long-term endurance, without making it an irrelevant resource. Something like this is what I had in mind (though these are ideas, not a concrete suggestion for implementation).

Soulless Undead
Thematically, only certain undead would have souls (or at least, enough of a soul to be relevant). This is to some degree supported/hinted at in the Guide to being a Necromancer (part 2 I believe). The majority of skeletons, ghouls, bone giants and similar simple-minded undead would be soulless, driven by instinct and commands, more like a robot or spider than a sentient being (ignoring various debates about the sentience of arachnids and AI for a second). Powerful, more free-willed undead like Liches and Vampires would all have souls. In addition, any creature with a name would have a soul; souls are what turns a "degenerate skeleton warrior" into "Mekek, the Degenerate Skeleton Warrior".

Less Souls Gained
For non-undead creatures, far from all would have souls; humanoids, mammals, dragons, and similar creatures would, but not oozes, worms, and insects. As above, named creatures are an exception. Likewise, gaining souls wouldn't be automatic. Capturing a soul would rely on some form of entrapment spell, likely a debuff that's part of a generic tree.

Less Souls Used
Souls wouldn't be nearly as central to the Necromancer's function as it is now. It would still be nice to have captured souls, but you're not reduced to a bad archmage without them.
    - Create Minions wouldn't require spending any souls, but would only create soulless undead (removing skeletal mages and ghoul kings from the list).
    - Animus Purge would cost one soul, but if successful would refund it.
    - Essense of the Dead and Consume Soul would be combined, requiring only a single soul.
    - Minion Mastery would become a sustain or active ability that creates powerful undead but costs souls.

Implementing this, I could see making Animus a generic tree, with skills along these lines:
    Soul Rend - You attempt to rip a target's soul from their body. Can only target souled enemies. Target suffers a penalty on Mental and Magical saves while affected. If it dies while affected, you gain one soul.
    Consume Soul - You crush and consume one of the souls, regaining life and mana. Also empowers the next spell you cast within 2 rounds.
    Animus Purge - You attempt to crush the soul of a creature affected by Soul Rend, replacing it with one of your own.
    Animus Hoarder - The number of souls you can keep increases. In addition, your Soul Rend ability can affect several targets within an area.

I think this would solve most of my issues with souls, and make the class run smoother.
    - Fluff: No longer many souls from a single creature.
    - Combat Endurance: Improved, as souls aren't as central to the function as before.
    - Incentive to raise undead: Improved, as you can always raise your regular undead; it's the creation of advanced ones that cost.

So, do you think I'm on the right track? Or have I droven straight into Trollmire?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:07 pm
Posts: 72
I really love those ideas, I would be much more excited about necromancer if they were implemented


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:38 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:27 pm
Posts: 287
I still say that there should either be a way to make enemies wet or it should not be able to learn the Ice tree. It can be replaced with a tree that can help shore up issues. It can even be Cold damage based.

It's thematic and all, but what use is there?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:42 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 300
Chronosplit wrote:
I still say that there should either be a way to make enemies wet or it should not be able to learn the Ice tree. It can be replaced with a tree that can help shore up issues. It can even be Cold damage based.

It's thematic and all, but what use is there?

Shater : All affected foes will get the wet effect.

Granted, you need to iceblock something first.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:54 am
Posts: 64
I think moving one of the talent trees to generic would be quite nice. Either Necrosis or Animus would work.

Shades is quite a cool tree, it gives the much needed soul replenishment, provides you with a cool summon spell, and is IMO thematic.

It would be great to have a way to apply 'wet.' I suggested to Shibari in chat putting a way to make things wet on wands as he reworks them - which I hope he does, but maybe putting a reliable wet effect on a necro spell (or wisps) would be cool.

What I would really like to see for necro is sacrifice scaled down and made less tedious. It's really cool and strong, and if you can put up with the tedium should be able to carry necromancer. But I have no patience for that sort of thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:15 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:54 am
Posts: 11
I like the idea to make undead drake unlockable to necromancer. Actually, makes more sense than unlock ice to a necromancer, have anyone tried to see if it would work?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:11 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:27 pm
Posts: 287
Gustavo_Paranga wrote:
I like the idea to make undead drake unlockable to necromancer. Actually, makes more sense than unlock ice to a necromancer, have anyone tried to see if it would work?

To be honest it's a cool idea. It may even get more use on a Necro than a Wyrmic, in spite of the point tax on Raze that you just leave on for extra souls (unless you want to attempt a Meleemancer using Raze and Vampiric Surge... may work with Staff Mastery and a Minion focus for meatshields when things get hairy? I dunno.). Given the soul usage as opposed to Mana, wouldn't Animus Hoarder get more use that way?

The breath would just be used as a better but instant Circle of Death, wouldn't it?


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