blizzcon 2016

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Hands-On With Diablo III's Necromancer
by Daniel Tack on Nov 04, 2016 at 11:09 AM
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac

At BlizzCon 2016, I polished off my bone shield and got into the mix with the upcoming Necromancer class. The good news is, a lot of the iconic spells and abilities that made the Diablo II Necromancer a blast to play still appear in some form. During the demo, our abilities were preset and locked, but they do give the indication of what's to come alongside a classic suite of skills.

The Necromancer can Siphon Life from opponents, which also fills the "essence" resource used to fuel more powerful spells. As a spammy ability, Siphon Life is amazing for survival and can keep the necromancer alive through even brutal assaults. Once you have some resources, it's time to unleash some other potent skills, like corpse explosion or bone spear.

Everyone remembers the old corpse explosion builds that would clear entire screens of enemies after the first foe fell, and the move still appears potent. Bone spear can slice through packs of enemies, piercing through multiple monsters and dishing out serious damage.

When we think of the Necromancer, it's as a pet class. A true pet class, not that wishy-washy pseudo-pet class Witch Doctor. And that's what we get here, with a bone army. I'm guessing that the 10-skeleton warrior army in the demo can be retrofitted via the rune system to create the classic bone mages we loved to shoot poison and ice with. And unlike the autonomous drones that pets were in Diablo II, Diablo III's Necromancer can mark specific targets for the pets to destroy, and they do so with fervor.

It's not known at this time if golems are coming back, but I'd wager they are, because the build also let us know one of the Necromancer's critical spell types has returned with curses. Decrepify, while not my favorite curse to dabble in, is a clear signal that we'll be seeing the curse spell class return.

I only got to explore a taste of death in the BlizzCon demo, but it definitely makes me excited to learn the rest of the abilities available for the Necromancer when he arrives as a Diablo III: Reaper of Souls DLC character soon. (Yes, I played a Necromancer in Diablo II and even had a level 80 hardcore Necromancer die on me due to a lag spike).

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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