9 - Toxic Necromancer - May/8/2000
The Necromancer is
of course best known for his "pets", or minions - skeletons and golems.
However, the class is much more versatile than this! In addition to summoners
of various types, opportunities abound for the Melee Necro, the Demolitionist
(Corpse Explosion and Poison Explo), the Architect (Bone structures),
the Arty Necro (or Dental Necro... lots of Teeth), and not least, the
Toxic Necro. Poison Dagger is a very nice spell, but one which does not
truly shine until you make it way of life.With damage lasting about slvl
seconds and damage increasing nicely each point, you can reach 40-50 pts
of damage (over a ten second period) by the time you reach Andariel.
Charis-Dirk would take up a role of Toxic Necro with a strong emphasis
on Melee. He started with Bone Armor - I like this spell, with a nice
graphic and absorbing 20 pts of damage before disappearing, but I know
realize that it becomes strong ineffective at later levels unless you
continue to push it. Amplify Damage was the other key spell - highly useful
early on and it stays useful, with Iron Maiden and Weaken joining the
Curse Arsenal. All other points however went to Poison Dagger. The downside
is that ONLY a dagger or dirk may be used, and the mana drain is noticeable
if you take many swings to kill something. A single point in Clay Golem
was taken give mobs a target to beat on besides Dirk himself.
Dirk did fine, but died a LOT. The Poison damage is not immediate, but
the monster may receive a fatal wound, living for another 4-5 seconds.
Damage and ability early on were pretty weak. Finding a Sharp Dagger of
Vileness helped - as it stopped monsters from regenerating. But the sweet
weapon he obtained from Gheed on a gamble was the rare "Sharp Skewer".
It was vile, life steal, +88 Attack rating, and +dmg. EXACTLY what he
needed, and later Charsi sold him the perfect complement - a Silver Dagger
of Frost (great for slowing foes as they die of poison). Imbuing the Ring
mail gave some much needed defense, and also a very nice 'Rib Cage' look
to the character! (Fashion DOES count)
Eventually, it was time for the final battle with Andariel, and the only
question - whose poison would win the day?! Dirk was doing about 40-50
points damage with Poison Dagger, and Amplify Damage doubled that. A Golem
was used to keep Dirk from dying in the lag wake-up, and he had an antidote
potion ready on his belt. Andy wishes she had one, for she soon turned
a very bright shade of green, and took nasty cuts that would never heal.
Just before her death she was fitted for an Iron Maiden, and Dirk earned
the title of "Sir."
So, I've played three Necromancers so far, how do they compare?
Summoner - strongest, but after a while, least interesting to play (that's
just for me, and I've not seen the lvl18+ spells yet) Arty Necro (Teeth
specialist) - was a lot of fun, and the view of over a dozen teeth flying
is quite impressive. But with only one hitting a given (boss) monster,
he had some difficult times. This Necromancer was probably the most 'friendly'
for coop, with some extra points in curses. Too bad he'll never get to
see Bone Spear. Toxic Necro - Tied for second in overall strength, his
nice Skewer dagger may have made him a little stronger. He didn't play
much coop, but taking a role cursing things and 'tagging' the monsters
one after the other with lethal injections would be sweet. Solo, you have
to kill all yourself, not just tag. Experience is shared with the whole
party, so it's not "cheap" to hit each once. Too bad Dirk will never see
Poison Nova in the beta, that would have been fun. Melee Necro - as a
style, with some assistance from Bone Armor, a little Poison Dagger, and
something like Iron Maiden, this should be quite viable. AR and DR was
good by the time Dirk finished Act I, and it would have been an option
to take up a larger weapon, if a really good one had been found. As more
of a Variant that stays away from spells, it's going to be _much_ harder,
on par with the challenge of a Muscle Mage. If Dirk had that last battle
with no golem, no Poison Dagger, no curse, he would have needed something
like a Deadly Scimitar of Frost to even have a chance, and it would have
been a very tough battle. Socketed gear would have made sense too, with
cold dmg, steal/regen life, +life, and extra damage. (Hmmm... I wonder
if Andariel is considered undead?!?! I may have to test this setup with
a Diamond socketed Wirt leg! :)
In any case, the Necromancer is seen NOT to be a one-trick pony.