The Necromancer has been requested to be added to Diablo III, since before the game’s release in 2011 and the years that followed. As for the characters in the main roster of Diablo III, the Witch Doctor quite simply didn’t fill in the void when it was learned that the Necromancer would not be a playable character. Fast forward to 2017, and the Rise of the Necromancer Pack is here. The arrival signals concern as there’s no new quests to accompany the price of the character. The Necromancer is however, one of the best-playing caster classes in the game, and is incredibly powerful solo or in co-op.
As the story goes, the Necromancer’s arrival fall on the Priests of Rathma, who server to maintain balance between light and dark, but not to upset it. Necromancers have abused their power before, but now they set out to do what’s right. And that’s about it. In the campaign, you follow the same steps as every other character, and there’s new dialogue and lore scattered about, but the campaigns remain the same. “Rise of the Necromancer” is a great title squandered by the lack of some sort of mini-campaign to go along with the pricetag.
The Necromancer is the best caster class yet, wielding lots of powers: skeleton, blood, and melee through the scythe. The Necromancer inhales essence to fuel his or her powers. Each time the Necromancer kills, they leave corpses behind, something you won’t see when playing other characters. There are 4 sets of unique armor to collect, and each focuses on different strengths. This Necromancer is more than the Necromancer of Diablo II, and for the better.
The primary skills include a Grim Scythe which uses melee attacks and ethereal damage. The one I have equipped currently is Siphon Blood, which lets me suck the blood out of enemies at great distances to keep replenishing my health. Secondary skills like Skeletal Mage let you summon skeleton mages of different varieties at the cost of essence to bring into battle. The one I currently use is Bone Spear, where I hurl spears at distance. The left/right mouse combo of these two to do damage by maintain health, and replenish essence.
Abilities are broken down into four types: Corpses, Reanimation, Curses, and Blood & Bone. Now, you can use one ability of each, or thanks to the highly-customizable nature of Diablo III, focus all on Corpses or even Curses. In Corpses, Devour is my favorite ability as I can devour nearby corpses to regain health. Corpse Explosion is a close second as I can explode the corpses left by you to regain health, and also damage or kill other enemies by proximity. Reanimation is the area in which you command the undead. Here you can Command Skeletons and Golems. Or, summon high-cooldown Army of the Dead or Land of the Dead rush for high damage. Curses debilitate your enemies by leeching from them, or weakening them through Frailty. Blood & Bone can be used to buff you when surrounded. Bone Armor is a standout to not only give you a cool look, but deflect damage. How you play is entirely up to you, and the Necromancer is highly varied for all types of players.
It should be noted that Rise of the Necromancer does require Diablo III: Reaper of Souls in order to be played. Alongside the pack’s release, is the big “Patch 2.6.0”, wh ich is a huge compliment to the game. It features new areas like: Shrouded Moors, The Temple of the Firstborn & Realms of Fate, added to Act II and IV, respectively. These new areas feel thematically in-line with the new Necromancer class. You can read the release notes here.
Bonus items come with your purchase of Rise of the Necromancer: An in-game pet, cosmetic demonic wings, two additional character slots (not available on console version, two extra stash tabs, a portrait frame, and a banner sigil. While purely cosmetic, they do serve some nice visual variety from you and your co-op partners, or just general play.
The Necromancer is a great character, and a wholly exciting class for those who’ve been waiting 6 years for it to come out. I wish it was priced a bit more modestly, but given the fun I’ve had playing this character, I can soon seeing this long forgotten with the countless hours to be played going forward. Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer brings back a classic class to Diablo III, but does so at a high expense, but not at the cost of being an excellent character to start playing.
A Blizzard code was provided by the publisher for review purposes