Probably the single biggest obstacle for me getting more deeply invested into Elder Scrolls Online — more stuck to it, I should say — is what I see as its lackluster combat system and class skills that feed into it. I feel that there are too few weapon types (of which almost all are boring) and the class skills feel more spammy than fun. Not all, but many.
So I’ve been biding my time to the Elsweyr release this summer and the hope that the Necromancer promised. Since necros almost always signal “pet class” in MMOs — and an interesting, Halloween-themed one at that — I gravitate toward them. And with the additional stigma of ESO’s Necros, that you can’t use their magic in cities or else be swarmed by guards, this seemed to be an attractive prospect.
With some of my birthday money, I picked up Elseweyr a couple of weeks ago and got right to making a new character and exploring whether ESO’s Necro was a bone-raising hellion or a dead corpse walking. Once again I got frustrated with the ugly character creation settings and ended up hitting the “randomize” button until I got something palpable.
I actually like the setting that Elseweyr presents, as it’s more “African savanna” than “Sahara desert.” Definitely warm and bright and inviting, even with those pesky dragons flitting about. With the new zone guide, I was up and running on the main quest line. Figured I might as well go through this expansion while I’m here.
So far, there are the usual assortment of incredible settings and inviting questlines. I really enjoyed one in which I helped a hapless private investigator track down a missing daughter. The longer quest chains for even side quests in this game get a lot of respect from me, and once I’m on one of these chains, I ride them to the very end.
But what about the Necromancer? I’m only like level 5 as I write this, so I’m not coming at it from a great position of knowledge. What I can say is that I’m a little intrigued and a little worried. I mean, the expectation I have for a necromancer is to be able to order skeletons and other dead things about with impunity, kind of a minion master, but that’s not ESO’s vision. Most all skills have some element of undead theming, from tossing skulls to wearing bone armor, but the closest thing you have to a pet is a 16-second summon — and I don’t even have that yet. The Warden felt more like a true pet class than this, and that worries me. I don’t want to get disillusioned with it just yet.
I think it’s going to take more time to come to a verdict. The combat is very smooth and I do appreciate the choice of morphing skills into stamina-based, offering a different build if I’m so inclined. I’m either going with a one hander and shield or dual wielding, because I feel that the staff is the obvious (and thus, more boring) choice. I want her to get up and personal while she slings her dark magic.
If after a few weeks I’m not warming up more to this class, then I’ll probably go back to the Warden and its permanent pet and skills that, if I don’t love, I at least like and can work with. Plus, I have my Warden’s steed almost maxed out, which is something I haven’t even started doing with my Necro (pitiful sigh as I think about how great it would be to have account-wide unlocks in this department).
What do you think of the Necro so far? What build are you running?