Guild Wars Profile Preview - The Necromancer

Our sixth and final character profile covers the powers of Guild Wars' master of maliciousness: the necromancer.


It's the sixth and final day in our character profiles for the upcoming online role-playing game Guild Wars. Guild Wars won't be a persistent world, massively multiplayer game like EverQuest or Dark Age of Camelot. Instead it will focus heavily on head-to-head competition. You'll play as a character who chooses two of the game's six starting professions: monk, mesmer, ranger, warrior, elementalist, or necromancer. Then you'll try to carve out a set of skills that's right for the job. This won't be easy, especially considering that 450 skills are planned for the game...and your character will only be able to choose eight of them at any given moment.

The necromancer's powers aren't pretty, but they're certainly grim. Actually, maybe that makes them pretty grim.
The necromancer's powers aren't pretty, but they're certainly grim. Actually, maybe that makes them pretty grim.

We'll cap off our profiles of the characters in the game with the necromancer. Be sure to check GameSpot's preview section of Guild Wars for more character profiles, and be sure to watch an exclusive developer interview and exclusive new footage from the game, which is linked below. These profile stories should help you decide what kind of character you'll play in the "world preview event" that begins today, Friday, October 29, in which ArenaNet will open up a test version of the game for you to try out. If you don't make it in to that weekend event--and you're a GameSpot member--don't worry. You'll also be able to try out the game the following weekend in an enhanced event that will feature even more unlocked content.

The Necromancer

The necromancer class specializes in hexes, which are powerful curses that detract from your enemies' combat and/or spellcasting effectiveness and can even drain life force away from them. Necromancers have also become known for having masochistic streaks. That is, they have several skills that damage themselves but can bring about other effects, such as damaging and hindering their enemies in exchange for their own health. This profession holds sway over the ghoulish undead, and it can even summon undead creatures (from the corpses of friends and foes alike) to battle on its behalf. Necromancers are surprisingly well-rounded characters that can both provide support and inflict damage unto enemies in battle.

Live, and be killed by the necromancer's minions. Die, and become the necromancer's minions. Live, and be killed...
Live, and be killed by the necromancer's minions. Die, and become the necromancer's minions. Live, and be killed...

Attributes and Abilities

Primary Attribute:
Soul Reaping

The necromancer's primary attribute, which is accessible only to characters who have chosen the necromancer as a primary class, is the grisly practice known as soul reaping. Every time any creature dies near a necromancer, that character automatically regains a store of bonus energy. Some necromancers are at their best when fighting off waves of enemies...then resurrecting them as zombie thralls, then profiting from the deaths of their own minions, then raising a new army...

Additional Abilities:
Undead Minions / Wells

Guild Wars' necromancers exploit corpses of fallen beings for their own uses. They're the only characters in Guild Wars with the ability to summon undead minions from the bodies of the slain.

Necromancers are also the only characters in the game able to use "wells," which are stationary magical effects that may be beneficial to necromancers and their allies--but are powered by nearby corpses.

Skill List

Normal, Non-Elite Skills: Please note: This skill list is based on the current, prerelease version of the game and is subject to change. Each profession possesses 75 skills total, including 50 normal skills and 25 "elite" skills. Below you can find the most current listing of normal skills. Elite skills will be revealed later. (Additionally, ArenaNet is only revealing a handful of skill descriptions for each profession at this time.)

IconSkill and Description
Animate Bone Fiend
Animate Bone Horror
Exploit target corpse to animate a level 15 Bone Horror.
Animate Bone Minions
Awaken the Blood
Barbed Signet
Blood of the Master
Sacrifice 40 Health. All adjacent undead allies are healed for 58.
Blood Renewal
Blood Ritual
Consume Corpse
Dark Aura
Dark Bond
Dark Fury
Dark Pact
Sacrifice up to 22 Health, and deal that amount of damage to target foe.
Death Nova
Deathly Chill
Deathly Swarm
Deathly Swarm flies out slowly and strikes for 40 cold damage (before armor) on up to three targets.
Defile Flesh
Demonic Flesh
Target suffers from Weakness.
Enfeebling Blood
Infuse Condition
Insidious Parasite
Life Siphon
For 24 seconds, target suffers health degeneration of 3, and you gain health regeneration of 3.
Malign Intervention
Mark of Pain
Mark of Subversion
Necrotic Traversal
Order of Pain
Parasitic Bond
For 20 seconds, target enemy suffers Health degeneration of 1. You are healed for 56 when Parasitic Bond ends.
Plague Sending
Plague Touch
Price of Failure
Putrid Explosion
Rend Enchantments
Rigor Mortis
Rotting Flesh
Shadow of Fear
Target foe and all adjacent foes attack slower than normal for the next 44 seconds.
Shadow Strike
Signet of Agony
Soul Barbs
Soul Feast
Exploit target corpse to steal 140 Health.
Spinal Shivers
Strip Enchantment
Target foe loses one enchantment, and you gain 40 Health.
Taste of Death
Touch of Agony
Unholy Feast
Vampiric Gaze
Vampiric Touch
Touch target foe to steal up to 37 Health.
Verata's Aura
Verata's Gaze
Verata's Sacrifice
Vile Touch
Touch target foe to deal 37 damage.
Weaken Armor
For 30 seconds, target foe has -26 armor against physical damage.
Well of Blood
Well of Suffering
Well of the Profane

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