Masters of Death, soloing gods on Live...can help a starting group a lot!
§Why a Necromancer?
The EZ necro really starts out strong! The pet they get from 2.5 on for the tier is a beast. It procs heavy and the proc heals the pet….so its hard to kill. Its amazing what a necro can solo! Until….
Til about T2 the pets are quite decent DPS, but that slowly changes in comparison to other pets for the same tier. As you progress it becomes more and more obvious that the pet isn’t at the top of the pet food chain, and that caster dps for a necro isn’t the best in the world because they rely heavily on damage over time (which doesn’t work well on EZ because mobs die so fast).
Hateborne: Necromancers have the ability to earn the 'Death' spells by visiting the Roaming Gnome in the Caster's Guild. He will give you a task based around you level to help you unlock the ranks of 'Death'. This spell will cast four DoTs (Unholy Shackles, Insinuations of Mori, Kiss of Corath, and Hungering Pyre) matching the rank of 'Death' (i.e. Death II casts rank 2 of all four spells). In addition, if a player has not visited the Surefall 'Trainer' (Spells And Discs) to learn 'Epidemic'. 'Epidemic' will spread any level 70 and above DoT to ALL nearby hostile NPCs. One could cast multiple ranks of 'Death' and then pop 'Epidemic' to create a disgusting wave of sickness to all nearby NPCs.
Chunka: While on paper this makes for some powerful AE dots, in practice, in a box team, the necros are still fairly limited, unless you find specific circumstances. The only way necros shine for AE dps with the above method is, as Hate stated, to stack multiple ranks of 'Death' with epidemic on larger pulls. However, unless you either pull a very high hitpoint mob along with the mass numbers of trash, or have a very, very low DPS team you will barely have time to land 'Epidemic' and even one rank of 'Death' before the mob dies. Even so the necro doesnt have much time to do a lot of AE dps before any mob you can mass pull will die. However, this may change with newer content, or as the game is tweaked.
The bottom line is necros can be viable, but this viability is dependant on specific circumstances. Still, if you arent into min/max and enjoy some variety they can be a fun class to add!
§FG or CG?
As an intelligence caster you will want CG for necros. No benefit to them other than some defenses for going FG.
Once you’ve hit level 70 you’ll want to start working on necro AA. There are a lot of choices here that can help them in their main role: pet AND cast dps!
When initially selecting your AA you’ll want to get the first basics the same as any class: max run speed, max planar power, max combat agility and stability, mystical attuning, discordant defiance and max lung capacity. As a pet class pet affinity is a major must have, and like any intelligence caster you’ll want innate enlightenment. After that you want to start maxing ANYTHING offense. A list of some “must haves” in no particular order:
• Natural Durability
• Channeling Focus
• Delay Death
• Critical Affliction
• Death Peace
• Fury of Magic
• Gift of Mana
• Mastery of the Past
• Persistent Casting
• Shared Health
• Spell Casting Mastery
• Spell Casting Subtlety
• Spell Casting Fury
• Death’s Fury
• Feigned Minion
• Quickening of Death
• Theft of Life
These will increase your offenses, and since your main role is dps they are great choices! For anything else read the description of the AA and decide what you want first.
§Spells, Charms, Augs
If you insist playing a necro you’ll want a mana necklace, and you’ll want to complete the Death Spell quest line (see roaming gnome in Caster’s Guild). They will of course also want UC (and high priority) but before then they will want sorcerer’s charms.
Necros get a nice variety of abilities and spells. The above AA list will give you some ideas of what to use during combat right off the bat, but you’l definitely want to do the custom spells (and you’ll need them for Death Spell quest). Qvic necro’s get the first rank of Insinuations of Mori. CT drops Cloak of Night (self buff with extra hps, stonewall), Call of the Lifeless (increases mana and hps, and spell damage) and Unholy Shackles (DoT and snare). T1 gives necros two DoTs, Hungering Pyre and Kiss of Corath. In T3 they get Legend of Shylich Renewal (pet heal). T4 sees Kaldar’s Touch (lifetap) and Wicked Apparition (froglok illusion, hp and mana regen and spell damage). T5 sees Incisor of the Unholy (durational lifetap), and T6 sees their last original spell, Avatar of Undeath.