Necromancer Feedback


I am loving the new class. I just wanted to leave my bits of critical feedback here. Grain of salt and all that.

Skeletons and control:

  • The control skull on 4 is awkward to use
    • Pressing 4 twice to drink a potion is clunky and slow
    • After drinking a potion, you automatically take the skull out again so you can’t block in emergency situations
    • I don’t always know if my input to take out the control skull has been properly queued after other actions, so I often press 4 again and accidentally swap to potion and drink it. God forbid I’m holding a grim.
  • If you’re about to explode, you can’t take out the control skill to vent with a sacrifice, or otherwise prevent exploding. That seems like an oversight for an undead summoner. It also seems like her overheating sound effects are not nearly as obvious? Might be my brain is acclimated to Darktide sounds or something.
  • It’s hard to tell what command the skeletons are currently obeying, and how they are buffed by it.
  • I feel obligated to always be commanding due to the timed buffs they receive, even though it seems to not provide much tangible value relative to just attacking.
    • I don’t like the feeling of constant maintenance. I’d rather choose a persistent mode for them. Offensive or defensive. Then let me select a target to attack or a spot to defend. I need visuals that show me what they’re currently trying to do or what area they’re tethered to.
    • A better way might be to summon them with F, then have F be the controller mode, including a “resummon” action that uses your career skill to raise dead.
    • “Dread Seneschal” further compounds the confusion, because now my skeletons are split 3 & 3, attacking and defending, but I don’t always know how many of each are alive, which command they are obeying, which command takes priority, etc. etc.
  • I don’t fully understand how each skeleton type is different, which has more health, which does more damage.
  • I find myself constantly clearing commands and spamming commands and just hoping it’s doing what I want.
  • Monsters seem to obliterate the skeletons even in defensive mode


  • Left click doesn’t feel very satisfying
    • It’s hard to see the bounces happening or how effective they are
    • Bounce distance is too short
    • I wish the attack homed like psyker Assail
      • Perhaps it could home onto a single target, and if the target dies it transfers to a nearby target? Idk, it’s missing a cool factor somehow. Projectiles feel slow and lacking visual definition.
      • The classic homing skull could have been used here
  • Right click generates a gargantuan amount of heat, and it creeps up while aiming. Heat Sink is almost mandatory to not accidentally explode.
  • Right click loses lock at some arbitrary angle with little to no feedback? Why?
  • Seems to be in the category of beam staff and bolt staff but just performs worse.
    • For a class that relies on lighting things on fire for several effects, you would expect this staff to be better at it.
    • Sure you can snipe specials, but with a breakable lock-on, channeling time, and huge heat cost. It’s not fast enough if there’s multiple threats on high difficulties.
    • In a horde, you have to spam left clicks and also direct hit the enemies to light a horde on fire, and hope you don’t hit your teammates between your own projectiles, fire effects, enemies, and skeles blocking LOS. It’s actually better to swap to scythe for the alt-fire explosion, or the 15s of fire after raising dead talent.
  • For a class-locked staff, it feels like it does not synergize nearly as well as it should.

Overall I find myself playing with other staffs, and skeles are just kind of a passive thing happening outside of my direct awareness. Could be improved with better UI or visual indicators of their status, but could be more improved with some reworking.


There’s an icon to the right of your Skeleton HUD that indicates three states:

  • Free-moving (looks like Forward symbol pointing up)
  • Attack Mode (looks like a sword)
  • Defend Mode (looks like a shield)

When your skellies are ordered to Attack, their eyes in the Skeleton HUD light up while their 8 second buff is up.

Damn, that’s my favourite part of the class.

The skellies are already good at soaking some damage without telling them to do anything. Being in control and being rewarded for it withsome benefits feel good, imo. But I think this is the sort of thing that not everyone can universally agree on.

Yeah, I don’t like this aspect of Dread Seneschel either. I just wanted to take it for extra health. I wish they would function normally where they don’t split up.

Grrraaahhhh I hate the fact that it accumulates overheat while aiming! Who thought this was a good idea? Just let me scan for targets, the weapon generates an ungodly amount of heat already. That part of the weapon is so unnecessary.


I am also loving the Necro!

The scythe is fantastic, no real gripes with it, I feel its balanced quite well or at least I felt effective in my first Legend game with it. The attack patterns feel natural and each have their place for me.

Im loving the lock on with the staff. It still kills specials in one “brain burst” on Legend and as long as you are still kinda facing the enemy, you can duck behind cover and dont even need LoS. Its like a DT brain burst but I like it more! Iv never been keen on DTs BB tho.
I feel it needs to have the downsides like high heat and lose the lock-on when facing away as its already strong af. The fireball from it is fine for sniping, it has no dropoff and I had no trouble sniping specials with it. I do agree that you should be able to sacrifice a skelly to reduce lethal heat, although I would say you would sacrifice all skellys in this situ and reduce a much smaller amount of heat for each active skelly. So if you only had one, for instance, your heat would stop being lethal but it would remain at the top flashing, or something like that. idk if that makes sense?

I fully agree with the switching between the control skull and potions. Its kinda confusing and I keep finding myself taking the skull out to use a potion, but Im not sure where else they could put it, it wouldnt work on the special key as you need that for re-summoning and how would you command skellys when you have a full special? The only thing I might like is a toggle in the options menu to select which one comes out first, potion or skull. Otherwise Iv just accepted I need to retrain my brain to accomodate this new mechanic.

Iv not used the split between defence and offence command on Dread Senechal (I actually forgot it has this ability) so I cant offer opinions on that, but I do use the Dread Senechal purely for the extra damage and defence that comes with it passively and they seem to do quite well when Im only using the attack command. Iv only used the defence command for the whole group to choke an area so we can outrun a horde and only a few times, mostly for fun and speed.

This is just how I play tho, I dont really micromanage them, they are just a boon to me that I occasionally get to attack a monster. Otherwise I use them in default stance and deal with stuff myself.

I dont really pay attention to lighting things on fire for buffs so I cant offer much on that either.

Overall though I think adding your feedback is super important, even if I DONT find myself nodding along with most of it.

1 Like

I did notice that, it’s just not something that means a lot relative to what I’m seeing on screen.

I send the command, I see that the hud changes, but in a horde fight or any kind of indoor mess, I’m never totally sure where they are. If they are attacking what I told them to or what they were previously attacking, or an enemy blocking their path to the target, or if they’re even close enough to do what I asked. Meanwhile I have no weapons out to defend myself. I can’t even cancel a command without making myself vulnerable.

It could be partially because there’s no definitive explanation of the AI behavior so I don’t know what to expect. I think giving them outlines or an overhead icon, or like a line connecting them to their desired destination would give me a way to definitively see where they are and what they’re trying to do.

Overall I feel like I’m herding cats and my commands are just suggestions.

Don’t get me wrong I also enjoy being in control and being rewarded but that’s not what I’m feeling most of the time. It feels like I’m just refreshing buff cooldowns.

Adding to what I mentioned above about control, it’s really hard to notice the buffs in effect. I’m just kind of trusting that it’s working, and feeling like if I’m not maintaining a command I’m actively losing value.

I want the commands to be more significant, more like abilities to be used actively. They should be a worthwhile tradeoff for putting away my weapons.

For example I would prefer if the attack command visibly buffed them with an aura, and they all immediately leaped over or charged thru enemies directly to the target, similar to the charge of the dread selneschal (much of the reason I use that talent). I want the commands to be immediate and impactful, whereas right now its a pretty soft result without much visual flair.

I would even prefer if the control mode was a fully active playstyle and putting it away canceled the commands. I either want all the control or none of it and right now it’s like a lukewarm medium lol

Thanks for your responses.

1 Like

This is something I fully agree with. Right now the tradeoff for pulling the skull out in a tense situation doesnt really feel worth it, which is why I only really do it when a monster appears

Maybe a function where sienna has a secondary “attack” on all staff weapons (do any staffs have a secondary like the scythe?) where pressing it causes an attack command and holding causes a defence command, but to counteract you dont get the buffs unless you take the skull out and command them more directly?

Just a thought. Either way I completely agree with your statement.

If your interested, here is a highlight of my Legend gameplay from earlier on Righteous stand. Id be interested in seeing someone using them much more and using her necro buffs effectively. Im not a good player by real vet V2 standards so I would love to see someone using her “properly” as it were.

1 Like

Focusing on this specifically: I really feel like necromancer is unfocused in what it wants to be, and ends up being too micro heavy in all directions. But, more importantly, it does it without any player feedback or agency. Imagine a huntsman kruber where you’re forced to play it as a headshot class and you didn’t even have the option to play it as the repeater handgun monster that it can be.

In this regard, I feel like the class should have a choice, and the devs really dropped the ball on necro’s overall design and talent selection. Which is tradition, FS has a long and storied tradition of literally not knowing how to design coherent and well-shaped classes in VT2. A proud tradition that extended into DT, at least until the class redesign. At least for…some of the classes.

For people who love a high-maintenance class, I’m all in favor of gameplay enabling them and necro is in a good spot to do this. However, the class shouldn’t automatically opt you into it, it should be something the player chooses, with other options being more passive in nature.

Think of it like Outcast Engineer. You can turn the ultimate into a very micro-intensive crank gun that you’re constantly using, constantly cranking. Or you can make it something you crank once, it cools itself down, and you do something else and forget it exists until you use it next. Necro doesn’t have this choice. The only choice it has is if the pets can DoT enemies for you to enable the 20% damage that really feels completely out of place on the class. That is your micro-reduction.

So, more generically my thoughts: Necromancer is a mess of class design.

It has 3 main core concepts that don’t play well together held together by a class ability that feels more like a passive than it does an actual, powerful playmaker.

  • The first core idea is DoTs.

This one is simple, you DoT things, you do more damage. But I bet no one at FS truly asked how a necro sienna is expected to generate DoTs. You can use a flaming sword, which doesn’t seem to work well with the damage buff. You can use the flaming dagger but…same thing, mostly. You can juggle weapons but that’s not especially good. Flaming Flail can use heavy 1 to DoT some things but that’s short lived. None of this feels good to maintain DoT uptime to benefit from the 20% damage.

  • The second core idea is crits.

This is just bizarre for a necromancer to be a crit fiend the way it is. It steps on Pyromancer’s toes, what little she has left given how awful pyromancer actually is. And it also, oddly, steps on Unchained’s gameplay. It synergizes with the DoT gameplay but suffers from all the other problems associated with that gameplay.

  • The third core idea is pets.

The pet AI is fine, but you can only get pets up with a 110s cooldown. Your class ability is literally to enable the core passive theme of necromancer as a general concept, where your passives are there to enable niche gameplay. That niche gameplay can be exceptionally powerful, such as a crowbill with infinite cleave, but this is not good gameplay design.

All of these core ideas rely on an intense juggling act to enable them.

  • You need to DoT targets to get real damage out of them.
  • You need to kill enemies to crit, and crit to enable most of Necro’s actual kit.
  • You need to command pets for the absolutely ridiculous buffs they get from offensive and defensive stance.

Some people really love this very micromanagement heavy gameplay loop, but this is awful by design for much the same reason Pyromancer is an awful class. Its core is spread too thin and robs the player of real agency. You don’t even have a choice on micromanagement outside of one specific talent enabling your pets to DoT the enemy. That is it. That is your agency, that is your choice on reducing micro.

Exacerbating this micro issue is the real core of necromancer, it being a summoning class.

  • Your class ability isn’t to make your pets strong, it’s to simply summon your pets (with a tiny bit of aoe CC.)
  • Your alternate potion slot is to super buff the pets ridiculously. As in you can +60% offense +80% resistance them from something you can do.
  • You cannot get your pets back outside the class ability that exists almost purely to summon pets.
  • If you don’t use your potion slot, your pets are made out of paper mache.

You have a choice between Dread Seneschal for an absolutely bonkers knockback on attack that can ping pong enemies around like mad (I saw one stormvermin move at least 50 meters in about 4 or 5 separate directions at least once,) or barrow blade so you don’t need to juggle weapons all the damned time in a way that feels (to me) really awful just to enable the DoT gameplay.

Outside of that, you’re making one choice for if you want a ranged-heavy build, a handful for enabling crit builds, and the rest is there because you have a choice of 3 options, and outside specific builds, only 1 is a real choice. This isn’t exactly new to anyone who has followed VT2’s development for a while, the devs always add cool-sounding talents that are completely dead.

All this combines into a few key ideas.

  • You are forced into DoT gameplay because 20% damage is too much for anyone to pass up in most situations.
  • You are forced to micromanage the pets because, even if you don’t +60% the damage, -80% damage received is absolutely insane and is functionally mandatory on any difficulty level where there’s a real risk of dying.
  • You are forced into crit builds because this class, for some reason, has a +10% crit chance and a ton of talents that synergize extremely well with crits, like infinite cleave. Even builds that don’t use Reaping still use crit because of course.

And, as if that wasn’t enough. Your active should be your passive, your passives should be talents, and what could have had interesting actives like buffs for your pets or corpse explosion is instead the most boring class action in the game, and that’s including pyromancer.

I can see why the class was delayed so long, and it still feels half baked. It also looks like a prime candidate for: “This would be a lot better if it had darktide’s skill tree system instead of VT2’s active/passive/talent system.” I’m getting a lot of Psyker Warp Charge/Brain Burst mandatory gameplay vibes.

The worst part of this whole mess of a class is that, just by proxy of existing, the pets are still incredibly strong just as a wall, so I doubt the class will see any buffs because it’s hard to pass up the gameplay of pets absorbing enemy attacks. It literally is the perfect frontline just as is, even if they do die way too fast.


My thoughts exactly. I think it would have been better to lock the scythe and have the staff available for the other careers.
A staff with skulls and bones is nothing new (VT1 veteran staves, anyone?) and it would be fun to play with it and see red flames bouncing around. The soulsteal could be seen as a burning effect no problem.
While another of her careers swinging a badass scythe screams necromancy much more to me.
That’s just my opinion, I get that a melee option is fun, but I find it jarring.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys, glad I’m not alone in many of my criticisms, and you all bring up a lot of excellent points. Hopefully this sparks some good internal discussion amongst the devs.

Also, I hope that the devs know that while they don’t always get things perfect the first time, they make some of the absolute coolest stuff. There’s nothing else out there like V2 and Darktide right now, and they should be exceptionally proud.

This career is like a 7/10 for me, just by merit of pure fantasy satisfaction. The cool factor is off the charts here, and I love that necromancy is in the game in any form. I love that all the fire is green. I love the dark hood cosmetic. I’ve been speculating a playable necromancer since Vermintide 1. (what with all the corpses and such)

My only gripe is that I wished so badly to be able to ressurect a dead enemy. That would have made a sick ultimate ability. The 25 talent choice could have been to rez one elite for a duration, or rez 4 infantry enemies for a duration, or have these 6 persistent skellies. Just wishful thinking from Diablo 2 days :slight_smile:

There is definitely a higher mark to be hit here for the class features and weapons.

You know, originally I thought her “cold” fire would not do damage over time but instead apply a slow or drain and a global damage buff for allies, and I was okay with that. The 2x duration made sense for that. I thought her skellies would be strong enough to warrant that shift in raw power. Obviously that’s not the case but I really want those new and interesting playstyles even if they’re lacking in direct damage.

I am hopeful that changes will come and that they are not just number tweaks. Either way, I am going to be maining necro.

I honestly couldn’t disagree more with the commanding and controlling your minions. It took me maybe 3 minutes to figure out what the sword, shield and two arrows mean as well as the glowing eyes and only took me half a run to figure out how to split commands with Dread Sceneschal and i am really REALLY stupid. I actually run DS on necromancer for the finer controll and command of my minions and love it. To take it away would take away a big part of the class i think.

To each his own, of course. It’s nice to have a high ceiling, but perhaps they could have thrown a talent option in there somewhere for people who enjoy less micro-managing. Those damage/damage reduction improvements are substantial.
I mainly agree it’s a bit annoying to have the commands on 4. The only thing I’d change right now though, would be that I would swap to the original weapon instead after you drink a potion.

This is kind of the big thing. A high skill ceiling is fine. You get this in Handmaiden, Shade, even Battle Wizard all have high skill ceilings in very, very different ways.

The problem is when you have a mandatory high skill floor. Handmaiden is fine at low skill. Battle wizard is passable but, provided you have a vaguely good enough build and gear to go with it, it’s fine (but can be broken accidentally, easily.) Shade, on the other hand, has a very high skill floor. Hell, huntsman does as well outside an unintuitive build.

Skill floors should not be high pretty much ever. There’s a handful of games with high skill floors, and they usually are meme games like QWOP or getting over it. Even Dark Souls doesn’t have a high skill floor in this sense. You want games to be easy to approach unless the entire point is difficulty, which VT2 very much is not.

This is why I try to carefully word that things like the +60% damage for 8s and -80% damage on defense should be a talent you opt in to, not your vanilla gameplay. For people who want high effort, that avenue absolutely should be there on classes where it makes sense. But that shouldn’t be the only way to play it. This is part of what sinks Outcast Engineer as well. It’s too hard to play for the average player. Only, unlike Necromancer, OE also relies on the team knowing how to play around it, as well. A strange problem, to be sure, as the pets existing as a wall even with 0 micromanagement otherwise already provides a lot of value, meaning balancing this class is going to be a minor nightmare if a hypothetical rework for its hamfisted design is ever even considered.

It feels like a lot of iteration was done on Necro’s design, but at the end of the day it was still rushed half-finished to meet a spooktober release. You don’t get a class this disjointed with itself when it’s baked fully. Hence why I also compared it to launch psyker for Darktide.

Here’s the thing: You’re not describing necromancer’s skill floor. Necromancer’s skill floor is never giving orders to the skeletons whatsoever. You simply summon them and leave them on follow. This gives you a small pack of minions that run escort duty around you. That’s not terrible. You get decent value out of them just leaving them as-is. The barrow blade skeletons help enable malediction of nagash related effects simply by existing, and the dread seneschal skeles give a bit more crowd control. I’m sure that there have been plenty of times that, unbeknownst to me, the skeltons intercepted one of those lone slave rats that like to sneak up behind you for a cheeky stab. They certainly were useful during a barrel objective the other day when my teammates weren’t helping escort the barrel. I only had to stop and slow down to fight off the big groups of enemies. The skeleton crew could deal with the trickle of rats that would normally slow things down a bit when solo. That’s the skill floor to necromancer. It’s functional and gives unique value that the other careers don’t have.

Issuing orders to give them buffs and strategically reposition them is climbing above the skill floor.

Not sure which response this is aimed at but if it was mine, just to clarify again, I completely understand the hud elements and the command behaviors. What is confusing is that they do not reliably do it when there are enemies around. Defenders will stray away to engage nearby enemies, attackers will attack things tangential to your pinged target or on the way to it. Every fight is a mosh pit, and commands give you mild control over their positioning and intentions. If you are down a couple skeletons, it becomes much more complex with dread seneschal because you might have no defenders without realizing it etc.

My main suggestion there is to make the UI more comprehensive and central for their skele type and state, or add on-screen / in-game indicators for their current rally points etc. So it’s crystal clear what they are doing, because commands feel more like suggestions.

So, here’s the definition of a skill floor.

A skill floor is the minimum amount of skill required to play something as expected.

An example would be: “You are expected to dodge some attacks.” That is a skill floor. Skill ceiling, on the other hand, would be: “You are expected to dodge all attacks.”

Skeletons, as designed, cannot reasonably be expected to have a skill floor of simply summoning them. There is too much power in using the active abilities, especially the defensive one, or offensive with dread. Regardless of level 30 talent.

What do I mean by too much power? Well, making your skeletons five times tankier is the difference between having your skeletons 2-shot on Enchanter’s Layer explosions and 10-shot (assuming the math worked out perfectly.) This barrier is so massive, it meets the requirement of the above example of: “You are expected to dodge some attacks.” By not dodging, you expose yourself to significantly more damage than if you did any dodging.

Same thing with skeletons. By not commanding them, you significantly reduce their combat effectiveness that can be represented as a factor of five.

Your definition of skill floor would be tantamount to an unchained who doesn’t use their class ability to emergency vent heat, it’s that basic to the functionality of the class. It is literally part of their core kit.

I don’t know where you’re getting “as expected” from. The only definition that I’ve ever heard is the minimum threshold of skill needed to be effective with a character. You can most certainly be effective just leaving the skeletons on follow as a personal bodyguard that helps mitigate incoming aggro and enable some other talents.

Issuing attack and defend orders, or unsummoning them to purge heat, isn’t necessary whatsoever to play necromancer. There’s clear benefits to doing so, but mastering those commands to reap those benefits is something learned along the way when climbing to the skill ceiling.

That’s not at all what the skill floor is, because you can’t, simply, leave the pets on follow and get anything actually useful from them. They die too quickly even on legend for simple follow gameplay.

What you’re describing is the initial slope up to the skill floor, where you play something at a very basic level, not even making decisions about whether that’s the right choice. If the slope is steep enough, it’s referred to as a skill cliff.

And I can say with certainty that the skeletons simply aren’t even remotely effective without orders on legend. -80% damage is literally mandatory.

Spirit Leech should work for specials too.

I have had success just playing green dps and resummoning on cooldown on legend. That’s not representative of skill floor usage though because I’m making up the difference as a high skill player.

Sienna is still extremely powerful at a baseline. Necro gets crits and DoT and you don’t really need the skeles if you don’t want to bother with them.

That’s not a good thing though, because at that point you might as well play a different career and get more value. I choose necro for flavor mostly.

I don’t find that actively commanding them brings enough value to compare to other career skills, or is enough incentive to put away my staff and become vulnerable.

To me they’re kind of an afterthought, I’m blasting everything in sight and then think “oh yeah I should tell the skeles to do something”. It’s like having a team of interns lol

People at the skill floor are often completely ignorant of game mechanics. Like in team fortress 2 where a pyro just holds w+m1 without ever realizing that he even has an air blast option to knock back projectiles and such.

Your previous post talking about someone not using their class ability as an option to emergency vent heat is exactly the kind of thing expected from someone simply playing at the skill floor.