Shattered Kingdoms

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 Post subject: Hello!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:41 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:17 am
Posts: 2
Hello everyone! I recently started playing Shattered Kingdoms as the scout Gewen. Everyone has been pretty friendly and awesome in game, and it's been a real pleasure. I had a question about one of the classes and their alignment in game, if someone could help me with an unbiased and objective opinion.

The topics of my questions are going to be the Necromancer Class, and the Diabolic Alignment. I sometimes go in circles around my topic, so I'll preface my question with this, uh, thing.

1. I noticed that the Necromancer class seemed to have been restricted to the Diabolic Alignment. Is this still the case? If so, then...
2. Has there been an official statement on how the Diabolic alignment RP *HAS* to be? Is there a rules manager or RP manager of some sort that could answer whether or not a necromancer could RP as an evil yet neutral entity?
Diabolic characters are the cruel, heartless killers. They are the kind
who plot and plan to harm others simply for their own entertainment. This
does not imply that they do not have deeper goals, however. Their goals
are usually products of insanity and are too convoluted for the normal
person to comprehend. Diabolic people need not follow normal rules of
conduct, they can be the nicest, most generous person in the world one
moment, and the next, stab you in the back and steal everything you own.

To my understanding, this helpfile doesn't mean that if I played a Necromancer, I absolutely must play someone who lies and backstabs everyone and everything. Can I still have friends and trusted allies if I play a necromancer? Can I play someone who tries to keep to his word? I understand that from a world/culture perspective this means that stereotypically, necromancers are unpredictable. However, stereotypes have proven false on many occasions in reality. Would playing a necromancer going against this stereotype result in punishment or infractions?

3. I've read a bit on the necromancer class as it used to be, and have decided to blatantly ignore the old necromancer class information I've read on the forums. It seems as if there's a lot of bias and hatred derived from the old version of the necromancer, versus the new one, or a lot of information is just plain outdated. I just want to know the abilities of the class as it stands today with no comparison to the old necromancer. Thanks! This isn't really a question and more of a statement, but I don't know how to word it as a question.

4. I looked over the skills and spells shown in the classes of the mainpage (which doesn't seem to reflect recent code updates, including enchant weapon) and it has armor, fly, identify, enchant weapon, rift, summon, teleport, locate object, shield, and infravision. I'm assuming these spells will help a lot with adventuring. Can I roll a necromancer as a newcomer to explore the world?

5. Do undead come with timers? What's the difference between control and animate? Most importantly, do undead go with the Necromancer when he recalls??? AAAaaar-- Oh, yeah, do Necromancers get Word of Recall?

Finally, yeah, I understand that even if my intention is to avoid conflict and enjoy exploration with my undead, I will eventually and inevitably become wrapped up in the battle of alignments, due to the way other characters are, or simply due to alignment. Diabolic and all that. And that I should play a class and alignment that IS neutral like I already am if I wanted to play a neutral character. BUT THE ALLURE OF BEING THE UNDEAD MASTER IS TOO STRONK.

Thanks everyone! Hope to see you in game! I'm currently very much enjoying playing Gewen the scout, and I've had fun little RP bits of training with cool people so far, with the one downside being that I can't identify my items, so I have to go around bugging everyone to identify stuff for me. Maybe I'll play a necromancer, since they get the identify spell. But then again, I get to meet everyone by bugging them. Eh.

Here's a non-necromancer related question, I read somewhere there's more crafting options that just skinning. Is that skill IC information only?

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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:54 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:50 pm
Posts: 3502
Location: Canada
SK Character: Karsh
1. Necromancer is entirely restricted to Diabolic alignment. Messing with undead is considered an inherently heinous act in the SK world, and pursuing magics that specifically function in that regard is restricted to only the most twisted, insane, and evil people.

2. Not any kind of rules manager here, but I can tell you without a doubt that no necromancer will ever be considered "neutral" by the majority of the game. Light-aura characters face punishment and curses for being friendly to necromancers, and I'm pretty sure if past precedent is still considered legit, the inverse is true as well. Necromancers are an extremely polarized class, as is the diabolic alignment an extremely polarized alignment, and the results in-game are consistent with that. My personal opinion is that every diabolic out there, necromancer or otherwise, should have a set of conditions under which they will kill/backstab even people that are otherwise considered allies, because that's what the diabolic alignment is all about. It's *meant* to be a balance to the power of the necromancer class that they are not to be trusted by anyone (the reality of how this plays out in-game is a different matter but that's a whole other topic of conversation.) These should probably be decided on before rolling a diabolic, and I (again, personally) consider it extremely bad rp for a diabolic to show enduring or heartfelt loyalty to other characters. Whether or not staffers agree with that is up in the air and would need to be answered by them.

3. Necromancer has gone through several balance changes over the years, some better received than others. It is still, currently, weighted heavily towards the necromancer in every engagement a necromancer might appear in, particularly now that it has enchant weapon and even against classes typically considered "necro counters." There are only a very few reliable ways to deal with the necromancer class.

4. Necromancer is considered an "advanced class." Meaning, as a New To Pyrathia person you can't roll one out of the gate. This is because necromancers practicing necromancy are technically fair game to be killed at any level with their class and alignment being taken largely as justification for RP if those things should be apparent to the one killing the necromancer. They rank up there with elf/delf for built in enmity. Necromancers also tend to require a bit of prep time beyond what other classes might consider necessary, but I'm not of the opinion that that prep time is significantly greater, and generally if it's done right the first time it doesn't have to be repeated before each swarm attempt.

5. Animated undead are on timers and will need to be re-animated after a certain length of time. It's been years since I played a necromancer and they've gone through several changes since then (I haven't played a necromancer since concentration was added to animated undead) but I'm pretty sure this has remained true. Controlled undead do not have timers, but have an increased concentration and mana drain associated with keeping them around. An animated undead can be made from appropriately-leveled corpses of PCs and NPCs. Controlled undead are built at a builder level and lose some of their scripted/innate abilities when controlled. Necromancers do not get word of recall, but word of recall will bring animated and controlled undead back to the recall point.

6. I think that refers to Brew, and Scribe skills, as well as a particular cabal ability. It's outwardly possible that fletching might be considered a crafting skill as well, but I'm not sure about that. While it's possibly in the works, and has been discussed for years, trade skills that involve crafting are not in the game at this moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:43 am
Posts: 2321
SK Character: Airkli
There is only one undead master. His name was Delear.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:43 am
Posts: 5614
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
SK Character: Pilnor, Surrit, Berr, Rall
ObjectivistActivist hit all the nails on the head. Here are my additional thoughts. Sorry in advance, this ended up being longer than I initially thought.

I have a lot of advice and thoughts in regard to the gameplay of necromancers. For what it's worth, my last necromancer earned the "Hero" title, and the staff stated it was primarily earned through his PK score.

1-2. Yes, necromancers have to be diabolic. Only an insane or power-crazed individual would submit himself to necromantic influence, and that should come out in your RP. Exactly how it does is up to you.

That said, playing a diabolic doesn't mandate you constantly backstabbing everyone you ever meet. On the contrary, it's perfectly normal to have friends and allies because even the most nefarious goals aren't a one-man job. I feel like there should be a witty political joke here. However, you should never, -ever- as a player of a diabolic character allow your character's word or friendships to be the ultimate factor in his decision making. You should always leave open the possibility for complete and utter betrayal of even your closest "allies" in your necromancer's character. By the same token, everyone who ever interacts with a necromancer should always sleep with one eye open, lest they risk being on the wrong end of the insane man's goals.

It makes for a pretty fun time.

3. Gameplay: Necromancers are the epitome of the "glass-cannon" in SK. With the correct preparation, a necromancer can deal the most raw physical damage compared to any other class. They can create weak animated dead (Up to eight) and also control 1-3 strong undead NPCs. Each of these can be armed with weapons and ordered to attack a target in combat, meaning that you can easily get 20-30 attacks in a single round whereas a Grand-Master mercenary or barbarian will get at most 5 or maybe 6 with the utmost prep.

This does not come without its downsides, however. Animated undead are notoriously weak and often die in a single combat round to a well prepared physical combatant, and are all but instantly killed by a single holy word or ranged fireballs from a warlock. Controlled undead, while stronger, have a higher concentration and mana cost and can be cancelled or dispelled to turn on you, including by a holy word. All undead across the board can also be one-shot killed by Bolt of Glory, a rather quick-cast paladin spell.

In addition to their undead being flimsy or volatile, necromancers are also the single most vulnerable class in the game. They possess no defensive spells except spell ward, placing them below sorcerers in their personal survivability, and a Paladin's Bolt of Glory fully affects them, meaning that a single failed reflex save prevents them from fleeing unless the paladin dies or the necromancer dies.

In short: Playing a necromancer requires more prep work before combat and more finesse during combat than any other class in the game. While this does pay off against those who are incapable or uneducated as to how to deal with your strengths while exploiting your weaknesses, it ultimately ends up being rather disappointing.

4. I'm assuming these spells will help a lot with adventuring. Can I roll a necromancer as a newcomer to explore the world?I would strongly discourage you from rolling a necromancer as one of your first characters unless you view yourself as a person who enjoys technical challenges and has a lot of time to learn the class. Here are the reasons why.

A) Despite being on paper one of the most capable classes with regard to solo adventuring, necromancers have the smallest margin of error than any other class. One mistake can easily throw away hours of work, even in PvE.
B) New players have a tendency to manage resources poorly, and managing mana poorly as a necromancer makes for a lot of dead time, meaning that you will be frustrating to travel with and often times slow down groups you are with, in addition to oftentimes adding annoying subtleties into the group that can sometimes cause wipes (Like turning your group inside out because a warlock cast healing rays while you had undead in it).
C) Since most exploring in SK is best done with assistance, playing a necro automatically cordons you off of a large portion of the character-base.

In short, if you want to roll an exploration class, I'd suggest rolling a grey-aura priest or sorcerer. That will allow you to learn how to manage your mana without the volatility of playing a necromancer. A sorcerer can explore solo, whereas a priest needs assistance, but with a helper can explore a large amount of content. While you are correct in observing that necromancers are a very capable solo class, their complexity makes them subpar as a class for new players to explore the game. Up to you, however, if you're enticed by the challenge or the RP.

5. Do undead come with timers? What's the difference between control and animate? Most importantly, do undead go with the Necromancer when he recalls??? AAAaaar-- Oh, yeah, do Necromancers get Word of Recall?Necromancers do not get word of recall, although priests and shaman can brew word of recall potions, which anyone can quaff at a point of danger. As OA mentioned, controls and animates are also returned with you when you quaff word of recall as necromancer.

Most animate timers are around an hour long. In addition, animates log off with you and log back on with you, however they do drop all items on logout, meaning that if you enchant weapons for your animates, you will have to carry them on your person when you log out. This is more hampering than you might initially think, for two reasons: Oftentimes weapons are heavy, and all PCs are limited to holding no more than 6 limited equipable items when they log out. That means that you are either forced to use cheap weapons or otherwise only have a handful of powerful weapons for your controls/animates.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:45 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:23 am
Posts: 966
Location: Near the centennial bridge, Rock Island Illinois
Not to mention the removal of the tower in krychire which eliminated a few limited trainers, quests, a shop and unique control NPCs for necros. This forces people to learn the necropolis for your relatively strong controls and do thorough testing of their abilities. It is a large time sink to find out that the rogue and hellion NPCs cannot perform on par to be useful.

There have been a few tweaks to the class, but imo there is a drastic difference between the vision of what you think necromancers will be like, and the reality of how the mechanics actually play out. I think they can be decent, but really don't incite much fear compared to classes like a warlock.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:46 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:01 pm
Posts: 3513
Location: I'm in a glass case of emotion!
SK Character: Retired Troll
I would also strongly recommend against playing a necromancer as one of your first characters.

Sorcerers are as formidable in PvP, have more utility, are easier to learn, have more margin for error, and are not automatic targets. Priests are an excellent support class for PvP and PvE and have great utility.

A grey aura sorcerer or grey aura priest is what you want if you are looking to explore the game or get your toes wet in PvP. If you wind up over your head in PvP, it will be a lot easier to negotiate truces with your enemies as a greybie sorcerer or priest than as a necromancer.

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