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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer - Guide & Review

Blowing up corpses never gets old.

"Necromancy is more generally used as a term to describe the pretence of manipulation of death and the dead, often facilitated through the use of ritual magic," explains the wiki page linked to the term. Well, that's exactly what the Necromancer let us do in this new character pack for Diablo III. His absence from the base game and the Reaper of Souls expansion was seen as a tremendous let down by many fans. The Witch Doctor would be the natural substitute according to Blizzard, but it wasn't enough for the thousands who called the Necromancer their favourite character in Diablo II. That has finally changed.

More than five years after the launch of Diablo III, the Necromancer has been introduced to the game, but is it too little, too late? Kinda of.

The Rise of the Necromancer pack is available on PC (although it requires Reaper of Souls), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, for €15/£13, which leaves out the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. Although Blizzard has introduced several new features with the most recent update, and Diablo III is still a fantastic action-RPG even by today's standards, the price of the pack itself is a bit too expensive. Below we will explain what this content drop actually contains, and share a little guide for newbies in the art of raising and controlling the dead. We won't, however, rate the pack, since we think it's not really fair to rate a single character.

Rise of the Necromancer adds the Necromancer as a playable class, available in both male and female versions. In addition to the character, the pack introduces a non-combat pet, a pair of cosmetic wings, a Necromancer-themed banner shape, sigil, a Necromancer portrait frame, a pennant, two additional character slots, and two additional stash tabs on the PC. The Necromancer can be played in any game mode, just like all the other characters, but the pack does not include any new content for the campaign or the extra modes.

Is all this worth €15/£13? We don't think so. Although the Necromancer is an interesting character, with several styles of play, asking for that much seems excessive. It's mostly worth it for those who are really big fans of the Diablo II's Necromancer, or for those who have already explored the other characters and are looking for something new in Diablo III.

The Necromancer is, as the name implies, a manipulator of the dead, and his/her powers are based on this concept. If you have the fantasy of creating an army of dead and supernatural creatures, the Necromancer lets you realise precisely that. Most of the skills you might know from Diablo II are back, even if in slightly different form, as some skills have become passive effects of other abilities. Still, you can create a very similar experience to the one you had in Diablo II, with the exception of building a poison-based character, as that is a now a trademark of the Witch Doctor.

So, what does the Necromancer do exactly? Below you can read about two examples of very different game styles that the Necromancer allows, designed around a level 30 character without any specific equipment. We believe they offer is a good balance on what to create while levelling up until they reach the maximum level and start collecting sets of equipment.

Note: This skill combination requires that the "Elective Mode" option is enabled.

Commander of the Dead

This is the classic game style of the Necromancer, the fantasy of creating a massive army of dead and supernatural creatures. It will be the perfect style for anyone who is playing Hardcore, as they will always be away from danger while the creatures attract the attention of enemies. The goal is to summon skeletons, resurrect fallen opponents, and use the Fraility curse to increase the damage created by your minions.

Skills at level 30:
Bone Spikes - Sudden Impact
Skeletal Mage - Skeleton Archer
Revive - Horrific Return
Command Skeletons - Frenzy
Frailty - Scent of Blood
Command Golem - Ice Golem
Commander of the Risen Dead
Extended Servitude
Overwhelming Essence

Bone Tank

Controlling an army of the dead can be fun, but some players might prefer something more personal and direct. If that's the case, you can create a warrior-type character ready for short-range combat. The whole basis of this style of play is Bone Armour, which offers extra protection to the player, plus the passive Stand Alone, which grants 100% additional armour to the player (they lose 10% for each invoked creature).

Skills at level 30:
Grim Scythe - Cursed Scythe
Skeletal Mage - Singularity
Corpse Explosion - Close Quarters
Bone Armor - Dislocation
Leech - Osmosis
Blood Rush - Potency
Stand Alone
Overwhelming Essence
Swift Harvesting

These are two of our favourite builds, at least at level 30, but there are other possible combinations. Try messing around with the abilities and find out what works for you, and let us know in the comments down below how you get on.

Diablo III: Reaper of SoulsDiablo III: Reaper of Souls
Diablo III: Reaper of SoulsDiablo III: Reaper of Souls
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls