ESO’s Necromancer Shouldn’t Be a Class, and I Still Kind of Want to Play One

When Elder Scrolls Online announced the new necromancer class, I groaned inwardly. Not because I think it’s problematic from a lore perspective — according to some people it is, but I’m not invested enough to care — but because this game doesn’t need more classes.

A promotional for the necromancer class in Elder Scrolls OnlineThis is a rare position for me to take. I’m generally all in favour of adding as many classes as possible, as often as possible. I love having more options. But because of the way classes work in ESO, adding a new one feels like it’s limiting options as much as expending them.

Most skills in this game are class-agnostic. A class comprises only three skill lines. Rolling a new character just for those few skills feels more like a punishment than an exciting new toy.

What’s more interesting is when they add new skill lines that anyone can use, like the Psijic Order skills added in Summerset (gods awful grind to unlock them notwithstanding). That creates new options for everyone in a way that’s truly exciting.

In fact, not only would I say that ESO doesn’t need to add more classes, I’d go so far as to say they should do away with the current ones. Just open up the class skills to everyone. Right now ESO is straddling the line between a class-based game and a skill-based game, and it’s kind of getting the worst of both worlds.

That said… I kinda still want to play a necromancer in ESO.

Look, I just really like necromancy, okay? It’s one of my favourite archetypes.

Yet another random skeleton in Elder Scrolls OnlineIf I did roll one, I don’t think I’d play it as a necromancer per se. Since all the minions seem weak and disposable, trying to play this class as a full summoner seems like a recipe for disappointment*. However, it does look to have the potential to be a really fun “death knight” style class.

*(Tangent: Does anyone else find it weird that we’re now approaching a point where more than half of ESO’s classes will be pet classes? That’s another thing that makes the addition of the necromancer feel awkward. Its pets have to be weak so as not to step on the toes of the two summoner classes we already have.)

I’m picturing a melee bruiser sort of character who feeds off the life of their enemies. Maybe not a true tank, but a character who can soak up a lot of punishment while also dishing it out. Maybe an Orc. I haven’t played an Orc yet…

But I’m in no rush. In the past, Elsweyr would have been a must-buy for me — it’s possibly the number one area of Tamriel I want to explore, being a Khajiit fan — but I was also really hyped for Summerset, and it turned out to be a pretty big disappointment, so that has dampened my enthusiasm significantly.

Meanwhile I still haven’t touched Morrowind or about half of the base game’s content. Truthfully I haven’t played at all in a few weeks — my interest in ESO is a bit of a low ebb right now.

So the necromancer may tempt me, but it can wait… at least for now.

New article:

In other news, my latest article for MMO Bro tracks five turning points in MMO history.


My New Gig at Massively Overpowered

A short post today, as I am quite busy as of late, but there is an important development I wish to notify you all of.

The trials of the Fortress of Dawn in AnthemIf you’re a regular reader of Massively Overpowered (I still want to call it just “Massively,” like the old days), you might have already noticed this, but I’ve now joined their staff as a columnist. I’ll be heading up the Not So Massively column, published every other Monday. In it, I’ll be covering online games that aren’t quite full fledged MMORPGs, like Anthem or Diablo.

Since MOP is already such a well-known site, I don’t plan to link every article I do for them here, but I will direct you to my introductory column. It should give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

As neither site is opposed to my working other jobs, I will be continuing to write for MMO Bro. I also plan to continue posting here at Superior Realities, though it’s possible working for MOP might further slow my already anemic posting schedule

I’d like to thank Bree and the rest of the MOP team for giving me this opportunity. I’ve wanted to write for MOP for a very long time — this wasn’t my first application to them — and it’s a bit surreal finally seeing my name in digital print on the site.

It’s also a bit scary, but… well, just got to deal with that.

Now, I’d better get to work planning my next column.