There have been many famous and powerful necromancers across the gaming universe. Consider Arthas Menethil in WoW or Strahd von Zarovich in DnD. Crowfall is positioning its Necromancy profession to be as impacting to their game as these iconic characters were in theirs. Necromancy in Crowfall is an integral part of player customization and player optimization, so it will be a profession in very high demand. This article will be a walkthrough of how the profession is currently designed in the game, what gathering skills feed materials to Necromancy and how players will actual craft new bodies (or ‘vessels’) for players to leverage in game.
To understand the profession of Necromancy, we first must understand how Crowfall utilizes its output: Vessels. Think of Vessels as new hosts crafted to be used by players similar to the way ships are leveraged in EVE Online. These Vessels are of specific archetypes, and during the crafting process a skilled Necromancer can enhance attributes and skills to fine tune the output to meet a player’s request. Every player can enter a campaign world without a fancy Necromancer crafted Vessel, as the game allows players to grab default options that enable a quick dive into the game.
However, these defaults carry no specialty enhancements. So if vessels were like cars on the car lot, the default vessels are the cars sent to rental car companies, you know where you see hand rollers for the windows and no way to charge your phone except through a never-used-for-that-purpose cigarette lighter. Necromancy allows skilled crafters to pimp out the same vehicle, but with lots of custom options tailor-fit to a lot of different play styles.
Necromancy follows the same approach to creating a deep crafting system that we have seen from all of Crowfall‘s professions. You start with raw materials and work your way through many steps. The system has a ‘trinity’-like structure where players gather, refine and ultimately craft. I will break down Necromancy using these three segments as it’s a huge system and even avid meta-gamers like myself can get pulled into the weeds if we are not careful. [Ed.: And boy does he]
Like most of the professions in Crowfall, Necromancy needs more than one gathering skills’ resources to successful create its items. This creates either a group cooperation or economic effort by the crafter. The Grave Digging skill is what I would call the primary ‘faucet’ of resources as the Necromancer leverages everything this skill gathers to accomplish their goals. This is where a player will spend time robbing grave yards looking for parts that are from all of the possible archetypes in game.
The secondary gathering skill needed is Quarrying, as the Necromancer needs copious amounts of minerals to accomplish their tasks. If you have not had a chance to read my article about gathering in Crowfall I recommend taking a few minutes to dissect it, as it covers the mechanics of gathering, what skills are needed to gather, and what determines the quality of resources a player can find.
The Necromancer needs to refine their grave-robbed parts. This is accomplished with an Alchemy potion called Ambrosia. The potion is created from the raw materials found by players with a Quarrying skill, and in its current mechanism generating enough Ambrosia to complete a full Vessel has an amazing amount of effort required. How you get this will be up to you. Guilds might ask their Alchemists to set aside materials for the good of the guild, merchants might sell Ambrosia on the open market or maybe you know where an Alchemist likes to craft and you plan on killing them and taking their stash.
Part of the refining processes for Necromancers also includes the ability to add in some optional ‘improvements’. Think about Micheal Phelps’ physique (come on those arms are not portioned to his body so it seems like possible Necromancy was involved to me). However, a crafter can not “Frankenstein” a Vessel. For example, you can’t cobble together Centaur and Guinecean parts. I say this definitively as I spent a good half hour trying to create a four legged Duelist. A vessel must utilize like archetype pieces in its required slots. I will talk about the optional pieces down below, the green boxes you see in my image examples are not required to create a vessel.
The image above is how a Necromancer takes a smelly arm they dug up, adds some extra stats to it (who doesn’t want to have better defense on physical damage or more crafting skills) and ta da a newly crafted non-stinky arm waiting to be added to more parts to make a vessel. Do you see that small item called Ambrosia Solution? This is where a Necromancer who has great Grave Digging skills still has to potentially rely on others to help accomplish their goals. Like I stated above, Ambrosia is created from specific minerals that currently are only gathered by using a Quarrying skill, and it will be a difficult task for a player to be both exceptional in Grave Digging and in Quarrying for a long time as these skills are on the same training track and currently cannot be trained at the same time. Choices have to be made.
Like all other crafting professions, Necromancy has a final ‘build’ step where you take all of the parts you refined and cobble them together. This final build effort gives the crafter another attempt to adjust the outcome by levering experimentation skills (see image above of refining the stinky arm) and the final outcome of all this effort is revealed. The more advanced the materials used the more difficult the task will be to complete, which means you will increase your chance of failure by using higher ranking materials and the only way (once the game is fully launched) to mitigate these risks will be in spending your training time focused on the required skills of your profession. To be the best you are going to have to sacrifice some utility that many other games allow crafters to have.
Will crafters be able to be good at PvP? I think so. Will they be able to min/max their combat skills like truly PvP focused players? Currently crafting/gathering/combat all are on the same skill training track. I am sure an article will come out soon to break down skill training, but as of now choices will need to be made. A player can be a Necromancer and a solid PvP’er, or a player can attempt to be the best Necromancer and sacrifice many of the survival boosts combat-minded players have available.
The Crowfall developers also included optional efforts that allows crafters to add more benefits to their craft, but these optional parts and pieces add to the gathering requirement. Some of the optional body parts can be found in the graves where players found the basic parts. For example, I happened to grab that enhanced humerus while robbing Stoneborn graves, but if I want to add some enhanced eyes and other pieces I need to find NPC (non-player characters) in the world, kill them and see if they happen to have something I need.
The last optional piece I will mention is the other Alchemy piece a Necromancer might need if they hope to maximize their vessel creation. These Philosopher Solutions are a crazy amount of effort, and the amount of trial and error I spent to determine them all was staggering. If/when I do an Alchemy article I ‘may’ discuss them, but to be honest I am hesitant as I don’t want to deprive you of the painful and frustrating experience I had in discovering them all.
Even though we have not seen its full implementation, Necromancy is already looking like one of the most difficult professions to master. If I had one suggestion to the team at ACE it would be to allow the failed outputs of Necromancy to not only be salvaged for useful parts, but possibly allow them to be outputted to target dummies so players have something to utilize for testing. Crowfall right now does not have a visible combat log, without one the theory-crafters are quite limited in their efforts. If you are a fan of complex crafting, being relied upon by not only your guild but possibly the community as a whole, Necromancy might be the profession for you.
If you are interested in seeing the creation of a vessel, the video below is a walk through of the refining and crafting steps.