A system re-design for the Necromancer that would fix a lot of problems

So I mentioned the vague outline of this idea a few days ago in another post, but since then I’ve actually done some math, pooled some numbers, made a spread sheet, all that good stuff, and now I can present a reasonable explanation of the “Bag of Bones” idea.

To start: What is the “Bag of Bones” well in simple terms, upon completing the temple of Etera quest and selecting the Necromancer mastery, the player’s minions spells will be removed from their unit caps, and the Necromancer will instead use a “Bag of Bones” to summon minions. Each minion type will have a bone cost (which would supplement a reduced mana cost) and so long as the minion is alive, the bones spent on them do not replenish. for easy math, I based everything on a 100 bone maximum. here are the costs:
Skeletons (archers, rogues, warriors): 4 bones (7 with dread phalanx)
Mages: 10 bones (+ all available bones with archmage, granting increasing bonuses for each bone consumed) (edit: upon further consideration, Archmage wouldn’t actually need to be changed from live for the bone system, since the damage that originally would have been lost by going from 5 mages to 1 super mage is made up by having the extra bones from only summoning one mage to put into summoning other minions, and thus the archmage would (although not originally intended, but hey, happy accidents happen) have new synergy with other minions by freeing up more bones to use, if anything, it might actually need to be nerfed from live for the bone system, but I won’t ask for that)
Golems: 16 bones (8 with twinned golem)
Commander (a permanent minion replacing dread shade as discussed in the other post): 20 bones
Wraiths: 1 bone (but they still decay)
Explodey zombies: 1 bone (but they still decay/ suicide into enemies)
Abomination: All available bones (gaining damage/health for each bone consumed)

(Note: when a minion dies, it’s bone cost is refunded, because necromancers are known for their commitment to recycling!)

So you might be asking: Why these numbers? well simply put, I imagined, if my entire army was only 1 minion type, what is a reasonable amount of that minions to have? and went from there, before including talents which would raise/ decrease minion costs, this means you could have a full army of: 25 skeletons OR 10 mages OR 6 golems OR 100 wraiths (which is more than fair for you wraith lovers out there) OR 5 commanders (although i don’t know why you’d want to do this?) OR 1 abomination (I’m excluding suicide zombies from this list for obvious reasons)

The primary idea, of course, is that you could build up your own personal, completely custom army from scratch with whatever units you want, and it should even be easier for the devs to balance to boot (this claim will be elaborated at the end)
do you want an army focused on skeleton archers, but don’t much care for golems or mages? simple! you can make 25 archers, or 20 archers and a commander to boost them higher, or throw on dread phalanx if you want (since it would actually always be good now and not reliant on having an odd number of minions for a cap…) summon 11 archers and a commander, but wait, now you have 3 bones leftover? use them for suicide zombies, wraiths, or even a really small abomination if you want!
Modular armies means PLAYER CHOICES, enhanced class fantasy, and a unique experience for everyone!

Additional Commentary for Devs
So I made a claim that this system would be easier to balance than the current system, and to elaborate on that claim, I was thinking about the subsystems that would be tied to the bones, (the ones players wouldn’t see, but would inform number tuning and whatnot) and came up with a concept of “Damage bones” and “defense bones”, for example, summon skeletons can give you 3 types of minions, archers, warriors, and rogues, but a warrior you wouldn’t expect to deal as much damage as an archer, but you’d want them to be tough, while archers are damage focused, but don’t get hit all that often, and thus are defensively weaker. since in this system, all 3 minion types would cost 4 bones, the archers would have 3 “damage bones” and one “defense bone” while warriors would be the reverse, 3 defense, 1 damage. meanwhile rogues, who are damage focused, but still in melee range would be 2/2, being slightly tougher than archers but dealing more damage than warriors.
to expand on this, mages (10 cost) would be 2 defense bones, 8 damage bones, while golems (16 cost) would be 8/8, and thus you’d expect a golem to do about as much damage as a mage, but would be considerably tougher for it’s increased cost, while also allowing a smaller maximum number which can be summoned (thus allowing mages to still be optimal for pure damage)
furthermore, this hidden bone system would only apply to the base summoning costs of the minions before talents, as talents that before would have increased the minion cap will instead lower the bone cost of the minions (for skeletons, who have 3 nodes on the skill to increase the summoning cap, each one would “reduce the summoning cost of every 3rd skeleton by 1” and thus if you get all 3, then skeletons would just cost 3 bones instead of 4, but would still be tuned for 4 bones, likewise dread phalanx already gives skeletons a multiplier for it’s increased cost, so no additional tuning would be necessary)
special cases for the hidden bone system of course would be wraiths (i recommend a 2/1 scaling, favoring damage since they’re meant to die anyways) suicide zombies (same logic) and the abomination, for whom each bone would act as both a damage and a defense bone, since the abomination is sorta supposed to be that strong lumbering giant that you only get one of no matter what.

What sort of army would y’all make with this system?


I like that it changes how an existing mechanic for a mastery.

I don’t know that your sentence was grammatically correct, and thus I’m uncertain if you’re in favor or sarcastically against the idea.
(Because thinking positively is generally more fruitful than negativity, I will assume you are in favor, so thank you)

I kinda do, but I also generally don’t like change. I’m somewhat positively disposed to the idea since it mixes things up a bit. IMO, all of the masteries (or just some of them) should take how you play a class & change it (the core mechanics) somewhat.

Which is why I voted for it.

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I like the idea that:

  • Permanent-feeling minions don’t decay (skeletons, Abomination)
  • Minions with on-death effects still get to decay
  • Dread phalanx/archmage are more competitive (not just trading DPS for FPS/QoL)

I’d also add that ranged minions don’t always feel “ranged”. They often run into a mob that you’re blowing past and shotgun it. Nerfing their health might conflict with people racing to end of monos and with the mob density/complete surround in Arena unless you code a “standoff” AI behavior for ranged minions. You could also let people pan beyond the edge of the screen like an RTS.

Overall this post reads similarly if replacing the word “bone” with “mana”. But I’m sure there’s potential for it as a flavorful new resource. Kind of like how MTG has “land” cards instead of just mana, and they did all sorts of cool things with it (lands as creatures, land with abilities, wincons counting lands, etc.).

  • Pay life instead of mana (Transplant/Blood Magic)
  • Mana as life pool (Fractured crown/MoM)
  • Bones/minions as life pool (Bone Prison/Bone Offering block)
  • Sacrificing your bones (life) to fill up the bag
  • Bones as their own animated minion type (Bhuldar’s Wrath is a Titan Femur)
  • Bone “sustain” from corpses/damaged bosses
  • Minion sustain from bones, literally rebuilt

just to verify, are you suggesting that we just have the minions go off of mana, rename bones to mana but still have traditional mana for other spells, or something else?
because the purpose of the bone system is to give a resource for minions with a hard cap that doesn’t interfere with the ability to use traditional spells if the necromancer so desires, there would be a lot of mechanical problems with running the minions off of mana, as either: you’d have to cause minions to lower your maximum total mana per summon to prevent infinite size minion armies, or halt mana regeneration completely while you have at least one minion, which means you couldn’t cast any other spells. (furthermore, running it off of mana would mean that people would just build nothing but mana maximum for massive minion armies of lag and death)
i may have misinterpreted what you meant, but the system would require a second resource.

i think the minions are already coded something like this (in that, archers are by design squishier than warriors) i just elaborated on the system by which the actual numbers would be determined, it’s not necessarily a nerf to ranged minions hp, just an organizing of it.

I meant it sounds like a spending resource with no special mechanics around it yet to distinguish it thematically from existing ones like life and mana. All of them are finite as standalone spending resources; you run out of life, you die; you run oom, you can’t cast, you run out of bones, you can’t summon, etc. None of these are mutually exclusive either; you might use one skill that costs life, another costing mana, another costing bones, etc. Life and mana (being older/more established resources) also have more interesting special mechanics that use them in unexpected but flavorful ways, but it could happen with any resource.

oh, well the key is that the bones don’t regenerate like health and mana, you don’t get your bones back until the minion you used them on dies, and there’s no way to generate new bones without involving the death of a minion. think of the bones like the “supply cap” in starcraft or something akin to that if it helps, as it’s entirely revolving around the concept that you have a literal finite amount.

I like it and voted !!
Nice ideas.

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Its a nice suggestion. For different game. I dont see why EHG should rework the necro mastery. The only current issue for me is how stat stacking can lead to crazy amounts of wraiths, because they dont have a cap.

They deal more damage than skeletons and mages wirh the only downside that they are non permanent. If you permanently can have more of them than all other minions together, this is odd.

There are different things how to balance skills than to completely revamp a classes base mechanic.

So I like this suggestion. But i don’t see the necessity to change the necro mastery. If LE was in early development maybe they could’ve decided for this to be the class mechanic. Now we go towards release and there are still masteries missing completely. Same with content.

If necro was broken and terrible to play, this would be a thing. But I don’t feel the need.

Sorry dude. :v::rainbow: but :-1:

When I go through your suggestion I also see a huge downside for me. As all minions are tied to the same pool of resource, you cannot max the number of different minions independently. Everything you do will be a tradeoff. If you decide for a certain type and number, you decide against another. Because the resource is used on a different minion type. Summoning a golem means roughly that you can summon 1 less mage and one less skeleton. The whole defensive and offensive bones stuff makes it a lot more complicated. You have to make up a spreadsheet to determine what will be the best combination of minions. Too complex.

I do love the idea to have Dread Shade become a minion. I see no other major issue with the Necromancer. I can see a minor issue with Wraiths not being capped, but it does not seem major to me.
Necromancer is one of the classes I played most and I think it is currently in a good spot.

Your suggestions are globally good, but I don’t feel the need for that in Last Epoch.

acknowledged, however this concept was meant to address several issues with the necromancer, including but not limited to:

capping wraiths without ruining the skill for those that want to prioritize it.

making archmage and dread phalanx usable (see this post more explanation Archamge and Dread Phalanx )

increasing the usability of the Abomination (since there have been a lot of complaints that it’s mega clunky and almost arbitrarily inconveniences you)

This is mostly a non issue, on live, currently (excluding wraiths) you can get 19 permanent minons (12 skeletons, 5 mages, 2 golems) under the bones system, this would cost 92 bones (as you would already have to take the talents to increase the maximum cap which would be converted into reduced bone cost) so if anything, you can get slightly more minions with the bone system (if you ignore wraiths, which most people agree are problematic) than you could before. furthermore, if the system was implemented, it’s entirely like that they could make leveling up, or perhaps high level talents on the necro tree increase the size of the bone bag for more minion goodness, although that would be at the devs discretion (i did say at the top of the original post that i used a cap of 100 for easy math, it’s not like it’s a hard limit or anything)

I mean, only if you want to, I guess. personally i view it as actual player choice, since the system as it is currently, like, sure you could choose not to summon minions up to your available cap, but why would you? minion skills on your bar aren’t something you think about once they’re summoned (for permanent minions at least) since you’ll just sit in town mashing the button until the number stops going up, at least here you get to decide what to prioritize, but to each their own, you can’t please everyone.

(putting a comment here to say that the document was edited with further commentary on skeleton mages, in case the continuity of this post needs to refer to the comments/edits timeline later)

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