Increased minion size should also come with increased AOE

I’m specifically referring to melee archmage and melee dread phalanx skeletons.

Both nodes are already utter garbage in that they actually lower your DPS. On top of it, they give a size increase, which has its ups and down. Except the hitbox of their attacks doesn’t actually increase to match their size, both a dread phalanx skeleton and archmage deathknight will have the same exact attack hitbox of a regular size skeleton.

What does this mean? That they effectively cover the exact same ground with their AOE. In situations where you’d have multiple minions attack and overlap their AOEs, bigger skeletons will more easily bodyblock each other and not overlap, in the case of dread phalanx.

For archmage, you might think of making an abomination-like minion in that it 1-2 shots everything it sees to make up for its numbers, yet the AOE itself will not change and it’ll have the same exact range as a regular deathknight, except you can have 5 of those.

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Makes sense to me. If we are sacrificing our maximum number of minions for fewer larger ones then the size increase should buff everything. Health, damage and area all larger for a bigger minion.

I agree that Dread Phalanx is a not so shiny node. But it’s not olalways a drawback. If you currently have an odd number as a max skeleton count, the number of skeletons you can summon with phalanx is rounded up. If this happens, you have a damage bonus with that node.

Else, it is a decrease, indeed.

Also the Archmage node doesn’t lower your DPS in general. If you build into using 5 mages (skill wise and passive tree), and then choose Archmage, it’s a DPS loss, indeed. But if you don’t, you have left a bunch of skillpoints and passives, you can use to boost the Archmages Damage.

So these nodes are not mandatory for every build, but can be of use in certain builds.

The Archmage Death Knight isn’t all that viable, imho. I agree.

If you have e.g 11 skeletons, you can take dread phalanx for 6 big ones, sure.

6x180 = 1080
11x100 = 1100

dread phalanx only breaks even or has a tiny advantage the fewer minions you’re allowed to summon
on top of that, you generally want more minions in order to cover more ground, unless you have a minion with huge aoe like a properly specced abomination. That’s the issue I’m highlighting, you don’t.

Archmage is always a dps loss if you’re speccing into skeletal mages. What else are you gonna do with them, not summon 5x minions?

Exactly. You only have access to 5 mages with a relatively huge invest into the passive tree and a special node in the skilltree. If you decide to go Archmage, you don’t need those nodes because you don’t benefit from them. You can spend them elsewhere.

Also the frostbolts from Archmage can Shotgun.

You could go for a Hungering Souls build with utilising the “X% more damage with exactly 3 Minions” with an Archmage and Twin Golem.

Yes. So if you have a max of 7 and take phalanx, you get 4 × 180 = 720 > 7 × 100 = 700

So it is situational. You have to invest to get additional summons, be it skeletons or mages. All I mean is that there are situations where you have a benefit from that nodes.

I don’t say that these nodes are great in all situations. Just responding to your general statement that these nodes are “utterly garbage and decrease your DPS”.

I personally would not want to change these nodes very much. Because if you buff them to be of an advantage over more minions in general, you just gimp the skilltree. Everybody would choose these nodes. It would just switch the actual situation into the opposite.

I’d prefer some build options in the passive tree for single minion (or low number) builds. Similar to the Beastmaster. Give the Summoner some defensive bonuses the less minions he has active.

Something like this.

The larger size attack area needs to get fixed. That aside, I think Dread Phalanx needs a HP boost as well. Like arch mage.

The benefit you are trading for, when having fewer but stronger minions, is not having to replace them so much in battle. That they can hold their own better - that they are better suited to survive burst damage. It also gives better vision over the battlefield.

As someone who loves roleplaying his characters, my favorite is one super strong super buffed Deathknight frontline, /w one supporting melee skeleton for bone armor. Supported by an army of archers in the back. Roleplaying, theme of your character and army etc. are also important for some of us.

If they removed the build ability to decide between many or few but strong perma minions, that would basically ruin the game for me. It’s the main reason I enjoy Necromancer in LE to begin with. Because they at least gave us the option to move away from the tiring trope that Necromancers HAS to have many expendable minions.

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Here’s what you’re not accounting for.

What decent build will ever have 7 normal skeletons endgame? The only way you’re having that few is during lvling. And you’re going to spend 1 point on lowering your general AOE via a swarm of minions for 20% increased damage?

You can literally put that same passive point into a 12/15% MORE damage node and come out ahead of what dread phalanx could’ve ever had. So no, dread phalanx is never more damage, because you could’ve put that point elsewhere.

Regarding mages, what build are you playing where you don’t get those nodes anyway? All the best skeletal mages builds without almost a single exception ALL get the crit nodes, the crit multi, the extra projectiles and the adaptive spell damage for caster mages.

That’s 15-18 universally taken nodes for optimal damage that will never change. How exactly does an archmage make better use of them with 1 minion vs 3-4-5? You can’t build it differently because there are no other ways to build a skeleton mage without it being significantly weaker.

And the shotgun statement is flat out wrong, skeletal mages cannot shotgun, archmage or not. You can test this yourself at the end of time.

So yes, those nodes quite literally are utterly garbage and decrease your DPS, whether by being straight up inferior or a waste of a passive point that could’ve gone elsewhere. And when your options for that 1 passive point are things like base crit, crit multi, 15% more damage, it’s extremely important.

This isn’t commonly known btw, but did you that a single endgame build skeleton rogue outdamages a deathknight and does 80% of the damage that an archmage deathknight does? A limited-numbers, necro only perma-minion ends up doing less damage than 1 of an army of skeletons.

I already pointed out an example for a build where Archmage makes sense.

The Frost Archmage can Shotgun. Put him near enough to the dummy and you can try it yourself. Enemies with bigger hit boxes will be more likely be hit by multiple projectiles.

I’m running an Archmage build where the Mage sacrifices my skeleton warriors, proccing Volatile Zombies on death. This build works very well. I tried using multiple Mages instead of Archmage. But it did not have benefits over the Archmage.

I do empowered timelines with this build without breaking into sweat.

Imagine going for a hybrid build using Lich mastery with Skeleton Mages. In this case you don’t have access to the 5th mage as it is only unlockable in the very top of the Necro tree. And your DPS will always be highest with the Archmage because of the example from above (Achmage = 4.6 × Single Mage).

Does it fire its projectiles sequentially? If not, that’s a bug (which I thought the devs have said they’ve fixed internally).

I tested it before, and tested it now. It doesn’t shotgun.

If you were going for a hybrid lich build, accept you’re playing off meta. It’s the exception to the rule.

As for the sacrifice build, sure, the minion being complete garbage isn’t an issue when you’re not actually using it to clear but as a trigger. My point is still valid.

I’m not referring to the Skeletons, but to the Archmage. He’s doing big damage with the Sacrifice. And since the Skeletons are your decaying resource you don’t benefit from having 4 or 5. It’s a pure minion build and the damage 100% comes from Archmage and Zombies.

It fires the projectiles at once. Sad to see it is going to be “fixed”. It is a nice gimmick that compensates a bit for the downsides of having less minions.

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