Hey guys, really nice game, enjoying it a lot.
I’ve been playing summoners for several years, in several games, and even bought games just because they had a summoner class, [ POE/D2/GD/TQ2/TL2/D3 etc] . Coincidentally, I bought the game because of the minion AI improvements.
So far, I played 3 necros in total till empowered monos, 1 cookie cutter ranged, 1 strictly melee and a mix. I’m going to be talking about melee minions, in particular skeletons and skeletal mage deathknights.
Ranged summons are a lot more powerful, easier to use and easier to gear for in comparison to melee summons, mainly skeletons and skeletal mages. Here are the reasons why I say this.
- Leash range;
Current leash range is almost at the edge of the screen. If you try to kite packs of mobs while trying to avoid telegraphed attacks, you’ll very frequently have skeletons being pulled back because you went out of range. Ranged minions don’t have this issue, and they can aggro on mobs from ranges where melee minions would attempt to attack but return.
- Melee skeleton-exclusive abilities and nodes are terrible;
Both rogues and deathknights currently have abilities you can unlock that don’t even scale with their regular base damage. Rogues have the acid flask, which scales with throwing and acid, while DKs have hungering souls which scales off of spell damage.
On top of it, rogues have a cooldown recovery node that divides its bonus based on your max amount of rogue summons, which makes it absolutely never worth it unless you’re running only 1.
Rogues also don’t have a distance limit for their teleport, which makes them lose DPS because they use it point blank. So you invest in cooldown recovery in order for them to teleport more often, and they constantly waste it point blank and skip attacks. You don’t invest in cooldown recovery and you’re stuck with them teleporting once every 2-3 packs.
The flask has significant amounts of startup and recovery, of about 3 normal attacks, while doing less than half the damage of one.
- Short aggro range and constant micromanagement
You can increase your minions movement speed, even tho there’s a distinct lack of ways to do so, but then you have to start aggressively micromanaging. You’re gonna have to get used to juggling infernal and dread shades for the +72% MS + haste that infernal gives to minions while there’s no HUD indicators of how many you have active, for how long, whether they expired because they’re nearly invisible in some maps etc. Note that you physically almost cannot see dread shade in some map terrains and you it’s also super difficult to choose a specific minion to infernal shade, which is very important.
Once you got that going, you’re gonna have to manually A move them everywhere. They follow you and match your movement speed, which means that their own is completely wasted unless you constantly A move them 24/7.
Meanwhile, being practically AFK will still get you more done if you just pick ranged minions.
I really like necros based on melee minions, but there’s a reason you don’t see people playing them, much less optimally. They feel super micromanagement intensive and you have to constantly hold their hand and gear well just to make them feel decent. On top of it, they got nothing special going for them, their abilities are pretty garbage and don’t fit their damage type or provided any build utilty.
My suggestion would be to increase the leash range, give melee based skeletons/mages movement speed via their nodes as well as increased aggro range. Currently they feel like you’re walking grandmas across the street.