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Reaper Form Rework Proposal

I like the fundamentals of Reaper form. It has some issues that are well known to the community. 1) The constant draining of the temp life hp is a major nuisance and disruption to the playstyle. 2) The “bonus life” seems to not really be a benefit. According to the skill description you take on the mantle of death, WHY DRAIN “LIFE” YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD?!? Death does not die as it is already dead.

So the proposal is that the health drain is done away with. The ability to add at least one reaper form charge in the skill tree to act to be the death buffer. The temp hp is a one-time boost based on the amount of hp you have at the point of transformation or using a charge if one is available while still in reaper form. If you use the death seal to drop yourself to 33% that’s the risk you have to take, as both drain life and health regen both do not work. Rework the skill tree to allow for additional temporary health bonuses much like the druid transformations.

I am not sure if you can speak on behalf of the community here.

I personally think it is a very unique mechanic with a very unique feel.

It literally doubles your eHP Pool. I would not only call this a beneift, but a very huge one too.

Well this is probably not a issue with reaper form, but with acolyte in general.

There are 3 types of “drain/decay/health lost” effects.

  • Reaper Form (Decay)
  • All passives from acolyte (Drain)
  • 3 Uniques with Health lost/sec (Shroud of Obscurity, Exsanguinous, LSotL)

Before removing the mechanic of reaper form I rather see all of these mechanics being unified and add more interesting stats, that can positively or negatively affect these.

I think Reaper Form does need a overhaul, but the health decay mechanic is one I really would like to stay, but with more meaningful and interesting ways to work with it.


I agree with @Heavy here.
My view is that Reaper Form as a base skill is great, but its tree is all about buffs while being in repear form. I would like to see more interaction between reaper form and other acolyte skills.

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I was thinking about this first but since acolyte has only one unique that is specific for the build the rest are ward-based. The passive drains are probably the most irritating. I understand the concept of using them. It is the double and sometimes triple punishment from the drains that unless you have enough leech or health regen in the normal form you will be fake or real dead, quickly.

with this being the highlight of the entire post. Thank you @Heavy for putting my frustration into appropriate terms.
The community is in reference to the posts from the past having issues with this very interaction. I am not speaking for them but more attempting to start the conversation before the game goes to 1.0… maybe with multiplayer, since I think it will need a rework by then.

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So far Reaper is the form I like second most after Spriggan. So far I have no issues with it outside of beeing pretty boring. It get’s the job done in the boundries of the games systems at hand.
It offers a looooooooooot of good stuff while health drain is the only downside that can be offset rather easy with some game knowledge or raw killspeed.

Could it be better and more fun? Yes for sure but I have no real ideas how.

I recently levelled a Lich. She performs very well and has been a pleasure to level. Important fact: she does not use Reaper Form. Becauses Reaper Form stresses me. This countdown before return to human form takes all my focus, I can’t really think about something else.

What I would like is a permanent Reaper Form, and in compensation I’m ready to accept a progressive (like the decay) loss of power that could me weaker and weaker, till I can’t fight anymore and must hide somewhere to replenish. I can’t find the exact formula or way to do it, but something like this: Reaper Form drains my forces and I must replenish. But at no moment I’m “ejected” from my form.

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Would love if Reaper Form had something like Assemble Abomination where you can take a node that deactivates degen at some cost.


I was thinking of something similar to PoE’s Rampage effect where as long as you are killing (doing death’s work) you are able to support reap the reward. The time would be like adding seconds to the form before the aggressive degen causes you revert. I do not see being in reaper form in the end of time or town areas as being useful. It is meant to be an in area action form. I just do not feel much action except the maintain the form which is like Macknum said

I think one way to deal with it was to somewhat copy the Necromancer’s Shroud ability in Guild Wars 2. One of it’s Elite Specs is even called Reaper so that would even fit.
In GW2 the necromancer has a “Life Force” bar that depletes slowly while in Shroud form.
Using Shroud abilities in said Shroud form also costs Life Force. Once this Life Force is depleted the Necromancer autmatically gets dropped out of Shroud. It’s actually the very same as Reaper Form in LE. Your lifepool gets protected by Life Force so all hits received are also taken from Life Force. In LE it is the same thing. It’s slowly getting drained and is also drained from receiving hits. On top comes Reaper Form is actually a way to defy death since if you take a lethal hit while in Reaper Form you only get dropped out of it but are still alive with your normal HP pool. Bit lame is the interaction with Reap since it’s merely the only way to sustain Reaper Form and is practically useless in Boss Fights because of the big hits. Whatever i can regenerate with Reap is with a single hit from the bosses undone. Nice to buff my damage and a nice movement option with Reap as long as you can Reap through enough mobs to replenish your Reap Form Life Force but else as mentioned above it’s rather boring to play with. Would be interesting if Reap Form was changing how other skills work.
For example:
-While in Reap Form Rip Blood could turn into an Aura that rips health from nearby mobs to replenish Reap Form Life but it constantly drains mana.
-Or Skeletal Warriors could gain a charge ability that also stuns mobs for 1 second
-Maybe during Reap Form killing a mob could reveal a Wandering Spirit
I don’t know. I’m just throwing in ideas. But i think it would be more fun to play if it wasn’t just a dmg buff, defy death and movement thing but rather alters how other skills work.

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I think Reaper Form is probably the most engaging gameplay, it seems crazy to engage 3 Ogres under Deathseal you are deadlocked to 33%hp and not care because they mathematically cannot kill you and even if you ‘die’ you just get knocked out of Reaper form

On my Decay Lich I have 0 hp regen from Titan Heart, my HP drains to 0 and only sustain HP with Aura of Decay healing/Leech this is also while Aura of Decay hits me for 250/second

If you get 400+% healing effectiveness you can be in Reaper Form while under Decay just standing there for over 2 minutes however the class is pretty gear dependant. You really Endurance at 60%, decent HP pool or you will suffer

Reaps also the best movement on a controller by far

If you get hit by a big enough hit you can be one-shot while in Reaper form, it doesn’t make you immune to one-shots, it just provides you with a second hp pool.

Its never happened to me, even last night I got hit with Orobyss giant Meteor while under DS at 33% hp and was just knocked back into human form I only have about 450HP available, unless theres another hit waiting it doesnt seem, also the game queues up huge amount of leech when DS is up, when it drops your HP just immediately goes full

People have complained about being one-shot from Reaper form before (might even have been on here).

I have not been one-shot in Reaper form but close a couple of times. My issue is just why have a health drain just to over leech to cause an interaction when it is boring. Like I was saying have it closer to PoE Rampage where kills build up a form timer as you do the work of death.

I like this my lich versions usually never use mana so this would be another way of causing a resource interaction without just leech/drain life tedium.

tl,dr: Reaper Form is too temporary, and does things the Mastery Tree should do - and the Mastery Tree does things Reaper Form should do. Alternatively, use Reaper Form for a build-enabling skill, rather than just a buff.

Personally, the things that need improved for Reaper Form that it feels like a long-cooldown transient buff, not a true Transform. The extra hitpoints we’re granted are drained away continuously, increasingly fast, and specifically excepted from the other skills we get that may circumvent this. The nodes on the tree are just “do more of what you do otherwise, while transformed!”, there’s no benefit to having the skill and not being transformed (not that I think any of the transforms in the game have that) and so we’re forced to wait a long time for it to cooldown, but also nothing unique about being transformed, that shouldn’t just be on the Mastery Tree.

I think that all mastery-trees should have nodes specifically for the mastery-skill they provide, to incentivize using those skills - similar to Druid’s Rage Decay reductions (and specifically looking at Rage does not Decay outside Combat), Beastmaster’s Aspects gained by Companions, or Spellblade’s bonuses with Elemental Attacks - and Lich has to put in extra work to make that happen with Reaper Form. The specifics are always going to be “wrong” according to somebody - but the general form needs to synergize. Having bonuses While Transformed on the Lich mastery tree would go a long way towards making Reaper Form feel like THE skill it’s supposed to be - not just a transient buff you can include in most other Acolyte builds. The Mastery-tree nodes need to support the style - the theme between the skills themselves - not just the mechanical way we apply damage to monsters (though plenty of that is appreciated, too…)

Since most of these nodes are already on the Reaper Form skill, it would make sense to swap out some of the nodes from our Mastery Tree to the Skill tree - Increased Damage on Kill, Increased Leech on Hit, Leech Converted to Damage, Leech Converted to Ward (or per Second), Reduced Health Drain/Reduced Health Cost for Skills, or Low-Life skill-nodes are some ideas.

I think that providing another avenue to enable low-life for Lich builds is important, and Reaper Form tries to do that (especially since Death Seal prevents you from generating ward, like most items that drain your life provide you). Reaper Form could be adjusted from continuously increasing decay to be a flat amount of “x% of current life drained per second” - or a multiplier for effects that our Lich may already have doing that - then the theme of “Lich’s Increase Damage at Low-Life” from our Mastery also fits with the Mastery-Skill, and not just temporarily - until we de-transform or leech ourselves back up trying to sustain Reaper Form. Right now, Reaper Form mostly feels like a defensive layer while using Death Seal, and while that one-two punch is fun, it feels like a weird love-triangle of “you want low-life, but you want all the leech, and you need more hitpoints so being on low-life isn’t actually dangerous because you can’t have enough other defense to make low-life worth it while Death Seal is on”

Take for illustration the numerical balancing we would have to do to make Endurance our primary defense layer while low-life, with no ward: We’d need to balance our Low-Life threshold number at our Endurance Threshold number, max our Endurance percentage, and then scale this whole system up with as many hitpoints as we can cram in - so that some of these 1200-1400 damage (after resistance) single-hits don’t immediately break our Reaper Form or one-shot us - and add to this that getting “increased Endurance Threshold” or “More Endurance Threshold” anywhere on gear is much harder than getting the comparable Life mods.

Probably ended up raving there at the end, but I appreciate everyone who stuck with me through that - happy hunting, Travellers!

After playing a lich with reaper form, my main issue with the skill is the 20seconds without a movement skill when you have to get out of reaper form and the fact that there is no intersting way to get around that with stat on passives, gear, or with active gameplay.

Some ideas to give more option about this long cooldown (that could be used for the base skill or in its skill tree) :

  • give an active way to reduce the cooldown of reaper form, for exemple using health for skills giving faster cooldown recovery (something like : every 100 life consumed while in normal form = -1 sec of cooldown) : thematically, trying to kill yourself by using skills seems a good way to go back faster in reaper form and can give a good reason to increase the life cost of some skill.
  • reduce the cooldown but balance the defensive benefit of the skill around that : make that the life you get when back to normal form depends on the time spent on reaper form (something like 25% + 5% per second in reaper form of your max life) so that even if you have to wait only 5 sec to go back in reaper form, you have to wait another 15sec to have the full defensive benefit of the double hp pool. You could even make it a bit more complicated but interesting : when going in reaper form, your “normal life” start to 1, your “reaper life” to full, and your life regen apply to your normal life (so that your reaper life do not regen like now).

On one hand, yeah. there isn’t an active way to reduce the cooldown. On the other, there is a very good way to increase the duration. On of my liches goes into a echo, pops reaper at the beginning, clears the echo, does another, and clears that one before reaper form breaks. Ultimately, the problem you’re having is the downtime of reaper and your proposed solutions address them, but whats wrong with the intended method of extending reaper form?

I don’t think that the duration of reaper form have much to do with what i was saying : staying 1min or 5min in reaper form does not change the fact that having 20sec without a movement skill and nothing to do about it feels bad (the longer you stay in reaper form, the less often this happend, but it does not feel less bad)

And sure, you can somewhat time your reaper form to break when you finish an echo so the downtime is when you sort inventory and stuff like that, but I don’t think that a good way to balance the skill.

Apart from take the far superior Transplant… Fair enough if you don’t want to, but the devs have given you other options. If you choose not to use them then that’s, IMO, on you. I’d never not take Transplant.

“other options” = using transplant ? So even if I want to use reaper form as my mobility skill i have to use another skill slot just to not being stuck for 20sec every now and then. This feels more like “transplat is mandatory” than “i have options”, and my build use 4 other skills, so i can’t really use 2 skill slots mainly for mobility.

And I really don’t see why giving some options to reduce the dowtime of reaper form (without making the defensive side of the skill OP) would not be good.