By Regina Buenaobra August 31st, 2010 Last week we unearthed the necromancer, the macabre master of life and death in Guild Wars 2. Many of you had questions about this updated take on the classic Guild Wars profession, so we summoned Lead Designer Eric Flannum and Game Designer Isaiah “Izzy” Cartwright to answer the most common queries. Read on for answers to your necro questions! Fear Q: Fear sounds like an unbalanced crowd control mechanic. Could you explain this mechanic in more detail? How often can you use it and can you remove it? Are there certain types of enemies that are immune to fear? Eric: Fear is a condition and is therefore removable by anything that removes conditions. How often fear can be used depends entirely on the skill that inflicts it, so it will vary from skill to skill. Boss monsters are currently immune to fear, but this is something that we are constantly balancing. Izzy: Currently, fear lasts 2 to 5 seconds in PvE and 2 seconds in PvP, but these are just the current numbers and we’ll continue to refine and balance them as we keep playing. Q: How will fear work in PvP? I don’t like losing control of my character, and it seems like fear may make my play experience frustrating and unenjoyable. Eric: As Izzy alluded to, we’ll have different balance for skills in PvE and PvP, so it’s very likely that skills that cause fear will function slightly differently in the two game types. Fear is similar to a knockdown or stun in the way it disables your character for a short period of time. In some ways, fear is less powerful than knockdown, since it’s a condition, and it can be effected by anything that affects conditions. Knockdowns, on the other hand, can only be affected by things that specifically affect knockdowns. Death Shroud Q: Will the necromancer be able to slot in different skills for his Death Shroud abilities? Izzy: No, your Death Shroud skills are a special set of skills, but you can make improvements to your Death Shroud via traits. Q: Does damage done to the necromancer in Death Shroud decrease the life force meter? Eric: Yes, when the necromancer is in Death Shroud state, any damage they receive decreases their life force. Q: Will there be ways to spend life force outside of Death Shroud? If not, would you consider adding some utility skills that would do this? Izzy: We want to keep these concepts simple, so skills can only add to your life force pool. Minions Q: The necromancer article seems to imply that you can only have one minion of each type active, since summoning it swaps the skill out for a minion bomber skill. Is that true? Izzy: Some skills such a Bone Minions can give you three minions, plus an additional two using traits. You can also have a Blood Fiend and a Bone Fiend. Keep in mind we haven’t revealed all the necro minions yet! Q: If I’m out of combat and switch out one of my minion skills, do I lose the minion I have already summoned on the field? Izzy: Yes, anytime you unequip a utility skill you lose all benefit from that skill – including minions. Q: Are minion models tied to the spell used to summon them (like in Guild Wars) or to the type of corpse that it was raised from? Eric: Minions in Guild Wars 2 are not raised from corpses, so the type of minion created is determined by the skill used. Q: Do minions have natural health regeneration? Eric: No, minions do not currently regenerate health. Q: Do minions have levels and do they vary in size or shape depending on the life force? Eric: The level of the minion is based upon the level of the necromancer that created it. They do not vary based upon life force. Wells Q: Since wells originate from the caster herself, and not from a corpse, do they follow you around or stay at the location where the skill was cast? Eric: Much like wards in the original Guild Wars, wells do not move. General Q: Would you consider some PvE only tweaks to further spice it up, like making necros slightly more powerful during in-game nighttime than in bright sunlight? Eric: We wouldn’t want to do anything to make a player feel like they should only play a particular race or profession in a limited set of circumstances, so I don’t think we’d do this sort of thing. That being said, we do have items that act differently at night versus during the day. The key difference is that item choice is a much more short term choice whereas race and profession are long term choices. Q: Is there any limit to how many marks I can place? Eric: When you place a mark, the skill switches to an “activate mark” skill. This means that the number of marks a necromancer can have active is limited by how many individual mark skills he brings. Q: Can the Life Siphon skill be maintained by holding the skill button down until either the enemy is dead or your energy runs out? Eric: Life Siphon is a timed skill that drains life for a short period of time, and then recharges. It can be interrupted by moving. Q: Are the scary and dark sound effect we can hear in the skill video permanent sound ambient effects for the necromancer, or were they used for the video only? Eric: Some of them were generated for the video and some of them are in the game. We tend to use the videos as sound concept tests though, so it is very likely that you’ll hear many of those sounds while playing the game. Q: Can necromancers swap weapons? Eric: Absolutely. Like other professions, necromancers can swap between two weapon sets (which is the current maximum for any profession). Q: Reading up on Ghosts of Ascalon, I wonder if what some of Killeen did in the book will somehow manifest itself in the game, or if that was simply a loose literary translation of necromancer abilities? Eric: Some of what Killeen does in the book will be reflected in the game (quite accurately). However, some of what she does is a pretty loose interpretation of in-game necromantic capabilities. Q: What is that brilliant-looking skill used at the beginning of the Life Siphon video? Izzy: That is a skill called Life Blast, which is skill number four on the focus item. Q: You mentioned bleeding in the skill Grasping Dead. How does bleeding stack in Guild Wars 2? Is it just additional duration, or is it an additional health loss per second? Izzy: You can have up to nine bleeds on a target and each does some damage per second. Thanks guys! Both Eric and Izzy will be at the Guild Wars 2 booth at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend, along with a ton of other ArenaNet staffers. Stop by, say hi, and play our demo!