Continuing to cut a swath through the Diablo 2 characters, this week’s column tackles the Necromancer. Here’s the opening, click through to read the whole thing.

    Why the Necromancer is Cool

    The Necromancer seems to be a favorite among us dead beats and die hard Diablo fans. With Cain always boring us to death the Necromancer is the only old creep in Diablo 2 done right in Blizzard’s quest for the holy frail. But really, he is only ten feet tall when we the players put him on this rack here and give him a run for his Gumby. I always knew he was stretched thin. Tonight we hook at what exactly it is about him that players like so much. We will take a trip down memory bane as we stretch his limbs and give him a pul ruin. And speaking of stretched skin, what’s this cheap snare drum set doing here?


    We may as well start by going over what just fatally blows about him. Surely, we do not like him for his looks because he is not ghouling anyone in that Styrofoam and rubber armor. And red pants are about as appealing to the eye as a red hot poker. The only time he looks any good is in his early open vest biker look which makes him out to be a heavy drinker and barf hopper. But after he gets his first quilted armor and bundles the ENTIRE THING on his shoulder he doesn’t exactly knock ‘em dead with his appearance. In his later armor he has a death wish with just that vertebrae going down his tummy leaving him open to kidney shots. In terms of looking epic, he is in a dead tie with a wife beater.

    But maybe it’s this cruel and evil side to him that makes him attract so many players (which sounds like grave news for a character who is supposed to be fighting on the side of light). Many players who simply want to vent angst and be bad are just dying to meat him. He is even a dead ringer for Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat I.

    The only problem is Shang Tsung could morph into Sonja while the Necromancer can only morph into a spampire with the arms of a girl after collecting Trang-Oul’s set. How necromantic. He’s not exactly scary or drop dead gorgeous. Many of his skills don’t even seem particularly evil except Dim Vision where enemies had to fight tooth and braille to get anywhere near him.

    There was plenty of opportunity for many Necromancer skills to be more bad and scary, but they were so gimped from the get go that his minions were dead in the water. The skeletons remind me of The Blair Witch Project; when they get stuck in the corner it’s the end. Often those extremely poor AI skellies were just dead to the world. As for the skeleton mages you could almost say they were dead on their feet. And that Fire Golem could be a real son of Obituary when doing such tiny splash damage. And with only three minutes to live, resurrected monsters are pretty much dead meat. Talk about an untimely death!

    And who was it that was so dead set about dubbing the Necromancer a ?fishymancer?? Can someone please explain what fish have to do with anything besides monsters shooting fish in a barrel while skellies only have a 5% chance to hit them back? I suppose in early versions seeing skeletons around in Hell mode was like seeing, well, fish out of water. I didn’t know the Necromancer served in the Marine Corpse.

    So if it’s not his skills and lack of ubber power, perhaps the hardcorpse Necromancer fans like him for his character and lore. His light hair, confidence in his abilities, raspy voice and dead tired face always reminded me of David Carradine. Take a look at the picture below and the one the police took when they found he had rolled over and died.

    Now that’s what I call playing dead. I guess he had a few skeletons in the closet where they found him. Talk about a Strapping Young Lad. The detectives had to play rock paper scissors to determine who would check where he hid the skeleton key. But to be dead serious for a moment, when compared to the Barbarian who had the whole Act 5 devoted to him, the Necromancer’s lore is bone dry.

    But there has got to be something about the Necromancer that is to die for. Could it be the items like shrunken heads are similar to those you find on Blizzards official forums? Lord no; those things were the death knell of any seriousness in the game because Charsi would have to be a neurosurgeon to repair them, and they make ridiculous things to block with. And although later patches would improve his weak skills, the ridiculous number of skill bonuses on Necromancer items was the final nail in the coffin.

    It would appear the Necromancer was really stuck in a rot for quite some time. Even sew, we continued to flay him. All the while we were asking what Blizzard was drinking when they allowed him to have over 80 minions in a game that allowed 8 players on one screen. Furthermore, Corpse Explosion was about as cheap as patch 1.12. So why did we play him when you’d think we should have thrown him under the pus? Well, the answer is simply that the Necromancer fits perfectly in a world where everything is dead and buried. When you’re exploring tombs, catacombs, graveyards, and being knee deep in the dead in general, no one matches the environment and dark atmosphere better than the Necromancer. The presence of all the other classes often looks about as questionable as the death penalty.

    And so, the deathtrap is set for Diablo 3 with colorful boys and girls from all parts of the world showing up in places they had never conceived of. The Necromancer will be rolling over in his grave. His Carcass will be too busy roasting in hell to be played in Diablo 3. I guess you could say Blizzard put him on the back burner. The die has been ghast , so it’s curtains for the Necromancer. And since no one will ever be the backbone of a dungeon like the Necromancer was, I guess he died in vain. We won’t even get a sense of deja spew because none of the classes in Diablo 3 really have any business dwelling in crypts playing with all dead things that populate Sanctuary. The Witch Doctor looks like he should be doing a hula dance rather than a graveyard shuffle.

    But hey, there is always patch unlucky 1.13; It should be out be the time the war in Iraq ends. I can feel it in my bones. You know, old Mr. Red Pants does remind me of someone else, but I can’t shriek of it right now. I’m dead sure I’ll think of it soon though.


    Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

    Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

    You may also like