The Necromancer was the fifth and final class to be revealed for the release of Diablo 4. The reveal was part of Microsoft's showcase in June 2022.
The Necromancer has two resources. Essence and Corpses.
Essence is the primary resource that recharges slowly over time. Essence can also be obtained using basic skills allowing players to cast their skills more often.
Corpses are literally the left over remains of fallen enemy. These remains can be used to summon minions or power other skill such as Corpse Explosion.
Necromancers are proficient with:
- Bone Spirit - Cooldown and consumed all Essence. A spirit of bone seeks out the enemy and then explodes dealing AOE damage. The more Essence spent, the more damage dealt. When it Critical Strkes, cooldown is reduced.
- Bone Prison - Slam weapon into the ground to create circular wall of bone. Use this skill to block enemies.
These skills use Shadow magic and tend to be damage over time (DOT). These skill can also have debuffs and crowd control elements.
- Decompose - Chanel magic onto enemies dealing damage while generating Essence. Decompose periodically summons Corpses.
- Blight - Launch a ball of dark magic. Deals and explosion of damage leaving behind a defiled area which deals damage over time.
Blood skill are used to siphon life from the enemy.
- Blood Surge - Draws small amount of blood from nearby enemies and the Necromancer expels a blood nova dealing damage near a player's location. Damage of the blood nova is increased per enemy drained.
- Blood Mist - Disperse a bloody mist becoming temporarily immune to all damage while draining the life of nearby enemies passing through the mist.
The Necromancers summoning skills which includes skeletons and golem. Blizzard explains their approach to summoning in Diablo 4:
We went through a lot of iteration on how we want the experience of summoning the undead to feel for the player, and how much of their skill bar should be dedicated to this part of the class. To that end, we’ve come up with what we feel is the best possible version to ensure that players have as much customization as possible over not only their army itself, but also in which other skills they want to use to support their own unique playstyle.
If a player wants to have the maximum number of summoned units possible then they will only have to dedicate two buttons to their skill bar: one to raising Skeletons and the other for their Golem. The Raise Skeleton button is a one-stop shop to raise all the different Skeletons a player can summon, and the Golem button is used to command the Golem to use a unique effect that is dependent on the type of Golem that is currently active. With this setup, we’ve found a great balance between having the necessary tools for raising and commanding a Necromancer army while also leaving room for player expression in what additional skills they want to put on their bar.
- Iron Maiden
Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead is the Necromancer's unique class mechanic.
The book allows players to customise how their summoned Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Golems will react while playing. There are three specialisations:
- Skirmishers - Increased damage but reduced health.
- Defenders - Bonus health
- Reapers - Slow attacks but AOE damage and increase damage with a "wind-up" attack.
As well as the above, each unit in the "army" can be customised although it's still a little vague how this will function. Blizzard states:
Each specialized unit in the army has unique upgrades available to them, giving you even more customization over how each unit in their army functions in their overall playstyle. These units and upgrades will have synergies with the various playstyles mentioned above, as well as add other potential ways to play.
A player can use the Book of the Dead to "sacrifice the ability to summon that unit" in exchange for a personal permanent buff.
As might be expected, the devotees of magic are a segregated lot. They are as leery of students of rival disciplines as a layperson is of all arcane practitioners. None, however, are so widely maligned and misunderstood as the Priests of Rathma.
As with most users of magic, the priests of the cult of Rathma hail from the far Eastern Jungles. They reside in a vast underground city located deep within those jungles. Their specific geographical locale is particularly secluded, however, preventing their assimilation into a formal mage clan. But it is this same isolation that has allowed them to pursue their distinct kind of arcane science.
For it is through the teachings of Rathma, as well as through years of research and physical experimentation, that these men have come to understand and hold sacred the delicate balance of life and death and are able to twist the line that borders the two. For although the minions of Hell have long possessed this power, among mortals the knowledge to reanimate and control the dead belongs to these priests alone. It is this practice that has led outsiders to refer to them as Necromancers. They truly comprehend the balance of all things,and understand and accept their place in what they refer to as the Great Cycle of Being.
Their culture has subsisted in the shadow of the great mage clans from the earliest days, and in most ways their practice reaches back to a time before magic was formalized into strict disciplines. Although their art is considered “dark”, and the people of the outside world shun the priests who practice these arts, these mysterious cultists never suffered the epidemic of corruption that plagued the ancient mage clans.
Pragmatists in the truest sense, they are above temptation. They see death merely as a natural part of life and do not seek to deny its arrival. Their singular knowledge of the unknown allows them to face death without fear. These ideals, coupled with an understanding of the natural balance between Order and Chaos, explain why they have not fallen prey to the influences of evil.
Their desire to uphold this balance has brought the Necromancers forth from the isolation of their remote, dank homeland to destroy Diablo and his brethren. The mere presence of these Prime Evils on the mortal realm upsets the natural symmetry of not only the mortal realm, but also the Great Cycle of Being itself. The followers of Rathma seek to right the balance by ridding the mortal realms of nonmortal intervention altogether. They resent any force that would treat humans as pawns in a cosmic game, though they apparently are willing to ally with the forces of Order, but only until such time as the balance is restored.