Friday, 6 September 2013

Green is for Necromancers

Why do we all have such small imaginations when it comes to clothing our avatars?  I mean, if we each had a gold for every scantily clad, staff-wielding Elementalist or each Guardian disguised as spiky metal behemoth, we'd all be able to buy a Legendary.  I can't really speak to what goes through the minds of people that play other classes but I can certainly speak for myself.


I swear I didn't go looking for this...

When I first created my character I was very frustrated by the lack of armour variety.  Instead most of the gear seemed to have a lot of fur trim.  That was not too immersion breaking for me being a norn; very hunter/gatherer.  But I really wanted to make my toon look like he raised the dead as a key part of his livelihood.    I was inspired to use a lot of green.  And look for stuff with bones on it.  Yeah, inspired. It's easy to blame the concept art and the UI design.  The concept art for Necromancers included a LOT of green and quite a lot of deep red.  The Necro weapon skills are mainly green as are a lot of particle effects.  I'm sorry I keep saying green, it's kind of a theme, though...

So, why green and, less so, red?  Well, the red is easy: blood and viscera.  The green?  Well, we associated green with corruption and decay, yet most of the vitality we see in everyday life is green! How often do you see things that turn green when they go bad?  In my experience they generally go a darker version of their original colour and then they go black.  Also most of the pus I have ever seen has been a creamy yellow; calling it green would be a stretch.

Given the paucity of gear early on I decided to leave the real customisation to the elder game.  Also, since you level so fast, it would be a quite a chore to maintain a look with an ever-changing armour set.  I started looking at the gear you could get from dungeons and quickly found the awesome that is Arah.  The Arah light armour is a necromancer's dream.
Arah Light Armor

I can't imagine anything fitting a class better.  I asked around and quickly discovered my chances of getting that much gear from Arah were slim so I looked for compromises and quickly found parts of the Twilight Arbour set combined well with Arah.
Mix and Match - TA everything except head and shoulders
I'm not alone.  If you look at any “share your necro” thread you'll see people post that combo.  It's realistically achievable and looks pretty cool.  But I never even made it that far.  No-one wants to run TA. I compromised again and came up with this
[Arah TA COF combo]

Since EVERYONE wants to run CoF this seemed much more likely.  However, I'm really starting to strecth the look here.  Then I discover runing Arah is even harder than I expected and I end up looking like this:
The compromise

This apple has fallen so far from the Arah tree it might actually be a different sort of fruit altogether.  Maybe a lemon?  Having said that I was happy with this look for a week or so but it soon became quite immersion breaking.  I just didn't like how I looked.

So, when I decided to switch from a bleed/condition sceptre build to a power/crit. dagger build it was a great opportunity to have a gear re-think.  In search of inspiration I began trawling the aforementioned “share” forum threads and I found some fantastic looks.  It seems that charr and sylvari make particularly good looking necromancers!  Here are a few of my favourites:

Amazing charr necro (but still Arah gear)

Sort of Shamanic sylvari necro

Still a lot of green and black, eh?  I didn't see a lot of norn in those threads so I looked to the normal sized humans for inspiration and found this.

Now, that's more like it.  If you're going to get up close and personal with a dagger in someone's face you don't want to be sporting a skull encrusted dress, it's just not practical.  Inspired I set about earning my exotic gear (rebuild remember) and looking at skins. I still have one piece of gear to get, a coat from Honor of the Waves, but other than it's complete.  I'm very happy with it.  At least for now.

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