RuneScape’s new Necromancy skill reinvents combat once again, 22 years on

Introducing RuneScape 3’s New Necromancy Skill: Controlling the Undead

Can you master the unique power to raise and command the undead? That is the intriguing question posed by RuneScape 3’s latest skill addition: Necromancy. Being the 29th skill to be introduced in RuneScape 3, Necromancy breaks the mold by offering players a brand-new combat style, effectively functioning as a new class within the game. Unlike traditional combat skills like melee, range, and magic, Necromancy stands on its own, neither stronger nor weaker than its counterparts. Instead, Necromancy provides players with a fresh combat experience to explore and experiment with.

As someone who had the privilege of previewing and getting hands-on experience with Necromancy, I can confidently say that this new skill injects an exciting dynamic into the game. Divided into two halves, Necromancy combat involves summoning undead beings, such as Skeleton Warriors and Putrid Zombies, to fight by your side, while simultaneously unleashing necrotic attacks with a range of incantations and abilities. The undead and your Summoning familiar play crucial roles in the battles, dealing and receiving damage. The new abilities like Finger of Death enable you to inflict damage on enemies, while stacking Necrosis reduces the adrenaline cost of each action.

To utilize these new incantations, you’ll need to craft special runes specific to Necromancy. RuneScape 3 introduces four unique runes for this purpose: Bone, Flesh, Miasma, and Spirit Runes.

The Talent Tree: Customizing Your Necromancy Experience

In addition to acquiring new abilities through leveling up, Necromancy offers an intriguing Talent Tree system. As you engage in combat using Necromancy, you earn Talent Points, which can unlock additional powers on the Talent Tree at the Well of Souls. Gradually, you’ll be able to weave spells like Life Transfer, which employs a portion of your own health to prolong the lifespan of your undead allies. Unlocking higher tiers on the Talent Tree involves adding more souls to the Well through Rituals. This comprehensive system allows you to tailor your Necromancy journey, focusing on specific aspects of combat that suit your playstyle and preferences, such as enhancing incantations or increasing the number of undead followers you can summon. With the ability to unlock special attacks for your undead allies, Necromancy opens up a range of innovative battle strategies that have the potential to reshape the RuneScape meta.

A Fresh Combat Experience and Updated Mechanics

The introduction of Necromancy not only expands the combat options in RuneScape 3 but also brings forth changes to the overall combat system. For starters, the maximum combat level has been raised from 139 to 152, reflecting the increased difficulty of new foes. Additionally, the way combat XP is earned has been revamped. Post-Necromancy, combat XP is now based on an opponent’s health points, meaning you reap greater rewards for taking on higher-level enemies.

Image credit: Jagex

Meticulously Designed Gear for the Necromancer

Of course, a new combat style demands its own set of gear. Unlike traditional combat skills, which allow for a wide variety of weapon and armor choices, Necromancy requires specific gear. Alongside Necromancy armor, players must equip the Death Guard for executing abilities and the Spirit Lantern to summon spirits from the underworld. This gear is crucial for effectively utilizing the Necromancy skill and evolves alongside your progress, progressively reaching Tier 90. Advancing to this level requires meeting skill requirements outside of Necromancy, such as Smithing or Crafting, as well as collecting the necessary materials. As you progress, you may opt for the Power option, which sacrifices armor stats for ability bonuses. For those aspiring for Tier 95 gear, the highest equipment tier, you’ll need to defeat the formidable boss Rasial, introduced in conjunction with the Necromancy skill.

Rituals: A New Path to Power

Necromancy isn’t solely focused on combat; rituals play a vital role in resource gathering and skill training. Performing a ritual involves selecting the desired outcome, be it acquiring specific resources or adding souls to the Well of Souls. Depending on your choice, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials, light candles, and draw Glyphs. However, performing rituals isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Disturbances, such as the appearance of Wandering Spirits, may interrupt your work, adding an unpredictable element to the activity. These disturbances provide a refreshing engagement factor, reminiscent of the random events in Old School RuneScape, giving players a sense of depth and unpredictability in the game world.

Necromancy introduces a non-combat skill training method that allows players who prefer non-combat-oriented skills to fully engage with the new content. RuneScape’s extensive skill system ensures that players with varying preferences can invest in gathering, artisan, or support skills, catering to diverse playstyles and interests.