Nekros as a character is at the best place he's ever been, yet even then he's not brought into missions unless the goal is to grind resources. He has thematically cool abilities, but suffers from having said abilities be balanced around being lackluster without their augment mods.
Goal of this rework: Expanding on what Nekros does and creating a role for him in teams besides just making more loot appear. Nekros currently sits in an uncomfortable role of being technically a support and technically a tank, yet not being expectional at either besides very situationally. This rework aims to expand the support part considerably and add a bit of tankiness too. And it aims to accomplish that with as minimal changes as needed.
To easier explain the changes suggested, this suggestion goes over the abilities in reverse order.
4) Shadows of the Dead
-Shadows have very wildly varying effectiveness depending on which ones you get, with their ai's being their major enemy. Most melee type enemies rush in and die regardless of how much ability strength you have, while many ranged enemies sit behind cover and contribute nothing (beyond keeping their precious health safe for Shield of Shadows).
-Using Soul Punch on one of your own Shadows now consumes it. Gives you more control over your Shadows, and allows you to remove the worst ones.
Shadows don't deal enough damage to be noticeable. As it stands there isn't much reason to even spawn Shadows unless you have the SotD augment or you want to summon support enemies like Ancients or Nullifiers.
-Increase the damage increase that Shadows deal at base from 150% to 175% (or even 200%).
-Currently, Desecrate is the one and only tool that makes people use a Nekros in their team, yet it doesn't help much outside of grinding resources + help in survival. Desecrate is a very cool sort of loot-support ability, but it could do with more supporting power. For example, in Sanctuary Onslaught Desecrate is limited to spawning health/energy orbs and ammunition, which is alright at best, but not nearly comparable to any other support. A good way of increasing the supportiveness of Nekros while keeping him distinct from the others is by giving Desecrate unique loot that only Nekros can spawn.
-Soul shards, unique drop caused by Desecrate. Every time you'd normally spawn a health orb with Desecrate there's a chance that you create a Soul Shard instead. Picking it up causes you to regenerate 25% of your max health over the next 5 seconds. For mods like Health Conversion they act the same as normal health orbs. Adding these to the Desecrate lootpool shifts Nekros from a combat medic who hands painpills to everyone and tells them to suck it up into an actual healer that can keep his team alive.
-Omni ammo box, a familiar pickup from Index and Conclave. These would also have a chance to spawn everytime you would have spawned a normal ammo pickup, and give ammo to all guns equipped.
Terrify is a basis for a good CC ability, but it has one problem: Fear is the opposite of crowd control, it's crowd chaos. There's a good reason why in most games fear effects have a slow tied to them, since it does the opposite of what you want from a CC ability. It makes enemies run away from you. There are two situations where that is useful:
Objective is almost dead and you press the panic button to save it.
Resurrecting a teammate/capturing target while in the middle of a bunch of enemies.
Point number two can be ignored if you have a tank build or the Soul Punch augment, which leaves only one proper use for Terrify. The secondary part of the skill (armour reduction) would be a nice support skill if it weren't tied to a fear.
-Terrify now applies a cold proc on feared targets (lasts for half/quarter of the duration), armour reduction changed to damage amplification (= enemies take more damage, optional chance). Fear effects in games -Augment increases the damage amplification/armour redu. effect, and causes enemies that get feared to suffer blast procs on top of what the augment currently does. Blast procs occur when first hit by Terrify and after random intervals for the rest of the duration (the enemies are so afraid of you that they stumble over themselves trying to escape, which makes it easier to use the increased damage they take).
1) Soul punch
-Current Soul Punch might be the thematically coolest ability in the game yet, but in practice it is pretty lackluster. It does minor damage, sends an enemy flying at a velocity of too fast, and that's it. It's a fun thing to play around with, but as an actual tool for Nekros it's about as handy as using a screwdriver to clean a coffee pot.
A single target CC isn't useful, and it's not helped by the CC being a knockback that has unreliable results (even if funny). If it was changed to be a short-medium length stun (3-6 sec), and was an AOE instead, it would be much better. Tie it in with giving him more support by giving a higher chance of dropping soul shards for some extra healing, and suddenly it's a much more appealing ability.
-Punch the souls out from the target enemy and others nearby, dealing damage and stunning them. While their souls are outside their bodies, enemies take extra damage and lay on the ground lifeless. Affected enemies have a glowy soul like effect above them. Enemies that die during the effect also have a chance of dropping soul shards.
-The augment for this ability gets a special mention, since it's a very good addition to Nekros' kit but isn't quite there yet. The problems that it has are:
1) it drains all of your energy
2) only gives an ally 30% of their health back at 100% strength
3) no invulnerability frames.
If it had just two of these it could potentially be fine, but as it is now it isn't very useful. If there are any enemies nearby the target you're trying to revive then having all three penalties on this augment means that the revive target is going to go down again 99% of the time. The higher level the mission that you try to use it on, the more likely you are to just troll your teammates by making them watch the up-and-down animations over and over instead of actually helping them if you use this thing.
-Make the hp% the target gains depend on the amount of energy used to revive them, or give the target invuln. frames for X duration which scales by how much energy was used (on top of ability strength).
Current passive was added during the patch that gave every warframe one, and similarly to most of the others that were given it might as well not be there for all it does. It's nice to have, sure, but it doesn't do much and if it were removed it would only affect Nekros players that don't have the proper mods to not need it.
Desecrating enemies or picking up soul shards gives soul stacks, which increase your max HP (unnaffected by vigor etc.) for the remainder of the mission. -King of death and the ruler of survival missions, he should become more powerful as he drains souls from those around him. Makes him scale in endless missions, and gives him a bit of innate tankiness. If the HP gain is kept low enough (like around 1HP per 5 stacks) then this effect could have no cap (besides some cutoff point like 9999 if you really wanted to stay in a mission for a long time).
Feel free to add your own ideas, thoughts and feedback, and in case any members of DE are reading this please, leave your "thank you for taking the time to write this but currently we aren't looking to change nekros"-messages below if you would be so kind.
I like Nekros and wish he were at a better place as a character. He's got the start of a cool ability kit on his hands but as it stands it all kinda trickles through them to not account to much beyond helping himself.
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