why is pestilance so bad?

Necromancer
This is the first 6-piece I tried since I figured it would be the weakest.

My overall thoughts on the negatives of the set:
  • Only Bone Spear gets a damage buff from this set, making it too specific
  • None of the Corpse skills get an actual buff from this set. Instead, they're on off-set legendaries that compete for space.
  • There is no way to reduce Land of the Dead cooldown except for Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
  • The 4-piece seems to be too cumbersome to build up, especially compared to many other sets where their damage reduction is obtained simply by existing or attacking once

It does seem to be fairly good for the intended use of speed farming, though I imagine Inarius would be just as good if not better due to its passivity.

What I feel should be improved
  • The set should buff Corpse Lance, Corpse Explosion, and Land of the Dead (and Revive I guess)
  • The Empowered Bone Spear Charges should be more useful as a resource. Playing with Devour, I always had 100. Playing without Devour, it was lower, but I only ran out if I died.
  • More interesting supporting legendaries. Bone Spear literally only has one from what I can see.
  • More survivability

Corpse Lance and Corpse Explosion have supporting legendaries to help their damage, but Corpse Explosion doesn't come close to Corpse Lance's damage, especially since it isn't autotarget unless you have the one rune equipped, and Corpse Lance has the amulet. Corpse Lance does do a significant amount of damage, but the set itself doesn't boost this outside of the free ones from consumption. The set should provide more bonuses to the corpse consuming skills thematically. They don't have to be straight damage boosts either.

Land of the Dead should get some cooldown reduction, such as per Bone Spear cast or per charge depleted.

The Empowered Bone Spear Charges don't feel compelling as a resource since they're so easy to acquire they'll practically never run out, unless you purposely run without Land of the Dead and Moribund Gauntlets. Perhaps have an option to consume them to reduce the remaining cooldown of Land of the Dead (1 corpse = 1 sec? 5 corpse = 1 sec?). Or consume them in the place of corpses to cast corpse spells.

Bone Spear's only legendary is a 2H Scythe, which competes with several other options. It's not a very strong choice when the currently preferred options also buff the damage of Corpse Lance. It could use some sort of buff to make it more competitive, either in slot or in cube. There is a lack of legendary weapons/off-hands overall, so more interesting options would be welcome, but the fact that the current option is a 2H limits these possibilities.

Survivability could be improved by reducing the number of charges required to have max damage reduction on the 4-piece, and an additional off-set piece such as a belt or bracers that gives damage reduction inline with the set's theme, rather than necessarily forcing the use of a curse.
I think part of the problem with this set is that the creative vision for it overwhelmed the gameplay of it, and players aren't picking up on the creative vision because the name gives a different impression that intended. It's a "Pestilence Master," so your first thought might be a plague spreading necromancer, and that's clearly not the intent or else it'd do something with poison.

Maybe what we're supposed to be picturing is a necromancer running around in the aftermath of a plague being resourceful and using the corpses from it. Maybe we're supposed to be picturing the necromancer walking around the streets ripping the bones from pestilent corpses (shown by corpse lance) to fashion weapons (in this case, bone spears). It's a pretty cool mental image. It's a perfect environment for a necromancer to take advantage of in a fight, turning the Evils' own weapon, the plague, against them. Additionally, Bone Armor kind of fits that vision, except it currently doesn't use corpses!

They seem to have gone too far into their own creative vision by limiting it to those skills, though. The basis of the idea is the necromancer taking advantage of a sudden abundance of corpses to empower bone skills. With that in mind, I think there are ways to tweak this set that would still fit that creative image, too. I don't know if it's the theme they were trying to express exactly, but it works! So why not:

(2) Land of the Dead gains the Shallow Graves rune. Its duration can be extended any number of times. (There would be bodies lying around everywhere, so Land of the Dead - Shallow Graves makes a lot of sense, and removing the 2-second restriction on that rune would make sense when you're walking around in an actual, non-conjured Land of the Dead as well. If that ended up being overpowered after testing, maybe at least bump it up to a 5 second limit?)

(4) Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear, Bone Spikes, or Bone Spirit by 3000%. While you have Empowered Bone charges, the damage reduction granted by your Bone Armor is increased by .5% for each charge. (If the theme is ripping the bones from enemies to empower bone skills, why limit the boosted bone skills to just Bone Spear? Bone Armor could use a little defense boost, and doing it this way would create an ebb and flow to the set's usage, which would force you to balance the usage of corpse and bone skills to dish out enough damage but also not get too vulnerable.)

(6) Consuming an Elite corpse doubles the bonuses granted by your Empowered Bones for 10 seconds. (I think a resourceful necromancer would recognize the value of better corpses for better materials as well, and this would help define this set as an elite pack hunter, which would give it more of a role in a party running rifts.)

That'd fix some of the problems with this set on the creative end. Involving Land of the Dead - Shallow Graves right away would convey what I think was meant to be the theme of the set more clearly from the beginning, and making the abilities less specific would better show the more general narrative of the necromancer using the corpses for the bones.

It'd improve gameplay by that last bonus giving the set more of a role in the party makeup, since currently it's one of those middle-of-the-road, good at several things, great at nothing sets. It doesn't matter how good the set is if there isn't a reason to want to use it.

It'd improve the power level issues by providing some defense that's badly needed. Having glass cannon setups in the game to balance things is fine because everything needs some kind of weakness, but IMO, there are enough already. This one would introduce a weakness in that if you don't balance your skills well, you have fragile moments.

It's not a perfect solution, though. It removes one of the more fun features of the set in the free corpse lances, which is one of my favorite things about it. Including Bone Armor bonuses also causes some overlap with Inarius, and having two Bone Armor sets maybe isn't optimal. They do use it differently, though, since Inarius focuses more on increasing the offensive capabilities of that skill (though there's obviously a defensive bonus too) while this one would use its defense to compliment and balance the other bonuses in the set.

Plus, why shouldn't there be at least ONE thing in the game that acknowledges elite corpses?!
07/06/2017 12:48 AMPosted by Folseus
Bone Spear's only legendary is a 2H Scythe
You can kind of count Scythe of the Cycle too, since it's a secondary skill.

I agree with a lot of your assessments, but I just posted a wall of text about that above, so I won't rehash them here. I wouldn't want to wear out anyone's scrolling fingers; they'll all need to make a fine corpse some day!
Its a great set for farming. This only means 'Lesser set' to high end accts that feel they don't need to farm anymore.

Really. Paragon level should be displayed beneath avatars. That way everyone can see who they are talking to.
Might want to have a look at my build (surely similar to some others)
http://www.diablofans.com/builds/91798-pestilence-corpse-lancing

When you start a rift, you basically pop your golem CD, Curse and start doing some corpse lances / devour with the aura if corpses are near. Also instead of just trying to corpse lance every second, it's better to cast bonespears for 4-5 seconds and then use Corpse Lance. On sticky situation, you pop Land of the Dead while spamming corpse lances and the aura will also send lances. You'll also get the 20 stacks from shoulders in a blink as well as the amulet stack to about 100 and bone spears to 100 stack as well.

At that point, you should be good to go, but you still have to dodge stuff since it still feels somewhat squishy and sometimes underwhelming to use Bone Spear. Although I'm sure that with upcoming tweaks, the build will perform a lot better.
What are you clearing with that setup, Mamoushka?

I like the set decently enough and enjoy playing it, but it's definitely a stepping stone to get to the others and I think that's okay. I do look forward to some planned changes to help speed it up a bit.
I find Pestilence playstyle unique and fun but its damage is just underwhelming.

I've been playing it around on T13 Bounties and Rifts. It can kill stuffs but it needs more buffs to be able to speedfarm it. Havent tested it yet though on T10... Maybe it would be faster there but I don't need T10s.

What I used is the Moribund Gauntlet, Chest Armor-Devour (cubed), 5pc Pestilence set, RoRG, 2H that buffs Bone Spear, 2H that buffs Secondary from Bone Armor, Amulet-Bone Armor (cubed).

Bone Spirit can be made combo with Bone Spear but they have to buff Bone Spirit like make them spammable.
07/06/2017 05:50 AMPosted by L00
Plus, why shouldn't there be at least ONE thing in the game that acknowledges elite corpses?!


One of the big issues is "on kill" type abilities typically suck. Necromancer circumvents this by being able to generate corpses on will from many skills and effects.

Reasons why "on kill" suck
  • Reward does not justify the cost
    Whether it's a time cost, resource cost, or opportunity cost, the cost simply increases dramatically with difficulty (takes longer/more resources, etc). The reward would have to scale with enemy HP, which can make it disproportionately powerful compared to other classes. e.g. see the old Exploding Palm
  • The Kill Hurdle
    Something you can already experience on the Necromancer, getting the first kill for that first corpse can be extremely difficult if you don't have any other options, which is why many corpse generating effects exist. This hurdle becomes higher with difficulty.
  • Inconsistency
    A "kill" varies significantly. You can have maps with lots of monsters with low HP, or few monsters with high HP, which changes the effectiveness off an "on kill" effect. This is further amplified when you consider elites. They are more random, with varied effects, and in a greater rift scenario, non-existant at a rift guardian.


Corpses only work because you can literally create them with certain skills, so if you're not getting kills, you can make your own. Otherwise, corpse based abilities would be unplayable at the highest tiers. Having something give a bonus based on Elite Corpses would probably render it only useful for speed farming, which is fine to exist, but should not be the focus of a 6-piece's final bonus.

Bone Spirit would synergize very well with this set though, and there's no harm adding a bonus to Bone Spikes as well (Devour is very popular, but why not have the option?). While adding Bone Armor to the set would overlap with the fact it's already a key part of Inarius', there's just no way around the fact that this set being only Bone Spear doesn't make sense, and adding the other skills without Bone Armor would also not make sense.

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