Okay, I just started a new Necromancer and looked at the skills. I decided that I would, once again, try out Drain Essence, just to be reminded why I never intended to do so in the first place:
- the first level deals basically no damage.
You are practically better off simply attacking with your weapon, for the damage of Drain Essence with one or two points in it is extremly low. At the first level, you get 3 aether + 10 vitality decay per second for two seconds. A single hit of your weapon easily outclasses that damage, and costs no energy. Lets take, say, Arcane Missiles as comparison. At first level, with a lower cost of 10 per cast instead of 12,5 per tick, you get 15 damage multiplied by up to 3, dealing AoE damage. Something that DE doesn’t do for a long time.
Worse yet, you have to invest a lot in order to gain a chance for AoE. So, even with all that huge cost, it still is a pitiful single target spell that is completely overwhelmed when faced with multiple enemies. The only notable advantage of 10% ADCH is completely invalidated by the low damage - or the ridiculous increase of energy, which leads me to the next point:
- DE’s energy costs becomes extremly high
I don’t know what is up with the Energy cost anyway. In the first levels, you have some weird plateau where the cost doesn’t increase, only to increase by roughly 4 energy (which is about a 33% increase compared to the base). At 16/16, which can be attained at level 7, you get to a staggering cost of 100 per tick! That is extremly high and practically unbearable at that level! Compared to Arcane Missiles, that costs 30 at 16/16, it is practically unsustainable, especially since a Necromancer has no passives to either reduce the energy cost or drastically increase their mana pool.
I still fail to comprehend, why the DE baseskill has such a high energy cost, when their Nodes have far less of a cost.
This is especially prominent if you compare it to Decomposition. It has at 12/12 roughly the same damage as DE at 12/16, but a far lower cost. In total, you need to pay 12,5 (+ 4,2) + 16,7 = 29,2 (33,4) energy per tick, while a 12/16 DE costs a far higher 66,7! Decomposition is not even half of the cost of the DE equivalent, and even if you put one point into the previous node, it is still only half of a 12/16 DE!
That is basically the only way I can currently use DE - by only putting in one point and maxing Decomposition instead. I can’t even fanthom why I would max DE before I have really good gear and or good passives to support my energy expensure! And for what gain? … Apparently you don’t even deal that much more damage. In fact, I believe that the OA shred on Decomposition is far more relevant than the slightly higher damage (assuming the Decay stacks. If it doesn’t even stack, then I am completely lost).
Yet again, both nodes have similar ‘plateaus’ where the energy cost stays the same for multiple levels. For what purpose was that designed? So that you think twice if you want to wear that item that gives +1 skill because your energy consumption would suddenly jump up for just a small increase in damage as a reward?
TL;DR: Damage on the lower levels is extremly low, energy cost/damage ratio becomes unbearable on higher levels. It is far more preferable to forego DE at the beginning and instead rushing and maxing Decomposition. Skilling DE becomes demtrial due to the stark increasing energy cost, and you often want to stay on certain skilllevels in order to not increase the cost more than necessary.