Proposal: Return skeletons from Raise the Dead back to pet scaling with full effect from flat damage bonuses.
In the recent xpac theorycrafting thread, the community has posted more than a half-dozen pet builds that used Raise the Dead, and there’s already been at least two separate discussions in that thread about the issues and general incompatibility between pet builds and player-scaled pets. This dissonance will continue to grow with the actual release of the xpac, making it now time to reconsider the scaling basis for Raise the Dead.
To the casual observer, Raise the Dead seems like a natural choice for the Necromancer mastery based on thematic reasons. However, many players will be surprised, confused, and ultimately disappointed when their pets from Raise the Dead don’t actually work with any of their flat damage buffs like Soul Harvest or with their pet buffs like Call of the Grave.
[As of 22.214.171.124, Raise the Dead benefits neither from a player’s own flat damage bonuses/buffs nor from any group flat damage auras, as is consistent with other player-scaled pets. It obviously doesn’t benefit from any pet-scaled bonuses, either.]
To add to the confusion, the Revenant devotion itself includes 2 nodes with bonuses for pet-scaled pets, which don’t even affect the pets from the proc under its current scaling. This sends a very mixed message about the intended user of the devotion.
In the 126.96.36.199 patch notes explaining the player-scaling, “this proc” and “hybrid pet summoning builds” were described as “always been a bit of a niche”. However, considering that the new Necromancer mastery has a pet summon (Reap Spirit) and a pet buff (Soul Harvest) as effects coupled with direct damage attacks, it’s clear that hybrid pet builds are no longer a small niche but are now officially sanctioned and promoted as mainstream. Since 188.8.131.52, hybrid pet builds have also gained far more acceptance and endgame viability within the community due to multiple endgame hybrid pet builds being posted.
“On enemy death” proc:
Raise the Dead isn’t even a good fit for direct damage builds due to the on-death nature of the proc. This requires that Raise the Dead be bound to the primary damage-dealing attack of a direct damage build, where it would displace an RR or direct damage devotion proc that would increase DPS far more effectively. In other words, Raise the Dead comparatively reduces DPS – especially against bosses – and it’s therefore worse than useless for a direct damage build due to this opportunity cost. Every direct damage build performs better with a more appropriate devotion than Raise the Dead bound to their primary attack, especially with the many new procs available in xpac. It’s no surprise that not a single endgame build posted since the scaling change has elected to use Raise the Dead: player-scaling has turned a formerly niche proc into an almost entirely unused and unusable one.
Reward for build diversity:
On the other hand, pet builds often bind RR and direct damage devotions to their pets instead of their direct damage attacks (if any). And given how spread thin pet builds already are in skill points, devotions, and equipment (due to having an entire additional page of pet stats to build for), any hybrid pet build that invests enough into direct damage to make it useful will have already made sacrifices in other pet-related areas. Therefore, it’s reasonable to earn a reward for managing to successfully steal kills from their pets using the heavily invested attack to which Raise the Dead was bound.
With the imminent release of the xpac and the reshuffling of everyone’s devotion plans, I believe that now is the best time to update this devotion and solve the ongoing issues with the current scaling setup before it worsens further with xpac release. Thanks for your consideration!