Posted On: 08/15/2012 at 04:11 PM
(Update 8-28-2012) The Elementalist from my perspective
This is basic information about the Elementalist from a players perspective. I have also done a small amount of research to decide the best way to play the Elementalist as a support caster. This gives the added benefit of being fairly survivable while playing with strangers/solo or just picking up the random event. I have heard the Elementalist becomes harder to play in the 20's, but don't let this deter you from playing one as I believe that it is just a matter of adjusting your build for maximum survivability.
To be honest I only got to level 13 with my Elementalist in BWE3 so my knowledge is limited on how they play past that level. If anyone can add some constructive feedback it would be great. I am by no means an expert (yet), but I hope this will help people to understand the profession more and to get a an idea of how they play.
The Elementalist has access to 1 weapon at any given time. Unlike other professions, the Elementalist does not have access to the weapon swap ability. However, they have 4 attunements they can switch between at any given time, however there is a timer when switching from one to the other. Because of this, the Elementalist has access to 20 different skill sets at any given 5 skills for each attunement for each weapon combination they use.
Elementalist's can use:
Using Jerich's Crafting Guide we can easily determine which crafting professions will net the Elementalist the most profit and usability. Personally I will be doing Tailoring and Artificer on my Elementalist.
One thing worth mentioning is the option to use Fast-Cast Ground Targeting. This comes in handy while strafing when you want to drop an AOE ability. I find that when I am strafing I tend to hold the right mouse button to help me turn, which makes it impossible to click the ground. So this ground casting option might help with your AOE targeting.
Ground targeting works just as well if you are moving with the mouse (holding both mouse buttons and just steering with the mouse). You can simply hit the AOE ability you want to drop, swap attunements hit the next one and all in quick succession and it will simply drop the AOE right on top of your character, or wherever your mouse is pointed.
Each attunement will provide spells appropriate for the type of weapon(s) the Elementalist has equipped. There are a number of builds I have found that work great in some circumstances, not so great in others.
Switching attunements incur a cool down timer. Switching out of an attunement puts the now inactive attunement into a 15 second cool down time. While the other inactive attunements take a 2 second cool down time. There are traits and maybe gear that will reduce these timers.
I was going to talk about Combo fields and finishers. Someone already beat me to it. Thanks JibbitsJr for posting them Here.
What do the Attribute points mean?
There are a number of stats in the game. These are called attributes. Below I discuss how they work, affect your class and further I break it down to show you how they can affect a given play style.
I have also found a very comprehensive write up about stat distribution on armor and how it all works together. The link is at the bottom in the references section.
There are 4 common primary attributes. There are two Defensive attributes and two Offensive attributes. The offensive are Power and Precision and the defensive ones are Toughness and vitality. Bulleted below are each primary attribute and what they effect.
As you gain levels your attributes increase by 4 points up through level 9. Each level from 10-19 grant 6 points 8 points are granted from 30-69 and from 70-79 you are granted 18 points. At 80 your attributes increase by 20 points. At level 80 you should have a base of 916 in all of your attributes for every profession.
As you upgrade your armor and begin spending points in your trait lines, you can further increase your base stats. Below is a breakdown of the primary attributes and what each one effects. They are embedded with links to their respective guild wars 2 wiki page.
- Power — every point increases attack by one point. Increases damage for all attacks.
- Precision — increases critical hit chance.
- Toughness — every point increases armor by one point.
- Vitality — every point increases maximum health by ten points. More health allows a character to better withstand a single large attack and degenerative damage.
So, there are 5 secondary attributes, three offensive and two defensive. These do not increase as you level. They can only be improved with gear upgrades or trait line selections. Below is a breakdown of each of the secondary attributes and links to their respective wiki pages.
- Boon Duration — Improves the duration of all boons applied by the character.
- Condition Damage — Improves the damage done by conditions like burning, poison, confusion, and bleeding.
- Condition Duration — Improves the duration of all conditions inflicted by the character.
- Critical Damage — Improves the damage multiplier on critical strikes.
- Healing Power — Improves all outgoing heals that your character does, including self heals.
Profession attributes are linked directly to a specific profession. These improve aspects of the given profession. Below is a breakdown of each of the professions, what they are used for and how they effect each of the classes. These also contain links to their respective wiki pages.
- Virtue Recharge Rate — Reduces the recharge on all virtues; linked to Virtues.
- Burst Damage — Improves the damage of warrior burst attacks; linked to Discipline.
- Tool Belt Recharge Rate — Reduces the recharge on all tool belt skills; linked to Tools.
- Pet Attribute Bonus — Improves pet attributes; linked to Beastmastery.
- Steal Recharge Rate — Reduces the recharge of the steal ability; linked to Trickery.
- Attunement Recharge Rate — Reduces the recharge of the four elemental attunements; linked to Arcana.
- Shredding Recharge Rate — Reduces the recharge on all shatter skills; linked to Illusions.
- Life Force Pool — Increases the size of the necromancer’s life force pool; linked to Soul Reaping.
So for a damage dealing elementalist. I chose to focus on Power first then Precision second. This will give me the best damage and healing from power with the chance of crits from precision. I will also look for additional crit damage on gear and trait lines. By building with damage in mind. I tend to kill things faster than they can hit me. I heal often during a fight. Furthermore, I have been able to overcome the problem I was having wiht 2-3 mobs at once. Aoe is FUN!
After power and precision I add in toughness where I can. My overall goal is to kill before I get killed when out soloing. So toughness and vitality are low on my stat priority list, but they are on there. I would not take either above power or precision if I can help it though. At level 32 I have 2518 health and I do pretty well at on elevel +2 levels 1-3 mobs at a time.
Build Options ...Play Style?
While I was playing around with the traits and figuring things out. I discovered that fire is the heavy damage dealer, water is heals air is crowd control and earth is mostly for living. It seems earth tends to have longer cool downs than the other elements, but I have lived longer with throwing rocks at my enemies.
With that said, the choice is yours what attunement you want to focus on, however I will give you this. Soloing is much easier when I can kill you first. Grouping is great when for destroying a pack of enemies. Though, sometimes I want to do my own thing so I need a viable solo build. For this, fire build with some traits in earth is working great.
I find I do a lot better in fire and air damage wise than with anything else. Conditions make a difference while leveling as well since I tend to kite, I believe this is common practice. When I set them on fire, they burn dead, using staff I did an event where I set almost everything on fire, ended up winning while I was downed due to the condition (fire) damage. So +condition damage and +power and +precision on your gear will make you do some good damage. Keep in mind, this is a damage build so I am focusing there. Later I will look into doing a tanky earthy build focusing around toughness and vitality and skills to go with that.
Switch Attunements Often!
With that said, play style...it's up to the individual, so this is really my opinion based on how I have been playing the game. Elementalist takes some skill and finesse to play. It will be hard I won't lie, it is very discouraging when you get squished a lot in a row, believe me I know. However, if you keep to it I promise you will be rewarded for your patience and practice. There are a number of weapon builds you have access to, I think a "melee wizard" build is the best for soloing they are very mobile and can be durable.
Switching attunements means survival. When one bar is on cool down don't spam 1, switch to something else to maximize dps, spike damage and survivability/durability.
This is my projected build, this will likely change by the time I hit 80, and I am sure I will change it around then as well. DPS Build.
Why Play an Elementalist
If you like the glass cannon wizard archetype, this is the profession for you. While you can play this "wizard" in various ways, this is the profession that focuses on controlling the elements. We are a very versatile profession which allows us to heal, apply condition damage (bleeds-earth and burning-fire). We can build to be a bit durable (not nearly as much as warriors, but we can handle our own with the right skills) Or we can move out of the way quickly (Ride the Lightening, lightening flash etc).
We are not a pet profession by any means, however we can summon an elemental (normal or elite versions), you can have 2 elementals summoned at a time. One Elite and one Normal. However you will need the skills slotted, and they don't last too long. I find the normal elementals aren't very powerful, they are good for distractions otherwise I would slot defensible or damage improving abilities.
The builds are endless with this profession. It is very fun, but very squishy. Play wisely and have patience and you will be rewarded. If you don't like dying all of the time you should stay away from this profession.
We Need Weapon Swap with an out of combat restriction! Nuff Said!
My Own play Experience.
» Edited on: 2012-08-28 21:11:17
» Edited on: 2012-08-28 21:23:12