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High risk, low reward


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I was quite excited to play elementalist, the ability to command all four elements at once had a cool vibe and was fun at first. This is what got me to start playing GW2. However, the more I continued into the game, the more I understood why everyone recommended players (especially newbies) stay away from this class.

The class is essentially high risk for average or low reward. It is a light armor class with the lowest hp in the game, making them *the* squishiest class in the game. On top of that and despite this handicap, the class is forced into melee range through all core and elite specs: daggers, swords, hammers. I'm sorry but I thought this was the mage class? Scepter is not even properly ranged, the only truly ranged weapon is the staff, but it's a dps loss and only useful in some support builds. With this class you're also constantly attunement swapping, because the skills have too long cooldowns and want to push you to swap elements. As such, you're often locked out of the skills you need. 

The reward is versatility, but that's about it. The class does not offer more damage than other classes and relies on constantly dodging everything or camping water to survive. As an elementalist, I always found myself playing water just for the passive healing because otherwise I would be dead. Downed elementalists are a meme for a reason... Even veteran players say that the class is too much effort for what it's worth so this isn't just me. Sure, highly skilled elementalists may pull off some nice dps, perhaps even a little higher than other classes, but at what cost? Memorising 25-30 different skills (especially for weaver) for and swapping around elements just to pull up the skill you need? Why do this when other classes can just spin-to-win with 1-2 skills and achieve the same result?

Frankly elementalist, although a great concept, is poorly executed and driving players away from playing it. I swapped to another easier class and never looked back. I'd only play elementalist to RP being the Avatar or if I really wanted to cripple myself. Unfortunately, it sounds like the new catalyst spec will perpetuate the above issues too.

Edited by Athan.7956
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Honestly, if they'd just nerf the monster over-performing classes, give ele some utility that groups actually want, and kitten do something about staff already I think the class would be in good shape.  It should always be high-APM/high-intensity and there can only be so much reward for that without creating balance issues.  But yes, the lack of action on this and the odd choices for catalyst seem pretty tone-deaf and it's frustrating.

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The theory I have right now is that the devs are trying to mold Ele into using Celestial gear, raiders be darned. 

The ele was designed to do a bit of everything at once, but in practice it means the profession is constantly fighting against itself.  The splits between condi damage and power damage frequently mean that Earth attunement is not worth going in to due to the damage loss.  The requirement for healing power means that the water attunement is mostly useless, giving very little damage for a miniscule amount of healing.  The trait system is weird, enhancing specific attunements instead of specific aspects of the class, tying in strange utility buffs with particular elements.  The ele is designed sideways, where most of the group support and versatility of the class comes from the weapons and traits, and the utilities themselves are largely selfish or generic.  It is all pretty terrible, unless you're wearing celestial gear to enhance everything.

One of the weirdest things in this game is how Elementalist is mediocre or bad at PVE, but an utter monster in WvW.  Using my own water/arcane/weaver celestial build and blasting my own fire fields, I provide a large amount of boons, condition cleanses, group heals, CC both hard and soft, and even a spare FGS to all of my teammates.  It does solid damage, too.  It works, largely because I can wear celestial which lets me be mediocre at everything.  In a pvp setting, overall statistical fortitude and mechanical effects actually matters, which is what lets ele shine there.

I can run this build in PVE, and it can survive well enough to let me solo hard champions.  But, for most PVE settings it pays to specialize.  Being a mediocre and versatile booner/healer means nothing compared to having a dedicated DPS and a dedicated support.  The enemies are stationary, mechanically bereft HP sponges, so traits like Invigorating Precision, Parasitic Contagion, Impact Savant, and Might Makes Right are able to accomplish on a pure DPS build what equipping Celestial gear and running the entire water line does for elementalist.  If another profession wants to give out a bunch of boons, they just equip the utility or a side trait that lets them do this, whereas an ele needs to take arcane and wear a lot of specialized gear.  To engage these tactics, other professions press 1 button or passively sit out boons, whereas the ele needs to rotate into different fields/finishers, sacrificing damage along the way.  

 

I'm not sure if this is just me being weird, but in retrospect it seems like the buff to Celestial gear was an attempt to mold Elementalist into playing how Anet wanted us to play ele, rather than an attempt to fix the problems with the profession.  In the history of this game, there's been very few changes to gear presets.  The only other one I can think of at the moment was when they specifically cut down the crit damage bonus to nerf berserker gear.  So, if celestial was buffed, then there was probably an intention behind it.  A place and a profession to use it.  A true fix for the ele class is hard, because the entire thing was made wrong, so it might have simpler to make gear that makes Ele better.  Then, they gave starting professions celestial gear, partly to help out new ele players who don't understand this complicated class.  

Edited by Blood Red Arachnid.2493
spellechecked
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The true risk ppl do not seem to understand is the cast time and the after cast you have millions of skills but your at complete risk if you cant use an skill fast enofe to deal with an in coming attk. Ele use to have channel added effects they where removed yet more channel skills where added in. If you just stop your skill mid way to deal with an attk then often your making your kit and build pointless for a fight a non class that can only keep it self a live but dose nothing else.

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39 minutes ago, zitounae.4803 said:

weaver being enjoyable in PvE and somehow at WVW even with low skill like me, i m just surprised and glad it isn't burnt to the ground already tbh.

I love weaver.  It's the only class I play and it's a joy, but I could roll face on firebrand/renegade/scourge and have better sustain, similar damage, and way more group utility.  That's the problem with the borked balance in this game.  They allow critical support roles to basically be the only thing that matters in a group.  It's like they said "Okay, guys.  Trinity is played out.  That 3 class roles thing sucks.  How about we just make it 1 class role to rule them all instead?"  Enter firebrand...

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1 hour ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

I love weaver.  It's the only class I play and it's a joy, but I could roll face on firebrand/renegade/scourge and have better sustain, similar damage, and way more group utility.  That's the problem with the borked balance in this game.  They allow critical support roles to basically be the only thing that matters in a group.  It's like they said "Okay, guys.  Trinity is played out.  That 3 class roles thing sucks.  How about we just make it 1 class role to rule them all instead?"  Enter firebrand...

What truly wrong with weaver even though it takes a lot more skill to play over all its duel skills do not have enofe impact or are too easy to counter to be worth the cast time a lot of the time. Staff mainly all of its duel skills are projectiles and slow ones at that.

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On 1/14/2022 at 4:09 PM, AliamRationem.5172 said:

I love weaver.  It's the only class I play and it's a joy, but I could roll face on firebrand/renegade/scourge and have better sustain, similar damage, and way more group utility.  That's the problem with the borked balance in this game.  They allow critical support roles to basically be the only thing that matters in a group.  It's like they said "Okay, guys.  Trinity is played out.  That 3 class roles thing sucks.  How about we just make it 1 class role to rule them all instead?"  Enter firebrand...

There's another side of this equation, though.

The high-level PvE content, raids, are pretty much balanced around irrelevant health. Nobody has any need to sustain "incidental damage"; every hit is telegraphed and absorbed by aegis/protection/barrier/heals; no difference in survivability between 2000 Armor 12k HP and 3000 Armor 20k HP. 

While I agree that the convoluted loops and turns an ele is supposed to navigate through to reach (a shadow of) "comfier classes" performance are ridiculous, there is a risk of overbuffing them in "my glassyness is irrelevant" game modes.

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2 minutes ago, The Boz.2038 said:

There's another side of this equation, though.

The high-level PvE content, raids, are pretty much balanced around irrelevant health. Nobody has any need to sustain "incidental damage"; every hit is telegraphed and absorbed by aegis/protection/barrier/heals; no difference in survivability between 2000 Armor 12k HP and 3000 Armor 20k HP. 

While I agree that the convoluted loops and turns an ele is supposed to navigate through to reach (a shadow of) "comfier classes" performance are ridiculous, there is a risk of overbuffing them in "my glassyness is irrelevant" game modes.

Honestly, at this point with the shitshow of balance they've made with firebrand, renegade, and scourge I think we could do worse than to aim to simply make classes that aren't completely faceroll a little OP for a change.

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37 minutes ago, The Boz.2038 said:

There's another side of this equation, though.

The high-level PvE content, raids, are pretty much balanced around irrelevant health. Nobody has any need to sustain "incidental damage"; every hit is telegraphed and absorbed by aegis/protection/barrier/heals; no difference in survivability between 2000 Armor 12k HP and 3000 Armor 20k HP. 

While I agree that the convoluted loops and turns an ele is supposed to navigate through to reach (a shadow of) "comfier classes" performance are ridiculous, there is a risk of overbuffing them in "my glassyness is irrelevant" game modes.

True and false at the same time. It makes a difference when ele gets oneshotted by mechanics that put scourge to 60% hp for example. Scourge doesnt have to dodge or care about most things while ele and a lot of other classes have to dodge or avoid them.

Example: SH spinning attack

MO exploding circle

Sama aa. Easily avoidable but they can kill an ele very quickly

CA basically everything.

Dhuum basically everything. You dont have to react to chains as fast and generally cant really die as scourge unless you make really bad mistakes. ele needs fast condi cleanse and a lot more babysitting.

Existence of different health tiers in the current form is really stupid if the difference is this extreme. 

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