Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Elements are too specialized.


Recommended Posts

This came up while discussing pistols and heal skills on elementalist.

The context:

Every proffesion except elementalist and engineer have weapon swaps. If we take a look at engineer hammer for example. Engineer hammer #5 is a cc, #4 a defense, #3 a mobility, #1 +2 dmg. Now if we look at ele staff. Fire: 1 through 3 + 5 are dmg, 4 mobility, Water: 1,3,5 are healing, 4 is soft cc, 2 is dmg, air: 1 + 2 dmg, 3 + 5 cc 4 mobility, earth: 1 + 2 dmg, 4 + 5 cc, 3 defense. In contrast to the other profession's weapons each element holds a utility broken up by each element. Thus, a weapon is judged, not by each individual element but by all the elements as a whole. What is not factored is that when you swap from fire to water you just lost almost all your dmg, when you swap from earth to fire you lost all of your cc.

This is why elementalist remains the hardest profession to play. Because each useful thing is only useful in its respective element. Where you to change it would lose all of that useful thing.

Each other profession is broken up by ranged/melee split exclusively and doesn't have to worry about weapon swapping in most cases. However, if you would break up elements by ranged/melee and make each element able to have some sustain and some dmg then you could fix some of the many issues with the current weapon designs. This has been delved into in part with the hammer, but it is not yet applied in full and not to the other weapons.

The change:

Make melee weapons have a ranged component. For example: sword could have a thrown element or a beam attack similar to mesmer greatsword.

Fire should still be the element of pure dmg.

Air should provide mobility and in most cases be ranged but should have some survivability with access to barrier cc should be accessed in stone.

Water should be either self-healing in the case of dps weapons, or ally healing in the case of support but should have access to better dps than is the current trend.

Stone should have access to most cc but should still retain some dmg.

TL;DR:

Spread out dmg, cc, and sustain amongst elements.

Add 2 ranged elements to each melee weapon. 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't necessarily think that every weapon should have both ranged and melee options, but I generally agree. Elements are too specialised, while weapons themselves are not. That's mostly about the core weapons, like staff, dagger and scepter. Dagger is generally considered a condition damage weapon, while having no damaging conditions or interaction with them on both air and water. Water is also leaning more towards team support. A very similar situation with scepter, but the current water attunement on it is mostly about self-healing. Staff is just a mash of power, control and support and is not really utilised due to having a lot of weak damaging skills and using it as a support weapon requires trading it for a warhorn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

personally i think ele weapons should have a role focused on across all the attunements

like a hypothetical rework of scepter turning it into a primarily support weapon (excluding weaver atm)

fire
-Dragons tooth now grants might to allies around the target when it lands
-phoenix now heals allies that it passes through and heals for more at it's destination (if i recall phoenix in mythology are symbols of rejuvenation so healing fits it)

water
-ice shards heal allies they pass by
-Shatterstone grants resolution to allies around when it detonates.
-Water Trident heals allies around the target

air (probably the hardest attunement to make into support)
-Allies around Blinding flash gain swiftness and fury

earth
-Rock Barrier now is a ground target ability, create a stone totem that pulses barrier to allies
-Dust Devil grants protection to allies

the way things are atm where almost every weapon is a hybrid leaves ele in a "jack of all trades, master of none" state. weapon role focusing would also help address my heal ele complaint of "not enough support options out of water."

ofc this would be just the tip of the iceburg to getting ele back on track. core trait lines and core utility skills need major renovations too.

Edited by crosknight.3041
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elementalist is stretched thin across a huge array of playstyles. All the way from one-attunement pyromancer to DPS rotations that use all 4 attunements, and literally everything in between. None of these playstyles are the perfect implementation of those playstyles. In order to make them better, some have to be culled. ArenaNet has to take a hard stance and say, "you will use exactly 2 attunements for DPS and the other 2 for utility, here you go, staff is fire and earth, sword is fire and air, etc." or "you will use all 4 attunements for DPS or your DPS will struggle" or something else. They'd have to commit to some direction, any direction, just something.

That will alienate all elementalist players who like the other available playstyles, and reduce its popularity even further. It's already only played by people who love it, and not because it's useful, or fills a niche well, or is easy or low risk. In fact, its effort-to-reward ratio has been the worst of all professions since raids were added and all of the balance ramifications they brought to the table.

Instead, the closest thing to what they're currently doing is to explicitly balance each weapon with a level of complexity in mind. So, hammer is a 4-attunement DPS rotation, but perhaps dagger is a 2-attunement, scepter is 3-attunement, staff is 1-attunement, whatever. Then, you pick the weapon that suits the complexity you wish to experience. It is probably impossible to make all weapons appeal to everyone's own personal elementalist playstyle. You cannot have a good 1-attunement hammer build if it's balanced for 4-attunement. But that doesn't mean all weapons need to be 4-attunement.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, crosknight.3041 said:

personally i think ele weapons should have a role focused on across all the attunements

in most cases (e.g. power/condi dps), this is a bit counterproductive because itll just force ele to use twice as many skills to match the same role on other classes with no guaranteed benefit. it doesnt really matter whether the build uses 1/2/3/all attunements; at the end of the day, itll be normalised against other builds of the same role. the extra skills pressed would then have no real value

in the case of healing, ele could simply use a weapon that spreads healing skills across more attunements (and or less water-centric healing traits). a heal focused weapon would be terrible because itd likely only have the same heal capability as a guardian staff for example, except with key skills scattered across all attunements that would need to be filled with random non-dps garbage skills, or each skill will do individually little with the expectation that the ele uses all of them

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

One thing I forgot to mention in the original post is that alot of the functionality of the elements shaft utility and heal skills.

water attunement can bring self-healing and condi cleanse but half our heal skills are pretty bad and we only have one utility for cleanse and it's not very strong (Cleansing Fire). (including in elite specs)

air gets crit synergies, but arcane skills are not used aside from arcane shield (but even then, mostly for defense and not crits).

earth has cc but we don't have any cc utilities outside of weave self and tornado both of which are difficult to set up and are very telegraphed.

etc.

 

Edited by Infinity.2876
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think sword needs to be changed. It has a few non-auto ranged skills, and professions that have regular weaponswap sometimes do choose to take two melee sets. Hammer, though, needs its ranged attunements to be proper ranged, rather than having a range bracket that had been previously removed (every weapon that previously had a 600 range autoattack had that extended to at least 900) and a projectile speed so slow it barely exits melee range if you're running in the same direction you're attacking.

14 hours ago, Shaman.2034 said:

Elementalist is stretched thin across a huge array of playstyles. All the way from one-attunement pyromancer to DPS rotations that use all 4 attunements, and literally everything in between. None of these playstyles are the perfect implementation of those playstyles. In order to make them better, some have to be culled. ArenaNet has to take a hard stance and say, "you will use exactly 2 attunements for DPS and the other 2 for utility, here you go, staff is fire and earth, sword is fire and air, etc." or "you will use all 4 attunements for DPS or your DPS will struggle" or something else. They'd have to commit to some direction, any direction, just something.

That will alienate all elementalist players who like the other available playstyles, and reduce its popularity even further. It's already only played by people who love it, and not because it's useful, or fills a niche well, or is easy or low risk. In fact, its effort-to-reward ratio has been the worst of all professions since raids were added and all of the balance ramifications they brought to the table.

Instead, the closest thing to what they're currently doing is to explicitly balance each weapon with a level of complexity in mind. So, hammer is a 4-attunement DPS rotation, but perhaps dagger is a 2-attunement, scepter is 3-attunement, staff is 1-attunement, whatever. Then, you pick the weapon that suits the complexity you wish to experience. It is probably impossible to make all weapons appeal to everyone's own personal elementalist playstyle. You cannot have a good 1-attunement hammer build if it's balanced for 4-attunement. But that doesn't mean all weapons need to be 4-attunement.

There is a degree to which I think they're effectively already doing this, as you say. Hammer goes through all four, while most other weapons focus on fire/air if power or fire/earth on condi (staff air just plain sucks for damage, so staff is always fire/earth). I don't think they can get to a point where camping just one element is not underperforming due to how elementalist works, but they could have DPS rotations require two, three or four depending on weapon (and the rest of the build).

9 hours ago, Noodle Ant.1605 said:

in most cases (e.g. power/condi dps), this is a bit counterproductive because itll just force ele to use twice as many skills to match the same role on other classes with no guaranteed benefit. it doesnt really matter whether the build uses 1/2/3/all attunements; at the end of the day, itll be normalised against other builds of the same role. the extra skills pressed would then have no real value

in the case of healing, ele could simply use a weapon that spreads healing skills across more attunements (and or less water-centric healing traits). a heal focused weapon would be terrible because itd likely only have the same heal capability as a guardian staff for example, except with key skills scattered across all attunements that would need to be filled with random non-dps garbage skills, or each skill will do individually little with the expectation that the ele uses all of them

One thought that's been crossing my mind is that the sun is often associated with healing magic, including in GW2 (ranger staff, sun aspect skills in the aspect arena) and fire and the sun are often associated. I wonder if this could be a suitable approach: make a suitable support weapon (mace, perhaps, opening up astrolabe or 'sun on a stick' skins), and then have the fire attunement skills on that weapon be things like beams of sunlight that heal allies they pass through. Could then make the weapon almost exclusively power, so the weapon can also potentially be used as a power DPS weapon focusing on air and earth. (Make the earth skills mostly crystal-based, and possibly have some water skills represented as using wind to disperse healing mists, and it could even be themed as elementalists adapting Zephyrite magic to more general use.)

Edited by draxynnic.3719
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to give this a crack and seeing how much we can diffuse ideas across the elements.

The aim will be to add support to offensive skills and vice versa alongside lesser used soft cc where it makes sense.

Take the ideas with a grain of salt;

Fire:

Being the major damage element, adding cleanses

Ring of fire - add condi cleanse and pulse barrier while in the ring

Fire grab - add blind

Dragons tooth - passive might gen on summon + burst on explosion; this applies to allies.

Phoenix - as stated above somewhere, more healing with added regeneration or perhaps blind on explosion.

Flame wall - buff to become the flame line from berserker 

Meteor shower - add cripple with period immobilize

Water:

Might with added soft cc to make the offensive abilities competitive in the supportive element 

Vapor blades - add necro sword logic, increase velocity and gain might on vulnerability application

Cone of cold - add slow

Frozen burst - cripple or immobilize

Cleansing wave - apply might on cleanse

Ice shards - bleed and vulnerability

Shatterstone - slow

Water trident - cripple

Water blast - vuln and chill considering low damage multi

Frozen ground - cripple to emphasise area control

Air: 

Gaining conditions to supplement the power damage

Convergence - small stack of confusion

Up draft - slow makes sense due to force of winds

Swirling winds - gain barrier and quickness

Gale - confusion and torment 

Windborn speed - quickness and might 

Earth:

Adding torment and slow with some added blind would work well across many abilities - perhaps some might generation on protection too

Earthen rush - add torment

Churning earth - generates might on each 'step' of the ability

Rock barrier - added condition cleanse and/or might generation 

Dust devil - slow or torment would make sense with Earth being the condition damage focus

Magnetic wave - aegis or protection

Eruption - immobilize for added cc

Unsteady ground - turn it into a cone and make it pulse; perhaps with taunt and vulnerability to make it an actual threat

The general aim is to add more utility to the skills themselves; overall allowing traits to become a little more generalised too.

In turn letting it become possible to camp an element outside of fire/air for offensive and water for support.

Core traits themselves would need another look over should any of the above occur as to make it plausible for camping and element dancing to occur - inclusive of damage multipliers on the skills themselves as opposed to trait multipliers which elementalist seems to do a lot of by nature.

Such is the dual natured style of play within the class itself

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't followed the game in a while, just followed loosely. Elementalist design had shifed over the years. 

Let's start with an observation:

  • Your stats inform your gameplay
  • Your traits inform your gameplay
  • Your weapon informs your gameplay
  • Last but not least, your Attunement informs your gameplay 

Noticeably, all but the last point cannot be changed within combat.

Therefore, a glasscannon build that swaps to Water will often lose DPS and gain little in return, because the attunement's strength is not aligned with the rest of the build. 

This is something that seems to have gotten better recently, with the pistol being more focused on condition damage in almost all attunements.

This also comes back to the notion of Elementalist being a Jack-of-all-Trades, when stats are usually very specialized oder Masters in a specific role are preferred over Jacks.

What I'd like to see is more synergy between the traitlines and less insulation. Auras is something that's been used a lot to "glue" Elite conceps to the base class, as they're present everywhere. There shouldn't be too much of a problem in experimenting a bit either, give Air some 'refreshing winds' as a skill or trait to proc Regen, triggering water traitlines, etc. Imo the fun of Elementalist is combining different Elements, therefore Tratlines should be easier to work with every Element.

While I would prefer some "flattening" of the attunements and allowing attunements to explore more aspects of their identity i.e., Air getting some slight sustain, Fire some CC, etc., Attunements should still be defined and have weaknesses. If an Elementalist attunes out of Water, they should lose access to most of their sustain and be vulnerable. This is a fine balancing act and I can only imagine that it's difficult. 

And at last, how fruitful the idea of a Jack-of-all-Trades in the game is should probably be revisited. Stats will pull you in one direction, your Traits decide what you're good at, and your weapon, if designed like pistol, further pushes you into a niche. I like Jack-of-all-Trades, always did.

Hopefully some of my ideas made sense, I had to write this on my mobile. 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...