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Let's discuss Elementalist class balance in GW2 (WVW)


DarkSork.8637

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Hi. I play this game for a few months and have a decent understanding of it. What bothers me is how elementalist class is implemented. In my opinion it's hardest class in entire game, still it doesn't worth the effort as it is the most squishy and doesn't have biggest dps overall. This is sad because elementalist should be the classic implementation of a mage, which in all games have biggest dps. This looks like a poorly designed/balanced version of a mage and that developers doesn't quite know what they are doing in terms of balance. The only way to be good at it is to have very good dexterity and constantly switch between attunements, which is possible only if you're an hardcore player but then again, you can choose another class and with such dexterity you will be much better at killing people.

In my opinion these are the main design flaws of the class and is no way balanced, again it's a very hard class which requires a very good dexterity:

  1. No feature to swap weapons in combat, attunements can't really help you with that and this is final.
  2. Not enough damage overall per class, some weaver skills are useless and make him feel greatly underpowered, not to mention that when you use dual attunements you need to always remember which attunements pair you have enabled right now and how to get skill x from pair attunements.
  3. In time some specializations were greatly weakened, which resulted in tempest being almost obsolete as support and weaver having lower dps.
  4. There is no reasonable trade off between defense/vitality and dps. You can get killed very fast in wvw and it's very hard to save your self by doing big damage, cause you don't have that big damage.
  5. Limiting weaver sword at 130 range (compared to dagger 300) made this weapon usable only by hardcore players, as you have to be constantly close to enemy and not dying.

This class is not good at anything in particular. I hope this topic will have developers attention. Fell free to express your opinion. :)

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Attunement swapping IS a weapon swap, it procs anything that also works on weapon swap. If 20 skills aren't enough for you then I don't know either.. It's to somehow limit what the class alone is capable of doing. If you could swap between long range damage/utility into high damage and burst just on the go, while also keeping 20 weapon skills per set? You can probably tell why that is nonsense. You'll have so many extremely strong spells that you will be permacasting because another one is always going to be up.

Consistently highest DPS class in the game doesn't have enough damage because some spells aren't as good as others. Yep, I've seen it all now. Learning to remember to combo with what element is an increased skill requirement, nothing wrong with that. Don't swap into elements you don't need.

Tempest getting nerfed was sad, but whatever. Slightly lower DPS and still the highest damage potential.

WvW is a whole different story. You will either play a marauder dodge spamming roamer spec or use staff and just meteor shower people to death from the backline. Damage is still comparably high, there simply isn't much room to screw up - which is a rule that applies to everybody.

Different spec comes with a different playstyle, I believe that all elite specs have achieved that at least to some extent. It's supposed to be melee, because the entire playstyle of elementalist otherwise was stay at max range and bomb. It's more difficult to play and perhaps not as rewarding as it should be, but I wouldn't say it's bad just for changing the recipe.

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@"DarkSork.8637" said:

  1. Not enough damage overall per class, some weaver skills are useless and make him feel greatly underpowered, not to mention that when you use dual attunements you need to always remember which attunements pair you have enabled right now and how to get skill x from pair attunements.

So over 40k DPS on a big hitbox is apparently not enough damage? Weaver has one of the highest dmaage potential of all classes and its not enough? Not sure if Troll or trying to make Power Reapers feel like shit.

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It reads like it was written from a new player who played mages in other games and probably is confused about the combat mechanics. The account mostly looks that way. So first of all, welcome to Guildwars 2!

The Elementalist and the Engineer are the two most complex classes in the entire game. Which of them is one position number one, depends on who you ask. The Elementalists is by design a supreme dps-machine. It works best with glasscannon-builds (aka meta/zerk) and rewards its skilled user with top-damage. This works for every elite-specialization and the vanilla builds. It has been that way since release and there has never been a dungeon, fractal, raid the Elementalist did not belong to the favored groups.

The extreme damage-spike comes with a price. You need to be very fast with movement, dodging and with your rotations. If you mess up once or twice, you are as good as dead. There exist builds which are newbie-friendly and require less speed and skill. But if you are looking for the best dps, you cannot just mash some buttons and expect the enemies to die before they reach you.

When it comes to support-builds, there exist some which do a very good job in healing and buffing your allies. Support-Elementalists outclass most other classes easily, except for Druids in healing and Mesmers in buffing.

You seem to have some problems with the Elementalist. You can find helping advices in the Elementalist-subforum. These people don't just play the class, many of them live the class. Some play it as a main for years and have tons of knowledge and experience to feast on.

You can also try another class. The necromancer is pretty newbie-friendly. Rangers are nice for long-range combat and allow you to learn the mechanics of the game step by step. Even the warrior-classes offer some mage-aspects. Of all the classes you can choose, I would recommend you to NOT pick the engineer. As I said above it is similar in controls, but a lot worse when it comes to efficiency.

Good luck on your adventures :)

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@HnRkLnXqZ.1870 said:You can also try another class. The necromancer is pretty newbie-friendly. Rangers are nice for long-range combat and allow you to learn the mechanics of the game step by step. Even the warrior-classes offer some mage-aspects. Of all the classes you can choose, I would recommend you to NOT pick the engineer. As I said above it is similar in controls, but a lot worse when it comes to efficiency.On the contrary, I beg the OP to try to play Engie just a short time. Compare Holo with DPS Ele. Try to do anything in PvE with a Scrapper. PLEASE, play a Condi Engie just a couple of hours.Then maybe we could talk about balance.

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@Walhalla.5473 said:So over 40k DPS on a big hitbox is apparently not enough damage? Weaver has one of the highest dmaage potential of all classes and its not enough? Not sure if Troll or trying to make Power Reapers feel like kitten.

There is no such thing as 40K DPS, I've seen many builds, you can't get even near that, maybe if you have like 0 defence, and beside you'll have at best decent dps and will be a glass cannon which will not help you kill anyone in wvw. Don't blame it on the fact that I played few months, I have 10+years experience in mmorpg's .

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@Blocki.4931 said:Attunement swapping IS a weapon swap, it procs anything that also works on weapon swap. If 20 skills aren't enough for you then I don't know either.. It's to somehow limit what the class alone is capable of doing. If you could swap between long range damage/utility into high damage and burst just on the go, while also keeping 20 weapon skills per set? You can probably tell why that is nonsense. You'll have so many extremely strong spells that you will be permacasting because another one is always going to be up.

There is no gain in having 20 skills, they are not designed to give elementalist this kind of mobility. If you read what each skill does and maximum range (which is not even biggest in game, ex. engineer has 1500 which yes I played too)

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Why does the game need to be 'balanced'?

You can play every profession very easily (I've levelled 8/9 profs to 80 with either one or both elites unlocked in the year I've played), and an individual's skill makes much more difference than the maximum DPS recorded on various sites.

I expect there is also a bias on the sites that the most played profs are likely to have most time spent optimising builds. Tomorrow someone could discover a revenant build that blows ele out of the water.

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@DarkSork.8637 said:

@"Walhalla.5473" said:So over 40k DPS on a big hitbox is apparently not enough damage? Weaver has one of the highest dmaage potential of all classes and its not enough? Not sure if Troll or trying to make Power Reapers feel like kitten.

There is no such thing as 40K DPS, I've seen many builds, you can't get even near that, maybe if you have like 0 defence, and beside you'll have at best decent dps and will be a glass cannon which will not help you kill anyone in wvw. Don't blame it on the fact that I played few months, I have 10+years experience in mmorpg's .

A well played ele (with the right support from chrono, druid...) gets mostly the highest dps numbers in fractals and raids.

In wvw there were times when front line auramances were meta and back line staff eles also are common. They are very good in clearing siege (and enemies) on walls.

In pvp dagger/dagger eles were meta for a very long time, followed by auramancers. I'm not sure about the current pvp meta.

In summary: As far as I remember eles always were part (and often top) of the meta in wvw and pve.For theoretical possible max dps numbers you can have a look at: https://snowcrows.com/benchmarks/

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@Tajiseed.7831 said:Why does the game need to be 'balanced'?

You can play every profession very easily (I've levelled 8/9 profs to 80 with either one or both elites unlocked in the year I've played), and an individual's skill makes much more difference than the maximum DPS recorded on various sites.

I expect there is also a bias on the sites that the most played profs are likely to have most time spent optimising builds. Tomorrow someone could discover a revenant build that blows ele out of the water.

I know, I'm thinking to play ranger, as I don't find the effort to survive with elementalist worthwhile, what percent of all gw2 players are able to do rotations that fast ? It requires high skill and dexterity and I would be okay with that if not seeing that with meta dps build I hardly kill other players and get CC and killed in few seconds at most.

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Weaver damage is already too high and needs to be bought in line. Too far of an outlier.Sure some variation is fine between proffessions and especs. But weavers just out of this world when you see dps rankings.

And revenants are badly hamstrung by their limited skillchoices, compared to the extreme flexibility of eles.

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@"Rhiannon.1726" said:In summary: As far as I remember eles always were part (and often top) of the meta in wvw and pve.For theoretical possible max dps numbers you can have a look at: https://snowcrows.com/benchmarks/

Interesting.. well yes I don't have ascendent items, currently I use a full exotic berseker build, best I was able to buy with around 400 gold that I made so far. I'm not sure that difference between ascended and exotic is that big. But the questions is, it's worth that potential difficult to get 40k damage when you can get 1 hit killed with less damage, let's say 25K ? For such difference there should be fixed 1-2 points that I referred in the description.

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@"LucianDK.8615" said:Weaver damage is already too high and needs to be bought in line. Too far of an outlier.Sure some variation is fine between proffessions and especs. But weavers just out of this world when you see dps rankings.

And revenants are badly hamstrung by their limited skillchoices, compared to the extreme flexibility of eles.

If you looked at recent DPS benchmarks, you would have noticed that weaver is no longer top DPS (near, but not top) on either large or small hotbox. For a class that brings only DPS to the groupe and that dies when you sneeze on it, I wouldnt call it "out of this world".

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@DarkSork.8637 said:

@Walhalla.5473 said:So over 40k DPS on a big hitbox is apparently not enough damage? Weaver has one of the highest dmaage potential of all classes and its not enough? Not sure if Troll or trying to make Power Reapers feel like kitten.

There is no such thing as 40K DPS, I've seen many builds, you can't get even near that, maybe if you have like 0 defence, and beside you'll have at best decent dps and will be a glass cannon which will not help you kill anyone in wvw. Don't blame it on the fact that I played few months, I have 10+years experience in mmorpg's .

Yea........the fact that you are saying 40k doesn't exist is the reason I say you are too new.Lol join the club of 10+ years.

Can you link the build or builds you are currently using for the ele?

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@DarkSork.8637 said:Hi. I play this game for a few months and have a decent understanding of it. What bothers me is how elementalist class is implemented. In my opinion it's hardest class in entire game, still it doesn't worth the effort as it is the most squishy and doesn't have biggest dps overall. This is sad because elementalist should be the classic implementation of a mage, which in all games have biggest dps. This looks like a poorly designed/balanced version of a mage and that developers doesn't quite know what they are doing in terms of balance. The only way to be good at it is to have very good dexterity and constantly switch between attunements, which is possible only if you're an hardcore player but then again, you can choose another class and with such dexterity you will be much better at killing people.

In my opinion these are the main design flaws of the class and is no way balanced, again it's a very hard class which requires a very good dexterity:

  1. No feature to swap weapons in combat, attunements can't really help you with that and this is final.
  2. Not enough damage overall per class, some weaver skills are useless and make him feel greatly underpowered, not to mention that when you use dual attunements you need to always remember which attunements pair you have enabled right now and how to get skill x from pair attunements.
  3. In time some specializations were greatly weakened, which resulted in tempest being almost obsolete as support and weaver having lower dps.
  4. There is no reasonable trade off between defense/vitality and dps. You can get killed very fast in wvw and it's very hard to save your self by doing big damage, cause you don't have that big damage.
  5. Limiting weaver sword at 130 range (compared to dagger 300) made this weapon usable only by hardcore players, as you have to be constantly close to enemy and not dying.

This class is not good at anything in particular. I hope this topic will have developers attention. Fell free to express your opinion. :)

  1. Weaver has access to many, many more skills than weaponswapping classes do. You change attunements, you proc weaponswapping (which means abilities on weaponswap). Not sure what the issue is, here.
  2. Weaver has the HIGHEST damage potential of all classes. No weaver skills are useless, all skills are situational. Some work best in wvw, others in pve. And as far as attunements go, well, what you describe is a L2P issue. It is easy to remember what you will or should switch to, when you are familiar enough with the class.
  3. Specs were weakened cause thats what powercreep with each expac does. Tempest always was meant as a support class, (much like scourge is supposed to be now, yet it does high dps). Weaver still is top dps, in benchmarks.
  4. Wvw is a gamemode where armor plays a minor role, depending on what you want to do. In blobs, even 3.5k armor wont make any difference against the spamming of AoE dmg. Experience makes the difference (apart from scourge which is a bit of a brainless class to play, but still good players can make huge difference even there). Positioning is key, to maximize damage and cc and leave for safety as a weaver in wvw. Thats why most people run marauder or mix of marauder/zerk. Weaver, being a Light class, doesnt benefit much from high armor or high vit (low health pool). But, again, everything is a matter of personal playstyle.
  5. Sword weaver outdamages dagger by a big margin. It should naturally have less range. Maybe you can check out Lasirius vids on roaming wvw weaver, and change your mind about the sword as a weapon (that dude is really good), or in pve you can try it out on small targets (it is best used on small targets).

Weaver excels in dps, in pretty much all gamemodes. With the proper build, it is an almost nondying roaming build with huge sustain in wvw. Not sure why you would call it useless. Most if not all things you mention are learn to play issues.

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@Ardid.7203 said:

@HnRkLnXqZ.1870 said:You can also try another class. The necromancer is pretty newbie-friendly. Rangers are nice for long-range combat and allow you to learn the mechanics of the game step by step. Even the warrior-classes offer some mage-aspects. Of all the classes you can choose, I would recommend you to NOT pick the engineer. As I said above it is similar in controls, but a lot worse when it comes to efficiency.On the contrary, I beg the OP to try to play Engie just a short time. Compare Holo with DPS Ele. Try to do anything in PvE with a Scrapper. PLEASE, play a Condi Engie just a couple of hours.Then maybe we could talk about balance.

Holo has small dps? Since when? I agree on scrapper and condi engi, tho... Dead specs...

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@"Voltekka.2375" said:Weaver excels in dps, in pretty much all gamemodes. With the proper build, it is an almost nondying roaming build with huge sustain in wvw. Not sure why you would call it useless. Most if not all things you mention are learn to play issues.

  1. These skills won't help when you need to change tactic from range to melee.
  2. There are weaver skills which are very weak and don't make sense to use, better to just do rotations and repeat others.
    this dude explain why some weaver skills are useless. Yes I watched it all.
  3. I agree here if you can get 40K with weaver damage it's pretty good but don't forget that damage is mostly AOE based and is easy to evade/run (staff).
  4. You know that ele have natural lowest hp and defense in game, from level 1. So you don't need much damage to 1 hit kill an ele.
  5. Again, having such low survivability, at least range should be increased. I'm sure that I've seen classes that do more damage with sword having better survivability. In fact that's what ranking shows.

Idk how good I am with elementalist but yes I don't have crazy light speed reactions and the trade off it's not worth considering other classes.

@Solori.6025 said:Can you link the build or builds you are currently using for the ele?

Sure, but only from online sources, I don't have access to game now.

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@"DarkSork.8637" said:Sure, but only from online sources, I don't have access to game now. I followed this build https://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Weaver_-_Staff_Backline differences are : I don't have maradeur or vitality stats just power, precision, ferocity amulets, armor and weapon and it's all exotic. With staff I die because I don't have enough cc, with dagger because it requires crazy dodge skills and lighting fast rotations or I die fast and damage is less than with staff.

http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/

What game mode are you playing, pvp pve or wvw?

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@Walhalla.5473 said:So over 40k DPS on a big hitbox is apparently not enough damage? Weaver has one of the highest dmaage potential of all classes and its not enough? Not sure if Troll or trying to make Power Reapers feel like kitten.

It's not like I agree with anything else the OP posted but this part about the damage, he is actually right.

40k DPS is with full buffs from OTHER builds, while a helpful healer is healing you and a helpful tank is keeping the attention of an enemy. In all other situations Weaver DPS is crap, given how much you need to move to avoid getting 1-shot killed by anything that snoozes on you, yes Power Reaper deals way more damage.I sometimes think people posting on these forums, especially when talking about class balance, only think about the ideal Raid, or other instanced content, setting where you don't care about anything other than following a rotation for damage.

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You are ranged in wvw, if you play zerk staff ele, as you say. NEVER melee. If enemies manage to get to you, use your utilities to get the hell out of melee,amd reposition yourself.You dont have fixed rotations in wvw. Skills are used situationally (comm calls for bomb? BOMB. He calls for cc? Drop your cc).All classes have useless skills. Weaver does, too. Sword ice autoattack, for example. Dont see the issue here. You got a plethora of other skills to use.Are you talking about pve or wvw? Cause the 40k rota is a pve thing. Unless you try to pull off that rota in wvw, which you absolutely should not.Lowest hp means you know you play a glass cannon build. You can kill stuff easily, but you die easily. Thats why people run marauder, to survive one hit ko,and use skills to get out of dmg.Ele range is fine. Change your build accordingly.

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@Sephylon.4938 said:

@"DarkSork.8637" said:Sure, but only from online sources, I don't have access to game now. I followed this build
differences are : I don't have maradeur or vitality stats just power, precision, ferocity amulets, armor and weapon and it's all exotic. With staff I die because I don't have enough cc, with dagger because it requires crazy dodge skills and lighting fast rotations or I die fast and damage is less than with staff.

What game mode are you playing, pvp pve or wvw?

I play almost wvw only http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vFUQFAWnMICdOgF5C+4CM5iFCALoAEAGACTyOQJ4+U/qn1A-jlRBQBL4CAgSlgrS5HlU/BAPAAas/ApAkVZE-w this is the build I most often use, but keep in mind I have exotic, not ascended and no maradeur for vitality. :)

P.S. Another sad thing with staff is that you get rekt 1v1, that's why I tried similar dagger build with water instead of fire and some vitality but failed for the most part.

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Makes sense, all the responses to you seem to be in a pve perspective, not a wvw one. You'll have to be more specific next time, or post this in the wvw section.

EditSaw youe build, it's highly pve oriented. At best that's suited as a backliner at a zerg in wvw. Not meant for solo roaming.

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