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Elementalist under my microscope


Vhalk.9643
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Hi, probably my fifth post on forums ever lol.On/off player since beta, but always ele. Tempest d.d / d.f cele (semi marshals since release of stat). Ele/tempest deserved nerfs when cele introduced, pre/post hot, it was a bit too good. earth/water/tempest, air/water/tempest, and air/earth/tempest is what I usually do. but now I feel powercreep has taken some other classes too far while ele has been left behind. In any game, it makes me sad when content is left behind and ignored with all the new, cool stuff coming out.Huge on roaming/1v1, this is my bias.Balancing ideal: Small and subtle changes, but often., and being fair. I see and hear changes wanted to xyz for abc, with those changes being very dramatic, and it's like, calm down lol. One step at a time. Changes can have unexpected results.Theorycrafter at heart. I make my own builds, up to hours a day strictly thinking. Happens to be some builds I have made becomes popular. Mainly cele tempest d.f / d.d pre/post hot and crusader/cele firebrand. I also try to take builds that are no efficient and tweak them in attempt to make them work.I'll be addressing lots of ideas, obviously there's more ideas out there, better or worse. This is for the sake to spread more ideas, and really pinpoint what would be ideal to take a good look at. My way is not the high way, I'm just a university student and not a game balancer, but I would never recommend any developer to implement the quantity that i bring to the table; again, this is for the sake of spreading ideas. Implementing too much at once can really break something.

Lately I have been exploring other classes more than usual, one to try different things, two because ele makes me sad sometimes, how much other classes can accomplish multiple things an ele cannot by a vast margin. I would say three to "know my enemy", that is, know the classes and specs I play against daily, but I roam/1v1 enough to know what everything does inside and out.

One case: One thing common of classes is "if you suffice condition x, then you gain y". Tools in engi is vigour leads to 10% increased physical damage. Engi happens to have accessibility to perma vigour without boon duration. Mirage gains condition damage for having vigour. Radiance in guardian is 250 ferocity, 10% physical dmg, at least 6 might uptime, and 50% critical strike chance. Guardian happens to have perma retal (with or without help of firebrand) without boon duration (main Crusader off Cele build, absolutely love it, use it since 50% crit+might. Great sustain while retaining great damage. Suffers the one glaring (but fair) flaw of guard: burst dmg.) Uptime is great even if corrupted. More examples but i feel this suffices.How it relates: Ele has its fair share of this concept, but its implementations are weak. Fire, for example, has Empowering Flame (+150 power while in fire). Fire does not have a high uptime. I spend about (20,20,30,30)% of the time in fire, water, air, earth attunements, and a lot of fire skills for multiple weapon sets has their damage (to certain extents) split to dealing condition damage: burning. Even though the 150 power has a ~20% uptime, its not 150 power effective as some damage being dealt in fire is condi damage. Even though 20/20/30/30 is just for me, any good elementalist does stay in one single attunement even 80% of the time in any sort of pvp,Recommendation: Add condition damage to this minour trait, increase values a bit OR add condition damage, allow this trait relevance in all elements, reduce values a bit.This ideal relates to Persisting Flames. It has two parameters. Blast finisher is one, fire field is another. Outcome for comboing the two is 10s fury. Poor outcome for strict parameters. +2s to fire fields is neither good nor bad, it is okay. Lesser Lava Font upon becoming downed is random, as no downstate skill is a blast. I also feel its best relevance is in pvp, to do damage upon down, for those trying to stomp or cleave. However, it is poor dmg and small. Promoting downstate doesn't feel right either.Recommendation: Integrate Pyromancer's Puissance in some way, shape, form; the ideal of bonus might. Either directly, then rework PP or keep them independent and add bonus might and maybe retal. OR even add fire aura to blasts on fire fields (good combo with Smothering Auras). Lots of possibilities. I would say remove Lesser Lava Font and buff prior ideas but it is possible to rework it. Maybe sync it to downstate and rework downstate to have some sort of blast.Lots of classes have great and lots of fury and might uptime as is.Recommendation for Pyromancer's Puissance, maybe just integrate it into Persisting Flames and make a new trait OR double the might to 2 per skill use in fire and maybe do 50% the duration and 50% the might (1 stack) for skill uses outside of fire, maybe add icd so it cant be spammed? OR some additional effect for being higher than a set might threshold, to give a bit of retal or quickness at an icd. Like 3s retal at 10s icd, or 2s quickness at 10s icd. OR having might give an additional +5 power +5 condition damage per stack.Conjurer and conjured weapons makes me sad. I already have to waste a utility slot to get a new weapon set that is fixed and doesn't change based on attunement. If I have to waste a utility slot, I would really say make the conjured weapon skillset change based on attunement. So I conjure Axe, Bow, Hammer, Shield, Greatsword. They all can be flame, frost, lightning, earth. Either something like this or tie it to the idea of weapon swap. If I conjure Earth Shield, I can swap in and out of it for 30 seconds (maybe just make it 60 seconds tbh and remove the whole second conjuring of the weapon on the ground). Standard weapon swap icd. Or just make it a kit.Conjurer feels like it should be in arcane, but I'd say take out fire aura for to self when ally picks it up. Maybe then merge it into Arcane Precision in arcane.Smothering Auras feels weird to be in fire too. Feels like more of a tempest thing. If it were changed to tempest, do something like 25% increase to all auras, 20% reduced cd for detonations, detonations are increased by radius 60?Blinding Ashes, would be nice if it was at an 8s interval per unique unit.

It's the case in many spots where ele and another class will have the same idea, "if you suffice condition x, then you gain y", and many other ideas similar to this, but ele gets a poorer version of it. Lots of ele's traits also simply has too many parameters tied to them to really make them not worthwhile. I happen to see it a lot in fire, and some utility skills. Anyways, I'll continue

Air seems to be in a good spot.Back to the attunement uptime though, air is about 30% for me. Maybe have Zerphyr's Speed also give 10% speed for all other attunements. This would help core ele a small bit.Zephry's Boon seems a bit redundant though, I would maybe just make this a new trait altogether. Suggestions? I was thinking of some sort of evade mechanic. If it were kept to auras, maybe add in an additional boon, or make it so enemies effected by auras are also inflicted with vuln?Inscription is a bit underwhelming too. It does't help the glyphs (except storm, although nerfed) lack to some degree too. I have made a lot of cool situational uses out of Renewal though. I don't think boons is really the way to go either, but I can't think of anything else, so a lot more might for fire portion, regen and resistance for water portion, vigour and swift for air portion, and prot seems good alone for earth portion. Maybe add a second of prot to it. Or change it to conditions per hit (maybe at an icd or interval per unique unit) so storms does more of a single condition/an additional condition per attunement, then for elemental glyphs, the auto attacks of the elementals do a condition based upon which elemental it is, etc.

Water seems to be in a good spot too, but fixing Soothing Mist bug would be nice. If you stay in water, the reapplication of itself back up to 10 seconds makes it skip a tick, or have that same tick be incredibly reduced.Piercing Shards, maybe add in all water skills have 1 application of 7ss vuln per hit within the skill.Cleansing Wave as core ele and tempest isn't very good, but I know it's good on weaver. So buffing it for core/tempest but keeping it relevant for weaver would be difficult. Suggestions? Maybe 2 condi removal (and its low radius would keep it from being too good in groups) and make it so weaver can't trigger it with double attune?

Earth is pretty well off too, but same problem I see with Stone Flesh. Would be nice if the value was increased and still only for earth attunement, or apply it to all atunements but maybe reduce the value.Serrated Stones I'd maybe change to 20% bleeding dmg versus duration, and +5% physical and condi dmg to the other part.As much as Earthern Blast makes me sad, I have downed people using it lol. I guess that comes with time investment playing earth though. Things like that over time are bound to happen. Would be nice if Rock Solid was changed to this minour trait, or buff its damage some bit and put 1s immob on it.Strength of Stone... maybe just make it more condition damage while under the effects of prot or stab or something? Still feels a bit odd when the earth skills is much like the fire skills... split between condi and physical dmg (moreso a bais towards condi than physical dmg for earth) but still. So both condi dmg and power? or maybe expertise and condi dmg.I actually like the new diamond skin for those who think it's a nerf.

Arcane is pretty good. Maybe do Conjurer to Arcane Precision, or reduce icd of Arcane Precision to 2s instead (but nerf weakness from 3s to 2s if in air). Maybe bleeding to 4s too.Maybe 8s icd instead on Evasive Arcana. Same with Elemental Contingency.

TempestI had this cool idea for Unstable Conduit where you get the aura as soon as you cast the overload, then the aura detonates when the overload finishes. (or just after the 4 second timer since slow can mess up overload timing with this). It would really match the "overload" ideal. But this would probably be too much a buff lol.Latent Stamina, 360 range at least please.Harmonious Conduit, it would be nice if it were 10% dmg and 10% condi dmg. It's only 4 seconds anyways.Hardy Conduit, it would be really nice if it were 4s prot instead of 3, as the overloads are 4 second channels to begin with.

I won't go into weaver, because when I tried it out during the test that one day ANet hosted it, I noticed 4 flaws. Skills 4-5 have a 4 second delay to access in the next element you wish to go into, as they keep to your prior attunement, and youre simiarly doomed with skill 3 of a double attuned element, as you again have to wait 4 seconds to access. I'm glad to see others think it should be an f5 toggle rather than a wasted utility skill. The 2nd flaw is the lack of utility in the dual attack skills. To think they would have some, now that my offhand skills all have a 4 second delay to when I want them. The third flaw is how sword is melee range, as a lowest healthpool lowest armour class. I've always loved how dagger has some range to all of its skills despite being a melee oriented weapon. The fourth flaw, which is in my opinion very backwards, is how weaver is set to be about "dual attuning", but you get no benefit from your second attunement other than through Elemental Polyphony. Why don't I get Stone Flesh 150 toughness when earth is my off-attunement? Aren't I technically attuned to earth, as I can use its skills through skill 4 and 5? Same with Soothing Mist, Zerphy's Speed, Empowering Flame, Pyromancer's Puissance, Pyromancer's Training, Pyromancer's Puissance, Aeromancer's Training, Percing Shards, Stone heart, etc etc. But looking at it like this, I realize it would be broken to be able to retain all of this through off-attunements. So I wondered, why not retain, say, 33% of the benefit for the off attunement, at most? Maybe lower, but not 0. So for Stone heart, if I am off-attuned to Earth, it would be "You have a 33% reduced chance to be critically hit." or for the traits that give a stat for being in that attunement, if it's in the off attunement, it's 33% of that stat instead.There is one last thing to weaver. Some say mesmer and ele healthpools should be swapped, for the reasoning of mesmer being a cross between a thief and ele in some regards, like a more "evasive" ele. Master's Fortitude is a good example of the ele team realizing ele's low healthpool/armour for the use of sword. While I would agree with health swaps for the sake of mirage, I wouldn't for chrono and core mesmer. Mirage is what's throwing off the balance of high evasiveness with mid-range health pool.

Then there's weapon skills. I feel like most of the weapons are decent at least, but some tweaks here and there would be nice. I'll start with sword since weaver is last on my mind. Tbh, riptide needed a healing nerf. when I first tried it, I couldn't help but to laugh how it was an evade and healed like half of my health. However, it has to be kept in mind that eles usually run builds with healing power in it, such as cele, or marshals, when it comes to ele pvp (not to be mistaken for spvp, spvp is a subset of pvp, like wvw is a subset of pvp). So while people complained about weavers being unkillable, it's like... well yeah, theyre running a semi bunker build. So they also are very unlikely to kill you either if you are competent enough to kite or cleanse during their Primordial Stance. So the first nerf to riptide was necessary, but probably not the second. It's the 1 of 2 skills you have immediate access to when you want it, when attunement swap is off cd, instead of having to wait +4 seconds for it.Would be nice if Shearing Edge or Natural Frenzy blocked projectiles too. And velocity increase on Shearing Edge.Same with Polaric Leap being superspeed just for using it, and maybe a 12s cd instead. Would really help with it being hard to hit anything in pvp with sword, due to lacking cc, slows, and skills that is both mobility and damage, like warrior's Whirlwind and Decapitate (part of Flame Uprising's damage is reliant on enemy staying inside the circle). Either this or reduced icd on Elemental Pursuit.

Dagger is pretty outdated, pointing towards fire 1, fire 2, water 1, water 2, water 3. Would be nice if fire 1 gave, say, 1 stack of might for 3 seconds per projectile, or did a little burning. as its lackluster and sometimes only 1 or 2 projectiles hits.Drake's Breath, maybe a 1 3/4 cast instead for same results? Especially Cone of Cold. Especially since both don't land well unless you are simply not moving while casting, so it properly follows the target.I have always found Vapor Blade interesting, as the damage is a bit of an illusion. The damage is really low, but not as low as some may think because it can make up for itself if a single blade successfully makes its second strike coming back. It's not meant to do much damage anyways, being a water skill. However, the 2nd strike damage when the blade comes back is a huge if. I'm wondering something like, if the blade's first strike hits, and if the coming-back strike hits too, maybe make the second strike damage deal increased damage.Frozen Burst, 3s chilled is really nice, I wouldn't say increase it. It's a blast finisher too, very nice for that. Radius 240 is great too. Maybe just an increase in damage.Thank you so much for the Magnetic Leap change.

Scepter has had its fair share of buffs, requesting more would be unfair. If anything, maybe reduced cd of Dust Devil to 12s (but blind lasts 5 seconds or so), but nothing more.Staff is pretty good too, maybe just have air 4 do something a little cool in extra, maybe a slight increase in width for Gust, I don't even use staff and I think the Lava Font nerf was unfair, just because people who stand in it should be punished, especially with how small it is. Maybe it did need some damage nerf, but not to the degree it received.

For focus, Flamewall... I do make a really good use out of it. Which is setting it on top of downed players. it's halfway decent for just that, but you won't find me using it any other time. I do believe some sort of fire field should remain here, so maybe have it a little thicker, or give it blindness, or more dmg/condi dmg, or some combination of these suggestions. It should be more punishing for those who stand on it. Maybe even have it remove the condition aspect of enemy projectiles that pass through it as an ideal of "purifying" the condi aspect of a projectile with flames, or have it cure chilled on allies who make contact with it.Freezing Gust, it would be nice to make it unblockable as Gust already is... and the words gust and gale are pretty much the same thing. Maybe even make it a small aoe, or have a mechanic for it to remove vigour off of an enemy hit by it.Comet, maybe a 1/2 delay instead of 3/4 lol

So Warhorn makes me sad. I've actually felt true sadness (although not depression) from this weapon. I remember being so hyped by the thought of sword when the idea of elite specs was about pre HoT, and then the flawed spec Weaver gets sword, while tempests gets... this warhorn. I'm not going to go into it because I'd be asking for what may seem like a lot. I'd rather keep to focus/dagger and not seem greedy.Speaking of dagger... offhand for it is pretty good. I wouldn't mind Ride the Lightning having an evade but I'm sure that has been expressed countless times on these forums before. I feel like the range should be nerfed to 900 if so, though. Fire grab would be an interesting 1 boon strip if it hits someone burning. Using a huge burst of fire to rip someone's boon off lol.

Onto skills.The only heal skill that stands out to me needing anything is Arcane Brilliance. I feel like this should have a boon strip of 2 per ally hit. For some reason, I have this ideal that arcane being the essence of magic, it should have the properties to remove magical contents of foes. Such as boons.I suppose also Arcane Shield should also have a boon strip if it hits. I wouldn't really do the same with Arcane Wave as that has a blast to it, and Arcane Blast has good damage, good range, 3 maximum count to it already. Arcane Power is fine as well. The trait for these guys is already pretty good. Maybe it would be Arcane Power to do the boon stripping, 1 strip per attack, 4 attacks, 45s cd. Maybe change it up a bit more, buff or nerf, to accommodate but it being a boon strip now.Unravel, if that isn't going to be a f5 and really have to waste a utility slot on it, 2 count and 15 recharge.Conjured I talked about.Cantrips are pretty well off tbh. Maybe reduce cd of Armour of Earth by 5s but reduce stab count from 10 to 5.I would probably add some might to Signet of Fire.Cooldown starts upon summoning elemental from elemental glyphs.Shouts, I feel like could go well as an ammo system with increased cooldowns.

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I won't go into weaver, because when I tried it out during the test that one day ANet hosted it, I noticed 4 flaws. Skills 4-5 have a 4 second delay to access in the next element you wish to go into, as they keep to your prior attunement, and youre simiarly doomed with skill 3 of a double attuned element, as you again have to wait 4 seconds to access. I'm glad to see others think it should be an f5 toggle rather than a wasted utility skill. The 2nd flaw is the lack of utility in the dual attack skills. To think they would have some, now that my offhand skills all have a 4 second delay to when I want them. The third flaw is how sword is melee range, as a lowest healthpool lowest armour class. I've always loved how dagger has some range to all of its skills despite being a melee oriented weapon. The fourth flaw, which is in my opinion very backwards, is how weaver is set to be about "dual attuning", but you get no benefit from your second attunement other than through Elemental Polyphony. Why don't I get Stone Flesh 150 toughness when earth is my off-attunement? Aren't I technically attuned to earth, as I can use its skills through skill 4 and 5? Same with Soothing Mist, Zerphy's Speed, Empowering Flame, Pyromancer's Puissance, Pyromancer's Training, Pyromancer's Puissance, Aeromancer's Training, Percing Shards, Stone heart, etc etc. But looking at it like this, I realize it would be broken to be able to retain all of this through off-attunements. So I wondered, why not retain, say, 33% of the benefit for the off attunement, at most? Maybe lower, but not 0. So for Stone heart, if I am off-attuned to Earth, it would be "You have a 33% reduced chance to be critically hit." or for the traits that give a stat for being in that attunement, if it's in the off attunement, it's 33% of that stat instead.

I agree with a lot of this. The 2nd flaw always stood out to me. The replaced dual-attacks are usually more damaged based, but they are replacing useful abilities that are not pure damage skills. Weaver works for sword because that weapon originates with the spec, but every other weapon actually loses it's usefulness because of the loss of the third skill.

The 4th flaw is pretty laughable. The very wording of weaver is that you're attuned to two elements. But the second element doesn't give you any bonuses. I guess you're just not attuned enough to the element????For example: Stone Heart--when attuned to earth you won't receive critical hits. Yet, if earth is your second attunement, that bonus is gone. It's like weavers got all the cons for double attuning but none of the benefits. As if the devs are purposely trying to kitten with the spec.

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I agree with the slow access of skill 4, 5 without unravel, and wasting a utility slot for it doesn't fit. F5 may help but use a kinda longer cooldown. Many eles forget what luxury they have with so many skills at hand. I noticed it after shelving my ele for like 1,5 years and now as weaver the sheer amount of skills and utility I have. It's really neat.

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Im far from an elementalist main or expert, but i think an issue with buffing elementalists in any way is that they already are topdogs in PvE simply by having most damage possible vs single targets, "big" hitbox or not.Also they have always been meta in WvW blobwars for an eternity, allthough slightly contested by Scourges in the dmgwars (and condi/boonwars) but still bringing highly valuable fields and cc.

Ofc i dont need to tell you this because you aready know this. But i can also see your struggle especially in the the roaming and sPvP scene.From my perspective its nothing wrong with the surviveability in roaming or sPvP builds, the problem lies with the damage since you sacrifice alot for all that sustain and durability.

Wouldnt it be better if elementalists got medium health as baseline instead of having the lowest? And maybe bump up might duration and have a few traits grant an extra might or so? It would make adding a few more damage pieces in your gear more viable and less exhausting to keep a relevant might upkeep to deal damage. and it wouldnteffect PvE or blobwars too much..

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@"Noha.3749" said:Im far from an elementalist main or expert, but i think an issue with buffing elementalists in any way is that they already are topdogs in PvE simply by having most damage possible vs single targets, "big" hitbox or not.Also they have always been meta in WvW blobwars for an eternity, allthough slightly contested by Scourges in the dmgwars (and condi/boonwars) but still bringing highly valuable fields and cc.

Ofc i dont need to tell you this because you aready know this. But i can also see your struggle especially in the the roaming and sPvP scene.From my perspective its nothing wrong with the surviveability in roaming or sPvP builds, the problem lies with the damage since you sacrifice alot for all that sustain and durability.

Wouldnt it be better if elementalists got medium health as baseline instead of having the lowest? And maybe bump up might duration and have a few traits grant an extra might or so? It would make adding a few more damage pieces in your gear more viable and less exhausting to keep a relevant might upkeep to deal damage. and it wouldnteffect PvE or blobwars too much..

It depends on how far back you look. Ele has a long history of being able to weave support into otherwise damage focused builds. And when actually geared toward support, they're incredibly powerful at their chosen niche without giving up too much offensive capability. That was until they systemically dismantled Dagger/Dagger builds because of PvP. That was the absolute height of Ele's Buildcraft; with D/D being able to support High Damage, Auramancer, High Mobility, good self sustain, based on which traits you took. When they introduced Celestial stats into the game, Ele made exceptional use of every single stat on offer, allowing them to fully scale the potential of that stat combo.

But in the aftermath of all those Nerfs, Eles have to focus much more of their build into a single job, and are getting lower returns then even non-specialized builds in other classes in some cases. This left damage as the only area where Ele can still dominate, as their traits don't offer the kind of scaling potential as it did back when things were more mechanically oriented. A Cele Ele is still a decently powerful force...... but its nowhere near as competitive as the damage builds, and needs more investment in Support/Sustain to not get cracked by the power creeped damage bulids it has to go up against.

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