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Returning player looking for help


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tldr; Just came back to game, solo'd to 80. (no boost) Bought some cheap(ish) gear off the market. Zheds i think.

Let me preface i understand I'm a glass cannon, but I seem to take that to the next level. I die constantly BEFORE i can react or dodge anything. I watched a soulbeast? with little to no context of his gear/build solo a champ in a way he could NOT die. He'd constantly regen HUGE chunks of his health instantly. Meanwhile i'm dead instantly before i see the aoe under my feet render.

Please help me understand how to elementalist. I'm at my wits end and ready to reroll into something else. I've tried various weapons/builds i find on line nothing really seems to help. I own both expansions but i'm mostly still playing in old world content and i dont have the hero points to really fill out either elite spec yet. I think i have the first point open in each one.

Dead on the Ground Noob

Edit: Forgot to mention, focusing mostly on pve atm.

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If you're a glass cannon and dying, step one is to tank up. Put on some Vitality or Toughness so you can take a few hits so that you can live long enough to see how the enemy uses their attacks. Instead of Berserker gear, look at Soldier's (Power main, vitality, and toughness) or Valkyrie (Power main, vitality, and ferocity) for more damage with a little extra sustain. Most builds in PvE rely on dealing as much damage as fast as possible, which used to mean Berserker stats, and for many power based builds that's still the case. These days you'll also see guides for Condition builds, Weaver especially has some condition capability that wasn't offered by previous setups.

Another good setup to sustain is to take a really good look at your traits and see where you can find the best balance for you and your current ability and play style. Being new, it's fine to fumble around with your skills, especially on a class as complex as Elementalist. Water and Arcane have really good traits for sustain and can pair really well with each other at the cost of some of your more damaging traitlines in Fire and Air. However, any damage dealt is better than the 0 dps you bring to the table by tanking the floor. So take time to learn the fights, and in the case of PvP (if you're more interested in that), learn other classes abilities and telegraphs so you know when to best capitalize on your dodges. Once you've mastered being able to use your active defenses and utility skills for most of your sustain you can begin to add more damage to your setup until you find a new balance that compliments your growing skill level.

In the mean time, your Cantrip skill class, namely Mist Form and Lightning Flash should probably be staples on your bar as panic buttons to avoid major damage.
The Water trait line will pair well with just about any weapon and play style, particularly if you run the Cantrips listed above as there is a trait that both reduces their cooldown and grants you Regen when you use them.

Lastly, Elementalist should avoid being stationary pretty much whenever possible, in solo play you're gonna be the center of attention and that means not getting swarmed by a crowd as you're casting. While staff can put up big numbers, it's also probably the most difficult weapon to learn solo, as many of the skills have long cast times and leave you vulnerable to attack. If you're not running a straight damage setup, this will leave you in battle longer as you're not putting foes down as quickly. I recommend Dagger, and specifically the Focus offhand for this kind of play, having a potent offense with plenty of dazes and stuns to mitigate damage, as well a reflect and invulnerability in the Earth kit.

I hope some of these tips help you live a little longer and help you enjoy the class more. It's definitely more complex than most, but it's very rewarding to play once you've learned it. Don't let all the negativity on these forums deter you either, this class has a lot to offer. Even with sword ;) (tons of dazes + lightning rod is delicious).

A quick addition to all this; always play with the intent to improve. If you tank up to learn the fights and become complacent with your performance you'll never actually get any better. You'll be stuck in the limbo that is mediocrity. Learn the fights, and move on to more powerful gear to really master and dominate the content you're playing in. Enjoy the challenge of overcoming what you were having trouble with!

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Elementalist is a very combo-heavy class. Especially in solo pve it's important to know your combo fields, finishers and what the combo does. Take a few minutes to read all your skills and try out the combos in a safe environment. For training: place a combo field and try to blast-finish as often as possible before it runs out.

Your best friend for survival is the glyph of storms cast in earth. It creates a pulsing blind-field and basically disables any mobs caught in it. Even a group of veterans and elites can't harm you if they're constantly blinded. (Disclaimer: does not work on aoes and champions / legends or dredge)

Choose a weapon that fits your playstyle. Elementalist is in the nice position that most weapon combinations are viable in some way. Staff is a very powerful weapon against sitting ducks. In zerk-content or if you are vigilant and always attack first, it is pretty easy to play. If you want to play more reactive, a different weapon set might be better suited.

The most important thing: Hit first and hit hard! A dead enemy deals no damage.

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I've read through your replies, and thank you for you taking the time to write them. My issue largely isnt not understanding the class, i understand combo fields and how to blow stuff up. Its the getting blown up thats a problem.

Normal npcs are tough but dont generally present a large threat to me unless i get 2 or 3 on me.Veterans are hard and if i pop all my cooldowns i have probably about a 90% success rate against them.Champs....Just flatten me instantly with any number of attacks including a single auto attack

For example was facing down a bandit champ the other day. They had 2 ground effects they would use. Both would instantly KO me. I only have so much sta to dodge and for the most part I would go into "down" state BEFORE i could double tap a dodge. Sometimes i would just drop before i even saw the ground effect. So its Either an autoattack + aoe combo or the slightest bit of lag is all it takes to kill me.

Either way its not fun. I dont want to give up on the class. I dont like to give up in general.

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Then tank up. Key bind your dodge to something other than a double tap so it only takes one key press to dodge, it's literally half the time as a double tap.Also; not all champions were created equally. Pick your battles, there will be some champions, particularly those associated with events that will just be flat out too strong to solo on anything that's not a gimmick build which Elementalists have very few if any of. Certainly none I'm familiar with but who knows, maybe someone else has one

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