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Old May 4th, 2012, 05:41   #1
Yamagawa
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Thumbs up Reflection on the Elementalist class

Really loved this. With one minor exception.
At level 28, I still had about 5 trident skills to unlock. Mostly, I think, because I'd kept out of the human lands, which I gather have the bulk of the underwater combat of the three realms we explored. An ele has..
16 <- 4*4 Trident
+ 16 <- 4 * 4 Staff
+ 16 <- 4 * 4 Dual Daggers
+ 16 <- 4 * 4 Wand + Offand
======
64 skills to unlock through use. An annoyingly large amount.
But worthwhile. Honestly, only the underwater skills can really lag, but you'll have that done in just a few good adventures beneath the surface.

The staff made for a great ranged weapon and let me readily place some combo effects for others to use. I learned (late) that Meteor-shower cannot(!!) be cast while moving, but otherwise it looks amazing and, if the foes are packed, does decent damage. Takes actually getting hit by meteors to take damage, and the meteors are a bit sparse in the wide area of the spell, but I was fine with that.

For daggers, I found myself favoring sceptor mainhand dagger offhand, with the dagger granting a ring of fire combo field around my location, and churning earth (another no-move skill) who's animation has meteor shower beat -- but it's slow to activate. Start it early, or against tough foes, and hope they don't wander off or die before you finish.

All in all, the skills had great variety --
Ranged attacks: hard to miss wit these, as long as walls, rocks, or trees don't interfere...
Ranged non-projectile AoE skills: no targeting needed, just fire and forget.
Ranged targeted skills: These came with both projectile and non projectile forms, a hazard to use in combat because you place ground targets.... and more than once I found myself edging closer to tough foes to see the ground they stood on so I could place the target properly. Died more than once doing that.
Point Blank skills: Churning Earth. Leave it at "The animation has Meteor Shower Beat". As wit hCHurning earth, many of the combo fields likewise were point blank skills.
Combo fields I find only last a few seconds (around 5), so for other players, it's a use or lose proposition, and generally I had 1, or at most 2 that I could lay with any one element at a time... but I had 4 elements and could jsut about freely swap between them, so I was in good shape to keep playing combo fields down. In some cases, I'd play a lightning combo field around the enemy to box him in (and combo all projectile attacks), or play it in front of me and run through it to lose pursuit when running through a zone. In other cases, I'd drop combo fields around rangers or warriors working with their bows. Placing them in front of the attackers poses risks.... If that warrior is content to sit back and pluck at his bow, he probably has a good reason to... and if the foe moves a few steps out of line, the combo effect can be wasted for inattentive players. The advance and retreat burning skills are good for movement, but require either skill or luck to make proper combo fields. They generally leave a line of a combo field straight to/away form the enemy. Still, eles get a great mix of skills to work with.

Weapon swapping -- Eew, us eles don't get weapon swaps, and unlike GW1, when you replace your wand+offahnd with a staff, you stop wielding the offhand -- placing it in your general inventory, for you to search and locate again. Sometimes, I found myself with a foe I couldn't properly approach, and wielding daggers which offer exclusively short range attacks, or facing single foes I could melee with a staff that was equipped for slaughtering entire groups. The solution I found was to have a sit and think... and swap weapons. The sit+swap tactic worked for me as long as no critters were actively attacking me.

Of the elements: These get themes.
Fire: Raw, unadulterated (er, except for the burning -- don't forget the burning) damage. Generally hurting lots of stuff at once. Or at least, more than one foe at a time.
Water: some damage, but more snares and heals.
Air: This is your blinds, your single target damage, and your swiftness. Underwater I saw this serving as snares and teleports...
Earth: Raw unadulterated damage, with prot mixed in.

Summon elementals: I took up the glyph of lesser elementals, and found it to be handy in its own right. It would give aggro a target other than me to harass for a time, and generally did as well as the group was, often timing out rather than being killed outright. As with minions in GW1, it would pick its own fights, and could be lost to foes you leave behind. Perfect for dropping aggro while running, but unhandy for adventuring.

Summon Weapons:
Ice bow: Nifty seeming, didn't get much opportunity to use, but the skills 4/5 bear a closer look (one of them freezes your enemy, I think blocking their actions for a short time.
Fire axe: Worthwhile against ice, and for a change of pace in combat -- just be aware that the axe is NOT a melee weapon, something that took me some time to figure out.
Lightening Hammer: A *must have* for any ele. Skill 2 can be used outside of combat as a extended length jump, good for jumping puzzles, if you gauge it right (you don't get to aim it like you can other skills. Merely point in a direction and leap). Skill 3 serves as a wonderful knock-back (great on small critters like bulls and minotaurs -- great animation there) Sure, you get other knockback skills, but this one is a simple brute force knockback. The hammer also lets you play a static field at your location (snare or combo field, your pick) and conjure PBAoE lightning to smite your foes with. In general was a great utility item, more than the other conjured weapons.
Earth Shield: Eh. The invulnerable for a few seconds bit looked handy in theory, but in practice Ivor Trueshot killed me before I activated it. I may need to play with it more but "shield attacks" didn't draw my attention very well.

All in all, a fun class. Very useful in groups, and I gotta say: Churning Earth. Worth it.
//Yamagawa
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:17   #2
Greyhart
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I played elementalist, got to level 9. So not very far.

The unlocking skills is time consuming on the elementalist. In general agree with the system, but it needs to be quicker or done differently on the elementalist just because of the number of skills per weapon let alone all together.

Felt I really didn't do more than get past the basics in the time I had. seems a very deep and complex class
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Old May 4th, 2012, 12:06   #3
Dragon
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I agree it did take quite a while to unlock - I switched to another element each time as soon as I had unlocked all the weapon skills for that weapon and element, and then switched to another weapon type once all weapon/element skills were unlocked for that weapon.

Even so it took me until about level 12 or 13 to unlock them all, NOT including the trident - I had only just finished unlocking all the fire skills with that.

On the other hand, this seems like a lot, but it would only ever be done once in the life of the character, and level 12 is nothing given that the cap is now 80 (I think).
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Old May 4th, 2012, 12:24   #4
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It would've been nice if they'd included weapon switching, just disabled it in combat. Extra effort to have to go into the Hero screen and swap things out all the time before an encounter.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 13:29   #5
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Coulple of notes on weapon unlocking:

1) Make sure your first weapon is fully unlocked in the starter instance. The spawns are rapid and the foes are easy to kill. It may take a little time but it's a lot faster than in the regular PVE world.

2) Decided early on if you're going to "unlock as you go" or "unlock now". If you're going to "unlock now" just stay near the beginning in the starter areas, lots of yellow mobs that are easy to kill and make the job easier. For "unlock as you go" the thing to remeber is that it's the weapon in your hand when the foe dies that counts. If you're fighting a for with 100 health (for example) you can do 99 points of damage with any weapon (attunement in the case of Ele's) and as long as you switch weapons/attunement to the one you want to unlock for the last point of damage, you'll get the credit for the unlock.

3) If you're in a zerg, make sure you hit each target once, don't concentrate on one foe. Hit the target/tab to the next/hit target/tab, etc. Until all have been hit. The zerg will finish them off quickly enough for you. You just need the damage it once to get credit for the unlocks.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 14:28   #6
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I've been playing mostly an ele in the BWE and I unlocked every skill in Queensdale by just attacking /killing mobs. When I went to Kessex only 1.5 earth skills and the water weapon not unlocked. I don't think it took much of an effort. If I went more swimming I probably could have unlocked half of the trident skills too. So if you focus on unlocking skills (which will be 48... 60 (!) skills) you're done at level 14 or even less. I don't think this is a slow progress

Just checked my screenshots I took over the time:
4 elements á 5 skills per weaponset, -> wand plus focus, staff, daggers
4 weaponset for elementalist available including the water weapon -> trident
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Old May 4th, 2012, 15:58   #7
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Bea what was the skill you liked the animation for? Was it Churning Earth or some Wind one?
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Old May 4th, 2012, 16:02   #8
Linoire Seven
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Somehow the dagger skills animation look amazing. You literally spit fire! It felt like you have been performing in a circus
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Old May 5th, 2012, 00:38   #9
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I really like the air spells on the ele.... maybe staff? I saw someone else doing it so I can't confirm the exact weapon/skills, but there was a neat overlap to their animations where the auto-attack was zapping an enemy and then one of the other skills fluidly laid a lightning strike right into the middle of it.

Gorgeous! And powerful feeling. The seamlessness of it gave me a real fan-girl moment.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 13:22   #10
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Let's see, I played 90% of the 27 hours or so of my time in BWE as an Ele

Loved it overall but the weapon swapping, as has been mentioned in this thread, was a real pain in the butt. Having to open your inventory and try and locate where the weapon you want is - is that the right weapon or is it the focus with slightly different stats, etc??? Totally annoying. Really hope they look for another solution. I do appreciate that with attunements it may seem like imba if you also allow weapon swapping, but the tedium of having to keep going into your inventory and try and locate the different combination of weapons is really, really annoying.

Favourite ele skills? I unlocked all skills bar trident (and obviously not elites) but my favourites included Ride The Lightening (which is just downright cool) and for 'wow' factor, Churning Earth, which takes time to cast but does huge damage output and lots of eye candy (spikes coming up from the ground in a large radius). Not sure I was ever actually able to use it but really liked it

AOE ele in PvP was trickier than you might think. Lots of LoS issues with trying to place AOE target outside castle walls, etc. Being uber-defensive because of your AOE skills sounds easy but in practice I didn't find it all that easy.

I heard the particle effects were nerfed on Meteor Shower which is a shame (though I can see where they're coming from) as I love that raw feeling of power you get playing Ele

I enjoy playing support roles so liked water attunements (healing). I didn't put any points into water, though, so my healing output wasn't great.

I am seriously thinking of rolling Ele as 'Toon One' for retail now, rather than necro. Though in fairness I haven't tried necro yet and am saving that for later as I always love playing them.

I did feel that there is a decent amount of skill required to play Ele well and with lots of versatility, esp in PvP (which I certainly didn't have) but that will be part of the fun of really getting to know and learn your profession on retail.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 13:32   #11
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Good Ele PvP video found by Scarto

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Old May 5th, 2012, 16:35   #12
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Wow it's pretty hectic stuff
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Old May 5th, 2012, 16:38   #13
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That video made me realise how badly I was playing the Ele in PvP

Just hadn't thought to spam lava font at all and yet it seems rather obvious to do so now!!

Watching that video has really given me withdrawal symptoms for GW2

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Old May 6th, 2012, 09:14   #14
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Watch how these guys crushed the other bigger team (they came from behind, but still huuuge wipe) from about 1:01:00 for the next 5 minutes.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 13:57   #15
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When you see videos of people that actually know what they're doing it is quite awesome just what is possible with a profession.
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