|Click the photo for my Guild Wars review.|
Now, as an Elementalist main and nearly 2,000 hour veteran, I personally don't think half of these changes were even needed. I've never had trouble finding a party as an Ele, and I've never received any criticism as to my damage output. In fact, it's more the opposite -- I get compliments on my build on a semi-regular basis.
Maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm just a really good Elementalist. But either way, the buffs are here, and they are AWESOME.
One of my favourite skills and a standard on my default fire bar -- Glyph of Energy -- has received a significant boost: it now applies to your next few spells and gives you a boost to all your elemental attributes. The energy reduction on your spells has been nerfed, but that won't affect me at max Energy Storage, because the previous numbers were higher than the cost of any single spell anyway. This buff gives my standard build even more energy savings and a higher overall damage output. Classy.
The new doublecast mechanic is interesting -- it applies an enchantment to you and one targeted ally. The few doublecast spells that exist provide some great synergy with other classes, with Energy Boon being particularly notable for an extra health and energy boost to your party tank.
Shockwave has had its range, power, and effects expanded, which should make it a very interesting option in combination with Assassin shadow step skills.
Another of my favourite elites, Glimmering Mark, now applies its damage to the target and all adjacent foes, as well as applying a 3-second blind to enemies using attack skills. This skill was already a staple on my Air magic build for the Underworld (in which I applied Glimmering Mark to one foe and started casting AoE on his buddies), and this is a HUGE boost that will really help against the Aatxes.
Obsidian Flame has also received a reduction in its Exhaustion penalty, as well as having its cast time lowered by 0.5 seconds. This is particularly notable in combination with Glyph of Energy, which will allow you to cast Flame three times in a row for no Exhaustion plus bonus damage from the attribute boost.
One thing I didn't think much of at first, but I'm now lamenting, are the changes to Invoke Lightning and Chain Lightning. Previously, you had a conditional 10 Exhaustion if you weren't enchanted. Now, you get 5 Exhaustion no matter what. This means that the best spammable Air Magic skills (arguably some of the Elementalist's very best skills) have had their efficiency much reduced, and now should probably not even be used together due to the huge Exhaustion penalty. Disappointing.
An interesting casualty of the update is a reduction in damage output of other classes' armour-ignoring skills. The most important casualties are Destructive Was Glaive, which is a staple of Domain of Anguish runs, and Signet of Spirits, which was used on pretty much every single PvE party in any format. Apparently ANet felt that these skills were infringing on the Elementalist's damage role. It might result in certain PvE missions being actually a fair bit harder... without a good Elementalist.
So it's nice to see my preferred class getting buffed, and hopefully this will increase the demand for a good Ele. Most parties tend to include one anyway, but this'll really help out those Elementalists who were frustrated with their damage output.