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Thread: A test: Earth Elemental tanking after patch #1.1

  1. #1
    Plane Touched Panduss's Avatar
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    Mar 2011

    Post A test: Earth Elemental tanking after patch #1.1

    Like many of you I had heard the rumor that the earth pet would hold aggro "better" now.
    Gut feel agreed.

    Today (aka post 1.1) I tried to find out just HOW well the earth elemental (fully specced Elementalist) would tank.
    This is a major issue for elementalists because other than the pet, the soul has little to no self defense / healing skills.
    We know the pet had good mitigation before but the problem was holding aggro and a tank without aggro... is not.

    So I went to NW Shimmersand where lots of normal lvl 50 mobs (and some insect swarms) hang out.

    My test subject was one of those fat earth elementals. Normal mob, 5000 HP. Nothing special.

    Test #1:
    - hit test subject with some spell. (Exposure, usually)
    - wait until Rocky has fired all 3 skills once.
    - immediately set Rocky to PASSIVE. (yes, seriously)

    At this point the mob was still at 95 % HP.
    I could nuke the subject down and heal Rocky without the mob even blinking at me.
    Rocky HELD AGGRO without lifting a finger.
    Perfectly repeatable.

    Test #2:
    Same procedure as above but I did not nuke the subject down. I healed.
    Using Quicken Elements I healed the pet for over 40000 HP.
    I aborted the test because I grew bored, not because the pet had lost aggro.

    Test #3:
    - set Rocky to PASSIVE.
    - hit subject with some spell. (Exposure, usually)
    - when subject arrived, manually executed pet's Earthquake AE taunt once. (pet never "attacked" the mob)

    In this case I was able to nuke to mob down to about 15 % before the pet lost aggro.

    Test #4:
    - set Rocky to PASSIVE.
    - hit subject with some spell. (Exposure, usually)
    - when subject arrived, manually executed pet's Thud (+aggro) once. (pet never "attacked" the mob)

    In this case I was able to
    - heal my pet for 25000 HP and
    - nuke the subject down to 17 % before the pet lost aggro.
    The 17 are quite accurate because the hits before where small DoT ticks.

    Conclusion 1:

    Based on this statistically insignificant sample, I can say that a single Thud or Earthquake will hold aggro
    versus you doing 4000 damage to a 5000 HP mob.

    Pulverize not tested but assumed to be on par with Earthquake.

    Conclusion 2:

    Tests 1 and 2 lead me to believe that the aggro generated through the different pet skill is additive and does not use vastly different systems

    ...beyond the obvious distinction of 2 of the skills catapulting the pet to the top of the aggro list.

    Conclusion 3:

    Healing the pet with Quicken Elements generates insignificant aggro.
    (seriously, 40k HP?)

    Healing the pet with other skills like Bloom or Flourish - not tested.
    It could be a "used skill" issue or a "healing any pet" issue.

    Final conclusion:

    Earth elementals can now tank.

    For "normal operation" it should be safe enough to take either Earthquake or Pulverise off autocast and keep it in reserve as a go to hell plan.

    I could also send the pet to engage the scorpion swarms. (6 level 50s at once)
    There I had to manually order the pet to switch targets because the AE taunt only hits 4 initially.
    Once all had been hit... same story.
    Burning Ground, Fiery Assault... AOE to victory.
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  2. #2
    Rift Disciple Uglybugger's Avatar
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    Nov 2010


    Quick question to satisfy my curiosity: How many points did you have in the Elementalist tree for these tests?

    I wonder how much less aggro the elemental will produce if you only put the minimum 21 points into the tree to get the Greater version.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched Panduss's Avatar
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    Mar 2011


    My gut reaction was "overpowered" but... think about it.

    To get to that point you're investing a minimum of 34 points into Elementalist, 24 (including Heal and Synergise) of which are "wasted" exclusively on the pet.
    That doesn't include the 3 points for Ashen Armour, which is borderline useful but up to personal preferrance.

    Can't realistically cut any corners there because for tanking, you want Planar Expansion.

    That does not include a single nuke or any noteworthy damage skill like Fiery Assault.
    You do get the root skills Channel Elements and Burning Ground, which are useful all by themselves.

    For a massive point investment like that you SHOULD get something good.
    Those 24+ points are worth absoloutely crappy damage output from any of your pets.
    It's basically one very costly defensive "skill".

    Now take a look at how expensive the other soul's defensive skills are.
    24 points should buy you Awesome.
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  4. #4
    Plane Touched Panduss's Avatar
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    Mar 2011


    Hmm, the question has merit.
    I had 44 points in elementalist for the occasion so Force of Nature should increase pet damage by 88%.

    If the engine considered the aggro component of the pet skills a form of damage...
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  5. #5
    Rift Disciple
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    Mar 2011


    I have had the same experience with my earth elemental after patch 1.1. I love how he can grab mobs and hold aggro on 3-4 while i aoe them down and maybe 1 comes after me. I respecc'ed to 32 ele/34 SC last night for a dps parse but found when i took it out to aoe farm soulhide i was staying alive a lot more often. Also, i think my quicken elementals heal skill was a bit buggy last night. I went from heals of 220 to now 700, but the pet would stop doing everything. I put in a ticket regarding this and will promptly hear back in 2 weeks (as is usual with Trion GMs).

    Still, I wish the air elemental pet had slightly more dps even after I give him skills to up his base dmg (I dont use Crystaline missile).

  6. #6
    Plane Walker Lyria's Avatar
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    Jan 2011


    The greater elly's aggro holding seems somewhat random, which makes thoroughly testing it annoying.

    I was out in Stillmoor running around with him (current setup for testing is 44 elemental / 16 archon / 6 stormcaller), and against single mobs I can't pull aggro off him now if he's fighting. That's good.

    Against groups of mobs (I sent him into the middle of one of the mathosian patrols) it seems more random. He was fighting the elite leader of the patrol, and all the other mobs were beating on him while I was tossing dots and spells at the elite and healing the elly, but the moment the leader dropped, ALL the other mobs immediately turned and beelined for me. He couldn't peel any of them off of me at all, even with his "force mobs to attack" powers, and they beat me to death pretty rapidly.

    Later on, I'd wandered deeper into the citadel, and was fighting an elite and two normal mobs. Same thing happened. The elite died, and the two normal mobs immediately turned and attacked me, and he couldn't pull them off of me at all, even with earthquake and pulverize "forcing" them to attack him (they didn't).

    So overall, I'm still not impressed with the elementalist tree. Oh, and there seems to be some oddity with lightning strike, too. I have the +5% crit from elementalist, +10% crit with air spells from stormcaller, +15% crit/damage with lightning strike, and a base crit chance with int and gear of 14%, so lightning strike should be critting about 44% of the time. It's critting at best once out of every 10-15. I'll have to test it on combat dummies to really test it thoroughly, but out of the 100+ times I cast it while out there testing my earth pet, I got barely a handful of crits. It didn't seem to be picking up any of the +crit% from any of my talents, just critting at the raw 14% rate.

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple NÓridhrien's Avatar
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    Jan 2011


    I have used an elementalist spec to solo/duo on-level dungeon bosses.

    Earthy holds aggro against DoTs very well, but any spike damage (from a marksman for instance) will immediately strip the aggro.
    ~Mjollnir - Dwarf Mage
    ~ NÓridhrien - High Elf Ranger (in your warfronts, hiding from warriors)

    Knowledge and sorrow oft walk hand-in-hand.

  8. #8
    Rift Master Tamanous's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Alberta, Canada


    Well for a necro:

    Zeolot: Keeps aggro through all my debuffs, dots until my first large dd. Good enough as by that time a single target is dead before it gets to me through my bolt cycle. Grace rot won't pull aggro but burning ground can but not always.

    Knight: I can't pull aggro off this thing ever. Only time a mobs pulls from this guy is if he dies.

    I have 14 points into elementalist but use necro pets . IC+LS+(earth bolt from Archon to proc IC) is my main damage spike cycle past instants.
    Last edited by Tamanous; 04-04-2011 at 01:27 PM.

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