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New Player Guides

Postby Shevarash » Sat Feb 01, 2003 8:52 am

Sojourn's Newbie Help Guides can be found by following the link below. There's lots of great information in these guides for new players - you may want to check them first before asking your question. :)
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Postby Todrael » Sun Aug 10, 2003 6:05 pm

These guides, as well as some additional guides not found on the Sojourn3 site, are also posted at my homepage in html format. My site has maps available for many of the hometowns and areas lower levels might travel to as well.
-Todrael Azz'miala, Ravager
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Newbie guide to playing an elementalist.

Postby Demuladon » Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:30 am

Todrael - a guide for playing elementalist.

Newbie guide to playing an elementalist.

By Demuladon
This guide is a product of Duergar Laboratories Inc.

Elementalists are one of the best classes for solo work because they have one of the best solo-defensive spell in the game - conjure elemental - which summons an elemental pet to stand between you and the creature you are fighting. As well as the ability to summon elemental pets at will, an elementalist has blinding and silencing spells, a number of medium-strength offensive spells, along with various embodiments and stone skin resulting in a class that is strong solo and useful to a group.

1. Starting Out
2. Spells
3. Exping
4. Zoning
5. Tips & Tricks
6. Acknowledgements

1. Starting Out

The Newbie Guide should first be read by all new players as it is an excellent resource.

The races that Elementalists are allowed to be in Toril are Human, Duergar, Grey Elf, Gnome, and Yuan-ti.

Average bunch. Good race-aligned. A benefit is that evil humans can group with anyone on the mud.
All stats are average.
No infravision so humans have a problem seeing at night, which can be overcome by the elementalist spells minor create torch, mage flame, infravision and fire fog spells.
Home town is Waterdeep.

Dark dwarves. Evil-aligned race. Tend to mutter alot.
Excellent strength and constitution, less than human intelligence and agility.
Ultravision innate so excellent night vision however duergar are blinded by sunlight.
Home town Gloomhaven (GH). Cross the river south of GH using the barge ("enter barge" when it arrives then "disembark" at other end) then ask a high level ele for levitate and waterbreath to make the short walk to the drow home town DK.

Smurfs gone wild. Good-aligned race. Win the award for silliest names in game - I once saw one named Hiyadiddle!
Second highest intelligence in the game, human constitution and decent agility, slightly weaker than humans.
Infravision innate, can see room names and red shapes at night.
Home town of Ashrumite close to Waterdeep.

Grey Elf
Sometimes carried by Trolls as field rations (elf burgers anyone?). Good-aligned race.
Excellent intelligence and agility.
Poor constitution producing the lowest natural hitpoint total of any elementalists in the game.
Grey Elves have innate infravision and outdoor sneak.
Home town is Leuthilspar, and new elves are stuck on the island until level 20.

Fun to grab and swing by the tail. Evil-aligned race.
A race of snake/human hybrids that exist in the far southern jungles of Faerun.
They have gnome intelligence and human constitution and strength, very good agility.
Infravision innate, and in addition, they have several other offensive and defensive innates.
Yuan-ti have no ears, and a tail instead of feet and legs, so they cannot wear earrings or leggings or footwear. They can however wear a tailpiece of some sort to help compensate.
(see Ssissu's illusionist guide for further Yuan-ti details)

My ideal elementalist would have perfect intelligence, agility, constitution and good strength. Since the ideal is (I believe) unattainable using the roller aim for at least heroic intelligence, mighty constitution, mighty agility and fair strength. Fair wisdom may also be useful since it is rumored to help with learning skills.

2. Spells

**First Circle**

Minor creation:
Keep 2 mem'd for free food, water, bags, boxes, rafts, daggers, wooden shields, as required.

Detect invisible:
Keep 3 mem'd. Always have DI up.

Earth darts:
For levels 1-30 earth darts are the best damage per unit-time spell you have. ie. other spells do more individual damage, but taking into account mem times Earth darts are the best damage. I found only after level 31 did Thunder lance become more time-effective than Earth darts.

Mage flame:
Always keep one mem'd since in some situations an elemental pet will stop obeying your instructions because they are nightblinded. Also, players sometimes need a quick mage flame for corpse retrieval etc.

**Second Circle**

Always keep 3 mem'd. Best low level defensive spell in the game, offering 100% protection against a large range of mobs - unless you're silly enough to type "vis 0" :)

Detect magic:
Keep 3 mem'd. Always have DM up. Will show you which spells are fading, and show which protections (eg fire, cold, evil, good) you have.

Ice spear:
Keep a few mem'd. Low level single target damage.

**Third Circle**

Locate object:
Keep 1 mem'd. Useful the finding locatable items, particularly rare load ones.

Summon elemental kin:
Good low level spell to begin practising pet control. Mephits can be used as ok tanks. At high level mephits can have substantial hps.

Dispel magic:
Always keep 3 mem'd. Best way to rid yourself of unwanted pets (after you make them consent you). Useful for dispelling blindness or other magical effects from yourself or group members (get group member to consent you first)

Air blast:
Keep a few mem'd. Low level single target damage.

**Fourth Circle**

Faerie Fog:
Keep 1 mem'd. Occasionally useful spell for ID'ing hidden lifeforms.

Keep 2-3 mem'd. Allows you to fly up/down. Will allow you to walk over water, and to move up and down through mountains without losing alot of movement points. Will stop you falling and taking damage in no-ground rooms.

Keep a few mem'd. Good low level damage spell. Seems effective against plant based mobs. Unfortunately based on spellcast invocation.

Ray of enfeeblement:
Useful spell at low levels to help cripple tough opponents and reduce their ability to damage your tanking pet. At higher levels better to spend time casting damage spells rather than attempting to Ray.

Keep 1-2 mem'd. Best way to solve the problem of aggro paladin global trackers is to send them to sleep.

**Fifth Circle**

Conjure elemental:
Keep 1-2 mem'd as required. Class defining spell.
There are a number of issues to keep in mind regarding elemental pet creation and control. I have listed these under section 5. Tips & Tricks below.

Thunder lance:
Keep 3-6 mem'd as required Thunder lance is only real single target damage option levels 31-40. Useful for removing protective mob protective magic like armor and barkskin.

This spell is meant to area blind for 1-2 rounds, however this spell has seemingly never worked for me in zone situation. Waste of spellbook space.

Always keep 1-2 mem'd. Teleports you to random room in your current zone. Great for quick escapes, traveling distances in large zones and crossing rivers. Combine with gate for escape from global trackers.

Keep 0-1 mem'd as required. Rarely used spells since elementalists should not be tanking. About the only placed I've tanked (on purpose) is Smoke plane when exping with elementalist/cleric/invoker group.

**Sixth Circle**

Stone skin:
Keep 3-7 mem'd as required. Superb defensive spell that will protect you from mob hits for a limited number of hits (excepting critical hits). Always have stone up while fighting.

Cone of cold:
Keep 0-3 mem'd as required for solo work. Ok single target damage spell for solo work. Unfortunately based on spellcast invocation.

Keep 0-2 mem'd as required. Great spell for silencing mobs. Long duration silence once you land one. Occassionally mobs will still cast while feeble'd.

Blizzard sphere:
Cold based area effect damage spell. Walking in the rain does more damage. Waste of space in spellbook.

Keep 1 mem'd. Useful for determining safety of relocate targets.

**Seventh Circle**

Ice tongue:
Keep 2-5 mem'd as required. Excellent spell for silencing caster mobs for 1-2minutes. Chance of silence landing is increased greatly if mob is hexed/cursed.

Dimension door:
Always keep 1 mem'd. Useful for rejoining group if left behind. Never Dim into a battle situation since you will be lagged after dim'ing.

Ice layer:
High failure rate spell. Attempts to bash a mob by having it "slip on icy floor." Works only if mob fails a roll versus agility. Rarely works even on mobs 30 levels lower. Waste of spellbook space.

Elemental water embody:
Keep 0-1 mem'd as required. Provides recipient with hps and waterbreath for 5-10mins. This is the only elemental embody that will work in water based zones, since other embody forms in water environment will cause damage to recipient. Water embody can be "boiled off" by for example, dragon fire, which will kill recipient if they are severly hurt.

Keep 0-2 mem'd as required. Use haste to increase group melee damage output. Is great for occasions where melee damage is only option (no-magic rooms, narrow rooms). Particulary effective on dual wielding rogues and dires/rangers.

note: elementalist 8th-10th circles have a large number of good and useful spells. You will be switching spells in these circles on a regular basis, dependant on the situation you find yourself in.

**Eigth Circle**

Power word stun:
High failure rate spell. If lands will delay mob for a round or two, delay casting, switching etc. Waste of spellbook space.

Power word blind (PWB):
Keep 0-4 mem'd as required. PWB can be used to permanently blind mobs your level or below, and to temporarily blind mobs higher than you for around 3-4mins. High failure rate spell, expect 1 in 4 (or worse) to land. Even at max skill level (spellcast generic=99) PWB has significant chance of failure against mobs that con perfect match - I once failed 30+ blinds in a row against a certain perfect match mob. Saying that - this is one of the most powerful spells in the elementalist spell list.

Keep 0-4 mem'd as required. Cold based area damage spell. Great for use in fire based zones like Fireplane and City of Brass.

Keep 0-4 mem'd as required. Fire based area damage spell. Cast these in non-fire based zones after lava bursts have been cast.

Elemental air embody:
Keep 1 mem'd at all times. Provides recipient with ac/hps/fly/haste/partial-wraith form/pfg/pfa for 5-10 mins. Is the only fly spell elementalists get. Excellent spell for solo work or in zones for occasions where tank doesn't need to bash, or is luring and needs bash resistance. Partial-wraith form provides something like 66% bash resistance, the bashers will pass through. Opt for high level enchanter reduce for protection-from-bash if available. Air embody is also good for taxi'ing non-caster characters via smoke plane when used in combination with gate and relocate (eg. useful during Corpse Retrievals).

Keep 0-4 mem'd as required. Single target damage spell that will damage all mob classes. Has a chance of disarming mob.

Earth fog:
Keep 1-2 mem'd if on surface. Spell will fill room with a dust cloud allowing dayblind character to see during the day on surface for 3-4 minutes. Dust cloud does not transport with character if they teleport or enter psi worm holes. Dust cloud can follow character or can be cast on room and be stationary. After casting Earth fog remember to immediately re-mem it.

**Ninth Circle**

Keep 3 or 4 mem'd. Good damage spell against creatures that "have blood". Doesn't affect mobs that don't have blood (eg. plantlife and skeletons.) If mob is hex/cursed etc earthblood has a good chance of paralysing mob for approx 1-3 rounds. After earthblood paralyse wears off mob will most likely switch to you so make sure you are stoned when it wears off.

Elemental earth embody (quest spell):
Keep 0-1 mem'd as required. Provides recipient with hps and extra weight and height for around 5-10mins.

Gate (quest spell):
Always keep 1 mem'd. Combined with teleport this is your "get out of jail free card" if you ever run into aggro global trackers etc.

Relocate (quest spell):
Mem as needed. Best bet is to relocate from smoke plane or hometowns since if spell fails you will be transported to random room in the zone you are in. Don't use relocate in zones or in dangerous areas, gate to smoke first. Never relocate into a battle since you will be significantly lagged after relo.

**Tenth Circle**

Lava burst:
Keep 2 mem'd if possible. Good fire based area damage spell. Seems to do about same damage as earthblood to up to 8 mobs in room. Can have after effect of further damaging mob each round afterwards (1-3 rounds) as lava drips off mob. Not useful in fire based zones.

Elemental ward:
Keep 1-4 mem'd as required. Protects melee types (and pets) from taking damage from mobs with fire/coldshield.

Elemental fire embody (epic quest spell):
Keep 1 mem'd as required. Class defining spell. Provides recipient with ac/hps/wraith form and fireshield. Will add more when i complete the damn quest.

3. Exping

Levels 1-10 are easy, 11 to 18 are reasonable, but expect a very tough time exping between levels 18 and 21. As an evil the drow hometown DK is a good place for levels 1-21. Elementalist exping gets significantly safer and *easier* (not shorter time, just easier) after level 21 when you get real elemental pets, and gets easier each circle after that with stone skin, PWB etc.

I was still using earth darts as my main offence well into high 20's. Using an air pet and earth darts it's possible to send pet on mob, then cast/flee earthdarts before mob switches since the cast time on earthdarts is short. Will help in the mid levels to find a "rich" exping rogue with lots of blind poison to xp with - the rogue can blind the mob and you have air pet tank. For levels 21-31 try exping at the Minotaur brownies just north of VT.

From high 20's to around high 30's Thunder lance becomes main damage spell. For these levels try Haven Port (HP) mobs for xp.

For mid 30's to mid 40's try exping at Meilich apprentices, the Spirit Raven (ship), Druid Sanctuary (DS), and Smoke plane. Might be worth saving Smoke xp until low 40's when you can use whirwind, earth embody and fireshield to tank mephits there fairly safely. You will need fly, pfg and take a cleric and some other damage class with you there, and your job on smoke is to use your 1000+hps (ie. you are embodied) and take alot of damage so the cleric can heal you for lots of heal xp. Evils can throw in some Gloomhaven settlment xp.

Mid 40's to 50th just zone xp or you can solo just about anywhere you can find a mob that gives xp. I found best xp at those levels comes from warrior type mobs since you don't need to waste time silencing. Good group xp can be gained at Underdark Driders for these levels, but keep in mind you are amongst the best soloer in the game so make use of it while exping.

4. Zoning

I have listed a number of issues for pet conjuring and control in zones in section 5. Tips and Tricks.

In a typical zoning situation your job as an elementalist is:
(i) To send pets as requested by group leader. Pets are sent for a variety of reasons: egs. (a) to engage an aggro mob while another character does damage to the mob, (b) to engage an aggro mob to lure mobs that are attracted to the sound of battle, (c) to engage an aggro mob to lure it to group, (d) to check a room for aggros. I normally "gsay sending" just before I send the pet to give people a couple of seconds warning. Sending the pet means sending it in leader specified direction.. eg "order follower north" if leader needs a pet sent north.
(ii) Keep main tank embodied as requested/required. The type of elemental embody you will cast on tank is dependent on the particular zone you are in. If tank has to bash use earth embody. If tank doesn't need to bash use air or fire embody (not on fire based zones). In the underwater zone SG use water embody.
Sometimes no embodiment is best, for example in Manscorps it is best just to have tanks reduced (enchanter spell) so they are protected from bash allowing them to rescue, and any embody (even air embody) will mess with the reduce.
(iii) You will be responsible for silencing (ice tongue/feeblemind) mobs as directed by group leader. As you grow in skill and experience you will learn which mobs you should direct silences at (eg. pit demon in muspel and UM). Don't silence dragons (unless directed by group leader) since it will force the dragon to use breath weapons rather than offensive spells.
(iv) Sometimes you can help out with a well placed power word blind - the high failure rate of PWB is offset by it's fast cast time so try PWB if you think it's required.
(v) Under certain circumstance you will be the backup stoner and/or elemental warder. If group has only one enchanter ask the enchanter which second tier group members he wants you to keep stoned. If you get no response from the busy enchanter glance group members and stone those second tier group members who are not already stoned (eg. illithids, invokers, rogues), then tell the enchanter you will be stoning those characters.
In a long battle if enchanter is too busy scaling tanks, make sure you keep the groups clerics stoned. If enchanter is neglecting to scale healers (bards, shaman, clerics) .. stone them if you can.
NEVER stone tanks unless group enchanter or leader specifically asks you too - if you stone the tank unasked you will mightily annoy the enchanter for one thing and you may cause a group spank.
(vi) If no Lich is present in some situations you may be responsible for warding and hasting rogues and other melee types. Keep in mind ward has a long cast time and if ward is cast during combat many battles will be over before you finish casting.
(vii) Occasionally if the gods have forsaken your group you will become the designated stoner and hence take on the ghetto enchanter role (see Jegzed's newbie guide for further hints on playing enchanter). Write or find a trigger set that will auto-stone off a glance.
If a large group has no enchanter and you are the stoner keep yourself, clerics and two main tanks stoned. Stone skin only lasts 4-5 minutes so you simply won't have time to stone the entire group. Get an enchanter asap.
(viii) Your *lowest* priority job in zones (though probably the most fun) is to help out with spelldamage where you can. Get confirmation that area damage spells are OK to use. Occassionally, in the right group and with the right circumstances you can "go to town" with lava bursts and other areas and pretend to be a mini-invoker!
(ix) In the long term aim to get yourself equipment that gives (in rough highest-to-lowest order of importance) extra hps, -20sv_spells, pfg, pff, pfc, fly, "good" AC, pfa, -20sv_breath, no-summon, slow-poison, no-sleep, sense life, pfl, and a no-burn container to help keep yourself alive while zoning. Perhaps more importantly than staying alive (!) the protections pff, pfc and pfa will help stop your hard earned equipment from burning/shattering in battle due to fire, cold and acid.

Some general zoning tips for newbies:
(x) Note that you should "toggle wimpy 0" in most zone situations, if you are going to die it is better to die where the group is located rather than some random place. If the group leader says a particular fight is fleeable then "toggle wimpy 400" or so. For a fleeable fight, after you are hurt stay out of battle until you are healed.
(xi) If the leader says "one spell then out," then it means just that. Enter the room, cast *one* spell at the leader designated target, then move or retreat out to safety. Use single target earthblood or whirlwind spells (depending on mob type) for "one spell out" scenarios.
(xii) In a zone group never loot items (unless directed by the group leader) since corpses will be looted by the group leader for splitting/dicing at the end. After the zone is completed and all are home safely the leader will ask for "bids" tell him/her which item you want. If more that one person wants an item it will be diced for, or sometimes the evil-race side will use the handout system. If you don't like the handout system then zone with leaders that dice. Looting coins in zones is normally acceptable.
(xiii) Never wander off from the group in a zone. At best you will die a quick death, at worse you will die and your corpse will not be retrievable. In fact it is best not to move at all while zoning - 99% of the time you will be following someone while zoing and if group leader says for example, "north" you will move when the person you are following moves. If you type "n" you risk moving 2 north (into possible danger) if the person you are following moves at the same time!
(xiv) Generally speaking you should only Mem spells in a zone if the group leader tells the group to mem. Exception to this is if you see all other casters sit and Mem then you might as well too since the group isn't going anywhere. If the zone leader says it's ok or you are familiar with the zone it may be safe to "mem out" during battle - otherwise play it safe and stay with group.
(xv) Almost every caster guide mentions this but it's important so I'll mention it again: keep at least 3 backup copies of your spellbooks in storage at your hometown. If you die in a zone grab a copy of your spellbooks from storage and start re-meming immediately. Stop meming and put your spare books back in storage before you are res'd. One 200page spellbook is large enough to contain all the useful elementalist spells.
(xvi) Lastly LISTEN to your group leader, try to follow their commands, and don't go Away From Keyboard (AFK) during the zone. If you really *must* go AFK gsay it to the group a couple of times, and say how long you will be gone. Remember, your leader is the one that's going to get you home safely (eventually!) and if you are AFK you may delay and spank the entire group since the leader can't make you enter a portal to safety. If you are unsure what is going on don't be afraid to ask. If leader doesn't say, and you are unsure, always ask "Are area's ok?" -ask it before each fight if you need to. It's my favourite question in a zone since I guarantee that there are other people in group who are unsure whether they should be casting area damage too.

If these zoning tips sound too much then don't worry, after a couple of zones you'll soon be getting the hang of it. Alot goes on while zoning and there's alot of information to process. Just do your best and don't worry to much if things don't go 100% right - while zoning, the whole group really is surfing the boundary between control and chaos. Just enjoy the thrill of zoning and have fun!

5. Tips & Tricks

Conjure elemental:
(i) You can conjure elemental type of your choosing eg cast 'conjure elemental' air to conjure up an air pet.
(ii) I always "order follower consent demuladon" after conjuring pet, which allows me to dispel the pet without it attacking me. When starting a fight with a pet always use "order follower kick <mob-name>" since all in room will see that combat has started (where <mob-name> is the mob you are fighting).
(iii) For most situations I find air pet to be the most durable, probably the only time this doesn't hold is if the mob you are fighting is fire shielded then a fire pet may be the most durable since it will heal itself on the fire shield. For situations that require a non-invisible pet, ie. in zones, I use fire pets since they are more durable than earth or water pets. In water areas you can only use water based pets. Stone and ward (if needed) your pets before sending them into battle.
(iv) Typically 1 in 4 pets will have good hps in the high range for your casting level.
At 21st level expect air pets in the range 100-200 and by 50th level expect air pets in the range 300-600. At 50th level I find on average that air/fire pets with 400 or more hps have significantly better combat survivability than those below 400hps. When soloing it is worthwhile dispelling poor quality pets and re-summoning a better one. In zones just use whatever pet you get, and try to get your pet vitted (and spelled up as much as possible time allowing) before sending into combat.
(v) Once you reach 6th circle make sure you are stoned before you conjure a pet. About 1 in 25 pets will be aggro to you and attack you as soon as they are summoned and there is nothing you can do about this. A high level aggro air pet can easily do 150hps damage to you in a round if you aren't stoned. Power word blind is a good way of taming aggro pets. In zone situation make sure you have "toggle wimpy 0" when summoning pets else you risk fleeing to an embarrasing death because your own aggro pet is beating on you. For the same reason, it is better to summon pets outside towns since town guards tend to side with aggro pets, leading to another type of embarrasing pet induced death.
(vi) Always dispel your pets before renting or camping, if you don't when you return to the game they will global track you and attack you on sight. I'm sure I once had a pet track me from near WD to attack me half a world away at DK fountain.
(vii) Elemental pets are neutrally aligned, which means mobs in some evil towns will attack them on site eg. Bloodstone. Elemental pets are safe in GH, DK, VT, BG and Ix.
(viii) If you "toggle follow" your pet will become aggro to you. When sending pets to engage aggro mobs in a zone, always check that they are engaged in battle before toggling them.
(ix) In no-magic rooms it can be helpful to have pet assist main tank to help out with a little extra melee damage.
(x) For solo exploration send pets in first, look in room for 5 to 10 seconds to see if anything engages them before entering.

Elementalist "ghetto healing":
Embodiments are useful for vitting tanks, but a friggin painful way of having to heal someone. Ghetto healing works by casting an embody on recipient then dispelling yourself. Embody spells have *long* cast time then after you dispel yourself embody spell takes 30seconds, plus the dispel removes all your current spellups (so you have to re-stone re-DI yourself etc etc). In short - it's possible to ghetto heal but it's slow and why bother when you can just take a cleric.

Final word:
An elementalist is not a first tier class in terms of Toril zoning. Try to keep yourself busy and useful to the group while zoning. Try to lighten some load off the enchanter, keep an eye on those stones for healers and the second tier classes, make sure tank is embodied correctly (if required), keep rogues hasted and warded. Don't groan too much if you are the only stoner in a large group (although I believe some muttering is allowable :). If you find a better way to do things and feel like sharing, then let me know - we will add your knowledge to this guide. I'm always eager to learn. Finally, an most important of all, have fun!

6. Acknowledgements
Acknowledgement to Ssissu's illusionist guide for format and some of the race details. As a final note - you may notice a slight bias towards evil-race side in this guide, which is 100% intentional :)
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Location: Monterey, CA

Postby Yarash » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:24 am

If you get lost in Scardale, I made a map.

- Mike
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: New Player Guides

Postby flib » Mon May 26, 2008 8:21 am

shev, that soj 3 link is broken

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