Greater Elementals (long, includes data)
What I see is a decrease in their HPs. My greater elementals under the old code (based on my HP and my mind) would all have had 148 HPs. I have created 13 greater elementals under the new code, with an average HP of 100 HP, in the range 67-126. My 81 mind hasn't changed, and the old formula was in part based on mind. I certainly did not expect a decrease in their HPs based on LadyAce's comments at that Q&A.
I've been told but they hit soooo much better. I never used them much before, so I can't say how they hit before. But over 13 mobs, and 38 rounds, this is what I've noticed. They miss 58.7% of the time. Well over half the time they don't land a hit at all. On one mob they missed 19 out of 29 possible hits. When they do hit they are most likely to hit extremely hard (14.9%) or massacre (12.9%). Their specials went off 25 times in 38 rounds, 2 or 3 times per mob. The mobs I was killing were level 50 (2 were level 40), and not particularly hard mobs, it's the run my surgeon alt does from just past level 30 onwards.
One greater air elemental died 3 rounds into the fight, another died in the 5th round. A greater golem died after 4 rounds, but hadn't been taking hits for the first two rounds. With two exceptions, the fights were all 4-5 rounds long (exceptions were 6 rounds, 8 rounds).
I find they have a high percentage of misses, they don't hit that hard when they do hit, and they die relatively fast - and this was on easy mobs, that most fighters my level could solo without benefit of a healer or self-healing ability. Perhaps some more tweaking (to at least restore their HPs to a similar level before the changes - based on a 40 con mage) is in order.
Old code HPs on greater elementals
- 62 mind alt - 104
- 81 mind alt - 148
- 91 mind alt - 162
Current code HPs on greater elementals
- 62 mind alt - average 71, in range 50 to 112
- 81 mind alt - average 100, in range 67 to 126
- 91 mind alt - average 128, in range 105 - 160
It is interesting to note that the only alt that created a bigger ellie under current code was the one with the -lowest- mind, although the highest mind alt did come close.
How they hit ...
62 mind alt - missed 72.7% of the time.
81 mind alt - missed 58.7% of the time
91 mind alt - missed 56.0% of the time.
Most frequent damage level ...
62 mind alt - extremely hard, 9.9%, massacre 8.3%
81 mind alt - extremely hard 14.8%, massacre 12.9%
91 mind alt - massacre 13.8%, extremely hard 12.9%
If you take out the misses, and only consider the times they do hit, about 2/3rds of their hits are extremely hard to massacre no matter what the mind. It is also possible that the 62 mind alt's ellies missed more because she was a lower level char by some 6 levels, so her charmies were 4 levels lower than the other charmies.
Highest dam level ...
62 mind - demolish, 0.8% of the time
81 mind - demolish, 1.9% of the time
91 mind - obliterate, 1.7% of the time
So the higher mind it seems gives you bigger greater elementals, although their average HPs are much smaller than before the changes (about 67% smaller on average for the 62 mind and 81 mind alts, and about 80% smaller on average for the 91 mind alt).
The 91 mind alt's charmies missed as often as the 81 mind alt's charmies, and most of their hits were the same, although the highest mind char's ellies did obliterate while the other chars ellies only demolished.
It really was an uphill struggle for the 62 mind char to test this, given her low mana, and low HPs on her charmies. This char was created to see if minimum stat creates were as fun as minimum stat druids or minimum stat surgeons, and at the moment, I'd have to say definitely not, she doesn't have a lot of strategies available to her with her current stats.
If you expect the elementals to be tanks, you're going to be disappointed. But if you use one of the tanks we can create, and let the elementals do their hitting, they're just fine. Some of mine were pulverizing the mobs they were hitting. Which were all 'hard' level 50s.
And yes, I've had them pulverize on my 3 alts, but not very often (about 4.7% of the time for the 91 mind alt, and about 2.5% of the time for the 62 mind alt). They miss far too often - about 60-70% of the time. I've had some die after 2-3 rounds - so they are on average most likely to land 1 extremely hard or massacre, and miss the other rounds before dying with their current HPs. If a one in three chance of hitting either extremely hard or massacring is a significant improvement, then I'm surprised anyone used them for their hit power before this change.
As for your suggestion that I need to spend another 200 mana on a gsummons my question is why should I need to spend 700 mana for 4 ellies and a gsummons to kill mobs that my much lower level surgeon soloes regularly, and that my even lower level battledruids have killed for much less mana cost.
91 mind alt.
tested over several repops - 15 mobs (including the level 40 one 3 times).
130 misses. 2 hit. 11 hit hard. 30 hit extremely hard. 32 massacre.
11 pulverize. 12 demolish. 4 obliterate.
Total hits & misses 232.
Miss rate 56%, most common hits were massacre 13.8%, ext. hard 12.9%.
81 mind alt.
tested over one repop - 9 mobs (including the level 40 one twice).
91 misses. 2 hit. 5 hit hard. 23 hit extremely hard. 20 massacre.
11 pulverize. 3 demolish.
Total hits & misses 155.
Miss rate 58.7%, most common hits were ext. hard 14.8%, massacre 12.9%
62 mind alt.
Killed each mob only once as I didn't expect this alt to do well on seeing
the size of her charmies. 6 mobs (one level 40 mob).
88 misses. 7 hit hard. 12 hit extremely hard. 10 massacre. 3 pulverize.
Total hits & misses 121.
Miss rate 72.7%, most common hits were ext. hard 9.9%, massacre 8.3%
As for your comment about wanting to solo PD, I believe I already said this is the xp run that my battledruids run in full from the high 20's and my surgeon runs from the low 30s onwards. None of these mobs are 'hard' mobs. Surely by the time I get to the high 40s I should be able to run it without (as someone suggested earlier in this thread) making a dedicated tank as well as 4 greaters.
I can't explain your pk experience, although I did this test after Ea! tweaked the damage downwards. Before that they seemed to be hitting considerably harder. It's not the damage as such that I am complaining about - it's their HPs. Each alt has had 3 of them die on this easy run (from full HP each time). For the 81 mind & 91 mind alts at 3, 4 and 5 rounds. (One of those 5th round deaths had only taken 2 rounds of damage as the mob retargetted to it). The 62 mind alt at 2, 3, 4 rounds. They die too fast on easy mobs, especially when you consider they are missing roughly 60-70% of the time.
(if you still doubt my figures you can watch me on this run and count the hits & misses yourself)
I made two comments, and one is a continuation of the first -- not a response to your intervening comment.
We'd rather make the set of charmies be a group of different options with strengths and weaknesses, rather than a 'useful' and 'useless' set. We're doing what we can to put elementals in a good position to serve that purpose, so that you won't end up with armies of homuncs."
...if you remove a few comments which were made while I was typing. The basic idea is that different charmies serve different purposes, they don't all serve the same purpose. Homunculi for porters, elementals for damage, angels etc. for taking damage. That's why if you say "they're low on hp" the response will be "but they do more damage"
And then I meant to continue (I hate the note editor!!) I hope that clarifies things. A live format like Q & A always results in some amount of 'conversation overlap' as well as 'gosh I could've worded that a little better if I'd sat and thought about it for 5 minutes, but I didn't have 5 minutes.'
Their specials still seem to do the same nonvariable amount of damage they used to, though the average damage of regular attacks may be a couple three points higher. As for how often the hits land: Against my naked doppel, they never missed. But when a sprite turned on me, its hit was blocked 4 times in a row. Special damage is still pretty nifty, though.
The changes posted indicate that elementals get more mana now. Unless elementals get practices, why should I care?
As for elementals having unique strengths/weaknesses, I agree with Craven's earlier post. It will be nearly impossible to see what they are. And if people don't know what they are , its kinda impossible for them to make any use of those differences. For all practical purposes, it may as well be another random affect.