INTRODUCTION: GUILD WARS
Guild Wars is a unique online role playing game. It is like a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), but plays in a different way and is called a CORPG, standing for Cooperative. When in cities or in PVP, you play with other players but, unless you form a party, for the most part the game is played in "instances" that are yours alone (or you and your party).
Guild Wars is free to play after you buy it, and comes out with standalone 'expansions' every 6 months called 'chapters.' These chapters can be played seperately, or linked together for an expansive experience. The three chapters as of now are Prophecies, Factions, and Nightfall. Prophecies began with 6 core classes (Elementalists, Rangers, Monks, Mesmers, Warriors and Necromancers), Factions has two additional (Assassin and Ritualist), as does Nightfall (Dervish and Paragon).
Guild Wars provides consistently fun environments, is updated regularly and is a blast to play. It is also consistently reviewed very well and has won awards for its outstanding online gameplay for an outstanding price. Check it out!
For more information, please visit the official website: Guild Wars
Elementalists are one of the base 6 classes that Guild Wars started out with. They are long range spellcasters (as are mesmers), and are generally concerned with dealing out massive amounts of damage over a short period of time (high DPS or damage per second). Often elementalists are called "nukers," as they deal with large AoE (area of effect) spells often, though not exclusively. Defense wise they have some of the lowest defense armor, but can up their defense through skills, such as earth magic. For the most part, however, they are not tankers and should stay as far back from the fight as they can while still delivering damage. Elementalists are very versatile, and if you step out of the box you can create a wide number of interesting builds.
ArenaNet says it better than I do, I'm sure. From the official site:
"The Elementalist commands the four elemental forces: earth, air, fire, and water. With magic derived from the very foundations of nature itself, Elementalists can inflict more damage in a single strike than any other profession. There are as many types of Elementalists as there are elements and ways to combine them. Some Elementalists choose to study two or more elements to maintain broad discipline, though many prefer to focus on one unique element. Earth magic triggers quakes and volcanoes, envelops foes in solid rock, and can add to the strength and stamina of allies. Air magic is driven by the power of storms and lightning, granting allies greater speed or targeting specific foes with a focused, high-damage attack. Fire magic is often considered the most purely destructive form, inflicting searing pain and damage on multiple enemies. The magic of Water is highly manipulative. Water magic summons ice and mist to slow enemies down and blur their vision, inflicts freezing cold damage, and even protects allies from other forms of magical attack. The primary Elementalist attribute, Energy Storage, gives the Elementalist the highest maximum Energy in the game. This makes other professions that use a lot of Energy, like the Monk or the Mesmer, natural choices for an Elementalist's secondary class. Elementalists should never be at the fore of melee combat, but when surrounded they can tap into a full staple of handy area-of-effect skills just in case."
The elementalist has 5 attributes, one primary attribute and 4 secondary attributes. In Guild Wars, you can essentially be any two classes: One is your "primary" class, which is what armor and look you have, as well as what kind of runes you can use and which primary attribute you get. You secondary class has only the secondary atrributes of the other class, and compliment your primary class.
The elementalist attributes are as follows:
Energy Storage (Primary)
Energy Storage is your primary attribute and is something you should never be without. This ups your available energy, and you're going to need it, because some elementalist skills drain energy very quickly. Elementalists have the largest energy pool of any class, largely in part to this very important attribute.
Fire magic is where most of the high output damage and AoE 'nuking' skills come from. Their basic function is to inflict damage. These skills are great for PvE (versus monsters in story mode), but in PvP (versus other players in arenas) most people know better than to stand in an AoE while it is casting (which will be a while for some). Some are useful in both areas, however, so it is always best to experiment. Overall, fire skills are quite standard and good for beginners and veterans alike. This skills are often very energy costly.
Water magic is not known for its high damage, but rather diversion. Most water skills hinder the enemy in some way, such as slowing them down or making it difficult for them to attack. Water is great for PVP, but also has its uses in PVP.
Air Magic is known for it's spiking damage rather than AoE damage, and also for its ability to pierce armor defenses. Air skills can also blind enemies, as well as interrupt and knock down enemies if timed right. While not as universally destructive as fire magic, air magic can focus on one target and deliver large amounts of damage. Air magic is good for both PVE and PVP, where it is effective against highly armored characters such as Warriors.
Earth Magic is all about defense. With some spells, defense can be brought up significantly and the elementalist can function somewhat as a tank (though not always reliably). Earth spells are great for keeping an elementalist alive, as well as allies. Earth magic can also cause damage, can knock down, and can bypass armor defenses altogether. Earth magic is good for both PVE and PVP.
For a list of skills and their attributes, please visit here.
Here are some popular builds (skill allocation: unlike some games, you can only use 8 skills at a time, so you must choose wisely) for elementalists, should you want to try one. However, I always encourage new, personal builds. Do what you like to play and what works for you!
There are many builds to chose from, too many for me to list here. I recommend you check out GWOnline's elementalist forum. They have some great builds and discussion about the elementalist class, and is obviously constantly updated.
I am by no means an expert at elementalists! In fact, I'm not much of an expert at all. But I do love them, and want to share my love with all of you.
My elementalist is an Air/Earth Tyrian elementalist named Celesyna Aitan, and is mainly used for PvE. I love to spike and damage with my air magic, and throw up Armor of Earth to keep myself alive. In parties, many times I turn to earth wards and support, as air spiking isn't really necessary in some situations. In lower level missions, I generally keep my air magic because I love dishing out damage just as much as the next girl.
I'll put up a picture soon!
Here are some links to great Elementalist resources:
Official Elementalist Page
GuildWiki's Elementalist Page
GWOnline Elementalist Wiki
GWOnline Elementalist Forum