A PRM build sounds perfect for you. You can start at level one, it has great aoe damage, and decent single target damage. If you go for defensive devotions it is very tanky as well. If you are interested check out this guide.
PRM is only at 1 because the build focused more on aether damage rather than elemental. Also it is boosted by +skills, so points aren’t really needed.
Distortion and Proliferation, as far as I know, apply to the initial fragment only. So each time the initial bolt hits an enemy, it will spawn fragments and have a chance to pierce and hit another enemy, spawning more fragments.
Ranged primal strike is a completely viable build, however I find that it is more gear dependent than PRM in ultimate which is why I recommended the build I did.
Personally, if I was going to make a PRM build, I would make a sorcerer. It has less HP than a soldier, just as much net OA, but overall more tanky. As for a ranged primal strike build, I would do an elementalist, but thats just me. I feel that demolitionist is the best current support class for 75% of builds.
This part interests me. How do you consider Demo tankier than Soldier? You get a chunk more HP, powerful passives that increase max health and boost resistances and regen as well as more DA due to higher Physique. Also war Cry, strong damage debuff, and a circuit breaker in Menhir’s Will.
Demo has Blast Shield, BWC-High Potency and Flashbang and that’s pretty much it for defense. All three of these defensive skills are conditional in one way or another, reducing only certain types of damage or are time-gated; compared to that Soldier’s tankyness is up 100% of the time. Demo has a lot more offense for sure but I see no way for a Sorcerer to be tankier than a Battlemage.
For an arcanist specifically, I’ve found demolitionist to be more tanky because Blast shield + mirror is 7 seconds of near invulnerability. BWC debuffs damage, and flashbang is always applied. I think on paper a soldier is more tanky, but as a demolitionist I am less likely to die. This is just my personal experience, it might be different for other people.
I see, I guess I just don’t see how a PRM sorcerer builds up damage. I’m playing around with a primal strike shaman now and I easily see how to increase my DPS, just get a better weapon and my DPS goes up. Also increasing lightning/physical also increases damage.
Where does a PRM build get additional aether damage from?
I guess I don’t really understand casters hehe
I may just stay with my shaman and add demo as second class however I don’t like the idea of being more gear dependant then if I went arcanist/demo.
You’re right that Casters can’t scale up their damage with weapon damage.
This leaves you with %Aether damage, %Cast Speed, Offensive Ability & Crit damage to scale up your damage. Arcanist provides all of these with passives, it is pretty much THE caster class. In the case of the Battlemage that FireBird109 linked, it also uses cooldown reduction and the proc on the offahnd (aldanar’s vanity, reduces all active cooldowns by 5s every 12s if you land crits) to have Fighting Spirit in the Soldier tree always active, which greatly increases Offensive ability and %all damage.