Quite some time has passed since the recent rework and you may notice the lack of Scrappers in any competitive modes, mostly since FoTM players lost their easy outlet to bunkering a point or sustaining a fight. This patch might have removed that build and overall playstyle, but it severely hit all other scrapper builds as well. I’m what’s best described as a “One-trick” player that only plays Scrapper.
With 100% of my games being only engineer and 90% of those games being exclusively Scrapper. Playing since F2P and buying HoT shortly after I’ve joined the PvP scene when Engineer was at its lowest, Nerfed Slick shoes, Sub-par Bulwark and Rocket Boots that only went 600 units at a 20 second cooldown. As time went by Scrapper received cookie-sized buffs and changes as I slowly grew better as a player.
Curating my own builds (You know when you see it) over the years I’ve climbed my way to the top 100 during the last few seasons with memes and dreams. From being the only Scrapper, to the ‘cool one’, and now to becoming the last Scrapper I’ve seen what a rollercoaster that Anet has given the class. This Essay is to showcase the current state of the class and how it interacts with the current PvP meta.
Lifesteal and Sustain
The previous iteration of Scrapper had two traits that provided passive sustain. Rapid Regeneration granted health per second if the Player has Swiftness or Superspeed and Adaptive Armor which granted barrier on receiving physical damage. These two traits allow scrapper to live out any solo fights if played in a decent level of skill. In most cases this causes issues in lower bracket PvP games where Players can't weave their damage in a Scrappers small gaps of weakness. Bulwark Gyro and Medic Gyro (Toolbelt as well) both made the now defunct Prot' Scrapper into the bane of Season 16-17 in PvP.
With the latest Rework brought the removal of both passives, and in return an always active minor that granted 15% of outgoing physical damage to a barrier. This focus scrapper more onto an offensive play style that encourages to actively smash opponents. Though this trait comes with a downside with -3000 Max HP; In theory a Scrapper would have to deal 20000 damage to regain its loss HP for 3 seconds due to barrier Mechanics. Reasonably speaking this damage output would be acceptable even in a solo fight but with the amount of weakness, protection and other damage reduction outputs would reduce the amount of barrier generated by a considerate amount. This loss of HP also causes heavy Condition Classes to burn their way in a laughable 14k HP and Power classes won't have to utilize another skill to burst a Scrapper down.
The new replace for adaptive Armor grants the old 20% Condition damage reduction but also grants 15% increase of incoming barrier. That's only 15% of the 15% of the incoming barrier (For a whopping total of 17~%) And without traits such as Recovery Matrix (Barrier on Heal) and Decisive Renown (Barrier and Superspeed on kill) this makes the once powerhouse Grandmaster Trait in generally useless state. Another negative AED now becomes harder to activate if the Scrapper deals any damage which devalues the offensive nature of the Heal skill (And its 2 second stun Toolbelt).
You can argue that Scrapper can just team fight to just multiply the Barrier generated but you must look out the amount of damage modifiers and tools that the Scrapper must engage a fight. In the last iteration there was a multitude of traits and provided damage bonuses such as Perfectly Weighted (10% Damage on hammer and Stab on dodge), Mass Momentum ( Might on Stability and 10% of Toughness to Power), Impact Savant granting 5% when Barrier is active and the hidden gem of Kinetic Stabilizers (10% when Stability is active and Stability + Superspeed on Disable). Scrappers who ran these offensive traits provided the offensive philosophy that Anet pushed with its newest rework.
With 15% Damage become barrier it's to note the number of modifiers that Scrapper must utilize it. Mass Momentum only grants might on stability, the new Object in Motion now grants a total of 15% Damage and Applied force grants 200+ Power when Quickness in active. Overall this is a is nerf considering the number of previous modifiers added to 25% + 10% Conversion whilst this total only adds to 15% + 200 power. Scrappers who want to utilize Applied force must obtain Stability from the (Hilariously small) Function gyro, Elixirs or Bulwark Gyro. Applied Force also competes with Kinetic Stabilizers, a massive Stability generation trait and encourages the scrapper to disable targets which now grants the old Impact Savant of increased outgoing stuns in place of its 10% damage. Old scrappers would know that 50% increase of stuns and dazes is negligible when you lack other methods of locking down an opponent or if they have any form of stun-break(s).
With 3000 less Hp, Scrappers are now shoehorned in taking defensive stat lines to make up the loss but must also focus on Physical Damage increase (Power, Precision, Ferocity) to keep themselves competitive in a fight or trade. This does make valid counter play but severely limits build options to a select few builds that focuses on sustained damage whilst defensive and burst builds fall short due to lack of raw stats and modifiers. Having less overall health also makes you vulnerable too classes that front loads majority of its damage and Crowd-Control. Classes like Power Herald (Which has generally countered Scrapper before) would find themselves on the winning end in majority of fights to the Scrapper’s inability to sustain itself due to the lack of damage output caused by Evades, Damage Mitigations and overall Interrupts that a single Revenant can apply in an open engagement.
With the recent changes to HoT specializations that focused on giving tradeoffs from core classes, Scrapper was hit with one of the harder changes. Druids, Chronomancers and other professions can be discussed on an essay of their own but its generally noted as poorly executed, scrapper isn’t an exception. In replacement of Toss Elixir X, Med-pack Drop, Orbital Strike, and Detection Pulse (A scrapper tool belt) came Function Gyro. This iteration was moved away from the Use key and has now loss 300 range, increase cooldowns (And more per target hit) and overall less health (Due to Scrapper having less HP). The radius of created Function Gyros is 180, which Is small than the radius of a Mortar projectile and just 50 units under a Hammer auto-attack range.
Function Gyro can also be used as an ineffective combat tool that, based on specific chosen traits can either grant Superspeed, Daze or Stability on a 30 Second, ¼ cast-time Elite Tool-belt that deals sub 400~ damage along with granting a lighting field. Certain Elite Utilities provided strong Toolbelt skills that made running a sub-par skill more rewarding. In this case skills like Supply Crate and Sneak Gyro both are in a indirect nerfed state when used on Scrapper (And hilarious considering Sneak Gyro is Scrappers’ Elite) whilst Elixir X and Mortar gun shine brighter and lockout more build options.
It's also now possible to completely miss Function Gyro. If the target were to blink or teleported to a Necromancer during your ¼ second cast-time, no gyros would be created. If a Gyro was created, it will not move in its designated radius even if a nearby downed target or ally is outside its Skill radius. Some cases the gyro would forget its existence and would follow a player that’s already alive in attempts to stomp or resurrect. This could be merely a bug and oversight but that can be said for this rework as well.
Conclusion and TLDR
Anet please contact players who play these Specializations, there has be statistics of who has been playing what on your side (I'm probably 70% of PvP scrapper games) . Even some of the older players like Chaith (OG Scrapper god) who would gladly provide feedback and input to these Changes, He himself was rather vocal on his streams about the rework as well. I know Balancing a game with effectively 18, and soon to be 27 Specializations and the flexibility in between but how to develop a game is up to A-Net but the players who play the game generally knows what's wrong with it.