So, gentleman. Here we are. We ask ourselves a question that millions already know the answer to. What is wrong with our Turrets? By god, what isn't? We aren't here today to illuminate this fact. Heavens above, it speaks for itself, the corpses of so many Engineers, the scrap of thousands of useless peashooters. But we are here, my friends and compatriots, to look for a brighter tomorrow. A tomorrow where an Engineer can create a fighting machine. A machine that, in the right hands, can strike fear into the hearts of men. Not the actual fear condition, I'm not that dumb. Anyhow, the devil's in the details boys, so let's jump right in.
Consider the 6 kinds we have known to contemporary Tyrian Engineers. Healing, Rifle, Rocket, Flame, Thumper, and Net (peace be upon you Karl). Their underwater variants are essentially the same. Each serves a distinct purpose, as we shall now lay out.
The Healing Turret aims to create a location of reliable healing, and cure conditions. Focused, direct, admirable.
The Rifle Turret literally aims to deal consistent power damage on a single target in range. Overcharges of the past allowed on demand vulnerability and RoF increase, which further helps simplify and advance this goal.
The Rocket Turret did three things: AoE power damage, explosions, and a ranged knockdown. It feels quite muddled - what does it want to do best? CC? AoE damage? This Turret needs a more focused goal.
The Flame Turret, bane of 'nam. This certified American Turret is intended to burn any who come near it, no more or less, for a condition damage oriented Engineer. It's toolbelt skill reinforces this idea. It also could use smoke to blind nearby attackers, protecting either itself or the owner. Cohesive in theme and action, this one is closest to perfect as we have, perhaps tied with Healing. But could it be more?
The Thumper Turret, looking like a CBT device, is intended as well for CC through knockdown and cripple. Men fear those hard metal balls. It's range is weak, however, but has high HP for remaining alive as either area denial or keeping foes in your grasp. It doesn't synergize too well with other Turrets since stunbreaks are everywhere, and foes keep on you harder than the memories of your ex regardless.
The Net Turret. It could immobilize and stun, but not before your target ran 5 laps around you. Simple, clean, but hardly walking the line of effective CC. And why does it compete with Rocket and Thumper for CC? Much to consider.
The Supply Crate is merely a mashup of Rifle, Healing, and Flame. Arguably the most solid available choices, but not customisable, and not inventive - that alone should mean it is not an Engineer's skill. Spamming them out is annoying to fight and has no tact whatsoever. Needs to be replaced by an Elite skill that delivers on a useful and unfulfilled Turret dream.
We know what our subjects are, and their intended purpose. What else aids them? Only Experimental Turrets, in Inventions. A shadow of what the entire line used to be, this trait gives 4 seconds of a reflective bubble on placement, and boons every 10 seconds. These boons themselves suggest as well what their focus should be. We will consider that more as we lay out first the changes to the skills themselves, then the changes to traits throughout Engineer.
First, an overarching change to how Turrets themselves even work. The Tyrian Engineering Society formally abhors afk Turret farmers, going to far as to ban them, which led to the funding crisis, which led to the inquisition, subsequent civil war, and so on - fortunately, Turrets aren't competitive, so we won that fight. And here is our plan to bring them up to speed without encouraging brainless button mashing.
Bold problems require bold solutions. We henceforth remove autoattacks. As the gods from above told us, "1 button = 1 action." So shall it be. So are Turrets going to be meat shields that attacks pass through for some reason, not even rendering them effective meatshields? Well, let's fix that, so that attacks must have piercing properties to go through Turrets. Next, we shall give them ammunition skills, amount of charges varying per Turret. Once spent, either allow it to reload, or by activating again at 0 charges, detonate the Turret. Toolbelt skills remain always.
Next important step: add marginal stat scaling. An Engineer who knows how to armor himself should know, at least slightly, how to increase the toughness of the things he builds. An Engineer who is precise and powerful with bucketloads of ferocity should see some small return for filling his Rifle Turret with broken glass and his enemys repressed memories. Therefore, if base Turret stats are left as is, you will see a small buff in the direction of your highest stats. Clearly, this now means Turrets can critically hit. But it remains at base 5%, like players base, and scales poorly with your precision, and the scaling of all values depends on the Turret, for the sake of tuning and balance. If Rifle Turret gets OP, don't tune them all down. I will try to be conservative with the numbers going forward. As a baseline, scaling 0.05xStat seems appropriate until otherwise specified. Since conditions already use your stats, and Healing Turret as well, we are considering new scaling with vitality, toughness, power, precision, and ferocity.
Turrets can gain boons. They can be affected by conditions, so this is only fair. Using Purity of Purpose on your Turrets is an intended use case.
Turrets begin recharge for placement while active, but increase their recharge by 50-100%. This allows a patient Engineer to move his Turrets, but not a hasty one to spam them.
Detonations scale damage with power, at 0.5x, and can crit.
Turrets now will be doing unique things compared to each other and without any overlap. You go to Rifle for single target damage/vulnerability. Rocket for AoE damage and explosions. Flame for condition damage/blind. Thumper for AoE control effects. Net for single target CC. And my new Turret elite, Magnetizer, attempts to be a defensive Turret that retains some CC the original elite had on its stun. That is maybe not my best idea, you decide.
The Healing Turret
This one largely remains the same, but as no Turret automatically overcharges any longer, you'll have to press the skill again, then detonate. This ammo skill, same as the overcharge, will have no cast time to keep it fluid and ready to detonate immediately for the healing blast combo. Recharge of the single ammo charge is 20 seconds. This allows an Engineer to keep it up and decide the perfect moment to get that heal off, at the risk of course of it being destroyed. This Turret hardly requires a change. 30 second build cooldown. Remember, this starts cooling down immediately.
The Rifle Turret
This guy needs a higher precision modifier if he wants competitive single target damage. 0.35x. Not great, not terrible. Power at 0.15. If this Turret were a gear set, it'd be Assassins, compared to rocket, more like Berserker. The ammo skill will be its overcharge rapidfire mode, and it will have 2 available, the overcharge currently lasts 10 seconds. Recharge for the ammo, 25 seconds. Cast time of ammo, 0.5 seconds. Cooldown between ammo shots, 1 second. 60 second build cooldown.
The Rocket Turret
This Turret will identify itself proudly by its association with explosions and associated traits. It will not do any hard CC, and it's ammo skill will be 3 mini rockets coming out of the 3 barrels in that triangular pattern. Explosion radius 180 on each. Damage on each will be 1/3 of the overcharged rocket. You will have 2 charges for the ammo. Count recharge is at 15 seconds. Scaling: 0.30x power, 0.10x precision. Cast time, 0.5 seconds. Cooldown between ammo shots, 1 second. Toolbelt skill arc reduced significantly with increased travel speed. 70 second build cooldown.
The Flame Turret
The Turret spins around, spewing flame at 600 range and napalm from it's mouth, doing initial damage and 2 burning stacks, and leaving a smaller AoE smoking, pulsing smoke field that inflicts 1 second of burning and blind each second for the entire 5 seconds it lasts. Baelfire would be proud. Also 2 ammo charges, recharge of 18 seconds, 0.5 second cast time. Cooldown between ammo shots, 6 seconds. 55 second build cooldown.
The Thumper Turret
This Turret scales higher in toughness at 0.25x than the other Turrets. It no longer inflicts knockdown, but instead a short 0.5 second daze upon slamming the earth in its AoE ammo skill. Cripple remains to simulate trying to walk while experiencing a mini earthquake. This has 3 ammo charges, 16 seconds to recharge an ammo charge. 0.25 second cast time. Cooldown between ammo shots, 1 second. 65 second build cooldown. Toolbelt has cripple on it.
The Net Turret
This guy now will always shoot electrified nets, giving a 1 second stun, 1.5 seconds of immobilize and slowness, and very small damage. 2 ammo charges, 14 second recharge. Cast time 0.5 seconds. Cooldown between ammo shots, 4 seconds. 45 second build cooldown. Toolbelt skill has slow.
The New Elite: The Magnetizer Turret and Other Ideas
I considered long and hard what Engineer needed that Turrets weren't giving. If these changes are implemented, they now have reasonable sustained DPS when you need it, bit better as timed bursts, can sit and wait for enemies while you repair them, and you bet we're talking about toolkit later.
The first thing I know is I want is its effect from Experimental Turrets to be Alacrity. This means if you are nearby it, all your skills and Turrets do more Turreting, as well as buffing your allies. This is definitely something the Engineer doesn't have, and I don't expect more than 2 seconds of alacrity, since this is largely a Chronomancer boon. But it is a good fit. And remember, you have to take Experimental Turrets. Either Alacrity, or Stability, for uninterrupted ammo activation, would be fine. I prefer alacrity since Engineer gets tons of Stability anyways. And disabling a Turret Engineer should mean he's mostly helpless. Okay, so what is the new turret?
Magnetizer Turret - Ammo skill fires a magnet onto a target, pulling other foes to him. F5: Reverse polarity, instantly pushing enemies away from you. 135 second build cooldown.
Only 1 recharging ammo charge, doing as described. Takes 0.75 seconds to cast. Recharges in 13 seconds. This turret has simply above average toughness scaling, 0.10x, but is less tanky than the thumper. Inflicts a small duration of weakness and/or confusion on hits. Not really sure here without a baseline. This Turret should serve both power and condi builds.
Other ideas? I can expand on these later if deemed better.
Black Hole Sun - An asura gate drops in, linked to space. Sucks players in, deals lots of damage and explodes when someone touches it. No ammo skills. F5: Mini version of Stavemaster Adryn's black hole? Lmao. Not really a Turret.
Force Turret - Ammo skill fires in a cone, generating an ionic pressure wave that knocks enemies down or back. A trait decides this. F5: Fire 20? hammerhead bullets in under a second circularly around you, channelled, each doing a small amount of cripple.
Portal Turret - Ammo skill fires at targeted foes, teleporting them to a random nearby location. F5: teleport them 1200 range away by throwing a mini asura gate at them.
Laser Turret - Ammo skill fires a laser with traited color, causing a specific condition, and power damage coefficient. F5: White Light, that has white orbital lasers shoot down in a AoE that cure and heal you and your allies at the target location. Think Vigil Megalaser. F5 is essentially a better clone of Med Pack Drop. Or make it 'Infrared Pulse' to replace Detection Pulse which got deleted and is arguably better. Hard to pick.
Phew, we did it! All the turrets, well and accounted for. But traits. Here we go. And Tool Kit.
For Tool Kit, frankly, if the Kit changes here are done, it feels healthiest to let Kit Engineer be its own thing, while Turret Engineer goes its own way as well. Thus I propose Turret Repairs are no longer a part of Tool Kit. Chances are, your Turret is off cooldown anyways after a minute or two of fighting. We consider alternative repair methods.
Let the fun begin. I largely use what's already there and let turrets benefit. An easier patch IMO.
Given that we now let Turrets be cleansed and receive boons, we consider the following changes.
Minor Adept - Sharpshooter - Critical hits have a chance to cause bleeding. This now also applies to your Rifle and Rocket Turrets.
Major Adept - Sanguine Array - Gain might whenever you inflict bleeding on a foe. This now also applies to your Rifle and Rocket Turrets.
Major Adept - High Caliber - You have an increased critical hit chance against foes within the range threshold. This now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Minor Master - Hematic Focus - You have increased chance to critically strike against bleeding foes. This now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Major Master - No Scope - Critical hits within the range threshold have a chance to grant fury. Fury grants you ferocity. It now also works for all of your Turrets.
Major Grandmaster - Juggernaut - Gain might and stability while wielding a flamethrower. Might applied to you gains increased duration. This now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Major Grandmaster - Modified Ammunition - Deal increased damage for each condition on a foe. It now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Major Grandmaster - Incendiary Powder - Critical hits inflict burning. Burning you apply lasts 33% longer. This now also applies to your Rifle, Rocket, and Flame Turrets.
Major Adept - Over Shield - Shield skills gain recharge reduction and grant protection to nearby allies. Protection on you gains increased damage reduction. This now also applies to Turrets.
Major Adept - Automated Medical Response - All heal skills recharge when struck while you are below the health threshold. Turrets spawn a 2 second reflective bubble when hit below 25% HP.
Major Adept - Autodefense Bomb Dispenser - Drop a smoke bomb when you are disabled. This now is also deployed by all Turrets when hit by CC effects, on their own longer cooldown and a smaller radius.
Major Master - Experimental Turrets - You know. The reflective bubble is being taken off and moved to previous trait. Boons remain unchanged. Applies to up to 10 nearby allies.
Major Grandmaster - Bunker Down - Create a proximity mine and med kit at your location when you critically hit with an attack. This now is deployed by all Turrets upon their critical hits at their location, in a weaker form, with a longer cooldown.
Major Grandmaster - Medical Dispersion Field - A percentage of healing you apply to yourself is shared with nearby allies. Turrets take 15% less damage in the presence of their owner.
Tools (Tom Cruise approved)
Minor Adept - Optimized Activation - Using tool belt skills grants vigor. This now also applies Vigor to the Turret the toolbelt skill belonged to.
Major Adept - Static Discharge - Discharge a bolt of lightning whenever you use a tool belt skill. This now also launches a static discharge from Turret the tool belt skill belonged to.
Major Adept - Reactive Lenses - Activate Lesser Utility Goggles when blinded or disabled. This now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Minor Master - Mechanized Deployment - Just look at that name. Stare at it. Revel in it. Your tool belt skills gain reduced recharge. This now also reduces recharge of Turret building by 10%.
Major Master - Lock On - In addition to previous effects, Rifle Turrets can now Lock On too, with significantly reduced boon/reveal duration and vulnerability stacks.
Minor Grandmaster - Excessive Energy - Deal more damage while under the effects of Vigor. Turrets begin to auto repair when under the effects of Vigor. 5%/sec.
Major Grandmaster - Kinetic Battery - Gain Kinetic Charges when you use a tool belt skill. At maximum charges gain a burst of speed. Turrets gain charges with each Ammo skill used. These charges improve their damage by 1%, maximum of 5 stacks.
Major Adept - Glass Cannon - Damage increases when above the health threshold. A lesser form now also applies to all of your Turrets. (5%).
Major Master - Aim-Assisted Rocket - Striking a foe occasionally tags it for a seeker rocket. Your Rocket Turret can now also send its own weaker version of these when it attacks.
Major Master - Big Boomer - Gain vitality and ferocity based on your power. These bonuses to your stats affect your turret scaling.
Major Master - Short Fuse - Bomb skills have shorter fuses and gain reduced recharge. Gain fury when you strike a foe with an explosion. It now also applies to your Rocket Turret.
Minor Grandmaster - Shaped Charge - Deal more damage to targets with vulnerability. This now also applies to all of your Turrets.
Major Adept - Protection Injection - Gain protection when you are disabled. Turrets also will when hit by a CC attack.
Minor Master - Transmute - Drink a Lesser Elixir C when you reach a threshold of conditions affecting you. Turrets have their own version, with only 1 conversion.
Minor Grandmaster - Compounding Chemicals - Heal yourself when you grant yourself a boon. Gain increased concentration. Turrets heal 1% when a boon is applied to them, 1 sec ICD.
Major Grandmaster - Iron Blooded - Reduce physical and condition damage for each boon you have. Affects turrets.
So I think that's just about everything. It's possible I forgot stuff, so...
These changes strive to make Turrets more interesting, interactive, impactful, and profession defining. We gain plenty of strategies for Turret play, and each one stands on it's own as a good and purposeful Utility skill. I'm sure some things will not be perfect, but let me know what you liked or want changed. I will include a Community Changes section after this that I will update with good ideas. Do these changes lead to new and fun synergy across Engineer? Something broken? I want to make a golden corpus for Anet to use as the Turret bible. As I finish this, however, I am spent and cannot even read for proofing anymore. Thanks for reading.
Personally I think Magnetizer with new Bomb Kit would be dope.
Initial placement readies overcharges, a stronger version of the repeatable ammo skills.
Reload mechanics possibly with tool kit (maybe chances on crit or tied to tool belt skills)
Ground target deployable (300-600 range sounds fair, without teleport pathing)
Turrets being a sort of pseudo-Preparation skill in theme.
Turrets will begin an auto countdown when you are outside 1200 range, detonating at the end unless you return.
Turrets keep auto attacks but similarly go dormant when you no longer are specifically attacking a target.
Society either needs a turret rework or to free bobby schmurda and I wonder which comes first?