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Tools Rework Suggestions


Coolster.2536

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Since the Devs listened to my previous suggestion about adding explosions to Jump Shot, I'm back again to offer my suggestions in order to bring Engineer's least used specialization up to snuff in order to better compete with Explosives and Firearms for DPS builds. The Devs also having recently said that they're looking to make specialization buffs in the August 23 patch and with a larger balance pass in October, I figured now's a good a time as any to post my suggestions and hope some changes can be made.

First, let me list what - in my opinion-  issues with the Tools specialization are. Tools is a traitline that does nothing. There's no argument you could make for Tools that the other traitlines don't do better. Want more damage? Explosives has 3 damage mods and Firearms has 30% Crit chance and a ~20% damage mod, while also buffing condition damage vs Tools' one 10% damage mod. Want to provide boons? Alchemy has concentration and makes elixirs better and Inventions has Experimental Turrets. Tools? Nothing. Want more defenses? Alchemy and Inventions has increased heals, barrier, condi cleanse, and protection vs Tools' auto stun break and increased endurance (which competes with making your auto stun break give protection). The only reason you take Tools is for Gadgeteer, and really only if you're using Rocket Boots. Gadgets having niche uses also hamstrings the viability of Tools.

Tools, clearly, is a DPS traitline with some defensive traits. My goal with these changes is to close the damage gap between Tools and Explosives and Firearms. With the way the damage mods work in Explosives and Firearms, I view these specializations to be more sustained DPS. Tools then should focus more on a bursty DPS playstyle in order to offer a different way to play when compared to the other traitlines. I also want to add a reason to use Tools for condition builds as well as rework one of the gadgets to be a "condi" gadget as well as make them more generally useful.

Without further ado, here are the changes I would make to the Tools traitline (and Gadgets) to make them more competitive:

  • Utility Goggles now has 2 ammo and cleanses 1 condition, instead of curing blind.
  • Slick Shoes renamed to Sludge Shoes.
    • Spray toxic sludge behind you, poisoning and confusing foes.
  • Static Discharge also applies 1 stack of Confusion for 3 seconds.
  • Invigorating Speed moves from Alchemy to Tools and replaces Power Wrench.
    • Invigorating Speed now grants 5 seconds of Vigor when you gain Superspeed, instead of Swiftness. ICD is removed.
    • Acidic Elixirs replace Invigorating Speed in Alchemy.
    • Tool Kit has 33% reduced cooldowns baseline.
  • Lock On: Controlled Analysis now grants 10 stacks of Might for 8 seconds.
  • Technical Jargon replaces Takedown Round.
    • Technical Jargon increases Confusion duration by 33% and increases strike damage against confused targets by 10%.
  • Excessive Energy increases Critical Chance by 10% while under the effects of Vigor, in addition to its previous effects.
  • Streamlined Kits swaps places with Adrenal Implant.
    • Streamlined Kits also increases your attributes while wielding a kit, in addition to its previous effects.
  • Gadgeteer now affects Gadget toolbelt skills, applying its effects to the respective toolbelt skill, except for Static Shock and Superspeed which now have unique effects. Increased the amount of Burning on Personal Battering Ram.
    • Static Shock: Transfers 1 damaging condition to your target
    • Personal Battering Ram: Inflicts 2 stacks of Burning for 4 seconds
    • Launch Personal Battering Ram: Now is an explosion and inflicts 2 stacks of Burning for 4 seconds
    • Rocket Kick: Increases range to 400 and gain Superspeed for 2 seconds
    • Sludge Shoes: Inflicts Slow for 5 seconds when it inflicts foes with conditions
    • Superspeed: Gain Resistance for 5 seconds
    • Detection Pulse: Gain Protection for 5 seconds
    • Mine Field: Plant a sixth mine at your location
  • Kinetic Battery now also gains a stack of Kinetic Charge when you launch or knock back a foe.

I think with this Tools is more in-line with Explosives and Firearms, and at least has some compelling arguments to use it over the other two. With Tools buffing confusion, condition Mechanists will likely use it over Explosives, while condition Holosmith will still prefer Explosives. Having the additional damage mod also brings Tools closer to Firearms' Modified Ammunition in organized encounters. Power builds will be incentivized to use their hardest hitting toolbelt and utility while camping a kit and while the target has confusion to deal heavy burst damage. With the crit chance, power builds could also run Tools + Firearms with Dragon's gear for higher burst damage (will anyone actually do this? Who knows, but more reasons to run Dragon's can't be a bad thing). It would also be possible to reach crit cap on Tools + Explosives builds, albeit with Accuracy Sigil or +Precision Runes/Gear. Buffing Gadget Toolbelts also makes them more appealing to use, since some of them are actually pretty good, just too niche. Rocket Boots and Personal Battering Ram will probably still be niche picks, but they are pretty strong in their niches. Throw Mine might be able to compete with Grenade Kit for the DPS utility in certain situations and Sludge Shoes should see play on condition builds, even if only on Confusion-favored bosses. Superspeed having Resistance will also make it a good kiting tool in PvP/WvW. I also buffed Kinetic Battery a bit since I felt Streamlined Kits and Gadgeteer buffs would overshadow it. I also added Invigorating Speed to Tools to give Kinetic Battery a bit more synergy with Vigor and make it a bit more QoL in open world farming. Putting might on Lock On was also to increase QoL since Engineer doesn't generate a lot of Might for itself very easily. Lastly, I replaced Invigorating Speed with Acidic Elixirs because it sounded interesting, and maybe someone would use it in a roamer build. Or maybe Protection Injection is always better in every scenario.

These are my ideas on how to make Tools a useful traitline, primarily in PvE but it also doesn't get used that much in PvP/WvW either. If you have any ideas of your own, please share them! Let the Devs know what you want to get out of the Tools specialization!

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Tools is obviously about the toolbelt and gadgets and stuff, I like that thematically. However gadgets suck so bad without their trait buff that this should honestly be the default performance for them. Most of all, I think there should be an elite gadget skill. I wouldn't even care if it replaced supply crate drop, which is so stupidly uninventive. 

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Gadget could receive some buff yeah.

 

-Ramming tool is good but the range is garbage. You have to be breathing the same air as your opponent to even use it. It should have a better range honestly. The beltskill is ok.

-Goggle (I never know how to spell that) is a pretty underwhelming skill. It's a breakstun that gives fury.... very meh. The toolbelt skill is nice against Thief and mesmer but that's about it.

-Slick shoes honestly is decent. A hard CC with decent duration and the toolbelt skill is a breakstun that gives superspeed. 

-Rocket boot is good as it is. 

 

I like kits giving additionnal stats, though I would give the grenade buff the the bomb kit and the bomb buff to the grenade kit. It would make more sense.

 

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On 8/6/2022 at 9:41 PM, Alcatraznc.3869 said:

-Goggle (I never know how to spell that) is a pretty underwhelming skill. It's a breakstun that gives fury.... very meh. The toolbelt skill is nice against Thief and mesmer but that's about it.

-Slick shoes honestly is decent. A hard CC with decent duration and the toolbelt skill is a breakstun that gives superspeed. 

-Rocket boot is good as it is.

Utility Goggles give Resistance, not Fury (and Protection when traited), but yeah, very meh compared to it's alternatives. I think it's actually decent when viewed in a vacuum, which is why I think giving it ammo and having it cleanse all any condition instead of just blind would make it compete better with the likes of Elixir U.

Slick Shoes is decent, but 3 of the gadgets are CC, and I feel you'd take PBR and Throw Mine in more scenarios than you would Slick Shoes. Which is why I'd make Slick Shoes into the "condi" gadget so condition builds have a reason to use a gadget.

On 8/6/2022 at 9:41 PM, Alcatraznc.3869 said:

I like kits giving additionnal stats, though I would give the grenade buff the the bomb kit and the bomb buff to the grenade kit. It would make more sense.

Honestly, you could switch their buffs and it'd probably still work out the same. The reason I gave Grenades power and condition damage was because it's a staple on both condition and power builds, and while Bomb is used on multi-kit condi builds, if you were to camp Bomb Kit, it's because you're playing Power.

Edited by Coolster.2536
less confusing wording
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25 minutes ago, Coolster.2536 said:

Utility Goggles give Resistance, not Fury (and Protection when traited), but yeah, very meh compared to it's alternatives. I think it's actually decent when viewed in a vacuum, which is why I think giving it ammo and having it cleanse all conditions instead of just blind would make it compete better with the likes of Elixir U.

I guess I'm an old man lol. I still thought the Goggles prevented being blind and gave fury. I dont disagree with your proposition however the "gimmick" of the goggle would be its relatively fast CD so if you give it ammo and allow it to cleanse all conditions, it may be a little too strong. I think 2-3 condi cleanse would actually be good enough to keep it as suggested.

25 minutes ago, Coolster.2536 said:

Slick Shoes is decent, but 3 of the gadgets are CC, and I feel you'd take PBR and Throw Mine in more scenarios than you would Slick Shoes. Which is why I'd make Slick Shoes into the "condi" gadget so condition builds have a reason to use a gadget.

That is fair, though I used to run slick shoes mainly for the breakstun + superspeed on toolkit. For PvP content it is often better than PBR and Mine. I dont mind turning the skill into a pool of condition however it should be something that could be proc several time as long as the target stands inside the AOE. 

25 minutes ago, Coolster.2536 said:

Honestly, you could switch their buffs and it'd probably still work out the same. The reason I gave Grenades power and condition damage was because it's a staple on both condition and power builds, and while Bomb is used on multi-kit condi builds, if you were to camp Bomb Kit, it's because you're playing Power.

 

This is just me nitpicking some stuff but eventually it isnt a big change. It is just for PvE, bombs and grenade are about the same for me but for PvP I prefer grenade hence why the change

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/6/2022 at 3:35 AM, Coolster.2536 said:

Tools is a traitline that does nothing. There's no argument you could make for Tools that the other traitlines don't do better.

On 8/6/2022 at 3:35 AM, Coolster.2536 said:

The only reason you take Tools is for Gadgeteer, and really only if you're using Rocket Boots. Gadgets having niche uses also hamstrings the viability of Tools.

So in other words your first statement was false? It does 1 thing better then the others. Mobility, but other then that yeah the other trait-lines are better.

On 8/6/2022 at 3:35 AM, Coolster.2536 said:

Tools, clearly, is a DPS traitline with some defensive traits.

I don't see why it should be a DPS trait-line, we already have two. I think it should be Utility/Evasion/Mobility trait-line. One that would pair well with Explosives, Inventions, and Alchemy.

 

On 8/6/2022 at 3:35 AM, Coolster.2536 said:
  • Utility Goggles now has 2 ammo and cleanses 1 condition, instead of curing blind.
  • Slick Shoes renamed to Sludge Shoes.
    • Spray toxic sludge behind you, poisoning and confusing foes.
  • Invigorating Speed moves from Alchemy to Tools and replaces Power Wrench.
    • Invigorating Speed now grants 5 seconds of Vigor when you gain Superspeed, instead of Swiftness. ICD is removed.
    • Tool Kit has 33% reduced cooldowns baseline.
      • Streamlined Kits also increases your attributes while wielding a kit, in addition to its previous effects.
        • Grenade Kit: +120 Power and Condition Damage
        • Bomb Kit: +120 Power and Ferocity
        • Med Kit: +120 Healing Power and Concentration
        • Elixir Gun: +120 Vitality and Toughness
        • Tool Kit: +120 Precision and Vitality
        • Flamethrower: +120 Condition Damage and Expertise
        • Elite Mortar Kit: +75 to All Stats
          • Sludge Shoes: Inflicts Slow for 5 seconds when it inflicts foes with conditions
          • Superspeed: Gain Resistance for 5 seconds
  • Kinetic Battery now also gains a stack of Kinetic Charge when you launch or knock back a foe.

I think these changes are a step too far.

The biggest offender are your proposed changes to Utility Goggles, I do not think making it into a Ammo stun-break is a good idea, especially when they are already quite good and you have a passive Lesser Utility Goggles and acts like a first charge already. We heard when Anet was showcasing the Armament skill type for the Bladesworn that they did not make the stun-break into a ammo skill because those have a history of being excessively strong. I think it's more balanced to have a single stun-break with a 24-30 second cooldown then 2 with 32-40 second cooldown.

I think what they need to do for Slick Shoes is make it knockdown more then once per opponent. I think Invigoration Speed does need to be moved/changes because it lets Alchemy get too much access to evasion which is a major part of the Tools trait-line. I think a 33% base line Toolkit cooldown reduction is too much when the old trait was 20% and Toolkit already has short cooldown utility skills such as a block and pull. The Lockon changes could also increase Fury duration. I would like to see them boost the duration of Quickness gained from Kinetic Battery by 1-2 seconds instead of adding more ways to proc Kinetic Charge. As for the stat increases from Steamlined Kits I think they're unnecessary for a Utility/Evasion/Mobility based trait-line.

 

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On 8/6/2022 at 8:41 PM, Alcatraznc.3869 said:

-Goggle (I never know how to spell that) is a pretty underwhelming skill. It's a breakstun that gives fury.... very meh. The toolbelt skill is nice against Thief and mesmer but that's about it.

I can tell that you've never used it so you shouldn't talk about how "underwhelming" it is. Anyone who has actually used it knows it gives Resistance, not Fury. It also gives good Protection, especially when paired with Lesser Utility Goggles. Trust me, Resistance is quite underrated.

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On 8/31/2022 at 11:26 AM, SleepyBat.9034 said:

So in other words your first statement was false? It does 1 thing better then the others. Mobility, but other then that yeah the other trait-lines are better.

Not really. It’s Rocket Boots that have the mobility, not Tools. Gadgeteer makes Rocket Boots better, but they’re already really good without it. Inventions also gives you 25% movement speed without needing to swap into a kit every 20s, while also reducing the duration of movement-reduction effects. Mobility also doesn’t have high value in endgame PvE since most bosses don’t move around significantly. If anything, speedrunners would use it to travel between bosses quickly and then switch to a different build, but that’s a niche scenario.

 

On 8/31/2022 at 11:26 AM, SleepyBat.9034 said:

I don't see why it should be a DPS trait-line, we already have two. I think it should be Utility/Evasion/Mobility trait-line. One that would pair well with Explosives, Inventions, and Alchemy.

Most classes have 3 “DPS” traitlines. Ranger has Marksmanship, Skirmishing, and Beastmastery. Warrior has Strength, Arms, and Discipline. Thief has Trickery, Critical Strikes, and Deadly Arts. Mesmer has 4 with Dueling, Domination, Chaos, and Illusions. Now Tools doesn’t have to be a DPS traitline, it’s just already set up to be one and I see no reason to change that, plus Alchemy + Inventions already have OP Utility. Evasion/Mobility could be interesting, though I think it needs Defense (which Alchemy/Inventions already do) to make it worth taking. Look at Retribution on Revenant vs Acrobatics on Thief. Some PvP/WvW Revenant builds use Retribution, but I couldn’t find any Thief builds that used Acrobatics, despite both being Evasion-focused.

 

On 8/31/2022 at 11:26 AM, SleepyBat.9034 said:

I think these changes are a step too far.

The biggest offender are your proposed changes to Utility Goggles, I do not think making it into a Ammo stun-break is a good idea, especially when they are already quite good and you have a passive Lesser Utility Goggles and acts like a first charge already. We heard when Anet was showcasing the Armament skill type for the Bladesworn that they did not make the stun-break into a ammo skill because those have a history of being excessively strong. I think it's more balanced to have a single stun-break with a 24-30 second cooldown then 2 with 32-40 second cooldown.

I’m trying to make Utility Goggles more competitive against our other Stun Breaks. Elixir U has 2 stun breaks and gives 2 stacks of Stability to ignore the next 2 CCs. Elixir Gun has heals, condition cleanses, and some cleave. Rumble is a Blast Finisher and gives Stability. Spectrum Shield reduces incoming damage by 50%. Shift Signet is a condition cleansing teleport. Utility Goggles cures Blind and gives Resistance, Protection when traited. I’d take Goggles over Superspeed or Bypass Coating (and Rumble in most cases), but not over the rest. We have many ways of getting Protection through traits and other utilities, and not so many other ways of on-demand condition cleanse or Stability, which makes those stun breaks higher value. There’s also the fact that you need Tools to get Protection and Inventions for the Protection synergies, but Inventions is weak without Alchemy. Now you’re at 3 traitlines. If you want an elite spec, you gotta drop one and which one do you drop? Tools. If you’re core, you’d probably want Explosives for better damage and sustain over Tools, which only has Gadgeteer going for it. By giving Goggles ammo, you can do some interesting things like burning one ammo for Resistance, Protection, or a Condition cleanse, while saving the other for a stun break, or burning both your stun breaks and being SoL for 30+ seconds. Is it strong? Yes, but so are a lot of our other stun breaks. 

 

On 8/31/2022 at 11:26 AM, SleepyBat.9034 said:

I think what they need to do for Slick Shoes is make it knockdown more then once per opponent. I think Invigoration Speed does need to be moved/changes because it lets Alchemy get too much access to evasion which is a major part of the Tools trait-line. I think a 33% base line Toolkit cooldown reduction is too much when the old trait was 20% and Toolkit already has short cooldown utility skills such as a block and pull. The Lockon changes could also increase Fury duration. I would like to see them boost the duration of Quickness gained from Kinetic Battery by 1-2 seconds instead of adding more ways to proc Kinetic Charge. As for the stat increases from Steamlined Kits I think they're unnecessary for a Utility/Evasion/Mobility based trait-line.

 

Slick Shoes was nerfed so it couldn’t hit more than once per target, and I don’t think reversing it solves anything. Throw Mine, Personal Battering Ram, and Slick Shoes are all Gadgets that hard CC. Slick Shoes only hitting once makes Personal Battering Ram better CC, and Throw Mine is also good Power damage. Undoing that change just makes Personal Battering Ram the worst CC gadget, and there still isn’t a good Gadget for Condition builds. Power Wrench reduction is 33% in PvE and 20% in PvP/WvW, I used the PvE value since it’s the default. Engineer used to have a trait called Synaptic Overload, I just thought tying that in with Kinetic Battery would increase QoL in open world since Engineer has a lot of launches and knock backs, while also making it a bit more competitive with my changes on Streamlined Kits and Gadgeteer by making it build stacks quicker.

 

On 8/31/2022 at 11:32 AM, SleepyBat.9034 said:

I can tell that you've never used it so you shouldn't talk about how "underwhelming" it is. Anyone who has actually used it knows it gives Resistance, not Fury. It also gives good Protection, especially when paired with Lesser Utility Goggles. Trust me, Resistance is quite underrated.

It used to give fury before they changed it in 2019 

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