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What's wrong with the Tools trait-line?


SleepyBat.9034

What's wrong with the Tools trait-line?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think is biggest issue with the Tools trait-line?

    • Its traits are too niche.
    • It has too many underperforming traits.
    • The trait-line is fine but its slot skills (gadgets) are underperforming.
    • Tools has weak synergy with other trait-lines.
    • Its traits are not impactful enough.
    • The trait-line is fine but its slot skills (gadgets) are too niche.
      0
    • Its traits have outdated mechanics.


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The biggest issue with tools is the other traitlines being meta and you can only squeeze in 2 of them if you run the "mandatory" elite. I run it all the time in WvW... because I run core. But it's practically impossible to run it with any elite without sacrificing things you dont want to sacrifice.

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I wish there was an "All of the above" option, because the only one, that isn't true, is the lack of synergy, with other lines. Apart from that, everything is point on.

In PvP, they nerfed it really hard in 2020feb, since Holo at time was running it. Ironically they reworked Explosives in the same patch, which became one of the mandatory lines, if you want to do damage. Both the damage, and utility/survivability, that Tools brings, is inferior to Explosives. Static Discharge and Takedown Round, which is supposed to be the damage traits hit like wet noodle.
Kinetic Battery got obliterated, because A-net can't make Engage Holoforge a non-toolbelt skill, so Holo with F5+Particle Accelerator can stack it insanely fast, but the trait is pretty "meh", on anything else. Streamlined Kits, Lock On, and Reactive Lenses are pretty situational.
Streamlined Kits has a 20 second internal cooldown, and it triggers on the next kitswap. It can be useful, it can be deadweight. The 20 second internal cd also means, that if it is your only swiftness source, if you get corrupted/stripped, you are scuffed.

Ironically, during the patch, that was supposed to "remove" passive lifesavers, and nerf passive procs into oblivion didn't touch Reactive Lenses, so Engineer is the only one in PvP, with a passive stunbreak, on a non 300 sec cd. They also forgot to touch Streamlined Kits -> Grenade Kit as well, which can hit for up to 6k, as a somewhat passive trait. This give me the impression, that they either not 100% sure what to do with the Tools line, or give Engineer preferential treatment.

In PvE, the traitline kind of helps both support, and damage builds, but it isn't strong enough in either, to make it better than their respective traitlines. This isn't necesserily a bad thing, but it doesn't offer enough, to make core engi (the only spec, that could pick this) powerful enough. It is kind of okay for power builds, but it is horrible for condies. Imagine if Excessive Energy affected condi damage as well. That could bring the piano enginner closer to relevance. If it were bumped from 10, to 15%, that could solidify core engi, as an actual dps pick in PvE. Not that I'm complaining, it currently sits on 35k, which is more than enough for me to use it in raids/strikes.

Gadgets themselves are pretty niché, and Gatgeteer doesn't do much to some of them. For starters, the toolbelt skills are unaffected, since they aren't technicly Gadgets (unlike Elixirs, where the toolbelts acts as Elixirs as well, giving HGH insane value). In my oppinion, they (gadget toolbelt skills) should at least have the Gadget tag, and get 20% reduced cooldown, when Gadgeteer is picked. Slick Shoe, Utility Goggles, and Personal Battering Ram feels underwhelming, even when traited. Those three in general could use a rework of some sort.

Personal Battering Ram only sees play on Desmina, and in meme "pinball" builds, which are more of an annoyance, than an actually useful build. It's low cooldown toolbelt could be useful in a Static Discharge build, if the traits damage wasn't a joke.
Utility Goggles was garbage, got reworked, still garbage. It only sees play in GvG, and only because of the toolbelt skill.
Slick Shoes sees some play in some meme builds, because it is a CC, that has a stunbreak on the toolbelt, but apart from that, it is an another CC skill, when we have 2 others doing that, in the same category. (3, if we count Static Shock)
Rocket Boots is pretty solid, along with Throw mine, and A.E.D..
Throw Mine is solid, it had its place in decap builds in PvP, used as boonstrip in WvW, and as damage, with utility, in PvE.

tl;dr:
- the line has several incredibly situational traits
- some of the gadgets feel outdated
- the trait doesn't do enough for condi and support builds, to be considered. it is pretty good for power core

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4 minutes ago, SleepyBat.9034 said:

I have to disagree with you there, Utility Goggles is quite good, it does have a bugged tooltip and gives more protection then it says.

In PVP or WvW? Looking at it right now and it's giving me the proper 5s+ (says 5.75s can't say for sure that .75 is all there, but it's 5s when I hover after using).

 

Still pretty underwhelming for PVE. 

 

Overall I don't have much to add to what the others said.  Tools is "weak" because of what it's compared to more than it in itself being weak. You'd have to add a TON to it to compete with Explosions/Firearms on Power builds, and then what would core Power Engi look like?  I wouldn't mind some Condi love there though, competing with Explosions in that regard might be within reason.  Gadgets could use a pass, half are great, the other half VERY niche. 

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Med kit, Elixir gun, and Mortar are standard for healing builds.  Grenade is a must for all dps with bomb being solid condi or power and flamethrower being the third condi kit for most condi builds (not condi dps mech but still used for condi alac mech).  Flamethrower also has juggernaut builds if you’re feeling lazy.  Only the tool kit isn’t regularly used but it can still be pretty nice in PVP or for niche PVE.

 

Kits aren’t really a problem, other than some just not liking their design.

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3 hours ago, Dawdler.8521 said:

The biggest issue with tools is the other traitlines being meta and you can only squeeze in 2 of them if you run the "mandatory" elite. I run it all the time in WvW... because I run core. But it's practically impossible to run it with any elite without sacrificing things you dont want to sacrifice.

It's this.

Explosions is basically mandatory in competitive gamemodes due to Explosive Entrance and its sustain options. That leaves one traitline for the elite spec (also basically mandatory) and one to cover everything else. If it's a flamethrower build, you have to put Firearms there. Otherwise most will take Alchemy for elixirs & cleanse.

I run Tools instead of Alchemy because it's fun, but I know it's making my builds worse.

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43 minutes ago, Calen.8945 said:

I see people use  Flamethrower, Bomb, or Grenade kits. Not saying they can't be useful just that apart from a few skills, most of the line is never used, much like tools.

It's mainly a PvP kit due to its access to the single-target pull, the block, great access to cripple as well as confusion. In general Tools is a more PvP oriented traitline with vigor access, toolkit improvements, the anti-stealth trait and increased endurance regen. The problem is that it is too weak right now to compete with the options from Alchemy or Explosions.

One thing that already holds it back is that it is skewed towards power damage from the get-go. Excessive Energy is a minor power-only trait, Takedown Round is a power-only trait, Static Discharge is a power-only trait. In my opinion there is no good reason to pidgeonhole the traitline into power damage especially with Excessive Energy. Ideally the minors shouldn't already push you into that direction as the traitline as a whole is more about utility and skirmishing as a whole.

Excessive Energy could swap places with Adrenal Implant or Kinetic Energy to highlight the high endurance or toolbelt usage as core features of the traitline while not weakening the available power options, making the traitline more attractive for condi oriented builds while still allowing the same traits for power builds.

The elite skill cd reduction should go from the toolkit trait into Optimized Activation or Adrenal Implant as it has direct synergy with those and making it baseline with the former would make the traitline generally more attractive in competitive modes in conjunction with non-mortar elites.

Gadgeteer could/should also improve gadget toolbelt skills, the effects are honestly too weak for a grandmaster trait unless you slot full gadgets which is hardly viable for different reasons.

All of those would be fairly small changes that could already do a lot for making Tools a more flexible/viable pick.

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Where's the "all of the above" option? I'd also argue that Tools has weak synergy with itself, alongside weak synergy with other traitlines.

 

I wrote up some ideas on what I'd like to see in a reworked Tools traitline to better compete with Explosives and Firearms in PvE

 

 

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16 hours ago, coro.3176 said:

It's this.

Explosions is basically mandatory in competitive gamemodes due to Explosive Entrance and its sustain options. That leaves one traitline for the elite spec (also basically mandatory) and one to cover everything else. If it's a flamethrower build, you have to put Firearms there. Otherwise most will take Alchemy for elixirs & cleanse.

I run Tools instead of Alchemy because it's fun, but I know it's making my builds worse.

I wouldn't say Explosives is mandatory. I guess the main reason people run Alchemy with Explosives is because both of those trait-lines have good synergy with each other and 3 of our best stun-breaks are all elixirs. Tools does have its place though, just recently a guild mate shared a burst Mechanist build for WvW roaming that runs Explosives/Tools and it's very good for hit and run type play-style.

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15 hours ago, Endaris.1452 said:

It's mainly a PvP kit due to its access to the single-target pull, the block, great access to cripple as well as confusion. In general Tools is a more PvP oriented traitline with vigor access, toolkit improvements, the anti-stealth trait and increased endurance regen. The problem is that it is too weak right now to compete with the options from Alchemy or Explosions.

One thing that already holds it back is that it is skewed towards power damage from the get-go. Excessive Energy is a minor power-only trait, Takedown Round is a power-only trait, Static Discharge is a power-only trait. In my opinion there is no good reason to pidgeonhole the traitline into power damage especially with Excessive Energy. Ideally the minors shouldn't already push you into that direction as the traitline as a whole is more about utility and skirmishing as a whole.

Excessive Energy could swap places with Adrenal Implant or Kinetic Energy to highlight the high endurance or toolbelt usage as core features of the traitline while not weakening the available power options, making the traitline more attractive for condi oriented builds while still allowing the same traits for power builds.

The elite skill cd reduction should go from the toolkit trait into Optimized Activation or Adrenal Implant as it has direct synergy with those and making it baseline with the former would make the traitline generally more attractive in competitive modes in conjunction with non-mortar elites.

Gadgeteer could/should also improve gadget toolbelt skills, the effects are honestly too weak for a grandmaster trait unless you slot full gadgets which is hardly viable for different reasons.

All of those would be fairly small changes that could already do a lot for making Tools a more flexible/viable pick.

I'd say Tools is good for PvP/WvW Roaming. You're right about it being more of a power trait-line then a condition one which is a thing they could improve. Look at the traits that benefit from endurance gain, you get the Explosives trait-line (power) and Thermal Release Valve (condition), I think Tools should become the main provider of Vigor for Engineer, as it is you can get way more Vigor from Alchemy.

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I actually think the tools trait line is fun to play with, but it just doesn't offer nearly as much damage as explosives or firearms.  Tools does offer more utility/defense than the other lines, but not enough to make up for the damage loss.

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Tools should be completely redesigned to become true "class mechanic" traitline. Everything in it should be focused around toolbelt and Kits.
Streamlined Kits trait is a great idea, but bad execution. First of all, it should have a separate CD for each Kit. And effects it provide should be more impactful and interesting.

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Two things should happen. 

1. Gadgets given a proper balance pass and reworked to provide better utility. Associated traits moved into Inventions. 

2. Tools reworked to focus on toolbelts and kits. Traits can focus on buffing the damage, usability, or utility of kits. 

Here is just one example

Grandmaster Trait: Kit Prototypes

The 5 skill in each kit is enhanced. 

Corrosive Glue Bomb - Drop a puddle of glue that pulses immobilize, torment, and poison. 

Rejuvenating Elixir - Drop a healing elixir that heals when placed and pulses healing and cleanses and gives resistance to allies (2 seconds. 5 pulses)

Vent Smokescreen - Vent smoke from your flamethrower, creating a field of hot smoke that pulses blind and inflicts 3 burn stacks if foes remain for the full duration.  

Acid Grenade - Throw grenades which explode into pools of acid, creating 3 poison fields that inflict poison and minor strike damage on each pulse. 

Super Elixir Shell - Launch a mortar round that heals and buffs allies in target area. Protection, Resolution,  (2 seconds. 5 pulses)

Power Magnet - Pull in target foe and all adjacent foes within 240 radius. 

Infusion Grenade - Throw a grenade that heals and gives boons to allies and dazes enemies when it explodes. Blast Finisher. 

 

 

 

Edited by Kuma.1503
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I wanted to choose all the listed options and even add some... Basically everything feel wrong in this traitline.

- Optimized activation: 2s vigor... What a laugh!

- Static discharge: Nerfed to uselessness a long time ago and left rotting.

- Reactive lense: Nerfed to uselessness for competitive mode's sake even thought it's not even that good.

- Power wrench: The issue lie in tool-kit not feeling good to use.

- Streamlined kit: For what it does 20s CD is way to long (If it was 5s CD, it might be ok).

- Lock on: Anecdotic trait proc'ing a skill aimed specifically at stealth abuser on a long CD. Lack versatility and uptime.

- Takedown round: Again with the ICD, the effect is just bad as well.

- Kinetic battery: Just bad apart from the little synergy you got with scrapper.

- Gadgeteer: Gadget issue.

Mechanized deployment, excessive energy and adrenal implant are "Okish". They could still afford some buff.

The traitline also feel like it doesn't have enough of an impact on the tool belt skills as a main mechanic traitline.

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6 hours ago, Dadnir.5038 said:

Streamlined kit: For what it does 20s CD is way to long (If it was 5s CD, it might be ok).

Are you out of your mind? Are even trying to think about the consequences of that change? If Streamlined Kits was 5 second cooldown Engineers would have almost permanent Magnetic Aura uptime (4 second duration aura with a 5 second cooldown) or get 3 seconds of super speed on a 5 second cooldown.

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1 hour ago, SleepyBat.9034 said:

Are you out of your mind? Are even trying to think about the consequences of that change? If Streamlined Kits was 5 second cooldown Engineers would have almost permanent Magnetic Aura uptime (4 second duration aura with a 5 second cooldown) or get 3 seconds of super speed on a 5 second cooldown.

Or it can fart some gunk every 5s... Magnetic aura is strong, yes but that doesn't mean that all other effects are equally strong. For the majority of the things this trait can do, 5s is more than enough of a CD.

Or the devs can drop the fact that the ICD is shared for all kits and keep the 20s CD if you prefer.

Anyway, the trait as it is is just bad and it contribute to the fact that the traitline have little to no appeal.

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Tools is underperforming, other traitlines are just better. In PvE you take explosives+firearms+elite spec for every dps build. and alchemy+inventions+mech or scrapper for heal build. There is NO meta build that uses tools.

Tools should be the third traitline if you play core, yes you can do, but then you are inferior to elite specs. It needs a complete rework.

Tools should build around heavy improvement and benefits of using a lot of kits, improvement of toolbelt abilities, and overall utility and gadget traits.

Kit traits could give you benefits by using piano builds and kit rotating, straight improvement of numbers for kits only, and mechanics that just trigger when using kit skills often.

Toolbelt traits arent that bad now with static discharge, kinetic battery, and mechanized deployment. But static discharge is bad for skills which are ground targeted and bad with skills on long cooldown. Damage should scale with cooldown for that skill and ground targeted skills throw lightning at actual target. Kinetic battery is the same, it is bad when you have toolbelt skills with long cooldown. Example for new mechanic could be to build up 100% energy and the cooldown of a toolbelt skills give you percents of loading. Example: Grenade barrage has 25sec cooldown, this charges up new kinetic battery by 25% or even 50%.

And last is overall utility, maybe dodges recuding cooldown of all toolbelt skills by 2sec. Gadgeteer isnt a bad traits, its the gadgets itself which are underperforming. Excessive energy is a good trait, but should increase condition damage aswell.

There is a lot of room to improve tools, without breaking elite spec builds. Elite will still require to use explosives and firearms.

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