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Engineer Shortbow Feedback Based on Use with Heal Quick Scrapper in Instanced PvE


Farwind.8016

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Hi, I've been playing heal scrapper with shortbow in Raids and Strike missions since the beta has come out, and had a pretty drastic change of heart towards this weapon.
I was really negative towards the beta, and after reading the skill changes I was very skeptical coming into the actual release. That changed during a XJJ CM pull where, as I sniped someone with a condi cleanse right before they went down, the weapon kit clicked. I've been having a blast with it since.

All that being said, I've got a bunch of feedback. Parts of the kit feel really good, and some parts don't.

For context, I have played shortbow exclusively in PvE instance content. I have done the following:
1 . Raid Wings 1-7 with Challenge Motes (CM).
2. Aetherblade Hideout (AH) CM, Xunlai Jade Junkyard (XJJ) CM, Cosmic Observatory (CO) CM
3. All normal mode strikes


What's Excellent

1. Animations and sound knock it out of the park. Skills 2-5 all look good and sound fantastic, and skill 4 deserves special praise on the animation front.
2. Skills 2-5 Feel good to use. They feel weighty and crisp. I don't feel like I'm fighting the kit, like I did in the beta.
    - animations, sound design, cast time, and flight time are all well aligned.
3. Tiggering Chain Reactions is easy and doesn't feel uncontrollable, like it did in the beta.
4. Skill 2 (Essence of Animated Sand) and 3 (Essence of Living Shadows) have great utility. There's been several times where sniping people with these skills have put a smile on my face.
5. having a dark field rounds out engi combo field access.

What's Okay but not Great (aka things I kinda shrug at)

1. skill 2's Chain Reaction is kinda lackluster. engi brings a lot of might across it's kits now, so there's no real purpose to this particular chain reaction.
2. skill 4's recharge time feels a little long.

What Could be Improved

1. Skill 4's aegis timing is weird due to it's fuse timing. it's applying after I think it should due to the skill's animation/sound queues. combining this with the recharge time makes using this skill to aegis certain mechanics a bit awkward.
2. There's no consistent sound cues for triggering *chain reactions*, if there is any. I'm guessing whether I triggered the *chain reaction* or if I was too late. This would drastically improve how *chain reactions* feel to use.
3. The 4 seconds to chain a skill is uncomfortably short, especially if you have any recharge time between your skill casts. Theoretically you could do 2 5 2 4 2 3 2 in a continous chain, I've never been able to pull it off. Increasing the time the marks hang around to the 5-8 second range would go a long way.
5. Skill 5's recharge time is way, way too long. Using the skill and triggering the chain reaction for CC feels great, but the recharge time takes it out of the game for too long for a skill whose primary purpose is CC, especially since you need to be saving 2 skills to get the full CC on a dime. The recharge time makes it bad against long-lived large defiance bars, and the 2-action trigger makes it bad against bars which require instant breaking. When you're playing heal scrapper this is your only at-will CC, and restricts usability of the spec on a lot of encounters, especially when there's some supports that have an order of magnitude more CC available, with lots of that CC being instant cast. I'd either reduce the recharge, make each circle daze seperately when the chain reaction is triggered (aka double the total max CC from this skill), or both.

Points 2 and 3 combined made me think the shortbow wasn't great when I did my initial testing on release, because of a combinations of missing the chain reactions and not realizing I'd triggered them.

What's Terrible

1. Skill 1 sucks. It does worse damage than elixir gun, brings a lackluster condition, and doesn't even have a 20% projectile finisher. It's worse than the pistol days on heal scrapper. There's got to be a way to make this skill have a purpose.

Random Grumps

1. having an ethereal field during beta was super cool. I was pretty down on the actual version during the weapon preview stream because of that going missing.
2. debilitating conditions are awkward to fit in with this kit. Specifically the trade-off to bring immobilize over other heal scrapper utilities is too high.
3. heal mechanist can't upkeep regen if you take shortbow over mace/shield. Because this weapon is very specifically not meant for use on dps support builds, that leaves only heal quick scrapper as a viable build in instanced PvE content.

TL;DR
1. skills look and feel fantastic to use.
2. skill 1 neither looks nor feels good, and is missing literally any reason to exist. Add a 20% projectile finisher at least.
3. skill 2 chain reaction isn't particularly useful with the heal scrapper kit.
4. skill 4 aegis application has a weird fuse time attached to it.
5. skill 4's recharge time is slightly awkward.
4. skill 5's recharge time feels really bad, and should have a much shorter recharge, higher total cc, or both.
6. marks for chain reactions should last a little bit longer, somewhere between 5-8 seconds.
7. chain reactions need a sound cue (and possibly a visual one).
8. shortbow doesn't work with heal mechanists' kit.
9. I'm really enjoying the weapon so far, which is suprising considering I was very negative coming into the release. Thank you guys for all the work you did on it!

Edited by Farwind.8016
clarifying I'm happy with shortbow in point 9
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One problem with skill 2 is the might timer does not align with the might timer provided by scrapper or mechanist. I use a combo with minstrel and harriers with monk runes so my boon bonus time is around 90%. My might uptime on scrapper is 30 seconds, but the bows is only 16 seconds while on scrapper. But as a mechanist my uptime is 26 seconds but the bow is only 15 seconds. I don't understand why there is such a disparity in uptime on that one.

Scrapper I definitely find the bow more useful to use than a mechanist though I think the cooldowns are a bit too long. I also think the damage could be tweaked up some since as many have pointed out the mace does more, and with a shield you have two opportunities to provide protection.

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1 hour ago, Coolster.2536 said:

I also want to add that 3s of Superspeed on a skill with a 25s cooldown feels really bad. It should be 5s, at least!

3s is just base for scrapper, it's 6s with 100% boon time. You can also stack it for more time, and the bow has two blast powers tied to it. So in a basic rotation you would use at least two gyros, those two attacks, and maybe to top it off, a function gyro as well since that is now part of our rotation thanks to baffling redesign of scrapper quickness buffing. One of your gyros will likely be blast gyro, and since that has a blast finisher attached to it that means you should be pumping out 4 sources of blast with the bow fairly quickly.

Scrappers also get inherent boon duration from power, so your quickness uptime should be more than the base of 3s. For me that's about 36% boon duration or giving me around 4 seconds. So using 4 skills like that you should start with around 16 seconds of quickness, and the CD on skill 2 is 8 seconds without alacrity.

Keeping quickness up on scrapper wasn't my problem, it was the lackluster damage on a weapon that has no real identity. The only trick it brings is the aegis, but the buff timers on the weapon make no sense especially for things like might and protection. Especially when you take into consideration it seems might and fury were the biggest things they wanted to give to these support weapons across the professions despite the ones they were giving it to had no issues generating might or fury to begin with.

It is also weird when you consider in the case of the mechanist, the one big hole in the toolkit the mechanist has (besides a rescue power) is the lack of reliable stability production. With only one power on a really long cooldown that provides stability, and barrier signet not, this is a major issue that the bow doesn't address either.

Edited by Ravenwulfe.5360
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1 minute ago, Ravenwulfe.5360 said:

3s is just base for scrapper, it's 6s with 100% boon time. You can also stack it for more time, and the bow has two blast powers tied to it. So in a basic rotation you would use at least two gyros, those two attacks, and maybe to top it off, a function gyro as well since that is now part of our rotation thanks to baffling redesign of scrapper quickness buffing. One of your gyros will likely be blast gyro, and since that has a blast finisher attached to it that means you should be pumping out 4 sources of blast with the bow fairly quickly.

Scrappers also get inherent boon duration from power, so your quickness uptime should be more than the base of 3s. For me that's about 36% boon duration or giving me around 4 seconds. So using 4 skills like that you should start with around 16 seconds of quickness, and the CD on skill 2 is 8 seconds without alacrity.

Keeping quickness up on scrapper wasn't my problem, it was the lackluster damage on a weapon that has no real identity. The only trick it brings is the aegis, but the buff timers on the weapon make no sense especially for things like might and protection. Especially when you take into consideration it seems might and fury were the biggest things they wanted to give to these support weapons across the professions despite the ones they were giving it to had no issues generating might or fury to begin with.

They’re talking about superspeed not quickness.  

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3 minutes ago, Jerus.4350 said:

They’re talking about superspeed not quickness.  

I am looking at the buff right now and it's 5s so no idea where he's getting 3s with a maximum duration of 10s. Unless he means bypass coating which is more for stun break not super speed.

Edited by Ravenwulfe.5360
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Well said Farwind, don’t really have much to add.  SB has been fun to play around with but needs a few little tweaks to feel right.  Would love something fun on the auto like every 4 autos it sparks a detonate so you can close loops if you take the time to chain autos.  Or anything else that’s interesting.

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1 minute ago, Jerus.4350 said:

Considering it's long cooldown no idea why you would use that for superspeed since it's a defiance breaker. Especially when again you got better, more usable options on your kit; Gyroscopic Acceleration

Considering it's the second blast in the kit sounds silly to be using it for just super speed.

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1 hour ago, Ravenwulfe.5360 said:

Considering it's long cooldown no idea why you would use that for superspeed since it's a defiance breaker. Especially when again you got better, more usable options on your kit; Gyroscopic Acceleration

Considering it's the second blast in the kit sounds silly to be using it for just super speed.

That's kind of becoming the thing with skills lately.  So many pieces that you prioritize different parts based on the situation.  Sometimes Superspeed is worth it, like say Primordus on HT where you probably don't need the blast for anything nor the CC but running out of that chomp faster sure is nice.

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4 hours ago, Ravenwulfe.5360 said:

Especially when again you got better, more usable options on your kit; Gyroscopic Acceleration

I've used it once or twice to give superspeed to people off stack, or when I'm not running Gyroscopic Acceleration in favor of stability. Even in that case though, you have a lot of superspeed tied to other skills in your kit.

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7 hours ago, Ravenwulfe.5360 said:

3s is just base for scrapper,

I was using Shortbow on Heal Alac Mechanist, trying to use skill 5 for fights where the boss moves around a lot (Ankka, Cerus splits, etc.) and I just found it lacking since there are weapons on other classes that give the same amount of superspeed for a lower cooldown

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Okay, did a Fractal CM clear as shortbow heal scrapper, got a little bit more feedback:
 

  1. T4's and CM's were very comfy minus 100cm
  2. 100cm had some struggles -- killing the side node in full harrier's was possible, but it required me to save my CC skills ungodly early. Like for the 66% and 33% splits I needed to basically not use my shortbow CC on any breakbars in the previous 20% of the bosses HP, or else I'd wipe the group by not being able to CC the side and kill it with mortar kit. I basically had to hold skill 5 only for the side. Next time I'm going to try and bring more CC via other means, but yeah, it did emphasize the skill 1 and skill 5 things I mentioned above.
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14 hours ago, Ravenwulfe.5360 said:

I am looking at the buff right now and it's 5s so no idea where he's getting 3s with a maximum duration of 10s. Unless he means bypass coating which is more for stun break not super speed.

Gyroscopic Accelleration in PvP at least has a maximum stacked super speed duration of 10 seconds.

Check the skill description by highlighting on it here...
http://gw2skills.net/editor/?PeQAIlRwcYNMIWKm8XatWA-DaIPjGlAZqA84XAAA

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