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Let's buff Tools.

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This is mostly in reference to instanced PvE content. Tools, in general, is a weaker trait line than its competitors, Firearms and Explosives. You can run it, technically, but it's very sub-optimal except under very niche circumstances (So niche, in fact, that I can't think of many instances where it fits). Before I go into suggested changes, I think it's good to go over a few details:

Themes of Tools:

  • Usage of toolbelt skills, or in the case of mechanist, mech commnd skills.
  • Usage of evasion, and keeping your endurance bar less than full. Also grants strike damage while under the effect of vigor.
  • Engineering kits and Gadgets.

Why isn't Tools used?
Put simply, tools is used only with a core-condi engineer, a very high-demand build that doesn't put out nearly the kind of damage you could do with either Mechanist or Holosmith. In terms of strike damage, it offers some options, but its competitors are elite specializations (which are just in general stronger than any core traits), firearms (which offers more than enough with fury to crit cap with straight berserker's) and explosives, which has stronger traits that offer more strike damage in general. To bring tools in any situation is a catch-22, where if you're replacing firearms you need to trade power for precision, ergo losing strike damage; or you replace explosives or an elite spec, whose damage bonuses are just better.

My proposed changes:
For strike damage, it's just a numbers game; most things just need better bonuses-- Traits that either belong to Tools or have synergies with its themes. I'll break this down into these two categories starting with...

Synergistic traits:

  • (Explosions) Explosive Entrance - As this is a trait that refreshes on dodge, the only issue is that its damage costs an evade, and the exchange could be better. As such:
    Base damage 332 -> 555; Power Scaling 1.25->1.5; Critical hits now increase EE's damage by 50%. (This might be too much, in which case dropping the latter addition, or just lowering the numbers a bit might be a good way to balance this better.)
  • (Holosmith) Thermal Release Valve - pretty weak in a lot of circumstances. Frankly, this trait could stand to have a lot of things buff it, but for right now, I feel like a great buff in general is, "Activates the trait Prismatic Converter once per interval (10 seconds). Vent Exhaust creates a single stack of Solar Focusing Lens after its effect. Vent Exhaust can now critically hit when above the heat threshold."

Tools traits:

  • Optimized Activation: Grants 3 seconds of vigor instead of 2 as Mechanist
  • Static Discharge: Base damage 88-> 150; Power Scaling 0.33 -> 0.5;
  • Streamlined Kits: Can now store charges up to 3 times.
  • Excessive Energy: Now grants +10% strike damage when over the health threshold (80% health). You gain +250 power and condition damage while under the effect of Vigor.
  • Adrenal Implant: Endurance regeneration 50% -> 75%.
  • Kinetic Accelerator: While under the effect of superspeed, your conditions deal 15% more damage.
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the traitline is super strong in any of the other game modes and outpaces the gutted alchemy traitline in wvw

while it would be a great addition they seem to not do a lot of competitive splits for pve/wvw as those seem to be linked on most traits/skill in the wiki

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