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Changes to Elixir Gun to allow Engineer to become a viable raid support


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Currently, between the tank and the healer roles, you have someone taking the attention of the boss, someone healing, and someone providing boons. For druids, healing and boons are the same person; for boon thief, tanking and boons is the same person. For chrono tank, tanking and boons is also the same person. One of the two roles has to accomplish two of the three non-damage tasks.

To replace one of these meta supports, either you have to do the same things, such as tank while providing full might and fury, or you have to do a single one of the three tasks but do it with enough DPS to justify switching some other DPS member of the party to another support role.

Scrapper is the obvious tank class for Engineer, with ridiculous barrier generation in glass gear that allows for 22-23K DPS, group damage reduction through bulwark gyro, the utility of stealth, and even a spooky self-rez every 30 seconds should it need it. We all know the benefits to the class in that regard.

As far as I am aware, that DPS is just shy of sufficient to allow another support role, depending on which it is, such as an alac-ren or condi quickbrand, to replace a dedicated DPS, for a net increase to group damage. Maybe we will get condition into barrier damage like we were promised, and we will have a 30K DPS tank—who's to say?

The other option to make Engineer a viable support is through healing and boons. Scrapper cannot heal at the same time as tanking due to the low damage output of harrier's gear resulting in low personal barrier generation, and it does not provide any boons to speak of. The meme build of a healer holo can dish out some decent fury uptime on static fights, and you can augment a druid's might output through HGH, but that's about it. Luckily, healing as a scrapper is trivial and it is super easy to keep people capped on health. If you want to, you can cycle between bulwark gyro, stealth gyro, and the med kit toolbelt skill for a few moments to catch your breath every minute, but personal healing is very low for us. Our outgoing sustain healing definitely needs no buffs.

So if we can tank but do nothing else, or we can heal but do nothing else, then I propose changes to the Elixir Gun to allow us to heal and provide boons:

Currently, EG1 puts weakness and bleeding on the boss. I would increase the cast time to 1 second, up from 3/4 second, and have it instead put 8 stacks of might on allies and 4 stacks of vulnerability on enemies, 5 allies/5 enemy targets, with a base duration of 7 seconds. That way, with quickness, you can put basically full might on your party after 2 seconds, and with 100BD it will last 14 seconds; this lowers your healing output by around 15% which is honestly an acceptable nerf to our, er, Med Kit uptime. Vulnerability on enemies would be somewhat insignificant, by intent: other classes in a zerg or in a raid comp already provide plenty of vulnerability just by existing, and it is one of the easiest conditions for a group to keep pegged at 25 stacks in a PVE setting, so I picked this condition to let the elixir gun feel like it is one of the boys.

Currently, EG2 puts swiftness on allies and cripple on enemies, at 3/4 sec cast time with an 8 second cooldown. I would reduce the cast time to 1/2 or 1/4 sec, up the cooldown to 9 seconds, and change swiftness to quickness, cripple to slow, with base durations of 6 seconds (obviously keep it to swiftness/cripple in competitive game modes). I would seek that EG2 be also changed to bounce significantly more between allies to apply this to everyone—something along the lines of the bounces made by Pistol 3. The reason for the high base duration would be to help Engineer get away from the current offensive metas of having to spam a skill as soon as it comes off cooldown for maximum effect, to the point of noticing a detriment for taking a few seconds to get back around to that skill. This would give you a few seconds to, say, finish casting med kit toolbelt, or to aim a throw elixir r for a rez because your teammate refuses to learn the mechanic, or to reposition yourself.

With 100BD, you would now be able to provide permanent might and quickness to your party, and the time it takes you to do so results in a slight decrease to your outgoing healing through Med Kit. This can be slightly ignored through EG5, Mortar Kit 5, and even a med kit toolbelt to account for the short lull. It adds depth to gameplay and brings total outgoing healing down a little more in line with other healing classes, though we do still notably lack a variety of burst healing options; we just have the one.

Since the only CC a heal scrapper really has is shield 4 and shield 5, and Engineer is accustomed to having 42 different ways to CC a boss at all times, I would also adjust EG4 to daze foes for 1/4 second on the second pulse. That way, in PVP/WvW, it is a little harder to daze foes with, and it is a very short time during which your foe would be dazed, but it still works fine on a PVE defiance bar. Asking for a lot, I would seek a poison or ethereal field out of it, but just adding a daze would be plenty helpful.

Overall these changes would result in a more balanced healer instead of one that is so overpowered in one aspect of support that it can do nothing else, and these changes would give viability to the support engineer in a raid setting.

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