Engineer Turret Ideas

All of the following is my opinion and each idea for change stands on its own I do not expect to see any or all of these changes at once just something I think would help the Engineer class without overpowering it.

So over the last Beta Weekend Event I felt the general agreement from those around me was that the Engineer was one of the weakest class this beta. Excluding bugs like Blunderbuss failing to hit your target that is immobilized the Engineer was caught in such a middle ground it seemed to be lacking everywhere. From what ArenaNet has stated it can be assumed the Engineer is designed to be a support profession that is able to do some damage either conditional or direct while having access to weapon kits, elixirs, turrets, and gadgets that allow the Engineer to do a bit of everything.

My biggest problem with the Engineer is their Turrets. Turrets are very weak and easy to counter if you come across them in PvP, you can either walk out of their range or just kill them since they don’t have a very large HP pool. In PvE you are never just standing in one spot and if you place a Turret down kill your enemy and then move you have to wait for your cooldown to finish before you can place the Turret back down. Buffing the turrets however is not as simple as giving them that extra damage or a larger HP pool because that could lead into a lot of unnecessary patches to get the numbers just right. One of my ideas for a Turret fix is I think the Turrets should become the Signets for the Engineer class. Signets are available for every profession except the Engineer so my idea is since the toolbelt skills are just Place here/Detonate for Turrets and they are an easy counter let them give us a passive buff when they are not on the ground or off cooldown.

I’ll start with Healing Turret since it really is the most straight forward change. While Healing Turret is not on cooldown and is stored on your back you gain a passive regenerative buff that would be a little weaker than the Warrior’s Healing Signet or the Guardians Virtue of Resolve.

Rifle Turret would provide an increase to Precision.

Net Turret would provide an increased Toughness.

Flame Turret would provide an increased Conditional Damage.

Thumper Turret would provide an increase to Power.

Rocket Turret would provide the buff Fury.

Now maybe the Turret Signets are a dry idea to you and you fear it will just make the Engineer a copy of every other profession out there. Then here is where I propose my next idea for change to the Turrets and this is focusing on the self-destruct aspect. At the moment the self-destruct is either a ranged “turret retrieval” or a “deal some damage before it’s killed”. What I propose is adding an additional effect to self-destruct for each turret to give them an added use in combat.

I’ll start with the Healing Turret like before and when you use Detonate Healing Turret it gives off the same cross class combination as Water and Blast Finisher creating an area of effect healing.

Detonate Rifle Turret will cause an Area Weakness effect.

Detonate Net Turret will cause Immobilization to all nearby foes within a certain radius.

Detonate Flame Turret will cause an Area Blindness.

Detonate Thumper Turret will cause nearby allies to gain Stability.

Detonate Rocket Turret will give allies nearby three stacks of Might.

The final change I would suggest adding onto one of the changes I talked about above is that if I decide to pick up my turret instead of letting it get killed or me detonating it there should be a reduced cooldown or be no cooldown at all.

Regardless of my ideas it will be interesting to see what ArenaNet has in store for the Engineer though the next Beta Weekend Event and launch.

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Engineer Skills BWE 6/8-6/10

All skills at level 80 PvP Character
From the BWE2 6/8/12-6/10/12
LEGEND
Skill Name
Skill Requirement (Toolbelt)
Description
Statistics of skills
Because kits change your weapon skills, they will look like this
Kit Name
Kit Description
Kit Skill 1
Kit Skill 1 description
Skill 1 stats

Traits work differently, you have 3 Minors where you have no choice but to get them, and then you have 3 choice slots with a lot of different options.
Trait Tree
Rank
Trait Name
Trait Description
Passive traits are stats you gain for placing trait points into the various trees.
Mine Kit’s skills change based on if the mine is deployed or not.  All 5 skills throw out a land mine, but once it is out, it turns into detonate, allowing you to detonate your mines.

ALL STATS ARE WITHOUT ANY TRAITS ACTIVE

Pistol
Main Hand
Explosive Shot
Fires a shot that explodes on impact, bleeding nearby foes.
Damage: 158
Area of Effect: 10 Feet
Bleed (4s) -197 Damage over time
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile (20% chance)
Range: 900

Poison Dart Volley
Fire a volley of darts that poison foes.
Cooldown 10s
Damage: 130
Poison (2s) – 1197 Health, -33% Reduced Healing
Number of Darts: 5
Range: 900

Static Shot
Discharge a lightning shot that blinds your target and confuses each subsequent foe it hits.
Cooldown 15s
Blindness (3s) Next outgoing attack misses
Confusion (3s) -90 Damage, 1,228 health per skill used
Maximum Targets: 4
Range: 900

Off Hand
Blow Torch
Unleash flames from your pistol to burn foes.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 68
Within 15 feet(9s): -3,290 Health
Within 30 feet(6s): -2,193 Health
Within 45 feet(3s): -1,097 Health
Range: 600

Glue Shot
Coat the target area with a glue puddle that immobilizes foes.
Cooldown 30s
Immobilize (1s): Unable to move
Glue puddle duration: 6s
Glue puddle radius: 20 Feet
Range: 600

Rifle
Hip Shot
Deliver a quick rifle shot from the hip.
Damage: 227
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile (20% chance)
Range: 1,000

Net Shot
Immobilize foes with a net shot.
Cooldown 10s
Immobilize (2s) unable to move
Range: 1,000

Blunderbuss
Fire a cloud of shrapnel that causes more damage the closer you are to your foe.
Cooldown 10s
Within 8 feet: 907
Within 16 feet: 794
Within 24 feet: 681
Within 32 feet: 567
Range: 400

Overcharged Shot
Fire a blast so strong it launches your foe as you fall backward.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 581
Enemy launch distance 450
Self knockback distance 300
Range: 400

Jump Shot
Blast the ground, damaging nearby foes and leaping to your target.
Cooldown 20s
Leap Damage: 697
Landing damage: 681
Blast Radius: 10 Feet
Combo Finisher: Leap
Range: 700

Shield
Magnetic Field
Create a magnetic field that reflects projectiles and can be released to push back foes.
Cooldown 35s
Damage: 91
Knockback: 300

Static Shield
Electrify your shield, preparing to throw it at foes.  If you are hit, the shield discharges, stunning your attacker.
Cooldown 40s
Stun 3s
Harpoon Gun
Homing Torpedo
Fire a shot that homes in on your foes.
Damage: 395
Range: 1,000

Scatter Mines
Shoot out a spread of remote-detonated mines.
Cooldown 5s
Damage: 1,776
Range: 1,000

Retreating Grapple
Retreat while firing a grappling line at your foe,  then pull them toward you.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 250
Retreat Distance: 545 Feet
Pull Distance: 600 Feet
Range: 1,000

Timed Charge
Fire a timed charge at your target, damaging nearby foes when it detonates.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 790
Explosion Damage: 592
Range: 1,000

Net Wall
Launch a deployable net wall to immobilize foes caught within.
Cooldown 25s
Immobilize (3s): Unable to move

Healing

Elixir H
Elixir: Drink Elixir H, healing yourself and randomly gaining Protection, Regeneration, or
Swiftness.
Cooldown 30s
Healing: 120
Regen (10s): +1,250 Health regen
Protection (5s): 33% damage reduction
Swiftness (10s) +33% Movement speed

Med Kit
Device Kit:  Equip a kit that replaces your weapon with healing skills.
Drop Bandage(Skill slots 1,2,3)
Drop a pack of bandaged that provide a little healing.
Cooldown 15s
Healing 40
Range: 50

Drop Antidote
Drop a vial of antidote that removes conditions.
Range: 1
Cooldown 15s

Drop Stim Brew
Drop a bottle of stimulating liquor, granting Fury and Swiftness.
Cooldown 20s
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Swiftness (10s): +33% Movement Speed
Range: 1

Healing Turret
Turret:  Deploy a turret that heals you briefly, then continues to apply regeneration to you and nearby allies.
Cooldown 20s
Regen (8s) +1,000
Healing Radius: 480feet
Healing: 120
Range: 100

Utility

Rifle Turret
Turret:  Build a rifle turret that shoots at foes.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 197
Max Range: 100 Feet
Rate of Fire: 2s

Flame Turret
Turret:  Deploy a turret that burns foes.
Cooldown 40s

Net Turret
Turret:  Build a net turret that immobilizes nearby foes.
Cooldown 30s
Immobilize (3s): Unable to move

Thumper Turret
Turret:  Build a high-health thumper turret that damages nearby foes.
Cooldown 50s
Damage: 248
Attack range: 20 Feet
Rate of fire: 3s

Rocket Turret
Turret:  Build a turret that fires rockets.
Cooldown 60s
Damage: 494
Burning (3s): -1,097 Health
Combo Finisher (Blast)

Elixir B
Elixir:  Drink Elixir B, gaining Fury, Might, and Swiftness.
Cooldown 40s
Might (30s): +35 Power
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Swiftness (10s): +33% Movement Speed

Elixir U
Elixir:  Drink Elixir U, gaining a random utility buff from another profession.
Cooldown 60s
Haste (5s): Regenerate endurance 100% faster
Frenzy (5s): Improved critical damage
Quickening Zephyr(5s): Move 50% faster

Elixir S
Elixir:  Transformation:  Drink Elixir S, shrinking yourself, recovering from stun, and evading attacks.
Cooldown 60s
Duration 4s
Breaks Stun

Elixir C
Elixir:  Drink Elixir C, converting all conditions into random boons.
Cooldown 60s
Duration 5s

Elixir R
Elixir:  Drink Elixir R, recovering from stun and losing all conditions.
Cooldown 45s
Break Stun

Grenade Kit
Device Kit:  Equip a kit that replaces your weapon kit with grenade skills.

Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes.
Damage: 210
Explosion Radius: 150 Feet
Range: 900

Shrapnel Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a hail of shrapnel, causing bleeding.
Cooldown 5s
Damage: 217
Bleeding (12s): -590 damage over time
Explosion Radius: 150Feet
Range: 900

Flash Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a blinding flash.
Cooldown 10s
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses
Explosion Radius: 12 Feet
Range: 900

Freeze Grenade
Throw a grenade that chills enemies with a frigid blast.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 197
Chilled (3s): -66% speed/recharge
Explosion Radius: 240 Feet
Range: 900

Poison Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a Poisonous Cloud.
Cooldown 15s
Poison (5s): -491 health, -33% reduced healing
Poison Cloud Duration: 5s
Poison Cloud Radius: 150 Feet
Combo Field: Poison
Range 900

Mine Kit
Device Kit: Equip a kit that replaces your weapon with land-mine skills.

Throw Mine/Detonate
Throw out a remote-controlled land mine that damages nearby foes.
Damage: 395
Explosion Radius: 15 Feet
Combo Finisher: Blast
Throw Mine/Detonate
Detonate your mine, damaging nearby foes.
Damage: 442
Explosion Radius: 15 Feet

Bomb Kit
Device Kit: Equip a kit that replaces your weapon with bomb skills.

Bomb
Set a timed charge that damages nearby foes.
Damage: 395
Range 120

Fire Bomb
Set a timed charge that burns nearby foes.
Cooldown 10s
Damage: 79
Burning (1s): -366 health
Combo Field: Fire
Range 120

Concussion Bomb
Set a timed charge that dazes nearby foes.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 197
Daze 2s
Range 120

Smoke Bomb
Set a timed charge that creates a cloud of smoke, blinding nearby foes.
Cooldown 25s
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses
Combo Field: Smoke
Range 240

Glue Bomb
Set a timed charge that creates a puddle of glue, immobilizing nearby foes.
Cooldown 25s
Immobilize (1s): Unable to move
Range 240

Flamethrower
Weapon Kit:  Arm yourself with a flamethrower that replaces your weapon skills.

Flame Jet
Spray Fire in a cone pattern while on the move.
Damage: 603
Hits per second: 5
Range: 425

Flame Blast
Fire a napalm ball that rolls through foes and explodes.
Cooldown 6s
Damage: 296
Blast Radius: 20Feet
Blast Damage: 691
Range: 600

Air Blast
Push back foes and projectiles with a blast of hot air.
Cooldown 15s
Knockback Distance: 400
Range: 300

Napalm
Burn foes with a wall of napalm at the target location.
Cooldown 30s
Burning (1s): -1,097 health
Combo Field: Fire
Range: 600

Backdraft
Pull foes to you in a fiery backdraft.
Cooldown 40s
Damage: 395
Burning (5s) -1,828 health
Distance that enemies are moved: 65Feet
Range: 600

Elixir Gun
Weapon Kit:  Arm yourself with an Elixir Gun that replaces your weapon skills.

Tranquilizer Dart
Elixir:  Fire a dart that randomly makes foes Vulnerable or Weak.
Damage: 158
Weakness (3s): -50% endurance regen, -50% Fumble
Vulnerability (3s): -50 defense
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 900

Elixir F
Elixir:  Fire a bouncing glob of Elixir F that cripples foes and grants Swiftness to you and your allies.
Cooldown 5s
Damage: 296
Cripple (5s): -50% speed
Swiftness (5s): +33% movement speed.
Range: 900

Fumigate
Elixir:  Spray a cone of elixir fumes, poisoning enemies and removing conditions from
allies.
Cooldown 10s
Poison (1s): -884 health, -33% reduced healing
Range: 450

Acid Bomb
Elixir:  Leap backwards, spraying an acidic elixir on the ground that damages nearby foes.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 316
Duration: 10s

Super Elixir
Elixir:  Launch an elixir orb, healing nearby allies on impact and creating an area of continual healing.
Cooldown 20s
Impact Healing: 60
Pulse Heal: 12
Duration: 10s
Range: 900

Tool Kit
Weapon Kit:  Equip a kit that gives you a variety of tools to use.

Smack
Chain:  Smack your foe. Repairs turrets.
Damage: 316
Range: 130

Whack
Chain: Whack your foes.
Damage: 316
Range: 130

Thwack
Chain: Thwak your foes leaving them weakened.
Damage: 691
Weakness(3s): -50% Endurance regen, -50% Fumble

Box of Nails
Scatter nails that bleed and cripple foes.
Cooldown 10s
Bleeding (2s): -99 damage over time
Cripple (2s): -50% speed

Magnet
Pull your target to you.
Cooldown 25s
Range: 900

Gear Shield
Block incoming attacks.
Cooldown 25s

Pry Bar
Launch your foes with a smack of your pry bar.
Cooldown 45s
Distance (450s): _Feet
Blowout: 450
Range: 130

Utility Goggles
Gadget:  Break out of stun, gaining Fury and immunity to blindness.
Cooldown 40s
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Immunity (10s): Blind
Duration: 10s
Break Stun

Rocket Boots
Gadget:  Fly backwards, damaging foes with your Rocket exhaust.
Cooldown 45s
Damage: 395
Movement distance: 165Feet
Break Stun
Combo Finisher: Blast

Personal Battering Ram
Gadget: Launch a target foe with a concealed ram’s head.
Cooldown 45s
Distance (450s) feet
Blow out: 450
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 180

Slick Shoes
Gadget:  Spray oil behind you, knocking down foes. If underwater, blind foes that enter the oil field.
Cooldown 45s
Knockdown: 3s
Oil slick duration: 1s
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses.

Elite

Supply Crate
Request a massive supply drop, complete with turrets and bandages.
Cooldown 180s
Damage: 395
Stun: 2s
Area of Effect (1s): Circle 240
Combo Finisher: Blast
Range: 1,200
Note:  Drops 8 Healing packs, a flame turret, a net turret and a healing turret.

Elixir X
Elixir:  Transformation:  Drink Elixir X, becoming a rampaging brute, withering plague, or whirling tornado.  Underwater, become either a withering plague or a whirlpool.
Cooldown 150s
Plague (20s): Assumed the form of a moving plague.
Tornado(20s): Transformed into a tornado
Rampage(20s): Assumed the form of a massive juggernaut.

Mortar
Turret.  Build a stationary mortar that you or your allies can fire.
Cooldown 120s
Mortar Duration: 120s

Launch Mortar Shot
Launch an explosive round from your mortar, damaging foes in the target area.
Cooldown 2s
Damage: 592
Range 1,400

Launch Caltrops Mortar
Launch a mortar round that spreads caltrops in the target area, Bleeding and Crippling foes who walk though.
Cooldown 12s
Cripple(2s) -50% speed
Bleeding(12s) -590 damage over time
Range 1,400

Launch Elixir
Elixir: Launch a mortar round that heals allies in the target area.
Cooldown 15s
Healing: 50
Range 1,400

Launch Ice Mortar
Launch a mortar round that Chills foes in the target area.
Cooldown 30s
Chilled(1s) -66% speed/recharge
Combo Field: Ice
Range 1,400

Launch Concussion Barrage
Launch a barrage of arounds that Pushes back foes where they land.
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 2,960
Range 1,400

Toolbelt

Toss Elixir H
Elixir H
Elixir:  Toss Elixir H, randomly granting Protection, Regeneration, or Swiftness to     allies in the area.
Cooldown 30s
Protection (5s): 33% damage reduction
Vigor (10s): +100% endurance Regen
Regen (10s) +1,250  Health Regen
Range 900

Bandage Self
Med Kit
Bandage your wounds, healing yourself.
Cooldown 20s
Healing: 120

Healing Mist
Elixir Gun
Elixir:  Vent a healing mist, granting regeneration to yourself and allies.
Cooldown 40s
Regen (10s): 1,250 health regen.

Throw Wrench
Tool Kit
Boomerang your wrench in a line, striking foes each way.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 395
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile

Grenade Barrage
Grenade Kit
Throw several grenades at once
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 197
Explosion Radius: 150 Feet
Number of Grenades: 6
Range 900

Big Ol’ Bomb
Bomb Kit
Set a timed charge with a big blast that launches nearby foes.
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 888
Blowout: 400
Combo Finisher: Blast
Range 240

Detonate All
Mine Kit
Detonate all your mines
Damage Per Mine: 430
Explosion Radius: 15 Feet
Combo Finisher: Blast

Launch Personal Battering Ram
Personal Battering Ram
Shoot out a ram’s head in front of you, Crippling any struck foes.
Cooldown 18s
Damage 197
Cripple(5s) -50% speed
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 900

Analyze
Utility Goggles
Cooldown 40s
Analyze a foe, applying Vulnerability.
Vulnerability (10s): -150 defense
Range: 1,200

Rocket Kick
Rocket Boots
Use your rocket boots to do an explosive kick that Burns enemies.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 296
Burning (3s): -1,828 health
Range 210

Super Speed
Slick Shoes
Run at double speed.
Cooldown 45s
Duration: 5 seconds

Incendiary Ammo
Flamethrower
Cooldown 60s
Burn foes with your next three attacks.
Burning (3s): -1,097 health
Incendiary Ammo Duration: 60 seconds

Toss Elixir C
Elixir C
Elixir:  Toss Elixir C, converting one condition to a random boon for all allies in the area.
Cooldown 30s
Duration: 5s
Range: 900

Toss Elixir R
Elixir R
Elixir:  Toss Elixir R, removing conditions and reviving allies in the area.
Cooldown 85s
Heal Downed Allies (6s): %
Duration: 6 seconds
Range: 1,200

Toss Elixir B
Elixir B
Elixir:  Toss Elixir B randomly granting Fury, Might, or Swiftness to allies in the area.
Cooldown 20s
Might (30s): +35 Power
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Swiftness (1s): +33% Movement speed
Range: 900

Toss Elixir U
Elixir U
Elixir:  Toss Elixir U, creating a random spell at the target location
Cooldown 60s
Duration: 3 seconds
Range: 900

Toss Elixir S
Elixir S
Elixir:  Toss Elixir S, either growing allies in the area and granting Stability, or granting them Stealth
CD 60s
Stability (6s): Ignore control effects (Stun, Knockback, Launch, Knockdown, Sink, Float, Fear, Daze).
Stealth: 3(s)
Range: 900

Detonate X Turret
Detonate your X turret
Cooldown is equal to the turret’s cooldown

Viewer Requests: Roles vs Classes

So this week I decided to do some requests.  And next week there will not be a post because I will be on vacation.  However, there will be an updated skill list this weekend for all you theory crafters.

The first request is asking for an ultimate Engineer build.  While its it beta, its next to impossible to lay down any hard facts because it could literally change overnight.  But I am a firm believer that turret Engineers will be supreme for several reasons.

Damage output will be the highest, you can have several turrets active at any given time and with the extra turrets given from supply crate, you can demolish just about anyone who is stupid enough to walk right into them.

http://www.gw2tools.com/skills#e;afpap;aaaeaafXcaaaUcZ;Zaaa;bVWUZ

Simply put, this is the highest damage output possible on the engineer as you will have 4 turrets out at any given time so long as you keep supply crate on cooldown.  My statements on the rifle are still true, it gives way too much utility to just give up.

Some of you want some fiction, that will come after my vacation as it will take me a while to flesh out characters and such.  Just a question though, why do you want to see myself write some charr fiction?  Leave a comment below or just tweet me.

Now for the bulk of the article.  One of the requests was my own opinions on the following article by Lewis B (not anyone else, sorry :D)

http://www.guildwars2hub.com/features/editorials/profession-vs-role-structured-pvp#.T8W3fqywkVo.twitter

And to be honest, I agree with the sentiments that not every class will be able to do everything.  I mean this is the best way possible.  Lets take a look back and Vanilla WoW with Shamans, Paladins, and Druids.  Those three classes were the original hybrids who could literally do anything, tank, dps, heal.  Although, because of their hybrid nature, they never did any of those things extremely well except for heal (they traded damage for the ability to heal which every other class lacked) which was used as a balancing measure.  Hybrid classes are always the most attractive classes to me, I like being able to do anything and I honestly fell in love with the Shaman because of this video:

However, despite the ability to do anything (enhancement shamans were intended to tank as well with their old talents) they never were able to do anything except heal in any kind of endgame content.

However, in WoW the reason this was the way it was is that the hybrids (aside from the priest) were the only healers in the game and each provided very unique buffs to the raiding party.  And if these classes could deal as much damage as a rogue, and be able to off heal as well, then the question became “why play a rogue?”  Especially when you have another class that does the same thing, but more.  So it was a balancing thing ultimately.

For Guild Wars 2 though,  every class is designed to fill each of the three roles (which are, not called the holy trinity but essentially are).  The problem though is not what they were designed around but what their kits (skill sets) provide overall.  For example, thieves cannot heal other classes like an Engineer, Elementalist, or Guardian can.  But, in turn, nobody brings poisons which act as the control and dps aspects.  Engineer’s have a ton of utility but very little damage options, they will definitively fill the support and control roles very well.  Other classes will be more durable due to armor type, base HP, and weapon choices.  A character with a shield will always be able to take more damage than a character without.  Other classes will be able to heal better than others and will be preferred for dungeon runs, others will buff better, control better.  It just makes sense that way.  I don’t know about you, but a Thief running around stabbing people with a healing dagger doesn’t really make sense to me, or a healing toxin.  From a lore standpoint, mechanics stand point, and from a aesthetic standpoint, it makes sense that a Thief will be more inclined to deal more damage and better look out for themselves than from others.  Not saying Thieves are all selfish, but they are.

It is my personal opinion that as the game expands, some of the roles will be left aside, just like in WoW where Shamans (who were designed to tank) can no longer tank.  The inferior roles will started to be filtered out.  It’s just too early to tell what and when that will be.  With the current system of swapping weapons, kits, and attunements, I can see that this is not an issue with balancing like it was in WoW, but rather it comes down to the feel of the game.  If something is out of place, it makes the game feel off.  This is why you don’t see some things in some games.  It doesn’t make sense to have sword fights in Modern Warfare, but it does in Halo when you throw in invisibility and energy weapons.  It doesn’t make sense to have guns in a medieval game (especially machine guns) and things like that when they are present in a game is off setting and shunts the player out of the immersive aspect of the game.  This is why I feel like Thieves will never be able to run around and heal other people.  Whereas a class like the Engineer (who deals with Alchemy) can create a healing mist that heals everyone who stands in it.

So, I say enjoy each of the classes 3 roles as much as possible while they still exist, but after about a month or so, those will start to dwindle in favor of the better ones.  Its just how it is.

Theory Crafting

Oh theory crafting, the so called “bane” of the casual gaming experience whenever any sort of competition is involved.  Theory crafting is quite an interesting phenomenon of online gaming, taking a very simple game/concept and expanding it so much that it becomes a complex monstrosity that changes every last facet of that game.  For some people, theory crafting is one of the most interesting aspects of games, and to others, theory crafting ruins the game for them as they are there to just have fun.  Some people enjoy the benefits of theory crafting without actually doing any on their own, and others find that it brings out the worst in people and forces them to do things that are counteractive against what they are playing the game for (fun).  While I enjoy theory crafting, I used to be on the opposite side, especially when I first played WoW.  But when it came down to doing content that I wanted to do, or sit on the sidelines and never experience it, I came over to the dark side.

So what is theory crafting?  Easiest way to explain it is its the mathematical application of video games.  But not simple math (sometimes it can be, but it never really gets to that point), generally speaking, you have complex formula’s that the game developers come up with that you have to either 1) solve for yourself to figure out, or 2) someone else does the work and gives you the formula.  Generally speaking, theory crafting takes into account every last detail when coming up with the formula’s, such as gear, talents, skills (cooldowns, base damage, modifiers, range) buffs, debuffs, in game formulas for defensive stats, regeneration, skill rotation, and the list goes on.  That is the long definition.  Taking every last little bit of information into account to gain the best advantage possible.  As you can see, its never simple.  When factoring in things like gear, you have to know every last formula for each stat that item gives, exactly what stats are optimal for your character, diminishing returns, stats that it may be missing, and so on.  Its really crazy to think about, and I am honestly very glad Arena Net is removing gear from the equation in PvP, that makes my job a lot easier.

So, what is an example of a game that is super simple in concept, but once you apply theory crafting that it becomes way more complex than it needs to be?  Pokemon.  For those who do not know what that game is, you have 6 Pokemon (monsters) on your team and you fight people’s Pokemon.  There are some limitations, such as you can only have 4 moves on any one Pokemon at a time, which mainly serves as a limiting factor, and each Pokemon has 6 stats (attack, special attack, defense, special defense, speed, and HP) and each move has a number of uses called PP.  Its a really simple concept that has never changed during its several long history of being a game.  To be honest, this game probably will never evolve past these parameters, in fact, the only thing that has changed is from generation 1 and generation 2 with the separation of SPECIAL into special attack and special defense.  You could play this game every day of your life and never know about the horrible thing I am about to tell you about (it honestly ruined a lot of the fun for me)

So simple on paper, now lets throw in theory crafting.  In Pokemon, there are hidden values known as EVs (effort values), which you gain each time you defeat a Pokemon.  The point of EVs was to give each adventure a unique feel as each time, your pokemon will have different stats and thus will always feel different each time you played the game.  That means if you start off with a Squirtle in one game, you will have a very different Squirtle the second game because all the fights are randomly generated based on the area you are in.  Outside of trainers and gym leaders, there is no way you can control which Pokemon you do fight.  Each Pokemon (based on species so the same Pokemon, regardless of level, will award the same EVs) is assigned a specific value that never changes, so if you choose to fight that Pokemon on a Pokemon who does not benefit from that specific EV, you can ruin all of your hard work.  Why is this?  Because there is a cap to the number of EVs you can gain at 510 total but no stat can go higher than 255.  Once you reach that 510 number, you can safely battle any Pokemon with no worry.  Now, there is also stat growth based on natures (personalities), so the perfect Pokemon has a very specific nature and a very specific set of EVs.  When I first tried to do this, it took a good, solid, 10+ hours worth of research and team construction.  Similar to how any team game is set up where you build your team to synergize with others, you build teams around some very specific sets.  Such as, you have defense heavy “Walls” (they generally have super high defense or health and generally have some way to heal themselves), “Strikers” (fast Pokemon who have high attack stats), “Sweepers” (really beefy and strong Pokemon), and “Inducers” which are either weather-based inducers or spikes, and then you have spinners or suppressors who counter inducers.  You have STAB moves which are same type attack bonus attacks with super high base values, and the list goes on.  Did I mention buffers and baton passers?  Yeah, this game gets confusing when you start to think of this stuff.

So, you can definitely see why some people hate theory crafting, I just took a game that is fun on a very simple premise and turned it into a complex monstrosity based on a few simple principals that got horrendously abused.  MMOs are no different.  And now, not to entirely demonize theory crafting, sometimes its actually very handy when you don’t have to do any of the crafting.  Having those numbers always available is what allows competitive teams to get ahead, but it also means that those wannabe competitive types will rage and put you down for not having the “optimal” build.  Back during the BC days, Enhancement Shamans were considered very weak and no longer optimal, and since that was the class I played, I was always out of a guild.  I got picked up eventually, and it also eventually came down to either changing or leaving.  I changed because there was content I wanted to experience, and my change allowed me to do it.  And basic theory crafting can lead to vast improvements to performance without actually changing your play style.  So in a sense, theory crafting goes both ways.  It can be very helpful and allow you to completely show your worth, or demonize your play style to everyone who wants to accomplish the content.

However, theory crafting is not the enemy but the content designed around having an optimal set up.  World of Warcraft is very guilty of this, in that if you are not playing X class in X role, then you provide nothing to the raid and wont be taken as most of the time, you cannot be carried through a raid.  This is bad design become it naturally alienates players who might play things that are not optimal.  And if you go say “lol why don’t you change and be better?” then you have no soul.  A person who is enjoying a game should not have to change the way they play if it means sacrificing fun.  This was a problem with RIFT in that because of the flexibility, a lot of things become obsolete ,and despite being fun to play, become a waste because the flexibility wasn’t really flexible.  RIFT was a game where if you were not playing the most optimal set up, or at least recommended then you were doing to have a hard time doing just about anything.  RIFT begged for theory crafting, WoW developed extremely difficult content that could not be completed unless you were playing the most optimal build.  Those two MMOs built themselves around theory crafting and RIFT failed, SWTOR failed (although I know nothing about that game and its theory crafting).  WoW is slowly declining in its number of subscriptions, although that annual pass really did help solidify their numbers.

Guild Wars 2 is a different beast, yes there is going to be theory crafting, but taking out a few of those very crucial elements and so long as the game is really balanced, then theory crafting wont be a game breaking element.  So far, since the game still is in beta, there is hardly anything we can really tell because the game will change rapidly and constantly to go with the opinions and findings of the player base.  As such, theory crafting really has not effected the game and wont until future release.  But with gear no longer being a factor in the pvp aspect of the game, we can see that theory crafting will be down to skill choice (and as far as I can tell, is fairly balanced) and talent choices.  And since everyone is responsible for their own actions and mistakes (technically speaking, a single player can carry a whole dungeon run if played well enough).  That and taking into consideration of mobility and such, as long as this game is balanced right, then theory crafting should be fairly less noticeable.  Especially in which weapon choice is more optimal for damage and so forth.  Now, no game will be free from this, and there will always be that top build that everyone who is anyone will follow.  But so long as Arena Net is doing their job, then the game should still be fun, and still be accomplishable without the need to be steeped in the mathematical application of games.  And as long as everything within the class is balanced (inter-class balance is impossible without every class being the exact same), then there will be multiple builds that are the best and you have many ways to play the same character.  So hopefully this game won’t turn out like WoW, where in order to raid you have to play a specific class and a specific build, hopefully it won’t turn out like League of Legends where the meta and item builds dominate fun, hopefully it wont turn out like RIFT where you have so many choices but only a handful will ever be viable.  But, only time will tell to how the game will turn out.  Lets do this.

Games Are Hard

Lets talk about difficulty.  Its one of those things that tends to be a very touchy subject when it comes to games.  Some people will argue that games have gotten significantly easier over the years compared to games like Donkey Kong or the original Mario Brothers.  Some will argue that games are just as difficult as they were in the past, and lastly, some will argue that the reason why games are so “easy” is because we have gotten used to them (especially those who grew up playing video games).  And in all actuality, all of these claims are true and for different reasons.  I have my own reasons which I will keep a secret till we get there.  So lets begin.

The first argument is that games have gotten easier over the years, and this is definitely the case.  Take a look at the most recent release of Diablo 3, the beginning difficulty is very easy compared to the previous games.  Even Starcraft II’s campaign is far easier that it was in the original Starcraft (and as someone who doesn’t play Starcraft and had to cheat my way through the original story, that is saying quite a bit).  But that statement is very much a blanket statement, not every game that is released is “easy” unless you play it on the base setting.  My capability to get through the campaign in Starcraft is significantly lower once I get to hard/insane and I have yet to clear Hell difficulty in Diablo 2 (I wont touch the first one, I don’t play that game unless its online).  But I have found some games, even on the hardest difficulty to play through with ease (inFamous, Fallout 3).  Now what of the games that do not have a difficulty setting other than default (Assassin’s Creed)?  This is where I can see this argument holding some water.  When you do not have the option to change the difficulty, the game has to be easy enough to where everyone who plays it can beat it with enough practice (maybe 1 to 2 hours of attempting), so I can see why people would complain about these because there are some amazing games out there that are just easy to beat.  And the games that are easy to beat has a lack of accomplishment, and then there are the games that even on the hardest setting, there is no real benefit to doing it (Fallout: New Vegas).  I like to have that accomplishment and I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  However, if you complain that easy mode in a game is too easy, then you should probably stop your whining.

The second argument is that the reason why these games are easy is because we have gotten used to them.  And this argument holds its water very well.  Raids in WoW used to be very difficult, and even the raids that are rehashed content seem easier than others, even on the hardcore difficulty, the raids are not as difficult as they used to be.  WoW has been out for 10 years now and wont be going away soon (as much as I love GW2, it wont kill WoW because it doesn’t have a subscription, you can’t steal subscribers with a game that doesn’t have one because people won’t have to pay 2 subscriptions), but raids won’t get any easier because all of those unique mechanics are  easy enough to figure out now.  With enough time, even the hardest game can become easy so long as you practice enough.  I can practice for hours, get used to how the game’s difficulty works out and be able to counter it effectively.  Key here is time, and 10 years leaves raids as an already over practiced event that works like clockwork.  On my  play-through of Modern Warfare 2, I decided to play it on the hardest difficulty, and after about 3 hours per level, I was able to accomplish it without any hitches.  It just took a lot of time, but time was the only thing keeping me from being able to do it.  Arguably anything can be accomplished with enough time, but unless difficult games are your thing (I am looking at the dark souls/demons souls fans), why should the games be extremely difficult, wouldn’t you want the game you love to be enjoyed by thousands rather than hundreds?  I know I would.

The last primary argument is that games are easy because most of the gamers have grown up around them.  This is the best argument I have ever heard about why games have gotten easier.  I know several people that do not fit in this category and do have difficulty doing things that might seem simple to others, just like how the Koreans seems to destroy everyone in Starcraft (my friend just got back from a vacation over there and said that pro Starcraft players are treated like rockstars) and everyone else doesn’t.  I know 5 year old kids who play Halo better than I do and can snipe people from across the screen with relative ease.  So naturally, being a gamer from birth will give you a distinct advantage.  Have you ever tried to have your parents play a game with you?  I know when I introduced my mom to Left 4 Dead, she could hardly move because she had not mastered the controller, and the only game she really had played prior is Tetris.  So a dual analog xbox controller was completely out of her scope of capability.  She eventually was able to move, but after a couple of hours, she could only move or aim and not both.  It was probably the most amusing thing I have ever seen.  But this still holds true, when you are placed out of your element, you tend to do poorly to what other people might find easy.  And this segways right into my reason–

–Difficulty is a highly subjective thing, just like with music, everybody perceives things differently (this is why some people might like Bieber and another will despise his very being).   Because of this simple fact, difficulty is something that cannot be appropriately gauged.  I personally find RTS games difficult, but I have friends who have no difficulty with them in any way.  Strangely enough, I don’t have problems with MOBAs, just RTS and this is probably because I have poor micromanaging skills and my APM is probably 100 at most.  I do, however, do very well in MMOs, Shooters, and Fighting games (and plat-former/adventure games, but in the realm of PvP, its those 3).  Those games never feel difficult for me to play, but I have friends who are not really good at those.  We all have friends who are like this.  Right now I play a lot of League of Legends (no GW2 and I can barely run Diablo 3), and while I do have my share of bad games, I generally do well enough based on my role in the game.  And I do have friends that I play League with that are amazing, but I also have the reverse where sometimes, games are quite painful to play.  I personally find League to be an easy game to play and always have, I am in no way professional, but that is just the way I perceive the game’s difficulty.  Since video games have become very mainstream, developers have had to make their games easy enough to where most people can beat it without any real trouble.  The easiest solution would be to have a tiered difficulty system, but sometimes that is not a possibility.

This does actually tie up nicely with Guild Wars 2.  Right now, my only real comment about it is that since it is in beta, expect things to be out of whack.  You will find things that are very difficult and seemingly impossible because there is a chance that its just not scaled appropriately.  The only thing to mention is that GW2 is doing some things very differently, namely the dodge mechanic and move-while-casting-thingy.  If you have played MMOs in the last 10 years, you are very used to the whole standing while casting mechanic as a means of balancing ranged classes (melee can move because they don’t have effective ranged abilities), I know that when I first got into the beta, that I was really hard pressed to dodge and attack and move at the same time, and while it is very easy to say “lol noob dont dodge”, or “dood, y u jst stand ther”, its very different because we have all been very conditioned in a specific way.  I have played WoW for most of my MMO years, and that whole standing while casting thing is very ingrained in me, and breaking that mold is what makes GW2 slightly difficult.  I did, however, get over it and started dodging, but it took me a solid hour to get used to it.  That whole not having a tank thing and being forced to dodge various mechanics to prevent yourself from taking damage is very new.  I do love the system and I find that most people that find GW2 difficult right now are just not used to the system yet.  I suspect that the QQ train will hit the forums (speaking of which, I will only ever visit the Engineer Forums on their site because general is plague ridden) about how difficult the game is for a good month upon release.

But these are just my opinions, what do you guys thing about difficulty?

Support Engineer

GW2 is making strides in removing the need for support roles.  However, despite this, you can still build for it.  The inspiration for this build came from 2 things 1) the sheer utility that the engineer brings, and 2) the tool belt.  Outside of the water attunement for the Elementalist and a couple of Guardian abilities, no class brings as much healing and buffing as the Engineer.  Nothing about this build is concrete as we are still in beta, and for all we know, this build can become completely obsolete next build.  But, for the time being, this guide can help you get the most out of your Engineer for your team.

http://www.gw2tools.com/skills#e;apapf;aaagWbaaaUVYZaa;Zaaa;ZjfUb

Why the Rifle?
The rifle brings a lot of special utility to the table that the pistols do not.  While the pistols  have a silence and an Aoe snare, the only means of escape you have are in your dodges.  And while that is what they were intended for, its easy to catch you because they have dodges.  There are 3 very good reasons why the rifle is the best choice.

JUMP SHOT
Jump Shot which allows you to do more than just dodge but actually close gaps that might otherwise be uncrossable, you can use it to get over walls that you have to take a ramp to get up for.  The same is true for the reverse, if you need to help an ally, no amount of snares will make you get there faster.  Jump Shot is a gap closer, allowing you to get into the thick of things and give you that 1 extra second that might make all the difference when it comes down to a close battle.

OVERCHARGED SHOT
Overcharged Shot does 2 things, knock you back and your enemy back.  Dual pistols only have the 1 snare with glue shot, and while an aoe snare is very helpful in team match ups, in a 5v5 map, how often do they really happen?  Not very, most fights are limited to 1-2 people with a possible third.  The reason for this is that if there are 5 people capturing a single point then the other 2 points are in danger of being captured by the other team.  A good strategy for Khylo is to have 3 people capture a point and have 2 roamers between the outside points and the central point (an east roamer and a west roamer).  But beside that point, a well timed Overcharged Shot followed by a Jump Shot will ensure that you get away from any threat that comes your way.

NET SHOT
This is the final reason why the rifle is the better choice.  While a shield makes you slightly more durable, the Rifle brings 3 utility options that allow you to escape, close the gap and snare, best part about net shot is that it timed well, you can ensure a kill on an opponent.  If you are running away, you can snare them, knock them and yourself back with overcharged shot, and then ensure the escape with Jump Shot.

The other reasons are that the rifle brings a lot of damage from bleeds with blunderbuss and hip shot.  The utility itself is what makes the rifle a superior option though.

Why Elixir H?
The cool thing about elixirs (and unless they change it, this also remains true) is that you can use it and use the respective toolbelt skill.  Now the choice of Elixir H is that it is a ranged heal versus the stationary Healing Turret and the Healing Kit.  Bandages work well and heal for more, but each player has to pick them up to utilize them which could move them out of position.  And a Healing Turret is only as good as the amount of people that are around it.  Elixir H gives a nice burst heal and allows you to also use it on an ally that is not within range of the other ones.  Plus, do you really trust people to make use of things that are laying around?  Unless I am talking to them using a voice communication program, I presume that everyone I play with has no idea what they are doing.  But, if you are organized enough to use vent or skype, then you can actually make use of the other ones, however, without that Elixir H takes the cake.

Why Elixir R?
Elixir R is the better of the utility elixirs.  While all of them are useful and bring their own special thing to the table, Elixir R removes conditions that might otherwise destroy you and you can use it while you are stunned.  Elixir S removes stuns, if you are inflicted by a series of bleeds and snares, there is really nothing you can do except sit there and wait for your demise.

Why Elixir Gun?
Elixir Gun is great for mid combat support when you have ample amounts of damage dealers.  You have an aoe heal, and aoe cripple, aoe damage, aoe poison/condition removal.  You also get a second aoe heal that you can use outside of the Elixir Kit.  Overall, this is the best support kit in the game.

Why Flamethrower?
Flamethrower brings a lot of utility as well with both a pull and a knockback.  Both of those effects allow you to displace your opponent and help secure kills and escapes for your teammates, especially if you swap between the rifle and the flamethrower.  Remember, a warrior not on you is a warrior who cant kill you.  Incendiary Bullets is also nice, but not the best of the toolbelt skills.

Elite Skill is completely optional, I like Elixir X over Supply Crate, but that does not mean that I find it useless.  Until there is any actual numbers for Mortar, I can’t honestly say anything about it or how effective it is.  Elixir X does a number of very powerful things that can completely change the outcome of a battle, Supply Crate does the same thing, but is more dependent on other players to fully utilize it considering that what you get out of Supply Crate are bandages and turrets.  But feel free to substitute either.

Why the trait set up?
The trait setup is designed for making full use out of the two kits, your elixirs, and give you far more mobility by increasing the rate of regeneration for your endurance (what allows you to dodge).  With this setup, your Elixir Gun has 40% faster recharge time, allowing you to fully make use of the endurance recharge rate tied to the use of your Elixir Gun.  However, you will almost always be using the Elixir gun in combat over anything else because of this setup.  So while it is limiting, you still bring a ton of utility from this set up.

Playing is quite easy, just make sure you have friends.  As I mentioned above as the roamer strategy, you are easily one of the best roamers available due to how much mobility you have available.

Point Defense Engineer guide

By: YaHiKoDrG

Twitter:@YaHiKoDrG

 

My Engineer build is designed as a staller to keep your enemy busy as long as possible while your team captures points or comes to your aid. This build is only up to date as of Beta Weekend Event #1 from 4/27/12 – 4/29/12.

http://www.gw2tools.com/skills#e;faSSp;faaaaacaaWaaZfg;bYaa;YgfhZ
For my weapon slot I use a Pistol/Shield combination to give myself some condition damage to bother my target while providing the stun and knockback of the shield to keep them away from the capture points. With the recent beta it seems all 1 skills are auto-attacks so Explosive Shot will always be going off and you should be using Dart Volley whenever possible, but timing Static Shot is important. Static Shot blinds and confuses each enemy it hits and it can jump between multiple targets, this is really your best counter on your weapon skills to deal with anyone who comes in melee range. Shield skills like Magnetic Field will be useful to knock a player out of the capture point or to create some distance between them. While Static Shield will be used to put distance between you and your foe, and it can also be used to stun them outside the capture point for a couple seconds.
My Traits are 10 Explosives which gives me the minor trait Reserved Mine Deploy and I choose the major trait Big Grenade Pouch for the extra damage and condition chances. I take 0 points into Firearms.  I go 15 points into Inventions; this gives me the minor traits Low Health Response System and Automated Medical Response as for the major trait I pick Extra Supplies for more healing. Next I take 15 points into Alchemy which gives me the minor traits Automated Elixir B and Transmute, while I pick the major trait Backpack Regenerator to add that small health regen while fighting since there are very few times I won’t have a kit equipped.  Finally I put 30 points into Tools giving the minor traits Adrenaline Pump, Inertial Converter, and Enduring Damage. When it comes to major traits I picked Adrenal Implant to give me more dodges in combat. Then I go with Crippling Wrenches to stall my enemy chasing me or to give me allies an edge when chasing a fleeing for. The last major trait is where the most versatility comes in depending on group setup and how you plan to play the match. The 3rd major trait I went with was Kit Refinement because every time I would swap what kit I had active it would give me an added boost either some healing or extra damage.

Now let me move on to what gives this build its ability to stall the enemy so well, being the use of 4 different kits. The healing skill I go with is the Med Kit. The Med kit not only gives you multiple bandages for some extra healing as you run around and the Stim Brew to put some distance between your foes or move to the next point faster. The tool belt skill Bandage Self is a very short cooldown and heals for a good amount. This moves me onto my next utility skill which is the Tool Kit. This skill may be risky at times because you give up your ranged attacks for fighting in melee range, but being able to time a Magnet skill followed by a quick Pry Bar to knock someone over an edge or just to interrupt your foes skill rotation is extremely useful. My next skill is Elixir Gun and has some of the more limited uses when in combat with multiple enemies. The toolbelt skill Healing Mist is great to use when you’re in combat or have allies around you who could use some extra healing, the same can be said about Super Elixir. Elixir F is useful for kiting and Elixir Spray is more condition damage. The trick to the Elixir Gun is to use Acid Bomb as an escape tool to blast yourself backwards to put some distance between you and your foes. Finally we can move to the last utility skill which is the Grenade Kit. The Grenade Kit is going to be the most offensive kit for you to use. You will want to make sure you time your skills to anticipate your foes movements. The only skill you will have to wait and properly time is the Freeze Grenade to chill your foes.
The idea is swap between kits as they are needed but if you are forced onto the capture point whatever you do, do not abandon it! If you are surrounded by enemies the area of effect abilities of the Grenade Kit will allow you to dish out some decent numbers and if things do start to go poorly that is what your elite skill if for. My elite skill choice is the Supply Crate, not only does this stun when it lands, but it bring in some bandage packs to add to healing but the turret damage is another deterrent to get the enemies to fall back momentarily.
I did not get a chance to play with the extra gear and runes much during the BWE but I can say I only added +5% damage to my weapons and kept the default armor the Engineer gets and things were just fine.