A fair point. I do think the class needs more tools to keep the bad guys at range. Or maybe some kind of meele defense buff? I look forward to seeing what bioware comes up with. I just hope they come up with it soon.
For starters, the class needs less casting abilities and more instant ones. Pretty much every ability in the arsenal tree is casting abilities.Each ability can be interupted pretty easy through CCs to interupts, you can't really even fight back all with this handicap. That is, in my opinion, the biggiest handicap for mercs. Look at it's counterpart the PT. See how much better they do with dmg when they get rid of a cast ability and give it an instant ability, flameburst? Its like night and day for a pyro PT versus a pyro Merc. However, PTs do get a better rail, but most of the PTs dmg is still coming from it's flameburst. Instad of getting flameburst, the Mercs are left with having to cast either unload or power shot to try and proc a rail shot. Preety obvious what the problem is.
Of course the casting abilities would be an issue if we had a way to keep melee off us, but we don't