Hey everybody, I play all Gunslinger specs proficiently and have a few questions about the class. Just to keep things consistent, I'll continue to use Sniper terms since we are in the Sniper boards after all. Thanks for starting this early Paowee! I'll try to split them as Paowee mentioned above into PvE, PvP, and an all-encompassing issue.
- PvE: Engineering spec is one of my favorite trees to run for all content. However, I find myself restricted to only using it in a handful of end-game encounters due to its poor effectiveness with bosses who move frequently or have tight burst phases close together (e.g. Dread Master Styrak). This is due to the spec's DPS dependence on its capstone ability, Plasma Probe. Without Plasma Probe landing the majority of its ticks, the only way to keep sustained Engineering DPS competitive with other Sniper specs is to utilize Scatter Bombs, a less than ideal technique as it requires an exploit to use efficiently on small to medium targets by rolling in place.
I loved the changes you made to the spec for 2.0 but is there chance it could receive some additional alterations to make it more viable for all end-game content, or was it your intention for it be more limited in its end-game execution compared to other specs?
I'm aware that certain encounters will cater to more specs than others, but the current end-game encounters that go against Engineering are far more hampering to them than encounters for other specs. Here are a few ideas I had to possibly help this issue:
- Have Plasma Probe tick in place but also apply a physical type DOT on any enemy who had Plasma Probe initially casted onto them. DOT damage would not stack with Plasma Probe, it would just mimic the effect of Plasma Probe at its current point of time if the enemy were to step outside of Plasma Probe. For example: I cast Plasma Probe onto Thrasher, Thrasher remains in Plasma Probe for five seconds and has the DOT continually refreshed but does not do damage on top of Plasma Probe. Once Tharsher moves out of the Plasma Probe, the DOT then continues to tick down and mimic the remaining 13 seconds of Plasma Probe's duration on the ground.
This would help to keep damage up without creating a large imbalance. Since its a physical DOT, it will be cleansable by all healers in PvP once the initial casted upon target moves out of Plasma Probe's radius. Plasma Probe will continue to damage a cleansed target if they move back into Plasma Probe's radius, but will not have the DOT re-applied/refreshed. Again, the DOT will only appear on targets who suffer the initial tick of Plasma Probe and not its subsequent. I know this DOT works a lot different than traditional DOT effects, but some version of what I attempted to describe would help Engineering DPS a lot.
- As it stands, Overload Shot is more of a utility than a DPS gain for any spec. I like that it can refresh Electrified Railgun, but its base damage needs to be increased for Engineering spec, have it add two stacks of Electrified Railgun rather than one (a perk over using Snipe), or something. Calculated Pursuit is nice, but worthless as energy for this spec isn't too difficult and using Overload Shot is just a bandage during movement.
- Could we also see a change to Interrogation Probe too? It's been largely ignored in terms of changes because it's in a good place, but I'd like to see an additional mechanic or benefit for using it further up the tree. I don't have any specifics in mind, but it just seems more beneficial to Hybrid (Lethality/Engineering) spec than full Engineering.
- PvP: Lethality is a very powerful tree and excellent for keeping pressure up on the enemies, however it's the easiest spec to counter as their abilities and rotation are very transparent. They also face a difficult fight in 1v1 circumstances if the enemy is able to avoid, interrupt, or prevent Cull from dealing its full damage. If Cull is fresh on CD and other utilities are unavailable, the Lethality Sniper is forced to retreat (something Corrosive Mine and Adhesive Corrosives make them very good at). In regular Warzones I usually don't have a problem keeping the enemy healers on their toes, but I could see this spec being more of a liability in ranked as its difficult to actually kill a target if your timing is off.
Was it your intention for Lethality to be more of a support DPS spec from the shadows rather than one who can stand up to direct combat like Marksmanship and Engineering Snipers?
If Lethality was supposed to take direct combat better, I'd like to see this spec have a few more instant offensive fallback abilities to utilize in-between Culls. Explosive Probe has a long cooldown and costs a ton of energy, Snipe and Ambush don't have the same bite or utilities as other specs, and Overload Shot isn't worth the energy in most cases. Playing Lethality is something I have a ton of fun with in some Warzones, when I'm not running around as an Engineer, but I'd like it to be not so easy to lock down offensively.
- Both: This one is tough for me as I feel the class is in a good place overall. The only concern that I have which includes PvE and PvP is the same questions others have already asked, what's the deal with Covered Escape? Did you intend for it to be a main DPS ability for Engineering spec? Are you aware of and prepared to comment on the roll-in-place exploit? Did you intend for it to be used as a key defensive ability in end-game PvE? Are you going to kill my precious baby by decreasing its effectiveness or increasing the cooldown? I know that's more than one question, but I'd like to see clarification on the intention of the Covered Escape ability and the design teams thoughts prior to and after implementing it in 2.0.
Thanks for your hard work Community Team in working towards improving communication between players and class designers. Also, thank you class designers for working with the Community Team to make this possible. Again, thanks Paowee for starting this off early!
EDIT: Due to how long my post is, I singled out my questions for clarity with the exception of number three as the majority of the paragraph is questions rather than suggestions/commentary.