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Engineer Turrets and Improvements Needed

March 28, 2013 - 6:11pm -- Xerin
Guild Wars 2 Engineer

Originally this editorial started out life as a vast editorial suggesting ways in which the Engineer could be improved. Having already tread that path with Black Sheep, I hit delete on all that I'd written. You perhaps might wonder why but it was through sheer disappointment at the patch notes, specific to the Engineer, that lead me here.

Compared to many professions, the Engineer seemed to do quite well this patch: bug fixes, tweaks and turret changes all welcome. What was most frustrating however was the changes to turrets and how they fundamental flaws in their design was overlooked, all for the sake of a damage boost (even this falls far short of what needs to be done).

There primary issues surrounding turrets isn't necessarily their damage (though this is a factor that has been somewhat addressed) but instead, four specific elements:

A.I

When I drop a turret, they need to attack the same target as me and they need to stop attacking when I do, while reacting quickly. As it currently stands, there is nothing more frustrating than your rifle turret deciding to shoot a rabbit 1000 feet away, while you struggle to deal with a thief who's intent on seeing you put down.

Survivability

Even when traited turrets can be killed instantly. This not only makes the "skill" entirely useless, but you're then punished with an agonisingly long cool down. Unlike other profession skills which are fire and forget or in the case of necromancer pets, capable of moving with you (thus avoiding said damage) turrets have no such option. The only prevention to their inevitable death in all boss encounters is to pick them up, not place them down or accept the fact they'll die. 

Turrets are stationary objects and are designed as tools to protect an area, offensively or defensively. While this is accepted by many and it's a play style I certainly enjoy, it goes against the grain of almost every aspect. If you're roaming in World versus World you are moving. If you are completing a dungeon you are moving. There may be moments of static combat (i.e. in a single location during a fight) but progression forward is often swift, neutralising turret potential as you're punished with lengthy cool downs for picking them up and punished for leaving them behind (they explode). The solution isn't having them follow you (they aren't pets), but instead rewarding the Engineer for picking them up. Rather than the cool down we have now when picked up, it needs to be no more than 10 seconds across all turrets.

Utility

When you take turrets you sacrifice a huge amount of utility in comparison to Elixirs. If you're to use more than one turret, stun removers, mobile condition removal (Healing Turret is a poor substitute against many Elixirs and Elixir traits) invulnerability and boons go out of the window for minor crowd control and greater damage. It simply isn't worth it. Adding stun breaks or greater utility to overcharging is a must to tempt Engineers away from Elixirs. Better yet, add "auras" to all turrets (similar to Spirits) that grant Boons based on the turret type, to those in the vicinity.

Scaling 

Rather than ArenaNet continuing to tweak the damage of turrets in their own scatterbox way, they simply need to scale with the attributes of the player. If I have 2500 Power, this should directly effect the damage that my turrets deal. The real reason behind doing this is to ensure that the potency of a turrets power becomes player controlled, giving you the freedom to maximise damage output. Not only should this translate to raw damage but also your toughness and critical hit chance.

What are your thoughts on the changes to Engineer turrets and the suggestions I've made?

Yski
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Pretty much agreed, I tried using a turret build in sPvP a few weeks after launch and all I gained for placing down a turret was a long cooldown.

You might want to change the last sentence though, since I've never seen a ranger with a turret. Is this some sort of press beta thing again? cheeky

Every single forum I've used to spread anti guardian propaganda has subsequently died out on me. Coincidence? I think not!

Lewis B
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Haha thanks Yski, I was thinking of ranger spirits at the time of writing :D 

Brock Samson
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I was equally disappointed seeing the changes they made. The whole turret mechanics needs a good rethinking, there would be at least half a dozen ways to spice them up a little. Let them die fast, but make them more spammable, like mesmer clones and phantasms, or change them to act like pets.

I would really like to find the guy responsible for this current mechanic, make him sit to a computer, and watch him all day horribly fail in pvp or pve with a turret engineer.

chaosgyro
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Yeah, I think it goes without saying that we all want to see Izzy and Jon Peters receive a good beating about the head and shoulders.  To be perfectly honest, I would like to see them canned.  I don't like calling for that sort of impact on someone's livelihood, especially when they *seem* like decent folks, but as I'm just spitballing behind a keyboard right now I would like to see what someone else could do if given the balance reins.

The rest of the update seems really fun, but if balance keeps going like this (i.e. virtually non-existant) I may have to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss is about concerning TESO.

Rin Aki
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I agree completely with this article and the suggested solutions. I also feel the same way as others. I love this game to bits but their skill balancing is really quite shocking in places. The problem is all the while people are happy to continue putting up with it, nothing will change. Another problem is that the game has been designed heavily with casual gamers in mind (who will outnumber the more dedicated hardcore/semi-hardcore players), which is not a bad thing in itself but it does mean that the larger proportion of the player base has less understand or interest on all things balance oriented. And out of those that do voice their views on the official forums, the majority of them tend to do so in such a neanderthal fashion that I don't blame Anet if they just ignore the entire thread.

There needs to be much fewer idiots on the forums, acting like 2 year olds with ADHD, and more constructive feedback from people who know how to construct a sentence without the forums having to turn every other word into the word kitten, then perhaps Anet will start listening.

Another thing that concerns me a little is when you hear veteran players pointing out major issues and offering solutions, only for Anet to simply shrug it off and stick with what they think is best. I'm sorry to say this Anet (if you're reading this) but I do not feel like this is our game, that we can play our way, it feels more like your game and you are letting us play it your way. 

Though I do really enjoy this game, I had much MUCH higher hopes for it. I guess you should never believe the hype. I hope Anet can make good on their word over time, as the game has such high potential and it is a real shame to see it going to waste.

Order of the Ono & Semper Dius

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