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:
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.
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.
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.
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?