Now, as well know, the Engineer needs some design love, in multiple areas. The core concept is perfectly sound, and it has the potential to be a fun profession with plenty of depth, however the current implementation needs some work, and that is the purpose of this thread. We need to think of everything that is wrong with the class, and everything that is right with it, and work out how to fix it's flaws. That way, once the ideas are compiled and compared with the changes coming up in BWE3, we can then give Arenanet exactly what they need to perfect this profession. I do feel all professions need some work, and I may eventually create a thread for each, but Engineer and Mesmer need the most work right now.
Lack of weapon versatility/variety:
This is an interesting issue, because much like the Elementalist, the excuse for alack of weapon swaps for the Engineer stems from the presence of extra skillsets, attunements for the Elementalist, and tool kits for the Engineer. Where they differ, however, is attunements are a requirement for the Elementalist, and thus cannot be missed, even though you can specialize in certain elements if you wish, the options are always available to you regardless of the utility slot skills you select. Engineers, on the other hand, are required to pick tool kits for their utility slots to gain any versatility or variety whatsoever, which also means as a result that if you are not selecting those utility slot skills to be tool kits, you are missing out on versatility present in every other profession.
My proposed solution? If tool kits are what is holding the Engineer back from having weapon versatility, and if they are such a core feature of the profession, then they shouldn't be utility slot skills at all. They should be THE profession mechanic, much like attunements are for Elementalists, or shatters are for Mesmers(not that I fully agree with anyway, but that's for another thread). As it stands, if I am not mistaken there are seven tool kits, Bomb, Mine, Grenade, Flamethrower, Elixirgun, Tool, and Medical. One of two things would then happen, either the F keys could be selected, much like a utility slot skill, or we'd need to condense that down to four skills. I propose condensing it down to Flamethrower, Elixirgun, Bomb/Grenade, and Tool, with the medkit being condensed into a single heal skill, acting as a first aid drop basically(as it is, is it really necessary to have three bandage abilities, a condition remover, and buff for a skillset? That could easily be shrunk down to a single skill).
There are only two potential flaws with this solution, the first is the lack of the mine kit, if it is to be retained it needs a different place, possibly just a normal utility skill, and the lack of tool belt secondary skills as a result. Some of these secondary skills can be directly connected to the primary one, for example, the Slick Shoes oil slick and super speed on the same skill instead of two separate buttons. Turrets would lose their detonate function. However, even with those losses, imagine the new result. Having tool kits AND utility skills. As an example, this means you can now have turret skills and still have the tool kit to repair them.
Elixirs in general are a problem, mostly for one core reason: RNG. While not all of them are random, many are, and while I'm sure plenty of people like a little randomness, Arenanet claims to desire this game to be an E-sport, and for that to happen, and for competitive PvP to truly represent skill, the first step is cutting out as much randomness as possible.That being said though, with the exception of Elixir X, the elite one, they are all fairly simple to change to non randomized versions, though even doing so won't change the fact that elixirs will probably be the best utility slot skills available due to the sheer number of boons and condition removals available. That particular issue is one that I leave to others and Arenanet to figure out though.
Elixir H: While regeneration and protection have similar overall effects, swiftness is useful in a completely different way. While it could be used in some cases to avoid damage, vigor would be more suitable in that slot if it were simply random. In terms of fixing randomness, however, I'd suggest changing it to give both protection and regeneration, but only for 5 seconds. If that ends up being too much, the base heal could be lower, or it could only give one of the two.
Elixir C: This one probably needs the most changes as far as utility elixirs are concerned. It either needs to give a preset boon for removing all conditions, or conditions need to become specific boons. If specific, my list is as follows:
Cripple, Chilled, Immobilized, Fear-Swiftness
Poison, Bleed, Burning-Regeneration
Elixir U: This one seemed to be based mostly off of speed and dodging as is, so it should simply grant vigor and swiftness. For the thrown ability, it should behave the same as the other elixirs for the most part, applying the boons rather than mimicking a random spell.
Elixir X: The concept of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type transformation is fine, however it needs to not be random. You can easily let the Engineer "Hulk out", granting stability and a new set of abilities based off of mutagens or something.
Those are the core issues and what I think could help fix them. What are you guys' thoughts on these ideas, and what are your own to improve the Engineer?