Friday, February 17, 2017

Improving Some Engineering Perks

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short series of articles about professions when they were at a low point due to how professions were designed in Warlords of Draenor. A severe lack of demand for gathering professions coupled with the neutering of profession perks, among other changes or a lack of changes, led to me making a number of suggestions to improve professions. This ranged from a change to some gameplay to a new list of perks that refrained from increasing character power in a major way. In the list I pointed out that the Engineering profession had enough perks already and didn't need any new ones. While this is true, I do have a few perks, mostly belt enhancements, to criticize in particular. Since this issue is a rather minor one, this article should be rather brief.

Nitro Boosts

This is my default belt enhancement for my Engineers and while it is highly useful, it has waned from its former glory after a number of changes that don't appear to be well documented. Most notably, massive movement speed bonus it provides now shares a cooldown with potions and is greatly reduced in raids. On top of this, it has one moderately annoying backfire that launches the player into the air and one potentially lethal one that deals a substantial amount of damage over time to the player. Only the latter can trigger in instances. Considering the enhancement is on a potion cooldown now and has been nerfed, the backfires that serve as a method of balancing the potential benefits of the effect no longer seem relevant. Personally, I would remove all the backfires of this enhancement and make the launching backfire its own enhancement since that one could have some useful applications. However, I'd settle for removing the damage-over-time backfire considering the few places it is the only backfire to trigger, the player basically has access to a worse, longer cooldown infinite use Swiftness Potion.

While I personally don't use this one much, I heard it used to be useful in Warlords of Draenor since it healed about as much as a Healing Tonic. However, this doesn't appear to scale into Legion. Considering health potions, much like their bandage cousins, have at least a minute long cooldown and are situationally useful especially compared to other potions at best. Therefore, it probably wouldn't hurt to scale the healing provided by this enhancement up to that of Ancient Healing Potions if the Engineer's level is high enough.

This enhancement actually appears to have scaled up and provides a shield for 300k health for one of my characters. However, it has some major backfires that make it rather unusable. Considering the enhancement also has a 5 minute cooldown, this seems like a poor tradeoff even though the effect does not trigger a potion cooldown. Removing at least the area taunt backfire and putting the enhancement on the potion cooldown would make it a lot more usable, though again I'd prefer if all the backfires were removed.

While this probably still has some use, it does a miniscule amount of damage that hasn't scaled up, has a cast time to use, and shares a cooldown with other explosives. The safest bet would probably be to scale up the damage a little bit based on level, since the secondary incapacitation effect can be quite useful and shouldn't necessarily be instant cast.

From what I can tell, this item doesn't have a guaranteed chance to resurrect players, which is a little odd since it was added pretty recently alongside more consistent gadgets. Considering even more have been added including the Failure Detection Pylon and an infinite use Failure Detection Module for Reaves, the disparity is even greater. I'd personally make the Ultimate Gnomish Army Knife resurrect more consistently and remove Failure Detection Mode, potentially replacing it with another module.

Final Statements

As I said before, this article was intended to be brief and about some relative minor issues I have with the Engineering profession. I could've nitpicked and criticized more of the gadgets and belt enhancements, further supporting an argument questioning how a level 800 Engineer can be so incompetent as to have such outdated recipes that backfire and lack decent scaling or practical usage, but it would make the article unnecessarily long. While I do think that some of the perks need a rework, I do stand by my remark in the previous article on profession perks that Engineers have plenty of decent perks for practical use. They can teleport to numerous areas, retrieve loot from a distance, create portable mailboxes, and much more, so I can't object too hard if some of the perks are flawed, but rather suggest improvements and hope they get implemented someday.

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