I'm still sore about how badly Engineers are balanced against the rest of the professions. Instead of bitching, I'm going to talk more about how I see the current professions roles and how clarifying the Engineer roles can help clean things up a bit.( Okay, let's cut this, it's getting long )
TL;DR - In terms of the overall balance of things, it's pretty clear to me that the Mesmer/Chronomancer & Guardian/Dragonhunter are sitting at the top of the heap. Then followed by Warrior/Berserker & Elementalist/Tempest. These are the four best balanced classes that really benefit each other in a party and are reasonably good by themselves. Very little overlap, and what does overlap only helps by stacking them together.
Then we get to Necromancer-Ranger-Thief (and their elites) that have niche uses and are a bit of a one trick pony. They do their one role very well, but if you want to have some variety...good luck trying to make it work.
Finally, at the bottom, there's Herald (Revenant is not worth talking about), and Engineer. Herald's role is merely to play second fiddle to the other two heavy armor classes. And as for Engineers...
Here's the thing: Engineers were designed to be generalists. They were, in the original design concept, the well-rounded class that doesn't excel in any one, specific role. But the problem is that by doing this, they've now become second to all
, and instead of being passable at every role, they're merely horrible
at all of them.
And I don't have a solution for this problem. This is a fundamental game design problem where there is no aspect of this game where being a generalist is a good idea. In 1v1, the engineer doesn't have enough damage to break through tanky builds, defense to protect against bursty builds, mobility to run away from kiting builds, or cc to grab the mobile builds. In party situations, the engineer doesn't provide enough unique boons as support and can't put out enough damage as dps.
The reason behind this is that literally none
of the Engineer's skills are designed to specialize. All the kits/elixirs/gadgets do a little bit of everything. If these skills were comparable to the equivalent skills in other classes, that would make the Engineers too OP, yet without the ability to specialize, that means the Engineer is always carrying abilities that have some contradictory roles.
Take the recent fail of Rocket Boots. The skill for some reason has a DPS buff, despite that it's designed as a skill for mobility, thus lowering
the effectiveness of the mobility skill, while the DPS doesn't actually gain any significant increase.( Engineers need a redesign to fix )
Basically, Engineer needs a clearly defined role in this game, because this game is not friendly towards generalists.