I still have yet to jump into WvW yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to on my engineer or not. I'm still having a hard time homing in on a playstyle.
Originally Posted by Greyfeld
The problem I have is that I just don't really feel the need to use any of my non-weapon skills. I mean, I drop a healing turret from time to time since it helps me stay alive, but I can pretty much kill anything by circle-strafing and unloading all my weapon skills over and over again (Been running Pistol/Shield for a nice offense/defense balance).
I use dual pistols and a Flamethrower kit (I'm level 53). I've been using the Flamethrower as my primary weapon for a long time now. Its basic attack does really high damage and inflicts Burning. If you go 10 points into Firearms, you give yourself a 33% and 50% chance to inflict Bleeding and Vulnerability on a crit, respectively. The Flamethrower basic attack hits 10 times in about 3 seconds, and each of those hits has a chance to crit individually. That means you can stack the bleeding and vulnerability like crazy.
The 2 is better when you're not soloing. Aim it right and the explosion huge damage. The 3 attack blasts a bunch of nearby enemies back and is really good for giving you a chance to breathe. You can pretty much treat it as another dodge because it interrupts enemies that don't have Stability. The 4 is wall of fire. Set them up in groups and anyone using physical projectiles will love you. it The 5 does an AoE blind, also very nice when soloing. To sum it up, the Flamethrower is really, really good.
I prefer dual pistols over pistol-shield because the shield abilities are too reactionary and I've never found a situation where they made a difference. The pistol 4 attack inflicts Burning, and the 5 is a ground-targeted slow. The latter is very nice for kiting.
I've gotten some good use out of the Elixir Gun, too, but mainly in groups. It has a debuff/buff type of thing going. The basic attack inflicts Weakness, which is useful for reducing damage. The 2 bounces and cripples enemies and gives swiftness to allies, both of which are great alone, but amazing when done together. The 3 sprays poison and cures conditions, and the 5 does a wide AoE heal. The toolkit skill is also good because it gives AoE regeneration.
Gadgets are.... well, they're ok I guess, though not anything spectacular. The quick-cast ones do about as much damage as a regular auto-attack bullet, and the ones that do any considerable damage or status effects take a while to go off (the Big Ol' Bomb is fun, but it's not really useful outside of solo combat, and it's too slow to really work in pvp).
The thing is, utility skills aren't necessarily about damage. They're about augmenting your gameplay.
Personal Battering Ram is really really good for the same reason the Flamethrower's #3 is. It only hits 1 target and has a long cooldown but it interrupts and it sends the enemy flying. I use this thing constantly
. Having these Knockback options is like having another chance to dodge for most enemies.
Slick Shoes has been useful (does Knockdown) though I don't use it as often. Rocket Boots is good, but better in a group fight. You can use them to get out of the fray if baddies get too close.
The only thing I haven't actually tried yet is elixirs. *Shrugs*
The two Elixirs I find most useful on a regular basis are Elixir B and Elixir S. Elixir B gives you four buffs (Fury, Might, Retaliation, and Swiftness) for about 10 seconds. The Might lasts longer. Elixir S makes you invulnerable for a very brief time. Both of their tool kit skills are useful too.
You don't have to use ALL turrets or ALL weapon kits or ALL gadgets, etc., on your utility slots. Mix and match, see what works, what fits. It took me a while to find a groove I liked and I still change things up sometimes. Right now in soloing I run Elixir H, Flamethrower Kit, Slick Shoes, and Personal Battering Ram. Before I got Slick Shoes, I used Elixir B instead.
In groups and dungeons, I tend to use Healing Turret, Elixir Gun, Elixir S, and Rocket Boots (a lot of bosses in dungeons are immune to the PBH's knockback and Slick Shoes' knockdown).