Hey there, I've been playing outlander since the launch and on synergies for awhile now so I thought I should give some input skill by skill. In my opinion, the Outlander's dps is excellent only down a few paths while its survivability is subpar. Which makes sense since we're meant to be mobile nuclear weapons in terms of destruction of our enemies. But at the same time we're limited to a small number of effective builds that combine great dps with enough survivability. I think leaving the good skills as is and introducing a little bit better versions of subpar skills and introducing some slight survivability adjustments to others could really open the door to a new feel of customizability with many options that offer a powerful final result instead of the few that give us that good feel now. Anyways, here's my thoughts.
Rapid Fire: Good as is and I would take this guy over shadowshot and chaos burst any day for primary dps.
Rune Vault: Possibly the easiest movement skill to get stuck on walls with but overall fine as is. Or'ak pass is a pain to use it in correctly but that's okay. Strong as is.
Chaos Burst: To me this is a great skill on paper and not so great in use. All it gives other than aoe dps is a chance to poison which is easily achievable with practically a regular attack as an outlander. It's less reliable of a hit than Rapid Fire and Shadowshot and doesn't really give you anything special in boss fights unless you can survive up close to shotgun it. I feel like it's very close to being solid but it's just missing the ability to really meld with other skills into a nice combo. Maybe giving it an extra inherent effect of a slight debuff would make it nicer.
Cursed Daggers: Fantastic as is. I dropped Sandstorm to pick this up because that all damage reduction is a life saver! To me, this is an essential skill that eliminates the need to use other crowd control skills like Sandstorm, Bramble Wall, Vortex Hex, and Tangling Shot due to its knockback and various debuffs/buffs. Now I don't think it should be nerfed because it does have its limitations, I think it just exemplifies how lacking these others skills are in Synergies.
Vortex Hex: Outright useless in Synergies and in Vanilla. Changing it to be similar to the Necromancer equivalent would make it much more viable for lining up a Venomous Hail for sure.
Shattering Glaive: I personally don't have too much experience with this skill but I found it to be quite powerful if you gear your build towards it. So it's solid as is I feel.
Venomous Hail: The workhorse of most any outlander. I've seen a lot of talk about this skill being overpowered but I'd like to point out the starting and ending lag on this guy. I can't tell you how many times I've been murdered because of an ill-timed VH. Yes it is very powerful and in my opinion essential for any massive dps enthusiast, but it comes with the risk of being immobilized for at least a half second. If any nerf is deemed necessary I would say to either increase the cooldown by a half second or a full second to make them less chainable or adding even more ending lag to really make it a squeeze.
Long Range Mastery, Shotgonne Mastery, Akimbo: All fine as is.
Glaive Throw: This guy used to be amazing at launch but the nerf that happened sometime really reduced it to nothingness unless you really force a build to it. It has nice debuffs but just not enough crowd control or dps to make it appealing. Perhaps giving it a slight buff on dps or an extra cc effect would make it more openly viable.
Tangling Shot: Useless in Synergies. Really great idea but just not enough to make it happen. Giving the outlander an immobilization spell is a great idea as it would make a venomous hail plus rapid fire spam combo incredible so there needs to be a careful adjustment to this. Allowing it to immobilize more targets more effectively would be useful but possibly overpowered if overdone. The dps on it is pitiful. Honestly I feel like this is where an entirely new skill could be placed as nobody would miss Tangling Shot except for its concept.
Glaive Sweep: Unless you're a tanky outlander with very high cast speed this guy is useless. If you want to leave it as is I think giving it a all damage reduction buff while casting like with the new embermage lightning skill could make it a better defensive skill. One thing that could be really cool is to change it from a pbaoe to a cone aoe with enough reach to make it able to clear your front quite effectively after a Flaming Leap or if you're stuck in a corner. That or increasing its cast speed slightly to make it less likely you'll die from the guy you're trying to knockback before it even goes off.
Sandstorm: I love this skill but I eventually dropped it for Cursed Daggers due to its lack of longevity in terms of debuffs. I'm not sure if it really needs to be changed up or if it's just my preference to have -all damage done over a stun. Keep as is or give it a little bit more power to get a bit closer to Shattering Glaive in terms of dps but still underneath it.
Bramble Wall: Great skill if you're a master of terrain and positioning. The only problem I have with it is how quickly the brambles can be destroyed especially if you accidentally target them with a VH. I think changing it to be more like Ice Prison could be very cool and really make its poison cloud tier buff a lot nicer. Of course that might make it overpowered with Venomous Hail so it could have a short lifetime of around 5 seconds and a cd around 6 or 7 to make it unforgiving if you mess up. But leaving it as is would need it to be a bit more appealing since there are already enough knockback cc skills in the kit that a wall isn't really that necessary.
Burning Leap: I find myself loving this skill and at the same time taking Rune Vault over it all day. It's slow cast speed until you get to higher levels makes it an expensive choice. Maybe I just prefer to not spend much points into movement skills on my classes but I feel this guy is lacking in terms of utility at lower levels. It's a fantastic movement skill once you get moving and if you know how to use it its great. Maybe giving it a slight damage reduction while casting would make it on par with Rune Vault's health/mana steal stat.
Flaming Glaives: I could never get the hang of this guy. The concept of it makes it an amazing choice and I want to love it. But it's unreliability at distance makes it really only good at close range. I think changing Vortex Hex, Bramble Wall, Glaive Sweep, and Tangling Shot up could really make this guy much easier to combo up with other skills. I don't think this should be changed since changing other skills will most likely make this more reliable of a choice.
Dodge Mastery, Poison Burst, Share the Wealth: All of these are fine except I feel Poison Burst doesn't do much. A bonus attack at 80% dps or whatever it is after a monster dies isn't really something I care to invest points since I can do that much damage with one more attack. I feel like combining Poison Burst with Tangling Shot to give something like Frozen Fate but as a poisonous short term immobilization could be really cool. Of course it would need to be in moderation as I can see this getting outta hand.
Blade Pact: Really great skill that would benefit from buffs to Vortex Hex, Bramble Wall, etc. No changes needed here as, like Flaming Glaives, it will become better as other crowd control skills are changed to meld with it better.
Shadowshot: Really cool concept but in Synergies it just doesn't have enough aoe capabilities to make it that nice. I believe I saw a mod that made it have better homing and projectile speed which made it a better choice so maybe those changes are all that's needed. Still, I love my -all armor from Rapid Fire. I think something really cool to do with this skill would be to make it part of the whole summoning Outlander build. Maybe making this skill capable of spawning shadowlings on hit (of course a low a percent) or on kill (a much higher percent) could make it more enticing.
Bane Breath: Awesome on paper. Terrible in game. I can understand why a summoning Outlander would be wicked cool but this is not the way to go about it. Increasing the window to kill those affected would be nice and maybe a small damage reduction buff while casting could put this guy back on the radar. If both those changes are put in and Shadowshot is changed to summon shadowlings I think a summoning outlander could work better.
Repulsion Hex: I put one point in this skill and that is all I will ever put in it. It's nice to have up for trash mobs and against some tier0 bosses it can be enough with rapid fire to perma-knockback a boss from hitting you. One interesting idea could be to combine this with the concept of Bane Breath to make it apply a 1-2 second window to summon a shadowling if killed. I think it would need to be a shorter window than Bane Breath to keep it from getting out of hand.
Stone Pact: Essential skill if you don't wanna suck on pots all day. I really feel like the % damage reflected back is useless since no self-respecting outlander needs such a small dps boost. Changing it to any other type of defensive stat would be overpowered though if its anything more than a small amount and since it already gives a nice armor boost. I was thinking of maybe changing the tier bonuses to 1%, 1%, 2% chance to fully heal self on being hit to end up with a total of 4% so it's just a small but meaningful boost. However putting stone pact on a tankgineer might make him a little bit overpowered.
Shadowmantle: Fantastic except it's not up half the time like the other classes equivalents. Reduce the chance by a bit to allow it to be up 95% of the time if need be cause it would be worth it.
Shadowling Brute: Changing him from static dps to depending on your own dps (a small amount) would be so much better. At high levels all this guy does is take a small amount of aggro. That's really the only problem with him though, just needs to be able to hit a bit harder.
Master of the Elements: Just fine.
Shadowling Ammo: I feel like this skill can be replaced with something else if the changes I suggested on Shadowshot, Bane Breath, and Repulsion Hex are made in order to make a summoning Outlander possible. But if it is kept, which is great too, then I think it's fine as is. Maybe giving the shadowlings a percent of your own dps to make them have a little more bite, just like the shadowling brute but to a lesser degree, could make them a bit better.
Death Ritual: This guy would be fine if the summoner Outlander was worthwhile. Changes to other summoning skills though will make it so this guy doesn't really need to be modified at all.
Well, that's my whole synopsis of everything. I'm really trying to aim not to overpower one basic route but to open up multiple kits to all have certain direction and viability to cater to many playstyles cause I think the outlander should be capable of being more than a one or two trick pony. Sorry if it's TL;DR but I felt like I should put this out there for if and when Salan finishes up other things and takes a look back at the vanilla classes. Lemme know what you think!