The tempest () has largely fallen out of favor in the current PvE meta outside of a few niche support builds. It is wholly outclassed by weaver () for any sort of damage spec, but it is also outclassed by other supports such as druid () or chronomancers () in healing, general utility, and exclusive buffs. This suggestion is designed to provide some ideas as to how to redefine tempest's niche to give them opportunities for more regular play.
"Rebound!": Reworking Auras
For any support class to be competitive, it needs to have some form of meaningful, exclusive buffs that are difficult, if not impossible to acquire elsewhere. Druids provide spirits and Spotter, warriors provide banners and Empower Allies, and chronomancers provide unconditional alacrity. As it stands, the only unique buffs that tempests provide are auras, which only provide limited benefit and rely on being consistently attacked to reach their full potential. While being attacked is a common occurence in PvP, WvW, and against most "trash" encounters in organized PvE, regularly being attacked in high-end PvE (such as fractal boss fights or raids) is a death sentence. What the current implementation of tempest does to encourage auras is attach effects to them (regeneration, vigor, and healing), but even then, the auras are only being used for the trait effects, not for the utility they provide themselves.
There are a couple ways one can go about solving this issue. The first is shifting auras away from their retaliatory nature, while the second is incorporating defensive mechanics like barrier and aegis with auras such that being hit doesn't immediately kill the recipients of these buffs. The ultimate solution to this likely lies in the middle: moving some of auras' utility to alternative, non-retaliatory benefits (including passives or on-end effects), while also providing options to tie them to proactive damage mitigation tools. This rework will only affect the elemental auras, due to the inconsistent interaction of aura-based effects with Chaos Armor and Light Aura.
This change standardizes the behavior of the elemental auras by having each of them have a basic effect when the recipient is attacked (with a uniform cooldown per foe), as well as a detonation effect (similar to the berserker's King of Fires trait) that occurs when the auras end or are reapplied.
- Fire Shield: Burn foes that attack you (1s cooldown per foe). When this effect ends or is reapplied, damage and burn nearby enemies (radius: 240).
- Frost Aura: Chill foes that attack you (1s cooldown per foe). When this effect ends or is reapplied, damage and immobilize nearby enemies (radius: 240).
- Magnetic Aura: Reflect incoming projectiles (1s cooldown per foe). When this effect ends or is reapplied, damage and slow nearby enemies (radius: 240).
- Shocking Aura: Damage foes that attack you (1s cooldown per foe). When this effect ends or is reapplied, stun nearby enemies (radius: 240).
Some of the tempest's traits have been reworked to interface better with the natural effects of auras.
- Elemental Bastion: When your auras end or are reapplied, they leave behind combo fields of an appropriate type (fire for Fire Shield, ice for Frost Aura, smoke for Magnetic Aura, and lightning for Shocking Aura). The radius of these combo fields and the end effects of each aura are 360.