Contractor’s gloves, Fox’s Prayers and Hollow Man with their unique attributes have a bigger impact to gear, weapon and build diversity than DTE on masks previously had.
I will try to make my points as brief as I can and I would like to have a discussion about this and the negative impact it has on the gear and build system.
Damage to Elites on masks before WoNY
Any mask on any build that didn't have DTE was totally useless and forced a stat to always be present on that slot no matter what. So all the possible attribute combinations suffered a lot because 99% of the builds would have DTE and one other attribute. Not even skill builds could avoid not having it because it increased their skill dmg as well.
Damage to Armor, Damage to Targets Out of Cover and Damage to Health
These are the equivalent of DTE and you are basically forced to run at least two if don't want to purposely gimp your build. DTH is less important so the Hollow Man is not a must equip item. However, Contractor's gloves and Fox's Prayer are a must equip item given how important DTA and OOC are for the vast majority of builds.
In WoNY we have more diversity of roles in group compositions so maybe healer and some tank builds can trade these off for other brand set or gear combinations for these builds.
If you want to make a DPS, hybrid, damage oriented CC or other kind of build that will deal damage with their weapons, you have to have these items. The problem is not that these two items are a must, it's the attributes themselves.
Why would you want to use other combination of attributes on your gloves or kneepads when you can have 11% DTA and 15% OOC. Weapons can roll 6% DTA and up to 12% OOC and both of these attributes are a multiplicative source of damage. It's obvious you want them on all our builds that are weapon or skill damage oriented.
Contractor's, Fox's Prayer and Hollow Man
Having these items roll these unique attributes on gear (they can roll in weapons) makes builds that don't even use LMGs or Rifles use them. That means we are forced to have one, or in the majority of cases, two pieces with weapon damage we don't even use on a particular build.
This has the consequence of making LMGs and Rifles the more prevalent weapons at the moment when we finally have really good weapon diversity after all this time. Why would we use other weapon if we already need to have one item that gives use LMG Damage and one that gives us Rifle Damage.
The Hollow Man impact is smaller because DTH is a more niche damage stat and health not being a concern on armored NPCs doesn't force us to use this mask like the other two.
Suggestions or solutions
The most obvious solution to me is to remove these attributes from gear to not force them into our builds. I have thought about named items from brands having a unique damage bonus. Like Sokolov or Badger having a named item that rolls Damage to Targets in Close Range, for example.
The problem with trying to find alternatives and not removing these stats is that new or existing items that could potentially roll similar unique attributes will just force us to equip those pieces because the damage increases would be as significant as DTA and OOC. This also applies to any future named items that could potentially roll unique attributes oriented to other kind of builds. Like the Motherly Gloves giving you 20% Skill Health at the moment, which is probably an omission. If you want your shield to be the tankiest it can be, why would you ever want to run any other pair of gloves.
I can't honestly think of other solution that could solve this problem in a simple manner other than removing the attributes from gear. Maybe change some brand bonuses to be more powerful to compete against these items/attributes in our build making process?
If someone has any other suggestions or solutions, please discuss them here. I think we have a more healthier build and weapon diversity than ever before but having 2 slots out of 6 essentially locked to two specific items hurts the diversity a lot in weapon and skill damage oriented builds.