>How do they compare with other damaging/Survival ATs?
Crabs have good scrapper/brute levels of survabillity, especially with permanent Serum giving +HP. Serum + Accolaldes = 2000 HP = HP of a nonWP or nonRegen brute.
Bane Spider/Fort/Night survabillity = Super Reflexes (Fix Super Reflexes) except better as a team player
Damage wise, in a vacuum pylon test, Crabberminds have top DPS, but in a real iTrial fight, Crabs DPS are very low compared to Brutes/Scrappers/(anecdotally) Tankers. Crab pets die horrendous deaths due to long cooldowns and the low survivability of pets.
Bane Spider animation time is terribly long = low DPS. Might as well role a /Stalker especially with stalker ATO procs giving anecdotally tons of damage.
Fort/Night DPS seems fine given the trade off of being ranged for Fort, and a team buffer for Nightwidow.
>What is your favorite build - do you think they compare with one another?
I only play Brutes/Scrappers and 1 softcap /FF corrupter, thus I am skewed towards desiring tankiness. Therefore, I only, seldomly, play my Proc crabber, no pets.
>Are they underpowered/overpowered/okay at the moment?
The Archetype passive power is nearly useless as it does not give any additional damage/survivability to the VEAT. Perhaps a dynamic Archetype passive power, similar to defenders or HEATs may resolve the issue?
Solo-wise I feel they are slightly underpowered. My Brute Crab has anecdotally lower DPS than a soloing defender.
A 8-man team of VEATs are OP. A team of 8 VEATs running all 6 leadership toggles would hit iTrial defense softcap, give everyone 180% bonus damage which is very near brute at 90% fury, and nobody would miss ever except the innate 5%. Essentially everyone becomes a Brute running /Super Reflexes.
An Itrial of 16 VEATS = 30% damage x 16 = 480% damage = everyone at damage cap all the time
>What would you like to see changed?
Comparability: Make the VEAT numbers closer to the AT they "choose". If they choose "crabbermind" make the pets similar in power/nature to Masterminds. If they choose crab, make their damage and survability similar to Tanks, if they choose Night Widow/Bane, make their damage similar to Stalkers except without the OP Stalker ATO proc. If they choose Fortunata, turn them into a corrupter. Personally, anedcotally, I agree with the WoW design philosophy of druids/shamans/paladins. Vanilla WoW had druids/shamans/paladins take a healing-only role. However, as the game evolved, multi-class Archtypes could specialize and essentially become the same DPS/survivability of the other Archetypes. They still had all their abilities but they heavily lost effiency (HUGE mana cost to heal someone if not spec'd as a healer, very low DPS if not spec'd damage, etc). This is what I hope VEAT and HEATs would change into.
>What do you love about them?
Passive, large-AOE (lazy), team buffs. Else, I don't play this Archetype anymore.