Let’s look at it this way…
Why is laz hated at lower levels? People don’t know yet how to sniff out a cloaked laz, they don’t have the composure to put together a series of attacks that simultaneously keeps them safe from taking heavy damage (by standing in place for an orbital, for example) but also keeps them returning to a dead or dying body to disallow any kind of revive, they don’t know how to clear/scare hunters off a body long enough to eat it, and perhaps they don’t know even how to adequately focus down a medic.
Why do people hate playing with/as laz at higher levels? Because they have to use cloak much more intelligently (not cloaking in plain sight for a start), because they are often left completely exposed and in the middle of a battlefield once the revive is successful, because bodies being eaten sucks the fun out of the game for a laz player, and because as a non laz player on a laz team you are super squishy without certain compositions and it can take far too long for you to re-enter the fight, leaving you feeling pretty helpless and bored waiting for Laz’s slim chance to revive you.
There are other reasons that people might get frustrated on either side, but I don’t feel that they are, at their core, about issues with playing as or against laz.
So… buffing cloak? I’d say this can’t be done. it’d solve problems for high level laz’s being exposed after a rez, or being spotted by sniffing monsters with a keen eye, but it’d make the game far too hard for lower level players.
Changing the device’s purpose? As I’ve said above, changing the fundamentals of going to a body and revivifying it doesn’t make sense given the time TRS have put in to the concept on multiple levels. It’s not to say it can’t be done, but this would surely be the absolute last resort, and we’re definitely nowhere near that.
Changing sniper rifle? Why, it does what it does and it doesn’t impact on anything. All medics need something offensive so it’s not like you can swap this out.
Changing burst heal? Again, this is something some have said that’d help high level teams more survivable against good monsters, but once again it would completely screw up lower level games. You’d have a team that basically can heal almost as effectively as a val team despite him not really being a medic.
So… if we accept that lower level monsters just need to learn their skills a bit more, learn to combo, to be composed, then the balance is there or there abouts. What can we do to therefore make Laz viable in high level play?
For me the areas that have to be looked at are two-fold
1 Laz being too vulnerable post-revive
2 Laz being left helpless because a monster has eaten the body
On 1, if the way to bring laz balance was to make him less squishy if he’s doing his job right then I would say that successful use of his device should provide him with a very temporary personal shield effect. Longer cloak will only further imbalance him against lower play, whereas protecting him for a short period of time should go largely un-noticed by lower level monsters who may be too slow to even engage Laz before the shield is over or before he has disappeared into the distance again.
On 2, I’ve been very vocal everywhere about this (sorry to keep hammering on it!) but I think that Laz needs more control over whether bodies are being eaten. It’s all well and good saying “just co-ordinate as a team!” but if the monster has done the job right and spread the attacks and damage so that 2 or more hunters go down, Laz has zero opportunity to do his thing, and that’s frustrating. Val and Caira would have has the opportunity to keep 1 or more of those hunters standing, but because of the situation in play Laz doesn’t have the same opportunity and then is punished for it by high level players as they are almost entirely uncontested in eating up the remains.
A solution, in my mind, would be for Laz to be able to prevent any eating of either hunters, or even of any kind (could have interesting strategic implications) within a certain radius if his glove is equipped. This way he can’t be shooting, he has to be close, but he has the opportunity to ensure that bodies aren’t removed from play. In general this would mean very little in scenarios where only one hunter is down, if a monster tried to eat a hunter and couldn’t then it would know laz is nearby, but is more useful in situations where multiple hunters are downed and giving those few players remaining standing that slim chance to provide Laz with a window to use his ability.
The concern about this would be that it would be confusing at low level play, but I don’t know that low level monsters really have a successful time using the “eat the body” tactic anyway, so again I don’t think it’s a change that would ever be felt at low levels.
Any other issues I think are just fair game cat and mouse realities, or issues more to do with how well hunters work together. Laz players have to accept that if a monster is good and determined at kiting a body then that body is not going to get revived if the team around him can’t goad or push the monster away. The two above though, I think they are issues that can be quite easily resolved, and without breaking the game for those less skilled or knowledgable about the game.