Ease of Play: 3/5
Overall Fun: 4/5
Variety of Playstyle: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3/5
This past BWE I had the opportunity to test out the Engineer class and the Necromancer class. In
this run-down I will be discussing my gameplay experiences as the Engineer. The Engineer is one
of only two classes in the game to not be able to weapon swap (the Elementalist being the other).
This is due to the ability to be able to carry Backpack Kits and Weapon Kits in their utility skill slots.
The different weapon combos available to the Engineer are as follows:
As well as having these Weapon Kits available:
And these Backpack Kits:
Engineers also get the ability to craft Turrets. The turrets they can craft are:
Now that you've got a basic Idea of what makes up the Engineer, you'll have a better understanding
of what I'm referring to as I go forward into this breakdown.
The Engineer is played at medium range. Ideally you want them farther away then melee, but closer
in than ranged characters. In this past BWE I found (as well as conversing with Nautix) that the
Engineer had seemingly the lowest damage output of any character. I think this will eventually be
balanced, as well as the fact that I believe it's toned back in order to compensate for the absolute
insane number of conditions/utilites they have at their disposal.
The most fun for me was having the Rifle equipped, however I will cover the Pistol builds first.
With the Pistol in your main hand you have the following skills available to you:
Explosive Shot: Damages, Inflicts Bleeding (DoT), Combo Finisher (Physical Projectile), 900 range
Dart Volley: Damages, Poisons (2s, 33% reduced healing), 10s cooldown, 900 range
Static Shot: Damages, Bounces Blindness (miss next attack) and Confusion (-health per skill used)
between enemies (most I got was 4), 15s cooldown, 900 range
Now, these three skills by themselves do not inflict a lot of damage, however, as you can see, each
one has a condition tied to it that they bring to the table. Stacking conditions is the name of the game
here. Not to mention, having a pistol out is one of the coolest things to see in the game in my opinion.
Explosive shot stacks up to 5 times that I saw myself, Dart Volley's healing debuff is quite noticeable,
and static shot is a great little AoE to stack up conditions and do noticeable, tho not great, damage.
The two offhand choices you have with pistol are another pistol, and a shield, the skills gained from
each are as follows:
Blowtorch: Damages over Time, amount of damage determined by proximity to enemy, range 900
Glue Shot: Immobilize (1s), duration 6s, 30s cooldown, range 900
Magnetic Field: Rejects projectiles, can be activated again to pushback enemies, 35s cooldown
Static Shield: Stuns attacker if hit 3s, 40s cooldown
The Pistol/Pistol combonation adds more damage, and gives you a utility to keep things at range,
although the 1 second duration of the hold isn't enough to change things too drastically. I personally
did not find the best way to optimize the blowtorch as it always seemed the damage trade-off of being
real close wasn't worth the possibilty of getting punched in the face. With the sheild both of the
uses of the Magnetic Field were situational. Ideally you won't want to be close enough to use the
minimal pushback, and with the reflection it doesn't last as long as one would hope with as long of
a cooldown as it has. The Static Shield ability was by far my favorite of all the off-hands for the Pistol
as it allowed you to stun your opponent pretty much on command if you could anticipate when a skill
was coming your way, and gave you 3 seconds to just unload on him.
My synopsis of the Pistol combos is that, while fun, and full of utility, it doesn't provide the firepower
you need to fend for yourself against higher level mobs or on the battlefield. However, when you travel
in groups, such as in WvW or in Structured PvP, you are a force to be reckoned with in terms of the
sheer control and condition abilities given to you. Let me give you an example: Me and a Warrior
were fighting for control of a point against an Elementalist and a Mesmer. The healing debuff on the
Elementalist, as well as the immobilize of the Glue Shot allowed my warrior buddy to get in and
take-down the Elementalist relatively quickly, leaving us in a 2 on 1 advantage. Had it been me and
another Engineer, we would not have had the offensive firepower to take either one down, and would
have had to use our tools to stay alive in waiting for our teammates to arrive and help.
Now, onto the Rifle:
Hip Shot: Damages, combo finisher Physical Projectile, range 1000
Net Shot: Immobilize(2s), range 1000
Blunderbuss: Conical Damage, higher damage when closer to enemy, range 400
Overcharged Shot: Damages, Knockback on you and enemy total of 750 range, range 400
Jump Shot: Damages at area of leap, and area of land, combo finisher leap, range 700
The Rifle provides more upfront damage than the pistols. However, Hip Shot itself is not very high
damaging. The strength of this weapon lies in its ability to string stuff together into a pretty nice
self-reliant combo. My fight against a mob would go something like this: Net Shot, Jump Shot,
Blunderbuss, Overcharged Shot, and if not dead, repeat based on CDs. The ability to launch
yourself backwards to get distance from your enemy, and the ability to gain ground on a ranged
mob or a fleeing enemy is a very big boon to having the Rifle as your trusty companion. It does
not have the condition spread or the utility spread of the Pistol builds, but it will let you put stuff
in the dirt much quicker.
Let's take a look at the Healing Skills:
Elixir H: Heals, randomly provides Regen(10s), Protection(5s), or Swiftness(10s)
Grants the ability 'Toss Elixir H' which grants Regen, Protection, or Swiftness to allies.
Healing Turret: Heals, applies regeneration to you and nearby allies
Grants 'Cleansing Burst': heals, removes conditions, 60s cooldown
Detonate Healing Turret: Damages
Med Kit: Equips a kit that replaces your weapon skills with healing skills
First three skills are 'Drop Bandages': Heals, 15s cooldown
'Drop Antidote': Removes conditions, 15s cooldown
'Drop Stim Brew': Grants Fury(10s) & Swiftness(10s), 20s cooldown
'Bandage Self': Self heal, 20s cooldown
I had the chance to test all 3 of these abilities out, and I was partial to Elixir H. The pros and cons
of each are as follows. Elixir H is the strongest self heal, plus provides a condition, lets you throw
the condition to your allies on a seperate cooldown than your heal. It is great for providing temp
buffs to yourself, and if you so choose to others in the area, however it really doesn't do anything
else in terms of helping groups. I found this to be my favorite because most of the beta I was solo.
(on a diff server than the Guardians). This will definetely be the skill you want to have while out
exploring and possibly getting over your head (the bigger heal). The turret I did not care for, to gain
the regen, you have to stay in the area (puts a ring on the ground) and it kind of roots you to one
place. Now if you're defending a node in PvP, that might not be a bad thing, however, these turrets
are INCREDIBLY squishy, so I'm not sure it'd be best to waste the heal slot in PvP either. The med
kit was really fun, and provides by far the most out and out healing when combining all of the spells.
However, it takes away ALL your weapon skills. If you're backlining in WvW or PvP, it provides huge
boons to your group as you can rapidly and efficiently heal your partners, however, when solo, you
really need to be on your toes because you have to swap in and out of the Med Kit and the weapon
you are using, the bonus here is there is no CD on pulling the med kit out, and you get the Utility
Skill to always heal yourself whether or not you have the Med Kit out.
Utility Skills (just the ones I was able to test):
Rocket Boots: Damages, fly backwards, combo finisher blast
'Rocket Kick': Damages, Burns(3s)
-A really neat ability, good way to get distance from your enemy and kite, kick is good quick DoT.
Flame Turret: Damages, Burns
'Smoke Screen': Blind nearby foes, 30s cooldown
'Detonate Flame Turret': Damages, combo finisher blast
-Again, I didn't like any of the turrets, too squishy, the blind is nice, but it is very small range
Rifle Turret: Damages
'Automatic Fire': Damages
'Detonate Rifle Turret': Damages, combo finisher blast
-Really a waste of utility slot and skill point imo. Damage is far too low for its slow rate of fire.
Elixir Gun: Replaces weapon skills with Elixir Gun skills.
'Tranquilizer Dart': Damages, Causes Weakness or Vulnerability. NO CD (thats huge)
'Elixir F': Cripples(5s) foes, Swiftness(5s) to allies, 5s cd (again, HUGE)
'Fumigate': Poisons(1s), removes conditions from allies, 10s cooldown
'Acid Bomb': Leap back, Damages ground target
'Super Elixir': Heals on Impact, creates healing area for 10s, 20s cooldown
'Healing Mist': grants regen to you and allies for 10s, 40s cooldown
-Would take me too long to go through each one individually, so i'll just do a quick breakdown.
Loved this utility skill. Tranq Dart does minimal damage, but you can keep a condition on your
enemy with 100% uptime, same with Elixir F. This is a GREAT group utility skill to have,
especially for being backline in the Mists or in PvP to help your brute front-liners out. Two heals
also are nothing to snuff at.
All 5 skills are throwing mines, and detonating mines, Utility skill is detonating all mines.
-Damage is too minimal to care at the present time to be honest. Not worth having your weapon
skills off the bar for these.
Flamethrower: Equips Flamethrower, replaces weapon skills
'Flame Jet': Conical Damage
'Flame Blast': Damages AoE
'Air Blast': Knockback foes & Projectiles
'Napalm': Burns and Blinds, Combo field Fire
'Backdraft': Pull foes to you, moderate range
'Incendiary Ammo': Next three attacks burn foes
-Really really fun kit to play with. Hopefully they tune the damage tho because just wasn't overly
impressed with the damage it puts out. Very nice set of skills tho for doing just about anything.
Tool Kit: Replaces your weapon skills with a variety of tools
'Box of Nails': Bleeds and Cripples foes in ground target area
'Magnet': Pulls your foe to you
'Gear Shield': Block Incoming attacks
'Pry Bar': Launch foe backwards
'Throw Wrench': Damages foes by throwing wrench away and boomerangs back
-Tool kit has very little damage, but the utility it provides is really nice (sensing a theme?). With
certain traits learned, you can use your tool kit to repair your turrets as they are being damaged.
Not a good idea in my opinion since your turrets don't really do much damage currently and it
roots you in place which is a HUGE no no in GW2.
Grenade Kit: replaces your weapon skills with grenade skills
'Shrapnel Grenade': Damages, Bleeds
'Flash Grenade': Blinds
'Freeze Grenade': Chills
'Poison Grenade': Poisons
'Grenade Barrage': Damages
-Lots of utility, middle of the road damage, however, everything is in a ground field, very easy to
spot and stay out of against other players, mobs however don't have that good of AI to avoid your
things and will run right through it. The poison field also lasts long enough to chuck out, swap to
your pistol/rifle and have a few bullets fire through that are poisoned as well.
The utility skills for the engineer are really just that, TONS of utility. Very very little in the way
of damage however. Well you might say, well, none of the other classes have a lot of damaging
abilities in their utility skill slots and you would be correct. However, none of the others have
utility skill sets that replace their entire weapon skill bar either. The trade-off just isn't worth it
in most cases in my experiences.
Here's my final breakdown after my experiences and talking with nautix as well:
The Engineer was by far the most fun I had this past BWE, the sheer amount of awesome skills
they have, as well as the flat out utility they bring to the table is awesome. I felt rather worthless
in the area of damage however, and in 5v5 PvP, everyone has to be able to go toe to toe 1v1 in
my opinion, and I didn't feel like I could do that, no matter how well I played my class. It was more
of, well, this person's going to vastly outdamage me and kill me or, this person can't damage me
as much as my utility skills can help me, so i'll just stay alive until one of my more damagey
friends comes over and helps. I really hope they look at the damage because if not, this will be a
class that's more suited to being back or mid-line and tossing out their utility to their ranged and
melee companions, but leaving the damage doin' to someone else.