The Red Light – The Engineer

I felt like experimenting with today’s post.  I’ll call it “The Red Light”, because it’s my opinion shining the light on the subject at hand.  Let’s see if I enjoy writing like this. :)

We finally have the opportunity to look into another GW2 profession.  It’s been a few months since the last debut, PAX East I think it was. This makes the final “adventurer” profession, leaving a single “scholar” profession to be revealed.  Everyone’s money is on Mesmer.

Initially I had to look at this profession through my scope of experience.  Of course I’m talking about WAR’s Dwarven Engineer. There are, without a doubt, going to be several similarities present in GW2’s Engineer, but I’ll try to leave these at the door and see what the new profession has to offer.

Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers tinker with explosives, gadgets, elixirs, and all manner of deployable devices. They can take control of an area by placing turrets, support their allies with alchemic weaponry, or lay waste to foes with a wide array of mines, bombs, and grenades.

The shear amount of equipment available to the Engineer is definitely interesting.  Giving the profession many tools to overcome different situations.  Yet, their actual weapons are quite limited in the scope of other professions:

  • Main Hand: Pistol
  • Off Hand: Pistol, Shield
  • Two-Handed: Rifle

Primarily pistol(s) or rifle.  A ranged only class in terms of weapons.  The shield is an interesting addition and from the skill example provided seems quite handy.

[Absorb]

Like elementalists, engineers use a single weapon set at a time, but they complement this weapon set by equipping special utility and healing kits. These kits provide the engineer with special weapons and backpacks loaded with a full set of skills to replace their current weapon skills.

Ok, so I haven’t really said anything about weapon sets in GW2.  Basically you have multiple sets of weapons (2 sets) you can switch between during combat.  Currently the Elementalist and the Engineer are the only professions excluded from this.  They make up for it in different areas.   In the Engineer’s case, with kits.  Kits provide temporary weapons that replace the skills of whatever weapons you have equipped.  The kits are easily toggled off, giving you access to your weapons  and putting your kit on a cooldown.

This may take some getting used to at first and I could see the Engineer proving to be more difficult to play than other professions.  Losing the use of your weapons in exchange for something that may not have as much range could be risky and will require proper assessment of your current situation.

Weapon Kits—These are utility skills that equip a new weapon in the engineer’s hands when activated. For example, the flamethrower kit creates a short-range AOE weapon the engineer can use to overwhelm foes. The flamethrower has skills like Immolate to damage nearby enemies, Air Blast to defend from ranged attacks, and Backdraft to suck enemies into range of the weapon’s powerful attacks.

One of the specific type of kits available and quite the group oriented assailant.  I get the impression that Engineer will be one of the “KoS” professions.  There are only two weapon kits.

Weapon Kits

  • Flamethrower
  • Elixir Gun

There were no flamethrower specific abilities demonstrated, but this is a concept piece of what I would basically assume it to look like.

Backpack Kits—When activated, these special utility kits equip a backpack that replaces the engineer’s current weapon skills with a set of more specialized skills. For example, a bomb kit puts a backpack on engineers that allows them to deploy bombs with a variety of effects including smoke, concussion, and fire.

Another type of kit available to the Engineer.  These also replace your current weapon skills with a larger assortment of choices.

Backpack Kits

  • Tool Kit
  • Grenade Kit
  • Bomb Kit
  • Mine Kit
  • Med Kit

Definitely the utility class that is provided with many ways to prepare for, counter, or control your enemies.  You could also fulfill more of a healer role by having a med kit.  Again, these kits can be toggled off and then go on cooldown.  I don’t know if the Backpack kits share the cooldown of the Weapon kits.  If so, this would make Engineer gameplay too slow.  Let’s hope not. :)

Now, obviously a player wouldn’t be able to switch between all of these kits at any given time.  You only have 10 skill slots available to your player and the first 5 are always your weapon skills and slot 6 is your dedicated heal slot.  This leaves the next 3 skills to manage various profession specific functions, because the very last slot is taken up by your elite skill.

I would assume that each type of kit will take up one of the 3 skills available.  There will be a large variety of specialization in the game.

Turrets—An engineer can deploy turrets: immobile allied devices that help defend and control an area. When a turret is deployed, the skill in that slot is replaced with its overcharged version. For example, an engineer can deploy a Thumper Turret to cause AOE damage, and then activate the overcharge version of that skill for a big thump attack that knocks down nearby enemies. An engineer can interact with deployed turrets, packing them up and moving them around. This removes the turret—and the option to overcharge it—triggering a short recharge before that turret can be deployed again. Only one of each type of turret can exist at a time.

What’s an Engineer without turrets?  Nothing.  I was rather surprised at how many turrets are available.

Turrets

  • Rifle Turret
  • Thumper Turret
  • Net Turret
  • Flame Turret
  • Healing Turret

[Rifle Turret + Mine]

I’m really wanting to know how these skills will situate themselves on your skill bar.  Could I play as an all turret Engineer with no kits?  And vice versa?

Limiting how many abilities you can have on your bar at any given time does hinder the player to a certain degree.  Creating a need for preemptive setup of your abilities, aka tactical thinking.

Tool Belt—An engineer tool belt is a set of special skills above the weapon skill bar. It enhances the effectiveness and functionality of the engineer’s utility and heal skills. The tool belt can add a self-destruct skill to turrets or a detonation option to all mines. When paired with the grenade kit, the tool belt allows a grenade barrage; with the med kit, it adds a self-healing skill.

The final utility available to the Engineer.  Appearing to be an enhancement to the previous functions of the profession.  More choices, more diversity… too much?  We’ll see.

—-

To finish up The Red Light, the Engineer will most definitely be at PAX Prime (unless it isn’t) and we’ll all get the chance to see it in combat.  This profession is the most skill dependent I’ve seen so far and will probably be one of the more difficult to master.  Since it wears medium armor it will require attentive positioning in closer combat.  Engineers with flamethrowers will definitely need to be focus fired in order to limit their destructive capabilities.

This was larger than my usual profession posts, but It was nice to go over more of the information presented.  I’ll try this again when the Mesmer is released. x]

– Thrangis
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6 Comments

  1. Wow, the engineer looks incredibly complicated, with it’s jack of all trades design (we’ll see if master of none applies as well). As you note, it’ll probably be a class that’s extremely hard to master. Hopefully that will be true and playing it won’t leave a “not hard to play, but underpowered” taste in the mouth.

    Reply
  2. ogion

     /  May 26, 2011

    Hey Thrangis, nice blog! I am here via ShaunNox’s tweet.
    Do you have a twitter account? :)

    Reply
  3. Guild Wars 2

     /  November 22, 2011

    Haha, i love reading up on Guild Wars 2 nice blog guys, hope to hear about the beta from you guys over at thrangisthered.

    Reply
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