QFT: Engineer

May 21, 2011 at 1:39 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 6 Comments
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This an excellent piece of art

In my ever continuing quest to shorten the preamble to my QFT posts, I have only this to say. Guild Wars 2 released the engineer, and I quote interesting things from interviews about that fact.


Okay so the engineer sounds like it’s a bit complicated. I pointed out the medkits in the skill video breakdown yesterday, but here they talk about it a bit more as they discuss planning for a battle.

“OK, there’s going to be trouble soon, and I need to switch out to my med-kit and lay down a couple of med-packs on the ground. So when people need help, they can come back through here.”

They seem to act just like mines which for me is an odd choice in functionality. Just seems weird. Should work okay I suppose.

Then they start talking about the elixer gun which wasn’t mentioned much on the engineer page. It has a few different functions.

The gun has a container on it that shoots these elixirs out. But he has also elixirs that he can slot as regular utility and heal skills. And all this elixirs have this unstable, random nature to them. For example there is this elixir called Elixir B. An Engineer can drink it and it gives him one of a set of random buffs that we have in the game.

So aside from your regular weapons, you’ve got weapon kits, turrets, the elixer gun, and who knows how many skills that involve none of those things. Quite a variety of things going on.

For instance, there are a variety of ways to use explosives.

So there is the grenade kit, the bomb kit and the mine kit. And each of those kind of have a different take on how explosives work. You deploy the mines and then they toggle into skills that let you chose when to detonate them. The grenades are ground targeted and you throw them out and then they explode. And the bomb kit turns the Engineer into more of a point blank AOE character, where he is dropping bombs and then they explode after a short period of time.

The skill videos were great examples of this, but I thought having this spelled out was helpful. Having these different ways to use explosives creates an extreme amount of diversity in game play. Very impressive.

I’ve been wondering how the healing turret works, the interviewer was on top of this.

It’s actually mist. It sprays out a healing mist which is in the air and you breath it in.

Fair enough.

It does sort of look like a piece of steam punk hospital equipment.

In talking about the engineers need to keep its distance from enemies, they mention a couple ways the engineer manages this.

The rifle has an overcharge shot, where he launches the enemy back and pushes himself back at the same time to give himself distance.

There are a few really interesting skills like this, the jump shot for instance.

Oh and in yo face Tiger. We disagreed about whether the oil slick in the grenade skill video was caused by a grenade.

They have an ability where they can spray oil on the ground which causes anyone who crosses it to slip and be knocked down.

I think that pretty definitively means Operation: Hunter Was Right was a huge success.

The toolbelt takes a lot of explaining. I think the best explanation is in this example.

So what the Engineers do is: switch to the mine kit, throw out their mines, lay out a defensive area, and then pull out their rifle again and start firing. And then, when they are ready, they don’t have to switch back to the mine kit to detonate them. They can – if they want to detonate them individually. But they have always the tool belt at hand to detonate all the mines.

It’s a clever way to keep people playing instead of waiting for all their mines to be used up.

More about elixers.

There are numbers of elixirs. There is one healing one called Elixir H. There are currently three utility elixirs that are elixir B, U and F. And then there is an elixir X which is his elite elixir. When he drinks that, it gives him a random elite power from a different profession.

I’m not a fan of random powers. Arcane Thievery or skills like it for the mesmer always seemed to useless to me. You can’t plan for them. At best they cause confusion and at worst a random power is a complete waste of time.


This really reminds me of how the ritualist was supposed to work.

With things like the healing turret and the med kit, an engineer can set up a “healing area” for allies and then concentrate on slowing enemies and inflicting conditions with something like the grenade kit or dual pistols.

It’s pretty much the exact same thing really.

Back to the randomness of elixers.

The random nature of the elixirs is a huge tradeoff for the engineer. When using an elixir, an engineer can never be entirely certain what they are going to get. This puts them into a reactive mode where they need to respond to whatever it is they have gotten from their elixir. In addition to Elixir X, the engineer also has Elixir H, Elixir B, Elixir U, and the ever popular Elixir S.

I just think most players prefer to be able to depend on their skills. If you never know what is going to come up, and you’re in a tight bind, you can’t go to some random ability. You have to have something that will work every time. Short term I’m sure it’s fun, long term this will not work for the majority of players.


Just a quick example of the egnineer in game.

I was fighting the drake broodmother (an event boss) with my starting engineer the other day so I can walk you through that. I was primarily using the rifle and had Elixir H equipped in my healing slot and a mine kit equipped in my utility slot.

My strategy was basically to keep moving and never let the broodmother hit me, let alone catch me in her breath. Trying to maintain my distance, I kept my first skill on auto-execute so I could easily move around while firing. I was using Elixir H whenever it would refresh to keep myself healed and also to keep gaining random boons (Swiftness was a great boon to receive in this case). When the broodmother would stop to gather her breath before breathing fire, I would dodge around to her side and shoot her with the Blunderbuss skill, which is shorter range than my basic attack and inflicts Bleeding. At this point the broodmother is close to coming out of Bleeding, so I would net her with my rifle then switch to mine kit where I had just enough time to throw down and detonate four mines before she was free of the net. A few rounds of this and the broodmother was defeated!

This is just an early level boss too. People who complain about a lack of AI difficulty or necessary strategy? Shush.

Rock Paper Shotgun

Just a tidbit about PvP.

So we have two different forms of PvP. One is what we call our Competitive PvP, and yes there will be different objectives, like capture the flag our escort a golem.

Escort a golem eh? Glad to see more than just CTF mentioned.


PCGamer has a few details. This is about the Flamethrower weapon kit.

The Flamethrower is a short range AOE torcher that gives players skills like Immolate (which lights nearby enemies on fire), Air Blast (which’ll deflect ranged attacks), and Backdraft (to pull enemies in close enough for you to burninate them). The Elixir Gun is another option that lets players “shoot elixirs” at allies to support them.

Immolate I had expected to end up in the hands of the elementalist, formerly one of its skills. Interesting change. A very diverse range of use in just a few skills as well.


This google translation mentioned blow guns, which had me confused for a second, probably just a translation issue, but this tidbit about changing the warrior’s unique mechanic was interesting.

An example of this is the mechanism of adrenaline Warrior class. When we first announced this class told us that as a Warrior adrenaline built up, they would get a passive increase in the damage they could do. This, we chose to walk away from, as it turned out to be impractical and not very interesting choices the player had to do, between what to keep the adrenaline of the passive increase, or to sacrifice this for the benefit of a powerful eruption attacks that would use up the adrenaline .

I was actually intrigued by the fact that the warrior hit harder with adrenaline, it was something that attracted me to the warrior. No more of that.

Then they started talking about the professions they cut.

During the development we have also got rid of concepts for whole classes, for example, we have cut a Marksman-class and the Warden class.

Don’t dangle your tantalizing details about entire professions you cut and walk away! I want to know more!

Anyway a lot of the interviews just sort of repeated themselves. Enjoy what there is to read.

I hope there aren't a billion types of these. Oakheart, Redwood Shepards, Pinesouls...sigh



  1. Even though the wording is a bit loose. Med Kits can still function as a item that needs to be pickup when used instead of just running over it with your character.

    I don’t mind the elixirs randomness if ANet is choosy about which skills you can acquire with it. You can still call it random if there is more than one skill to pick from even if its from a specific pool. Hopefully the pot the skill chooses from makes sense for the Engineer. At worse when beta comes and it doesn’t work out I’m sure they will take a look at it.

    Like the Warrior I love to see how other classes will evolve over time after their reveals

    • actually this isn’t the only place i’m worried about randomness, the thief gets a random item when it steals, which again can’t be depended on. i’m sure every elixer and stolen item will have a use, but whether that use is applicable to what you want to do is a problem.

      • True enough, though its hard to gauge at this point but it is something to definitely bring up. To me it needs more a of hands on approach to see it in action and see how the odds are stacked.

        I think if people know its random people will understand what they’re in for if they choose to slot that skill. Depending on the mindset you may not like it due to its randomness but there might be someone who may use the skill as a last resort if there stuff isn’t working. You know just another way at looking at it. Sure there will be plenty of other skills to choose from if this one doesn’t fit the bill of what you want.

        On another note I thought there was one item a THF could steal from each type of monster. Guess I was wrong

  2. “I think that pretty definitively means Operation: Hunter Was Right was a huge success.”

    au contraire mon frere
    The grenades, by virtue of residing in a skill slot, count as an engineer’s ability. Nothing is resolved sir!

    • you don’t know where the oil slick resides.

      • um… phrasing! 😉

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