EngineeringMay 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 14 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
There is a conversation between two famous engineers. In that conversation Scotty says, “Geordi, I have spent my whole life trying to figure out crazy ways of doing things.” And that is how I feel Arenanet designed the engineer. A bunch of crazy skills that do things.
I wasn’t sure I even wanted to play engineer at first. Eventually I decided that was why I would play it. To try out a class but still leave something fresh for release. It ended up being the class I tried out most extensively and thoroughly. I was surprised by how much I grew to like it.
The skills are simple at first. They provide a fairly straight forward set of strategies, at least in PvE. The interesting part is you can’t weapon swap. One of the few professions that can’t, so changing strategies, early on, doesn’t happen much. You have to wait and unlock those utility skills before things get complicated.
But very simple early on.
Choose the rifle and I often started off with a few basic Hip Shots. As they moved into range I used Net Shot to stop them and fire off Blunderbuss immediately after. Following that I might kite a little, firing off more Hip Shots, and depending on how much health they had left use one of the final 2 skils. If lots of health, use Overcharge Shot to put some distance between you and buy some time with the knockdown. If little health, either use Jump Shot to close the distance, or what I liked to do, use it at point blank range to finish them off with two doses of damage.
And that is your average PvE mob on a rifle. It’s functional and simple, with a tiny bit of diversity, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
I felt like if you wanted to be effective with the Blunderbuss or Jump Shot you had to get up close and personal, and I’m more of a ranged person.
I always felt like I was wasting half the damage of Jump Shot whenever I left a position that wasn’t anywhere near a mob, theoretically wasting half its potential damage. More of a psychological barrier than anything. The recharge time isn’t helpful either, not that it’s terrible, just properly timed so that you can’t abuse it, which we all know is the bane of fun.
The Net Shot can immobilizes enemies before you get up close, but that doesn’t stop them from attacking when you go in for the big damage of Blunderbuss.
The Overcharged Shot puts them down, but it puts you down too. Any time a mob is down it’s valuable time to be unloading on them and it irks me that I lose that advantage.
It’s a fun weapon, certainly you can have a lot of good times with Jump Shot or Overcharged Shot, but it has too many skills that go against my instincts.
Anyway what I really liked were pistols.
I think part of the pistols allure was the breadth of conditions I can pile on. Bleeding, blindness, confusion, poison and burning. Rack up condition damage bonuses like you can with armour or sigils, and pistols on engineer becomes more about keeping up the duration of those conditions then doing a bunch of damage.
Not that you can’t keep up the damage, Explosive Shot does AoE and bleeding. It’s not as damaging as Hip Shot but with the additional bleeding it makes up for it, certainly in longer fights, stacking bleeding pretty consistently and on multiple foes. Against a group of mobs I’d take pistol’s Explosive Shot and Static Shot over Jump Shot and Blunderbuss on the rifle any day.
The damage on Poison Dart Volley doesn’t really matter, it’s more about keeping poison on the target. Typically the recharge winds down just as poison runs out. It’s more single target condition pressure than unloading a bunch of shots. You tend to miss on some of those shots the further away you get from the target in any case.
Static Shot is mostly about kiting, though the damage is surprisingly good when there are crowds around. The confusion doesn’t help at all, typically not racking up much (in PvE) damage, but that one shot of blind on 3 mobs is definitely great support in a group situation. The range on Static Shot is actually quite big, this is pretty helpful in a spread out fight, but it often tags unaggro’d mobs meaning you have to be careful as it is a bit of a curse as well.
Blowtorch burns things. There isn’t much more to say about it than that. It doesn’t do a whole lot of contact damage, but burning itself is a great degen. Once you’ve got the other conditions going you can see serious movement on the enemies health bar. The range is shorter than the other skills, so you have to be careful to get in close enough or risk wasting the skill from out of range. I’m not sure the animation was working for me every time but it is fun to see that flame spout go off.
What I like most about pistols is the feeling that I can start out a fight without having to pick and choose which skills to use strategically, for the most part. The first 3 skills are a toss up to begin a fight. Static shot can get in some early damage on multiple foes, though it does waste the blind. That shouldn’t be a problem as usually it will have recharged by the time you actually need it. If not Static Shot, Explosive Shot, or Poison Dart Volley can get the ball rolling with conditions
Of course if you do get into trouble there is Glue Shot. Not the greatest skill at the moment. It has a 1 second immobilize, and it may as well be 0 for all the difference that makes. It’s probably toned down due to it’s effectiveness in PvP but I’m not much of a PvP person, so hopefully it has a different duration if and when skills are split. Another thing holding back the favourite skill of hormone riddled adolescent boys is the precision with which you need to hit the target. Despite having a large ground radius, you need to nail the target or it won’t even stick them.
So there is one thing the rifle has over dual pistols, all its skills work as intended.
The shield has a different feel entirely. It’s far more about control than conditions or damage. I didn’t use it much but it certainly makes for good defense. Personally I don’t like the stationary aspect of the shields Magnetic Field, I’d rather be dodging, but the knockback is useful and I can see why one might like it. The 5th skill, Static Shield I don’t think I used much at all, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. Not long after unlocking the shield skills I went straight back to dual pistols.
Part of the problem with the shield is the recharge times. Actually it’s the majority of the problem, at least in PvE. You get maybe one shot to use them both during a fight. Both have multiple situational uses but only once. There may end up being changes, balance, or maybe there is a trait that reduces recharge time for shields, but overall I just felt like it was a waste of my time to have these two, fairly unique and interesting skills that they are, mostly on countdowns while I was running around. Add to that their partial stationary feel, and I just didn’t like them.
And most of these skills are affected by traits and of course how many trait points you pour into power or precision etc. But I’m not going to get into that here.
Also I’ll do another post about the utility skills I tried out during the Beta Weekend Event in Part 2. I didn’t get to try all of them but certainly I tried out a lot and I’ll go over which ones I liked and which I didn’t.
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