Engineering Part 2

May 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 10 Comments
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Does anyone remember when people were speculating about ‘Gunner’?

In Part 1 I talked about the skills of the engineer that are determined by weapon. Pistols, rifle and shield. This time I’ll get into the healing skills, and the varying utility skills I tried out. It’s a bit boring I know, so be warned.

I mentioned that I liked the free form of the pistols, not necessarily having to choose which skill I should go with first. I think what compliments this best in a healing skill is the elixir. Elixir H is the default heal but I’m not sure the Healing Turret or Med Kit can really top it.

What is funny though is that I can’t really say much to praise it. It’s a 2 second cast so if I was in a bind what would happen was, I’d have a third of my health left, go to heal, and go down. The heal is too long, otherwise it definitely needs to be used early. The associated toolbelt skill is the one I most often used on myself, and definitely cushioned me while the elixir was on cooldown. It’s not particularly useful because of the randomness, why Arenanet is so obsessed with the random aspects of some skills I will never know or understand. The vigor and protection aspects are worthless to me, I just want the regen. Protection in particular is far too short a duration, while vigor is only useful in some situations. That said, the elixir allows me to move around much more than the Healing Turret, and Med Kit of course takes away all offensive abilities.

That said the Healing Turret is good for plenty of situations. The amount of regen it constantly has up is very helpful in group or solo situations. Unfortunately if the fight moves away from the turret, the turret immediately starts to drop in usefulness. Let’s say you have to run away or the mob gets knocked back, if we’re in a group situation the odds are that the person doing the knockback isn’t thinking about staying in range of the turret but keeping up their own pressure on the target. In solo situations a hard heal will often be more useful than slow regen as well, even with the secondary Reviving Burst skill that doles out a heal and condition removal. I would recommend keeping the turret for group situations and being very strategic about the turrets placement. Unfortunately knowing where to place one is something I’m sure you can only learn in game. In short it’s good for support, but I missing having my own personal powerful heal.

Which leaves the Med Kit. At first I didn’t like it. Essentially you can leave 3 med kits, 1 conditional removal kit, and 1 buff kit on the ground. The heals are small, conditions aren’t a problem if you can kill something in a reasonable amount of time, the buff is okay. The thing is the toolbelt associated skill is not a terrible heal. Not as good as the elixir but not terrible. Take that into consideration and everything else is just a bonus. It’s good for support or setting up a battlefield beforehand. I think for solo play I’d probably just go with KISS (keep it simple stupid) and stick with the elixir, but it’s a difficult choice between turret and kit for group support. Certainly the turret needs less attention.

And those are all the healing skills I tried out. I can’t even remember if Prayer To Dwayna was available or not.

Getting to the utility skills I tried out quite a few. I know a couple bloggers who quite liked the Elixir Gun, but my favourite kit was the Flamethrower. Turrets I’ve grown to like as well as they can serve more than just one purpose.

The first utility I bought was the Rifle Turret. At one skill point it is a bargain. It’s definitely set up so cheaply to get you into the turret game early, but even so I was surprised at how effective the Rifle Turret is. I didn’t have much trouble with targeting or recharge times. On occasion I find myself having to go back to pick it up, or any other turret really, but that is about the only drawback for this one. And all turrets have the toolbelt option of blowing up the turret instead of having to go back, but that means a longer recharge time.

The other turret I tried out was the Rocket Turret. This outdoes the Rifle Turret excellently in terms of damage, though it had less health. Since the turrets draw aggro (making for a delightful way to shake off pursuers when you’re just trying to run away) I’d often set up the Rifle Turret closer to a fight, then move a few steps back and set up the Rocket Turret. This would waste most mobs time while I chewed away at their health. Something I found myself not bothering with, for no apparent reason, were the secondary skills of the turrets. I can’t comment on them for that reason, or honestly remember what they did.

I’ll have to try out the remaining turrets in the next beta, if my character isn’t wiped, but I did try out a few kits as well.

I tried the mine kit. It actually reminded me a lot of the Med Kit. Something that I would only use if I was setting up a battlefield beforehand. As I said before with the Med Kit, it’s neat to be able to throw down some mines then switch over to weapons before you begin a fight, then detonate the mines with your toolbelt skill all at once. That said, luring an enemy directly to my mines is too much set up on a regular basis for me. It’s something I’d only use on occasion in certain situations.

The Grenade Kit has a variety of useful conditions but if there was one thing I didn’t like doing constantly it was targeting the ground. I’m sure some might not mind this at all, but I was somewhat annoyed by it. The conditions are similar to what you might get with pistols except with the addition of chill and subtraction of burning. Chilling is good crowd control, particularly for large groups of enemies. It would be interesting to throw grenades in WvW. The toolbelt skill is to throw a bunch of grenades at once, which essentially is just damage. I would essentially use it when it was available instead of skill 1, the normal grenade.

The only elixir I tried (aside from Elixir H) was Elixir B. It provided a nice speed boost out of combat, if only for 10 seconds. The rate of criticals in combat goes up noticeably, and it does help move an enemies health bar down, but I felt I had it on my skill bar for it’s out of combat use. Even with the (far too long) recharge time of 40 seconds that 10 seconds of swiftness was nice to have around. The randomness of the toolbelt skill meant that I never got good use out of that aspect. When I wanted swiftness I got might. When I wanted might I got swiftness. Annoying. One thing I don’t think Arenanet gets is that randomness means that, yes, when I do get the effect I want it is cause for celebration, but that is only when I am forced to use that skill. Otherwise I am more likely to not use that skill. At all.

The Flamethrower kit is the one kit I could see having on my bar all the time. You sort of have to be willing to run in and out of battle a lot to get your range right but it just feels so cool. For instance, you can pull people toward you with Backdraft lighting them on fire. But the engineer is a medium armoured class so it’s best not to just stand beside enemies. Therefore you should then Air Blast them to get away from them. After that fire off a Flame Blast to hopefully hit them with the final explosion. On their way back lay down some napalm that they’ll have to run through and that your companions can fire through for extra burning damage. And of course the whole time you’ll have Flame Jet going slowly taking down their health. That’s one of the things I think Arenanet accomplishes with kits and really all skill sets, is setting up these scenarios where one skill inevitably leads to the next. I think the Flamethrower does this particularly well. It also has one of my favourite toolbelt skills, allowing me to light things on fire for 5 shots. It’s particularly useful on rifle or pistol/shield, with pistols burning isn’t 100% necessary due to Blowtorch, but it certainly makes burning a constant going concern for enemies.

One kit that didn’t really do that for me was the Elixir Gun, despite it’s popularity. That said I’m not really the support type, and this is the kit for group and support situations. As I linked above Cuth outlines why it’s effective on a healing level. It also removes conditions while poisoning foes, cripples enemies while granting swiftness to friends. It certainly would be a fun build to run in a group but far too powerless in solo situations or anywhere damage was in need. For me it felt cumbersome and lacked ways to directly defend myself. Skills did not, for me at least, feel like they inevitably bled into one another.

And I think that is all the utility skills I ended up trying. I definitely want to talk about underwater skills at some point, but I’ll probably talk about more than one profession when I do that. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try out more utility skills at some point and hey if you tried out some of the skills I didn’t, talk about them in the comments.

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10 Comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of ground targeting skills. They are fine for beginning a fight but I find them awkward to use in the middle of combat and nearly impossible to have any actual usefulness in PvP. Maybe with practice I’ll like them more? I noticed my engineer was mostly ignored in PvP… unless I dropped a turret; then suddenly it was a prime target, so looks like the game AI is pretty similar to how human players react to them. 🙂

    • Regarding ground targeted skills;
      Lots of folks will talk about how you can select an option so that the skill automatically places itself where your mouse is when you press the hotkey for the skill…
      Personally, I found it useful to have the “green field” associated with these skills to attach to the mouse for more accurate placement. However, did you know that you don’t have to left click to “approve” the location? Pressing the hotkey for the ground targeted skill brings up the green field, but pressing the same key a second time will approve the current location.
      So,
      If you know you have your mouse where you want the skill to land then simply double-tapping the hotkey immediately places it there, but you retain the ability to press the hotkey once for more careful placement if necessary.
      .
      I found this extremely helpful while using the staff with my necro (as 4 of the 5 skills on that weapon are all ground targeted) and it sounds like the same would be true for the grenade kit of the engi.

      • Thanks, I’ll have to give that a try next time and see if it helps. Otherwise my weapons choices will be limited or I just won’t be using those ground target type skills very much.

      • I tried out the option to have skills immediately fire off, and while it works for some skills I found it impossibly inconvenient for others. I found myself going to the options to switch it back and forth, and personally it was more often too inconvenient and kept me from using those skills.

        • I tried it too… wasn’t comfortable with it. I much prefered the method of “double-tapping” the hotkey for the ground targeted skill I described above. It allowed for rapid placement at times when that was appropriate (and when my mouse was already essentially in the correct spot) but still allowed for more careful placement when I wanted.

    • I like some and not others, I was fine with throwing down the toolbelt skill for elixir b or h in group situations, and occasionally on myself while soloing, but glue shot I didn’t like taking the time to mess with, especially since it didn’t work well, and some elemental skills annoyed me.

  2. It definitely sounds like you experienced the same “time crunch” I did during the BWE… each of these classes (and just the basic mechanics and systems of the game) are so complex, and have such depth, that it was simply not enough time to fully explore them.
    Good News;
    Looks like there will be a “stress test” conducted on May 14th (Monday) which will provide another 7 hours of access to the same build of the game we had during the previous BWE, and it further sounds like the characters we had already created will still be available to us.
    As an old coot, I will definitely be there… perhaps those with actual lives (and full-time employment) could arrange for a day off… or there could be a sudden and viscious 24hr flu going around…. 😉

    • Yeah I saw that about the stress test, will mostly likely be taking advantage of it if I can. Though I’m surprised they didn’t wipe the characters yet.

  3. […] Hunter’s Insight — Engineering Part 2. “In Part 1 I talked about the skills of the engineer that are determined by weapon. Pistols, rifle and shield. This time I’ll get into the healing skills, and the varying utility skills I tried out. It’s a bit boring I know, so be warned. I mentioned that I liked the free form of the pistols, not necessarily having to choose which skill I should go with first. I think what compliments this best in a healing skill is the elixir. Elixir H is the default heal but I’m not sure the Healing Turret or Med Kit can really top it.” […]

  4. […] Enginering and Engineering part 2 […]


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