My Aspirations Of Thievery

Let’s call it Engineered Sabotage.

C wut I did thar?

If you haven’t heard, I’ve quit playing RIFT.  The reasons include some drama and undermined expectations (which I don’t want to talk about), unimpressive art direction, and boring same-old same-old quests.

The class I was playing, however, had nothing to do with my decision to leave the game.  In RIFT I played a Saboteur.  If you’re not familiar, there are 4 archetypes: Mage, Warrior, Cleric, and Rogue.  You pick an archetype and then you get to choose three of eight souls to build your character.  I chose Saboteur, Ranger, Riftstalker.  Very quickly I found myself shooting down the Saboteur line to the exclusion of my other souls.

The Saboteur is a demolitions specialist.  She attaches charges, detonates bombs, plants land mines, and just generally blows stuff up.

BLAST! (pun intended)

PvP was the most fun and I reveled in being able to control a battlefield with well placed area of effect explosions.  In PvE my tactics were more straightforward and involved copious exploitation of my pet pig in order to keep enemies occupied while I readied an incendiary finale.

All the while I was playing RIFT, however, I was thinking of Guild Wars 2.  How will the rifts compare to dynamic events?  How will the PvP feel?  Will I actually have friends who are willing to play with me?  How will my play experience compare?

When the Thief showed his face I fell in love.  With the prospect of being able to toss explosives about like candy at a parade, however, I find myself saying, “Thief who?”

First I’d like to say: NOT A GUNNER, EAT IT!  Second, I’d like to say that I honestly didn’t expect actual turrets and an engineer label.  I’ve been saying engineer just because it’s expedient and turrets because it’s a descriptive monkier that everybody understands, namely: stationary thing that does stuff.

From the Guild Wars 2 Engineer page we know that the Engineer has weapon kits that give you a unique weapon, like a flamethrower, utility kits that replace your weapons with bombs, turrets that can do everything from damage to healing, elixirs that can be tossed about and shot from guns, guns that shoot bullets and more interesting things, a tool belt with skills determined by your kits… wait, did I loose you there?

First thing you’re going to notice about the engineer is that in text, it sounds confusing as hell.  My first ten minutes with the official text went a little something like this:

• Bombs!
• Man what’s the UI look like for this?
• Tool belt is confusing
• How’s that work into the UI?
• Kits? do they only go in utility slots? Can they go in healing or elite slots?
• Is there still a 10-slot skillbar for this insanity? What’s the UI look like?
• With all these kits, what do the actual weapons do?
• What does the UI look like?

Needless to say, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a shot of the Engineer’s User Interface could answer a thousand questions.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a screenshot of the Engineer’s UI, but the interview had with some of the ArenaNet folks comes close.

I read the official page on the Engineer, then I read the Massively article ‬(and watched the video, thanks Massively!), then I read the Wartower interview and it all started to fall into place.  Here is the Engineer as I understand it:

• The Engineer, an Adventurer profession with medium level armor, has only three weapons available to him: Pistol (main hand and off hand), Shield (offhand), and Rifle (two hands).  These weapons determine his first five skills just like any other profession. He cannot swap weapons in battle, just like the Elementalist.

• Into the rest of his skill slots (utility, healing, and elite) he can slot three different types of skills:
– Kits: Backpack kits and Weapon kits.  These kits, when used, replace your weapon skills with 5 new skills, similar to the elementalist except a dual pistol Engineer and a rifle Engineer will get the same skills from the same kit.
– Turrets: These are deployed onto a battlefield in a manner similar to the Necromancer’s minions or a Guardian’s ghostly weapon.  Once deployed the skill button turns into an overcharge skill that can be pressed to activate an extra effect.  The turrets are immobile, but can be packed up by the Engineer and redeployed in another location.  I don’t know what kind of a cooldown we’re looking at for the overcharge skills and if it’s re-useable I have to assume that taking down a turret involves interacting with it.  You cannot overcharge a turret when you’re downed, but they are still standing and will help defend you.
– Elixers:  Are super confusing.  The official website doesn’t mention much about them but the Wartower article mentions an elite elixir that, when drunk, grants the Engineer a random elite skill.  There are a number of different elixirs that have various effects with a degree of randomness.  They can be slotted like a regular skill into an appropriate slot like healing, utility, or elite.  They can also, presumably, be fired from a gun.  Whether this is only the Elixer gun in the Weapon kit or your regular old weapons (the ones that determine skills 1-5) I have no idea.  I could also be way wrong.  I don’t understand elixirs.

• The Engineer’s unique mechanic is his tool belt. The tool belt adds four extra skills to his skill bar.  It sits above his skillbar.  Nox made a crazy awesome illustration.

Some things to note about the tool belt:
– You cannot manually slot skills into the tool belt
– The tool belt is propagated with skills depending on which (and how many) Kits and Turrets you have on your skillbar.
– Each kit and turret will put one skill into one tool belt slot.
– The tool belt skills can be used even if the kit it’s associated with is not currently active.  I have no idea how this applies to turret tool belt skills.
– Presumably you could fill up all 5 non weapon skills with turrets and kits, but the tool belt only has 4 skill slots.  I don’t know how that works or if my presumptions are wrong (Maybe there are no elite kits or turrets).  Some more clarification on which skills go where would be nice.

Wheeeeeeeew.  Is that it? I think that’s it.  It’s certainly enough.  However, the Thief I was unreservedly in love with while the Engineer leaves me torn.

I’m afraid of the Engineer because of the complexity.  I’m not the kind of person who likes to make builds.  I wish every game could be like Legend of Zelda where there are no stats and a new skill is a new weapon and everything depends on how good you are at actually playing the game.

On the other hand, I love the Engineer because it’s got explosives, steampunk clockwork, and mayhem.  I do so love me some mayhem.

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  • Comments (14)
  1. I’m afraid of the Engineer because of the complexity.

    Oh, yeah, this. I’m going to be the worst Engineer; I’m sure I’ll spend plenty of time dead. But I think I’m going to love every minute of it!

    (from a lore perspective, I’m going with the notion that both as a Sylvari and as a player, I can “know” the mechanics of the class and how things are supposed to work. Being proficient at them is a whole nother matter…. well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

      • Tigerfeet
      • May 20th, 2011

      A sylvari engineer makes perfect sense to me. They are SO curious, all those little cogs and wheels, they must be like a kid in a candy store!

    • ArcherAvatar
    • May 19th, 2011

    Quick point of clarification while more complete thoughts are still coalescing…

    The “Tool Belt” slots are indeed automagically filled when you select associated skill for the RIGHT side of your skill bar but, ONLY for the Healing slot and the three(3) utility slots (totaling 4 Tool Belt slots all together.) There is no Tool Belt slot associated with the Elite skill.

    More to say on the topic of engineer in general later, but right now my head is swimming due to medical stuff I’m dealing with today.

      • Tigerfeet
      • May 20th, 2011

      Aaaaah thanks so much for the clarification. That does indeed make sense. It also aligns with the purpose of the elite skill: used rarely to big effect.

    • Shane
    • May 19th, 2011

    Gotta say, i LOVE the concept of the engineer. I was going to do Warrior, but now i’ve decided on landing the engineer as my main. Granted, i’m an alt-o-holic, so i’ll have a Warrior too, but an Asuran Engineer… How can i pass that up! 😀

    BTW, you’ve dropped off the face of the Earth again, say Hi sometime. Don’t be a stranger. Remember, i’ve riden you around Dalaran wearing my X-Ray specs, you can’t just ditch someone after an experience like that 😛

      • Tigerfeet
      • May 20th, 2011

      Where should I go to say hi? FB? I do so miss all my Unemployed buddies. I’m holding out hope that we’ll all meet each other again in Guild Wars 2. (that sounds like we’ve died from WoW and are hoping to see each other in GW2 heaven!)

      As for professions and races, I’ll probably have:

      Charr: Thief & Engineer
      Asura: Guardian
      Sylvari: Warrior
      Human: Mesmer
      Norn: Necromancer

      No clue what I’ll do with the Ranger and Elementalist, they don’t really interest me all that much.

        • Shane
        • May 20th, 2011

        I assume you’ve got a cell phone, you could always text me. Me and Pils used to text all the time before my old phone started getting wacky. I’ll send you my number on facebook

        • Tigerfeet
        • May 22nd, 2011

        You assume wrong sir :/ I don’t have TV either.

    • Book
    • May 22nd, 2011

    I, too, like the idea of the engineer and am looking forward to blowin’ stuff up 🙂 HOWEVER…does this mean that the last reveal, the Mesmer, will be a pet handler? we were promised 2. Have I missed one?

      • Tigerfeet
      • May 23rd, 2011

      We were promised 2? Well keep in mind we have the Ranger and also the Necromancer with pets. I could see the mesmer as conjuring things though, illusionary weaponry, conjured phantasms 😉

      • ArcherAvatar
      • May 24th, 2011

      Would you consider it a “pet class” if it functioned similar to the Enchanters of original EQ? Essentially, using “mind control” to claim a mob from an area as your current “pet” and then dismissing them later…

    • ArcherAvatar
    • May 24th, 2011

    I really don’t know what I’m attempting to say next here… it’s like I’m trying to describe a shape who’s outline is still very vague and indistinct…

    Guardians use spiritual weapons – Necromancers use minions – Engineers use turrets. All of them are summoning transitory agents to act on their behalf and assist in claiming control over an area of the battlefield.

    Is it a coincidence that you have heavy, medium, and light armor wearers represented in that collection of classes? There are other similarities… some easier to see than others… Well of Blood from a Necro, or Healing Turret from an Engi…

    There are a number of obvious cross-over connections between all of the various classes, (all 7 revealed thus far) and this is certainly not revealing anything most followers of the game didn’t already know, but I guess what I’m driving at is that there appear to be some subtler patterns within the whole class structures as well.

    It’s very hard for me to describe, and I confess, much of my thinking on this subject is based more on intuitive thought, than strictly analytical thought.

    It almost feels like I’m looking at a Fibonacci sequence ( but have not taken any classes in mathematics and have no deeper understanding of the underlying mathematics of nature, and yet, intuitively recognize it’s presence while looking at a large scale “whole” and see the smaller scale identical patterns within it. Then, inspite of not even knowing that this pattern is called a Fibonacci Sequence, I somehow have to describe it to someone else who likewise has not taken the prerequisite courses in mathematics. Frustrating to say the least.

    Despite not feeling able to “name it” or even adequately describe it, I feel very confident that it is, in fact, there.

    Because of this confidence, I feel compelled to make the following prediction; The final class will be a light armor counterpart to the medium armor Thief class in many respects however, just as there are connections between the Necro and Engi, the Thief and this last class will also have many distinctions seperating them, not the least of which is the overall “feel or vibe” of the class.

    The 8th class will put a premium on movement, and will most likely have skills akin to the Thief’s Shadow Stepping but, will more than likely be called something like Dimension Door or Teleport or Time Warp.

    In addition to emphasizing it’s own movement capabilities, this 8th class will also have several skills devoted towards controlling other’s movements on the battlefield.

    Where the Necromancer’s magic is dark (including it’s color scheme of greens and blacks) and the Elementalist’s magic is multi-colored with each color representing a differnt element… this 8th class’s magic will be light, and it’s main colors will most likely be either white or golden or a mix of the two.

    The 8th class will incorporate facets of the GW1 Mesmer, but only in so far as some of the names of it’s skills will “sound” familiar, and I doubt very much that it actually use the name Mesmer (although that is still possible.) ArchMage, Magi, Arcanist, Illusionist, or good ole’ Wizard seem more likely to me at this point.


    I could be completely full of it and so addled by medications (a distinct possibility) that I’m simply hallucinating.

    I do know this for a fact; when I was personally considering both a Guardian and a Engineer of the same race as possible characters I could not evade the idea that they were basically very similar except that one was slightly less mobile due to it being hardier from the heavier armor it wore… (that Hammer of Wisdom video sure functioned very similar to the Rifle Turret video… right down to the secondary activation both classes have for the skills… it’s just that one is for a guy in full plate, and the other is for someone more on the move in leather…)

    Final Word;

    How cool is it that ArenaNet has basically designed a class system where there is SO MUCH overlap between the classes, thus making it that much easier to balance them, AND ensuring that we as players don’t get stuck LFGing for one particular class to round out our groups, and yet… each and every one of these classes “feels” distinct and different from one another inspite of all of the crossovers…

    • Immorttalis
    • May 25th, 2011

    But I wanted mah GUNNER, not TF2 Engineer (Yeah, I love this bandwagon) D:.

    I guess it’s Charr Warrior after all.

  2. Would you consider it a “pet class” if it functioned similar to the Enchanters of original EQ? Essentially, using “mind control” to claim a mob from an area as your current “pet” and then dismissing them later…

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