Class Guide: Engineer
The Engineer is a support class character. While not ideal for one-on-one encounters, his abilities make him a valuable team asset. The Engineer can place a Healing Totem to passively heal himself and allies and is particularly suited to controlling enemy movements and dictating the distance of battle.
Gain 5 points of armor per second.
The Engineer’s passive ability is similar to the Warrior’s though slightly better (The Warrior’s passive heal only being effective once your armor is destroyed). The armor regeneration acts too slowly to fully restore your armor between skirmishes but does effectively add durability to the character.
MOVEMENT ABILITY: THRUST
Leap high into the sky.
Thrust is useful for assessing surroundings and firing over enemy cover. After using Thrust, the Engineer is granted 150% increased air control, giving him a little more maneuverability while in the sky. The Engineer can also shoot while in the air, making Thrust the only movement ability that can be used simultaneously with weapons. Thrust has a low cooldown, so it can be used liberally, though be careful as it leaves the Engineer vulnerable to attacks.
Defensive Uses: Thrust doesn’t have much utility for defense. It launches the Engineer almost straight up, providing little to no horizontal mobility. For this reason, it isn’t good for charging or retreating. It’s best used strategically before a battle to assess your surroundings. It can also be used to jump into buildings, though the launch height makes this difficult to do (you will likely have to push through the window on the slower downward trajectory). Be wary that Thrust makes the Engineer an easy target. There is no cover in the sky, and the arc is predictable. An enemy with a mid to long-range weapon and good aim can take out an airborne Engineer before he hits the ground. Thrust can be useful in evading close-range weapons and attacks, such as the Warrior’s Throwing Axe, a sword, or a shotgun.
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Offensive Uses: Thrust pairs well with the Engineer’s special weapon, the Plasma Launcher. While in the air, the Engineer can shoot over enemy cover and rain death from above. The Plasma Launcher, which deals splash damage, can cause a lot of devastation from this vantage. It’s a bit more difficult to get off hits with other weapons that require greater accuracy.
Control: Thrust can effectively eliminate cover. Enemies fleeing around corners or behind large rocks are easily hit from the sky. Another important yet often overlooked use of Thrust is out of combat as a means survey they surroundings. Being aware of where your enemy is, where they are going, and the layout of surrounding cover is an important component of any battle and information that will give you a sizeable advantage once the shooting starts. A low cooldown means you can use Thrust fairly frequently, so don’t be concerned about saving it until after a confrontation begins.
Damage: 36/48/60/72 (per tick)
Duration: 6 seconds (all tiers)
An explosive bomb that covers a small area in burning flames.
Fire Bomb causes damage on impact and also creates a pool of fire that hurts any enemy standing in it.
Defensive Uses: Throw Fire Bomb where you don’t want your enemy to be. Used this way, it can cover an escape or slow an advance. Force Warriors and Mages (that operate best in mid-range confrontations) to farther distances where slow-moving Throwing Axes and Fireballs are easier to dodge. If you are fleeing into a building, throw a Firebomb at the threshold to waylay your chaser.
Offensive Uses: Because Fire Bomb creates an area of effect, it is good for damaging groups of enemies. Though it is rare that squads will clump together close enough, it does happen in certain locations such as the entrances to forges and narrow chokepoints like the entrance and exit to Underpass. If you see an enemy place a healing totem, hit that same spot with a Fire Bomb to negate the positive effects. Any intelligent adversary will move out of Fire Bomb’s area of effect as soon as possible, so use this to your advantage. While Fire Bomb is not something that causes massive damage like Fireball, it will soften the enemy some. Its best use isn’t to deal damage, but to dictate enemy movement. You can slow an opponent’s entrance or exit from a building by throwing firebomb at the threshold or force opponents to flee from a room you know them to be camping inside. If you want to back your enemy into a certain location or force them to abandon cover, dictate that movement with your flames. If you are able to trap an enemy in an enclosed location, such as a small room, sustained damage from Fire Bomb becomes deadly.
Control: Fire Bomb effectively lays out an area where your opponent will not enter (or if they do, they will be punished for it). Use Fire Bomb to prevent your opponent from using a certain piece of cover or to force them to flee cover. You can also use it to stop an advance or slow a retreat. This can be especially important when facing off against a Warrior, who will want to close the combat distance as quickly as possible (the Throwing Axe is much more effective at a close distance).
Damage: 120 (all tiers)
Builds a turret that auto-targets and attacks enemies.
Turret is a defensive weapon that deals the same damage at all tiers. Turret cannot be destroyed by enemy attacks and simply remains in place until a set amount of time (depending on rarity). This means that you do not need to worry about placing the turret behind cover. It also means that you can’t hide a turret to ambush an enemy (at least not too long in advance, as it will disappear in less than a minute). As such, you will want to wait until a battle starts or just before a battle starts to set up a turret.
Defensive Uses: Turret can be an excellent distraction that allows you to escape or to defend a certain area (such as a forge). Think of it as a temporary invincible ally. It will not draw enemy fire, but it will provide covering fire for you to escape or take cover. After deploying Turret, try circling around your enemy so that they take fire from both sides. Turret can provide covering fire, slowing enemy advances long enough for you to retreat.
Offensive Uses: Turret can be used as a second ally, adding an additional hail of bullets to your own. You can use it to set up ambushes by placing around a corner or inside of a building. It can distract enemies if placed just before a fight, though is most effective if placed during the heat of battle.
Control: As long as Turret is firing at an enemy, it is providing useful information, even if those shots are not connecting. The direction Turret fires reveals exactly where your enemy is located. If you place Turret near the entrance of a building, you will know an enemy has entered when you hear it firing. Like Fire Bomb, Turret can be used to dictate enemy movement. Put it in an area where you don’t want your enemy to be, or at an angle that forces them behind a certain piece of cover. Opponents will move out of range of the turret as quickly as possible.
Heal: 10/20/30/40 (per tick)
Duration: 6 seconds (all tiers)
Places a totem that heals damage to self and allies in a small radius.
The Healing totem can restore health very quickly, especially at the legendary level. Its benefits increase in Duo and Squad game modes, as it heals nearby teammates as well. It’s not worthwhile to place the totem until you’ve lost your armor, but after that point, you should place it early into the fight before you’ve lost significant health. The healing totem takes time to repair you, so if you wait until your health is almost gone, it may be too late.
Defensive Uses: Healing Totem can heal quite a bit of health and at the legendary level can heal you entirely. Drop one during a fight after you take damage and you can recover and shoot at the same time.
Offensive Uses: Healing Totem allows you to play slightly more aggressively. It provides a health buffer that you can use during a charge. This strategy is more effective early in the game, when everyone has less armor as Healing Totem does not repair armor (the first thing to be damaged during a fight), so it’s not the same as a protective shield.
Control: Enemies aren’t going to care where Healing Totem is placed. At least, it can’t be used to dictate their movement. Know that you have to be within the Healing Totem’s radius to be healed (indicated by a green circle), so make sure to place it somewhere you don’t mind hanging out (i.e. behind cover). When playing with teammates, be sure to place it in areas that are accessible by people who need it.
Places a shield that blocks enemy shots but which the Engineer and allies can shoot through.
Barricade is a strong defensive power the utility of which increases in Duo and Squad game modes, particularly for allies using long-range weapons. It is translucent and can be seen and fired through.
Defensive Uses: The defensive utility of Barricade should be obvious. It protects you from enemy fire, while allowing you to fire in return. It forces enemies to move toward or behind you in order to land hits. It can be placed to give you cover while fleeing, but except in extreme circumstances, there is no reason not to take advantage of the fact that you can fire through the barricade. Use Barricade to create opportunities to attack, not to retreat.
Offensive Uses: Like all of the Engineer’s abilities, Barricade should be used to establish position and force the enemy to change position or stay still (depending on what you want them to do). The Engineer is all about area control. Barricade provides protection from fire coming from a certain direction. Force an enemy into that space and then cover yourself. You can fire through the barrier and not worry about strafing or dodging, taking the time to line up headshots.
Control: Barricade dictates where your enemy has to be in order to hit you. Placing one forces your enemy to get behind you if that want to deal damage. Know that this is what the enemy wants to do, and don’t let that happen. Use Fire Bomb or Turret to prevent your being flanked. Establish a barricade where you don’t want to be attacked from and anticipate the flank.
LEGENDARY WEAPON: PLASMA LAUNCHER
Fire Rate: 1 shot per second
Clip Size: 6
The Plasma Launcher deals splash damage and is the only legendary weapon to do so. Direct hits cause a lot of pain but can be hard to score because of the slow projectile speed and the arched trajectory. From the air, it is a deadly weapon.
Because of the splash damage, you can effectively attack enemies behind cover. This means the best defense for your opponent is to constantly be moving. This is good for you, as their constant movement means many opportunities to dictate the direction of that movement with your abilities. Plasma Launcher is not effective at a distance, so pair it with a long-range weapon such as the Heirloom Rifle or Slug Rifle.
Early Game: The Engineer relies heavily on his abilities. Thrust is useless in most situations without a Plasma Launcher, and so finding abilities is the Engineer’s first priority. While Thrust is still helpful in assessing the surrounding landscape, worry first about opening chests. Using Thrust will only slow you down as it is not a good horizontal movement ability.
Loadout: The Engineer’s best loadout varies depending on the game type. Engineer is not a great solo player, though he can be effective against Warriors and Mages. In solo, the best loadout is probably Barrier and Turret. Use Barrier to stop attacks and Turret to double your own damage. For team play, swap Turret for Healing Totem as the utility of Turret decreases when you have more allies and the utility of Healing Totem increases because it can heal allies. None of the Engineer’s abilities are significantly worse than the others though Barrier is perhaps the standout most useful.
Armor: An Engineer’s abilities are of paramount importance, so rare helmets, which reduce cooldowns, are the most vital piece of armor for the engineer. Also, the Engineer’s passive armor repair is more useful the more armor you have.
Range: The Engineer is a mid-range fighter. Barricade does not work against enemies that are up close, but the Plasma Launcher doesn’t have much range. He is very good at shutting down close-range attacks, but struggles fending off snipers, and especially the Hunter’s Longbow. Use your abilities to make sure encounters happen at mid-range (or close-range if you are facing off against a weak close-range fighter like Assassin).
Control: What the Engineer is best at, and what good Engineer players will do, is dictating enemy movement. Control where you want your enemy to be and use the Engineer’s abilities to set the distance of battle to the one that most advantages you or your team.
Support: The Engineer is a support class. In the Duo and Squad game modes, be aware of your allies’ needs. Protect and heal your friends as much as possible. Provide barriers for your snipers so they can stand still to line up attacks. Flush out enemies from behind cover so your higher DPS teammates can finish them off.
Communication: Communication is important in team modes, and as Engineer you should be at least partially in charge of this communication. Thrust gives you an exceptional vantage of the battlefield which can be highly useful. Share this information with your teammates. Scout for your team and tell them where enemies are located. Also let teammates know when you are placing healing buffs, or ask them where you should place healing buffs. If you are about to draw an enemy out from behind cover, let your allies know it’s about to happen so they can prepare to gun down the fleeing opponent.
Hunter: The Engineer’s biggest threat is the Hunter, so be wary of them. The Longbow is effective at far and middle ranges and the Hunter’s movement abilities allow her to get behind your barrier fairly easily. If facing off against a Hunter one-on-one, try to run while she is in stealth mode, and always seek cover. If the Hunter has her Longbow, do not use your Leap ability as she will almost certainly pick you off in the air if her aim is any good.