Engineer has only two ways to get his ability bar back: Potions and cranking. He trades the ability to get ability back by hitting enemies or getting damaged for the reliability of his cranking and the fact that full crank stacks give him faster cooldown.
But wait! There’s a third way: Resourceful combatant and Resourceful Sharpshooter traits.
It’s actually not too bad on paper, because when using Innovative Ammo Hoppers, each crit gives you 5 seconds of cooldown.
Each crit? Well, no. We all know about the restriction “can only trigger every 4 seconds”.
It has been discussed ad nauseum that this restriction makes this trait a very questionable choice. Not only do you lose access to the all-mighty swift slaying, it only comes into play when your ability is on cooldown. Once the bar is full, the trait stops existing. That’s what balancing has to take into consideration.
Now, I think the restriction of “only one per attack” is fair enough. The “only every 4 seconds” makes the ability questionable. But there’s another restriction that hardly gets talked about: The game considers RSS and RC to be the same ability, meaning when you trigger the one, the other cannot trigger for the next 4 seconds, also.
For engineer, RSS and RC are his only options to get access to additional CDR. The charm property does nothing, and since OE has access to drakefire weapons, RSS would have to compete against damage properties like Hunter or Barrage, or simply against Therma Equalizer, something you can never go wrong with.
Hammer and shield with its easy access to the uppercut, which has increased crit chance, is actually okay-ish for consistently getting crits, as well as pistols or cannon. But both traits not being independent from each other and the 4 second restriction means that you cannot use them in a way that would give them actual utility: In situations where you can’t crank and/or situations where you absolutely need your ability bar to fill up faster. Both traits could be OE’s replacement for cooldown-by-damage. Each hit giving him 5% is actually not too bad, but after running a build with both RC and RSS, the effect is just hardly noticable.
Which is sad, because with “Superior Gaskets”, you don’t really need SS on hammer and shield, and the guaranteed crits via “Leadin Shots” provides you with reliability. You always have to consider that OE is not a “high-crit-carreer”, so crits are already alot less reliable.
I think this is the perfect opportunity to finally give this trait the overhaul it needs to be competetive.
The days of wiggle-mancer are long gone. The days of S&D Shade spamming guaranteed crits into hordes to insta-refill her ability bar are long gone. These could be the days of carreers like Pyromander and OE getting another tool and playstyle going for them: more ability use, at the cost of less damage from their main weaponry.
I highly recommend trying out a H&S + drakefirepistols build on OE to see that this would have immense potential to give OE a completely different spin (pun intended) towards his playstyle centered around the crank gun. But it just falls short. You definitely get the feeling of “Yeah, this could be something fun!”, but it falls short before it becomes a thing.