Level 25 engineer talents or how ablative armor is the only useful one

I think many people have come to the consensus that the level 25 talents are effectively a non-choice.

Of the 3 choices: ablative armor, bombardier, and piston power, the obvious choice would be bombardier, and I think it’s mostly due to consistency.

Ablative armor just works all the time. It grants stacks of damage reduction for just existing.

Bombardier seems like an interesting choice, but it’s inherently tied to RNG. I’m not gauranteed to find a bomb through my runs, and the only career that generates it (ranger vet) isn’t allowed to be run with engineer (minus the modded shenanigans). Interestingly, this talent actually has more potential/use on lower difficulties where RNG is more giving for supplies as opposed to cataclysm where it’s a struggle getting bombs (which is the exact opposite of many talents which gets better at higher difficulties because of more density). I propose the change should be an addition of a way to generate bombs. I think it should be similar to the strength pot generation of grailknight, but instead of killing anything, it should be tied to killing elites and/or specials. This would actually help equalize it across all difficulties and make it competitive compared to ablative armor. The number of kills of course needs to be balanced, but I’m confident that it’s a small issue. Personally, I think a larger generation time would be good. I think something like 100 elite/special kills on cataclysm per bomb would actually be balanced since bombs are high impact.

Piston power is not consistent and it procs too easily especially on things that don’t need a bunch of knockback. I propose that the cooldown be lowered a little bit, and there should be a way to manually activate it. Rather than being on hit when the cooldown is up, it should be manually activated through a way such as pressing the special key or crouching before hitting just to be able to choose when to use this talent. The cooldown should then be adjusted to be a little faster somewhere in the realm of 10-12 seconds instead of 15.

With these buffs, ablative armor shouldn’t be the only viable talent, but I’m not sure if it’ll fall behind. A simple adjustment to be 6% per stack to a max of 30% damage reduction should suffice.


You should reconsider what you wrote here.

As for the topic. Personally, Ablative Armor is the talent i consider the least interesting in the row because it covers a situation which ideally doesn’t happen.

For the moment I go with Bombardier as a double bomb can easily turn around a lot of situations effectively negating damage by not receiving it.

Piston Power is situatianlly maybe, but works wonder on weapons with high cleave and I think to remember it even works on bosses. Also, the cooldown is already extremely low O.o No need to further decrease it.


Bombardier has an inherent issue of being incredibly tied to RNG which weakens it as you go up higher in difficulty, and it’s completely useless on deeds with the no pickups modifier, so for more serious gameplay, ablative is the superior option because of the consistency


Certain talents being useless on certain deeds is not an issue as you know the modifier before hand. RNG might be an issue but you find some bombs all the time. In the end it is preference. Like I said, personally, I find Ablative Armor a very uninteresting choice.


Those people…

… are wrong


I do agree with this, i also wish piston power could be activated in some other way, perhaps similarly to the special attack on the rapier or the billhook. That would make it a lot more useful since you could keep it for dire situations.


Piston Power is an insane talent and I refuse to believe otherwise. Its automatically S-tier simply because it gives Engineer his own “panic mode, create a breathing room” button. You obviously don’t want to use it on weapons where you spam heavies, so stuff like shields is perfect. Also, it works on shotgun bash.


:astonished: That’s a real cool find. Thank you!

I am rather certain, however, that AA does not work as client atm.

I’m going to call that lv25 row discussion out as a matter of player skill and, accordingly, as an inability to see the value of utility options being (almost always) superior to flat defense options.

Ablative Armor looks valuable when you get hit a lot and plan for this happening. But as Adelion said, taking lots of damage isn’t ideal anyway. If you don’t get hit like more than once (or twice) during fights this talent is wasted and, in turn, a definite non-pick. Also, Barkskin exists. In scenarios where you take so much damage that you’ll most likely die, this talent won’t save you either.

Bombardier looks valuable when you want to get the most out of your bombs with the least amount of RNG. You get an explosive bomb ‘for free’ when picking up a fire bomb, and vice versa. The talent reduces a player’s cognitive load (I can throw whatever whenever to get a fixed result) and it provides the most effectiveness for bomb damage. But ususally, you don’t throw bombs to deal damage - even after Cataclysm explosive bombs had their damage profile fixed. You use bombs as utility for space, cc, stagger, interruption, and/or applying Shrapnel to a target that wouldn’t die in one hit. I stopped using Bombardier after I realized that I was killing downed team mates rather than saving them by throwing a nade close to them when they are surrounded by mobs. I wanted to get rid of the mobs or lay ground fire to get a safe revive but Bombardier is counter-productive here. That’s why until this day I prefer fire bombs over explosive bombs (both stagger monsters/lords anyway).

Now, this leaves Piston Power actually as the only decent choice here. Unless you use a melee weapon that requires you to use heavy attacks most of the time like 2HH, Greataxe, etc. and reduces the effective uptime of the talent. It is perfect, however, for Coghammer (and Shields for that matter) as its light chain already features stagger-heavy attacks that let you cc mobs decently enough but when there’s a CW (or more) in front of you, you can go for a well aimed heavy and this threat is disabled for a couple of seconds. Also, Piston Power provides you with a monster/lord heavy stagger every 15 seconds for no cost and no friendly fire if canceling a grab, etc. Ledging stuff with just the melee weapon is borderline op. This talent is quite as good as Gromril Curse on IB (minus the AoE stagger) as long as players are able to make the most use of it.


Doesn’t this also mean it puts a target at stagger level 2, meaning if you have mainstay you will be doing 60% more damage to it?

I’m probably wrong or not understanding this talent correctly but if it staggers like it does doesn’t that mean it activates your stagger talents too?

It does put mobs into stagger 2 immediately but you don’t want to use Mainstay on Engie either way as Enhanced Power offers way more for Crank Gun and Pistol. He’s a ranged focus career in the end.

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Since ablative needs to build stacks, and is lost on getting hit, I’d argue it’s much better for taking the random hit once in a while which is much more common on a ranged heavy class.

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Piston Power is rather insane. Makes a FK run green with envy.
The only problem is the “random” execution. People here talk about Shields being good with that talent, but you mostly wanna shieldbash, push combo to get room and THP. Just spamming left click gets nothing done.

The only weapon that does halfway decent with that restriction is Dual Hammers(, or 1hHammer). Left click away, heavy attack what needs to get staggered and switch to pistol to unload.

If you dont wanna play Dual Hammers, the DR wins. Barkskin is a thing, but the first hit, or tick doing 25% less damage is quite a number, especially since you might have to risk taking a hit to get that stormer, leech, or whatever needs to be dealt with.

Bombardier doesnt seem to be of equal worth compared to the other choices.

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I still find it weird ranger vet has access to more/better DR than an engineer with a full plated mechanical arm


IMO give RV and Engi both 125 HP base then knock Exuberance down to 20%. Seems fitting to me :man_shrugging:

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Maybs, I think RV is in a fine state at 100 base hp

Engi I think could use a bump up though, he’s stupid vulnerable compared to any other class in the game right now for what I would argue is not a great payoff


Yeah for RV less about balance and more that it feels fitting for a hardy dwarf Ranger. Hence the Exuberance nerf to go with it but it’d definitely still be a buff overall that he admittedly does not need.

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Weird, I’m personally a massive fan of piston power. Sure the other 2 can be more consistent but there really is nothing like it on any other careers.
On demand stagger on that level can be extremely powerful tough I do admit its rather weapon specific if you are going to get anything out of it. The meme value alone of smashing chaos warriors to their asses makes it fun enough to eclipse the other 2 for me.

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Yeah it’s really held back by interacting so badly with temp health on stagger at the moment. If that was fixed it would probably be good enough, though I’d personally like to see it also add a power bonus as well as stagger to the hit that triggers it. That would cement it as a great melee focused build option.

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