Outcast Engineer, a modest proposal

Love this class concept, but it has a lot of frustrating parts with its design. Here’s a rework that I’ve come up with:

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Steam-Assisted Crank Gun (Mk II): Add all of the current effects of Experimental Steam Capacitors. Allow to be cranked while at full charge. Decrease spread by 50% and increase firing kickback by 50%.

Reasoning is that right now Experimental Steam Capacitors is basically required to use the Crank Gun, so just fold it in. Without it firing for even a second means that you’ve lost about 5s that need to be cranked again, which makes the crank gun impractical for anything aside from already-easy situations where you have no enemies around and can operate in complete peace as a ranged class. Being able to crank at full charge removes the incredible annoyance of needing to fire your gun in order to crank it and maintain charge. Decreasing the spread is needed because right now it is incredibly inaccurate, and it already has a kickback mechanic, so transferring some of this inaccuracy to the kickback helps make it more skill-based. Right now you can’t even headshot things that are 30 feet away which is kind of a joke.

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Utility belt: Change to “Bardin can carry up to 3 Bombs (of any type) at one time. Bardin starts with 1 random bomb and throws them 50% quicker.”

Reasoning is that this perk is currently pretty useless. With no inherent advantage to Bardin carrying a bomb on its own, you’re better off giving the first 4 bombs you find to everyone so that anyone can use one in a pinch. Making Bardin deploy them faster gives him an advantage here and lets him better use it defensively, and starting the map with a bomb ensures he’ll have at least one chance to use it.

Level 10 talents: There’s a bit of a problem at this tier in that both Leading Shots and Armour Piercing Slugs are very similarly general ranged ability boosters, with Leading shots being better with ranged weapons that use the relevant crit traits and armor piercing being better otherwise. I also want to shift piercing more enemies to another talent, so we’ll change it.

Armour Piercing Slugs: Change to “deal +25% damage to armoured enemies”.

Combined Arms: This is currently bugged (?) and doesn’t refresh if you kill 5 melee enemies and then do a ranged attack while still under the effect of the previous buff. Not a huge problem but fix it so it can be kept up.

Level 20 talents: We’ve folded ESC into the base gun, so the other talents are now far more maintainable and usable. We need some rebalancing and ESC to be something new

Full Head of Steam: I like the idea, but want this to be more interesting, and a flat 15% power buff as long as you are cranking isn’t that interesting. Change this to: “Upon reaching 5 stacks of Pressure, Bardin gains 3% power and 2% crit rate for 12 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times”. Now we’ve enhanced the risk-reward tradeoff, since losing pressure will mean a lot of time to regain this buff.

Superior Gaskets: This will be the opposite, the low-risk option. Change to be simply “Pressure is not lost over time”. For those people who just wish that Engineer was a normal class without this blasted cranking mechanic! With a lot of other changes that make the class more complex, this allows players to simplify things a little.

Experimental Steam Capacitors: Change to “Melee kills recharge 1% of the ability bar. If ability bar is full, melee kills grant +10% attack speed and +25% reload speed for 10 seconds”. Capacitors sound like something that should allow you to charge your gun in another way.

Level 25 talents: All 3 of these talents are interesting at first glance, but have huge issues in practice that need to be rectified.

Ablative Armour: The fact that friendly fire triggers this is a crime, and any kind of DoT chews through it all. Change this to a barkskin-like effect: “Each 15 seconds you gain a stack of ablative armor. Stacks up to 5 times. Taking damage from an enemy grants 5% damage reduction for 5 seconds per stack and then removes a stack. This effect can only trigger every 5 seconds” On a related note, Huntsman needs a similar change for Thick Hide.

Bombadier: Much the same problem as Utility Belt in that it depends on finding bombs too much. Change to “Bardin’s Bombs gain the effect of both regular Bombs and Incendiary Bombs. Bardin starts with an additional random bomb, and has a 15% chance to find another in his belt whenever he throws one.”

Piston Power: This is really weird and overly weapon-dependent on whether it’s useful or not. Change to “All of Bardin’s melee weapons gain the weapon special ability (mouse 3 button) to make a charged attack that deals immense stagger and costs 25% of Bardin’s ability bar”. None of Bardin’s melee weapons currently use the special ability so this should be fine. It also makes it interesting to give players the option of spending their ability bar on a melee ability.

Level 30 talents: Gromril-Plated Shot is an interesting change to the crank gun. Both of the other talents should do the same.

Gromril plated Shot: For normal anti-armor and staggering elites this feels good. But it needs needs way more super-armor damage and monster damage. Gromril shots do EIGHT damage to a Chaos Warrior on bodyshot and NINETEEN on a headshot. Even with perfect, sustained headshots that you can only do while not moving and at close range this will take up half your ability bar to kill one chaos warrior on Cata. Know what does more damage to chaos warriors? Basically every other armor piercing weapon in the game. Gromril is also considerably worse against monsters compared to the normal crank gun, doing only double damage per shot while firing around 1/3rd as many shots. Buff super armor and monster damage by 66-100%. Also give it more kickback on firing, it seems identical to the standard crank gun on a per-shot basis. I said to give the regular gun +50%, so give this +150% of what it has now. It’d still be more than easy enough to control given how slow it is to fire.

Linked Compression Chamber: Change to “Bardin’s Crank gun becomes pin-point accurate, has no kickback, and pierces 1 additional enemies. Killing a Special makes the crank gun not consume the ability bar for the next 8 seconds. The Crank Gun starts firing at full speed rather than taking time to ramp up”. The idea here is to change his gun into more of a special sniper weapon. It needs a LOT more accuracy for that. It will also still require good aim to get headshots on armored enemies like Ratling guns and Warpfire throwers since bodyshots on armor is weak damage.

Innovative Ammo Hoppers: Change to “Increases Bardin’s Ability Bar by 50% and the rate at which pressure stacks recover the ability bar by 50%. Aiming and firing the Crank Gun no longer reduces Bardin’s movement speed”. Who wouldn’t want to try a more mobile crank gun that can actually keep up with a mobile party, or fight through events that require you to move around?

So, what do you think? Do you like the new builds this would allow? Do you think it is too strong?

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Damage dealing is not his problem. Setup, micro management, and lacking escape mechanics are.

Just getting rid of the micro management part, by reducing the number of needed cranks by a lot, would push him into a much better state. Less cranks while traversing the map equals less needless time on the gun that slows you down and makes you fall behind.

Not being granted a get out of jail free card as a range power house is fine. The whole “slowing the team down by design” story is just annoying and plain not fun to play.

(Ontop of that you would need to nerf the pistols monster and/or armor damage. There is no way engi can compete with a pistol ranger ever, without creating another career for brokenland.)

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If you read the crank gun change I did precisely this. Most of the micromanagement is gone and all you have to do is crank every 12 seconds. Superior Gaskets also literally means you never have to crank other than the first 5 times for a whole map, if you take it. The new ESC also lets you farm ability bar from melee.

See Innovative Ammo Hoppers

Nerfing MWP is an entirely different conversation. I’m trying to make Engi more fun and with more varied builds/gameplay styles, not make it beat any specific other class. Also Trollhammer is pretty broken anyway against monsters/super armor/stormvermin patrols (and deserves a nerf).

Outcast Engineer Recast
(I can not put the link)

I had already made proposals, I was trashtalk. While the character needs to be retouched.

I tried to entice him a new passive even, for his survival.

But as soon as you edit a character too much without the players understanding why, they yell.

Afterwards, I had made some things OP in my redesign. I agree with that. But there were other more honest proposals that would have been great to see that.

Honestly, I just want his gatling gun to be armour/shield piercing.

I think Engi is fine as is. The crank gun micromanagement is annoying but that’s the price you pay for having a devastating ult with nearly 100% up time. Your proposals go way too far.

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Currently Engi’s ult is more like a slightly stronger anti-infantry swiftbow with 25% uptime, with the problem of the swiftbow being substantially better at anti-armor and hitting things accurately and being mobile.

Also keep in mind that I removed the +1 penetration from the level 10 line which is what gives the Engi gun a large part of its anti-horde clearing power. It’s now a distinct specialization rather than an automatic pick.

For me, the only downsides to Engineer are the playstyle being extremely risky on higher difficulties, because of Weapon switch spamming, and the fact that with the Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun, Ranger Veteran is just 100x better due to unlimited ammo.

The only 2 changes I’d like to see are to the Level 20 and Level 25 Tiers, and to either nerf RV or add an additional mechanic to Engi with Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun.

Constant Weapon switching becomes a bit irritating, with any of the Level 20 Talents, which aren’t Superior Gaskets. I know there’s Achievments for keeping the buffs up, but it’s just not a playstyle I’ve enjoyed.

He’s a Ranged Career who can take a lot of damage, and is being forced to run around spam reloading. While it’s a test of game knowledge and skill to keep the stacks going on higher difficulities, I just dislike being so vulnerable on those difficulties, while not putting out damage (as falling behind on damage can kill you faster than anything).

This means that the Level 20 Tier has no real choice for me.

As for the Level 25 Tier, Damage Reduction is just always optimal for any Career, other than Zealot with the THP build, this is because it can take you out of one-hit range continuously throughout the map, therefore making the risk of Weapon switching constantly much less.

Other than with the 3 Ranged Weapons mentioned above, I don’t have an issue doing really good damage with Drakefire Pistols + Hammers and the Flamethrower. Flamethrower + Shield Weapon likely being his best damage output potential and survival combo.

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Engi is strong in Cata and below. But…

Crank stacks need to drop off one at a time, not all at once.

Crank stacks need to last longer. Constant cranking is intolerable, leaving only one playable talent choice.

For bombardier talent, he needs to start the run with multiple bombs, because bombs are scarce in maps. It’s not a strong enough talent as is, though it is fun.

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My take on a light changing of Outcast Engineer’s Talents:

Underperforming/Not Very Useful Talents (Level 10/20):

Combined Arms: 10% Melee Power. Each 5 Kills makes Bardin’s next Ranged Attack grant 15% Ranged Power for 10 Seconds.

Full Head Of Steam: Upon reaching 5 Stacks of Pressure, Bardin gains 15% Power for 10 seconds.

Linked Compression Chamber: The Steam Gun MK2 begins firing at full speed, instead of taking time to ramp up.


I’d say to simply replace these with something else. If Outcast Engineer is a Ranged Character, focused on his minigun and shooting weapon, accept that he is never going to be a melee powerhouse, so why include the Talents that make him slightly better at melee but not ‘good’? Likewise, a talent that relies on getting 5 stacks of cranking up is asking someone to spend 5 seconds or so cranking up and vulnerable mid-fight, or getting it up to 5 stacks before hand and hoping you can get worth out of that final crank in a fight. Possible, but why do it for anything but the memes?

Replace Combined Arms with a Talent that lets him Generate Bombs on a certain number of Ranged Kills (200+?), which combines neatly with his Passive for carrying 3, and his 25 Talent for both Bomb effects.

Level 20 is all about Pressure Stacks. Replace Full Head of Steam with something more generalized. Experimental Steam Capacitors means you can keep firing while Pressure Stacks are up. Superior Gaskets never stop charging up until you fire, and even give Attack Speed. I would suggest a talent that does something in that vein;

Prototype Release Valve: Bardin loses Pressure Stacks one at a time at the normal pace, and when a Stack is lost, Bardin emits a staggering wave of steam that performs a light stagger on nearby enemies (But not above Man-sized or boss monsters).

This would enable Bardin to emit low-level stagger at certain points. It may address him being stabbed in the back by a slaverat, or a 360 degree shield push when in the midst of combat. The idea would obviously need to be fine-tuned, but it would be an interesting Talent.

Finally for the Level 30 Talents, a lot has been said about them, so I’ll agree that something needs to be done about Gromril Shot and Linked Compression Chambers. Ideally, I’d like the spread penalty for Gromril reduced and super-armor damage increased, at the least. Make it almost a sniper weapon, so you can take the Grudgeraker or Drakefire weapon instead.

Linked Compression Chambers has always bemused me by who thought just firing at its full attack speed was enough. An interesting bit for it that I think would help a good deal would be to remove the slowdown when firing and aiming, in addition to starting with full attack speed. Have the Talent turn Bardin into a Mobile Turret, and I think that’d make it picked much more often.

LCC is incredibly useful, letting you use the minigun relatively well for short bursts in melee or near melee. Pulling it out, doing a quick dodge, and nailing a group of 4 maulers or 6 berzerkers running at you in a horde is very good. And if it’s stormvermin then, well, that’s why you carry masterwork pistol (which is still legitimately good on engi, even if he doesn’t have the ammo of ranger, he does penetrate more stormvermin and a magdump basically clears a patrol).

Currently innovative ammo hoppers is the joke useless pick. Non-gromril guns can’t even kill armored specials (at long range inaccuracy means it can’t kill any of them) and 4 seconds is nothing, you can’t even switch from MWP and get the gun spun up before its over. The only reason it was used previously was because it was bugged and gave unlimited ability bar for 15 seconds rather than 4.

But not having instant spinup in general is a huge problem at higher difficulties in areas that don’t funnel enemies well or if you don’t have a very tight team. Gromril at least gets around this by letting you take Drakegun to hold back a lot of things and the Gromril shots themself at least stagger damn near everything they hit. So Drakegun/Gromril ends up a workable build, everything else basically is forced to take LCC

I don’t think that’s true at all. IAH still gives 50% more shots with a full bar, which is pretty big for boss damage, and you don’t have to kill a special with the ult itself. Besides it’s not uncommon for an assassin or leech to try and jump your party while you’re firing the crank gun, and it deals with those very quickly. I’ve honestly only heard people refer to IAH as the best choice 90% of the time.

I do agree LCC is more impactful than some give it credit for though.

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Vs. a monster on cataclysm minigun has reasonably OK DPS but runs out way before you’ve done significant damage. 50% more shots barely matters. If you are going to kill monsters with your minigun you need a purple potion and about 40s of spare time with nothing going on and another player to kite the boss, which is the definition of an already easy boss fight. You can’t do anything to a monster while his aggro is on you which means you’re worse in every way compared to a character who could solo a monster in 80s while the player who has to hold aggro for you could instead be covering you against a horde.

Shooting the minigun is like spending your money, ideally you’re spending about the same rate it comes in or else you go broke very quickly regardless. IAH is something that only gets useful if you are completely dumping your whole ult stockpile, which is only something you’ll do when you are insanely safe and the enemy if coming from 1 or 2 choke points, which is something you don’t need all that ammo for. You’re probably just pissing off your team by shooting them in the back or shooting 100% of the horde before they can get some THP.

LCC plays into the minigun’s best facet: very quick very penetrating very strong anti-unarmored. A horde WILL get shredded in 2-3 seconds with it. LCC fires at 12 rounds a second and can penetrate 3-4 common horde enemies per shot. Most Engineers fire massively too many shots and if they aren’t using LCC they get “locked in” to firing because they don’t want to stop shooting once the gun is spun up. This is the wrong way to play it, you are much more likely to take a random hit to the back and you just don’t need more than that 2-3 seconds of shooting with LCC. Seriously just go into modded and spawn 100 clanrats on cata difficulty. They die in 2 seconds.

TL;DR waiting for a gun to spin up is dead time, wasted time, and dangerous time. Shooting more because you don’t want to continually spin up the gun is just as wasteful.

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I do understand where you’re coming from here, and in the quickplay environment I agree, LCC is much more self sufficient and more likely to be valuable.

I do think IAH has better DPS potential in a coordinated team though.

I do agree with this sentiment, I just don’t think it’s as hard to get value out of the 4 seconds of free firing after special kill as you’ve suggested. That aspect of the talent does reduce your expenditure allowing you to get more value out of the increased ammo pool.

TL;DR In quick play I agree with most of your arguments, I just think calling IAH a “joke useless pick” is a fair bit too far and underrating that talent way too hard.

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4 seconds of free shooting if you happen to be the one who scores a killing blow on a special (less if you need to switch to the minigun), but 2 seconds of warmup every time you need to shoot. Pretty bad deal imo. We can theorize about coordinated parties all day long, but the game gets hard when coordination breaks. If your team is good enough to completely keep everything away from you forever then the minigun’s damage output is enough to trivialize anything unarmored regardless of which talent you pick.

I would challenge anyone to get usage out of IAH when they also need to melee at the same time. Good luck pulling that out and trying to take down a special while the gun spins up. Then, if you do, spending 4 more seconds shooting is likely to get you hit and your gun interrupted anyway.

Everyone uses IAH, it’s the meta. Watch the best players doing Engi runs, it’s IAH. The main decision is Superior Gaskets vs Experimental Steam Capacitors. With IAH you have to build the spin-up time into your gameplay. The main problem with Engi is cranking every ~10 seconds of a run, which is an awful experience, so Superior Gaskets is the only enjoyable talent to my taste. But the better players seems to go with Experimental Steam Capacitors to maximize gun time… which is a reason nobody plays Engi. Cranking all the time sucks.

Rubbish, it’s awful. I’m not watching awful players. I see them in cata quick play all the time.

Maybe I have my opinion on OE and his Bombardier talent.

  1. I keep her basic liabilities because she is unique.
  2. I add an option like the GK. (Get a potion of strength, except the engineer will get him a bomb)
    After 75 enemies killed by “Outcast Engineer”, the player receives a bomb.
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I like the idea, but I also feel like it makes it feel a bit too in common with Ranger when both are spawning bombs throughout the whole map. Hence why I went with just starting with more bombs. Ranger ends up focused on bomb quantity, Engineer on bomb quality (not able to spam them the whole map, but able to dump effectively up to 3 stuns/knockbacks and 6 bombs worth of damage to save a run if things go bad).

I partially agree with the suggestions about the Piston Power.
But I think that it is not necessary to link this skill to all mele-weapons, just make a universal special attack with a Power Fist.

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