YAF (Yet another Feedback): The Engineer

Little surprise: Yet another feedback for the engineer from someone 2k+ hours into the game, I at least think my opinion carries a certain weight (as far as it goes. There is the possibility that I have been doing nothing but playing garbage, but I hope the chances are slim enough :wink: ).

My verdict:

The engineer is almost spot on and imho, one of the most well-balanced careers that gives the game a new spin. The ability to use your “F” at liberty and be in control over its cooldown makes it less of an “ultimate ability”, but rather a 3rd piece of equipment. It is designed to fall somewhere between a ranged weapon and an active skill, and it works like a charm. The engineer has, so far, the best “Kit” of all carreers, with no completely useless talents, almost no talents that are blatently more obvious choices than others, and and thus, a very effective way to make multiple builds with high utility. The engineer can be both: a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades or a specialist. If I had my way, all upcoming and existing carreers would be modeled in his image. Fatshark, you did an absolutely stellar job with this!

The Talents:

Now, with that out of the way, there are some minor gripes I have with some talents. Some don’t seem to be working properly (at least as client) or completely as intended, some do work, but seem a bit underwhelming, some introduce mechanics that fall flat at a point where you’d think “Damn, that would be absolutely awesome if they’d followed completey through with the idea behind that”.
Let’s take a look at the individual tiers, and I will give my personal impression on how things could be tweaked.

Lvl 10
Leading Shots: Currently the strongest talent in the row, by virtue of being consistent and working well with with all available ranged weapons (except drakefire cannon, see below) and allowing for some pretty nice builds. Guaranteed crits mean you can equip drakefire pistols with “Hunter” trait and can boost your damage at will. Also a good choice because it works with the crank-gun, which gives the multi-barrell version a consistent way to deal damage against super armour. Lackluster choice for handgun, though knowing you can dish out a crit with your next handgun is nothing do laugh at. Also not the best choice for graker, but it works.

*Suggestion *: Right now, it seems it does not work with drakefire cannon. Not only that, it seems to remove the abililty to land crits with the cannon at all, at least that’s what testing in the keep suggests (you can try it yourself on the dummy). It would be absolutely neat to fix this. Otherwise, this needs no change

Armour Piercing Slugs: Good choice for most ranged weapon, gives many weapons a completely different outlook. MW-pistol being able to penetrage SV and mobs allows for different setups and surprisingly good horde clearing ability if you’re in a pickle. Surprisingly strong pick for drakefire weapons: Pistol’s fireballs being able to hit two enemies in a horde or hitting a special through mobs is amazing, same goes for cannon that can absolutely wreak havoc on SV-patrols. Didn’t think it would make such a big difference, but it does. Okay-ish for graker and handgun, though it does help to snipe specials through hordes surprisingly often.

Suggestion: Imho, it is a very close second to Leading Shots, and of course in some cases outright preferable. My only gripe is that, well… the “slugs” don’t really turn armour piercing. You could argue it would make it OP, but I think the name of the game should hold up: it should make all weapons deal damage to super armour, and handgun should deal extra damage to super-armour. Now, I don’t mean full blown armour piercing. But also, all weapons should deal damage to CW and super-armour lords. How much, I don’t know, it should definitely be little damage, but it would give this talent more profile apart from more ranged cleave.

Scavanged Shot: This one is pretty good, also, and probably the most solid choice for handgun and graker. Not only does it make both weapons alot more sustainable (especially graker, which allows you to pepper hordes at much greater liberty, allowing the weapon to fill its role as ranged CC), and being able to fire 2 handgun bullets in quick succession or blast your graker 3 times makes both weapon feel noticably different. While I consider this talent 3rd place, it’s difficult to rank against both other choices because it favours handgun and graker where the other two talents don’t do too much for these two weapons. Extra melee damage lets you hit melee break points in lieu of an alpha-strike stagger talent.

Suggestion: My only gripe is that this one, again, doesn’t seem to work with cannon and also not with drake pistols. Which is a shame, because I see very little reason for this. It won’t be a good choice for pistols, since it will basically just give you one free fireball or one blast (which isn’t much of a boon, really), but it could be HUGE for the cannon, if it allowed you to get - potentially - one full charge of your cannon for free. I don’t think this would be OP at all, and allow for a different approach towards saving overcharge than how the IB-talent works.

lvl20
I think all the level 20 talents are in a good place. “Full head of Steam” and “Superior Gaskets” are both equally viable and allow for very liberal and versatile choice of level 35 talent and weaponry. I am uncertain, though, if “Superior Gaskets” work as client, as it doesn’t seem like it does. But you get different choices between more power or more speed, and different types of pressure management. This makes Engineer very engaging to play, as you always have something to do with your equipment.

Suggestion: “Experimental Steam Capacitor” seems to be the odd of the bunch. I mean, if I don’t want to crank all the time, I go with “Superior Gaskets”, and if I want my craning to be meaningful towards my use of the crank-gun, I take “Full Head of Steam”. The extra time you get while firing because the pressure prevails during firing is negligible. This one needs some love.
My suggestion would be to either
a.) Add a 6th turn to the crank
or
b) Increase the speed of cranking by 25% to 50%
or
c) both
This would give a level 20 option that has no synergetic meta-utility towards your other weaponry, but one that is solely focused on creating more pressure fast and leaving you less vulnerable while doing so.

Level 25
Ablative Armour: Little wonder, I think we can agree that this is by far the most useful pick on this tier, as it makes the glass-canon-engineer somewhat of an “off-tank”. It is well designed, it hat it’s defined weakness (disablers, AoE damage, horde-chip), and its benefit is not too strong. It allows you to counter your biggest weakness (low health and being vulnerable while using your crank gun), allowing you to be a little more daring in the use of your crank gun. Synergizes well with Bark Skin to counter AoE damage.
This one needs no change at all, though I am pretty certain it does not work as client right now.

Bombardier: This one is in a wierd place. It sounds good on paper, but it is highly dependent on how many grenade you find. The effect is great, it’s pretty straight-forward, BUT too situational to warrant giving up your Ablative Armour. Bombardier slightly enhances your offensive capabilities, something the Engineer already has heaps of, which usually does not justify giving up the additional safety provided by, essentially, free 25%DR against alpha strike damage. This talent needs more defensive versatility, and I do have a good suggestion on how to achieve it.

Suggestion: I have two suggestions. Number one: Increase the size of your utility belt by +1. Simple as that. Number two: “Reactive Armour”: When Bardin is incapacitated or disabled, selecting a grenade (pressing the “select grenade” key) drops a grenade at his feet, freeing himself from disablers and giving himself breathing room for rescue. Reduces damage dealt to yourself by grenades to 0.

Piston Power: I was very sceptical at first, but this talent is actually quite decent with the right weapons. Realistically, this one is basically only interesting for 2h hammer, MAYBE 2h Axe, and both shield weapons. With 2 hammer, it has surprising “oomph” and with shields, you have almost complete control over when to use it, and the shield strike is capable of stumbling SV and CW or send everything in front of you flying away. However, it is lack-luster on weapons that have their single-target attack on charged. It does provide both offensive power as well as utility for the team and “defense by proxy”, since you can give yourself breathing room with it.
However, as with Bombardier, you lose access to the very strong Ablative Armour talent. And for that, the talent does not yet bring enough to the table to truly justify a pick. It does too little to warrant a 15 second cooldown and with weapons like 2h hammer and axe, your control over when to use it is compromised by the fact that your CC is on your charged attack, something the shields can work around by good CC from their light attacks and their good push-angle and stamina. Also, both 2h weapons are limited by their cleave mass. With shield, you stagger everything your shield strike hits. Against tightly packed enemies, you can stagger multiple SV at once. With 2h hammer and even more so 2h axe, the fun usually ends when hitting the first armoured enemy. Being able to knock down CW IS powerful, but it is rather unreliable on the two 2h weapons.

Suggestion: I would like to propose two changes, one obvious and one less obvious.
a) Reduce cooldown. Either flat to 10-12-ish seconds, or give us the option to reduce the cooldown by doing… something. Cranking the gun (you could argue that your piston-arm also gets cranked), firing the crank gun (the pressure being transfered to your piston-arm), performing ranged attacks (the recoil getting stored in the piston), blocking (same reasoning, and my perfered option)
b) Give the strike also increase cleave
c) Add the following effect: Knocking down an elite or special causes a shockwave that staggers all nearby enemies (this one is, together with option a, my perfered addition)

Level 30
The crank gun options are absolutely brilliant. “Linked compression chamber” and “Innovative Ammo Hoppers” are both equally valid picks and give you alot of different things to consider when choosing. My only suggestion would be to give “Linked compression chamber” +25% faster cranking, to follow through with the idea that the compression-chamber setup not only makes the barrels wind up faster, but everything being more fluid and fast.

Now, “Gromril-plated shot” is a weird case. It works and it does what it’s supposed to do, but it feels like it isn’t there just yet. The windup is slow, you get only a few shots out of your charge, and you need to jump a surprising number of hoops to hit relevant break points. My biggest gripe: IMHO, it deals surprisingly laughable damage against super armour. I am not expecting to one or two-shot CW, but the accuracy is too unrealiable for landing headshots consistently, and CW take too many bodyshots before dying.
A good way to demonstrate is this: Look how the regular gun performs against patrols when using a strength pot, and then try the same with a speed pot on Gromril Plated Shot (or heck, a strength pot, for that matter). The regular gun is, overall, better against hordes, better against monsters and a strength pot lets it shred basically anything in its way. The three-barrelled version cannot compete in this regard.

Suggestion: My suggestion for improvement is simple: Increase ability bar by 25%. Increase damage agsint super armour by 25% to 30% ish percent.

8 Likes

Lol and here I was thinking that one was obviously the strongest of the row. To me Full Head of Steam is the lacklustre one (needs longer duration or something to be worthwhile). Too much micro with too little benefit. Meanwhile steam capacitors means only cranking once after burst firing to maintain full pressure, and generally means much higher uptime on the crank gun.

Honestly though cranking in general could use some QoL buffs across the board. It’s just a bit too tedious and distracting for the strength of the class. Either cranking could be faster, pressure stacks could last longer, or they could wear off 1 at a time. Any one of those would help a bit.

I like your ideas for a number of the talents. Definitely agreed on Piston Power, and Gromril Shots being a bit underpowered at the moment.

5 Likes

Agreed.

2 Likes

This I like.

1 Like

I agree with alsozara. I think Pressure stacks should disappear 1 at a time, last for longer or be faster. Very awkward switching to crank a lot of the time.

Spotter is funny in how it has nearly no benefit at all for GK (buffs his bomb throws I guess). Not much can be done but it’s pretty sad.

I’d like to see a mild form of ammo sustain on Engineer as a passive or baked into one more talent (but not on the level 10 row) to improve build flexibility. Runs out of ammo very quickly for a ranged career. Could be thrown in with Experimental Steam Capacitors.

Every 5 melee kills, even with the 10% melee power seems like a lot to me. Lowering it to 4 melee kills or making it hit based for high cc but low damage weapons (like every 7 hits) would fix my personal issues with it.

Without a way to reliably get bombs, Utility Belt and Bombardier are a bit iffy. Something simple like getting a bomb on reaching full ult charge limited to a 3m cooldown (would it be too strong?) or generating a single bomb every 4-5m would be good. This could be as a passive or thrown in with Bombardier. In general would it be a good idea for there to be a special/unique benefit in reaching full ult charge, or would this limit OE’s gameplay too much?

OE is lacking in the defensive department. Not sure what can be done to help with this, but expanding on the piston powered arm is a good approach. I like the idea of cranking reducing the cooldown of Piston Power.

Innovative Ammo Hoppers is definitely strong enough. Your idea for faster cranking makes sense for Linked Compression Chamber as that talent has the most synergy with a more melee oriented OE (since it’s easier to use it if you’re under pressure/in melee/at the frontline) which would benefit from decreasing the down time caused by cranking. I agree with your thoughts on Gromril-Plate Shot. Damage isn’t enough on superarmour.

I wouldn’t want all of the my above suggestions implemented but some of them would be good I hope.

3 Likes

It does have the additional benefit of shooting an extra time before reloading, which is pretty nice for grudge and handgun. Agreed melee kills isn’t a great condition for Engi, he lacks the stagger talents and such to get a good kill rate (as a side note, mainstay + Bulwark again for stagger options :cry:). At very least lowering it to 4 melee kills would definitely be fair.

I think generating bombs might be ok with a condition to juggle. Like what if you only generated bombs provided you were already holding at least 1? Then you’d have to make some choices when to throw a bomb or hold onto it to stockpile more for a worse situation later. Bombs are damn powerful though and this is already kinda eating into RV’s territory, so I don’t think it’s something he should be able to do more frequently than maybe once every 5 minutes? That’s my gut feeling mostly.

I think it’d be very fair for him to have 125 HP base (honestly I feel the same way about RV but that’s a whole other discussion).

Agreed. Piston power is such a cool idea but it’s just a bit lacking at the moment.

Agreed. Easy BiS for that row.

I would personally love to see Linked Compression Chamber given some additional effects like wider bullet spray with stronger knock back so it can pair with a melee build as a sort of get off me option. In general I wish all the Ult talents had as big as impact on how you use the Crank Gun as Gromril does (even if it is kinda bad at the moment). Engi has cool alternate Loadout options but at the moment they don’t all feel as distinct from one another as they could. The Ult row seems like a really good place to define distinct, interesting alternatives in how you use the Crank gun.

3 Likes

I think I would like it more if it could build up 2 stacks. As in: 10 kills-> two free shots.

1 Like

Having thought about this more, I’d suggest to make the following change:
Reactive Armour: Carrying bombs grants 20% damage reduction. Each bomb can absorb x hits (somewhere between 3 and 5?), after which it explodes, dealing full effect around Bardin. Throwing a bomb resets the counter. Grenades now have both effects. Bombs can’t damage allies anymore.

Alternately: Give OE the GK treatment:
Bombardier: Same effect as is. Additionally, each 50(?) crank gun kills grant Bardin an improved bomb (alternating between regular and fire bomb). Bombs can’t harm yourself anymore. Start round with full set of bombs.
Engineer providing bombs to the squad could also mean RV could be the potion expert.

As a side note: Engineer should start the game with one fire bomb and one explosive bomb.

Also, since OE can use drakefire guns: Wouldn’t it be nice if he had access to one talent that catered to it, but in a different way than IB?

Was thinking about something like this:

Alchemical Combustible: Overcharge from drakefire weapons provides up to three extra stacks of pressure to the crank gun. Crank gun bullets set enemies on fire, causing damage over time.

1 Like

I noticed a lack of bombs in maps now and think this is a fantastic idea.

Been wondering if Fatshark reduced the number of bomb spawns in Legend+ because all the games I’ve played over the weekend, there was only a total of 5 bombs on each map and we went looking in every possible spawn location.

For a class that can hold 3 bombs, that leaves at least 1 person without a bomb for the entirety of the run.

And here I thought it was just my subjective impression that there’s almost no more bombs to be found.

1 Like

My thoughts exactly. I’ve been finding way less bombs than before the update.

Love this class.

The only two changes I would ask for. Full Head of Steam to increase steam stack duration to 15 seconds and the melee buff to last for the duration of the maxed steam stack. A melee focused Engineer will probably find himself in too much pressure to utilize the crank very often and this change would simplify how the talent works for clarity purposes.

And for Gromnil-Plated Shot to have a faster and more accurate initial shot. Me and a couple of buddies are convinced that there’s a trick to the Gromnil-Plated Shot, that it requires a different way of thinking on how to use it. But so far its cons tip the scales out of its favor. You can’t really “snipe” with the weapon and the initial wind-up shot takes too much time. With its punishingly high ult cost to fire, you have to pick and choose which targets you take on because it won’t shine as sustained fire without Decanter plus a Concentration potion. Just a little bit more responsiveness and accuracy from this talent will go a long way to making it a real alternative against the rest of Engineer’s level 30 talent row, which both mow down unarmored hordes really, really well.

5 Likes

Agree


I wonder it removes random crits or not.


Agree


Agree


Agree

1 Like

Well after 50+ odd games I can say that without the new weapons equipped I think the career is “ok”. Its definitely stronger the lower the difficulty is because you can just clown pretty much every elite and special with the ability only. On cata most things have enough HP that spec’ing to Gromril-plated shot is almost a must if you want reliable armor damage. Which is good tough most people will probably compensate here with the ranged or melee option.

My biggest issue really is the cranking as many have said. It can be annoying and personally I ran 99% of the time Superior Gaskets so I could practically ignore the mechanic. Stacks disappearing 1 at a time like suggested previously would probably fix many of the issues with it.

Talent wise. I can see nearly all of the talents used 1 way or a other. Which is honestly pretty refreshing. There are going to be superior picks on most of the trees but the only real dud I found is the Full head of Steam which I think is simply just too micro intensive for what it gives. Piston power probably needs cooldown reduced and maybe add an Aoe Knockback component to it but even now its fun.

Overall I think the career even currently is fine. With slight tweaks its pretty close to perfection.

2 Likes

To me, the most obvious changes seem to be

  1. Cranking: Losing one stack at a time instead of the whole lot would remove tedium from the cranking mechanic. I would also be in favour of slightly increasing the duration of the cranks.
  2. Move “Bombardier” from a talent to a perk. Replace “Bombardier” with something more worthwhile. I, of course, like my “reactive armour” idea, but I think OE should be the carreer providing bombs to the squad (it could be tied to the crank gun: 30-50 kills equal one bomb, or a certain number of damage dealt, or maybe even a certain amount of cranks, something like that), so that could replace the talent. This is also to make OE’s utility belt ability more relevant and rewarding.
  3. Gromril Plated Shot needs slight adjustment.

I also think there should be some synergy with drakefire weapons. I mean, OE has a stove in his backpack, there should be something going on with drakefire (bonus for me would be if the talent would turn drakefire a different colour, maybe blue or purple ^^).

4 Likes
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