By: Tony "RadarX" Jones
Ten Ton Hammer begins its coverage of the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning beta with a look at the Dwarves. An ancient and industrious race who are well known for their ingenuity, they live in a constant battle against the Greenskins for their land. Considered a doomed race even by self admission, you'll find bitter and somber creatures who know their future but continue the fight. When not drinking themselves useless in a tavern, you'll likely find them guarding military camps or involved in various mining operations across the land. The first class we'll examine is the Dwarven Engineer.
A Good Rifle is All you Need
The Engineer is a ranged support class providing damage through the use of gadgets and black powder weaponry. Early on you are given you choice of various turrets which can use precision bullets, area of effect grenades, and short range bursts of flame. Mix in a few different types of grenades and a hefty rifle and you have a class that can bring steady amounts of damage to the battlefield. Our play testing has been limited to the first two tiers, but from what we've, seen the Engineer is not meant to be in the middle of the fight but back near the other casters firing away. In large groups you will frequently see them scurrying around to take shots as they can get them before retreating to the safety of larger numbers.
Where the Engineer seemed to really shine in RvR combat was in the defense of a captured battlefield objective. Once secured a small group can lay down a series of turrets set to an aggressive stance. This provides a noticeable field of fire against Destrucion forces wishing to retake the objective. Standing back and using rifle attacks insures the Engineer doesn't have to be up close, but in a pinch he has a hammer or wrench which will more than suffice. In a fast moving offensive however there is little time for turrets, so the Engineer will need to depend on the slow fire of his rifle and the occasional grenade toss.
The Engineer has a series of core abilities given as you progress but you eventually begin to procure Mastery Abilities which allow you to specialize your skills. The first of these the Path of the Rifleman which focuses on abilities with your rifle. This Mastery promotes increased damage at range, for instance the Crackshot ability will not only hit your target for a sizable amount of damage but disarm them for a few moments. Mix this in with a tactic that adds a damage over time bonus to certain types of attacks and this path provides increased lethality on the battlefield.
Ready to Fight!
Path of the Grenadier provides vastly different types of abilities and bonuses, focusing more on the area of effect and explosive skills you will pick up. The ability to throw a Fire Bomb which continues to burn your enemies long after they've been engulfed in flames is just one example of what you can expect from this Path. Certain tactics are added such as one increasing the overall range of your Grenadier abilities. This Mastery seems to be more for players interested in splash damage that good area of effect attacks can provide and will provide great support in large scale RvR battles.
The final Mastery was that of the Path of the Tinkerer enhancing close combat and primarily involves your gadgets. The ability called Ammo Compartment for instance enables you to cannibalize your turret for a large boost in Action Points. This will put you back in the fight quicker but keeps your turret from attacking for a few seconds. This path will likely be for those brave souls who want to be in the middle of battle and take part in close range combat. This could certainly augment the Engineers natural ability to have to fight at range.
The class performed fairly admirably for me in PvE when I took the time to plant a turret and pull things. While it might not kill as quickly as the other classes I observed, I almost never had to run away and was able to hold my own in the Ekrund Public Quests. As for RvR this is purely a support class, becoming a frequent snack for Greenskin tank classes or casters when you edge too far ahead to drop a turret. On the defensive the class is perfect for providing ranged DPS and is a great augmentation to any RvR group.
Keep checking back as we continue looking at the Dwarves and Greenskins.
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