Tabula Rasa Guide to Engineers Part 1
Engineer Guide part 1:
Foreward by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
There is no arguing as a support class, the Engineer is one of the most powerful Specialist trees you can follow. With extremely powerful turrets giving them almost a Team Fortress feel, when properly played they are a force to be reckoned with. This guide will assist you in understanding the skills and tactics of an Engineer and how to properly use your skills in the field.
The following guide is broken down into sections covering: Basic Tools, Turret Deployment Tactics, Combat Tactics, and Hacking.
Coffey's guide to the formidable art of Construction: Tools of the trade.
LISTEN UP! I will only say this once and if you fail the test you are relegated to the role of Demolitionist who can't even handle REALITY without breaking it!
The first point is YOUR ARMOUR IS YOUR FRIEND. Learn to use it, clean it, and kiss it goodnight boys and girls because it's going to stop your bacon from being fried to a crisp more often than that sissy Graviton ever will. It is your protection, it is your power. DO NOT NEGLECT IT.
This is not Robotech
Mech Armour is not the toughest there is by any means, though it's fairly solid as far as Specialist armour goes. However, you rely on skills and they take power. This is where the Mech Armour will give you the taste of victory. Engineers excel at protracted battles, and as such you spend a lot of time on a slow recharge rate. At Pump 3 it takes the edge right off of this allowing you the ability to chain your turrets and other skills where non-sapper classes are running VERY low without the extensive use of Consumables for Recharge.
Shield Extender should be your next port of call. Your first main advantage over other classes is Defence, NOT attacking! If you want to rush in undefended go join the gun-happy Soldier Divisions. Mech armour is your baby and you must PROTECT IT. Shield Extender will give you the battlefield survivability to be still going strong when all others are RUNNING SCARED FOR THE TRENCHES!
We are a ROLLING BLOCKADE!
Shield Extender is an excellent skill. Generally I only use it at Pump 3, but moving on beyond this can make you very tough indeed. Because it can either be difficult or very expensive to obtain and maintain a killing spree bonus you MUST find ways to offset this. The first is to live and not waste a lot of time running back to where you died. The second is to be able to provide ample targets for your turrets so they just never stop shooting. In order to enter these dangerous locations you HAVE to be able to tank and Shield Extender is an excellent start.
Since you have completed your sapper training you ALL know what this is. It is a Polarity Gun. Learn to call it "DAMNED EXPENSIVE SUCKER!!" This is ONLY a weapon of last resort but you MUST be proficient in it's use. While you will NOT use this weapon very often, there WILL be times when it's sorely needed. Like a Boyscout, you must ALWAYS BE PREPARED!
I'm not kidding. The polarity gun is incredibly expensive and a weapon of last resort you should hardly ever use. Pump 4 is sufficient, but 5 is better, just be wary because it will drain your bank account just as fast as it kills mobs. Also learn to use it proficiently. Polarity guns have a special feature that is very powerful and also makes these weapons cheaper. After you hit a target about 10 times you can release the trigger for a massive burst of damage (roughly 10x the damage of it's normal hit). Think of it as "Charging up" and you are waiting for the charge to really shoot. This can be a devastating attack that will remove the entire life bar of Thrax soldiers and other Bane troops. Keep in mind that the Polarity gun is the ONLY gun in the game that does MORE damage when you let go of the trigger than pressing it.
As powerful as it is it can make your leveling experience almost unaffordable. Typicly only use it on things like Striders and Stalkers, Kael and other tough targets.
This is an old friend. It is called a RIFLE. You remember it from before you were spoilt like a child at Christmas with the Polarity Gun. Get yourself a few of these but most importantly get the PRETTY YELLOW ONE. You will need these to take out Shield Drones as you only have one, I repeat ONE, turret that will fire through the shield at the drone itself. The EMP Rifle is your ticket to sustained damage with your turrets. Turrets are powerful, but DUMBER THAN A GUNG-HO GRENADIER, and they will need your input from time to time.
Firearms is a fine skill for team and solo play. No, it's not as powerful as you would like but the varying damage types and effects make up for the fact that there are only Fire, Ice and Electric Polarity Guns and they are single target weapons. I tend to stick at Firearms 4 as a utilitarian measure.
The main reason you will need Firearms though is to get rid of shield drones. Turrets are not to bright and tend not to care if they are wasting half their firepower shooting through a drone's shield rather than a target in the open. EMP rifles are cheap and effective methods of getting rid of them, but try to kill the one that your Turrets are shooting through the shield of. Any technicians that come in to the rescue tend to be picked up by the turrets and killed before they can Jumpstart the drone back to life.
This is a REPAIR TOOL. You are familiar with these and are about to get more familiar. This is a tool for sustained battlefield survivability in more ways than just replenishing your Armour Absorbtion. With Sufficient training in the Art of using Tools you are able to reactivate downed Outpost Defence Turrets on the Fly, and also turn that Mech Pilot's shot-to-hell tin coffin back into a functioning Mech again. The more targets there are to shoot at the less of a Threat you appear to the bane THUS IMPROVING YOUR BATTLEFIELD SURVIVABILITY!
Engineers are pivotal
Reapiring yourself is a must and I seriously suggest tools 3 so you can backup-rez and jumpstart broken machinery. Apart from this, a secret. If there are active turrets outside a CP not many Bane will attack the door and they will spread out more. This makes them excellent targets for your turrets as well as keeping aggro from you while you duck out the front gate to place them. It also greatly reduces the risk of losing the CP if a lot of the bane remain outside when the shield goes down. Jumpstart Turrets and Mechs and heal them if possible and it makes the solo attacking and defending of CP's an easier job.
This is a BOT and it is a VERY nice friend to have. They will however cost you your next month's Cake Rations as they are VERY expensive. They are both a weapon of attack and a tool of defence. MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING THE RIGHT BOT IN THE RIGHT SITUATIONS. Do NOT use these chain-style either. They are VERY difficult to make and are long on the recharge. Using them willy nilly will see you without one WHEN YOU REALLY NEED IT.
Bots are very expensive but tend to be very powerful if you use them right. Because of the defensive nature of the Engineer you are able to remain still for extended periods of time which means that these pets will not become confused like other classes pets because they have to remain mobile. The first 2 bots are attack bots and relatively cheap. They are not uber damage dealers but add a nice layer to your damage dealing potential. The 3rd bot is the repair bot. Many people seem to have problems getting this pet to heal and it doesn't Jumpstart like the description says as it is currently bugged. The last 2 bots are VERY expensive, but they are Shield Drones like the bane have. They are EXCELLENT at reducing the amount of incoming damage from Weapons Fire as a tanking tool. With Shield Extender 3 and a MultiBot you can take a direct hit from a strider's beam attack and live.
Used wisely they are worth the points and money you spend on them.
YOU WERE ALL TOLD TO WEAR YOUR ARMOUR TODAY! YOU ARE ABOUT TO FIND OUT WHY. THIS IS A DETONATOR FOR THE M-371 FRAGMENTATION GRENADES STRAPPED TO THE UNDERNEATH OF YOUR CHAIRS!
Base Wave is the Engineer's signature skill. It is a massive Armour regeneration boost and lasts a good long while. Of course as a Signature skill it requires a full adrenaline bar to use. It's also long on the recharge. Save this skill for when you REALLY need it as it is very powerful in the right situations and totally useless in the wrong ones. I recommend tracking down all the logos to get in and get Vortex as soon as possible.
THIS IS BASE WAVE. Notice your accelerated shield regeneration. I feel no need to tell you why it's a powerful skill. SGT KELLAN! When Simpson gets back from cellular restructure tell him to go and become a Demolitionist. If he cannot follow a simple instruction like "WEAR YOUR ARMOUR TO CLASS" we don't want him!
These are your main form of attack, the TURRET. There are 5, I repeat 5, and be wary because the damned things are NOT labelled correctly! You may use ONE of each type at any given time for a total of 5 active turrets. You may choose from Physical, Sonic, Virulent, EMP and Laser turrets. NOT ALL TURRETS WILL DAMAGE ALL ENEMIES. Learn to use them appropriately.
Simpson, Why are you Back? No, your wallet can remain where it is. You may retrieve it from your corpse at the conclusion of class. Bring a mop and Bucket with you.
Turrets will form the bulk of your damage. They are powerful and cheap with the drawback of no killing spree bonus however the sheer rate at which they can kill often makes up for the loss of it. Not always, but often. They are Autonomous which is both good and bad. You can lay your turrets and hide behind a rock if you wish. Turrets will continue to kill your enemies for you. However, they are not the brightest of beasties, see above about having a Pulse Rifle handy to see the sorts of things they get up to.
You will notice that I have NOT listed all of your skills and weapons. That is because I consider these skills and weapons optional and thus not nearly as important. You will have to go those skills alone and you will NOT be tested on them.
Just a quick rundown:
Hack: This is a VERY useful skill and I wouldn't be caught dead without it. It has a multitude of uses too intricate to take up here so I'll leave it for the Tactics section.
Trap: I can't say I was too impressed with Trap. It has uses of course and the damage isn't too bad at all. The turrets are also capable of giving the effect of their damage type.
Temporary wormhole: With the advent of the consumable wormholes this skill is being replaced. I used it at 2 for the longest time, but alas it is being retired.
Crab Mines: These are really good, but also really expensive. They are also even more stupid than turrets and can wander off without warning to attack something in the next room minding it's own business thus bringing you a world of hurt. Use them at your own risk.