The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight

October 20, 2008

Most Engineers I talk to are pretty underwhelmed with both our survivability (can’t I construct mech armor yet?) and single-target dps (one word: rocket launcher).  It’s not that it’s a terrible class, it’s not — it has a great theme, three pretty distinct paths, and pocketfuls of tricks to be using during the chaos of PvP.  It’s just that we’d like to be able to live more than 7.2 seconds in any sustained PvP fight and actually take down a guy once in a while that isn’t due to a stroke of fluke luck.

I’ve been dedicated to the Tinkerer path, because as a player I’m all about gadgets and gizmos.  I… liked it.  Somewhat.  Of the three paths, the Tinkerer has the least focus because it’s sort of about gadgets, but sort of not.  It’s the “close-range defense” path of the three, which means that I always had to get very close to the enemy to do any good (flame turret, land mines, blunderbuss), and usually close to the enemy equals bloody Syp demise.  I did like Lightning Rod quite a bit, and was looking forward to the AOE group heal and the Electromagnet (although I suspect, based on how often people were complaining about it, that it will be nerfed).  But what is life for if not experimentation… so the other day I respecced.

The Rifle path wasn’t much of an option, as it’s reported to be the most underpowered path of the three, and Syp doesn’t go backwards if he can’t help it.  So I tried out Grenadier path, even though bombs aren’t much my thing — it’s annoying if you’re fighting something close and all of your attacks are producing copious amounts of smoke and flashes that cover up the action (plus, assuming my teammates see the same thing I do, I doubt they’re ecstatic about the crazy engineer trying to help the enemy escape under guise of a smoke bomb).  Yet strangely enough, it’s been a satisfying experience.

For one, my DPS has shot up, quite a bit, especially against single targets.  Sticky bomb, acid bomb, fragmentation grenade, concussive grenade, flashbomb (if they’re casters), then a few firebombs.  Rinse and repeat.  Very simple, straight-forward attack order, and easy once you get into the rhythm.  The two path tactics I’ve unlocked have given me a longer range to throw and a bigger range of impact for the acid/fragment bombs, and that helps keep my distance from the bad guys.

It is, hands-down, an excellent spec if you’re going after clustered groups of baddies.  The other day I was in a PQ with some guildies, including a suicidal tank who’d run around gathering up like 10-15 mobs at a time and bringing them right back to us.  Bombardment turret, acid grenade, sticky bomb, fragment granade and tons of blunderbusses… and the damage scroll literally could not keep up.  I’ve never seen numbers fly that fast on my screen before.  The internet buckled under that assault, but somehow survived.  And until a Bright Wizard, with their stupid brightness, came along, I was the top contributer for the PQ (not that that’s a brag, it really was a team effort, including a great healer who kept sighing when I drew aggro).

I don’t think I’ll stick with this spec, especially when I get high enough for Electromagnet, but it’s nice to try something different for a while.



  1. My favorite character from The Tick!

  2. I think one of the worst things about the Tinkerer line is that Static Discharge (which should be one of the defining abilities) is bugged. Currently its damage scales not with Ballistic Skill, but with Strength, which means at 40 it ends up doing less damage than Blunderbuss Blast. If this is intentional on Mythic’s part then I’ll be pretty disappointed. Also, the Keg is pretty weak, and lightning rod REALLY needs to give another jolt before dying.

    The Rifleman line is better than advertised IMO, I’ve been using it over the weekend since hitting 40 with pretty good results. My damage isn’t as near the top as usual due to very few aoe dot’s etc.. but i get LOTS of killing blows and quite a few “solo kills” which yield lots of exp/renown. It is also a pretty fun spec from a theme angle, I really enjoy the crosshair animation on Snipe and Crack Shot. The survivability is not too bad either IMO since I stand so much further back than usual, and with knocbacks and disarm I have actually lived through some stealthed Witch Elf attacks, which is pretty impressive.

    Overall though I must admit my favorite spec line is still Grenadier. The run-and-gun, never stop moving, massive aoe dots and still decent single target dps to finish off weak players is a lot of fun and very much my type of play-style. Napalm Grenade is also probably the best pve ability Engi’s ever get, and combined with strafing run I found that I could AOE grind PQ’s much better with Gren spec than with Tinkerer.

    Keep up the good Blogging Syp, see you in Tier 4 soon I hope!

  3. Sounds like a fun spec! May have to try Eng sometime.

  4. Any good healer will try to keep you guys alive, but I would wager that most healers don’t have a good perception of what an engineers done and focus more of their healing on the tanks and BW’s, leaving you without much lovin’

    That could be a factor in your short lived RvR fights.

  5. As a RP I just keep an eye on squared and heals who needs it. Most of a time when a WH, BW or engineer are focused fired by the time I react to your health bar going down, it might be to late for me to do anything, (I’ll still try). That being said if I’m aware of what your plan is and that you need to get close to the line I will throw a shield on you and a few dots.

  6. Hey Syp, I went Tink to get the fast turret build tactic, then doing Gren until I get enough levels I can repsec for Electromagnet. Don’t remember what my planned final spec is, but I think it is Tink-13, Gren-9 with the fast turret tactic, Napalm and Electromagnet.

    As far as the new style of play you have been using, even though I am Tink so far that is exactly how I have been playing anyway … using all of the aoe and single target grenades. Only level 19 but I have been top 3 in pretty much all scenarios since level 18 when I got land mine.

  7. nice Tick reference.

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