Coming out of the first Beta Weekend Event and Stress Test, many of us got the chance to finally try the professions we wanted to. Some of us, undoubtedly, still have no clue what we’re playing, whereas some of us immediately knew what profession we were going to play as soon as we got through the tutorial. I plan to play the Engineer, a steampunk-inspired, gadget-wielding, elixir-chugging daredevil whose archetype is fairly untapped by the MMO genre. Below is my list of 5 reasons to play the Engineer:
I used to be a big World of Warcraft player. Although I haven’t played in over a year, I noticed some obvious similarities when looking over the professions in Guild Wars 2.
Necromancers are like Warlocks: Dark magic wielders featuring fears and minions.
Guardians are like Paladins: Holy Justicars featuring holy shields and divine protection.
Warriors are like, well, Warriors: Vicious barbarians featuring charges and stances.
I know I’m blatantly over-simplifying everything, but when I was looking for a profession to play during the first Beta Weekend Event (referred to hereafter as BWE) I knew I wanted to play something I was completely unfamiliar with; thus, the choice was between the Mesmer and the Engineer. While this was a difficult choice, there was one thing that tipped the scales in the Engineer’s favor…
According to the Guild Wars 2 Census, the Engineer is going to be the least played profession at only 10.1%. The Mesmer, on the other hand, sits at a high 13.5% played. I’ve always been one with a penchant for the least played class; an exclusive club, so to speak. Because of those numbers, I decided to try my hand at the Engineer in the BWE. Boy, was that a good decision. My original plan when entering the BWE was to try out each profession at least once, but I just couldn’t let go of the Engineer. I made a Mesmer, but within 5 minutes I was missing my rocket-jumping, bomb-dropping, turret-tinkering madman!
2) Aesthetic appeal
This is based more on my opinion than solid facts, but I instantly fell in love with the Engineer’s steampunk-style skills, abilities, and feel. Plus, some abilities (mainly the gadget utilities) are just plain ridiculous, making me feel just like Inspector Gadget himself when I play with them!
I mean, how would a skill like Slick Shoes work? Oil shooting out the back of your legs?
What about the Rocket Boots? The first time I used it, I was taken by surprise by how far I actually went!
And my personal favorite, the Personal Battering Ram. That’s right, a BATTERING RAM. Concealed in what, your pocket?
Abilities like this, seemingly impractical and out of control, yet used in the most dire of situations. That kind of irony is what drew me to the Engineer.
3) Easter eggs
After messing around in World vs World and some PvE (I must say, the personal story far exceeded my expectations), I made my foray into Structured PvP. With the full arsenal of traits and abilities available to me, I found a few little Easter eggs in the titles of traits and abilities that reminded me of the infamous Ranger ability, Crippling Shot.
H.G.H. – Elixirs give might.
ArenaNet never actually states what H.G.H. stands for, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s a tease towards Human Growth Hormone. So I guess if you aren’t a fan of Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds, stay away from the Engineer. It goes well with the Performance Enhancement minor trait.
Cleaning Formula (409) - Throwing or consuming elixirs removes conditions from those effected.
You need clean? Cleaning Formula 409 now removes 99% of conditions, guaranteed!
Packaged Stimulants - Med Kit skills can be thrown.
This one is for you StarCraft fans out there. Time to upgrade your marines! Unfortunately this trait does not allow you to move and attack 50% faster…
Pry Bar - Launch your foe with a smack from a pry bar.
The Tool Kit skill Pry Bar is I think a reference to Gordon Freeman’s infamous crowbar in Half-Life. Or maybe I’d like to think that. Throw that trash away!
There’s probably a bunch more that I missed. But as I discover new Easter eggs as I play the Engineer, it reminds me of how fun the profession is and how much fun the developers must have had creating it!
4) Variety and Kits
As with most of the professions in Guild Wars 2, you can play how you want. But this is even more accentuated with the Engineer. Even though the Engineer is one of 2 professions that cannot switch weapons, your kits give you amazing flexibility, and access to the second most active abilities. (If you go with 4 kits, you’ll have 34 active abilities, which is higher than the Elementalist’s standard 30. But if the Elementalist decides to go with 4 Conjured weapons, their amount of active abilities goes up to a staggering 45.) In general, professions have between 16 and 19 active abilities.
This variety allows you many different options in how you want to play the Engineer.
You could be a full on tank with Pistol + Shield and Flamethrower with the Juggernaut trait.
You could be a medic with the Med Kit and Elixir Gun for support.
5) Elixirs and Turrets
Kits aren’t the only feature that give you variety as an Engineer.
Many elixirs are, by their nature, random. You never know what you’ll get when you drink that vile concoction. Will it be might, protection, or swiftness from Elixir B? What random boons will you receive from Elixir C? Will you get stability or stealth from Elixir S? You never know. That’s what makes every encounter while playing as an Elixir Engineer have amazing variety and feel different every time. Sometimes this can be really frustrating, especially when you want a specific boon, like swiftness or stealth, but you get the wrong one. But I enjoy that unpredictability that comes from using Elixirs. Luckily the more defensive Elixirs that save you when you’re in a tough spot are less random.
Last, but definitely not least, are the turrets. They are the staple, the defining mark of the Engineer. Say you want to do high damage? Just pick up the Rocket Turret, the Rifle Turret, and the Flame Turret, and be on your merry way. Oh, you want stuns and knockbacks? Try your hand at the Net Turret, and my favorite, the Thumper Turret. (Thump is just the perfect onomatopoeia to describe what that turret does.) Or combine the two for hybrid snares and damage. It’s all up to you.
I love my Engineer. I’ve spent more than 40 hours with it in the first BWE and the stress test, and I won’t be looking back. The combination of a steampunk attitude and play-how-you-want gameplay is enthralling to me. However, I couldn’t have summarized everyone’s vision of the Engineer. So, my questions to you are:
To the readers: If you plan to play the Engineer, what do you like best about the profession? What makes it better than other professions? If you hate the Engineer, or will simply be playing a different profession, what makes that profession better / more appealing than the Engineer? Did you find any more Easter egg style traits or skills in the Engineer? What about in other professions?
About the author: Traverse has been playing MMOs since 2006 with World of Warcraft, while additionally branching into Guild Wars, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and Age of Conan (briefly). An avid PvPer, he has fought on the battlefields of MMOs for many hours, often listening to trip-hop albums and eating animal crackers. When he is not PvPing, he enjoys exploring the world, long walks on the beach, and cat gifs. He is the new Engineer writer for TalkTyria, and hopes you have a wonderful day!