GW2 Profession Response: Engineer (Boom goes the dy-na-mite!)

I was pleasantly surprised to find my twitter feed buzzing with excitement over the engineer profession release today, a fitting addition after discussing the idea of advanced vs standard gameplay mechanics. Fans have been predicting the 3rd adventurer class for years; as it turns out, pretty much everybody was right. The most common guesses were engineer, gunner, and alchemist. Lo and behold, it would seem we got all three jam packed into one.

The same way the mesmer was iconic to what made Guild Wars unique, I believe the engineer will become the icon of Guild Wars 2 (sorry Nox-hexwise). It’s as though the very style of the new engineer profession embodies the key changes that make GW2’s gameplay revolutionary, but at the same time pays homage to the classic Guild Wars mechanics we love so much, such as trapping and spirits.

The engineer seems to be the king of area control, being tasked with tactical placements of turrets and mines, as well as keeping an eye on the location of allies and enemies alike. The profession has a lot going for it and seems to undoubtably eclipse the guardian as the most versatile of all, and probably will hold that title upon release. There’s a lot of excitement over the reveal, and with good reason.

As a tip of the hat to the highly-adored but unfortunately unreal commando, the engineer’s main standard weapons will be firearms (pistols, shields, and rifles), supplemented by explosives and turrets.

Their first unique mechanic is that of kits (tool, grenade, bombs, mines, and medic), which allows players to swap between damage types and roles, effectively replacing classic weapons. Here is where their versatility shines, allowing them to put out damage in many different ways (ranged, aoe, point-blank AoE, etc), support allies, or control enemies. They also have two weapon kits: the flamethrower which allows them do do straightforward close-range AoE and the elixir gun which is a more bag-of-tricks style that can have unpredictable results. Lastly, the engineer can place turrets, which again have a variety of uses within the roles of damage, control, and support.

What some may call a "sticky" situation.

Switching between these utilities is allegedly as easy as attunements for the elementalists (assuming out-of-combat) which allows for an engineer to plan his or her battle tactics ahead of time. Additionally, the engineer will have the ability to access certain skills from different kits without having to fully swap (for instance, detonating previously placed mines without switching to the mine pack).

Tears of Lore
Many fans are crying malarkey on the technological advancment bit, but I simply cannot agree with those stances. 250 years is a long time. Just think how far we as humans in a world with -no- magic have come since the start of our own  industrial revolution (roughly 250 years ago for the U.S!). We’ve come a long way and it’s no surprise that Tyria’s inhabitants have as well. Engineers cater towards the stereotypical personality of the guy who hates or can’t use magic but loves explosions. They are inventive, creative, and perhaps a little mischievous. So be it; even in a world in danger there is room for fun and there’s tons of fun to be had here!

I think it’s an issue of culture shock; like those who strongly oppose the searing, many current players are finding it hard to grasp these new concepts and advancements for what they are. I don’t blame them. The thing is we don’t see that natural progression happen gradually. Instead, as players we are thrown into this completely new, advanced world and it feels off-balance or unreal. But we want the game to come out in 2012, not 2262, so it’s something we’re just going to need to get used to.

While versatility and tactics are great to have, I worry that there may be just a little too much going on within this one profession. Between kits, weapons, explosives, and elixirs, I can see the learning curve for truly unlocking the potential of this profession being a little steeper than the others. You’d likely be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d disagree that the engineer is the most complex profession thus-far, but it brings with it something fresh and exciting as well. Not that ANet was trying to hide their intentions of sniping gamers from other genres in the first place, but they’ve certainly tapped into a very unique niche here with the engineer. It will cater towards the misfits and the jokesters with hearts of gold. The idea of slack and hash is a turn-off to many who favor other types of games, but this profession could very well be the point that attracts those hard-to-please FPS / co-op players who might see GW2 as an opportunity to give ye’ olde MMORPG a good try.

The more I read about this profession, the more complex it starts to get as if I’ve already been hit by a frag grenade. I was glad to see I’m not the only one who’s found it hard to really grasp what’s going on with the engineer in one go, but perhaps that’s exactly the point. As with all true inventors and discoveries, it would seem this is one you’ve simply got to get your hands on to truly understand and appreciate and just hope they’re still there afterwards.

To the readers: So what do you guys think? Love it?  Hate it? Weirded out? Do you think the mesmer is a MOST DEFINITE for the 8th profession?

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  •  I was one of those that couldn’t imagine the engineer before but now I think it works. I think it is going to be one of the harder classes to play, but I look forward to rolling a Charr engineer 

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I think they fit in the story much more nicely than people give them credit for.  

      • Draxynnic

        Now, I’ve been defending the engineer idea from the “too modern” crowd all along, but now that we’ve seen the visuals, I think ANet has made the engineer too modern.

        It’s not what they can do – pretty much everything it does can fit in the steampunk genre. The problem is that not all the artwork fits the genre. The modern appearance of the grenades, the mines with what looks like a flashing electric bulb or LED on top – all these things COULD have been designed to fit in with Tyria’s general technology base, but they look too much like they’ve been taken from a modern shooter instead.

        • Guildbattle

           Thing is, modern grenades an mines don’t look like that at all.  The mine looks suitably primitive except for the led, but I assume that’s there to remind the player where they placed it if they’re in a n area with dark ground, like the one in the video.

      • Draxynnic

        Now, I’ve been defending the engineer idea from the “too modern” crowd all along, but now that we’ve seen the visuals, I think ANet has made the engineer too modern.

        It’s not what they can do – pretty much everything it does can fit in the steampunk genre. The problem is that not all the artwork fits the genre. The modern appearance of the grenades, the mines with what looks like a flashing electric bulb or LED on top – all these things COULD have been designed to fit in with Tyria’s general technology base, but they look too much like they’ve been taken from a modern shooter instead.

  • My hope for mesmer is kind of keep going down. however, the last shadow figure is definitely the lady in purple coat (which is so mesmer-ish) i start to doubt that would be a mesmer or not. maybe it’s a new evolution of mesmer. i’ve heard someone saying about the puppet master or maybe…

    well however the last profession come out, i’m sure i’ll love it once i got to play GW2!

    As for the Engineer, my feeling is… it’s so “modern warfare” and kind of make the warrior, ranger, elementalist, necromancer and guardian look like ancient era fighters. still i’d love to play an engineer. Cuz i like strategy stuffs.

    At this moment it seems that i couldn’t care about anything revealed or not anymore.
    I. just. want to. play. GW2!!! dammit!

    • Anonymous

      i hear what you’re saying. Trust me, after I was -so sure- the Seraph was going to be the 2nd soldier class and I got owned less than a week later, I’ve sworn never to be 100% sure of anything in GW2 anymore XD

      Unlike that time, though, I think – a lot – of us are pretty sure mesmer will be it. And it would make sense for them to save it for last, too. The mesmer has always been Anets “baby” in regards to professions and a favorite among players so…

      Back on topic, engineer.. I’m still torn. It seems like too much going on for me personally, but it’s one of those things I know I’ll have to try at least once. Doubt it will be my main by a long-shot, though. 

      • Malchiordevenholm

         Just make better predictions 😛  I was 100% sure on Engineer a year ago, and I’ve been 100% sure on Mesmer for about the same amount of time 😀

  • hunter

    very nicely done izari, great post. perhaps my favourite of yours. definitely agree that this anti-tech sentiment is just plain off base. so much better than my post.


  • From the outside looking in as a player who hasn’t played a lot of Guild Wars 1. The concept of the Engineer is fine to me especially when you talk about the charr in particular with their techonolgical advancements and the Asuran scientist. If you can build a golem, a portable dish washer and a wonky flying machine you can build turrets and what not.

    I was generally surprised since a lot of people were really spot on in predicting a engineer type class. I generally like playing a class with extra utilities. Robotics in Global Agenda, Engineer in TF2 and Warhammer. One thing I do want to look at and Hunter mentioned it too is how lethal is the engineer without turrets since I’m sure you’ll be in plenty of situations where you can’t deploy one right away unless they are indeed instacast. Also how fluid is switching between kits and whatnot in combat or out of combat. I’m sure we will get some of these answers in no time with active dev responses that usually accompany big information dump. At Pax Prime I want to get a feel for the class before I make any further judgements on the class.

    P.S. Anyone notice the female Charr walking about tossing all those bombs. If I remember correctly there was some debate on walking in GW2 and they finally confirmed it and cemented it in the video.Also I’m out of the loop somewhat but did anyone notice the Human female engineer had a facial tattoo 🙂

  • Reefhermit2

    Brilliant. Well thought out and Intelligent as always. Izari you never stop amazing me. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep reading. Always a Fan.


  • Yuki

    It’s not a matter of culture shock.  It’s a matter of pieces fitting together.  There’s no point to go into war with rusty ole longswords, if you can simply drop a nuke and be done.  I’ve never liked mixing fantasy and technology, and this is no exception.  I was facepalming already when the Black Citadel video made a sweep across those huge armored cars, but at that point it still seemed like the heavyly techy areas were isolated – if you don’t enjoy them, you don’t need to play a Charr, and you can avoid the area.  Engineers on the other hand will obviously be everywhere – with roughly 1/8 of the playerbase showcasing them, and to me that’s going to do a lot to ruin the immersion.  The style, the concept, and everything about this profession is simply so different compared to others, it looks like it’s ripped straight from some FPS of a complitely different era.

    Maybe that is one problem, GW1 played something like a cross between MMO, RPG and real-time strategy game – and I absolutely loved it.  My favorite game of all times, and I’ve played many.  GW2 is looking more like a cross between MMO, RPG and FPS, and I never much cared about FPS, not to mention the FPS genre never worked too well with fantasy setting.. and GW2 is starting to have more and more of the FPS feel to it.

  • Yuki

    Sorry about double post, but I forgot this:  Mesmer is pretty much confirmed.  Before engineer release, Arena Net confirmed that the two remaining professions are scholar and adventurer, one of them complitely new, and one of them a returning profession from GW1.  Engineer is adventurer and new, so the final profession is returning scholar.  Monk evolved to guardian, and engineer replaced ritualist (historically, ritualist was developed from FPS engineers), and the only remaining scholar profession from GW1 is mesmer – with the elementalist and necromancer already having returned.  The mesmer is also specifically named in the GW2 books, along with elementalist and necromancer.

    • “one of them a returning profession from GW1.”

      Cooooooool. somehow i miss this piece of information.
      #hope up.

  •  I’m excited about the versatility of the engineer profession. I’m a big fan of versatile professions and the ability to do whatever is necessary on the fly. That’s why I enjoy playing a Necromancer in GW1 so much. Reading over the interviews and stats of this profession, it feels overpowered at the moment, which I’ve heard a lot of people complain about. I think this is due to the departure from fantasy to more of a mechanical or industrial profession. Engineer sets itself apart from the other professions pretty heavily due to technology, but in many ways it is very similar to elementalists and will play very similarly to an ele. The main difference is strategy and a steep learning curve for the engineer, which make it a bit more like GW1 Mesmer in that regard. 

    Suffice it to say, engineer is new and different and that both scares and excites people. It is controversial due to being a more technologically based profession in the magic-rich world we’re familiar with. People fear change. But the engineer isn’t brand new by any stretch. It is a very technologically based version of the GW1 Ritualist and has aspects of Ranger traps. It really is GW2’s tip of the hat to Ritualist fans through a different, more appropriate medium (i.e., technology). 

    My main will most likely not be an engineer, but I feel confident it will be one of the more frequently played of my alternate characters. 

  • Poojah

    Not only Mesmer but remember we haven’t seen the second pet profession yet, so my guess is Mesmer with pets.

    • Anonymous

      Oo, that’s an awesome point. Maybe mesmers will summon illusion / phantasms as pets… THAT would be wicked!! 

  • Anonymous

    Great article, I especially agree on your point of the Engineer being a culture shock. 

  • Great read! It’s hard to see the same people who go ga-ga over how ‘inventive/envelope-pushing’ GW2 is and still sperge over a part of the game that’ll be optional to them. I’m cool with no monks or primary-heals. Can’t we all just embrace change? Again, great stuff, love the site. Def. bookmarking.