In the last two days, Arena.Net released some outstanding news about updates to the Engineer profession. These changes focus solely around the Tool Belt as well as a new skill that has not been seen (but no name, just a description). Now, normally I would be writing about Audio Engineering this week, but with this news being so recent and The Engineer is the inspiration for the Blog in the first place, I figured I would put it off a week to focus on this wonderful update on the Engineer.
The Tool Belt are the 4 hot keys associated with F1 through F4. Originally, they were intended to be trigger based abilities that only affected based on which weapon pack or kit you had currently activated (so if you had the mine kit active, you get a detonate all ability added to your Tool Belt). Now this old system made maybe 1 or 2 of those keys active at any one given time. Other classes make use of those same keys by having their weapon changes or elemental attunements linked up so that they can make easy swaps for different skills. But because the Engineer uses Packs that vastly change their power output, they are limited to their utility and healing skill slots.
With these new changes, the Engineer’s Tool Belt is now stocked with different abilities based on what your healing skill and three utility skills are. Location on the bar is based on the slots order, so F1 is your healing skill, F2 is your first utility skill and so on. With this system, Arena net has given the Engineer a set of 23 new skills to choose from, but ultimately adding for more skills to their already set up arsenal. So, as I said in my previous post about Engineer PvP Predictions and listed off the skills, assuming that the Engineer has 1 tool kit on their bar, the Engineer has 18 skills versus everyone else who gets 25. But I can live with this because the Engineer has more skills available to them in the long run and this change only further increases their ability to become wild cards in a PvP environment.
With these new changes, the Engineer begins to take on a different role while still playing as a support in PvP. Rather than being a pure damage wild card, the Engineer takes on a more support role that can help isolate other players, take them out of the battle through crowd control effects and massive amounts of other player healing. From the examples they have listed, Elixir H gives you a healing/protection/regeneration bomb that does one of those three effects in the blast radius (possibly at a weaker amount based on how many people it effects, or just a flat reduced amount). Flamethrower Kit gives you Incendiary Ammo which makes the next three attacks cause burning (this is amazing if it really does what it says, you can spread so much burning if you play your cards right). Oil Slick gives you a speed boost (I haven’t quite figured this one out, but i’m not complaining). And Rocket Boots gives you a flaming aoe Rocket Kick which just sounds amazing in its own way. Run away? Why dont I just kick some fire in your eyes! Yeah, I went there.
Now if all of the Tool Belt associated skills are as amazing as these, then I am looking forward to playing the Engineer even more. Most likely the turret Tool Belt skills will be the overcharges (over charged healing turret anyone?) and the Mine Kit probably still is the detonate all. But we still have Adrenaline Shot, Utility Goggles, Smelling Salts and the new Utility Skill that activates a trap on your chest that knocks back the opponent (the Tool Belt skill is a ranged version of the same skill). Personally, I want to be able to shoot the Adrenaline Shot at my allies because the concept of throwing syringes at my allies is kind of amazing (talk about extreme catch). Maybe laser vision as the tool belt skill for the Utility Googles would be cool also. For me, this is going to make optimizing the Engineer in PvP as either a support or DPS primary will be very difficult. However, based on my numbers in the other post, going full support in Kyhlo will not be so bad, so long as I get to throw my syringes. Best part of this all is that its 23 skills, so listed, we have 5 for sure that Arena Net has revealed themselves, and the speculated one probably give us about 17 total (detonate all, overcharge skills for Healing, Net, Flame, Rifle and Thumper turrets, Grenade Barrage, Big Ole Bomb, Syringe Chucking and the other 3 none healing elixirs). We still have 6 other skills that we have no clue as to what they are and their associated Tool Belt Skills are. Personally, this mystery is getting me very excited in anticipation for Guild Wars 2.
Now, for things that I want to see the Engineer have as Tool Belt Skills and just in general.
Syringe Throwing (I mean throwing, none of this gun business)
Being able to ignite oil from the Slick Shoes
Better damage output from the Pistol Skills
The Goggles that the Asura Engineer Wears (Zojja) and the Charr Engineer Wallpaper wears (see banner)
The ability to change utility and healing skills by using a modifier key (such as being able to change to a small set, like key 9 can be set to turrets, key 7 can be different kits and key 8 can be elixirs).
So these are the updates, been pretty scarce as of late. However, with the end of the year coming up and closed Beta around the corner (Arena.Net has stated that they will be having closed Beta by the end of the year), Arena.Net has most likely been in over drive to try to get the game ready as a product they are proud to release. So lets all hope we get some Beta Keys without a NDA I could really start to disclose the theory crafting.
So readers, I am at a cross roads. Should I just focus on Guild Wars 2 or do a split where in the middle of the week I write about Audio Engineering and on the Weekend I write about Guild Wars 2, stick with the system I have now or make shorter blog posts but more frequently (every other day?). What is your opinion? Let me know with a comment!