Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Engineer Leveling Guide

Hello again Engineers! Welcome to another meeting of Alchemists, Tinkerers, and Explosions Anonymous. One of the greatest things about Guild Wars 2 is the freedom in style of play. Each profession can fill any role from pseudo-tank, to support, to crazy-blow-your-house-up-damage with just a simple modification in traits and skills. Because the end game of Guild Wars 2 is the leveling itself, you’ll want to try some different builds and tactics early on and figure out just which one of the many styles of play suits you best.

With this in mind, today we’ll look at 3 “leveling” builds that will get you started and make finding out what you’re good at much easier. These builds include a Flamethrower build focused on Conditions, an Explosions build focused on burst damage, and a General Leveling build focused on being ready for any situation and support. They’re all built for comfort and speed, so read on for 

Flamethrower Condition Build
This build is focused around melting your enemies’ health bars over a few seconds as well as applying other harmful conditions to help your allies and hinder your foes. You’ll use the Flamethrower mostly (even against single targets) as well as dual-pistols. Do every Dynamic Event you come across and burn everything in your path! Complete hearts, skill points, and vistas too but remember that you work best against groups of enemies. This is my recommended leveling build because it’s easy to pick up and play while putting out great damage and utility.

  • Levels 1 – 10: Train all your weapon skills and start to watch your condition application on enemies. Once your weapon skills are trained, swap over to dual-pistols until you acquire the Flamethrower.
    • This’ll give you practice in applying conditions on enemies when they hurt the most. You’ll want to apply Burning from Blowtorch whenever possible, Blinded  from Static Shot when you’re about to be struck by the enemy, and Poisoned from Poison Dart Volley when the enemy is below 50% health (and in effect will try to heal soon).
    • Your first Utility skill (which is unlocked at level 5) should be Throw Mine for it’s knock back and high damage which are both very useful in group and solo situations. Spend the other 4 utility points wherever you please, though I suggest that you pick up the Grenade Kit, Elixir B, Utility Goggles, and one of the turrets. Hold on to Elixir H for your healing skill.
  • Levels 11 – 20: At level 10 you’ll have enough skill points to unlock tier 2 utility skills. Get the Flamethrower as soon as possible, as it is the core of the build! Slot the Flamethrower and start practicing with it.
    • Use Flame Jet and Napalm to damage and burn enemies whenever possible. Only use Flame Blast when fighting large groups of enemies (because it doesn’t apply Burning). When enemies get too close, use Air Blast to push them away before Smoke Vent to optimize their cooldowns (generally Air Blast will be available for use again by the third time enemies get in range). If you’re fighting a single-target boss, pull out the dual-pistols and make sure to use the Incendiary Ammo tool belt skill.
    • You’ll get your first trait points from 11-20, so dump them into the Tools trait line. The critical damage and tool belt recharge times are nice, but the real reason we go 10 points in is Speedy Kits. With Speedy Kits, you have permanent Swiftness at the cost of having to switch in and out of the Flamethrower every 5 seconds. This really helps with leveling; getting you to your destinations quickly.
    • You’ll unlock your final Utility slot at level 15. Pick whatever skills you want to get there, but I suggest a survivability skill for the final slot. Pick up the Thumper Turret for another tier 2 skill. Drop the turret to “tank” for you.
  • Levels 21 – 30: Once you’ve hit 21, you’ll need to pick another trait line. Start putting points into Firearms for the extra critical strike chance and condition damage. This tree is what makes your Flamethrower start to pack a wallop! For your first trait at level 30, pick up Precise Sights for some extra damage on your Flamethrower. If you find yourself using dual-pistols quite a bit more than the Flamethrower, Hair Trigger might be a better option for you. By this time you should have enough skill points for Elixir R, so consider replacing the Thumper Turret with that for some personal survivability and the ability to revive allies with Toss Elixir R.
  • Levels 31 – 40: Fortraits, swap over to the Explosives line and pick up Incendiary Powder after dropping in 10 points Try getting into an Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon run and advertise yourself as a “Condition Engineer”. Once you’re in the dungeon, swap between pistols and Flamethrower appropriately to apply your different conditions when needed. You’ll probably acquire enough skill points to pick up an Elite skill in this range, so make sure to grab Supply Crate. This’ll give you some great utility and decent damage in the impact (the crate damages enemies where it lands) and dropped turrets. It’s also great in groups as well as solo.
‘Nades and Bombs, the Pure DPS Build
This build is focused around one of my favorite lines: “Surprise! You’re dead!” Here we sacrifice life and limb in the effort of destroying as many Thieves and woodland creatures in the shortest time possible. You’ll use the Grenade Kit to set up foes and the Bomb Kit to knock them down. I would recommend this build for World versus World play.

  • Levels 1 – 10: Train all your weapon skills. Once you’ve maxed out your skills, pull out dual-pistols and practice kiting and leading your enemies. “Kiting” is the art of maneuvering in such a way that the enemy is always following you but is never quite close enough to attack. You need to get really good at this because you’ll be in range of melee attack almost all the time with this build! At level 5, pick up the Grenade Kit as your first Utility skill and start to practice with it:
    • Use Shrapnel Grenade whenever it’s off cooldown and Freeze Grenade to kite enemies around the battlefield. If enemies get close enough to hit you (or an ally) hit them with the Flash Grenade. When fighting NPCs while questing, use Poison Grenade whenever it’s off cooldown for extra damage. In WvW, save the Poison Grenade for enemies who look like they’re about to heal.
  • Levels 11 – 20: It’s time to pick you’re first trait line! I would suggest Tools, just like I did for the Condition build. Speedy Kits for the first trait is just too good to pass up! For your second and third Utility skills, pick up the Bomb Kit and Rocket Boots. Once you have the Bomb Kit, this build’s potential just…explodes.
    • Lure a group of enemies to one area and throw down a Flash Grenade. While they’re blind and trying to hit you, swap to the Bomb Kit and put down bombs in this order: Concussion Bomb, Smoke Bomb, Fire Bomb, Glue Bomb, and Big Ol’ Bomb. The last one will knock them out of your glue, but that’s okay. If you do it in this order your enemies can continue stay in melee range while not landing a single blow because of the duration of Blindness. As soon as Glue Bomb detonates, leave melee range and switch back to grenades…assuming any of them survived. You can also use the Rocket Boots to leave melee range with some damage behind you.
  • Levels 21 – 30: Swap trait lines to Explosives and put 10 points there. Evasive Powder Keg will let you start dodging offensively, and picking up Forceful Explosives will reduce the margin of error in this build immensely If you find yourself dying a lot at this point, swap out the Rocket Boots for a survivability skill, such as Elixir R.
  • Levels 31 – 40: Shiftover to the Inventions trait line and take the Cloaking Device trait. You could also change this to Stabilized Armor should you feel that you’re already resilient enough. By now you should have enough skill points to pick up an Elite Skill and I would suggest Supply Crate again, just as I did for the Condition build. Try getting in a group for Ascalonian Catacombs and use the Bomb Kit exclusively in there. If you die a lot, swap over to Grenades.
General Leveling and Support Build
Firstly, credit for this build goes to Vanguardsoul over on The goal of this build is to make you the jack of all trades, and master of none. You’ll stick with the pistol and shield for a weapon, providing nice damage and survivability while switching over to the Elixir Gun for times where your team needs support more than extra damage. I would suggest this build or the Condition build for world exploration and map completion.

  • Levels 1 – 10: Train the different weapon’s skills. Once you’ve got them all, switch over to the pistol-shield combo and start practicing applying conditions with Poison Dart Volley / Static Shot and interrupting enemies with Static Shield’s chain move: Throw Shield. At level 5 you’ll get your first Utility Skill; pop Elixir B in there for boosts to damage and speed. Buy the Med Kit for your healing skill while in groups, but use Elixir H in questing and general solo situations.
  • Levels 11 – 20: For your second Utility skill, pick up the Net Turret for some needed crowd-control. Start putting trait points into Firearms for the boost to Pistol effectiveness and take Knee Shot as a trait for an added Cripple effect to your Net Turret’s Immobilization. You’ll unlock your third Utility slot at level 15 and won’t be able to afford the Elixir Gun for a while yet, so slot your final Utility skill to Utility Goggles or Rocket Boots for now.
  • Levels 21 – 30: You need to change to another trait line at this time, so drop 10 points into Alchemy and grab the Fast Acting Elixirs trait. The extra range will increase your combat distance and your survivability. By now you should have enough skill points for the Elixir Gun, so make sure to pick that up for Dynamic Events and dungeon runs. When using the Elixir Gun, make sure to use Elixir F and Fumigate whenever they’re off cooldown (unless you’re against healing enemies, then save Fumigate). Use Acid Bomb for escapes and Super Elixir as needed. Keep in mind that Super Elixir has a 20 second cooldown, but also a 10 second up time
  • Levels 31 – 40: Just like the other two builds, you should pick up Supply Crate as your Elite skill as soon as you have enough points. Move over to the Inventions trait line and pick up Cloaking Device. If you’d rather have Speedy Kits though, you could put the points into Tools instead. This is going to be our 10 point line either way. You might also consider swapping out the Rifled Barrels trait for Coated Bullets, because you should be adept enough at dodging by this time to take a lower range for the ability to hit multiple targets with piercing projectiles. If you want to go into a dungeon with this build, you’ll be most useful as an Elixir Gun Engineer, so advertise yourself as a “Support Engineer”.
These builds each have their strengths and weaknesses, but they’re perfect for the roles that they fit. I’m currently using the Flamethrower build as I make my way across the land because I love the idea behind it. That’s one of the most beautiful things about Tyria; almost anything can be viable if enough thought is put behind it. Right now the word is that Grenades have the highest damage-per-second in the game. That’s fine, but you have to remember that if you hate targeting the ground for every attack, you’re not going to enjoy using the Grenade Kit.

Start with these builds and play one you think looks fun. After you’ve hit level 40, you’ll have enough experience (and then some) to pick out your favorite weapon and make a viable build around it. Remember Engineers, if we’re spreading devastation across the land but we aren’t having fun doing it, then what was even the point? So what are you using primarily to level with? Let me know in the comments below!

By Tentral


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