Basically the engineer is an intel gather, detection class. They specialize in CQC weapons and the ability to light up enemies for your entire team. In a nut shell these guys are mobile radars with nasty in your face potential. Naturally it called my name.
To start things off I'll cover the engineer's passive ability: Scope Detection. IMO probably the second coolest thing I've ever seen added to a shooter. Especially a 3rd person shooter which happens to be my favorite type. Essentially what this does is alert you that an enemy is aiming their gun at you by putting a red laser from their location on your body. This occurs a few seconds before they begin to fire so it's kind of an "Oh sh*t" moment allowing you to react.
As I said this class specializes in CQC and they have an array of Personal Defense Rifles (PDRs) and Shotguns to choose from as primary weapons. I'll just graze over these briefly as I'm sure most of you already have them unlocked. In my opinion the first two PDRs you receive in each class are the best to choose from. The wide range of modifications that can be made allow you to match the later guns in either control or mobility depending on how you outfit them and none of the later guns, especially for the Bordark, match the 30 clip magazine. I discovered in general that these are the easiest to use in terms of forgiving play. They function similar to an SMG and allow for longer engagements behind cover while still grating lethality on the move as you attempt to flank enemy positions. Start here if you're new to the game or to the class because it will give you some time to adapt to the engineers slightly squishy frame.
Shotguns come next. This was the reason I chose the class and boy was I not disappointed. They aren't as easy as rifles but you'll get vast enjoyment out of taking down multiple targets in quick succession with single trigger pulls. What can I say I enjoy the rush and the difficulty. It has been a long time since I have encountered a game that gave this weapon back what it has been missing. However, I will warn you that it is also the most frustrating weapon to use due to its inconsistent nature. Generally stemming from lag issues or at least that's what I contribute it to. The only reason I say this is because certain matches you'll be one-shotting people down lanes scratching your head and the next match you'll be throwing your controller because it takes three shots at point blank to kill. When this weapon is on you'll never lose a gun fight, when it's off you'll hate life. With that being said most of the shotguns function similarly even though their stats are different so choose what looks best to you. Also note that because of the lack luster range use these only if you're comfortable cover hopping and know the map hot spots. You'll never win gun fights against people behind cover running at them with this. Believe me I know. On a side note I wont comment on Dragon's Breath vs Buckshot vs Slugs because I don't have any data to back up anything I say. Personally, I felt that while the breath looked cool functionally it wasn't worth it and the shotguns are already so hit or miss that the increased range gained by the slug didn't seem to matter much either. If anyone has different things to say I'm open to hear them because I'm curious to know what the facts are here.
Secondary weapons I wont really cover because this is all personal preference. I usually go with the EMP or smoke launcher depending on the type of people I'm playing. There again I'm usually objective oriented so if I can aid my team in capturing points in conflict I will.
Grenades: Stick to your sensors. They're the reason you carry them and they're what makes you unique. Not to mention you get fantastic bonus XP for kills that result from your detections. On a side note don't spam them. You get 2 per spawn so don't throw them around willy-nilly right as you're in game. Strategically use them to flush people out of hiding or make sure areas are open before you bolt for objectives. The other grenades are carried by all other classes minus the Decoy which I found useless in all scenarios I tried to implement them.
Equipment: This is a tough one because the engineer has so many tools at his disposal that I can't pick one over the others because it comes down to play style. I will admit that the most popular seem to be the UAV, CUAV later, and the sentry. Each comes with it's ups and downs so it depends on whether you'd like to be able to spot people from the sky, later on shooting missiles and emp pulses, or have a sentry cover your ass while you secure things. It is good to note that the sentry will only fire at things directly in its LOS. Anything approaching from the sides or back is ignored limiting its functional use. The other odd ball, if you will, is the jammer. This is an interesting concept because you are allowed two which when placed will eliminate ANY detection mechanisms that are attempted. In theory this could allow your entire team to lock down an area and never be spotted. In practice though it usually didn't matter all that much because communication negates the function and most time frames aren't long enough to warrant taking the time to put them down. Personally I'm a UAV fan but that's only because I've discovered that on top of lighting up enemies for your team, XP bonus potential, it also gives you an idea of where people are coming from and what areas of the map are hot. I'll throw it up and take a look around then plan my flaking or objective running routes accordingly. This helps because I tend to stick to the shottys.
I suppose I'll leave this with my current set up (I say current because I've restarted this class 4 times)
*Primary- shotgun: I added everything you can add minus touching the trigger and the magazine
*Secondary- EMP/smoke launcher: If the opponents are sensor or UAV happy I'll slap the EMP on simply to get some more XP points while negating the effects of the equipment. Otherwise the smoke removes sniper LOS and creates running lanes. Most people don't have a counter for smoke equipped so a smoke,sensor combo lights people up while they can't see anything.
*Grenade- Sensor: Bread and butter plain and simple
*Equipment- UAV/CUAV: An unlimited sensor with upgradable missile/emp pulse capabilities that also identifies hostiles and allows planning for routes.
DISCLAIMER... I will note that whenever given the choice between control and maneuverability I always opted for the control specs. The latter only grants faster strafing speed while aiming. It doesn't increase any other speed except for that one stat. Personally I found no use for it because most speed buffs are erased from the server lag issues. I found it better to put more bullets on target in succession. Feel free to expand on anything I've said or express your own opinions on how you think this class should be played. I'd even like to hear suggestions on how to play this class more effectively from a team mate perspective.
Edited by thehighlife88, 12 June 2012 - 10:56 PM.