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Guild Wars 2 Interviews: Eric Flannum Talks Engineers

By Garrett Fuller on May 26, 2011

MMORPG.com:

How does the Engineer fit with the other classes in the game?

Eric Flannum:

The engineer fits in with the other professions in several ways. With the thief and warrior dabbling in firearms but still using swords, bows, and more traditional Tyrian technology, the engineer is our one profession that fully embraces the new technology being developed in the world.

The engineer also brings an extremely proactive play style into the game with his kits and turrets. The engineer has a lot of ground-targeted and persistent effects that require a lot of planning and forethought. Other professions such as the guardian also have aspects of this play style, but the engineer emphasizes it in a way that no other profession does.

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MMORPG.com:

What types of skills can characters expect from the Engineer?

Eric Flannum:

We’ve spoken a lot about the kits and turrets but the standard engineer weapons are also very interesting. The rifle is my current favorite and is all about controlling spacing and movement.

1. Hip Shot – This is the basic attack skill for the rifle – it’s a long ranged attack that deals moderate damage and can be used on the move. The engineer needs to control the distance he’s fighting at with this weapon —being able to fire your basic attack while moving is an important part of this.

2. Net Shot – This skill shoots out a net that immobilizes the target. This is great at keeping an enemy controlled, ensuring that the engineer can get close enough for a max damage blunderbuss shot. This skill is also handy for stopping fleeing enemies.

3. Blunderbuss – A large cone-shaped attack that has a shorter range than other engineer rifle attacks. This skill will also apply bleeding and applies more bleeds the closer you are to the target. This is the big damage skill on the rifle, but it needs to be used carefully since it is most effective at close range.

4. Overcharge – This skill only inflicts minimal damage, but it knocks both the engineer and the target backwards. This skill is great for escaping from a tough situation and is especially good right after delivering an up-close blunderbuss shot. Use Net Shot right before this to ensure that once your opponent lands they’re stuck in place for a bit.

5. Jump Shot – This skill is ground targeted, launching the engineer to the target location. Jump shot deals a good chunk of AOE damage both on takeoff and when the engineer lands. This skill is great because it’s very versatile. It can be used to escape a bad situation, chase down a fleeing enemy, or used in place for some decent AOE damage.

MMORPG.com:

Guild Wars 2 offers a lot of dynamic game play, how will the Engineer work in such an action oriented game?

Eric Flannum:

I think a lot of people think of the turrets when they think of the engineer and think that it must be a very static profession. While it’s true that the engineer does not emphasize movement the way that a thief or ranger might, there is still a lot of positioning involved. Most of the engineer kits and weapons can be used while moving. For example, the grenade kit is definitely a very mobile weapon with all of the grenades being usable on the move. Even with the more “static” elements of the engineer play style such as turrets and mines there is a lot of movement and positioning involved as the engineer must attempt to line enemies up in their minefields or get them to stay within reach of their turrets.

MMORPG.com:

Can you give us some of the lore behind the class?

Eric Flannum:

The origin of the engineer dates back to the time of Guild Wars with the dwarves and the various nations that made up the Empire of Cantha. All of these peoples made extensive use of black powder and/or mechanical constructs of one sort or another. The dwarves had explosive kegs of black powder as well as hybrid mechanical/magical constructs such as the Iron Forge Man. The Canthans, on the other hand, made extensive use of fireworks, while the Luxons mounted cannons and other technological siege weapons on their beasts of war.

After the charr overthrew the Flame Legion, they were forced to examine how they could retain their warlike ways without relying on magic. This is where the tech-oriented Iron Legion stepped in. The Iron Legion had always been the great thinkers and forgers among the charr legions and they were able to obtain (through means both fair and foul) Luxon cannons and dwarven technology. With this technology in hand, and with innovations and ideas of their own, they began working on new ways to wage war. This research went on for many years before they developed the first firearms.

The Iron Legion continues to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible with technology and indeed the very first combat engineers were from the Iron Legion. As engineers spread throughout the other charr legions, members of other races began to take notice of how effective these new technologies were. Soon, engineers began to appear in Lion’s Arch and spread to each of the five races. Now the research of skilled individuals from all across Tyria contributes to the advance of technology. That being said, the charr are still the only race that has fully embraced these advances.

MMORPG.com:

What type of abilities will Engineers use? Will there be ranged weapons and gadgets?

Eric Flannum:

In addition to the kits we’ve spoken about, the engineer has access to many gadgets. These include special goggles, elixirs, boots with hidden compartments, wrenches, smelling salts, and even portable mortars.

MMORPG.com:

What type of role do you see the Engineer playing in PvP?

Eric Flannum:

In PvP the engineer is great at defending areas with turrets and mine fields. Because of this, they can be used to hold areas that have been captured. When the time comes to stop someone from running away, the engineer also has a lot of tools at their disposal with abilities like Net Shot, Jump Shot, and Slick Shoes.

MMORPG.com:

With no healers, what skills does the Engineer have to help with damage control?

Eric Flannum:

The engineer has a variety of support skills. I think one of my favorites is the Med Kit, which can be used to lay down packs of medical supplies. When allies run over these med packs they are automatically healed. This is a great option for team support because the engineer can swap into the Med Kit, lay down med packs in an area, and then return to fighting.

MMORPG.com:

What is your personal favorite part of the new class?

Eric Flannum:

I personally love the sense of fun and slightly offbeat humor that some of the engineer skills have. Guild Wars is generally speaking a pretty serious game so it’s good when we can be a bit more lighthearted about things and not take ourselves so seriously. The engineer is just fun.

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