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It's Hammer Time - The Scrapper, Engineer's Elite Specialization

William Murphy Posted:
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Today we're happy to reveal the engineer's elite specialization coming with Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns: The Scrapper. Wielding a massive two-handed hammer, a bevy of awesome gyro bots, and a whole lot of pain to dish out... the Scrapper makes for an excellent tank-like take on the Engineer. 

The Engineer, my first level 80, has always been one of the more versatile professions in Guild Wars 2. But one thing they always lacked was melee power. That changes in Heart of Thorns with the Scrapper. Like the name suggests, the Hammer, his Gryo drones, and all of his new abilities make the Engineer a force to be reckoned with in close quarters combat. He's got access to the Hammer, new toolbelt skills, new traits, and of course those aforementioned floating machines of death, supporting, and burning. 

ArenaNet was kind enough to give us a look at a few of the Hammer Skills coming with the Scrapper.

Rocket Charge sits as the Hammer's 3rd skill and with it engineers repeatedly leap forward, swinging the hammer at enemies after each jump. And yes, you guessed it: you'll be using those awesome rocket boots that never get enough love.

Shock Shield sits on the number 4 skill, and does exactly what it sounds like: it magnetizes the hammer to attack enemies as well as block incoming attacks.

Thunderclap in action!

The fifth skill is Thunderclap, which is appropriately Thor-like. Players reach into the sky and use the hammer to call down bolts of electricity that stun enemies and deal damage over time, as well as leaving a pulsing lightning field at the point of impact. We cannot wait to see this one in action.

As for the Function Gyros, we managed to eek a few tasty tidbits out of ArenaNet, some of which can be learned in the interview below. As for specifics, we were told about one such mech, the Purge Gyro. The Purge gyro will zip around with you cleansing yours and your allies' conditions every so often. The team designed this one as means to give the Engineer some much needed defense against conditions.

We cannot wait to learn more about the final Hammer skills and the other Function Gyros, see the Scrapper in action, and ooh and ahh at how awesome Thunderclap is... all of which will be discussed in this week's Points of Interest on Friday 9/18, at Noon Pacific (3pm EST) on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.

Lastly for today's reveal, we managed to get some time with the inimitable Irenio Calmon-Huang, Game Designer ArenaNet in charge of the Scrapper. Check it out below as he talks a good deal about the skills, its design goals, and even some PVP strategies. Some of my questions he couldn't answer, as there's got to still be something cool to show on Friday's PoI. But I think we've got a nice batch of answers to give us more detail until then. See below!

The drones, keeping a watchful eye.

MMORPG: The Scrapper seems like an ideal alternate playstyle for the Engineer, and as many of our readers know... it's one I've been dying for. Can you talk a bit about why you decided to go this route with the Engineer? It can't have always been my whining...

Irenio Calmon-Huang: We can give your whining half the credit. ; ) In all seriousness, however, the profession is one of my favorites and it has had solid long-range and mid-range options as well as a couple more niche close-range builds. Despite how fun bombs and flamethrower can be, neither really gives you a strong melee *feel*. Trying to achieve that sense of close-quarter combat was the natural place to look when you saw what the profession was already capable of. Once we’d narrowed the goal down to adding a melee weapon to the profession the hammer was the clear victor.

MMORPG: The Hammer on the Engineer makes a load of sense, but I'm curious about some the auto-attack on number 1. Is this "Rocket Charge"? If so, does it apply any conditions on subsequent hits?

Shock Shield in action.

ICH: Rocket charge isn’t actually the hammer auto-attack – it has the honor of being the third skill of the weapon. Rocket charge does not apply any conditions when it hits… unless you count any leap finisher effects that you happen to have laid out; each section of rocket charge is its own leap finisher.

MMORPG: Rocket Charge in general seems like it could upset the PVP balance a bit, making it hard to get away from the Engineer. How do other classes combat this jumping/leaping onslaught?

ICH: Rocket Charge WILL make the Scrapper harder to run away from in PvP, but this is something I believe other professions can find ways around. A pre-emptive application of crowd control is where I’d look if I wanted to run from a hammer-wielding engineer. Turning tail and trying to run alone won’t cut it.

MMORPG: The Hammer skills seem to deal a lot with electricity. Is there a reason behind this? Flamethrower covers the fire, obviously, other kits have poisons, is this the "electric" option?

ICH: I hadn’t considered it in terms of other kits, but yes, the hammer and Scrapper specialization do cover the electric theme. Electricity also exists in the game through Lightning Combo fields, which can cause vulnerability, dazing or grant super speed. These were all components that played into the skills and traits for the profession.

One wonders how the Asura's ears feel under that helmet...

MMORPG: The original trailer shows more than one hovering near the Scrapper. Can an Engineer have more than one active at a time?

ICH: Yes. You can have multiple gyros out at a time.

MMORPG: One thing we've seen people cry out when the drones were shown is that "we hope they're more than just copies of the Guardian's spirit weapons". Well, are they?

ICH: They are actually fairly different from spirit weapons. In addition to each coming with its own toolbelt skill (more on those later), depending on the gyro they will try to remain close to you, strike out at a targeted enemy or seek to aid allies based on a number of factors.

MMORPG: How do you see the Scrapper fitting into a group in Raids? Can you give us some examples of how they help out compared to a traditional ranged engineer?

ICH: The Scrapper is skilled at locking down enemies and when traited for it, granting super speed to allies. During raids in particular this helps greatly with shattering enemy break bars and ensuring that your team can get where it needs to be.

MMORPG: Now it's PVP's turn. Obviously, the Scrapper alters things for the Engineer giving them a true melee weapon focus. But they can't switch weapons still, only use their toolbelt, which can still give them ranged abilities (grenade, flamethrower). Do you anticipate that the Engineer's will have to learn a whole new style of competitive play when they go scrapper? Any tips for the budding elite spec'd engineer come October?

ICH: In PvP the scrapper is going to want to single out enemies and lock them down through a combination of dazing and damage counters. I do anticipate engineers will have to learn new styles of play to incorporate the scrapper specialization and am excited to see what our brilliant theorycrafters and experimenters come up with. Two tips for the price of one: Boons affect your gyros, so you can apply swiftness or super speed to ensure an incredibly quick payload delivery and thereby reducing any enemies’ chance to react. Using your rocket charge with a lightning field on your intended victim as a combo can lead to their dazing, nausea, headaches and death.

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William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.