BOOM! (or How I Came to Love the Engineer)
I’ve always preferred playing classes that didn’t pigeon hole me into one role (WoW I’m looking at you) and while all of the GW2 professions leave it up to you to what sort of role you play, I feel that the engineer gives you the greatest freedom of choice between DPS, Support and Control. Example of this Engineer’s ability to ‘hot swap’ in mid combat was during an Ascalon Catacombs story run with some of the guild. I’d started out mainly using grenades, throwing Elixir B and Mines around but by the time we’d reached the end boss my utility set-up had changed. I was using the Grenade Kit to throw out some conditions, switching to the Elixir Gun to use the AoE regen skill along with applying some poison and vulnerability before switching back to grenades. During all of this I had Elixir R on my bar, not for the main use but for the ranged revival the Tool belt skill gives.
It’s this type of mix between party support and damage that I most enjoy when working in a party. During dynamic events I tend to sick to my current loadout: Grenade Kit, Elixir B and the Rocket Turret but I’m usually throwing the Tool belt version of Elixir H and B as well as calling in a supply crate. Even then I still feel like I can contribute to the mass gathering in more than just damage and reviving.
However I still feel that the Engineer could do with some tweaking still. Nothing major like a complete class rebuild but a few tweaks here and there just to improve functionality of a few things. The main ones are:
As much as I want to invest into a Turret/Tool Kit type build I just don’t feel turrets are worth investing points into. My main gripe is that turrets still have the same cool down from picking them up (annoying when you do it accidentally in combat) as they do when you detonate them. The tool belt turret skills do help a little while the turret is on cool down but I do think that they need a cool down reduction if they’re picked up.
Kits in general
Currently your weapon stats and sigils don’t apply to kits, which I can see the logic in since you’re technically not using them. However this is somewhat annoying, at least from the sigil point of view, when you’ve got sigils set up that’ll benefit your kits. I’d say either allow weapon sigils to work while not in use or allow sigils to be applied to kits (my personal favourite idea), for example I could have a Sigil of Superior Water on the Elixir Gun and have a Sigil of Superior Smouldering on the Flamethrower.
My second concern with kits is their late game viability. Since kits don’t benefit from weapon stats then they’re likely to be out performed by end game rifles and pistols, so taking a damage kit seems like a wasted slot. Without doing a partial redesign of kits I’d say either allow weapon stats/sigils to apply to kits or give a kit a performance increase per point places in an associated trait line (Alchemy increasing the Elixir Gun’s performance for example).
Other than the Bomb Kit and Tool Kit, Engineers have weapon based melee option. Out of the weapon choices I think I’d either like to see the mace or hammer given to engineers in future. In conjunction with the flame, thumper and rocket turret, a melee engineer could be something to worry about both in PvE and in sPvP. Still compared to the other tweaks this is more of a personal preference rather than something that should be fixed fairly soon.
Overall the Engineer is a very fun profession to play. Even after 70 levels I’m still enjoying combat because I can mix things up a bit by using different kits or switching over to using rifle/pistols and using turrets. Its also because of that flexibility that will allow the Engineer to be one of those professions that doesn’t suffer from being theory crafted down to one or two ‘viable’ builds. Once World vs World has settled down so that I can actually get in without waiting half a day, I look forwards to raining explosive death from above.
So if you’ve got a spare character slot and you haven’t tried the Engineer yet then give it a shot.