We’ve already had a lengthy chat with Guild Wars 2 designers Jon Peters and Eric Flannum about how the game’s progressing but the ArenaNet devs were also kind enough to impart to us some new information on a brand new character class, the engineer.
Strategy Informer:Can you give us an outline of what the engineer’s all about?
Jon Peters: He’s one of our medium armour professions and one of the most technically advanced professions in Guild Wars 2. The game takes place two hundred and fifty years after the first one so the engineer is our opportunity to take advantage of the advanced technology of the world.
He uses explosives, turrets and other gadgets to control the battlefield.
One of the unique things about him is that while most professions have two weapon sets that they swap between the engineer has a single weapon set but he has access to kits which when activated modify his weapon skills. For example, if he adds the grenade kit to his skill bar and clicks that he’ll swap out his weapon skills out for thrown, poison and flashbang grenades. He can be one of the more complex and versatile professions that we have.
Strategy Informer:You’ve been strongly emphasising fun over grinding in Guild Wars 2. How are you making sure that the engineer and other support classes remain fun even though they won’t be on the front line of battle?
Eric Flannum: Our engineers are very much combat engineers so they have a lot of ways to do damage. Like all of our professions, and I think this is especially true of the engineer, we try to make different play styles available to them and allow players to switch between each of them rather quickly.
In one moment an engineer might be utilising the health kit, dispensing med-packs and healing team mates and then the next switching to the mine kit where you can throw out mines to secure and area before detonating them. In another minute you could switch to your rifle and dual pistols and be able to do more damage dealing. If monsters are right up in your face you can switch to the bomb kits which, unlike grenades which have to been throw out, can place a variety bombs at your feet. This can turn the engineer, if you want to think of it in a traditional MMO sense, into a point blank area of effect character.
We’re aiming to have all of our professions, not just the engineer, able to deal with frontline, midline and backline combat at almost any given time in a similar manner.
Strategy Informer:What type of player do you recommend choose the engineer class?
Eric Flannum: I think the type of player who really likes to plan ahead. The engineer is primarily about preparation; placing your mines in the proper areas so they get maximum effect when the blow up, putting your turret in the right spot, putting medkits down for your allies ahead of time before they’re injured.
Also, the engineer has potentially six weapon slots he can choose to equip in addition to his normal weapon set. This means that more than any other profession the engineer can be as complex or simple as you want to make it. I think people who like this versatility and planning ahead will enjoy the engineer the most.
Strategy Informer:Any last things you’d like to mention about the engineer?
Jon Peters: Every profession has a unique mechanic situation above their skill bar. For the engineer it’s a like a quick tool belt that allows him as access to some of the abilities from kits without actually having to switch.
Eric talked about the need to detonate mines that have already been placed. If the player has equipped the mine kit on his tool belt, which will be mapped to the F1 through F4 keys, he will get a skill called Detonate All Mines that he can use without having to switch to that kit.
Again, it’s a good way to utilise the kits without making the player switch to them every single time.
There you have it folks. If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to check out the first part of the interview for a bunch more details on the wider Guild Wars 2 experience.