Setting up Camp

Posted on October 29, 2012

Most of you probably already know that Engineers have emerged as an excellent Bunker profession, something I figured would happen after first playing with the shield and turrets. What I didn't expect was that the best bunker build wouldn't use turrets at all (imho).

I've spent the last week playing a bunker build and pretty much not dying. It's not perfect, as I can't really kill anyone else, but at least I don't lose a node before my team can catch up.

Here's a link to the build I'm running.

A couple of points:

  • I don't take Self Regulating Defenses because you can't control when it happens, and using Elixir S takes you out of the node ticks. Meaning if you use it, your presence doesn't count for defending or taking a node.
  • Going high on toughness instead of Vitality allows me to put less into + healing and get the same bang for the buck. Unfortunately this means your only real condition defense is to remove them, which is why I have Cleansing 409, Elixir C, and 20% elixir CD reduction.
  • The medkit skill 5 is your only source of swiftness. However if you are playing Bunker right, you shouldn't need it that often. I mostly use it in the beginning to get to my node.
  • Generally speaking, Big Ole Bomb is you clearing push back and your Shield is your "OMG save my downed friend" push back, although I have been known to use both to get people off my node.

All in all, there's a lot of personal choice in a bunker build. I've had a lot of fun playing it in tournaments but not so much in Hot Join. For Hot Join I think I will stick to killing stuff.

The tough, smart bomber: An survival build.

Posted on September 11, 2012

Another week, another build.

Last week I played a Glass Rifle build and although it was fun blasting people, if I got caught outnumbered at all I was immediately downed.

This week I opted for survivability and it sure worked. Going into Hot Join sPvP with 1900 toughness and tons of power was really fun and effective. If I have to choose a name for my builds, I might call this Tough Bomber.

Here's the build: Tough Bomber

The playstyle is very simple. Grenades at range, bombs at melee, survive. I frequently use Elixir S in combination with my heal to ensure there is no interupt and that I won't be downed too soon.

The trait Inertial Converter ensures that when your health is low you at least get to use the Elixir S toolbelt skill to hide yo'self.

Speedy Kits ensures I can have swiftness up whenever I want! by simply swapping kits.

Using this I can wreak havoc and survive a long time. It has much less burst than previous builds I've run but that's not what I was after at all. I was able to hold point against three opponents (knowing I had no chance of killing them all) long enough to get some teammates to help out.

The Bad

There are two things I don't like about this build.

  1. The points into Tools adds condition damage, which is awesome, but I didn't boost precision at all so it feels wasted. I went into tools for the recharge and the swiftness but it still feels bad.
  2. There is no reliable condition removal. To make up for this a little I used a Sigil of Purity which removes conditions on criticals. But again, low Precision.

Keeping in mind the good and the bad from this, I may try a pistol build converting the grenade kit into an Elixir and putting 30 points in Firearms instead of Explosives. In that case I would also look for a critical proc sigil as well.

First Week Builds

Posted on September 04, 2012

I'm pretty busy being an Asuran Engineer right now, but I thought I'd share a few builds I've been running these first nine days of Guild Wars 2.

Today's build is the Glass Rifle. I've been using this in random sPvP. It's served me really well in one on one situations or when I come across a one on one fight and I need to help a teammate.

Glass Rifle Build

EDIT: Hikmet pointed out that I don't have an Elixir to trigger Acidic Elixirs. True! It's because I originally ran this build with Elixir B instead of Net Turret and forgot to swap it out: oops. I'm still on the fence about which one I like better. Elixir B gives great buffs, swiftness, and gives you that explosion. I've updated the build link to use Empowering Adrenaline.

Here's the strategy: kill your opponent before you die. :) In my build I take a little more toughness than other builds I've seen, but you really can't take too much of a beating so you control the fight with nets, knockdowns and damage.

Almost all the damage comes from the Rifle. You must take Hair Trigger and Rifle Mod. I also take Acidic Elixirs so that I can still do damage when my Rifle is on cooldown. I generally use Analyze when available and let my crits stack even more vulnerability. You've got THREE nets to control the fight, one knockback and in the case of a melee opponent slick shoes will keep you alive.

The goal here is to stay ahead of your target, keep vuln on them, move in to blunderbuss and jump shot, move out when they are on CD or your opponent is doing something nasty. Try to save a net to get two hits from Jump Shot and try to save Overcharged Shot to interrupt their heals. There's no AoE to help you with Mesmer illusions so make sure you mark the Mesmer as your target.

I leave you with this word of caution: Rangers. ugh.

Oh, and I left 10 traits out because I don't feel strongly about them boosting power or vitality.

Engineers in sPvP

Posted on August 13, 2012

Disclaimer: I'm not a ranked eSport arena master. And I've never made a dime beating people at a video games. But there are a few things I have learned both from experience and from talking to world class competitive PvP players. If you are willing to admit that someone knows more than you, and you are willing to listen, you can learn a great deal and improve your own game.

When making a build for sPvP, keep in mind which role you are fulfilling. On a team you need predefined roles to be effective. You also need to communicate with your team, perform your role, and trust your teammates to perform theirs.


Guild Wars 2 will release in just about 2 weeks. The first three months (or more) in sPvP will be about exploration of tactics, team makeup and builds. But during the Beta events there have been a few common team makeups and roles.

  • Duelist A player that excels at 1v1 combat. This role it used to solo take an objective. Usually the closest or farthest objective depending on your tactics.

  • Roamer This player is used to support the other roles. Quick movement is a must as this role must listen to teammates to support them quickly and turn the tide of a fight.

  • Point holder Traditionally this role was a player that could take a beating without dying. The goal was to stay alive solo at an objective until support could arrive, like the roamer or the team. Guild Wars 2 makes this role difficult as surviving a 2v1 is more difficult than in other games.

  • Team Fight This role is designed to work in synergy with 1, 2, or even 3 other players to form a team (within your team). This team is usually used to capture and hold the most contested objective such as the middle objective on most maps.

All these roles can combine in many ways for different tactics and maps. For example:

A team with a Duelist, 2 Roamers, and a 2 man team may start a match by sending the Duelist to the closest point to take and hold it while the other 4 head to the center to capture. When the battle in the center looks one, the two roamers either peel off to help the duelist, or if clear, they move to the far objective to either take it or apply pressure close to the other team's respawn.

The rest of the match for the roamers is determined by the enemy's movement and success.

Engineer sPvP builds

When you start a build, keep your role in mind. Having your skills and traits limited means you are not going to be able to fulfill them all.

To start, let's think about a Roaming build for an Engineer. Primarily you need swiftness, condition removal, control. After you fulfill those, then you can think about damage.


Well, you need swiftness to respond to team calls quickly or you can't perform your role. Condition removal and control are needed to support the person or group you are reinforcing. Chances are a solo duelist or point holder will need conditions removed. They may be close to death and need enemies peeled off with your control. When you are running to support your duelist, the duelist is likely going to still be the main source of damage, you are there to make sure he still can.

As for damage, right now the Engineer is stronger with conditions than direct damage. Engineers can apply conditions very swiftly and have a lot of access to bleeds, burning and confusion.

A bomb build

We could use a Bomb build for this. There is plenty of conditions and control in a bomb build.

So I will choose a Pistol for Confusion, Poison and Bleed.

Slick Shoes for for Super Speed.

Bomb Kit of course, it's a bomb build.

Elixir R to support teammates with revive and condition removal.

Let's choose the Med Kit for even more swiftness. (Practice using that one!)

For traits we want to go 30 into Explosives to support our bombs. Grab Forceful Explosives, Incendiary Powder, and Short Fuse.

You also want to go deep into Tools, like 20 or so so that you can get those Tool belt recharge rates down. You will be using them often.

The remaining points can go into Firearms or Alchemy depending on if you want damage or survivability. I would opt for survivability.

So there's some thoughts behind a roaming build. When filling a role, think about what you need and build around that. For a team build, you need to know how to complement your teammates with combos and filling their gaps. As a duelist you absolutely need to win your 1v1s. As an Engineer you need damage, additional survivability and some tricks. If only we could drop a Supply Crate every 10 seconds. :)

Spirit of the Ritualist

Posted on July 05, 2012

This post was originally going to be about the build I made and spent my last BWE time on. But with all the trait changes coming in the next 15 days I think I'm moving directions.

By the end of my Guild Wars career, I spent all of my PvE time spamming spirits (although that's not my exact build, it's the basic idea). I could drop all of my creepy glowy friends and go to the kitchen to make a sandwich. When I returned, everything had died and left little piles of shinies.

Of course I don't expect or want that to happen in Guild Wars 2, but I did enjoy the play style of the spirit spammer when the content was challenging.

In the last BWE, in the spirit of the spamming ritualist, I ran a turret specialist engineer build. Not only was the build really fun to run, but I also felt that I performed more effectively than any other build I have tried. I think this build will still be great after the changes come down the pipe, but it will be different, so I'm not going to bother emulating all the skill and trait choices.

The build is fairly simple. I took as many turrets as possible and as many traits based around turrets that I could. I specifically took the rocket and flame turrets for damage, because I wanted to stack conditions. To go with that I put max points in Firearms for condition damage.

I picked up the healing turret and the supply crate which drops even more turrets, put 30 points into Inventions and made sure I always had some healing going. After all, I need to be able to run around without dying while my minions do their thing.

For my last skill I picked the tool kit so that I could repair turrets and launch people into them with the pry bar and magnet.

I played a ton of sPvP games. My fights went a little like this:

Drop rocket and flame turrets. Run behind them them and fire my pistol at will. I then alternate between kiting in the turret area and using my shield to absorb attacks. Use healing turret when i need health, prybar and magnet to interrupt heals and bring people into the turrets and keep conditions stacked. If I seemed to be on the losing in I would call in my Supply Crate.

It was a blast! Because the damage is done by turrets and conditions, you are free to actively focus on positioning, interrupting and healing. My proudest moment (and one I wished I had recorded) was when a warrior charged me. After a few seconds I had littered the battlefield with 5 turrets and tons of medkits. The warrior started to run so I magneted him back into the fray. He stunned me and ran again, never to be seen in my clock tower again.

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