Ah, engineers! What is not to love about them? They get to use the guns, they have a ton of crazy weird inventions in the form of skills and most importantly, they have the monocles! The way I would describe the engineers would be as “the swiss knife” of the professions. You have a problem, they have some invention to deal with it.
The drawback of that is that it is too easy to try to pick just the cool toys and ignore other skills that would probably work better with your chosen play style. Let me use myself as a practical example of what I am talking about. I chose pretty early on that I wanted my character to primarily use a flamethrower. Simply because I just love the flamethrower that much. My problem was the other utility skills though as I was thinking of them in individual terms and coolness factor, instead of thinking how each one would complement better my choice of weaponry. I was also completely ignoring the elixirs since I was thinking, in a very misguided way, that would be more for some one who wanted to play engineers more in a support role.
My skill load out varied as I leveled and it looked like certain skills were superior in themselves. My most used ones were usually the rifle turret, the thumping turret, the battering ram or the shrapnel mine (which is actually a charr racial skill). Mostly due to my thinking of trying to keep the mobs at a distance and having something to aid me in the killing. The problem with those skills is they work better for a build that can actually attack at long range which is not the case of the flamethrower which is a short range weapon. The end result was that as I progressed through the game the fights became increasingly rougher, specially in the personal story where I only had the NPCs to help me out.
So I decided it was time to do some research on engineers. After reading a bit I finally figured out the problem with my tactics and changed my skills accordingly. Now I am going more for a mobile build so I can let the mobs get just at the right distance from me and keep moving to keep that distance. To do that I have been using Elixir B and Slick Shoes. Elixir B adds Swiftness, Fury, Might and Retaliation so it also helps if an enemy gets close enough to get a few hits and killing things faster. While Slick Shoes will make the enemy fall down if they get too close. As for traits I am going for Firearms since it has a chance to give me Swiftness if I crit and add bleeding to the enemy plus a few other things down the line. I am also getting alchemy for Hidden Flask (Makes me a drink an Elixir B at 75% health). That is the bases of it now, I am still thinking about the rest of my traits. It is nice when a game gives you a lot of options and they all seem valid, making it a tough choice on what to pick. :)
Back to the subject at hand… At first it took some getting used to that kind of setup but now I think I am getting pretty comfortable with it and I am rarely dying these days. When that happens it is usually because I don’t have the space to move, there are way too many danged mobs for me to fights or I am just being stupid. Or all three. It can happen from time to time.
The charr story line so far has been pretty cool too. There has been some interesting choices that made me wonder if I wasn’t just making life more complicated for myself or making a poor choice for the legion. I won’t go into spoils about any of those but there is at least one I can talk about that isn’t a spoil, might not even be that important depending on how you see it but it was for me. During character creation as a charr you can choose a NPC that used to be your sparring partner in the legion. That character will be your first buddy during the personal storyline. I was bit torn on who to choose as they all seemed to be interesting in their own ways. Eventually I picked Maverick since I thought a melee character would supplement my engineer better. In the beginning I was unsure if that was a good idea and if I shouldn’t have picked up someone else with a more interesting personality. Well, after doing some personal story lines with him, I can say he earned his place in my warband. Not only did he save my tail a few times, his commentaries on any situation we are dealing with never stop cracking me up. It is just so different from what I would expect from a charr! :)
Hmmm… I think that is it for now about Kahlef. Next time, Rakuno the asura thief!