So take this with a grain of salt. I played railjack back when it came out till early 2020 (operation scarlet spear I think it was called) then my motherboard went caputski (it died. Hard.) I only recently managed to start playing again and came back to see a few changes to railjack. As a dedicated engineer/security officer (well, when I could get others to pilot and shoot) my job was simple: keep the ship in one piece, pick off any boarders, keep our ammo stocks high, keep the crew apprised of our resource situation.
So winding back the clock to when fighters were an absolute pain, boarders were slabs of adamantium coated titanium, and our railjack could be absolutely knee deep in repair jobs. As far as being an engineer things were good. There was never a moment's rest in the veil. Hull breach here, fires everywhere, an electrical hazard or two to keep things fresh. Telling the pilot our stocks of revolite were dwindling and even needing to go gather some manually in emergency situations while fear for my life from fighters. When the ship would shake from the impact of a boarding pod it was a mad dash to check impact zones and incapacitate/neutralise the absolute monsters that were boarders. Crowd control was right up there with raw damage for keeping those dangerous boarders from running riot across the ship. There was never a moment's rest between patching up holes in my ship and keeping the Cavalcade free of boarders.
Fast forward to recently when I came back. Enemy fighters are weaker. Not really something I come across much as an engineer so I suppose I'll withhold my opinion on their ttk…but it really feels like they can't touch my Railjack at all anymore. Ran a few missions and they can barely breach the shields anymore in the veil (I ran and still do run an armor/hull/shield capacity ship. Same build roughly as back when scarlet spear happened). Even when they do, it still seems like they can't actually damage the ship enough to cause a hull breach. Over the course of three or four games I saw a fire. A singular fire. Whereas before I'd be scrambling from stem to stern keeping them put out and even having to cc boarders in order to seal hull breaches mid combat. I saw somewhere they made hazards more dangerous but reduced their spawns to 1 of each. Good in theory. Maybe even in practice for solo boats…but it really takes away half the fun of being a dedicated engineer. The other half was the boarders. Balancing between clearing the ship and fixing her up could be a tense tightrope act. Given my build is still made to deal with the absolute slabs of meat these enemies were I'm so overtuned and practiced at wiping them out that they feel very paper tiger now. There were other changes to crafting amounts (I think) and revolite consumption but those are honestly not a problem (or i have yet to find any with them).
In summary Railjack engineering now feels very much like a non-job that requires next to no attention aside from occasionally making some dome charges and ordnance. Flux energy occasionally gets used but most pilots and gunners seem to ignore using these abilities in favor of using gun (could be practicality, could be unfamiliarity with a stranger's jack loadout. Do wish that someone could use these powers without potentially inconveniencing others though. Maybe a shared flux pool with allotted amounts of energy for each player. That way someone can use all their flux without taking away from other's but crafting more flux distributes the amount crafted evenly throughout the combined pool. An even more advanced system could actually allow an opt-out feature so the other players get a greater flux capacity so a dedicated engineer isn't just a drain on that system. Just a thought). Revolite crafting is wholly unnecessary since while cost has increased the number of hazards per mission has nosedived off a cliff to the point that ratio of hazards to missions played is below 1:1. They're no harder to repair so even having increased effects doesn't save them since they get repaired just as fast as before. Boarders…well, they're there…sometimes…for a few seconds. Probably good for letting other frames take them out if they didn't have insane dps or cc, but using my favorite frame who happened to be a cc frame means the boarders are more like that mosquito, too full on blood to really dodge when you go to squash it. A bloody smear is all that's left after you hit em.
So yeah, that's railjack now vs then from the eyes of a dedicated engineer. It's still a cool mode but it feels a lot more lackluster now, for engineering and security at least. More time to play my shawzin and work on my twelve phd's I guess.
tl;dr: Engineering feels pretty much erased as a dedicated position. Boarders are paper dolls for builds meant to deal with their old stat line. Damage to the ship is negligible. Hazards are non-existent.
What do the rest of you think? Especially interested to hear from other engineers, but gunners and pilots are welcome too as well as assault crew members that hit crew ships and board bases.
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