I've noticed that a lot of people have played the Outcast Engineer, but abandoned him on harder difficulties due to one or multiple problems. I've begun to notice a pattern and, as a self proclaimed "Bardin/Engineer Main", I've decided to offer my opinion and advice on such problems. Take it how you will, I'm just trying to get more people open to this class' potential. (Everything was discussed with my small friends group, so you may have had different experiences. I am by no definition an expert, so take my opinion as such, but I do play Casual Public Cataclysm with Engineer)
Crank Gun is Unwieldy and Annoying to Micromanage
While I think the Crank Gun is at it's strongest when constantly utilized, I understand that micromanagement of any kind can be annoying. Superior Gaskets and Linked Compression Chambers can make your Crank Gun function more like an ultimate than a third weapon. Shred until your bar is gone, crank, then swap to melee and enjoy increased attack speed until your 'ultimate' is ready again.
Constantly Out of Crank Gun Ammo
This was my initial problem. It's not an easy fix either, it requires an adapted play style, but this is MY preferred way to play. Experimental Steam Capacitors and Innovative Ammo Hoppers synchronize perfectly for this. No more cranking then needing to panic fire, losing your pressure stacks. The best part is if you manage to kill a special while you have 5 pressure stacks, firing actually INCREASES your special bar.
He's Way Too Squishy
Ablative Armor and Barkskin go a long way, but the best way to survive is spacial awareness. The Crank Gun is large and loud, making it hard to hear if things are sneaking up on you. Positioning is far more important than anything else here. This is mostly experience, but try to keep a wall or teammate at your back and keep dodging and moving.
Can't Deal with Armored Enemies
I usually bring a decent melee weapon for this. The Coghammer and 2h Axe are good choices. However, for Armored Bosses or Chaos heavy maps (War Camp 💀), You'll need to modify your Crank Gun. Gromril Plated Shot, Leading Shots, and Full Head of Steam are the skills to have. I don't adhere to breakpoints very often, so I don't know if FHS is a meta skill here, but it certainly FEELS better, in my experience. Strength potions always help.
No Panic Button
This is fair. There's a lot of things to panic about, and it's impossible to cover them all, but not everyone can have invisibility. Save your bombs for panic situations (You have enough, and AA/Barkskin should do a lot to shield you from the blast). Try the Drakefire Pistols for when you're cornered and Resourceful Combatant can help you charge your Crank Gun here too. Most importantly POSITIONING. Try not to get into a situation where you need to panic in the first place.
Not enough Crank gun damage? Leading Shots and Enhanced Power. Missing Shots? Remember that the ADS button will spin up the barrel, so just keep it spinning and burst fire. You don't have to empty the bar everytime. Keep getting backstabbed? Weapon switching is instant, so just swap and block.
One last thing: On the topic of Friendly Fire. As an Outcast Engineer it is YOUR job to provide supporting fire for your more melee oriented allies. It's not THEIR job to stay out of your way and let you get free green circles. However, the Crank Gun FF is hardly worse than a mosquito bite, so don't be afraid to send a bullet or two through the elf if need be. She may complain in the moment, but the victory screen is what matters here. Of course, you should still always try to find a better angle than to just continue shooting your team.
Sorry if I got a little wordy, I just would like to see more Engineers out in the field. They're very fun to play with and, in my opinion, a valuable asset. I think everyone who doesn't have him should consider it, and those who hate him should give him another go. Every class is viable, but if the "Engineer is Bad" argument ends up getting him buffed, I don't think I'd complain at all.
If you read all that, thank you! 🤘
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© Post "Common Engineer Problems and How to Solve Them" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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