Thursday, July 29, 2010

Engineer in 1.3.6

My favorite class, the Engineer, will be seeing a few changes in Warhammer Online's 1.3.6 patch.  I wouldn't consider it a major overhaul, but it will change some aspects of the career.  As with any change, some players are happy about it and some are not.  What does 1.3.6 have in store for us?

First, go check out the official patch notes for the Engineer.  The changelog is all well and good, but what does it really mean for the affected abilities?

Bugmans Best (wardb)

Live:  Heals for 120 every 3 seconds over 15 seconds.
PTS:  Heals for 311 (crit: 486) every 3 seconds over 15 seconds.  Based on the players Willpower (133 for the test).

On live, this ability is rarely used especially since you have to spec for it.  The biggest problem, even with the buff, is the 2 second cast time.  As we will see later, the new Expert Skirmisher may make it much more useful.

And finally, the scenario scoreboard will now reflect the healing done by Bugmans Best.  It will make it much easier to see how effective the skill is.

Lightning Rod (wardb)

Live: 376 damage every 3 seconds over 9 seconds.
PTS: 367 damage every 3 seconds over 12 seconds.  Now based my Ballistics ( ~960 for the test ).

This is another ability which is not used often.  The damage itself does not seem to have received a buff with the changeover to the players stats.  The extra tick is nice, but insignificant.  As with Bugmans, Expert Skirmisher may make this worthwhile.

Land mine (wardb)

Live: 429 damage
PTS: 478 damage (BS ~960)


Rune of Warding (5% Disrupt) has been replaced by Trench Fighting.  This is basically the old Expert Skirmisher without the drawback.  Instead of being a core tactic, we now have to spec for it.  Some players are not thrilled with this change since the new tactic is in the Tinkerer tree, which they find sub-par.

Steady Aim ( +160 Ballistics ) has been renamed Masterful Aim.

Expert Skirmisher has been completely changed for all ranged dps careers. Instead of proving a damage bonus when close and a damage reduction when father away, it will now cut cast times in half if you are near an enemy.  This change has caused the most uproar among Engineers.

Those who see it as a nerf contend that it is a straight damage reduction since Trench Fighting is only a 15% bonus compared to the 25% of the old tactic.  While they may have a point, I don't really agree.  The lack of a drawback (-%20 when over 45 ft) is a big plus for me.

The new Expert Skirmisher does affect our castables like Bugmans Best and Lightning Rod.  1 second and .5 second cast times respectively, make those skills more appealing.  How will they fare in combat is yet to be known. 

No Dead Zone

Thanks to Zizlak for reminding me about this one!  Our rifle abilities will no longer have a minimum range (which used to be 5 feet).  Combined with the new Expert Skirmisher, this could be very interesting.  One second Gun Blasts from close range sounds awful tempting. 

Overall I am happy with the changes.  The tinkerer tree will be more useful.  MThe more viable play-styles the better!