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[Guide] Expletives, Explosives and Entrenching – A day in the life of a Combat Engineer

#1
Introduction

The Combat Engineer is one of the most unique classes of the game. He provides significant support abilities to deal with most bosses and is more or less required for the successful completion of several objectives over the course of the game.
That said, the CE does not exist to kill huge amounts of Zulus on his own. He can provide powerful offensive capabilities, but needs specific circumstances to do so. Your primary targets are bosses and denial of movement on high-value targets to allow precise hits from the Forward Observers Fire Mission.

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Skillsets
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Skillset part A:


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1) MK-2 Nano Processor „Nano“

See explanation under „Available Skills“, as this part of the ability is not to be actively used.



2) Detonation Cord „Det Cord“– Engineering Skills level 2

Just like the item, this allows the demolition of a single tree. The high manacost of 60 per usage prevents the spamming of this ability to clear large swaths of treeline – large-scale deforestion should be left to the FO or the Assault. Use it on critical line-of-sight blockers during the Ravenholm defense pre-convoy or during AF defense to increase Aegis efficiency.



3) Disarm – No prerequisite

This skill allows planted claymores and chain explosives to be returned to the inventory. If a case of the disarmed type of explosive is present in the inventory, the disarmed explosive will be stacked up to a limit of 12 for a claymore case and 8 for a chain explosive case.



4) Repair – Engineering Skills Level 1

Basically a field aid for mechanical units. Disregard the current tooltip, as it repairs a lot faster than 3 HP/s – it’s about an order of magnitude more than that. Drains mana very quickly! Examples for repair targets include but are not limited to all helicopter types, Bradleys, Turrets and Roshan. A critical skill during AF defense.



5) Communications Array „Comray“– Engineering Skills level 5

For 120 Mana and 10 seconds cast time, this ability plants a rather fragile building that provides shared vision for all marines, minis, abilities and items. It also offers remote imaging for 20 seconds with a 40 second cooldown for a medium-sized area. Additionally, every comray provides one charge for the Transceiver. This is one of the most important skills the CE has to offer in terms of team support.



6) Satchel Charge – Engineering Skills Level 5

This ability allows the priming of a satchel that deals medium damage in a very small AoE around the center of the explosion with a huge damage dropoff for the rest of the AoE. Once planted it has a preset timer that can be changed with -prime X, with X being the delay between planting and explosion ranging from 0 to 60 seconds. Prime 0 timers are very much survivable but I generally advise against using them. This ability is also used to close caves.
Please note that satchels can be attacked and destroyed by certain unit types such as chordatas and parasites. If a satchel is destroyed prior to the explosion, it will not detonate.

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Skillset part B:


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A) Rapid Fire – Engineering Skills Level 4

Rapid Fire is an active ability that is not found in the engineering sub-menu. For 45 mana it provides a 350% attack speed bonus to the Engineers primary weapon for 7 seconds. Please note that this ability doesn’t care whether you’re emptying your entire 18 shot-clip into some poor sod or you spend 6 out of the 7 seconds reloading. Make sure your weapon is loaded appropriately to make the most of this ability.


B) Nanosteel Net „Net“– Nanosteel Net at least Level 1

A straight-forward ability that applies a net to all ground and air units with the exception of magic immune enemies like Mundus and Atlas. Enemies affected by the net gain a -5 armor debuff for the duration and cannot move. 40 mana cost per usage and a cooldown of 8 seconds.

Net has several quirks that one should be aware of. A netted target cannot be the target of the Monofilament Cartridge of the Designated Marksman. The net does not disable or prevent the blinking of Osiris. If an air unit is netted and the spot on the ground does not offer enough space for the unit, it will be teleported straight on top of the unit casting the net – handle with care around poppers and gargoyles/wraiths. Different Net abilities do not stack, it is not possible to perma-net a target unless you have several classes/minis chaining their nets.


This list of quirks is not complete.


C) Discharge – Engineering Skills Level 3

Discharge is a powerful AoE damage/disable combination. While it has a moderate mana cost of 50, the long cooldown of 60 seconds prevents the regular usage of this ability. It affects both air and ground targets with the exception of spell immune units like Atlas and Mundus. It is a very effective skill against fast units like Etaphreven, Loki, Eris and Thanatos and also provides crowd control during the swarming parts of the game like Ravenholm Random Artillery and AF Defense.
It is advisable to have this skill ready to use against the bosses mentioned above.



D) Engineering Skills, see Skillset part A

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Available Skills:

Critical Strike – 7 levels – +25 damage per level

Nanosteel Net - 7 levels – 40 mana cost, starts with 2 seconds net at Level 1, grants 1 extra second for Levels 1 to 5 and 0.5 seconds for levels 6 and 7. Also increases range for the net with every level. Net level 7 allows the safe netting of targets outside of CAS AoE. Level 7 is recommended for Magnificent Bastards

Nano MK-2 Processor – 5 levels – Mana regeneration of the CE increases by 15% per level. Other Marines may drain mana from the engineer by right-clicking on the engineer. Level 1 restores 1 mana for every mana drained, increases by 0.5 per level (Nano MK-2 at level 3 will replenish 2 mana on the ally for every drained mana point).

Engineering skills – 5 levels – see the above skillset examination for more information


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Skill progression (MOS 4 is taken as baseline)
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Starting Skills: Engineering, Net
Level 2 – 5: Engineering
Level 6: Net
Level 7: Net
Level 8: Nano MK-2
Level 9: Net
Level 10: Net
Level 11: Nano MK-2
Level 12: Nano MK-2
Level 13: Net
Level 14: Net
Level 15: Nano MK-2
Level 16: Nano MK-2
Level 17+: Crit


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A few important things about the Combat Engineer:
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The CE benefits greatly from having additional armor, be it via the FT aura or through inventory armor. While tanking is discouraged, it is next to impossible to avoid it due to the low range and unreliability against fast-moving targets with evasion like ghouls and gargoyles.

Next to the Force Recon, CE has highest priority when it comes to M320 Grenade Launchers as he has no sidearm.

Mid- to Late-game use the net to get some space from hostiles chasing you and use the time to run away/gun it/them down (e.g. gargoyles, devourers).

Time your abilities with other classes and yourself. Using discharge on a 7 second netted target is a waste of precious disable. Same goes for abilities like the Assault net and the Delta Operators Combat Maneuvers.

Pay attention to Fire Missions from the FO. Try to keep targets inside the AoE of the FM by using net and discharge.

Discharge does a relatively high amount of damage to surrounding targets (something around 600 to 700) and pretty much immobilises all but the fastest zulus. Use it in case the squad or you are being overrun (e.g. during RA) or to keep bosses inside FMs.

If necessary provide your ammunition to the team. Ammo usage on the CE is usually very low – 6 magazines are more than sufficient.

Use Residence 41 and the Communications Tower to replenish your Mana during Caving or when you or the team are in a pickle. CALL THE USAGE OF THE GENERATORS AS OTHER CRITICAL TEAM MEMBERS MIGHT ALSO NEED THE MANA BOOST!

Caves should be done during Chapter 1. The CE does not bother with sentries unless manpower is low. Closing caves has priority as it substantially reduces Zulu HP and provides a 100 rank XP boost to the team. C2 Revelation offers another chance to finish caves during Cocoons. C3 Containment offers another chance to close remaining caves.

It is common etiquette for people to ask you before draining mana via the Nano MK-2 ability. If someone doesn’t, tell him that.

Be aware of the progression of all chapters at any time – it is important to know when you need mana and when you don’t.

Remember to repair Aegis turrets during AF defense during lulls in the spawns. Don’t repair during gargoyle waves.

Don’t (try to) kill whore. Won games below 150 kills are perfectly fine.


As the Combat Engineer is very dependant on levels and needs many of his abilities early in the game, whoring a cave spawn in the beginning of the game is highly advised. I recommend being on top of the cave west of Ravenholm at the very latest by 1:25 to gain crucial extra experience in the beginning. If someone else tries to whore on west, either share if it's an important class and other caves are not available or tell him to go away.

Praise our lord and saviour, the M242 Bushmaster. Radiate exuberance and childish joy every time the M242 Bushmaster is dropped as reinforcement.

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Running and Gunning with the Combat Engineer
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This is an important ability of the CE since attack animations need to finish within range of a unit to connect and cause damage and the high-damage low-RoF primary weapon of the CE lends itself perfectly for short retaliation during kiting.

When you find yourself chased by a gargoyle or a devourer, you can simply run and kite it behind you, it won't ever do damage unless hungered and/or you have severe movementspeed penalties. Since units have to be stationary to attack, you gain a bit of space while the animation plays - this is your chance to retaliate. When you have sufficient space, stop and wait for the CE to turn around, fire a shot at the target and start to move immediately after the shot goes off. If done right, the chasing unit will not be able to catch up to you sufficiently to land an attack that connects. Rinse and repeat until the unit chasing you is dead. This also means that it is a lot easier to evade attacks during sprinting and you can also jump "past" attack animations to prevent hits from connecting.

This requires a lot of practice to execute correctly, especially in the heat of the game, but it is a highly recommended ability to learn and master.


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If any questions or discussions arise, feel free to poke/message me.
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#2
Skill progression alternative :
Starting skills : Engineering & Nano Mk2 => very good if u need to cave early in game for satchels & sprint/jump, but then you need to whore alot at begining to end at lvl 6 with at least 1 lvl in net for first boss encounter (big Flesh & Eta)
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