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CaptainAhab 06-15-2013 04:58 AM

How to engineer?
People say that engineer is the easiest class to play and yet I am consistently (almost) the worst with it.

My guns almost *never* reach level 3 and when they do, they still tend to go down within 1-2 runs.

Are there any general tips you folks could give? Or those who have played with me in pickups, anything I am doing incredibly wrong that should be fixed?

aleXtric 06-15-2013 05:11 AM

dunno, ill spec you next time you want to play it. we can hop on mumble or something while u play and ill help you out.

squeek. 06-15-2013 05:51 AM

I don't even know. I sometimes feel like my playstyle is worse than engi's that literally just babysit and clang their SGs the entire round, but I like moving around and railing and being a weirdo so I do that anyway; although, I feel like I lose my gun a lot (though this can be a given with certain people playing medic) and I almost never build dispensers (can't really justify this, I just don't).

I remember watching HoLdNToSs way back when who was meant to be the best engi of all time or something and I never understood how or why he was good. He'd mostly just clang and he really looked to me like any other engi. I guess he had good shotgun aim? cake might be able to explain this more.

KubeDawg 06-15-2013 05:52 AM

When a map begins and you go engineer, time your SG build just after the first wave of attackers have been killed so you have more time to build. It's often a better idea to build a dispenser first in this scenario, depending on how long it will take for the majority of attackers to return to your base. The shorter their distance, the more you want to build a dispenser first. The longer the time, the more time you have to at least get a SG up to level 2 when they return.

You always start with 200 cells. It takes only 130 to build a gun and 100 to build a dispenser. If you build a dispenser first, then walk up to it, you are immediately given 30 cells. Since you only had 100 left from building your dispenser, plus the 30 you just gained, you can now build a sentry gun.

If you would rather quick build a SG without building a dispenser first, build relatively close to your spawn so you can restock. Starting with 200 cells, again, build your SG. Then, discard all your bags near it in a place where your teammates will likely not walk over them. You've just discarded 70 cells. Then, go run back to spawn to restock. Upgrading your gun will cost another 130 cells, leaving you with only 70 remaining again.
Pick up the bags you discarded after upgrading to level 2 and you are left with 140 total cells. At this point, you have 2 options; you can use this to either upgrade your SG to level 3, or throw one of the bags so you still have 120 cells to keep your level 2 SG up and running if it is being attacked. If you choose the former option, it leaves you somewhat vulnerable because you are left with only 10 cells until you get a chance to restock so choose wisely.

Always be on the lookout when your teammates die and when enemies die, because their bags will often contain the cells necessary to keep your gun alive when you are nowhere near a restocking area. If an enemy scout drops their bags before they go into your base, the bag they drop when they die will contain less cells (I can't remember if it's 0 cells or more than that, you'll have to test this theory) than if they do not drop their bag. EMP grenades also do more damage to an enemy who hasn't discarded their bags or if there are bags near them when your EMP goes off.

When your SG is being attacked, you will often times see a medic lob a couple grenades toward it. Don't just start whacking away at your gun in hopes it will survive the explosions. The key is to time when you wrench your gun based on the sound you hear when they prime their nades. You don't necessarily have to keep track of when they will go off, but it gives you a bit of time to start wrenching your SG if and when they use their Super Nailgun to try to take it out.
It's important to note that even if your SG is at 1% health, one hit with the wrench will bring it back to 100%. So wrench away until you expect the first grenade to explode. A single grenade is not enough to destroy a level 3 sentry so if all you see are 2 nades near it and no one is actually firing at your gun, wait till the first nade goes off. WRENCH once. Wait for 2nd explosion and continue to wrench. This kind of timing will help you save your SG in many scenarios.

And speaking of grenades, some medics are clever enough to throw them near your SG, but with both on different sides of the gun, making it more difficult for you to wrench your SG without being hurt yourself. Pay attention to where those nades are and always try to keep your SG between them and you. This will keep you alive and your SG alive, too.

I'll try to get some videos on how to keep up a SG, although I'm not sure Fraps runs very well in FF.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more techniques in game, just let me know and I'll teach you.:railgun:

the_cake 06-15-2013 02:36 PM

Too lazy to get into a full discussion of HnT's style. :o

Basically he had a really good sense of game flow, like what do do specifically vs a set of opponents on a given map and what to do in awkward situations. He could play in several different styles and could choose the right one for the job at a moments notice if the situation demanded it. He had a massive bag of tricks; this happens when you play engie for 10 years. Where one engie might have one way of playing and be really good at it, if that isn't working you get that situation where the o is storming the flagroom and the engie is at the bottom of the scoreboard. This is where hold would change it up, and most of the time he'd find something that worked before things got out of control. He literally saved a few games this way back in KBN.

He was amazing at seeing the big picture basically. He didn't do any crazy rail shots and could barely bhop, but he knew how to make the game flow the way his team wanted. His mindset was "what can I do to help my team win this," not "how can I show off" or "player xyz needs to do this to keep my gun up for me.

Raynian 06-17-2013 06:13 AM

Engi is largely about understanding the maps. Where to spam your charged railgun shots, how to bounce when people are coming in, where to put disps to hide them and how to use them as impromptu pipes with detdispenser.

Also, movement is really damn important as an engi. It's the only class I turn on auto-bhopping for, so I can easily spam railgun shots backwards to quickly build up momentum without fucking up my jumps. Knowing when trimps can save you half a second or a second on "routes" can make or break your SG placements.

Also understand exactly how grenades work. Keep rotating around your gun while grenades/nails are coming in, know that if you're underneath a ledge (like on destroy's SG spot), any grenades that are thrown behind your SG won't hurt you, helps a ton.

Bind keys to building/detting quickly, aiming your SG so you can quickly respond to calls, knowing when to spam rails and when to just charge it for extra cells, getting good at shotty aim, etc. There's a lot to learn, but the only way to learn it is experience.

Raynian 06-17-2013 08:14 PM

Also I might as well just dump the engi-related binds/scripts I have

bind t aimsentry

in userconfig.cfg

// Zoom script
Alias "z1" "default_fov 80; sensitivity 4.5; alias zv z2"
alias "z2" "default_fov 120; sensitivity 5.5; alias zv z1"
alias "zv" "z1"
bind "SHIFT" "zv"
default_fov 120
sensitivity 5.5
// Zoom script doesn't function if joining spectate immediately on joining a game, because userconfig.cfg isn't automatically executed.

bind q lastinv
// Cleanup

unbind mwheelup
unbind mwheeldown
// Cleanup

in engineer.cfg

bind mwheelup dispenser
bind mwheeldown detdispenser

bind q "slot1; bind q lastinv"
bind 2 "slot2; bind q lastinv"
bind 1 "slot1; bind q lastinv"

I play fairly vanilla but those ones help me a ton

The last one just ensures that when you spawn, your weapon will be the supershotgun and pressing Q will switch to wrench unless you've switched to railgun manually, because starting with the railgun out is usually really fucking annoying if it's a map that you're going to be shooting at stuff as soon as you leave spawn

like I said earlier I have autobhop on for engi but normally I have it off, because it fucks with trimping occasionally - so I suggest setting a bind for that too (I -believe- it's cl_jumpqueue 0/1, but that's just off the top of my head)

CaptainAhab 06-19-2013 06:38 PM

Thanks for the help! I haven't messed with any of those binds yet, ever (that's probably one of the reasons I'm so bad at playing the class), though I took some of the advice in this thread on propinquity last night and did better than usual.

Cheers. 06-20-2013 03:25 PM

Yeah it really is quite map dependent and you have to consider what medics you're playing against and who your teammates are.

For instance, on a map like Phantom or Schtop you should rarely keep your gun up during a wave of medics, and if you do, you aren't necessarily good - they are just bad.

It also depends on your defensive teammates. If the front line HW and Solly hold the medics better than average, then this buys you time to actually get to tier3 and then build a dispenser.

Once the gun is maxed and the disp is up, you can start to help shotty/rail the medics at the front line and hopefully kill them before they can even get to your gun, and even if they do they should be weak enough to die before taking it down.

So keeping the gun up depends on (no order):
* Map
* Teammates
* Enemy Medics

VinnytheBoss 06-22-2013 01:31 AM

Only tip I can really give as I remeber seeing you play in a pickup. The tip is I remember seeinga medic spawn camping you and you would do nothing but just hope the medic would go away on his own. This wasn't the case. I think it was mooney on nyx. He wold just stay at top ramp and come back and kill u. He did it literally 10 times. My point is you should def dm the medic if he is continously dming you becuase that was 3 full minutes of lvl 0 SG. that and learn to bhop as quick as possible to get back to ur position as fast as possible.


oaties 06-22-2013 05:02 AM

Like vinny said, learn to bhop really well, and also learn the trimps on certain maps. Like on schtop, you should be able to trimp from the flagroom ramp to button as every class, including heavy, and you should be able to railgun trimp to button and such.

I feel like engy is alot about movement, even if people say that it is the least movement oriented class.

Also, don't be afraid to abandon your gun. Even though it can be effective to tank your SG, if you feel like its going to go down and medics are coming into the FR, it would be more effective to leave it and start DMing with the shotgun. A gun going down is better than a gun and the engy going down, because you dying means that you have to spend at least 10 seconds getting back into position, and it also leaves you open to being spawn camped by incoming medics.

Additionally, its usually a better idea to use your shotgun for DMing rather than your railgun, because its more effective overall... unless you are crazy like squeek.

CaptainAhab 06-22-2013 07:44 AM

Thank you!

ddm999 06-22-2013 03:47 PM

I myself always try and use the railgun even when it's better to use the shotty, and therefore end up getting raped by various medics who then take down my SG with their grenades.

I never remember to bind something to say 'incoming fr' too, so I get raped constantly when I head back to FR, no-one helps me, and rarely get a lvl 3 SG unless I'm relying on teammates a lot, and subsequently lead to the team I'm on being terrible on defense. D:

I also end up going too far for bags to upgrade my SG, like I was playing a pickup yesterday, and ran for a bag a bit far away, and on the way there, mooney grabbed it and threw it at my SG, so I wasted the time I could've used repairing, armouring teammates (but who does that anyway), and grabbing other bags (while doing leet noscope headshot railgun) :L

Every time I play engineer, I'm at the bottom of the scores on D, yet I don't want to play another class, 'cause I know I'll probably be worse at that :P
Also end up with a KDR of 1. *sigh*

(also on schtop on offence i do nothing but try and get under the closing door like that bit on fda's video where mooney concs under it with the flag L: - mnzsux)

XPelargos 06-29-2013 07:02 AM

Good stuff so far.

Here's what's known as "The Bag Trick"

If you are near a full resupply (spawn or catharsis which gives you 200 cells for each bag) then how can you put that 70 cells to good use?

Drop all the bags while building your SG next to it. You now have

Level 1 sentry
0 Cells
70 Cells next to sentry

Resupply to 200

With that 200, upgrade your gun. 200 - 130 = 70

70 + the 70 you left next to the gun = 140

Level 3 sentry in 3 seconds.


Also get good with the shotty boom botty.

And always build a dispenser. Gives teammates armor, gives you cells, gives you a bomb as well. No reason not to have one.

CaptainAhab 06-29-2013 09:37 AM

Thanks again.

Yep, I started using that little trick recently. However, then I'm without a dispenser. :<

I usually build a dispenser, then use the 130 cells I have left to build a gun, then resupply, build it to level 2, grab some cells from the dispenser and by that point am shotgunning incoming medics and hoping to God my sentry gun doesn't get wiped out by then.

FDA_Approved 06-29-2013 10:09 AM

On your first run, you can start charging your rail gun on your way into FR and before it over charges throw some bags. Your overcharge will put you back to full, and you'll have the bags you've thrown.

CaptainAhab 06-29-2013 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by FDA_Approved (Post 500513)
On your first run, you can start charging your rail gun on your way into FR and before it over charges throw some bags. Your overcharge will put you back to full, and you'll have the bags you've thrown.

XPelargos 06-29-2013 04:41 PM

Too good, FDA. Too. Good.

the_cake 06-29-2013 10:40 PM

I am now twice as good at FF.

squeek. 06-29-2013 11:51 PM

Another small thing I try to do is take advantage of the small boost an uncharged rail gives you as much as possible. For example, on phantom and propinquity, you can shoot an uncharged rail straight down and jump to get onto the ledges on the sides of the FR.

Fun and useless fact: you can use an uncharged rail to get on top of your gun. You can also use uncharged rails to bhop backwards faster, similar to the pyro flamethrower.

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