Aside from watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, I also alternated between hitting the gym and playing TF2’s Mann Vs Machine mode. For the first time in quite a while I ended up focusing on Engineer, so let’s look at how I perceive and use everyone’s favourite technopilliac Texan in MVM.
First off, how do I envision Engineer working in MVM? I’ve always thought of him as a front-line support class, lending devastating firepower with the Sentry Gun as well as a constant supply of health and ammo through his Dispenser.
The Sentry Gun is a pretty devastating weapon in Mann Vs Machine, able to provide a near-constant stream of impressive damage even before it’s been upgraded. It’s a particularly good defence against groups of Scouts, where its aimbot-properties let it cut through them with ease. It’s certainly Engie’s main source of damage, and works best on the front lines where it can properly support the team. I tend to place it on ledges, usually right at the edge of some high ground and near a health and metal pack spawn. This gives the Sentry Gun a good field of view, as well as making it rather hard for robots on the level below to attack with the usual rocket-and-grenade-spam that they throw out. It also makes the Sentry much easier to hide behind if need be, and usually forces Sentry Busters to take a longer route to get to it.
On the other hand, I tend to be far more brazen with my Dispenser placement. Contrary to regular TF2, Engineer doesn’t really need his Dispenser too much given the affordable upgrades he can purchase for both his metal capacity and metal regeneration. Since I’ll be hanging around health and ammo packs as mentioned before, I never find that I really need my Dispenser. Instead, it’s of far more use to my teammates – whenever I play as Soldier or Medic, it’s great to play alongside an Engineer who puts his dispense where we need it. It provides a constant supply of ammunition for the power classes, and really helps to hold the line by allowing the Soldier, Heavy and Demoman to stay on the front and keep the pressure on each wave.
Teleporters are probably the only building which do adhere to regular TF2 conventions, in that they work best with the exit near the front line and out of sight. Generally robot Spies tend to make a beeline for the Engineer and Sentry Gun, so Teleporters are fairly safe so long as the robot horde doesn’t manage to break through past your defences and the rest of the team. As such, I do keep my Teleporter back well behind my Sentry, where it won’t be threatened by Spies or Sentry Busters, and any respawning team-mates can exit the Teleporter without immediately coming under fire.
As for upgrades, I tend to prioritize around the Engineer’s strengths. Maxing out my metal capacity is a priority early on, since it stops me having to run and grab an ammo pack every ten seconds. Similarly, maxing out the Dispenser range is also a priority of mine, since it ensures that I can place the Dispenser out-of-sight and it’ll still be able to reach my teammates. Once those two are upgraded, I tend to focus on upgrading buildings (with the exception of the two-way Teleporter upgrade – because, let’s be honest here, why the deuce do you want to go back to spawn!?), as well as splashing in a bit of crit resistance and Wrench speed on the Engineer himself. In general I’ve found that Engineer doesn’t take too much fire since his Sentry seems to attract most of it, but the resistance helps when your Sentry inevitably gets spammed by crit grenades. However, I’ve personally always found that the aforementioned health pack nearby keeps me in pretty reasonable shape, and most good Medics I’ve met will throw a quick healing beam my way when it’s needed. The Wrench speed helps to repair your buildings faster, something which is only a good thing when under fire!
The only canteen I really ever invest in is the Building Upgrade one. It works well with the Frontier Justice (more on that next week), and helps in case your Dispenser and / or Sentry Gun do get swarmed. If the rest of the team need to fall back, you can easily re-erect your buildings with minimal effort to help hold the line against the robots.
Next week I’ll be looking at loadouts and weapons for the Engineer, since to put it all in one post made for quite the essay! Hope to see you then, and take care,