After I ventured back into Team Fortress 2 and talked about the Engineer in Mann Vs Machine last week, this week’s Tactica Tuesday concludes the previous one with a look at the tools and weapons available to our Southern mechanic.
The Engineer’s main weapon, of course, isn’t actually his primary, but his melee – the wrench. I tend towards the Southern Hospitality for MVM, but the Jag and the default Wrench are both excellent options too.The default is a nice balance, while the Jag sacrifices a little combat power for increased build speed. I personally like the Southern Hospitality since the fire resistance doesn’t matter too much – if a Pyro gets that close you’re probably dead anyway, or since my Sentry Gun is usually placed near a metal pack there’s probably a health kit there too. The bleed effect helps with Robot Spies, who while numerous and tenacious aren’t the brightest of attackers.
To be honest, though, I don’t think there’s really any one wrench that’s the ‘best’ option for MVM – I’ve just become very accustomed to the Southern Hospitality, and it hasn’t been unequipped from my Engineer for months now. The only wrenches I’ve found to be less than ideal are the Eureka Effect – since you can’t save your Sentry from Sentry Busters and you shouldn’t need to teleport to spawn anyway – and the Gunslinger. I’ve even tried running two Mini-Sentries and the Frontier Justice in Boot Camp before as a bit of a laugh, and to see if crits Engineer would work – and, to me at least, he doesn’t put out enough damage to be worthwhile.
With regards to his primary weapon, personally it boils down to the Frontier Justice or the Rescue Ranger. These two weapons fulfil very different roles, and it’s dependent on the mission & whether I’m Mann-ing Up or not as to which I’ll use. The Rescue Ranger synergises more with the Engineer as a support / damage class in MVM, allowing you to safely zap your Sentry away from Busters and repair it from a distance. Perhaps more importantly, it makes it so much easier to put your Dispenser where your team needs it, not where you want it, and keep it alive with those long-range repair bolts. I’m a huge advocate of placing your Dispenser with the rest of the team in mind, and the Rescue Ranger really helps with this.
The Frontier Justice promotes a more offensive style of Engineer gameplay, allowing the Engineer a long stream of guaranteed crit shotgun shells through the revenge crits mechanic. With the Building Upgrade canteen, you can destroy your Sentry to gain the crits and rebuild it to level three in a matter of seconds. It’s a little bit limited by the revenge crit maximum of 35, especially given that your Sentry gun will often be racking up hundreds of kills, but it does add a new aspect to the Engineer. Personally, I tend to prefer the Rescue Ranger in 99% of situations, since it amplifies Engineer’s strengths. I see the Frontier Justice as diluting his primary role a little bit to offer some additional personal damage, but a fully upgraded Sentry puts out so much damage by itself that the revenge crits can seem a little superfluous. There’s no price to be put on the ability to repair your Dispenser safely from range, though, or for zapping your Sentry Gun safely away from a sentry buster!
Finally, to conclude this out-of-order look at Engineer’s weapons, there’s only one secondary slot that I’d ever consider for MVM. The Pistol, as much as I may advocate its use in regular gameplay, just doesn’t do enough against the robot hordes, and the Short Circuit, while undeniably effective, can’t shut down the hailstorm of grenades that groups of robots often put out upon entering the field. The Wrangler, on the other hand, lets you engage robots outside of your range, protect your Sentry (to an extent) against incoming fire by use of the shield, and doubles the firing rate while in use. It’s not something I have active 100% of the time, but when a giant robot needs to go down it’s a great weapon to have to hand.
Well, thank you for reading this little two-parter on my own Engineer MVM experiences. Please feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think about Engineer’s role in Mann Vs machine! Next week we’ll return to wargaming, and if my Photoshop can not crash this time I’ll be uploading some photos later this week :)