Guns of Icarus Online Engineering Guide by Frogger
Hello everyone! My name is Frogger, and I have been playing Guns of Icarus as an Engineer, fairly intensely as I am now Level 6 after about 5 days after purchasing the game. Here is a little guide I have thrown together of some of my thoughts and techniques for the Engineer class. I hope that some of you will find it useful, despite my relative inexperience. This guide is more or less current as of November 20, 2012.
First of all, I should say that the bulk of my Engineer technique is distilled from a couple weeks? viewing of the YouTube videos of SpaceSebi, who is the chief Engineer for Dr. Spaceman. In addition to putting out very entertaining videos, I think Sebi?s technique sets the gold standard for what a good engineer should do, and I have modeled my own approach after his. If you are interested in learning more about good Engineering technique, I would urge you to watch all of his videos on his YouTube channel here:
The Engineer has three main responsibilities: One, having the right tools and knowing how to use them; two, moving efficiently between the different components of the ship; and three, maintaining situational awareness in the midst of the chaos of combat.
(It goes without saying that clear communication and coordination with the other crew members are a must;)
1. The Tools of the Trade, and their Uses
1.1. Engineer Tools
1.1.1 List of Tools
22.214.171.124. Rubber Mallet ? (a.k.a. the ?Mallet?) ? 225 HP repair, 9 second cooldown, Rebuild Power 1) ? If equipped, the Mallet is generally your best choice for repairing components (as opposed to rebuilding, when the component is totally destroyed and its status icon is red). For the hull, the Mallet is best used for what I call ?major repairs?, which is anything over two bars? worth of damage on a hull. For all other components it should be always be used for repair, regardless of damage level, if it is included in the Engineer?s kit. ?Minor? and ?major? repairs will be discussed in 126.96.36.199.
188.8.131.52. Shifting Spanner ? (a.k.a. the ?Spanner?) ? 40 HP repair, 2 second cooldown, Rebuild Power 2 ? Best used for rebuilding destroyed components and minor hull repairs.
184.108.40.206. Pipe Wrench ? (a.k.a the ?Wrench?) ? 120 HP repair, 5 second cooldown, Rebuild Power 2. A jack of all trades but master of none, the Pipe Wrench offers a balance between Repair and Rebuild. In certain applications it is desirable, for example, if you are packing a Buffer. Some Squid engineers also pack Wrenches, since the thinner hull of the Squid means you don?t need the Mallet?s major repair power, though I personally prefer a Mallet unless the captain requests otherwise.
220.127.116.11. DynaBuff Industries Kit ? (a.k.a. the ?Buffer?) ? Using the Buffer, the Engineer can boost output of ship components. The bonuses are as follows:
-Engines: 3 second to buff, lasts 2 minutes, +25% power
-Guns: 6 seconds to buff, lasts 20 seconds, +20% damage
-Hull: 10 seconds to buff, lasts 2 minutes, +30% armor
-Balloon: 8 seconds to buff, lasts 20 seconds, -300% vertical drag
18.104.22.168. Fire Extinguisher ? instantly puts out fires, but seems to initiate a repair cooldown.
22.214.171.124. Chemical Spray ? extinguish power 3, -40% fire ignition chance.
126.96.36.199. Spyglass ? not an Engineer tool, but rather a Captain one, one of the Engineer?s responsibilities should be Spotting enemy ships for the gunners and captain. To Spot ships, simply equip the Spyglass and left-click on the ship. If it is an enemy, white brackets will appear around it until line of sight is lost or it disappears into cloud cover. You can also right-click with it to zoom in. I always have a Spyglass in my kit.
1.1.2. Repair Procedures
188.8.131.52. Minor vs. Major Hull Repairs
When repairing a hull with a Mallet and a Spanner in my kit, I do not necessarily use the Mallet all of the time. The reason for this is that it has a very long cooldown (9 seconds), so if there is only a tiny bit of damage on the hull and I hit it with the Mallet, I effectively heal very little while still initiating the very long 9 second cooldown. If there is less than two bars worth of damage on a hull, I consider this a ?minor repair? and use my Spanner instead, which has only 2 seconds worth of cooldown. That way, there is less cooldown to wait through, in case the ship sustains heavier damage immediately following the repair.
184.108.40.206. Repair circuit
A slightly more beneficial side effect of the Mallet?s larger HP repair/cooldown is that it allows you to hit a component, repair it thoroughly, then proceed on to the next component in a rapid fashion. If the hull is taking moderate damage (i.e. not constantly needing to be rebuilt), I will hit the hull with the hammer, then go to another component, hit it, then return to the hull. This is basic Engineer technique: knowing when to stay on a component (chiefly the hull), and knowing when you can make your rounds to the other components
220.127.116.11. Rebuild & Repair
It is essential to have the correct technique for rebuilding and repairing when packing a Mallet and Spanner. As noted above, the Mallet has a high repair with low rebuild power, while the Spanner has a low repair with high repair power. Therefore, if the hull is taking heavy and consistent damage and constantly being rebuilt and destroyed, it is key to switch between Spanner and Mallet rapidly and effectively. It is also important not to accidentally hit the hull with the Spanner after it is rebuilt, otherwise you have to wait 2 seconds before you can give a larger repair with the Mallet. Therefore, you must shift quickly and accurately between the Spanner and Mallet, as you shift between rebuilding and repairing.
??The Buffer is a very useful tool, as it greatly boosts the output of your ship components, but there is a certain technique to using it. One thing to keep in mind is the distinction between the buff progress bar (on the left side of the component icon) and the buff time remaining (on the right side). After fully buffing a component, the right bar is filled while the left bar disappears, indicating a successful buff. However, you can ?pre-buff? the component again, clicking just enough so that the left bar is almost filled, but not quite. Then, when the right bar rights out and the buff wears off, you can re-buff the component by merely clicking once or twice with the Buffer. This particularly useful on guns, which have a relatively short buff span (20 seconds); an engineer or gunner-engie can pre-buff his components, then give it a single wack to activate the buff right before beginning to fire.
??Pre-buffing is also very useful on the hull, since it takes a comparatively long time to complete (10 seconds). Also, I am not sure about this, but I think that rebuffing from an unbuffed hull (or a hull where the buff has ended) may heal the hull by some amount, which would imply that it is best to wait for hull buffs to fully wear off before giving them the single wack for rebuffing, especially during combat.
??Another technique I like, particularly on the hull, is what I call ?Buffpairing?. If I am babysitting a hull and the prebuff has worn off, I will switch between my Wrench (or whatever other repair tool) and Buffer, first healing the hull with the Wrench, then switching to the Buffer during the 5 second cooldown and rebuffing.
I am still not certain on the mechanics of extinguishing, but it seems (particular with the Fire Extinguisher) that it is best to hit the component with your repair tool first, THEN extinguish it, in order to avoid initiating a repair cooldown from the extinguisher usage. With the Chemical Spray this does not appear to be an issue
1.2. Tool kits
1.2.1. Defensive, repair-oriented
My standard engineer toolkit is one whose efficacy has been well-attested by other Engineers: Mallet/Spanner/Chemical Spray. This toolkit allows for the most rapid rebuilds and repair, along with fire extinguishing and prevention. The Mallet is for major repairs, the Spanner is for minor repairs and rebuilds, and the Chemical Spray is for fire extinguishing and prevention. (I used to pack the Fire Extinguisher but found the Chemical Spray?s added 40% chance to prevent fires tips the scale in its favor, despite a somewhat slower extinguishing time).
1.2.2. Aggressive, attack-oriented
Depending on the captain?s preference, for a more attack-oriented kit I will pack a Wrench/Buffer/Chemical Spray. The Wrench serves for all repair and rebuild applications, while the Buffer allows me to boost the ship?s capabilities. Your repair abilities will be diminished, however, as you will neither be able to repair nor rebuild as fast as you would with a straight Mallet/Spanner kit.
2. Efficient Intra-ship Movement
One other crucial aspect of Engineering is being to move efficiently between components in your ship. Each ship has its own idiosyncrasies in terms of layout, and each must be learned before good engineering can take place.
2.1.1. Despite being one of the easiest ships to repair, the balloon of the Pyramidion is somewhat difficult for the main engineer to access, as it is on the upper gun deck while the engineer will spend most of his time on the lower deck, where all the other main components are. In light of this, it is best to have at least one other Engineer to serve as the gunner for the upper forward-facing port bow gun, as this gun is directly in front of the balloon and a ?gunner-engie? can shoot, tend his and his co-gunner?s weapons, and repair the balloon, thereby relieving the lower deck engineer of the need to make the time-consuming trip up the ladder.
2.1.2. When it is necessary for the main engineer to make the trip to the upper gun deck, it is much quicker to simply jump back down over the upper gun deck railing onto the lower deck, rather than climbing back down the ladder.
2.1.3. Unlike other ships, it is possibly to make repairs to all three engines (the two maneuvering engines and the central main engine) from the lower level of the poop deck. To repair the main engine from this level, simply stand at the rearmost point and look up slightly. Don?t be misled by the stairs leading up to the top of the poop deck, from which the main engine can also be accessed but which results in inefficient running back and forth between the upper and lower levels.
2.2.1. When it is necessary to head back to the hull or other components located near the bow/starboard side after repairing a stern component (such as the balloon or main engine), it is easier to go up onto the helm area and drop off the right side onto the small bridge leading to the starboard gun platform, then immediately turn back toward the hull (or proceed to whatever other bow/starboard-located component). It is important not to drop directly on top of the hull, but rather slightly overshoot it and turn around, as dropping directly on it can cause you to be briefly stuck (at least it does for me).
2.3.1. It is possible to jump from the poop deck, where the main engines are located, to the starboard- and port-side engine pylons, where the maneuvering engines are located. Sebi is particular good at this, are you can see him do it in this video from 12:09 to 12:11:
This takes a lot of finesse, or else you fall off the ship and waste time. I personally find it a bit difficult as my computer is quite old and my FPS tends to be very low.
2.4.1. As with the Pyramidion, you should jump from the upper balloon/engine platform down to reach forward components, rather than climb back down the ladder.
2.4.2. It is possible on the Junker to hit the hull from the end of the gangway leading to the lower gun decks. Stand near the edge of the gangway, near the platform where the hull is, jump up, and pop it with your repair tool. This is not useful for rebuilding, as you need to stay on the hull and click repeatedly, but for Mallet use it is very convenient.
2.5.1. If you are on the upper poop deck (helm area) repairing the balloon/stern chaser gun and need to return to lower deck (for hull work, etc), simply jump off the poop deck in front of the helm and you should land very close to the hull.
2.5.2. Wherever possible, fall, don?t climb, down ladders. This is important when going down the bow hatch to the lower gun deck.
2.6.1. This ship is a very tough one to engineer as it is a) weak and b) has its balloon and hull located very far apart. It is best to have the main engineer babysitting the lower deck, with the hull and maneuvering engines and an occasional trip to the main gun if necessary, and then to have a second gunner-engie manning the forward light weapon next to the helm so that he can tend the balloon, and also run down one deck to the main engine if necessary. In my experience, engine repairs on the Spire are typically infrequent since its guns always need to be trained forward (and if an enemy gets behind you and close in, you?re basically dead anyway).
2.6.2. Make sure to take advantage of the ladder connecting the top deck (helm/balloon) with the bottom deck (hull/maneuvering engines). As always, drop down, don?t climb down, this ladder.
3. Situational awareness
3.1. Repair stations
Being ?on station?, particular during hull repair. This means to face the component being repaired in such a way that you maintain some degree of vision beyond the component itself, while at the same time remaining stationary and repairing the component. Keeping stationary allows you to prevent the component status icons from bouncing all over the place (meaning you can more easily see the status icons to ?triage? and determine what should be repaired next). Also, it allows you keep an eye on the surrounding tactical situation while clicking repeated for repair or rebuild. For example, if I?m repairing/rebuilding/babysitting hull on a Pyramidion, I will typically stand in such a way that I can see beyond off the bow, so I can determine what exactly our tactical situation is (whether I need to jump on a port flamer, whether the engagement is breaking off and I have time to run up and help repair components on the upper gun deck, etc)
3.2. Gunning as an Engineer
Corollary to situation awareness is gunning. An engineer, even a main engineer, should always be ready to gun if necessary. Typically, if they gun, engineers will be using light weapons, such as flamers and gatling guns, so the single ammo type they are allowed to carry is more than sufficient (have multiple ammo types is really only beneficial for heavy guns, such as the Heavy Flak, where switching between Lesmok/Charged/Heatsink is crucial). It goes without saying that they should coordinate with the captain regarding their ammo type, but certain solid bets include Greased (a good all-around ammo type, especially for Mortars and Gatlings) and Lesmok (which is great for Flamers as it doubles their effective range). Flamers are very common, so Lesmok is generally a good choice.
3.3. Spyglass and Spotting
As discussed earlier, one of the Engineer?s responsibilities is Spotting ships with the Spyglass. This allows the Captain to equip an item other than the Spyglass, and alleviates some of the burden on both the Captain and Gunners.
well, that is all I have for now. Please let me know if there any inaccuracies, or if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms. I hope you all find this helpful!
And thanks again, MUSE, for a great game!