My name is Vallhael and I?m a very experiences Hack&Slay player with over 12 years of experience in games like Diablo I+II+Lod+III, Sacred I+II, Torchlight and many others. I have spend the last 4 days pretty much exclusively playing torchlight II and experimenting with characters, finding out optimal builds, stat combinations and skill usages. My main focus was on the Engineer and Embermage and today, I want to present you my findings on the Engineer Canon Spec so far. All findings are based on my OWN experience and may not be 100% accurate. If you find something you disagree with, post it in a comment. Lets begin with the skills. *Warning, my contain inappropriate language, spelling mistakes and bad humor*
Foreword: In Torchlight 2 the Max level is 100 and Max fame level is 32 (at least that?s where it capped out for me), which brings us to 132 skill points. While reading my analysis you might wonder why I did not include Fusillade. The answer is, that after hours of testing Fusillade at different ranks in different areas and different encounters, with different builds, I deemed it simply unplayable in too many situation. While Fusillade is completely overwhelming in pure single target fights, especially vs slower enemies (a perfect example is chillhoof) where it deals TONS of damage, since every rocket procs damage over time effects, i must sadly admit that in 90% of the boss encounters it is pretty much useless. The poor targeting A.I. will make at least 50% of the rockets miss the boss, despite the 3meter aoe explosions, some heavy multitarget encounters like Cracklebitch will become nearly unbeatable. With this said, the only ability left to really center a build around is Blast Canon (yeees I know about spider mines, keep reading please..)
THE CORE BUILD:
(Importance in descending order, skills that are labeled with 1/15 should be taken immediately when available)
Best ability in the game. Low mana costs, excellent utility, high casting speed at rank 15 and the only thing that makes you survive New Game+ on Elite without wanting to commit suicide or renting a Tankgineer. Use it whenever available, don?t enter fights when its down, if it gets destroyed reapply as soon as the CD is gone. Some bosses in NG+ Dish out aoe abilities that hit you for 200% of your HP and are really hard to dodge. Luckily, at lvl 60 Forcefield will already absorb approx. 120% of your HP without any charge, at lvl 100 its between 200 and 400%.
Not much to say here. Health, mana, Damage reduction and an increasing revenue with every point spend, bringing the buff to an 80% up time at lvl 15. Once cast, he lives forever or until you change the zone. If you don?t take it, you?re doing something seriously wrong.
Insane damage, next to unkillable, draws enemy aggro and has an up time of 80% at tank 15. Use it as a cool-down till Rank 10, after that just spam it at fights whenever available. Profits from Minion damage and health exclusively.
Heavy lifting (15/15)
Buffs your dps by 30% which increases your blast canon dammage by approx 25-40% (heavy depending on your gear and your stats), Total dps increase of about 15-30%. This Information is Confirmed and tested on several occasions by several players.
Oh god I sometimes hate this skill so much?Gun bot might be the best Construction ability if not for his abnormal stupid A.I. You will be like this
Skills 1-4: Holy Shit this guy sucks..
Skills 5-9:?still sucks?
Skills 10-14: Hey..this guy is actually not so horrible..
Skill 15: Oh my God this guy is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!
Just remember that this little bastard needs you to have some decent amount of Armor degrading per hit, else 30-90% of his damage will simply be mitigated. Otherwise he profits from Minion damage and health .
Roflcopter (Immobilization copter) 15/15:
Yes, yes, i know this guy sucks and I?m a dumb fuck without a clue?except, not. This little copter is one of the best skills we got and mandatory for all Elite players. The slow works on everything except orange bosses, or it is reduced beyond noticing on them, but on everything else it works wonders. Vicious swift mobs who would destroy you turn into harmless critters which can be easily dodged and killed. Brutal casters who onehit you with their spells are suddenly not so scary any more because they keep getting interrupted. And perhaps I should point out that his shock damage is a solid dps boost of about 15-20%, just saying..
Blast Canon 15/15:
You might wonder why this comes so late in priority. The answer is simple: mana. So much mana. Our best dps skill is unfortunately the most mana consuming skill of the engineer, with a default cast speed of 0,6 seconds per +blast= 1,66667 casts a second. With 0% cast speed, this will still drain 56,67 mana per second at rank 15. Now perhaps you might see why Healbot is so mandatory. Still you should spam this skill whenever possible. Don?t auto attack, as the dps loss is brutal, and drink a mana potion whenever you get low. Worth noting is that this skill is directly based on your total dps, including elemental damage, so if your cannon does fire damage exclusively, the whole skill will do fire damage. This sort of backfires for everything else except physical and fire damage, because those will not benefit from the skill internal damage boost.
Storm Burst 1/15:
Must have. You need the mobility this Skill provides in an endless amount of situation. Use it to escape prisons, grabs (you can use it while being dragged to break the effect), to gain distance to bosses, dodge skills, a.s.o. Oh and by the way, you can use this to increase your running speed when traveling the map.
Coup de Grace 1/15:
Very, very, very useful. The first rank is a musthave, the other 14 an interesting choice and will be discussed in secondary skills part. Especially on early levels the damage gain is significant.
Charge domination 1/15:
The only thing that builds us charge. Just like CDG, the other 14 are a viable investment but the first point is a must have and the highly empowered force field saved my life in aoe encounters countless times.
This uses up 108 Skillpoins and leaves us to spend 24 in ?Secondary Skills? of minor priority.
SECONDARY SKILLS (in descending usefullness):
Spidermines (1 or 15/15):
Aaaaaahh..Spidermines?.how i hate them. If you want a reliable dammage and stun source you have to invest 15 points, and these guys will still be only insignificantly better Blast canon dammage wise. One point is an option too if you wanna have a little army of drones at the beginning of an especially hard fight, but it wont have really much impact tbh. The only situation where 15/15 points are ABSOLUTELY mandatory is if you go for pet/minion dammage as a core stat which will be discussed in stat suggestions later. If you do go for it, use this little babies whenever possible and consider skilling them a higher priority than Blast Canon.
A great skill. Stun, knockback, survival boost, and most important, dammage boost of up too 38 for all your minions and your canon blast, as long as most of your dammage is physical (it consumes a charge though, so be carefull that you don?t make your forcefield to weak). This skill, though, looses a lot of value if you use a Fire canon, in this case you should consider Fire and Spark.
Free damage reduction. Always good if you?re having troubles with some nasty mobs.
Dynamo Field (15/15)
Many people have asked me to mention this skill and I indeed deemed it worth mentioning at this point though I?m not one of its fans. This skill is a low dammage AOE skill that does
not apply anny /per5 effects but builds a moderate-high amount of charge extremly depending on the level (0,2 at rank 0, 0,48 at rank 15 increasing by 0,02 by each rank). Lets look on the pros and cons of that skill:
A reliable source of charge for multi target encounters. At rank 11 Using it twice on 4 targets will genrate exactly 4 charge?
that can be used to tripple the power of your next forcefield, which leads to:
A solid surviveability boost on Multitarget encounters.
Not viable in singel target fights. No discussions here!
Always a dps loss over BC. Especially bad on higher levels.
??> In order to make up for the dps loss of blast canon you have tom stand still longer and keep using blast canon when u would normally use storm burst to gain pace. This will DEFINITELY work on Veteran. This will MOST LIKELY work on low dmg Trash groups on Elite. This will SOMETIMES work und High dmg Trashgroups or Bossed with low dmg adds. This will get you most likely KILLED on bossed with Hard hitting trash.
Truth be told, on Elite the most nasty Enemies dish out 20-25k hits. With a normal 0 charge forcefield this will drop you to smth between 10 and 90% with forcefield up, sometimes a bit of it will be left but u should still reapply it when cd?s ready. With an empowered Forcefield you can take up to 3 hits before retreating. Usually, its simply not worth the risk.
Fazit: Dynamo Field is not exactly viable for increasing your dps. It CAN be used as a boost to your surviveability if you have problems with it, it is a decent idea on hardcore, because if you combine Movement+dynamo field up to 4-5 charges+forcefield+bulwark+tremors+healbot it will literally take some deus ex machina to kill you. But outside of Hardcore engineers should have 0 to little survival issues even on elite at higher level because force field just ranks up so ungodly hard. You literally have to stand still and lets slow hard hitting bosses slap you in your face to die..
It is a good recommendation for very lazy casual/normal/vetran players though, since a 4-5 charges forcefield will let you must likely tank throught the next 15-30 seconds completly?
Charge domination (2-15):
More Charge=More Forcefield=less death. Only works for Multitarget encounters though where enemy adds will keep dieing from your aoe.
Coup de Grace (2-15)
If you really want this poor trashmobs mutilated..not really necessary, though.
Fire and Spark (1-15/15)
If you have a lot of fire dammage, this skill is a really good dps boost. If not, its next to useless and only buffs your coup de grace. *Updated: It is confirmed that there is currently no HIGH level (80+) fire cannon in the Game. Best in Slot is currently a Rune Canon with 4 times http://torchlight2armory.com/item?i=-57 ? 2903698498 which deals 3970!! physical dammage (wrong tooltipp in armory) over 5 seconds and every dot works parallel, its not just refreshing itself (or 3 times the skull and an armor penetration +750 per hit one for minion heavy builds). WHICH MEANS THE SKILL IS CURRENTLY HIGHLY UNDESIREABLE!!*
BAD SECONDARY OPTIONS (Warning! do no get those skills. I write them down because some people acutally do and I want to discourage them):
All our charge goes to Forcefield or Tremor, so this will never be a real aoe stun. The damage is horrible, the radius small, and not even its procc chance can really shine. While this may last longer than other stuns, its horrible damage loss over any other skill makes it unworthy of ever casting. Hands, off!!
Seismic Slam (15/15):
Remember what i said about Shock grenades? Same goes for this. Except the radius is bigger on higher levels?
Storm burst (15/15)
Ehm, so if you want me to label you Sir Chargealot you might actually put another 14 points here for even more mobility. But, honestly, please don?t. 2 sec CD is perfectly fine.
Aegis of Fate (15/15)
This skill can not procc while forcefield is up. On average, you survive 2 hits on higher levels Elite difficulty before going down to the third. Some mobs might onehit you. Aegis of Fate has a 16% to procc after a hit and absorbs enough to barely eat another hit. If, after reading this, you still deem this skill worth of putting 15 points into it, please move on to another guide.
TLDR: Here are 3 builds for the lazy ones of you who did not read my analysis or want some final suggestions, and one bad build which is a remnant from an older update:
General, solid and viable physical damage build: http://torchlight2armory.com/skill-calc ? l50iCaaaNe
High level (95+) Minion dammage build (does more dammage in absolute endgame, but less in early/midgame and has a bitt less surviveability): http://torchlight2armory.com/skill-calc ? l50iKYHX1y
Super high survival (a.k.a. I?d rather bore you to dead than die myself) build: http://torchlight2armory.com/skill-calc ? 6DlEbkghNe
Fire dammage Canon build (if you found a full fire damage canon, this build will melt faces?otherwise its not viable): http://torchlight2armory.com/skill-calc ? l50iCaaaNe (The fire Cannon is a lie!)