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As mentioned before, an engineer is a ranged damage dealer. This means, very simply, that it is built to do a lot of damage. However, the way this damage is delivered is somewhat different than with other WAR ranged DPS classes. The engineer has a great deal of AoE, DoT, and AoE DoT capability. Skills like acid bomb, sticky grenade, incendiary rounds and strafing run means that in PvE and RvR scenarios with good AoE situations (Cramped choke points like in Mourkain Temple) an engineer can easily top the damage charts by a significant margin. An engineer's damage potential, especially if he or she focuses on keeping as many DoTs ticking on as many characters as possible, is staggering. Be warned though - especially in PvP situations, this damage is not as immediately satisfying as the direct damage blasts from Bright Wizards and other damage dealers. Much of an engineer's damage is slow and seemingly insignificant. Be assured though: an engineer can cause an unprecedented amount of damage in both single target and AoE situations. You just have to play to your strengths.
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As an engineer in PvE, your job is to take down the mobs as fast as possible. Since you are given the benefit of consistent and predictable enemy encounters, always have a turret down, and make sure you have the right one for the job (the armor debuff from the gun turret is useful in almost any PvE situation). Keep your DoTs up on as many mobs as possible, but keep your DPS in check so your tank doesn't have to scramble to save your dwarven hide - always remember that even with leather armor, you're still vulnerable to melee attack. To this end, make sure flak jacket is up as much as possible, and be ready to use skills like barbed wire and concussion grenade to mitigate damage and deflect runners or breakaways from your tank. Playing an engineer requires a fairly good knowledge of your skills, so be sure to become familiar with all of them - even if you don't find them all immediately useful.
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PvP as an engineer will likely be both frustrating and exhilarating for you. The engineer brings a myriad of useful tricks and abilities to any scenario: a well placed barbed wire can make the difference between a capped flag and a lost one much of the time. The damage potential of an engineer, if they manage to stay unmolested, is catastrophic. Enemy healers will have a hard time healing through the various damaging abilities that an engineer can throw down - having acid bomb, incendiary rounds, fragmentation grenade and sticky grenade on a group of enemies can really add up. That being said, an engineer is a vulnerable target. Melee careers will be a constant menace - especially witch elves and marauders, who will get inside your range before you have a chance to respond. Prodigious use of barbed wire, concussion grenade, and point blank especially (your rank one morale ability that damages and knocks back) will be crucial in staying alive. Nevertheless, a skilled engineer who is familiar with all his or her abilities is a force to be reckoned with, regardless the situation.
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The engineer is a very fun class to play - in terms of lore and unique gameplay, the engineer stands at the top of the chart. It is not, however, the most effective class in WAR. Despite having recently received some much needed buffs, engineers still cannot always stand up to other DPS classes in terms of raw damage all the time. This does not make them useless; to the contrary, the damage lost is more than made up for in utility in the form of knockdowns, snares, slows, armor debuffs and AoE capability. The engineer is a complex and varied class - there are a lot of diverse abilities and different playstyles. But if you like a challenge and are more interested in diversity than damage, then I can assure you that the engineer is the class for you.