Hopes and Fears
Musings Before the Engineer Update

By Rituro - May 28th, 2010

TF21

Hello, my name is Rituro and I’m an Engineer in Team Fortress 2.

It has been one hundred and forty hours since I started covering up my subpar FPS skills with sentries, dispensers, teleporters and critwrenches; I have been a credit to my team and affectionately called “Hard Hat” and “Trucky” more times than I care to count; I have been directly responsible for epic Dustbowl defenses and drawn the ire of many Spies who thought themselves clever enough to evade my wrench and shotgun.

Also, for some inexplicable reason, I also double as a magnetic pincushion for one particular Huntsman-toting Sniper on my favourite server, DuckSoup-Gaming. But I digress…

Soon, my favourite class will receive its long-awaited update pack, joining the other eight classes in the land of achievements and new weapons. It has been a long wait for something substantial and we, the welding goggles army, are looking forward to our reward. Sure, not counting the hats, Engineers have the Meet the Engineer short, the upgradable dispenser/teleporter, and the ability to repair teleporters from either end; not a bad exchange for their patient e-reck-tin’ and spah-checkin’. However, the thought of bringing new toys to the fight (and new benchmarks to prove our Engin-awsome-ness) is making us wring our hands in expectant glee.

TF22

That being said, this is my chosen class we’re talking about, and like anyone who gets overly comfortable with anything, the looming prospect of change is enough to make me worry. Yes; change can be new; change can be different; but neither of those mean that the change will be necessarily be good. More to the point, one doesn’t invest nearly six solid days of playtime into a single facet of a game with the expectation that they will be forced to adapt years down the road, no matter what the rationale is.

As of writing this, there is still no definitive date for the update to drop. The rumour mill has it that the update will coincide with TF2’s launch on Mac. That gives me just enough time to theorize about what I’d want to see in the update. Here we go:

  • No Abandoned Weapons – How many Medics use the stock saw over the uber-charging Ubersaw? What about Pyro’s standard axe or Heavy’s fists? The new items need to offer an alternative, not a permament replacement.
  • Learn From The Pyro – The recent Pyro mini-update was met with mixed reactions thanks to a damage nerf to the flamethrower’s primary attack and an ammo reduction to the airblast. Valve’s intent was to increase the degree that skill made a difference between two Pyro players; the result was a primary weapon that was largely ineffective in doing direct damage — a key for a class in the “Offense” category. The community complained (loudly) and a mini-fix was released. The lesson, hopefully, has been learned should a similar plan be in place for the Engineer.
  • Shout It Loud – The “E” key is bound to call for Medic. That’s great! Now we need a key bound to call “Spy!” or “Sapper!” or “Would somebody please change from Sniper to Pyro and go spycheck?!”
  • Boingy Boingy – CP_Egypt brought the idea of more verticality to the fore, aided by the triple(!)-jumping ability of a Force-A-Nature-equipped Scout. Replace the Engineer’s teleporters with, say, a trampoline kit (either two jumping pads or a jumping pad and a landing pad) to make any class able to climb those heights as a trade-off for quick transit across the map.
  • Meet the Medic – Seriously, release it already.
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    3 responses so far:
  2. By Kirk
    Posted on May 30, 2010

    I love the trampoline idea. I would certainly make sniping a lot more entertaining with everyone flying through the air.

    I’m secretly hoping for a sentry gun strapped to a roomba.

  3. By Dave
    Posted on May 31, 2010

    I haven’t played this game in months, but if they added a trampoline I’d be back to it in a second. I’d still be useless, but at least I’d be airborne and useless.

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  2. May 29, 2010: Do architects design any of the structural plans like foundation, roofs, floor framing etc. or only engineers?

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