Part 6: The Engineer ClassThe Engineer Class
Ah, the engineer. The Engineer is a vital part of any team, he's your anti armor and anti air infantry member without at least a few dedicated engineers it is entirely likely you'll be getting skull-fucked by armor most of the round. Engineers are the biggest threat and boon to vehicles in the game. They can repair friendly vehicles and use the same item, the repair tool, to damage enemy units. They can drop anti vehicle mines on strategic routes and are the only infantry class with the ability to use projectile explosives (rockets and missiles). What keeps them from being overpowered? For one, they often have to choose how effective they want to be. Rockets are separated into a few categories, and selecting the wrong class of weapon can really hurt an engineer's effectiveness until they make a change. Selecting a Stinger when you really need an RPG, for example, can get people video game killed. They also start off with the PDW (personal defense weapon) class of gun, which is really only effective close up, but they do unlock the all-class Carbines, which are a favorite of the community as they provide both the fire rate of a PDW and the stability of an assault rifle.
Whoo boy does the engineer have a lot of options. Let's classify things a bit here. The RPG and the SMAW are both dumb fire (no lock on) weapons that fly in pretty predictable arcs. The RPG does more damage than any other launcher on its own (more on that later) per shot, and it pays for this by having a greater drop and slower speed to the projectile. The SMAW does less damage but flies without really significant drop and moves quickly. The Stinger and Igla are our anti-air weapons. These both lock on to air vehicles like helicopters and jet (but not ATVs or Dirtbikes while in the air, it should be noted) and will track the target. The Stinger is truly fire and forget, just get a lock, hit the button and the missile does the rest. The Igla requires you to keep the target in the crosshairs of the weapon until you hit it or it pops countermeasures. It also does more damage than the Stinger.
Next we have lock on ground targeting weapons. There is only technically only one in the Javelin, but I'll explain the others. The Javelin returns from BF3 in pretty much the exact same form. You can lock on to ground vehicles with it and do a pretty small amount of damage, 25 points per shot. If you are going to use it that way you are actually better off with a LAW, but if a teammate has a laser targeting device you can do up to 50 damage on a tank per shot and hit air vehicles. The Javelin is then situational at best. The LAW is the starter rocket launcher. If fires like a SMAW, straight and quick, but if it get in range of a vehicle it will suddenly divert its path and slam down into the vehicle for a whopping 21 points of damage. Unless it is a Fast Attack Craft, it only does five damage to those. The LAW is only really dangerous in large groups or if you get stuck and aren't able to kill the guy launching all five of his rockets at you to get a kill on your tank. Finally, the SRAW. The SRAW can make use of laser designations to do Javelin-with-designation damage, but from a closer distance. Otherwise it is a Guide-by-wire weapon where you can control the direction the projectile takes over the course of its flight. This means you can curve the direction of the rocket to slam into a tank or hit a helicopter from a distance if you have the skill.
There are two types of Mine available to the Engineer. The first is the M15. It is your typical Anti-Tank mine that does good damage to anyone dumb enough (me) to not check in front of them as they drive. The M2 SLAM is new to the series and is like slightly smaller M15. It takes all three of these to kill a tank, but you can stick them to surfaces like walls or to the tanks themselves, which makes it play like a mix between C4 and M15s. Unlike C4 you don't detonate these remotely, even the ones you plant on vehicle. Once you put a few of these on an enemy tank run away, as it is about to explode if it moves too fast.
The Repair tool and EOD bot are the final gadgets. Both can be used to repair friendly units, damage enemy units and destroy enemy explosives. The difference is the repair tool is something you can pull out at a moments notice while the EOD bot needs to be guided and effectively takes the player's place on the battlefield until they stop controlling the unit or until it dies. Of the two I suggest the repair torch, it is quicker and easier to learn, though using the EOD bot can be a viable strategy, especially if you want to use it to burn some ankles with its repair torch.
I like the maintenance perk, it lets me fix things faster. This is a huge deal as one of the early exploits to the game as coded was to have someone jump in a little bird and have two engineers constantly repairing them from the inside, which made it near impossible to kill on a pilot. You can also use the torch to repair other friendly units, which can really help as regenerating health in vehicles may as well not be there. Anti-tank is another good option, it lets you carry mines and take over cities. Well, ok, not so much on the last point, but the second skill upgrade gives you more rockets which in the hands of a good player can completely turn the tide of a game, so I guess they only take over the capture points?
Edit: I had to re-do the commentary over the video due to the game audio being somehow louder on YouTube than in the raw video file.