Field Support Engineer - Strategy Discussion

Discussion in 'Strategy and Tactics' started by LftHnddSczrs, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. LftHnddSczrs

    LftHnddSczrs Member

    I realize that Field Engy is very micro intensive, and that's why I am having so much fun with him, but I've been having trouble leveling fast enough to get mc at a reasonable time and be a zookeeper.

    I was looking for a guide in this section of the forum on using the field engi and I couldn't find one. But on the old forum, I did find the following, from the thread How to Play Certain Classes. At the end is some related discussion.

    I know there are many of you out there that also want to get better at field engy so this thread can act as a repository for tips and ideas and maybe the starting point for a user guide. I also believe the section on field engy from New player's guide to basics of class roles in NM games will be helpful (when it is complete).

    05-11-2011, 03:51 AM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2011 04:02 AM by Woosa.)
    Post: #79

    Energy in a Shell

    Posts: 320
    Joined: May 2011 
    Reputation: 2

    RE: How to play certain classes
    Field Engi. Rough Draft/Outline. Version control: v1.0 
    Guide: Combat Engineer / Field Support 

    1. Class stats, starting weapon.

    HP: 200
    Shields: 50
    Energy: 200
    Weapon: Gauss Rifle

    2. Build order.

    0. Probes lvl1
    1. Probes lvl2
    2. Probes lvl3
    3. Plasma Discharge lvl1
    4. Disruption Towers lvl1
    5. Disruption Towers lvl2
    6. Energy Battery lvl1
    7. Energy Battery lvl2
    8. Field Nexus
    Why: This build is based on energy conservation that maximizes DPS (Damage Per Second) the Combat Engineer can dish out early as possible. There are variations that compensate for rapid energy depletion/usage. That will be covered in the next section. 

    3. Equipment preferences.

    Weapon: Gauss/Laser/Gravity Gun *Engineers do not have a class specific weapon. Versatile weaponry is ideal. (Assault Rifles)*
    Armor: C2 armor / not a necessity 
    Acessories: Arc Reactor 

    Why: The Combat Engineer requires nothing as far as equipment. The only piece of equipment the engineer really benefits from is an “arc” or PAR (Personal Arc Reactor) 

    4. Tactics
    As a Field Engineer, your primary focus is consistent DPS as well as team support. This requires intense microing ability and exceptional situational awareness. 

    Tier 1

    To begin, why probes? For one, it’s an additional target for the zombies and it serves to protect you from harm. Additionally, the probes 
    themselves have inherent skills/abilities that make them absolutely invaluable for a Field Engi. 

    Probes (skills/abilities)
    Shock – Decrease target MS (movement speed) by 50% 
    Penetrate – Decrease target armor by -5 

    Considering that you get these two very useful abilities for free, it’s absolutely worth putting talent points into probes rather than Plasma Discharge. Now, mind you…the discharge is nothing to scuff at. That skill also has a very good use, but I advise caution as Friendly Fire damage and TK (team killing) may occur if used inappropriately. Just think of the Demo’s satchel…it works the same way…It just does little damage, but applies comparable devastating status ailments as Probes (reduced MS as well as reduced armor).

    Tier 2 

    Tier 2 build out is where you make adjustments depending on how it has been going. Generally, this fork in the road is reached very early in the mission. Once you reach lvl 3 or tier 2 depending on rather or not you have CP (Class Points) or gain a DT (Double Talent Point), you have to decide which direction you need to go. The choice is simple, more DPS or team support by means of energy regeneration increase via Energy Battery.

    Energy Battery
    - 50/100 max energy capacity and increased energy regen by 40% within 5/10 radius (lvl 1 and 2) 

    If you find yourself running low on energy at this point, go with Energy Battery. Not only will it give you a boost in base energy amount (+ 50/100 – lvl 1 and 2), it will also boost yours and team’s energy regen rate by 40% within 5/10 radius depending on level. I would highly suggest getting the first level and seeing how things go from there. If you continue to have trouble managing energy, get lvl 2 battery. If not, get Disruption Towers lvl 1 after Energy Battery lvl 1. 

    If you find that you have no trouble with energy usage, then move to Disruption Towers. Get both levels, but be warned, building 2 towers at once will severely tax your energy reserves.

    Disruption Towers

    Why DTs? DTs are very effective at wiping out entire mobs at once. Sure the dmg is done over time, but its done to every single target within the radius of the DT. DT are capable of dealing 4/8 dmg per second for lvl 1 and 2. This may not seem much at first glance, but look closer. 8dmg per second + huge AOE (Area Of Effect) = the burmuda triangle…things go into this kill box and rarely make it out alive. What makes it so effective is that there is no limit on dmg it can inflict. It hits evey enemy within it’s radius regardless of what it is or how many there are. The fact that the dmg is scalable for each unit that enters the radius of the DT is what makes it so devastating. 

    Tier 3

    As if all of the aboved mentioned weren’t enough, here is where the Field Engi. really get buff. As is with all other classses, there is only 1 skill that you can acquire at tier 3. For the Engi. that skills is Field Nexus. The FN (Field Nexus), much like the Probes also comes with inherent skills/abilities of its own. 

    Field Nexus
    - Sigma – an excellent AA (Anti-Air) ability. Has a wide range and effective at taking down those pesky gargoyles. 
    - Compliance Matrix – Permanent MC (Mind Control) This ability allows you to control biological, non-heroric NPC permanently…we’ll get into this indepth in the next section. 
    - Probe Enhance – Static Shield. All probes within range of 10 of the FN gains the ability to do 20dmg to any unit that attacks the probe. (passive - just like demo’s spiked armor)

    The FN adds all of these to the Field Engi’s arsenal as well as be an additional unit that can protect the Engi. 

    5. Basic Strategy.

    Take cover. Field Engineers are not meant to be on the front line. Rather, hidden, clustered in a group of other team members or of units of his own. Engi himself is not very powerful, in fact…the character himself is weak and can be killed relatively easily. However, what the Engi can do is what makes him an essential part of nearly every team and allows him to stand on his own apart from the group if necessary. Besides with 3 probes + nexus + engi himself, you already got a team. 

    Since your taking cover and killing zombies from a safe protected spot. You can then use youre mini army of probes to go kill zombies on your behalf. Luckily, you gain xp for the kills the probe gets. Try to keep the probes in a group as they are far more effective together than apart. Do not send out the FN to fight zombies. Although the FN does have a ground atk, it’s painfully slow and the FN’s MS (movement speed) even more so. Moving the FN from one location to another can be a daunting task and more often than not, an unproteced FN will be destroyed very quickly. 

    A beginner Engi should focus on learning to micro multiple units and hotkeys for abilities for the units the Engi can create. 

    *The basic strategy is to stay with team, build DTs whenever possible to create a “kill box” for the team.* 

    5. Advanced Strategy and Tips.

    So, you know the basics…now for some real fun. Setting up hotkeys for units is essential to mastering fast unit switches for micro. For me, I tend to leave the Engi at #1, then add probes to #2, the FN to #3. All units that are MCed after the FN are designated depending on what type of unit they are. I try to group melee and range separately. 

    Advanced Probe Micro

    Remember those abilities the units Engi creates has? Well it’s time to put them all to use. First, the probes 2 abilities work in perfect conjunction with each other, in another words (to quote), “SYNERGY”.  The MS debuff by 50% + -5 armor reduces Agrons to 0 armor and can be killed very easily with even a gauss. Abuse Abuse Abuse!! The probes’ attacks are your go to attacks on large armored targets. The abilities will hit at a relatively close range, so be prepared to pull the probes back a bit from those massives. With the 2 debuffs in effect, you should be able to kite the massive( i.e. Agrons) with relative ease. Just be sure to keep the probe attacks up as you kite. 

    Aside from causing devastating status on targets the probes also serve another purpose. They can be used as distractions for zombies/bosses if you’re in a tight spot and need to get away. Simply sacrifice them, use the probes abilities to slow down it’s own demise, which will get you those few precious seconds to get away. If you’re being chased, drop a probe and keep running. The probe will auto engage the pursuer, buying you time to get away. 

    Another great use for probes is to hunt festors. The 3 probes can be positioned to trap the infestor and with their status attacks, it makes short work of the infestor with the engi firing on it while knifing. 

    Probes can also be used to draw aggro, rather it be to draw aggro off of a teammate or yourself. This tactic is especially useful for bosses that have weakened hit areas. i.e. Tartarus rear is weaker than his front side armor. Use the probes to draw Tartarus’ aggro and then lead him to have his back towards your team. 

    If the probes are critically damaged, don’t bother repairing. It cost more energy to repair a “RED” damaged probe to “green” status than it does to just spawn a new one. Let the hurt probe die and build a new one. If not, let it heal on it’s own, it’s not the greatest regen rate, but its good enough. *if you already have 3 probes and create another one, a probe will be destroyed so a new one can be created. This does not mean it will automatically replace the most dmg probe* 

    Advanced Tower Positioning

    Now, you may think that putting the two towers right next to each other is the best way to go. Logically, it makes sense. Doubling up create a wider area of effect of double dmg from both towers. However….the overall affected area is slightly larger than the radius of one tower. So..greater dmg, shorter range. This range limitation can be mitigated to an extent by creating a “kill box” as mentioned above. How does this work? Find a choke point, create the towers apart from each other, but close enough that the range overlap in the middle. Most likely one on each side of the choke point. 

    This creates a middle path way the zombies must take to get to you…while they take dmg from both DTs as they mosey on down. You can even use your probes to slow them down while they are in the kill box…or….your teammate can stun them for you. Anything to delay their stay inside the killbox is ideal. The longer they stay within the radius of the DT, the more hp they lose. 

    Make efficient use of the DT’s range. If you know there are units on the other side of the wall, but you can’t see them. Put down a tower…they will take dmg and eventually all die within the DT’s radius. This is useful if one of your teammates were “wall hugged” by a hugger on the otherside of the wall. 

    *Be sure to protect your towers and repair them if needed. It’s cheaper to repair than it is to rebuild a tower. *

    FN: Mind Control 

    I won’t touch this subject yet. Still have a lot of unanswered questions and as other veterans in the community fear the rise of exploits within the game. I will not discuss anything that can be used to exploit the map. Sorry…but I do plan on writing something on this soon…and I got a feeling this section alone may be longer than this entire thing. 

    + The build is versatile and can readily adopt to a given situation. 
    + The build takes the most amount of Micro, but has the biggest rewards for such micro prowess. 
    + It’s not equipment dependent. The Field Engi can be devastating with or without ANY equipment upgrades. 

    - Micro, Micro, Micro…hope you have some buff fingers. 
    - Maintaining SA (Situational Awareness) – with so many units under your control it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on. (out of sight, out of mind. When a unit leaves your screen and you’re busy dealing with whatever, you may not even notice it had ran off…hopefully, you hotkeyed it and can call it back right away. 
    - Heavy energy dependent...choose wisely. 


    Mudkipzz Wrote:  To maximize dps, its better to get plasma discharge during wave 1. it helps you hog a bit of exp. It is energy costly, but summoning a probe after another (probe keep dying ) would consume more energy, with no apparent dps.

    I have seen a vet taking lvl 3 plasma discharge and hog quite some xp from wave 1. He got tower during base 1 initial wave. Only 1 cp and no +tp from int.

    Of course this strategy doesnt work in higher difficulty as you need 3 probes, but it works okay in pub and easier games.


    oh I absolutely agree with your point. Thats why i made it clear that this is for energy conservation while maximizing dps. Your argument for the discharge is absolutely valid. Which is the reason why I made it a point to stress the discharge should not be disgarded as a useless skill. Additionally, if you are losing probes at such a rate to deplete your energy reserves to replenish them, then perhaps micro intense field engi is not the right fit for your play style...maybe combat engi? the X-1 doesn't require much micro, but remains very effective. 

    The issue of writing a guide for engi is that, he is very versatile and can adopt to various situations. Writing strategies for each situation is impossible as this game's replayability is the same as SC itself. it's similiar, but never the same game. 

    I do like the Engi alot as he has much more to offer in gameplay than other characters (imo) and I will eventually write something a little more official than this thread can offer. I like what RandomJoe did with the MM and I'm thinking of doing something similar. 

    thanks for your input, please keep them coming.


    Mudkipzz Wrote:  I tend to use probe to be mini tank and take damage for team until the tank can actually take hits. e.g. ec nm, a friend is hugged and the rest of the team is dealing with blindtrain / another hugger / inf's bane eggs. The moment i see such condition, i send my probe to engage any mob near hugged person. ofc the probe is quite weak in both offense and defense (can barely kill a ghoul alone 1 on 1) so losing 1~2 is a given. but my hugged teammate is unscathed and im able to kill the mobs around him unharmed.

    IMO, probe's dps and defense is not whats its good for, its the extra health / target to distract mobs from the real soft targets (squishy mm/cmd, medic, etc).


    I agree that engi is a versatile class with a lot of strategy and tricks, but that shouldnt stop you to write how its generally played in proper manner. We cant tell them every little trick, they will have to experiment themselves.

    BTW i only play engi if i happen to random it OR when doing exped ec nm run and no1 else can take/use engi.

    I agree, the probes themselves do not have dps even worth mentioning. Their effectiveness is their abilities that increase the effectiveness of other's dps. -50% MS & -5 armor benefits all that are shooting at it. To me dps is just not about how much damage you put out, but it also must take into account how much damage is actually being dealt. Buffs that negate/reduce dmg should always be taken into account. 

    Also, i like the bodyguard trick. it was briefly mentioned in the guide for probes to distract, but this specific scenario is perrrfect for such an application. Thanks! 
  2. Lulz

    Lulz Well-Known Member

    I wrote a hugely long response about how to whore effectively but im doing it on a lab top and it crapped out after like 15 minutes of typing so i'll be short this time. There are very few FS engi speciallists left. If you find yourself in a game with myself, jercy, or kenno. Thats your oppurtunity to learn the little tricks of the trade. I will however give you the bigger picture

    First off the review above is almost useless. That review is written for a time when towers killed and thats a long long time.

    Your optimal build if your having trouble leveling should be

    1. Discharge
    2. Discharge
    3. Discharge
    4. SCV
    5. Battery 1
    6. Tower 1
    7. Tower 2
    8. Battery 2
    9. Nexus

    if your playing alpha 2 scvs can be done, buts its not really we worth it.

    What you need to know as fs engi is nobodys gonna help you level. so whore when you can. and always steal the first m45 you see. Your just as useless weapon wise as recons and meds but the m45 tends to get alot of final hits making it an extremely good leveling gun.

    There are hundreds of tricks of the trade that i have no problems showing you. Like whoring on the move, when to whore when to not, how to get your towers to kill again (tho far less effectively then before). but im not gonna type them all out, partly cause it would take forever, partly cause i dont want everybody knowing my trix.
  3. Pyromaniac

    Pyromaniac Well-Known Member

    hey lulz, what about forgoing lvl 2 battery for another probe?
  4. Lulz

    Lulz Well-Known Member

    thats viable in alfa games sometimes... ec games you tend to be further spread. Its not the worst idea and i do it sometimes but multiple probes is not uber great. There skills have extremely short cd rates making 1 probe plenty until after t3
  5. Kenno

    Kenno Well-Known Member

    I'm currently on 3 weeks holiday, of which I have just finished my first week. I've decided to bite the bullet, get my arse into gear and write up a guide for Field Support Engineer in the current patch of NOTD.

    I think I'll have to split it into 2 parts: EC and AC, the damn thing will just be a massively long epic if I combine them. And how would people like the guide? Are you happy for a text based post on the forums, or would you like something professional such as a PDF document with pictures and diagrams, etc which you can download?
  6. LftHnddSczrs

    LftHnddSczrs Member

    if you want to i can take down this thread or replace the first post with your guide when its done
  7. David

    David Well-Known Member

    TL;DR version to being a zookeeper:

    3 in Plasma Discharge -> whore everything => Zoo
  8. LftHnddSczrs

    LftHnddSczrs Member

    Just played engy on a pub mission with 1528 sr and only me over 900 xp, so I figured its the perfect chance to teach some noobies and whore a little (or a lot) i ended up dying to shriek tho :( they ended up winning and even dsm, so at least im proud of that. I think I could have even gotten 300k points in score screen if I had just been a straight ho
  9. MissHumpz
    • Event Coordinator
    • Community Leader

    MissHumpz NOTD Staff: Event Coordinator & Amazing Amazer

    Join the dark side Gus!
  10. Jercy

    Jercy Well-Known Member

    MC every single slasher you see, and kill anyone that kills one.
  11. Lulz

    Lulz Well-Known Member

    the slaughtering of innocent slashies is the true root of my hate for assination marksmen.

    Im being completely serious
  12. LftHnddSczrs

    LftHnddSczrs Member

    I think its just a reflex to osok slashers on sight because they can be so dangerous to teammates that dont see them. someone went field engi the other day in an alpha and they said they didnt even wanna get nexus/mc because the mm was gonna osok everything and he started combat side instead. When I play as MM I try to ask the engy when he has an mc up, but then again, MM only takes like 500xp to play, and there are some real noobies out there playing it.

    On another note, I've seen engineers say they have two mc's up. How do you get more than one mc at a time without waiting the 2 minutes for cooldown? Or is this a glitch/exploit/unspeakable thing?
  13. Pyromaniac

    Pyromaniac Well-Known Member

    nexus mc has a 2 minute cooldown, and building nexus has a 3 minute cooldown, if the engy mcs something and then rebuilds his nexus, he will have a new nexus with a mc ready to go
  14. Lulz

    Lulz Well-Known Member

    well it was unspeakable!.. until pyro opened his mouth!... I miss the days of having 3 mcs up : |. nexus. 2nd exploit nexus. remake nexus.
  15. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Slashers begin killed is not only MM's being protective/lazy/greedy/whatever, it is also because they kind of fell out of the vogue when MCing enemies didn't reset their HP to base values. The used to used to control mobs during queen and also dealing with random stalkers during chapter 2, however more teams now a days fight queen at spots where mobs can't get past her (mainly fort) and random stalker are usually osoked or just shot down. Plus the unfortunate reality of Slashers being useless against queen herself (they have low threat so queen ignores them, she can push them, middle range HP, and can deal 0 damage to her). Also the many nerfs to MC have diluted their power as well.
  16. woosa

    woosa New Member my guide is no good now? how sad...i spent a lot of time putting that together. oh well. I am looking forward to reading the new updated guide to the field engi. I too was also a engi specialist and am looking to get back into that role. It's gonna be a while though, unless i can restore my old backup, i'll have to start over...may have to stick with AMM/SMM for the time being. i digress...

    so the DT's are nerfed now? what are the stats on those nowadays? nvm..i'll just wait for the guide. I need to relearn all the classes and catch up on all the changes before i'll ask any questions.
    it was kinda cool to see that rough draft guide referenced in the new forums though...thanks for that. =]

    P.S. If you want/need a hand in getting this guide together let me know. not sure how much help i can be as I'm so out of date with the info, but i'll be happy to help however i can.
  17. squish

    squish Well-Known Member

    Double talents are gone, bud. Good to have ya back.

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