Engineer Guide MKIII (3/3)

Class: Engineer
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Learn how to play an Engineer

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1. Choosing a Breed
1.1 Nanomage
1.2 Solitus
1.3 Opifex
1.4 Atrox

2. Starting to Play

3. Controlling Your Pet
3.1. Pet Commands
3.2. Macros
3.3. Maximum Range
3.4 Pet Runspeed

4. Affording your Engineer
4.1. Begging
4.2. Soloing Missions
4.3. Blitzing Missions
4.4. Mission Locations
4.5. Jewellery
4.6. Monster Parts

5. Skills
5.1. Essential Skills
5.2. Secondary Skills
5.3. Perks
5.4. Resetting Skills
5.5. Buffs
5.5.1. General Buffs
5.5.2. Engineer Buffs
5.5.3. Where to get the Nanos
5.5.4. MetaPhysicist Buffs
5.5.5. Trader Buffs
5.6. Items
5.7. Bots, Buffs and OverEquipping (OE)
5.7.1. What are OverEquipping Rules?
5.7.2. "What has that got to do with me?quot;
5.7.3. Doing the Maths
5.7.4. "There must be an easier way?!"

6. Armour Choices
6.1 Beginner Armor
6.2 Intermediate Armor
6.3 Endgame Armor

7. Weapon Choices
7.1. Beginner Weapons
7.2. Intermediate Weapons
7.3. Endgame Weapons

8. Trimmers & Android NCU Upgrades
8.1. Permanent Effect Trimmers
8.1.1. Attack Speed Trimmer
8.1.2. Taunting Trimmer
8.2. Temporary Effect Trimmers
8.2.1. Tradeoff Trimmers
8.2.2. Damage Type Trimmers
8.2.3. Improve Actuators Trimmer
8.3. NCU Upgrades

9. Implants
9.1. Profession Specific Premade Implants
9.2. Implant Design
9.3. Common Issues
9.4. Sample Implant Design

10. Soloing & Teaming
10.1. Terms & Concepts
10.2. Pets in Combat
10.3. Solo Play
10.4. Team Play
10.5. Offensive and Defensive Auras
10.5.1. Damage Shield Debuff
10.5.2. Reflect Shield Debuff
10.5.3. Blind (Add All Off Debuff)

11. Trade Skills
11.1. Introduction to Trade Skills
11.2. Trade Skill Processes
11.3. Charging for Trade Skills
11.4. Special Tools
11.5. Maximum Skills for each Breed
11.6. Tutoring and Why It's Important
11.7. Where to find out more

12. Player Vs Player
12.1. Combat Specialist or Tradeskill Specialist
12.2. Skills
12.3. Weapon Choices
12.4. Ranged or Close Combat?
12.5. Nanos
12.6. Tactics
12.7. Things to watch out for

13. Anything Else
13.1. Making References & Tracking Damage

10. Soloing & Teaming

This is where it all comes together, in this section I'm going to give a few pointers and suggestions to make everything that we've done up to now work.

At this point I will assume that anyone reading this section is new to the game and operating with the normal engineer set up. So some of this section may not be relevant.

10.1. Terms & Concepts

Before I go ahead and start suggesting things to try I'll just quickly run through some of the terms and concepts we'll be going through.

Mobs - Short for Mobiles, can be any creature in the game not controlled by a player.
Hate List - A mobs list of enemies in "Must Die!" order.
Aggro Slider - The Agg / Def Slider in the stats window.
Line of Sight (LOS) - Self explanetory
Calms - A nano program that stops a mob fighting and makes it unable to attack unless attacked first. (Orange effect around the target)
Mez - Short for Mesmerize, same as calm.
Root - A nano program used to fix a mob to the spot, this won't effect its combat abilities. (Light Blue effect around the target)
Snare - A nano program used to reduce the run speed of a mob. (Green effect around the target)
Blind - A nano program that reduces the attack rating of the target (Black Cloud effect around the head of the target)
Tank - The primary damage taker in any situation, a successful tank must be able to hold the mobs attention.
Puller - Person responsible for drawing mobs towards a team, or for the splitting of groups of mobs into bit sized chunks.
Taunt - A device, nano program or component of a nano program that increases mob hate towards the user.

10.2. Pets in Combat

Our robots are, in effect, controlled mobs. This means they are subject to many of the rules and behavioural patterns that govern regular mobs.

So like a mob your pet will have a Hate List.

Mobs or Players might be added to the Hate List because:

Old Command - You told your bot to attack a mob by mistake or changed your mind.
Mob / Player Attacks Bot - Something or someone attacked your bot.
Mob / Player Attacks You - Something or someone attacked you.

Which ever state the bot is in it will build a hate list, even if the bot is standing there in Wait mode it will add attackers to its list.

If the bot is in Guard mode it will immediately engage the first attacker, in a team situation that's any mob that attacks any member of the team. If in Attack mode it will engage the attacker as soon as it's current target is finished.

In any other mode it will not act on this list until you give it a command. Then, depending on the command, it will either start to work through it or disregard it entirely.

If you set your bot to attack mode it will then engage the target you select, followed by each mob on the Hate List.

You can clear a Hate List at any time by issuing the command "/pet wait".

The following example should hopefully illustrate this:

You're in a team consisting of yourself, a Crat, a Doctor and an Enforcer.

We'll assume that the team is built up of bad and good players. No sterotypes intended, just as examples. This is a very common situation.

Ahead of you is a big room with 2 mobs in it, and 11 mobs surrounding it all in their little rooms.

The Enforcer isn't so bright, he prefers the head on method of rushing into a room and hitting things. He has no regard at all for the mobs that are watching his little display, and indeed little regard for the wellfare of the rest of the team.

He firmly believes that the crat should calm them all and the doc should heal him. If they don't then the fault lies entirely with them.

Fortunately for the Enforcer both the Doc and the Crat are very good if a little annoyed at the play style of your Enforcer teammate.

So the fight commences, the Enforcer engages the first mob, you send your bot to attack it. Everything is going fine.

Then in the age old fashion the cry "ADD!" rings out as 4 of the mobs from surrounding rooms attack a mixture of you, your bot, the Enforcer and the doc. Thankfully the crat manages to swiftly calm these.

During this your bot has started to build a Hate List. The first being the mob it's currently fighting, it won't switch until that mob is dead. It's also added onto it's hate list all the mobs that just joined the fight and are now calmed.

The fight ends, everyone is in a bad way and needs to recharge for a moment, but your bot has just moved right onto the next target!


You see the adds, wait until they're calmed, then you issue the Wait command to your bot. Then immediately after the attack command to the current target that everyone is fighting.

You just cleared your bots Hate List, it will finish it's current target and enter Guard mode until other commands are issued.

The fight ends and everyone recharges. Your bot waits patiently for you to issue another command. While the mobs stand around looking bored.

Controlling your bot effectively is very important, you generally cannot let it go on an uncontrolled rampage, it'll upset people in a team and may make soloing hard work.

10.3. Solo Play

At low to mid levels, engineers are a good profession for this, the bots ability to tank make us able to solo missions well above our level. In effect it is essential that the Engineer and the Bots behave as a small team.

Every mob in the game uses Hate Lists to determine who should be attacked. The idea is to always be lower down on this list than the bot.

Reasons you might move up this list include:

Damage - If you do more damage than your bot or team members then you might find the mob starts to hit you instead. Unless you want this to happen adjust your "Aggro Slider" so your defenses are favoured over your attacks.
Healing - Healing nano programs carry an indirect taunt value, healing a target near the mob, specifically a target the mob is attacking will move you up the "Hate List".
First Seen - If the mob sees you before anything else you will automatically be at the top of the "Hate List".
Passive Agro - Pets generate passive hate for their owners if the pet owner is not shooting the mob.

What this means is that what you want to do is first send your attack bot. Let it do a bit of damage, and then send your dog (if you have one) and start attacking, but do moderate damage. Don't use special attacks or damage perks.

At very low levels the bot won't be able to taunt the mobs, or hold the mobs attention very well on its own. In this situation you can use Line of Sight (LoS) to your advantage. This especially applies when healing. If you remain out of Line of Sight (of the mob) and heal the bot it's unlikely that the mob will switch its attention to you.

To make the bot collect more hate then you use Trimmers, as well as anything you can do to make the bot hit harder or annoy the mob more. A Damage Shield for example won't do very much extra damage, nor will it really shield you or the bot from much. But casting it on your bot will mean the mob is being annoyed slightly more each time it hits.

One of the hardest things to do is learning to seperate mobs. If two mobs are in the same room attacking one will immediately catch the attention of the other. The prefered method to deal with this situation is by pulling one mob into another room. You do this by waiting in the mobs room until it flashes up an attacked by message. At which point you have to get to the first room as fast as you can!

Pulling with a reflect or a damage shield running is much harder, the only way to pull a single mob in that instance is by not letting the mob hit you at all. If the mob you're pulling takes any damage then it will be noticed by the second mob and the effort is wasted. This is a risk, if your bot (or your team members later on) can't pull the aggro from you or heal you then it might be an idea to use the mission door.

As you level and your skills increase you may want to get the Blind line. Engineer blinds are the most powerful in the game, they reduce the attack rating of the mob to such an extent that they can be incapable of hitting you. All our blinds are in the form of a 20 second area pulse which effects all hostile targets in the area.
However, if the mob takes even a single point of damage the blind will be broken and the mob back up to full power. Our blinds are also very short range and contain a taunt, so use with care.

Along with these is a Snare line that pulses out from the bot (every 30 seconds). The snare contains a taunt which improves chances of the mob attacking the bot.

10.4. Team Play

Acting as part of a team can be very hard work at times, some teams are better than others.

As a new player to this game you'll discover many low level characters that are refered to as "Twinks". These characters are normally alternates of higher level characters which have been improved using the resources of that higher level player. Whether that is by getting the best possible implants in, the best possible armour on or any other method of making a character better than average.

A team of twinks isn't necessarily a good team though, any team needs to be able to work together and communicate. Approaching any scenario with a little care will make the play experience better.

This is where we come onto team roles.

Some teams won't bother and will just run through the mission killing everything, looting everything and just hoping that no one dies in the process.

Other teams will use strategies, which in theory at least, allow them to contend with greater challenges than the first type.

Some professions are better suited to certain jobs than others.

Traditionally Enforcers and Soldiers are tank professions, they have taunts and are equipped to take a great deal of damage.

Fixers can also tank sometimes, but because of their speed they can make very very good pullers.

If a team is willing to use these kinds of methods then they can very quickly and efficiently clear a mission full of creatures much higher level than themselves.

Be a little more careful in teams with some of our programs. The snare program the bot has can attract adds and break calms (except single calms made by crats).

The Blind program and other offensive auras we have also break calms (except single calms made by crats).

10.5. Offensive and Defensive Auras

One final thing I want to cover in this section is a bit more of a detailed description of our defensive and offensive auras.

These auras have two components, the main component (server) runs in your own NCU, this will pulse out every 20 seconds or so the other half of the program (client). The client is the important bit since that's the one that provides the modifiers. You will end up with server and client running in your NCU when you run it, all other members will only have the client side.

This list contains all our defensive auras, they range in effect from AC auras to Damage increasing auras. You'll only be able to run one at a time.

Which you use depends on the situation really, the reflect and damage shield auras are only useful if members of the team are using those kinds of shield. The AC aura is one of the most useful in my opinion.

Damage buff auras aren't used much but you might want to consider them, the highest adds 25 extra damage for a cost of 2 NCU.

Offensive auras can be very useful. We're the only profession that can debuff certain types of shields, and we possess the most powerful blinds in the game.

Please note that all our Offensive auras break calms (except single calms made by crats), and carry a chance to draw in extra mobs to the fight so use them with care.

10.5.1. Damage Shield Debuff

This line of auras reduces the damage you take from any damage shield. There are 5 nanos in this line.

I find these most useful when facing boss mobs with obscene damage shields. It does seem to have some problems landing on occasion, but boss mobs have pretty obscene nano resist.

However, teams can be very grateful when the 150 damage they've been taking per hit is substantially reduced.

Disruptive Field Negator : -4 Damage
Disruptive Shielding Negator : -14 Damage
Disruptive Barrier Negator : -28 Damage
Disruptive Retaliatory Negator : -44 Damage
Disruptive Retributive Negator : -61 Damage

10.5.2. Reflect Shield Debuff

This line reduces the effectiveness of reflect shields, it reduces the percentage of damage reflected, which makes it very powerful against all reflect shield users.

This includes the Soldier program Total Mirror Shield and the NT program Nullity Sphere.

Disruptive Field Harmonics -15%
Disruptive Cocoon Harmonics -22%
Disruptive Phase Harmonics -36%
Null Space Disruptor -48%

10.5.3. Blind (Add All Off Debuff)

The Blind line is very usefull in many circumstances. This one has a negative Add All Off modifier. Add All Off directly effects Attack Rating. Attack Rating this is the number used to figure out whether something hits, misses or criticals. The blinds simply reduce the Attack Rating value by a very large amount.

The blinds can be used to completely shut down a mob making it unable to hit you, this doesn't stop it fighting, just makes it miss more often, especially if the target has high evades. Of course on high level mobs the effect is just making the mob do less damage, and many mobs completly resist the effect.

In effect this line provides us with some basic crowd control, it's not as effective as a calm, but it does give us an option in a difficult situation.

Blinds are short range and will break on a single point of damage, including damage from your own reflect and damage shields. As most players have a reflect and a damage shield running on them (from the Bioshield perk line or from buffs) this means that in order to keep the blind active on must avoid being hit, which again is easier with higher evades.

They also break if another offensive program lands on the target, such as a debuff. Note especially that the snare aura that runs on the bot counts as an offensive program, so each time it pulses it might cancel the blind.

Disruptive Photon Deflector: -370
Disruptive Photon Absorber: -640
Disruptive Photon Devourer: -890
Disruptive Photon Annihilator: -1095
Disruptive Void Projector: -1210

11. Trade Skills

11.1. Introduction to Trade Skills

This is probably one of your biggest choices. Engineers really excel in this field, but it's not an easy path. For a start there's a lot to learn, every trade skill process has different rules. But most importantly this will absorb all of your free IP all the way until well into Title Level 6.

As a result of the IP sink involved in trade skills it's next to impossible to keep more than a couple of these up before level 125.

You should also remember that there is no such thing as a Trade skill only engineer, you have a choice of pure Combat Engineer or a Hybrid Trade skill / Combat skill Engineer. This is because you can't level off trade skills, the only way to level is through combat.

A comprehensive list of items for trade skills has already been created and compiled by Caddock which can be found here.

11.2. Trade Skill Processes

Trade skill abreviations:

Mechanical Engineering - ME
Electrical Engineering - EE
Quatum Field Tech - QFT
Weapon Smithing - WS
Pharma Tech - PT
Nano Programming - NP
Computer Literacy - CL
Psychology - Psychol
Chemistry - Chem
Breaking & Entering - B&E
Quality Level - QL

You can find most Tradeskill processes here.

11.3. Charging for Trade Skills

Whether you use them or not Berael maintains a price list for all trade skill processes should you need a guide about what to charge people if you wish to.

11.4. Special Tools

There are some items in the game that can only be found in a limited number of places. Most of these aren't a problem as you can always get them later on. However, 5 of these items can only be found easily in Missions at relatively low level.

Robot Instruction Disc (Improve Crushing Weapons), Robot Instruction Disc (Improve Thrusting Weapons), Robot Instruction Disc (Improve Slashing Weapons) - These three can only be found as mission loot at the same levels as the discs.

Programmed Photon Particle Emitter (Shape Hard Armor), Programmed Photon Particle Emitter (Shape Soft Armor) - These two can only be found as boss loot (indoor or outdoor) on approximately level 60 bosses.

11.5. Maximum Skills for each Breed

If you're making a character specifically for Trade skills then your Breed choice is very important.

Below are the maximum, unaugmented trade skills for each Breed. Each one assumes you're level 200 and have maxed all abilities.


Mechanical Engineering - 721
Electrical Engineering - 721
Quantum FT - 727
Weapon Smithing - 721
Nano Programming - 727
Compter Literacy - 727
Chemistry - 719
Pharma Tech - 665
Psychology - 663
Tutoring - 726


Mechanical Engineering - 725
Electrical Engineering - 722
Quantum FT - 713
Weapon Smithing - 715
Nano Programming - 715
Compter Literacy - 715
Chemistry - 717
Pharma Tech - 669
Psychology - 661
Tutoring - 717


Mechanical Engineering - 719
Electrical Engineering - 719
Quantum FT - 719
Weapon Smithing - 718
Nano Programming - 719
Compter Literacy - 719
Chemistry - 719
Pharma Tech - 659
Psychology - 659
Tutoring - 719


Mechanical Engineering - 709
Electrical Engineering - 711
Quantum FT - 699
Weapon Smithing - 713
Nano Programming - 699
Compter Literacy - 699
Chemistry - 713
Pharma Tech - 643
Psychology - 639
Tutoring - 699

11.6. Tutoring and Why It's Important

Tutoring is required to be able to use Tutoring Devices, these are items in the game that allow you to termporarily increase one of your own trade skills.

The devices start at Quality Level 1 and go all the way up to 200. Providing an increase of up to 50 points.

That is an increase of 0.25 skill per quality level, but we don't work in bits of numbers, only full numbers. So QL1-7 provide a skill increase of 1 point, QL8 - 12 an increase of 2 points, up until the increase of 50 points with a QL200 device.

Tutoring is absolutely essential for many high level trade skills, but it takes a long time to make it really useful. Especially since the highest quality devices need 1000 tutoring to use.

So while you might want tutoring eventually, it's probably little use to you before level 150.

11.7. Where to find out more

Tir School of Engineering - An excellent site run by Lyricia.
Anarchy Arcanum - Another useful site which details trade skills and quests amoung other things.
Engineer Forum - Don't forget these! Many of us have been doing trade skills a long time now so always ask on the forum itself if you need to.

12. Player Vs Player

Note: This section is extremly outdated and is pending rewrite.

PVP is an important part of the game and no guide would be complete without looking at this subject. By its very nature PVP is a fairly advanced subject, and any success requires a fairly broad knowledge of the game.

Lower level PVP is currently heavily dominated by twinks (Characters made using the resources and knowledge of a higher level character), which makes it difficult for new players to get into.

This section of the guide was written in conjunction, and with the help of the rest of the members of this forum since my knowledge of PVP as an Engineer isn't so good... so don't ask me about it in game

12.1. Combat Specialist or Trade-skill Specialist

This is one of the first things that effects your ability to fight other players. Trade skills as I've mentioned earlier are a massive drain on IP, to the extent where Combat related skills have to be neglected to a certain extent.

So first of all, if you want to be really good at fighting then trade skills have to become secondary.

12.2. Skills

For any combat based profession that is required to take damage Evasion skills are essential. This includes Evade Close Combat, Dodge Ranged, Duck Explosions, Nano Resist and Run Speed. You will be taking damage in PVP, no human fighter will target your bot over you, other than to root, scare, charm or calm the robot.

In addition to these you need to select a good weapon and make sure you fully utilise any advantages you have over other professions.

For your weapon choice you should look at maxing all the skills associated with using the weapon, the Initiative type for that weapon.

Nano Init would also allow you to instantly cast the root / snare breaker on the pet and the offensive auras.

Maxing out the skills associated with the specials on weapons will decrease the recharge time of that special attack, the fastest this will become is once every 10 seconds.

12.3. Weapon Choices

Note this is not a definative guide by any extent, I leave the choices to you, I just wanted to present you with some options.
The choices for PVP combat differ as you level. Some weapons to consider at lower levels might be:

Manex Catastrophe December - Heavy burst damage, generally a slow weapon. No longer drops in game.
Superior Yatamutchy X-3 Counter-Sniper Rifle - Rifle and Aimed shot are very popular in PVP.

At higher levels:

Pain of Patricia - A level 175+ pistol as mentioned earlier. A very respectable choice. Improves even more if you implant Pistol further as opposed to the Nano skills used to summon your bot.
Nano Crystal (Slayerdroid Transference) - Fast but highly crit dependant. Utilises slayerform and the damage is relatively good.

In addition to your weapon choice a scope should always be considered:

HUD Upgrade: Enhanced Target Acquisition - This is available from TIM in the Foreman's dungeon. Basically a scope to increase Ranged Init, with only a small crit bonus. Very useful for slower but heavy damage weapons like the Manex.
- This and the next scope reduce initiatives as a price for gaining a critical bonus.
Extreme Low Light Targeting Scope - This particular scope doesn't drop anymore and can only be bought from players. As a result it's hard to obtain and very expensive.

12.4. Ranged or Close Combat?

In general I believe Ranged Combat styles to be better for PVP as an Engineer. It allows you the chance to avoid damage by simply not being close enough to your opponent.

Unlike our Close Combat (Martial Arts) combat style a Root program isn't likely to be the end of the fight for you.

12.5. Nanos

Special Blocking shields - Each one of these programs blocks a certain amount of special attacks dealt against you. These include Burst, Full Auto, Dimach, Brawl, Aimed Shot etc. Essential for any fight.
Blind Auras - Very powerful auras, but each breaks very easily.
Reflect / Damage shield debuff auras - Works against anything from Nullity Sphere to Corruscating Screen.
AC, Reflect & Weapon auras - These add additional reflect damage. More damage reflected back each time they hit you. More AC for you. More damage.
Snare aura - This one runs on the bot, reducing your opponents run speed drastically to stop them escaping the claws of your bot.
Root protection programs - Give your bot a resistance to root and snare programs, however short duration.
Root Breakers - Break the roots and Snares and enable your bot to run free, obliterating everything in it's path.

12.6. Tactics

Tactics are something you have to develop for yourself, it takes lots of practice and a great deal of game knowledge to be good at PVP.

"No battle plan, no matter how perfect survives contact with the enemy"

Remember that you don't have to fight, and there's no point in agreeing to a duel you have no hope at all in winning, the most fun duels are those that are close, even if you lose.

Learn about the other professions, their strengths and their weaknesses.

"Trimmer - Divert Energy to Avoidance" can be used to break calms cast against your pet as it does damage to the bot.

It is highly recommended that you obtain at least 2 root grafts. These are time locked and each will only be usable every 15 or 30 minutes or so at QL200.

Hacked Boosted-Graft: Feet of Stone - locks Matter Creation
Hacked Boosted-Graft: Detain Suspect - locks Psychological Modification

For mass PVP our Reflect booster and Damage shield booster Sympathetic Shields can cause a lot of pain to anyone using AoE weapons against you and your friends.

Assume an NT casts an Area Nuke. If you were standing in a group of 10 people, everyone with the highest soldier reflect shield (which gives back 46 damage per person to an attacker); adding on Nano Crystal (Sympathetic Reactive Cocoon) would have the effect of increasing the damage the NT takes from 460 to 1070 in return for his nuke - without anyone having to fire off a single shot.

12.7. Things to watch out for

Bureaucrats can charm and calm your robot.
Traders can calm and root pets, but generally won't charm because they wouldn't last long.
NTs can root and calm pets
If you're fighting a player filling their NCU with junk programs in order to prevent them running buffs is considered an exploit.

Overwriting Soldier Reflect shields and Adventurer or Enforcer Damage shields are also considered exploits.

For clarification using flaws in the Game Mechanics to obtain unintended benefits is considered an exploit. I only list these here because they come up repeatedly on the forums. So if you have read this and you use it then you have been warned. If you would like clarification of these statements then please e-mail

With everything said PVP is supposed to be fun, if you don't enjoy it then you don't have to do it.

13. Anything Else

13.1. Making References & Tracking Damage

If you find you do a lot of trade skill work a reference is really useful for compacting a lot of information into a small space so check out this for Ref Maker.

You'll also find Damage Dumper on the same site, that program allows you to track the damage of you and anyone else you set it to. Useful if you're curious about how much damage you're doing compared to others.

Last updated on 10.19.2012 by Llie
The current version of this guide in the AO Forum is being updated/maintained by Muhandes
This guide is based on the Engineer Guide MK II by Highorbit.
Thanks to Martinn for the majority of the MC TS buffing item list
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