Grenadier engineer plotting

SkyknightSkyknight Posts: 16
edited December 2015 in Engineer Discussions
New to the game, but never let it be said I'm willing to settle for cookie-cutter; I actually favored archer druids in Diablo II before the Hunter/Huntermentalist became recognized as an archetype.

That said, I came up with the idea of a grenadier engineer when trying to see what I could cobble together that would resemble the Sage from Titan Quest, Underlord style (i.e. including that mod's Spear Tempest). It didn't take long for me to notice Shock Grenade, an arguable analog to Thunderball/Lightning Bolt. So, there's that. Next question is whether to go for Seismic Slam or Tremor for my radiant attack. Seismic Slam has a stun chance from the onset, but a fully kitted out Tremor has stun guaranteed, along with other defensive benefits.

I'm also eyeing Immobilization Copter for debuffing. The problem is going to be figuring out how many skills I can ultimately have before the limit of skill points shows up, and how many points to allocate to each--and how much redundancy there is between Copter and the radiants.

So...Shock Grenade+Seismic Slam/Tremor+Immobilization Copter for a starting foundation. Any obvious errors? (Note: I fully plan on going one-handed mace+shield for weaponry. Two-handed maces are much too slow for my tastes.)

EDIT 11/27: I decided to use Seismic Slam after noticing a rather important detail for Tremor--the ten-second cooldown. Not exactly something I want for a main attack, especially given how relatively short the stun is. In any case, I'll also have to take a look at Coup de Grace.


  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    Well not to burst the bubble or anything, but Shock Grenade is right on the border of what I would call useless. That is to say, it functions as intended, but there are dramatically better options. Seismic Slam, for instance, is superior in all ways.

    Immo Copter is amazing. Slow is one of the best debuffs, and the Copter applies a heavy dose of it to several targets constantly. With its tag-team partner Healing Bot, you'll rarely even need to touch a potion. These two are almost more like passives than actual summon skills, and along with Forcefield form the core of any successful engineer build.

    Then there's Onslaught, which is worth at least one point for the ability to leap through crowds, or much more if you play a melee type for the stacked slow debuff and the charge building - a rarity among engineer skills.

    At most you'll have 132 skill points. Commonly you end up with 8 maxed skills, a couple one point wonders, and another skill at 10 if it has a useful second tier bonus. This isn't a hard rule of course. This site is extremely helpful in planning out any sort of build you might desire.
  • Is there really Shock Grenade/Seismic Slam overlap? I don't plan to use SG point-blank, but for distant foes; I don't think Seismic Slam's T3 radius is Tremor level. (On the other hand, given how close the game requires me to get before Onslaught can activate, I wonder what SG's maximum range is...I'm not at L28 just yet) As I alluded to with the TQ Sage, I was thinking of doing melee/missile hybrid.

    I'd probably have to start a new Engineer, in any case; I completely missed Heavy Lifting's weapon speed improvement, and it would fit better with the stun theme. The problem is the multiple points I already put in Sword and Board, well past the respecification limit...

    (And we're sure we're not overvalorizing Forcefield? I get suspicious when anything gets deemed a staple. Granted that I chose the Engineer because of SG's similarity to Thunderball and Seismic Slam's to Spear Tempest, not to play a tanker...{grumble} It's a pain to figure out which skill I like the most, and now I have to consider competition from the Outlander's Sandstorm and Berserker's Glacial Shatter...)
  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    In many ways, yes. They both stun, interrupt, and damage over time in an area. Seismic Slam has a better stun chance - more important than stun length - as well as better damage over time in a larger area. If that weren't enough, Seismic Slam also does regular fire damage, making it spammable, while DoTs on skills do not stack. It doesn't have Tremor's radius, true, but Tremor is more of a support skill for summoners.

    Sword and Board is, unfortunately, probably the game's worst skill. It adds the damage at the very end of the calculation, so its contribution is always miniscule. It's similar in this way to effects that add flat damage when seen on armor or trinkets. Only add such things to the weapon directly.

    Forcefield isn't exactly mandatory, but when playing an engineer it's almost impossible to justify not spending points on it. It grants a huge pool of ablative health to you and your allies, and since shield blocking isn't checked until after the Forcefield absorption, it allows you to pick up Heavy Lifting without worrying so much about survival.

    All that said, go ahead and try Shock Grenade and anything else you're interested in, and see for yourself. Rapid Respec means never having to start over.
  • In the meantime, there's the matter of how to allocate stat points. Strength and Focus are both givens (I don't know if Focus affects Onslaught--it's electric, but it's also based on DpS, rather than level--but it definitely affects Seismic Slam), and I'm not sure I want to neglect Vitality, both for survivability and for the opportunity to use the Outercore set (then again, that's 412 points total; that's not really going to leave much of anything for Focus). Agility...should I go for the critical cap?

    I think I'm going to make this a stun-based build; viewtopic.php?f=45&t=57881 was my inspiration for that. (So now I have to look at Spider Mines, too...)
  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    Strength improves weapon damage of all types. Focus improves pretty much everything except physical weapon damage, but does improve physical DoTs on the weapon as well as nonweapon physical damage on skills. Because Onslaught converts weapon dps to electric, it benefits from both equally. It's difficult to reach the crit cap without dual wielding, but getting as close as possible is almost always beneficial. The way to get all the attribute points you need is to make friends with Borris the Stout, a wandering enchanter. He can provide several hundred points of attributes across your gear. To wear Outercore or other items with pesky requirements, find something else you can equip more easily - often trinkets - and enchant them with the stats you need to wear the armor.

    You'll probably find that keeping up a steady stream of Spider Mines keeps you too busy to do much of anything else, and their minion based damage will be lackluster if not geared for appropriately.
  • Although now that I think about it, I suppose there's a question of whether Outercore is actually coded to drop--it uses the same set bonuses as the L99 armor, and there's no flavor text.

    I just wish I had some idea of how the game anticipates one to allocate stat points (lacking Borris, whose presence is going to be RNG-dependent, and I'm no fan of grinding--breaks verisimilitude)--some weapons seem to expect increasing just one stat, the various armor pieces have somewhat odd-looking stat spreads (i.e. they don't seem to match anyone's starting ratios), etc. Without much of an idea of what basal scores to target, I've been using the 3:1:1:3 ratio the Engineer's starting scores were set up in (I'm after Seismic Slam more for the stun than the damage). Yes, I'm aware that Vitality only affects HP when using a two-handed weapon (and not even by much. Just 3 HP per point, it seems...).

    Current skill allocation plan is this: ... apaaaaaaaa. Main worry there is how redundant Onslaught and Immobilization Copter are together.

    EDIT: And looking at the Engineer-only items, it seems that no build I could come up with could expect to wield all of them that early--some want lots of Strength, some lots of Vitality, some equal amounts...At least I know that it doesn't anticipate more than 90 Dexterity for a given Engineer, if that. Maybe a 3:1:2:2 ratio?
  • GeistGeist Posts: 128
    Outercore definitely drops, and if you're looking to wear it without Borris' aid, you'll just have to keep pumping Str/Vit. Sometimes you won't be able to meet an item's attribute requirements until you've already exceeded its level requirement, so if it would be a huge deviation from your plan, don't bother. There are some uniques to look out for that could help, like the Babbage Belt with its large Vit bonus and the Turquet Band which lowers requirements by 20 points, though they're relatively high level themselves.

    I wouldn't say Onslaught is redundant. The slow stacks, the damage and charge building are good, and you have the mobility to get around or out of swarms of mobs.
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