Prioritise, prioritise; Engineering in TF2
I’ve already said that currently Engineer is my favourite class in TF2. At the moment, I’m still learning how to make the class as effective as I can in-game. And I’m coming to various conclusions.
Basically, the Engineer can build three types of building; the dispenser, the teleport and the sentry gun. They are built using metal; picked up at spawn, from dropped weapons, or ammo boxes spawning at various points on map. Often, the main key in a particular game for the Engineer, is working out which building needs to be prioritised, where.
This provides healing and ammunition/metal. In some games, at particular times, I’ve felt this to be the top priority. Placed just behind the front line, it allows the team to keep themselves topped up with ammo, sustaining a push (or maintaining a defence). It also provides extra healing; the medics can’t heal everyone all the time and it keeps the medics themselves healed up. Very, very important.
Moves the team from A to B. Sometimes this is the priority. It transports the team across the battlefield to the area of combat. It can be less important in defence when the spawn is near to the control point for instance, but when pushing and you need to keep up the pressure, it can be vital.
The sentry gun
In a strange way, the sentry gun can be the least important. It’s a shame that it’s the most ‘glamorous’ Engineer building, racking up the kills. With a sentry gun, I have managed to defend final points and block captures. But that was because the rest of my team wasn’t there. A sentry gun provides back-up firepower, it can be a point a team can fall back to, but usually, without a strong team around it, it’s not that effective on it’s own, at least for any length of time.
So what to build first?
Building prioritisation…hmmm. First it helps to know the map; where the ammo/metal boxes spawn. I’ve found myself building a sentry gun to provide some defence, only to waste time running about trying to find metal to build everything else. So often for me, first priority, dispenser. Then, the sentry gun, but only to level 1 (unless there is a large ammo box nearby). This can just be enough to take out a roaming enemy scout or pyro. Next, the teleport, but this depends on the flow of the game. You have to think about teleport placement. Your current spot may have little use. You may be better off focussing on levelling up the dispenser to provide more healing/ammo/metal and moving it to support the front line; listen to the screams from your team here. Once you’ve done that (maybe while you’re doing that), you can build the teleport, nearby in a safe spot, (and just hope that your team can hold the defence/attack long enough for you to do so or that your sentry gun provides enough support).
Only then, do I focus on my sentry gun. I build it up, and it can either defend the teleport and dispenser or be moved out to provide more direct team back-up.
Of course, as the battle ebbs and flows, so sentry gun, dispenser and teleport have to be moved along with.
And, obviously, it helps if another Engineer is present, one that actually works with you that is, buildings build quicker with more Engineers working on them, and your buildings can reinforce one other.