The weapon selection for an engineer is rather limited. In this guide, I’ll be covering everything there is to know about the rifle, which accounts for 5 out of the 12 of the weapon abilities you’ll be using every day in Guild Wars 2. Some may think that there isn’t much but, chances are, you will learn something new (however small it may be) in this guide. If I were to ask you what the rifle’s purpose is, what would you tell me? Is it short or long range? Is it meant to be used against single targets or multiple targets? Is it meant for non-moving targets or moving targets? Interested? Why are we asking so many questions? Read on, shall we?
You are probably already familiar with the 5 weapon skills that come with the rifle, but let’s have a quick refresher:
- Hip Shot: This is your basic attack.
- Net shot: Shoots as far as the hip shot. Deploys a net that stops the target from moving (immobilizes the target) for 2 seconds.
- Blunderbuss: Short range cone attack that does more damage to closer foes.
- Overcharged shot: Close range shot that knocks you and the enemy back.
- Jump shot: Area targeted attack that moves you to the selected location. Does area damage when you launch into the air, as well as where you land.
All of the important traits that affect the rifle, directly or indirectly, can be found in the firearms trait line:
- Go for the Eyes: Causes every critical hit you make with your rifle to blind your target, making them miss their next hit.
- Hair Trigger: Reduces the cooldown of all five of your weapon skills by 20%.
- Knee Shot: Causes your Net Shot to not only stop the opponent, but make them crippled for a time after they escape.
- Rifle Mod: Increases the damage of your rifle, though not a set percentage.
- Rifled Barrels: Increases the range of your rifle shots. This, also, is not a set percentage.
- Sitting Duck: Increases damage done against immobilized enemies. This means that you can follow up a net shot with a blunderbuss for even more damage.
The rifle has many purposes because its shots are rather varied. It is both single target and multi-target. However, it has a medium to short range, despite the 1000 range on the Net and Hip Shot. It also shouldn’t be your first choice for a non-moving target. I’ll explain:
While the Hip Shot and Net Shot have wonderful ranges, the other three abilities require you to engage in closer-range combat. The Blunderbuss attack begs for it, asking you to get closer to do more damage. The Jump Shot practically screams “I GET YOU CLOSER, USE ME WISELY!” Lastly, the Overcharged Shot only has a range of 400 which, for those who don’t know, is pretty short. Despite appearances, the rifle is best suited to be used in short or medium ranged scenarios.
- Single Target vs Multi
This is what makes the rifle a mixed bag. The weapon lends itself to both single and multiple target engagements. The Hip Shot, Net Shot, and Overcharged Shot obviously attack only one target. However, the Blunderbuss and Jump Shot are wonderful AOEs. The rifle performs well for both scenarios.
- Moving vs Non-Moving
The Net Shot and Overcharged Shot don’t come in handy at all for non-moving targets. As a result, there is little reason to use the rifle against a non-moving target. The rifle should, instead, be the weapon of choice for kiting or controlling the movement of targets.
Odds and Ends
- Due to the odd, but varied, nature of the rifle, it would be best to memorize the don’ts rather the the dos.
- If you can help it, never go into battle with a boss that does not move while you have the rifle equipped. You will probably not get close to the boss, which prevents you from doing anything other than pressing 1 over… and over… and over.
- Use Jump Shot in creative ways. It’s a wonderful AOE on the way up and down. As a result, you can do a good amount of damage by using it directly underneath where you are standing. It can also be used to jump gaps (as you can see at the end of the first episode of The Sprocket Formula Podcast on YouTube). I also cleared the Shaman’s Rookery course in record time by skipping half of it with the Jump Shot.
Well, that about wraps it up. I hope you learned something about a major tool in the Engineer’s arsenal, and how best to use it.
P.S. Keep in mind that the game is currently in beta, and that all information covered thus far could change.