Truly basic Engineer guide. Just what your abilities do as bare-bones Engy.
Basic Engineering Guide (No Races, Factions or Anything)
Right, so you chose to go Engineer, eh?
You poor, poor schlub.
Engineers are considered the weakest of the three classes to begin with. On the ground, you get a better deal later down the levels with some fantastic Kit Modules. In space, you can take hits like a boss. With the right build you can be a monster, but getting there might be a chore.
In space, you are The Tank, with the captain abilities to restore health, fortify shields, and boost your power levels. All are useful, none are bad. Nothing exceptional, though you can survive hits that would down just about anyone else.
On the ground, you are TF2 Engineer. You build turrets, set up defences, deploy drones, set up dispensers for shield and health regen, and generally make any place you fortify absolute death for anything to approach. Also you can call in orbital bombardments for extra fun and profit.
This guide will be focused purely on the Engineer, not on Kits or ships or races or anything else, just the class.
Engy! In Space!
As stated, the Engineer on its own does very little to stop them pesky space aliens from exploding your poor ship. You can heal the damage done to shield and hull, but can't really hurt them much directly in return like the Tactical and Science classes. At least not without being right inside their fleet and harassing them with drunken phone calls/photon torpedo barrages.
EPS Power Transfer, Nadion Inversion, Engineering Fleet and Intrusive Energy Redirection are almost too useful to not hit them every time they come off cooldown. However Rotate Shield Frequency and, especially, Miraculous Repairs are to be used only when necessary. Every ability lasts 30 seconds and is on a long cooldown.
Rotate Shield Frequency is the first Engineer ability, it comes online at level 7, and boy howdy is it going to be used a lot. You get some shield healing and a major increase in shield resistance meaning your shields take less damage and heal faster. It also gets a slight bump to resist being drained. You will use this every fight and by the time that 2 minute cooldown is up, you're likely to need it again.
EPS Power Transfer is the power you'll get at level 17 and you want this on at much as possible, either on yourself or that one nutball Tactical captain with a Cannon Scatter Volley III build and gold MkXV cannons and turrets in every slot. At max rank it adds 25 to all your power levels AND to their maximum values with a 2 minute cooldown. This maximum value increase stacks with other maximum value increases, unlike most others, so you can hit upwards of power levels of 150. It also massively increases the rate at which power is swapped between your various systems, so you can go from full dakka to full turtle very quickly, or just pump it all into engines for a quick getaway.
Nadion Inversion, unlocked at level 27, means your weapons now cost jack diddly to fire for 30 seconds at max rank. This increases their power immensely, since your power levels aren't bouncing up and down on each individual shot. You are firing more than one weapon, right? This increases their damage, penetration and just raw dakka, so is a lovely thing to have active. It's actual ability before max rank is to reduce energy drain on all systems but, to be honest, you'll be popping cleanses to get rid of those once they appear rather than this 3-minute cooldown monster. There's also a trait that increase Energy Weapon Damage by 15% while it's active.
Miraculous Repairs is the signature Engineer ability and comes in at rank 37. Major hull and shield heal, repairs all your subsystems that have been knocked offline and brings in another set of shields at max rank. This is your OH-SWEET-HEAVENLY-Q-THE-BORG-ARE-EATING-ME ability. Hit this thing just before your transfer all power to the engines and switch off Threatening Stance to leg it. You can (and might actually want to depending on level / playstyle) slot a trait to reduce the cooldown by a lot when you take damage.
At rank 47, we get the lovely, lovely Engineering Fleet. Everyone in the team gets a nice bump to damage resistance, hull regen, hull capacity and power levels. Doesn't stack with other Engineering Fleets and has a whopping 5 minute cooldown. Like every Fleet Ability, this isn't super powerful but hits everyone in the team and it is mandatory to hold onto until the boss fight unless the level lasts more than the cooldown.
And lastly, but definitely not leastly, at level 63 comes the Engineer's ultimate space ability, Intrusive Energy Redirection. This pushes the enemies within 5km away from you a little and leeches their Weapon and Auxiliary Power levels. You also get a 15% DPS boost. Even without any enemies to leech from this is nice, but since you're likely in the thick of the enemy swarm, you do more damage and they do less. Nasty as all heck.
All in all, Engineer abilities emphasise your ability to take damage while being in the thick of things. If you're not inside the enemy fleet scaring them all to death, you're not doing it right.
Engy Abilities: Groundpounding Edition
On the ground, it's a different story. Unlike in your ship, your actual Captain is in no way able to go toe-to-toe with a Ghorne Berzerker (BLOOD FOR THE LIZARD GOD!), but what you do excel at is area denial and domination. All abilities last 30 seconds, except the obvious one.
Just like in space, babies first ability is a shield heal. At level 4, you get Reroute Power To Shields. Does exactly what it says, restores shields, reduces damage to them and, at higher levels, can even Expose the enemies shooting you. Nice tanking ability for solo play and useful in TFO's to survive that Borg Queen's plasma burst.
I hate this next ability. Not on my Captain, but on any Bridge Officer. Cover Shield arrives at level 14 and, once per minute, puts down a stationary, solid energy barrier that blocks all fire and line of sight. It has a truckload of health and will, absolutely will, be put down by a Bridge Officer in such a way as to block off a whole corridor so that you are on one side with the enemy and everyone else is one the other side. Used by you, on the other hand, it's a useful way to make generators live more than five seconds and also to duck behind when fire gets too intense.
Level 24 sees you gain the ability to call in a Support Drone every two minutes. This useful little thing will hover next to you or another player/Bridge Officer and help them by attacking, healing shields and repairing downed systems. Such a good little guy. If you're fighting on the ground, get the DOff that lets you beam in two more, you end up nigh-unkillable.
Hello there, only ability that doesn't last 30 seconds, I didn't notice you come in at level 34. Oh, who am I kidding, Orbital Strike is hilarious. Your only damaging ability and holy heck is it a good one! An AoE blast that deals huge (insert race type here) damage with knockback, stun and a runspeed reduction thrown in! And it's an Exploit attack too! I love this thing, but hate the cooldown (three minutes/two minutes at max level).
After Death From Above, Engineering Proficiency might seem a bit of a letdown at level 44, but a solid shield regen and big resistance bump (basically a full MkXII Armour set on top of your armour at max rank) for the whole team is nothing to sneeze at. The 5 minute cooldown hurts it, though.
That's your lot on the ground. Not much in the way of synergy here. It's all bout the kits for an Engineer, but that's outside this basic overview.
Skills, Traits, Specialties and Various Bits and Bobs
Since this is a basic guide, I won't go over the multitude of Traits much. The Reputation Traits are all useful, although I prefer the Omega passive traits and Romulan cloak for the Actives. The trait to reduce Miraculous Repairs, Grace Under Fire, is always useful. The trait to make you invulnerable for 4 seconds when you pop a heal is also godly if you can time your heal right before an alpha strike.
For Skills, I put enough in Engineering to get all three Ultimates, Long-range Targeting in Science, some minor damage bumps in Tactical and the rest is flavour. This is absolutely the wrong thing to to do, but I like how tanky I am. There are other people who will tell you the meta builds.
As you are a Engineering Captain in space, you will have a predeliction for beam boats.This is purely so you can zoom into the middle of a clump of enemies, pop Threatening Stance and Beam: Fire At Will and watch everything want to kill you, then be unable to due to your tankiness. Once that's on cooldown, and if the Tactical captains have left anything alive, either pop it again off a different Officer, or Beam Overload if you're up against a single target. Bridge Officer shield and hull heals are good complements to round out your survivability, with cleanses being the best. Torpedo strikes can be fun, but beams are your friend and cannons are for Tactical captains.
For me, I tank until low health, then either heal and go invulnerable from the trait or go invincible from Rock And Roll (the Pilot ability), then pop the Romulan reputation Cloak, switch off Threatening Stance and bounce out of there. Rinse and repeat, in the name of the God-Emperor, of course.
On the ground, get Kit Modules that complement your playstyle. If you like to run and gun... well, you should have gone Tactical but you can get some use out of Weapon Malfunction, Quick Fix, Fuse Armour, Sabotage and the like. More static players will find a bunch of generators, mines, mortars and turrets to stand behind and cackle. Anything that can pin something in place long enough to drop an Orbital Strike on is fun to combo off of. If it can Expose them too, you can evaporate them in one go.
Engineers in space are tanky boxes of HP and shields just on their own, but on the ground utterly require decent Kits due to the scattergun nature of their abilities.