Here is adoomgod's build article for the Engineer class. Again, this discussion was made during beta stage, but I believe it's still applicable.
Again sorry for the wall-of-text, spoiler tags not working for me...
Torchlight II Build Diversity: The Engineer
Welcome to part 4 of my build diversity builds! This time around we're covering the Engineer! The Engineer is a very strong class, especially given the new skills added at PAX. There is a build on every page for you to enjoy. I've been considering doing a part 5 where I discuss each of the mechanics in Torchlight 2 and what I think about them/advise about them. If you think that's a good idea or have feedback on my builds, pleas do comment. Enjoy!
Clarification on "stat ratio." It's not complicated. A 2:1 strength to dexterity ratio means for every 2 points you put in strength, put 1 point in dexterity. So at 100 points into strength you'll have put 50 in dexterity. A 3:1 ratio means 3 points in one stat, 1 point in the other.
The Engineer has more tankiness than I can handle. I really like how clear cut the tank skills, so for this one build I am going to show you precisely how I'm building my tank engineer with exactly 150 skill points. I will also highlight other skills that I think could be alternatives. This build is scary, as the Engineer can have both survivability and damage without much effort.
I'm going to put 15/15 points into this ASAP. It's a rather brilliant skill. It gives you a chance on hit to gain a 10 second buff to your damage and while it's active you gain more charge. The damage is great to contribute to DPS and the charge will let you use your tanky-charge-consuming skills.
Sword and Board:
15/15 this skill. At rank 1 it adds 20% of your shield's armor to your melee damage. At rank 15 it'll add 90% of your shield's armor. That's nothing to scoff at, as one handed weapons hit for less than 2 handed weapons, but faster, so any damage bonus they receive greatly helps their DPS. This also will benefit from Supercharge.
Fire and Spark:
15/15 this even though it's not a tank skill. You have plenty of tank skills and this will give you 90% more fire and lightning damage when maxxed. This is rather significant and is a good way to make sure you can kill even as a tank since most of your skills are fire and lightning based. Remember a good offense is part of having a good defense. It'll give your Seismic Slams more "Oomph." Replace this with Charge Reconstitution if you want to be completely tanky.
I may 15/15 this as I feel the need. Every rank gives you 2% more physical armor and ALSO reduces physical damage taken by 2%. Tying a % damage reduction to your flat reduction is unbelievable, but note that this only works on physical damage, which is why I may keep it at 10.
Aegis of Fate:
15/15 this skill as it will turn mobs into your friends. It gives you a chance on being hit to gain a bubble of defense that is basically your armor value multiplied + a flat amount. It also gives knockback resistance which could be helpful against enemies that push you around. At 15/15 you have a 16% chance on being hit to cast it. that doesn't sound like much but think about this: While it's active you still take hits which count towards activating it. What I mean is that it can recast itself while it's active, so it really has good mitigation. This also benefits from the Bulwark ability.
I'm going to put 15/15 into this little guy as soon as I can. Every rank improves the amount of healing and the rate at which it casts it's healing wave, at 5/15 it also restores mana to you and your allies, and at 10/15 and 15/15 it gives a physical armor boost. Plus he's just adorable. I'll name him Sam.
15/15 this is how you will spend your charge and keep you and all your allies alive. This skill is just amazing. It spends all of your charges (up to 5) to give you a bubble that absorbs a flat amount of damage. Not only that but each charge also reduces the damage the bubble takes by 5%, so if you use all 5 charges it gives you 150% of the absorption amount, and all damage it takes is reduced by 25%. It also gives all your allies, you, your pet, your friends, your friends pets, as well as your and your friends summons 1/2 of the shield. It gets better: at 5/15 it cost 20% less mana and it's cast animation is 20% faster. At 10/15 your allies get the FULL shield instead of 1/2. At 15/15 it costs 50% less mana and you cast is 50% faster. Why do you care about your cast animation speed? Well it means you don't need as good reflexes to cast it right before a boss' strongest attack.
15/15 this skill. At 15/15 it has a 90% chance to stun for 3.8 seconds and will deal 12.5x your shield's armor in damage. It also lowers enemy attack speed and deals an additional 10% damage for every charge you have, WHILE generating charge per hit. That means the more you use it the harder it hits.
15/15 this. At tier 3 (15/15) it has a 60% reduced mana cost, and the cool part about this skill is that each spider mine has a chance to upgrade into causing a bigger explosion that stuns enemies for 2 seconds. The stun is tanky, but also think of this: if you know a harder battle is coming up, or if there was some elite monsters that were too hard for you to jump in and handle, summon up 10 of these guys and then try again. It's great for initiating.
I'm going to put 10/15 into this skill. The chance to stun is pretty good, and the best part is it's in an AOE. Reaching tier 2 (10/15) makes the radius 8 meters which is rather large. Basically you can Onslaught in for a huge speed debuff then start slamming and you will completely demolish any swarm of foes.
I'm going to put 5/15 into this skill. Not for the dps but it gives you a leap attack that slows enemy movement/cast/attack speed by a crazy 50%. At tier 5 this will last 6 seconds and cost 20% less mana. This will make this a good long lasting debuff. You could put more points into it, but if so I recommend picking 5,10, or 15 for the mana cost reductions per tier.
It heals you whenever you use a skill that uses charge. This is pretty cool as it turns your forcefield into not just a defensive skill but a recovery skill as well. The reason why I did not get this skill is because I felt that I already had enough defensiveness already and more healing might as well be overkill. I see two options here: Reduce Seismic Slam to 5/15 and put 5 in this, or remove some or all of Fire and Spark and put those points into this. This MAY be better than Aegis of Fate, but the thing is this build only really expends charge on Forcefield, and I'd try to only use Forcefield when I'm at max charge which means I wouldn't be using this heal that often.
Decent skill. Deals fire damage based on your shield's armor as well as some physical damage. This benefits from Fire and Spark, as it'd receive 90% more damage, and I think it's fire damage over time might stack which is dangerously good. It also can spend one charge to triple it's physical damage and make it's blast range larger. Not only that but it's tier bonuses are amazing: 5/15 it's fire damage over time goes from over 3 seconds to 5, scaling over the 5 seconds. That is to say that if it did 300 damage over 3 seconds, it'd become 500 damage over 5 seconds. This makes stacking easier and just deals more damage period. At 10/15 it's damage arc (range) is increased, and at 15/15 targets take 50% more fire damage during the 5 second burning!! This is a great alternative to shield bash but DOES NOT generate charge, which is why I didn't get it.
This skill is a electric AOE centered around your character that interrupts and generates charge per enemy hit. As it goes through it's 3 tiers it's range increases, from 5 meters at tier 0 to a crazy 11 meters at tier 3. It also receives an increased interrupt chance per tier, reaching a crazy 110% (that is not a typo) at tier 3, meaning you will ruin casters in a huge AOE. This is a cool alternative to shield bash. It benefits from Fire and Spark and will probably generate a lot more charge. I didn't get it because has a crazy good stun and deals more damage per charge without spending charge. This is for AOE and shield bash is for single target.
I like this skill more for fun than tanking. It slows enemies but 1. you can't control it, and 2. it can only slow 3 at a time, or 6 at tier 1. It looks nice but if you are playing with people they should have plenty of slows at their disposal, I prefer my stuns and defense. I don't think this skill is reliable enough during big fights.
Coup De Grace:
I know you're thinking, "Doom with all that stun, Coup De Grace's bonus damage to stunned enemies would be terrific and it benefits from Fire and Spark." Well first of all this skill is based on your strength, and you'll be focusing on Vitality and Dexterity. Second of all this is a tank build not an offensive build but if you want to be a more dpsy tank go for it. It also requires that you use a melee weapon so your AOE stuns won't proc it.
Alternative Skill Build
Remove Sword and Board
, Shield Bash
, and Supercharge
and replace them with Dynamo Field
, Charge Reconstitution
and Fire Bash.
Your new way to attack is to Onslaught into a crowd, use a couple Seismic Slams to stun them, then use Dynamo Field to get max charge for Forcefield. Use more Dynamo Fields to get charge so you can start decimating enemies with Fire Bash, which will heal you as you cast it because of Charge Reconstitution.
This build is a more offensive tank and might actually be better than my other tank build. It'll take a little more thought though. Also, this build removed the benefits to your basic attack so you will basically be dependent on fire bash for damage output, and I don't know if your mana can hold up.
An alternative to this alternative is to remove Spider Mines instead of Supercharge. This will lower your stun and preparation before a battle, but means you can fall back on your basic attack to do damage and gain charge if your mana cops out. This may actually be the greatest build for partying in TL2, but it will take some thought on how you approach enemies in order to maximize it's effectiveness.
For the first version of the tank build it's a pretty straight forward Vitality/Dexterity build, for block and dodge. I'd do a 2:1 ratio Vitality to Dexterity. Once you start getting heavy diminishing returns turn to Strength. For the alternative version of the build, which I also really like, You'd want to do a 2:1 Vitality and Focus distribution, for block and elemental damage. As soon as you start getting heavy diminishing returns on them, distribute into dexterity, then strength.
Melee Weapon and Shield are a given. I believe all maces have a chance to interrupt, if you care, but just use whatever weapon gives you the most defense. That means life/mana steal on hit, chance to stun etc.
Affix wise you want to stack armor and try to be particularly hungry for elemental resistances. Your Engineer gets soooo much armor from his skills but 0 (none, nada, zilch) bonuses to elemental resistances, so use items to plug up this hole in your defense. Health is always good to stack as well. Cast Speed can't hurt so you can Shield Bash faster. +% damage is always good if it isn't to the detriment of your survival.
I think if you find a socketable with + a flat armor amount, not % armor, and put it on your shield it will benefit the sword and board skill. Test it out, and if it does than this is great.
For the Alternative build you still want armor, resistances, and health but also try to find +fire and +lightning % damage affixes. +% cast speed is also useful since it's a dps tank build based on skills.
For the main build you want to find Armor Expertise, Block, Heal Self, and Adventurer. Why not use Draining Touch instead of Adventurer? Well as a tank you won't be hitting that fast and you'll be focusing on casting spells for defense, Adventurer gives you increased potion effectiveness which will allow you to make the most of both your mana and health potions. If elemental enemies are really messing you up consider swapping out Heal Self for Elemental Protection. I really think you should keep Adventurer as it will keep you leveled above the zone your in and potions offer you consistent restoration while Heal Self has a hefty cool down. Place Armor Expertise and Block on your pet if they stack with yours, and a Heal All. If they don't stack, then just put Heal All and 3 summons. Summons are very good on Engineers as they benefit from your Heal Bot and Forcefield. They are like mini-tanks and your allies will be grateful. You can't control when your pet summons them, so every time you see them pop up try to cast Forcefield even if you aren't at full charge.
This build is centered around using a 2 handed hammer to deliver the punishment. I will also do a 150-skill-point build here, and mention alternatives and how theyíd fit in.
(yes, 6 passives, they really bring the pain)
15/15 Gives +2% attack speed and +2% chance to stun for 3 seconds with basic attacks per skill rank. Thatís +30% attack speed and 30% chance to stun, which is rather amazing. If you can find a 2 handed weapon with +% chance to stun it should stack nicely.
Coup De Grace:
15/15 This makes you deal electric damage when you hit stunned targets = to your strength multiplied by an increasing number per rank. Considering that Strength and electric damage are a big aspect of 2 handed Engineers, this is no brainer. This works great with Heavy Lifting.
Fire and Spark:
15/15 As discussed in previous builds this will give you +90% fire and lightning damage, which is basically all your 2 handed skills and it affects Coup De Grace.
15/15 Chance to get bonus damage and charge for your charge bar every time you smack an enemy. This is self explanatory.
15/15 Every time you kill an enemy you have a chance to fill your charge bar, which will allow you to utilize your main attack spell to its full potential more often.
15/15 Every time you spend charge you get healed, it scales to your level and the amount of skill points you invest in this. It will work great with all the charge you accumulate from Super Charge and Charge Domination.
15/15 This is your charge spender. It consumes 1 charge whenever you have it available to create 2 additional blasts forward, increasing this skillís range and AOE. It deals a significant portion of your weapon dps as fire damage and has an increasing chance per point to burn enemies. As it tiers up it releases more flames per blast that travel farther and farther per tier. You this will also keep you healed because of Charge Reconstitution. This skill benefits from Fire and Spark. Use this against non-fire enemies.
15/15 No melee class can survive well on elite without some support. Not only will this little guy heal you and your allies periodically, but at 5/15 it also restores mana, and at 10 and 15/15 it boosts your armor. The best part is that he never seems to expire.
10/15 You swing your hammer in a 270 degree arc dealing a significant portion of your weapon dps as electric damage. Not only does this skill benefit from Fire and Spark, but it has a 100% chance to break shields! At tier 2 (10/15) it deal 10% more damage per charge you have, so a maximum of 50%. This skill does not spend nor gain charge so itís a great alternative to Flame hammer. Use this against non-lightning enemies. I keep this at 10 so itís mana cost isnít too high and so I have 5 points to put into other skills.
10/15 This attack deals fire damage based partially on your dps, and partially just on innate damage scaled to your level and points invested. It also has a 100% interrupt chance and deals additional fire damage over time. I mainly want this skill because it has a greater chance of stunning than Heavy Lifting grants, and it does so in a large AOE. At 10/15 itís range has increased from 4 meters to 8. The stun is important so you can follow up with attacks proccing your Coup De Grace. I leave it at 10 to keep the mana cost reasonable, as itís not my main attack, and so I have 5 points to spend in Onslaught.
5/15 This skill is great for leaping into a Mob, debuffing them, and then following up with Seismic Slam for AOE stuns. I donít use this for the damage, but for the fact that at 5/15 itís 50% attack/cast/movement speed debuff will last 6 seconds. Also at 5/15 itís mana cost is reduced 20% making this a cheap escape skill with no cooldown.
5/15 This skill launches you forward, knocking back enemies and discharges 3 electrical bolts. The beauty here is that each enemy hit, up to a maximum of 5, regenerates 5% of your mana. I keep it at 5 to keep itís mana cost low, and to get the tier 1 bonus which causes 6 bolts to discharge instead of 3.
I really donít see the other skills as worth mentioning for this specialized build. So simply consider removing some points from the passives to buff up certain skills. Charge Reconstitution is the best place to take from if youíre looking to just focus on DPS.
Iím probably going to use Strength and Dexterity at a 3:1 ratio. So every four levels I get Iíll spend 3 on strength and 1 on dexterity. As I get higher leveled and I start getting diminishing returns on strength Iíll switch to a 2:1 and eventually 1:1 ratio. I will also dabble in focus to get more mana, mana regen, and elemental damage as both Strength and Dexterity start returning less and less.
You can dabble in vitality to equip armor earlier, as itíll make your life a lot easier, but hardcore dpsíers will just grind for the level requirement. Itís a question of do you want to be more powerful immediately or in the long run.
Well 2 handed hammers, greatswords, or polearms are clearly the way to go.
Affixes you want are increased attack speed, +% damage, +% fire and lightning damage, and the rare +% charge. Obviously if youíre too squishy stack hp and resistances. If life on hit procs for every target hit by your swing it could also be very valuable. This build is pretty straightforward item wise. Donít be afraid of items that grant strength, focus, and dexterity either.
What you REALLY want is items that significantly increase your crit chance and crit damage. At lower levels forget about crit damage as you wonít even be critically striking frequently enough, focus on critical strike chance. At higher levels though when your dexterity is up and you find critical strike chance on gear, critical damage will make you insane.
You want Martial Weapons Expertise, Elemental Overload, Dervish, and Elemental Protection (the last is really necessary on elite). Also consider Draining touch instead of Martial Weapons Expertise if it procs for every target hit by your basic attack. On your pet put a heal all, zombies, and whatever else floats your boat. Iíd actually suggest icebolt if itís in TL2 to help you slow enemies down. Anything that keeps you alive really.
15/15 This is particularly amazing on Cannons because it will give you a cone of stunning, your allies will love you. Gives +2% attack speed and +2% chance to stun for 3 seconds with basic attacks per skill rank. Thatís +30% attack speed and 30% chance to stun, which is rather amazing. If you can find a 2 handed cannon with +% chance to stun it should stack nicely.
Fire and Spark:
15/15 IF Fusillade and/or Blast Cannon deal fire damage for the +90% fire and lightning damage. Otherwise you can leave this at 0.
and Aegis of Fate:
These two tanky skills might as well be 15/15 for survivability, though itís not necessary. You donít have many cannon skills so you have options.
15/15 Cannon skill number 1. This launches a long range projectile, which is a useful alternative to your short range basic attack. It deals much more damage than your weapon dps and at 15/15 it gains a 75% chance to blind for 4 seconds, causing enemies to miss you and your other summons.
15/15 I have a feeling this skill has a faster cast animation than Blast Cannon, if not you might want to skip it completely. At 5/15 it releases 3 rockets instead of 2, at 10/15 the rockets detonate granting them AOE, and at 15/15 it releases 4 rockets instead of 2. I say put 1 point into this, and if it doesnít compete with Blast Cannon respec it back to 0.
15/15 for the same reasons as the previous builds. This is just a fantastic skill. Heals, restores mana, increases armor.
15/15 These little guys have a chance to stun your enemies, get their mana cost reduced every 5 levels, and have a chance to stun. Summoning 10 of these before entering any serious fight will just help you stay alive.
15/15 This little guy kicked some serious butt in the beta. Every rank after 1 gives him (I named him Bob) 5% more damage for 70% at 15/15. He has amazing tier bonuses, each tier decreases his cooldown and at 5/15 his firing range is doubled, at 10/15 his shots pierce enemies and hit the ones behind them, and at 15/15 he shoots in 3 directions potentially tripling his dps. At 15/15 he can be summoned every 1.5 minutes, meaning you will only ever have to wait 30 seconds before summoning him again.
15/15 because this guy will distract enemies and itíll just be cool to have your full arsenal of bots out. At 5/15 he gets a sweep attack, at 10/15 he gains a smash attack, and at 15/15 he gets to shoot rockets.
If Fire and Spark
doesnít affect your cannon skills, and/or you decide not to get one or both of the tanky passives, then 15/15 Charge Domination
to keep you and your minions alive.
Strength and Dexterity. I donít even want to hear about focus or vitality. Yes focus increases your mana and mana regen but your basic attack is just so useful with Heavy Lifting that if you run out of mana just start left clicking while heal bot and a mana potion refill you.
A cannon, then attack speed, cast speed, critical strike chance and critical strike damage. +% damage / physical damage is always good. Thatís it. You are a ranged dps machine, just focus on killing.
Get ranged weapon expertise, elemental overload if your cannon skills do elemental damage, heal self, armor expertise. On your pet put Heal All, Rumble, and 2 summons for more damage mitigation. As always put another Ranged weapon expertise on your pet if it stacks with your own.