My favorite class is the Engineer. Yeah, sure, the Light Assault class is an Auraxian ninja rock star flying through the air and netting mad kills, the Medic is literally bringing your offensive back from the dead, the Infiltrator is dropping dudes at 500 meters like the finger of a vengeful God, and the Heavy Assault and MAX suit are alternatively holding the line or bulldozing it, but I really appreciate the Engineer for the versatility is brings to the table. Since the Engineer is easily my most played class, I figured I'd rap with you a bit about my experience with most supportive teammates on Auraxis.
Way of the Gun
The choice of weapon for an Engineer requires a bit of consideration. The default carbines are all, as a general rule, pretty solid choices. I'm not going to go into specific faction sidegrade carbines, but as a whole it seems like carbines are the least-complained about weapon class in Planetside 2 so if you are happy with using them, there isn't a really big reason to stop. Carbines are certainly decent weapons, but there are specific situations in which Engineers may find there are better options. Engineers frequently find themselves ambushed in close combat, generally when running around repairing things. It is a frustrating situation, and if you find yourself doing a lot of base defenses, you should really consider picking up a shotgun. I prefer the Pandora, the Vanu auto-shotgun with an extended magazine, because I like holding down the trigger until everything dies (which is quite fast) and the Engineer ammo box means the limited ammunition capacity is never a real drawback. Slug ammunition is currently being hyped on various forums, but I don't consider it a real necessity on an Engineer. It offers longer range and eliminates spread, but an Engineer pulling a shotgun to begin with is probably going to be panic-fighting in nose-picking range anyway where some spread might be advantageous.
For longer-range fights, like an Engineer supporting an assault is likely to encounter, the Battle Rifle may be the preferred weapon. The Battle Rifle was introduced quite late in the beta and doesn't actually have a filter category yet (to help you out they are the Vanu Eidolon, NC Warden, and TR's AMR-66) but it is essentially a high-powered semi-auto rifle with a 20 round clip that can be used by both Engineers and Heavy Assaults. For an Engineer tethered to a deployed Sunderer outside a base, dropping ammo boxes and repairing tanks, a Battle Rifle grants you the ability to reach out and touch someone. You're not necessarily going to get one-shot kills, but will contributing significant damage beyond the effective range of your carbine. The battle rifle has its weaknesses in close quarter battle, but with a versatile 4X scope it offers significant advantages at Not Close ranges.
There are of course situations where'd you'd prefer a shotgun in an attack (like 90% of all scenarios within a Biolab) or a battle rifle while on defense, but in general they are my recommendations over any carbine side grade with a long- or short-range specialty. Given the ease in which loadouts can be swapped, especially in the case of the Engineer who is likely to be in a position to visit an infantry terminal, there is no good reason not to use them.
Princess Di Is Literally Rolling Over In Her Grave
Having covered the boring gun talk, lets move on to my favorite weapons: mines. Mines were my favorite weapon in the original Planetside too, and while you can no longer drop mines by the score, they are still effective and fun. The discerning Engineer can pick his terror weapon in one of two flavors, anti-personnel or anti-tank. From a cert perspective, anti-tank mines are the better deal, since the initial unlock grants the engineer a capacity of two mines to the anti-personnel unlock's one. Two mines are sufficient to blow up any ground vehicle in the game so long as they are not equipped with mineguard, and at the present time they can just be thrown under a parked Sunderer while at a full run for a kill. It is very likely that they will be fixed (nerfed) in the future so you can't just use them as more powerful, automatic C4. Anti-personnel mines are powerful enough to kill any non-MAX infantry that steps on it, and offers a fair amount of splash damage as well. It should come as no surprise that the best place to drop mines are generally where someone would have no way to avoid them, so pay attention to these mandatory choke points as you run around. Good examples include the doorway to a generator, on a jump pad or corresponding landing pad, on the entrance to a spawn room when your base is about to get flipped, or in front of the only working infantry console. If you aren't employing your AT mines like a suicide bomber, dropping them on the vehicle spawn ramps or around the garage entrances of a major base is a solid plan. The very limited number of mines you can carry really tends to cramp the dedicated minelayer's style, so you'll have to restrict yourself to only the most likely or useful locations. Good usage of mines takes practice, good positioning, and patience, but there is something funny about booby trapping a base and getting kills minutes after you retreat.
Engineers can also unlock C4, but I don't have much to say about this powerful remote detonated explosive. Engineer C4 works the same was as everyone else's (throw it on a vehicle/spot/MAX and then explode it) but the Engineer, in my opinion, lacks the mobility to really exploit C4 to its greatest potential, like the Light Assault can. That is not to say that the Engineer doesn't have any tricks for C4: the current fad amongst Planetside 2 goons is to create elaborate booby traps with their wide variety of explosives within the spawn rooms of bases which are about to flip, with AT mines and C4 laid out in such a way to ensure maximum explosive coverage and then using anti-personnel mines as the tripwire. Its an amusing use of an enormous amount of Infantry Resources and can on occasion kill a ridiculous number of invaders as they charge in through the shields to finish off the defenders.
I Got Your Spare Batteries Right Here
As satisfying as mines are to use, most of your experience points as an Engineer will be coming from your repair gun and your ammo box. The ammo box is a deployable of limited duration and area of effect range, but within that range it can resupply an apparently infinite amount of infantry with ammunition and give you a handful of XP each time it ticks. While the actual ammo box ability shares a slot with mines and so limits your aptitude for high explosive hilarity, you can nevertheless drop an ammo box by bringing up the MANA Turret tool and pressing the alternate fire button (“B” by default). Consequently, a brand new Engineer with 0 certs can actually deploy two ammo boxes at a time, which is quite handy... especially because I find the MANA turret to be a lot less useful than you'd expect due to its restrictive field of fire and the amount of explosions hurled at one. Technically, the key to getting the most out of your ammo box is to find a group of people who aren't moving much and are shooting non-stop, which is usually a nest of snipers or anti-aircraft infantry like Burster MAXes and ground-to-air Heavy Assaults. However, if you don't want to hang around on top of a hill three hundred meters away with your only action being dropping another box when the first one times out, you can support the front-line grunts as they push at the points. You usually want to stay back from the action after you drop an ammo box near the firing line, repairing MAXes (which is excellent experience in its own right) and generally watching for flanking attempts by Light Assaults and Infiltrators, in which case its nice to have that shotgun handy.
Dressed For Success
Lastly, a few words must be said on the issue of the Engineer suit slot. Actually, only two words: Flak Armor. The rest of the words go to explaining why. Engineers, by their role as a support class, are going to be supporting middling-sized chunks of appetizing experience points. These chunks of XP, be they turrets, an infantry squad, a gaggle of MAXes, or a tank, are going to attract huge numbers of explosions. Dalton rounds, tank cannons, rocket pods, exploding vehicles, good old fashioned grenades, or even some C4 or mine detonations, they are all aimed right at you. Flak armor will help you survive and mitigate damage that would have killed you otherwise, just like it killed all your nearby friends who swore by Nanoweave instead. For the Medic and Engineer especially, flak armor allows you to survive to heal or repair other survivors and rez the rest. In certain situations, you may want to go with the utility pouch for extra explosives, but that's a pretty specific loadout for a pretty specific goal. Whenever you are not laying down minefields and boobytraps, however, you are going to want to be wearing Flak Armor because explosions are seriously everywhere you are going to be.
Even beyond its position as the go-to vehicle driving class, I love the utility the Engineer brings to the table, especially in the big base battles. It suffers a little in direct offense, with its default options being the carbine and the MANA turret, but with judicious application of some Smedbucks the offensive limitations are largely mitigated, and I'd argue that nothing can really touch its ability to sustain an offensive or maintain a defense through blood and fire and that weird alien spunk Vanu guns spew.