Rifles are kinda meh

I just noticed that going Hammer + Pistol means you get buffs from Hammer PLUS buffs from Pistol, but going Rifle you only get buffs for that single Rifle.

This seems to be the case with any class that can dual-wield or equip one handers and a shield, which begs the question…

What’s the point of a lame 2-hander if 1-handers are gonna give you even better stats?

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The buffs you get from one-handed and off-handed weapons are half the amount of a two hander weapon so it evens out and even better them cuz you dont have to waste money on 2 weapons.
Also skills with rifle use Weapon Skill/Accuracy while hammer + pistol uses Weapon skill/Focus. And the greater difference is that with a rifle you can start attacking from range and even attack through obstacles.
So rifles are not meh they are equal and if not superior to hammers, and meant to be used with Powder smith skills.

I didn’t know that dual wielding only gave you half the stats of weapon, which the game never states (so much for making informed decisions, especially if they’re permanent)

Also, rifles shoot through obstacles? You mean like walls? I can’t even shoot with a barricade between me and my target in Marienburg, so what are you talking about? I have to step aside before my character starts shooting. Hell, I can go up top of some stairs and enemies will MELEE me from the ground. If anything that sounds like a bug.

Reminds me of the Shadow Warrior I reported once. He was stealthed inside the front gates of Reik Fortress and he was shooting mobs THROUGH THE WALLS all the way outside the fort. Like, waaaaaay outside the fort. Shit like that is too much.

In any case, combat feels like a very, very slow slugfest, except you’re the only one getting slugged. My lv19 engineer is literally hardstuck because I can’t kill anything my level in Drakwood. And even lv12 wolves with 2 skulls take 200+ off my HP for 1xp point. Combat feels incredibly unrewarding.

I don’t think I’m getting that lv20 anytime soon. Probably gonna stop playing.

Well my first big kill was on the wastelands beach side where you need to kill the leader + 2 more pirates in early game. I only managed to do that by distracting all of them with the turret while killing the pirates 1 by one as fast as i could and next i had the leader chase me around the boat and shooting him while he tried to figure how to get around. Later in drakwood i was able to shoot through big rocks and some obstacles you cannot cross over, wich lets me land 2 to 3 full normal attack combos before enemies reach me.

And about your problem on the progress, yes engineers have very low defense thats why they give you options for stun shot, taunt turret or flash grenade. You just need to figure what to get for your class specialization.
For me i picked concusive shot, cuz i was going for powdersmith and maxed stuns duration later on i got focus fire to get faster kills and now i am geared well enough were i can solo 2-3 mobs 2 skulls my lvl and win.
You also need to try and keep your weapons and armor updated as much as u can and stat your character the right way. Try to get gear with the stats u need too so keep checking the shops or auction often.
Other than that the main thing about engineers is that it feels like you NEED to use battle tactics to survive all the time and to manage that you gotta know what skills to use when and how to use them in fights.