[Engineer] Froob Engineer Manual: The Early Days

Updated March 12, 2019.

I wrote this guide to help people get started on the game after leaving Arete. Much of the content may be found scattered around the web. I’ve simply updated old, obsolete information and collected it into one easy to use portable ebook. If you’ve no interest in playing engineer, you may still benefit from general game information such as how store roll-over timers function or how RK mission sliders like the chaos setting influence your mission experience.

There’s so much to know and discover in AO and hope that this guide helps ease people into a fun gaming experience- because AO is really fun and different.

Jacket cover hack by Higain.
Original Bauhaus cover art by a Soviet constructivist whose name I cannot locate.


I maintain download versions of Epub and Kindle at the very awesome internet archive website. Users may view the complete book at internet archive or download a copy.


Do you have anything in there on how to handle pet aggro? I can’t get to 80 because my pet with a thorns shield, reflection shield, slow aura, aggression trimmer, AND a taunt trimmer still can’t hold aggro. I get that they needed pets to generate passive aggro on the owner back when /pet hunt was still around, but nowadays it’s just the one thing that makes me genuinely HATE my engineer. At least an MP can survive forever with summoned shields and a heal pet, but my big, tanky robot can’t do its damn job and keep things angry at it.

Also, is it possible to see a pdf version?

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If you use the Firefox browser then this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/epubreader/

Microsoft’s Edge browser has a native ePub reader. Adobe has a free epub reader. The free Icecream ereader works just fine. And if those options fail, then try https://beebom.com/best-epub-reader-windows/

Level 80, eh? Are you getting mobbed in Foreman’s? At your level damage starts to get real. No more Disneyland mobs for you! This is where new arrivals get stuck and quit the game. They get through ToTW just fine, but then stuff gets hard. This is why I compiled the info in the book. To get you over this hump.

The taunt trimmers don’t work (it’s in my little book). Things would be too easy if you could just click a trimmer and then sit back and watch your bot maul a dungeon. No one would ever need an enforcer to hold aggro for us if our trimmers were 80%+ effective. Follow my drift? Okay.

I assume your Positive-aggressive trimmer is QL90+ and that your armor is QL80 at least. Carbonum? should be QL100 for you right now. Not ratty old QL40 stuff :stuck_out_tongue: Same with belts, NCU, treatment library etc etc. If it’s not QL100 then it’s old.

Are your implants current? I mean to say at least QL80+? They should be QL100 -120ish.

You’re not a nanomage (heh). You’ve set your agg-def slider to max defensive since you’re getting beaten on? You’ve maxed Body Development? You’ve got Close Combat 90% max and Dodge Ranged at 70%+ max? Duck Explosions? Leave this one alone. Few RK mobs use shotguns and grenade launchers. Are you using the best HP/Pool stim possible for your level? Left hand has +first aid cluster? What about the old school White Health chargers? You can use those while the bot does hold aggro - just gotta sit and charge quickly (not the black/gray battle chargers)

Using; Blinds - Disruptive Photon Deflector? Add All Off debuff?
Using: +ATK - Enhance Combat Array or whatever upgrade the level lock allows? I mean, you know that buff line is our best bot buff.

You know you can use Jobe clusters in precisely QL100 implants? Not QL101. QL100. You want to use AddAllDef clusters to reduce mob damage. Also use +experience Jobe clusters. Again, the JOBE implants must be exactly QL100 because of an odd quirk in game conventions.

Your bot is what level? Should be whatever OE allows for when the Moch/wrangle in your NCU fade. Preferably always have Moch in NCU. Bot should be QL100-120 or better.

You want to farm stuff you need - right now. Biomech helm and cloak. Stalker Helm. Repairman’s hat. Head Skinchip: temperature modification; Buff armors from team mission bosses You gotta farm this stuff. Dailies and dungeon drops just won’t be enough to get you into form.

Part of the fun of the game is we can build really good characters without being forced into dungeon raiding nonsense like in EQ or WoW. YOU can make an awesome Engineer. Read my little book!

I appreciate all of the tips, but I was really just griping over a mechanic that was added when people used to afk farm XP with a feature that was removed from the game. I ended up spending most of my time in Under Archbile sitting around a wall letting my bot kill Hecklers. I do admit; I love your enthusiasm on this subject. People like you are what this community needs to keep new players in the game. Thank you!

(Also thank you for mentioning the epub reader addon.)

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Really like the Personal service towers section, probably one of the most under used nifty doodads in-game next to the adventurer nano versions. :+1:

Good read even for non engineers.


For some unknown reason I thought you were a new arrival - despite your referencing old rulesets - eh, sorry.

I tried to make the ebook display look best when viewed at the size of a paperback book. Viewing the book as if it were a webpage/browser may make things look rather poor (stretched images and odd sentence breaks), but I’m can’t say that for certain. It looks okay in MS Edge, Adobe and Icecream. Kindle is much more rigid as far as displaying content - and things look okay in the kindle version of the book guide despite my ignoring Amazon Kindle Rules :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks Nadiao. The ebook is a compilation of Hiorbit’s stuff, wiki pages and my game experience. A friend and I used the Advy landmines early in the game. Funny stuff watching mobs trigger the things as they chased us to and fro.

I’d like to see someone parse the L220 cyborg PST damage. I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Plus the 220 tower version HoT may not be Crashcart - but it stacks with every HoT buff which really is nice. (i should add that HoT bit to the book)

We set three or four QL220 towers and then pull QL200-225 Pumpkinheads into our tower Triangle of Death/Kill Box. Hilarity ensues.

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[quote=“Higain, post:3, topic:15330, full:true”]

You’re not a nanomage (heh). [/quote]

It’s funny you mention that. I’ve just returned after a couple of years hiatus, and have spent the last week making new toons, re-learning the interface, finding out where the whompas go, where the veteran’s terminal was moved to, etc.

So I wasn’t quite ready to play my level 181 engineer, who was semi-abandoned the last time I played because she is so squishy even when had a better handle on the game.

Of course, she’s a nanomage.

I’ve got enough Funcom points to do a breed change. Almost enough to buy the instant 200 thing. But then considered that it would be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Plus if I could get semi-competent, it probably wouldn’t be so daunting to get those levels myself.

So I was wondering if a breed change would help? Her armor is mostly Miy’s Nano armor, QL 214-245, which was a stretch for even the nanomage to equip the higher QL ones (at the time I acquired them, which was long ago), but I have Luxurious armor from a previous annual sub bonus. Symbiants mostly, but many out of date due to serious mudflation since the last time I played her, and since I’m soloing, little chance of acquiring upgrades on my own. I’ve got enough IP to get nanoprogramming up to 1108 unbuffed (and without special implants for NP, which I have), so I’ll probably take a look at replacing some of low QL symbiants with home made implants.

Hmm, I’m starting to think my way out of this, just by explaining it to you, thanks much! I definitely need to look into making new implants before I decide to do a breed change.

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As subscriber I wouldn’t breed change. Even as a froob it’s not a bad choice, just a bit more tricky on implant builds for new arrivals. Dailies of all the various types will get you to 200 pretty fast. I’d not use any item store points until you’ve got fully reacquainted with the game - and then make informed choices. I did the same thing as you and spent points - and regretted it - because those points had better uses than what my impatience did with them. I’m more of a sandbox player than leveling type. So there’s that to consider.

Get the Nomad armor pieces you really need - such as the shoulder pads. In fact, farm all of that stuff hardcore using the engie for any froob accounts you may have ( roll up new accounts and toons). Subscriber or froob, that gear comes in handy. Otherwise wait until Halloween.

Thanks much for the response! After posting that, I took her out for a spin, and it wasn’t as bad as I remembered, at least running RK solo missions, where you rarely have to fight more than 2 mobs. SL was rough because I’d easily get over-whelmed by sheer numbers. SL seemed to be designed for groups than RK, although do-able solo if you take your time and even back up due to the fast respawn rate. : /

I think you’re right about not making any irrevocable decisions when I still can’t even travel effectively without studying maps.

I haven’t tried any of the Nomad stuff because I detest conflict with other players, but I’ll check it out.

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Get a low QL Aggression enhancer from a basic shop. It can be used to pull just one mob from a pack from a distance without aggroing the others. Works wonders when pulling in SL.

Nowadays you can find those even on the new newbie area, Arete Landing from the Second Hand Peddler vendor which is where i always get one for my new toons. It’s a must have tool for everyone.

oh, that looks like just what I need for SL, thanks!

In my little book:

  • General nano formula terminal:
  • Enmity: Angers the target, making it more likely to attack.
  • Range: 35 meters. Better distance than the AE clicky


Ya know, come to think of it, that might not be good for my skinny lil…nanomage. Like telling my pets, “Watch this you all!”

I’ve actually never used the Enmity nano, but i have used other single taunt nanos on the professions that have them like MA, enfo and soldier. And you just can’t pull with a single taunt. Try to pull one from a pack with a taunt nano and the whole pack comes to greet you.

I don’t remember what the range for AE is, but i know that it’s long enough. If you can see the mob you want to pull, AE will reach it. And it will not aggro adds unless you stand too close.

Also by using a very low QL AE, like QL1-5, you won’t actually taunt your target and your pet will instantly get the aggro off your back when you sent it to attack.

Enmity taunt value is quite low too so it doesn’t really keep aggro either unless you spam it, but if it works like other single taunts in the game, it will pull adds.

I guess the only downside to using AE is that it takes one inventory slot. You don’t have to equip it.

Thanks for the info! AE it is.

My actual main point being? I have a section in my book on social body pulling using NF Enmity and line of sight tricks. But no one seems to actually want to read a little book guide. I find that bit really odd. I was talking to a guy who owns an independent book store and he told me people just don’t read nowadays. Generally speaking - they’ll watch hour upon hour of lets play videos and listen to podcasts, but they won’t read a stitch.

Back to the taunt thingy. As a game AO doesn’t require precise pulling technique - not like Everquest (and WoW to a lesser extent.) So people just kinda bull their way through content. The problem really happens on like what Liralen experienced - repops. Shadowlands dungeons like Tinkers at Ely Shell Beach is like that. You just gotta constantly move forward and watch for repopping content behind.

The taunt values:

Enmity; Effects: ----------- On Use —Taunt Target — 50

QL01 Aggression Target: On Use — Taunt Target — 25
QL10 Aggression Target: On Use — Taunt Target — 60

Just for the record - I read all the time, but prefer to read books on my Nook or phone, curled up somewhere comfy, but not sitting at my desk where my gaming PC is. The ergonomics are much more pleasant on the former rather than the latter, so I haven’t bothered to install add-ons to read yet another format, on a machine that’s dedicated to gaming. However, come to think of it, my new laptop which came with Win10 (ugh) probably has Edge, unless I uninstalled it along with all the other junk that came with it.

I choose Nook over Kindle with eyes wide open because I want brick and mortar book stores to survive. I knew full well when I made that decision that Barnes and Nobles can’t compete with Amazon. I love books that much. I have 12 bookcases in my house, and need more, although the Nook has helped a lot.

I’m also averse to downloading files and apps ■■■■■ nilly. I’ve only just recently allowed Acrobat to be installed, because I hate Adobe and the way it forces Flash to be installed. I’ll probably uninstall them again soon.

I may be lazy and paranoid, but I do read a lot and I don’t watch a lot of videos. ; )

I do appreciate your help here. It was daunting coming back after several years, so I’ve spent the last week or so playing brand new toons to help me get acclimated in an environment that was designed to do exactly that. I took your advice, looked for weak spots in my gear and upgraded them, then late last night tried the Nomad content. It took me a bit to figure out where to go, primarily because I couldn’t remember which of the zones was appropriate for my engineer. Of course, it was the last zone I checked, Mort, which has Nomads from 151-199. It was pretty easy so I could probably handle higher level stuff, but not the high end, so having to filter the mobs would slow me down, since all I was trying to do was complete the quest. Little did I know that you don’t really complete it. ; )

Better still, I was the only person in the zone at 3 am EST, so no player conflicts!

Thank you again, so much!

Edited note: That filter is funny.

Another edited note: Funny coincidence, I was taking a break from off loading a bookcase that’s blocking an electrical outlet on a circuit that has two others not working (but not all of them, weird) and found not one, but two copies of this Anarchy Online Official Strategy & Secrets, a result of getting married to, and hence combining households with, another former Anarchy Online player.

Oh, and another thing, then I’ll quit, I promise. I stole my username from my favorite fantasy book: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

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I always wonder where people get thier handles/nicknames. I wasn’t picking on you about reading. It’s just the general trend. I know lots of people actually do read books. The indie book re-seller in my town is doing okay despite the general downturn in book sales.

You cannot remove microsoft edge from Windows 10. MS simply won’t allow it. hah. Not like google/apple and facebook et al aren’t any better - all are tracking our phone conversations and names and browsing history and music habits and contacts.

Heh, I meant removing Edge ; ) And yeah, that’s why I refused the free upgrade offer. I’d rather pay the penalty of buying a new OS later in order to keep Win7 for a few more years.

So, as you expected, Edge is still on my laptop despite my attempts to scrub it clean (DFE, if you saw the movie Anon), although not the default and I never use it. But I downloaded the book and have been reading it. By the way, there was a deceptive pop-up at MediaFire, advocating digital liberty, if that isn’t some irony. “Support our cause!” or some such, with a “continue” button that would appear to be “continue to the download” if you weren’t reading it, and no “X” to close it, although I could make it lose focus by clicking elsewhere. Then saw that Chrome reported “pop-up blocked”. : /

The pop-up devs probably intended the irony, but rude behavior shouldn’t be rewarded with attention.

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