Give Them a Plasma Cutter!

We marines love em’ and we marines need em’, but the role is more under-played than all the rest of the squad roles.

The Combat Technician is in desperate need of a little bit of love, and I think I have just the idea. If you guessed based on the title that I wanted to give them a plasma cutter, then you would have guessed correctly!

How it could work:
The way I have envisioned the plasma cutter is simple, it’s a medium sized item that comes pre-loaded with welding fuel. The plasma cutter has one purpose and one purpose only, to cut down those pesky walls in a timely fashion. The Combat Tech would be able to click on a wall with the plasma cutter and begin a short loading time in which sparks would fly off of the targeted segment of wall (on both sides, to alert that it’s being breached) and then after that time some fuel would be consumed and the single segment of wall would be opened. Hell, the plasma cutter could be used to cut through anything, but walls are the obvious choice. The plasma cutter could be refueled in much the same manner as a welding torch.

  • Important Note: ONLY CTs, and other distinct engineering staff would have the training required to use the plasma cutter. This means not FTLs nor Squad Leaders. It’s important that this distinction is made, because the CTs need something SPECIAL to call their own. Medics can do stuff that the other roles all can’t, but CTs can be directly overshadowed by their counterparts.

Why this is a good idea:
The Combat Tech is currently relegated to building up defenses, placing turrets, and occasionally placing C4 on walls for the squad, but generally they are forced into the first role once the other two are no longer relevant for one of many reasons. This may be fine for some, but many desire more than setting up cades. The plasma cutter would not only give the engineer more utility to play with, but would also allow those that are more interested in building to have another tool to terraform their defenses. The tool would be thematic, interesting, and would make a CT a more coveted squad role for aggressive play rather than just defensive because you can now cut into places that would have otherwise been inaccessible without a plethora of explosives.

This idea isn’t perfect, might require a good amount of coding, and probably would call for some rebalancing of other things in the game, but it helps address an issue I believe is worth addressing. The CT needs more exciting stuff to do, and not just exciting stuff, but dynamic stuff as well. The simplest tools and solutions tend to be the strongest, and giving the CTs a simple tool that can serve a lot of different purposes fits that philosophy nicely.


On defense, I see this as a really nice QoL idea for comtechs, since it’ll be possible to get walls down relatively fast without relying on masterkey spam.

On offense, it would be a cool alternative to explosives, especially considering explosives come with a huge risk of FF during pushes.

Overall, I like to see it as a precision tool as opposed to breachers/C4, etc.

What I suggest is two modes of operation, being:

  • a precision mode, more fuel-efficient and yielding some metal upon completion, at the cost of speed (perhaps have it not fully decon the wall, and instead leave the girder, for better or worse)

  • a more “effective” mode, which cuts faster (perhaps make it possible to decon multiple walls at once in this mode?) at the cost of fuel efficiency, metal drops, and having a more obvious telegraph, allowing users to keep up with rapid pushes


i have concerns about balance, since the only tool that can take down walls quickly and repeatedly is an M5 breaching hammer, which is only limited to a synthetic, and i assume it is for a reason

though i’m not a dev, and the idea sounds cool, so good luck i guess

As Piterskiy says I suspect the ability to quickly remove walls is intended to be a rare or difficult to attain ability.

Synthetics with the M5 breaching hammer have to contend with carrying a cumbersome item that can not be stored anywhere easily as well as the opportunity cost of losing the ability to buy other, useful, synth only items.

I agree that CTs being able to quickly remove walls would help open up firing lanes, but I feel this becomes a distinction between great Engineers and mediocre ones.

Though, I do wish the process of removing a wall/r-wall did not require so much clicking and swapping to different tools. Just make it once action that takes a long time.

Very cool idea. Good call on the balance.

Hello all,

I certainly understand the concerns regarding balance especially when compared to the synthetic’s breaching hammer. With that said, I believe that CTs should be as capable of doing typical combat engineer duties as a synthetic. With this conception of the plasma cutter, the CTs would be limited by their fuel, a limit not imposed on synthetics. CTs can further not perform the various other tasks that synthetics can uniquely perform in the field. I believe it is the CT’s right, by design, to be the premiere breacher, and this would go a long way in making the role more desirable by both the players picking the role and their teammates alike.

There are, of course, other balance issues to consider regarding map mobility, however I do not believe this would drastically alter game balance. There certainly might be more popularized push-points, but this tool will scarcely be able to do anything a breach charge can not. Ultimately this is an aesthetic, quality of life, and mechanical improvement to the CTs, not the marine force as a whole. Rather than the Team Leader placing a breach charge on a wall to quickly get them in, instead he will call for the CT to cut them in; this lets all the roles in a squad have their place.

  • Sidenote: If the balance of the tool is truly and inextricably tied to the synthetic’s hammer, then perhaps the breaching tool could only create a hole, similar to the xeno hole, but for marines. Not what I would want to see, but compromises can be made for the sake of giving the CTs some love.

TGMC engies do have lots of toys including the cutter…

Yeah, the idea itself is good, but balance may be hard considering that you can in fact deconstruct everything you would need a rare ressource or a rather hefty time for in seconds. @ingwe, about that, go play TGMC if you wanna “Woah, reeee, unga at the enemy, nothing else matters, swarm the enemy with SADARs aviable to everyone, reeeee, insta respawn my life doesn’t matter suicide bomb hive, reeeee, insta teleport to FOB from spawn and insta teleport full powergame gear set on spawn reeeee unga at the hive insta respawn teleport back”