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06.14.2018 , 10:59 AM | #2
this is really difficult to do in a forum post as it's really a combination of several little things and practice with 4 dps matchups, which really are a completely different animal from anything else you'll experience in pvp but I will do my best without writing a novel. just so you know I at least vaguely know what I'm doing, my sniper in solo ranked this season has 126 wins and 49 losses which comes to 2100 rating

before anything even happens you need to consider how likely it is their team will go 100% all out on you. this is based on experience, team comps, and even the map a little bit. if they might conceivably heavily focus you it's paramount to not extend out too far and take a position, preferably near your spawn thus forcing the other team to spend as much time and effort as possible to ever engage you in the first place. how far back you hang should be based on your best guess about how likely they are to focus you. placing yourself in a spot to force ranged to get very close to you and/or get really good knockbacks on any melee is also extremely useful and can extend your life enormously (this is heavily map dependent). also, if you know you're being hard focused encourage your team to push up and use their own mezzes, roots, and knockbacks to make the other team work to start attacking you

use of evasion is particularly huge. for example, a decent sniper might mindlessly press evasion when he sees some mercs opening on him, catching their blazing bolts and opening tracer missle. where as a top tier sniper might allow their ballistic dampers and shield probe to eat the opening damage and then pop evasion to catch the 30K auto crit heatseekers that are triggered by that opening blazing bolts and perhaps the railshot coming soon after as well. Other classes though may have heavy burst right from the get go so it may be better to get evasion up early. My point is that how you're going to use evasion is something that should take some forethought, but mostly a lot of practice.

if you're being 3 or 4 man zerged, strongly consider putting the vast majority of your effort into dying as slowly as possible. I've had genuinely "good" rounds where I did an otherwise bad amount of damage like 50K but heavily contributed to the round win by soaking up so much time and effort from the other team, mainly by just running away. sniper, and marksman in particular, actually have a lot of mobility in covered escape, speed boosts while entrench is active, and the counter measures speed boost (and a reset for all of these). I don't run the counter measures speed boost because I tend not to be focused and I dislike PB giving people resolve but it's a really strong utility if you have issues with surviving. The enormous caveat to running away, of course, is that it leaves you open to hard stuns if you aren't already full resolved. When to make a break for it is something you'll learn with practice, and there's various tricks to increasing your odds of pulling it off like running away just after using cover pulse because it roots for so long or getting your adrenal up before you run in case you do end up hardstunned.

some less generic, more specific miscellaneous stuff: make sure to have ballistic dampers, seek cover, probably reestablish range, pillbox sniper, and tactical retreat among others. defensive safeguards is hugely nerfed so I don't run it in regs or group ranked but I think it's probably still the best option for your last point for solo ranked, the healing is better than nothing and the extra damage reduction can be pretty strong in the right circumstances.

don't be afraid to use cooldowns like diversion and ballistic shield early if you get caught out - you get more mileage out of them with more targets on you, and with opening burst and relic procs as well.

and of course do not break anything stupid

the last thing I will say is that sometimes your teammates are unhelpful and the other team is stacked with predations, nets, and diversions and they cycle these on you in a way that is almost impossible to counter particularly effectively and you just get rekt. this can and does happen even to good solo ranked snipers so keep that in mind

I ended up writing a novel anyway and am burned out on it so here ya go