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Sniper // Gunslinger Top 3 Answers!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Imperial Agent > Sniper
Sniper // Gunslinger Top 3 Answers!
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EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
08.08.2013 , 12:14 PM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hey Snipers!

Here are your top 3 issues and the answers given back to me from the dev team. Thank you all (especially Poawee) for your hard work in gathering these. Hopefully these answers help in looking at your top 3 issues. I will make sure the combat guys try to keep their eyes on the thread for any followup. You can see the answers posted twice below, the first is with Sniper skill names the second is with Gunslinger. Just to make sure there is maximum readability for each side.

-eric


Quote:
PVP question: With 4v4 arenas on the horizon, one concern about the value of the sniper class is its lack of any significant offensive cooldown(s) compared to some of the other ACs. Snipers are capable of some of the highest and most consistent DPS in the game, but are also quite predictable because of cast abilities requiring static line of sight and lack of any dynamic burst that comes along with a valuable offensive cooldown. While useful in their own right, Target Acquired and Laze Target don't have the same on-demand impact that one comes to expect from an offensive cooldown. Are there any plans to address either one of these abilities, considering their slightly underwhelming impact in PvP?
Target Acquired, while admittedly “boring” in what it does, is a rather powerful cooldown in PvP. It’s great for cutting through a tank or heavily armored opponent’s defenses, or simply improving your already great damage. On the other hand, Laze Target does leave a bit to be desired. As you stated in the question, Snipers already deal some of the highest, most consistent damage in the game, so any change to Laze Target would likely come at a price. For example, we could consider changing Laze Target to increase the critical hit chance of your next Ambush, Explosive Probe, or Takedown by 100% (instead of Snipe) – but would you really want that change if it meant that another minute or two were added to Laze Target’s cooldown?

---

Illegal Mods, while admittedly “boring” in what it does, is a rather powerful cooldown in PvP. It’s great for cutting through a tank or heavily armored opponent’s defenses, or simply improving your already great damage. On the other hand, Smuggler's Luck does leave a bit to be desired. As you stated in the question, Gunslingers already deal some of the highest, most consistent damage in the game, so any change to Smuggler's Luck would likely come at a price. For example, we could consider changing Smuggler's Luck to increase the critical hit chance of your next Aimed Shot, Sabotage Charge, or Quickdraw by 100% (instead of Charged Burst) – but would you really want that change if it meant that another minute or two were added to Smuggler's Luck’s cooldown?


Quote:
PVE question: A specific 5/18/23 hybrid spec appears to be quite popular at current due to higher dps. In your play tests, do you have any numbers that support this theory in comparison to numbers for full lethality snipers? Is Lethality in a good place right now in relation to the Hybrid and what, if any concerns, do you have about balance?
Lethality appears to be better single target DPS than the hybrid. However, since a lot of encounters have two or more mobs, the hybrid spec would likely appear to come out ahead of a full Lethality build quite often.

That said, we are not completely satisfied with Lethality at the moment. We specifically don’t like that using Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe rotationally as a Lethality Sniper increases your single target damage, but that’s more of a problem with Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe than Lethality. Weakening Blast could probably use an energy cost and, as a result, get a damage boost. Series of Shots and Snipe could probably use some boons to make them stronger abilities in the Lethality rotation – as it stands, they are in the rotation, but not strong enough to keep players from using Explosive Probe and Orbital Strike.

While all of this is less than ideal, making changes to Explosive Probe and Orbital Strike could have negative effects on the other Sniper specializations, so it isn’t likely that you will see changes for this anytime soon. But we will certainly be addressing these issues at some point in the future.

---

Dirty Fighting appears to be better single target DPS than the hybrid. However, since a lot of encounters have two or more mobs, the hybrid spec would likely appear to come out ahead of a full Dirty Fighting build quite often.

That said, we are not completely satisfied with Dirty Fighting at the moment. We specifically don’t like that using XS Freighter Flyby and Sabotage Charge rotationally as a Dirty Fighting Gunslinger increases your single target damage, but that’s more of a problem with XS Freighter Flyby and Sabotage Charge than Dirty Fighting. Hemorrhaging Blast could probably use an energy cost and, as a result, get a damage boost. Speed Shot and Charged Burst could probably use some boons to make them stronger abilities in the Dirty Fighting rotation – as it stands, they are in the rotation, but not strong enough to keep players from using Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby.

While all of this is less than ideal, making changes to Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby could have negative effects on the other Gunslinger specializations, so it isn’t likely that you will see changes for this anytime soon. But we will certainly be addressing these issues at some point in the future.


Quote:
OTHER: Engineering snipers currently use a strategy of rolling Scatter Bombs to target a large or predictable boss. However, this strategy becomes unworkable when encountering less predictable opponents like Kephess the Undying or multi-target fights like Cartel Warlords and Dread Master Styrak. Engineers tend to fall behind Marksman and Lethality snipers in situations when they are unable to set up Scatter Bombs. In addition to Scatter Bombs, Plasma Probe's effectiveness suffers in high movement or quick target swapping fights. This is due to the issue that Plasma Probe has no way of continuing damage to targets who have already left its radius. What are your views on this perception of the Engineering sniper? How would you assess the Engineering sniper’s PvE performance – both strengths and weaknesses – in relation to Marksman and Lethality, and what might be done to address those weaknesses?
We don’t intend for Scatter Bombs to be rotational in any way, shape, or form (for PvE or PvP usage). Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then. After all, they can avoid this with careful positioning (just as you must be careful about your own positioning to set it up).

We are not completely satisfied with how Engineering currently plays in general. When compared to Lethality or Marksmanship, Engineering feels rather clunky. The strength of Engineering in PvE is definitely AoE damage, while the weaknesses are mostly quality of life issues like energy management, Interrogation Probe’s single target limit, Plasma Probe’s cooldown, and lack of a well-flowing rotation – thanks to the extremely long cooldowns on Explosive Probe and Orbital Strike, along with the unfriendly requirement of using EMP Discharge with Adrenaline Probe to maximize sustained damage.

---

We don’t intend for Scatter Bombs to be rotational in any way, shape, or form (for PvE or PvP usage). Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then. After all, they can avoid this with careful positioning (just as you must be careful about your own positioning to set it up).

We are not completely satisfied with how Saboteur currently plays in general. When compared to Dirty Fighting or Sharpshooter, Saboteur feels rather clunky. The strength of Saboteur in PvE is definitely AoE damage, while the weaknesses are mostly quality of life issues like energy management, Shock Charge’s single target limit, Incendiary Grenade’s cooldown, and lack of a well-flowing rotation – thanks to the extremely long cooldowns on Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby, along with the unfriendly requirement of using Sabotage with Cool Head to maximize sustained damage.
Eric Musco | Community Manager
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GalnarDegana's Avatar


GalnarDegana
08.08.2013 , 01:59 PM | #2
First off, thank you everyone on the dev team who contributed answers to this, and thanks Eric, Amber, and Courtney for being awesome and giving us this chance.

I want to address each question's response.

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post

Illegal Mods, while admittedly “boring” in what it does, is a rather powerful cooldown in PvP. It’s great for cutting through a tank or heavily armored opponent’s defenses, or simply improving your already great damage. On the other hand, Smuggler's Luck does leave a bit to be desired. As you stated in the question, Gunslingers already deal some of the highest, most consistent damage in the game, so any change to Smuggler's Luck would likely come at a price. For example, we could consider changing Smuggler's Luck to increase the critical hit chance of your next Aimed Shot, Sabotage Charge, or Quickdraw by 100% (instead of Charged Burst) – but would you really want that change if it meant that another minute or two were added to Smuggler's Luck’s cooldown?
I agree with the power of Illegal Mods, but the short answer on whether we would rather have an interesting skill or a short cooldown on Smuggler's Luck, I think 100% of us would answer: make that change exactly. Who cares about whether it has a short cooldown when I honestly am not impressed with it to begin with. Let us use it on a longer cooldown, that is perfectly fine. I want a situational cooldown that is something you have to strategically save for the best time to use it, and then get a lot of use on it.

Let me put it this way. Right now, the only way to get a substantial benefit from it is to keep it on cooldown, so why not just make it a passive automatic proc? It is kind of like why we still have Sprint. These two skills are different than at launch, and they have outlived their usefulness. Sprint gets clicked on and taken off the bar, never to be used again. Smuggler's Luck gets used on cooldown, not for anything interesting, but for a mediocre DPS increase. It is just plain boring and not very useful. Make it cost something (long cooldown) and do something awesome (auto-crit on next skill like you said). I love that change you suggested. Make it happen!

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post

Dirty Fighting appears to be better single target DPS than the hybrid. However, since a lot of encounters have two or more mobs, the hybrid spec would likely appear to come out ahead of a full Dirty Fighting build quite often.

That said, we are not completely satisfied with Dirty Fighting at the moment. We specifically don’t like that using XS Freighter Flyby and Sabotage Charge rotationally as a Dirty Fighting Gunslinger increases your single target damage, but that’s more of a problem with XS Freighter Flyby and Sabotage Charge than Dirty Fighting. Hemorrhaging Blast could probably use an energy cost and, as a result, get a damage boost. Speed Shot and Charged Burst could probably use some boons to make them stronger abilities in the Dirty Fighting rotation – as it stands, they are in the rotation, but not strong enough to keep players from using Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby.

While all of this is less than ideal, making changes to Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby could have negative effects on the other Gunslinger specializations, so it isn’t likely that you will see changes for this anytime soon. But we will certainly be addressing these issues at some point in the future.
Honestly, the Hemorrhaging Blast energy cooldown sounds...not good. We already have energy issues with the nerf of crit, so adding in a energy cost for a free skill should REALLY boost its damage. I would be curious if that would help a lot, so I will reserve judgement, but still not my favorite thing you said in this post lol.

I think increasing damage or making Charged Burst and Speed Shot get a buff in DF might be just the ticket. Maybe increase the utility of Speed Shot by making it "spread" the Vital Shot DoT on the target to nearby enemies, then its AoE capabilities would be slightly higher, counteracting the hybrid supremacy, it would make target switching easier (always a problem in DF), and it would buff a skill in the rotation that is underwhelming at the moment.

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post

We don’t intend for Scatter Bombs to be rotational in any way, shape, or form (for PvE or PvP usage). Scatter Bombs are meant to be a fun bit of extra damage that occurs when you roll into or away from the action. That said, we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then. After all, they can avoid this with careful positioning (just as you must be careful about your own positioning to set it up).

We are not completely satisfied with how Saboteur currently plays in general. When compared to Dirty Fighting or Sharpshooter, Saboteur feels rather clunky. The strength of Saboteur in PvE is definitely AoE damage, while the weaknesses are mostly quality of life issues like energy management, Shock Charge’s single target limit, Incendiary Grenade’s cooldown, and lack of a well-flowing rotation – thanks to the extremely long cooldowns on Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby, along with the unfriendly requirement of using Sabotage with Cool Head to maximize sustained damage.
Glad to know that wallbanging is legit. I like doing it.

Something weird about this answer though. It just...stops. Are you sure there wasn't more you wanted to say, because it seems like you stopped in the middle of a thought. There is "we don't like where Sab is at the moment, and here's why" but no "and here is what we will do to fix that, or here are some ideas."

Another beef I have with Sabotage, but not something that was really important enough to make a questions, is the fact that Sabotage doesn't Sabotage anything. It used to blow up Shock Charge, which made sense and was kind of cool, but now it doesn't do anything. Just weird.

Other than that, I feel like we are in a good place as a class, and I appreciate your answers! Thank you for taking the time to answer them! I will see you in September I believe for the Gunslinger questions!

chuixupu's Avatar


chuixupu
08.08.2013 , 02:43 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Lethality appears to be better single target DPS than the hybrid. However, since a lot of encounters have two or more mobs, the hybrid spec would likely appear to come out ahead of a full Lethality build quite often.
I am no theorycrafter myself, but it seems that I've seen a lot of data from single target parses that disagrees with that statement. I'd be curious to see where the discrepancy is in this data....

Quote:
That said, we are not completely satisfied with Lethality at the moment. We specifically don’t like that using Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe rotationally as a Lethality Sniper increases your single target damage, but that’s more of a problem with Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe than Lethality. Weakening Blast could probably use an energy cost and, as a result, get a damage boost. Series of Shots and Snipe could probably use some boons to make them stronger abilities in the Lethality rotation – as it stands, they are in the rotation, but not strong enough to keep players from using Explosive Probe and Orbital Strike.
I have to say, the thought of adding an energy cost back into Weakening Blast (I remember when it was removed) makes me cringe a bit because I partly rely on it to let my energy restore before Cull. But an added WB damage boost plus not being required to use OS or EP to keep numbers up might be good, I'd be saving a lot of energy there.

I'd also hate to see OS nerfed, but maybe AOE effects in general need to be redesigned.
Wardens of Fate / Alea Iacta Est
The Tarkus Legacy ~ The Harbinger/Jedi Covenant

BaineOs's Avatar


BaineOs
08.08.2013 , 02:45 PM | #4
Quote:
I think 100% of us would answer: make that change exactly.
I'm in the minority but personally I like it the way it is at the moment. Sure it's boring but comes in handy when you need that extra something.

If our class was seriously lacking something then ok I might disagree with you but be honest we are by all accounts in pretty good shape compared with how some other classes fare.

Quote:
I want a situational cooldown that is something you have to strategically save for the best time to use it, and then get a lot of use on it.
That's the thing, in my opinion it is.

Quote:
Honestly, the Hemorrhaging Blast energy cooldown sounds...not good.
I'm old fashioned I guess but I've never been comfortable with having a skill that doesn't cost anything. That being said I'm not experienced with the lethality class so if there's an energy management issue I wouldn't know. What I will say though is I'm sick and tired of lethality snipers just tab dotting getting high damage as a result and think they had a great warzone. Sure the question was pve but his suggestions effect pvp too. I'd be in favour if there's a slight damage reduction in the dot abilities to compensate.

Quote:
Glad to know that wallbanging is legit. I like doing it.
It's a cheep, nasty manoeuvre and doesn't take any skill. Not counting that I don't believe any class should be able to do that amount of damage that quickly to one single person (more if there's any idiots around). They should remove that from the game in my opinion (and I'm a die hard engineering sniper), yup I'm asking for a nerf on that one.

As for not finishing you can say there could be an answer in there.
Quote:
We don’t intend for Scatter Bombs to be rotational in any way
I read that as saying they'd like to find a way to stop it from being used rotationally whilst still allowing:
Quote:
we’re okay with you trapping an unsuspecting enemy for a “wall bang” every now and then.
which I've already given my opinion of above.

Quote:
When compared to Lethality or Marksmanship, Engineering feels rather clunky.
Agreed but then it's always been like that. I've always felt that we've lacked something but I couldn't say what, for me our utility has always more than made up for it. So with that in mind, does it really necessarily matter if we are a bit clunky? I'd be concerned about them making changes which dumb the spec down and that's not something I'd be in favour of.
Es'carli - Sniper
Zoi'drinali - Imperial Agent
The Red Eclipse & Tomb of Freedon Nadd

stringcat's Avatar


stringcat
08.08.2013 , 02:47 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
[color=#f9d648] On the other hand, Laze Target does leave a bit to be desired. As you stated in the question, Snipers already deal some of the highest, most consistent damage in the game, so any change to Laze Target would likely come at a price. For example, we could consider changing Laze Target to increase the critical hit chance of your next Ambush, Explosive Probe, or Takedown by 100% (instead of Snipe) – but would you really want that change if it meant that another minute or two were added to Laze Target’s cooldown
Absolutely! That would be an awesome change. It gives you more controlled burst,. Currently only one spec actually has a reason to use Snipe at all in PVP, so the Laze Target cooldown is pretty useless. An autocrit on Ambush would give a Lethality sniper a reason to consider using Ambush, and Engineer snipers, who do use Ambush for lack of anything else to use in between SOS, are really lacking in single-target DPS and could use the buff.
Valiya Illegal Test Kitchen The Bastion

islander's Avatar


islander
08.08.2013 , 02:48 PM | #6
So there you have it.

Wall banging = 100% sanctioned.

Jumping in place roll banging = exploit (from previous interview at cantina meetup).

Completely disagree with the concept of laze target CD increasing as of result of usefulness expansion. Why is it that Warriors/Knights get to have an auto AOE crit every 20-25 seconds....yet Snipers/Gunslingers can't have an ambush auto crit every 60?

Baloney.
Gěllies Erimosi, Imperial Deadeye
<Hex> Prophecy of the Five

BaineOs's Avatar


BaineOs
08.08.2013 , 02:49 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by stringcat View Post
Currently only one spec actually has a reason to use Snipe at all in PVP, so the Laze Target cooldown is pretty useless.
Sorry but I disagree with that, I find snipe quite useful as an engineering sniper when the situation arises..
Es'carli - Sniper
Zoi'drinali - Imperial Agent
The Red Eclipse & Tomb of Freedon Nadd

stringcat's Avatar


stringcat
08.08.2013 , 02:58 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by BaineOs View Post
Sorry but I disagree with that, I find snipe quite useful as an engineering sniper when the situation arises..
"When the situation arise": you're not using Laze Target on cooldown and Laze Target is not a particularly useful DPS cooldown. You would use a critted Ambush on cooldown.
Valiya Illegal Test Kitchen The Bastion

BaineOs's Avatar


BaineOs
08.08.2013 , 03:30 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by stringcat View Post
"When the situation arise": you're not using Laze Target on cooldown and Laze Target is not a particularly useful DPS cooldown. You would use a critted Ambush on cooldown.
You're right I'm not using it on cooldown but as I said we're in pretty good shape at the moment and I just don't see the need of an auto crit off ambush for a 2min cooldown (which is probably what it'd probably have). Personally I find it useful and given the state we're in compared to other classes I don't believe it'd be a worthwhile change. We're already considered OP by lots of players (I agree they need to l2p a bit more but that's what we have to work with).

Do you get where I'm coming from?
Es'carli - Sniper
Zoi'drinali - Imperial Agent
The Red Eclipse & Tomb of Freedon Nadd

paowee's Avatar


paowee
08.08.2013 , 03:32 PM | #10
Quote:
Lethality appears to be better single target DPS than the hybrid. However, since a lot of encounters have two or more mobs, the hybrid spec would likely appear to come out ahead of a full Lethality build quite often.

That said, we are not completely satisfied with Lethality at the moment. We specifically don’t like that using Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe rotationally as a Lethality Sniper increases your single target damage, but that’s more of a problem with Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe than Lethality
.
Very interesting...

According to their tests Lethality IS SUPPOSED TO BE better single target DPS than Hybrid. Maybe the raiding community in the forums has been playing the spec wrong from the very beginning? I never use EP / SaboC as Lethality/DF because the energy cost is too high.

What i got from this post is that:

1) Lethality > Hybrid
2) For rotations: EP/SaboC on cooldown. (and OS/Flyby--but we all know that already)
3) We apparently are doing something wrong because our dummy parses does not equal their internal tests(?)
Maybe we are supposed to roll on cooldown as well? Maybe 300 Crit instead of 0 or 150 crit? I wish they'd say something about Ambush/Aimed Shot or CB/Snipe. Are we supposed to use Ambush on cooldown and delay WS?
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