News

10.11.2019

A Day in the Life of Snipers and Gunslingers


The upcoming ‘Onslaught’ Expansion will introduce a lot of changes for each Class, including new abilities, Set Bonuses, and Tactical items. To help explain everything, we’re releasing a series of articles featuring each Advanced Class’s new ability, as well as new Set Bonuses and Tactical items. We will also describe various combat scenarios to show how these changes will mesh together, just like in our previous article covering Operatives and Scoundrels. In today’s article we’re showcasing the Sniper and Gunslinger Advanced Classes!




Sniper


Let’s take a look at the new ability for Snipers!

Holo-Locate - Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location. Holo-locate goes on cooldown for 120 seconds when used to return to the marked location.

Alongside a new ability, Snipers will receive a bevy of Set Bonuses and Tactical items. Set Bonuses are extra effects players can get for equipping a certain armor set. For instance, wearing two, four, or six pieces of a set will grant players progressively more powerful boosts. These can be in the form of increased ability potency or an added effect.

Tacticals are slightly different from Set Bonuses. While Tacticals also change how some abilities function, they come in the form of a new gear type. They don’t have actual stats on them like Power, Mastery, or Critical Rating; instead, they augment how an ability will function. Let’s look at some examples of how a Set Bonus and Tactical combination can alter the gameplay of the three Sniper Disciplines: Marksmanship, Engineering, and Virulence.


Marksmanship

“One perfect shot has the potential to change everything, and no one is more precise than the Marksmanship Sniper. From the safety of cover, the Marksmanship Sniper ambushes the enemy and follows up with an encore of penetrating blasts that make extra sure the Sniper’s job is done.”

When it comes to Marksmanship Snipers, distance is key--especially in Player vs Player (PvP) matches. Enemy players will be quick to charge a Sniper to avoid dealing with a volley of nonstop ranged shots. Let’s look at a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that will help our Marksmanship Sniper maintain their distance while applying pressure to anyone who gives chase.


Set Bonus: "Repositioned"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Alacrity
(4 Piece Bonus) Reduces the cooldown of Cover Pulse by 5 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) Evasion finishes the cooldown of Covered Escape and increases you and your allies’ movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.

Tactical: "B-0 Differential Targeting System"

Activating Covered Escape or returning to your marker with Holo-Locate makes your next Ambush activate instantly and deal 20% more damage.



We’re in the middle of a heated PvP match, and an enemy player has spotted our Marksmanship Sniper, who’s firing off shots from a distance. The enemy player charges toward our Sniper, who places their Holo-Locate marker and fires a few shots at the incoming enemy player. As the enemy player reaches their feet, our Sniper uses Covered Escape to quickly roll away. Thanks to our B-0 Differential Targeting System, not only does the next Ambush do additional damage, but it’s now an instant cast. This allows our Sniper to fire off a one-two combo of Ambush and Followthrough, all while on the run!

Now that they’re positioned closer to the main fight, our Sniper opts to use Evasion, which has three benefits. Our Sniper now has 200% chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks--allowing them to get back to safety—and thanks to the Repositioned Set Bonus, Evasion also refreshes the cooldown of Covered Escape and gives bonus movement speed to our Sniper’s teammates.

The rival player hasn’t given up the chase yet and is hot on our Sniper’s heels. Much to the enemy player’s displeasure, Covered Escape is used again to avoid them, and they’re hit with another Ambush/Followthrough combo. They try attacking our Sniper one more time, but just as the enemy player is nearly within reach, our Sniper uses Holo-Locate to teleport back to where this chase originally started. Firing off another Ambush and Followthrough combination, our Sniper reminds the enemy player they’ll always remain out of their reach.


Engineering

“Technology-and its application in deploying advanced weaponry-sets the Engineering Sniper apart from the rest. A variety of probes at their disposal allows the Engineering Sniper to attack from a distance with explosions, electrical jolts, and waves of destructive plasma designed to eliminate any target.”

Waking up refreshed and ready to decimate some bosses, our Engineering Sniper aims to hop into Group Finder and complete as many Flashpoints as possible. With this goal in mind, our Engineering Sniper wants a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that will augment their hardest hitting ability, Explosive Probe, and make it pack even more of a punch.


Set Bonus: "Precise Target"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Critical Rating
(4 Piece Bonus) Reduces the cooldown of Target Acquired by 15 seconds, and activating Target Acquired restores 15 energy.
(6 Piece Bonus) Laze Targets gets 3 charges and its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.

Tactical: "T0-R0 Ionic Discharge"

Explosive Probe now only triggers from EMP Discharge and deals 50% more damage.



Our Engineering Sniper starts off the encounter by priming themselves with Laze Target, increasing the critical hit chance of the next Explosive Probe by 100%. They follow this up with their Interrogation and Explosive Probes. Now that the stage is set, it’s time for detonation! Thanks to the effect of our T0-R0 Ionic Discharge Tactical, our Sniper activates EMP Discharge to trigger Explosive Probe, giving it a 50% damage boost on top of the guaranteed critical hit!

Thanks to the Precise Target Set Bonus, Laze Target gets three charges, so our Sniper can repeat this rotation much more frequently during boss encounters. Between the Set Bonus and Tactical, every Explosive Probe used with Laze Target on a boss can be a guaranteed critical hit with a 50% damage increase. Our Sniper can tear through bosses quicker than ever before!


Virulence

“Some Agents prefer a less direct method of eliminating a target, such as administering poison. Lethal toxins and all-consuming microbes are the domain of the walking biohazard known as the Virulence Sniper, who inflicts lethal shots and lobs corrosive grenades from a safe distance where they can witness the results of their handiwork.”

Similar to their Lethality Operative counterpart, Virulence Snipers are known for their lethal poison damage. These deadly toxins can prove to be fatal, especially in PvP matches. Most people would expect a Virulence Sniper to deal consistent damage over time, but with a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that really boosts our Sniper’s burst damage capabilities, we can turn that expectation on its head.


Set Bonus: "Established Foothold"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Mastery
(4 Piece Bonus) The cooldown of Entrench is reduced by 10 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) While Entrenched, you build stacks of Entrenched Offense, increasing damage by 1% per stack while you remain Entrenched. Stacks up to 5 times. Breaking cover or Entrench being removed removes Entrenched Offense.

Tactical: "Ultraviolet Blast"

Weakening Blast finishes off all your poison effects at once, dealing all their remaining damage. Weakening Blast's cooldown is increased by 6 seconds.



Escaping the heat of a PvP match, our Virulence Sniper uses Entrench to prepare for another assault. Thanks to the Established Foothold Set Bonus, our Sniper can build up a 5% damage boost to the barrage of incoming damage. As the Entrench stacks build up, our Sniper throws a Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade at an unaware enemy. This is followed up by Cull, a channeled ability that does extra damage for every poison effect currently on the enemy. This standard setup from our Virulence Sniper is sure to draw some attention…

As the enemy player turns their attention to our Sniper, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit them with some unexpected burst damage. Our Sniper uses Weakening Blast, and thanks to their Ultraviolet Blast Tactical, the enemy player takes the remaining damage from all poison effects on them at once! Not giving their opponent a chance to recover, our Sniper finishes them off with a well-timed Takedown. The opponent falls, and our Sniper can set their sights on a new target.


Gunslinger


Let’s take a look at the new ability for Gunslingers!

Hideout - Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location. Holo-locate goes on cooldown for 120 seconds when used to return to the marked location.

Alongside a new ability, Gunslingers will receive a bevy of Set Bonuses and Tactical items. Set Bonuses are extra effects players can get for equipping a certain armor set. For instance, wearing two, four, or six pieces of a set will grant players progressively more powerful boosts. These can be in the form of increased ability potency or an added effect.

Tacticals are slightly different from Set Bonuses. While Tacticals also change how some abilities function, they come in the form of a new gear type. They don’t have actual stats on them like Power, Mastery, or Critical Rating; instead, they augment how an ability will function. Let’s look at some examples of how a Set Bonus and Tactical combination can alter the gameplay of the three Gunslinger Disciplines: Sharpshooter, Saboteur, and Dirty Fighting.


Sharpshooter

“Armed with the steely fortitude required to set up the perfect shot, the Sharpshooter is the Gunslinger at its most devious. Aiming from distant cover, the Sharpshooter goes for a devastating opening salvo, following up with vicious trick shots and penetrating rounds, putting a definitive end to the fight they started.”

When it comes to Sharpshooter Gunslingers, distance is key--especially in Player vs Player (PvP) matches. Enemy players will be quick to charge a Gunslinger to avoid dealing with a volley of nonstop ranged shots. Let’s look at a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that will help our Sharpshooter Gunslinger maintain their distance while applying pressure to anyone who gives chase.


Set Bonus: "Repositioned"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Alacrity
(4 Piece Bonus) Reduces the cooldown of Pulse Detonator by 5 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) Dodge finishes the cooldown of Hightail It and increases you and your allies’ movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.

Tactical: "B-0 Differential Targeting System"

Activating Hightail It or returning to your marker with Hideout makes your next Aimed Shot activate instantly and deal 20% more damage.



We’re in the middle of a heated PvP match, and an enemy player has spotted our Sharpshooter Gunslinger, who’s firing off shots from a distance. The enemy player charges toward our Gunslinger, who places their Hideout marker and fires a few shots at the incoming enemy player. As the enemy player reaches their feet, our Gunslinger uses Hightail It to quickly roll away. Thanks to our B-0 Differential Targeting System, not only does the next Aimed Shot do additional damage, but it’s now an instant cast. This allows our Sniper to fire off a one-two combo of Aimed Shot and Trickshot, all while on the run!

Now that they’re positioned closer to the main fight, our Gunslinger opts to use Dodge, which has three benefits. Our Gunslinger now has 200% chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks--allowing them to get back to safety—and thanks to the Repositioned Set Bonus, Dodge also refreshes the cooldown of Hightail It and gives bonus movement speed to our Gunslinger’s teammates.

The rival player hasn’t given up the chase yet and is hot on our Gunslinger’s heels. Much to the enemy player’s displeasure, Hightail It is used again to avoid them, and they’re hit with another Aimed Shot/Trickshot combo. They try attacking our Gunslinger one more time, but just as the enemy player is nearly within reach, our Gunslinger uses Hideout to teleport back to where this chase originally started. Firing off another Aimed Shot and Trickshot combination, our Gunslinger reminds the enemy player they’ll always remain out of their reach.


Saboteur

“One of the perks of being a Smuggler is access to all the latest tools of any trade-including the main high-tech charges and grenades in the Saboteur Gunslinger’s arsenal. Able to wreak havoc on their intended target from a safe distance, the Saboteur is a crafty, resourceful and incendiary master of mayhem.”

Waking up refreshed and ready to decimate some bosses, our Saboteur Gunslinger aims to hop into Group Finder and complete as many Flashpoints as possible. With this goal in mind, our Saboteur Gunslinger wants a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that will augment their hardest hitting ability, Explosive Charge, and make it pack even more of a punch.


Set Bonus: "Precise Target"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Critical Rating
(4 Piece Bonus) Reduces the cooldown of Illegal Mods by 15 seconds, and activating Illegal Mods restores 15 energy.
(6 Piece Bonus) Smuggler’s Luck gets 3 charges and its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.

Tactical: "T0-R0 Ionic Discharge"

Explosive Charge now only triggers from Sabotage and deals 50% more damage.



Our Saboteur Gunslinger starts off the encounter by priming themselves with Smuggler’s Luck, increasing the critical hit chance of the next Explosive Charge by 100%. They follow this up with their Shock and Explosive Charges. Now that the stage is set, it’s time for detonation! Thanks to the effect of our T0-R0 Ionic Discharge Tactical, our Gunslinger activates Sabotage to trigger Explosive Charge, giving it a 50% damage boost on top of the guaranteed critical hit!

Thanks to the Precise Target Set Bonus, Smuggler’s Luck gets three charges, so our Gunslinger can repeat this rotation much more frequently during boss encounters. Between the Set Bonus and Tactical, every Explosive Charge used with Smuggler’s Luck on a boss can be a guaranteed critical hit with a 50% damage increase. Our Gunslinger can tear through bosses quicker than ever before!


Dirty Fighting

“As a Smuggler who finds nothing honorable about losing in a scrap, the Dirty Fighting Gunslinger doesn’t pull punches. Lobbed bombs and cheap shots are just a sampling of the Dirty Fighting Gunslinger’s bag of cruel tricks that can cause their target untold continuous suffering while the Gunslinger stands back with a satisfied smile.”

Similar to their Ruffian Scoundrel counterpart, Dirty Fighting Gunslingers are known for their lethal bleed damage. These deadly bleeds can prove to be fatal, especially in PvP matches. Most people would expect a Dirty Fighting Gunslinger to deal consistent damage over time, but with a Set Bonus and Tactical combination that really boosts our Gunslinger’s burst damage capabilities, we can turn that expectation on its head.


Set Bonus: "Established Foothold"

(2 Piece Bonus) +2% Mastery
(4 Piece Bonus) The cooldown of Hunker Down is reduced by 10 seconds.
(6 Piece Bonus) While Hunker Down, you build stacks of Entrenched Offense, increasing damage by 1% per stack while you remain Hunker Down. Stacks up to 5 times. Breaking cover or Hunker Down being removed removes Entrenched Offense.

Tactical: "Ultraviolet Blast"

Hemorrhaging Blast finishes off all your bleed effects at once, dealing all their remaining damage. Hemorrhaging Blast’s cooldown is increased by 6 seconds.



Escaping the heat of a PvP match, our Dirty Fighting Gunslinger uses Hunker Down to prepare for another assault. Thanks to the Established Foothold Set Bonus, our Gunslinger can build up a 5% damage boost to the barrage of incoming damage. As the Hunker Down stacks build up, our Gunslinger throws a Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb at an unaware enemy. This is followed up by Cull, a channeled ability that does extra damage for every bleed effect currently on the enemy. This standard setup from our Dirty Fighting Gunslinger is sure to draw some attention…

As the enemy player turns their attention to our Gunslinger, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit them with some unexpected burst damage. Our Gunslinger uses Hemorrhaging Blast, and thanks to their Ultraviolet Blast Tactical, the enemy player takes the remaining damage from all bleed effects on them at once! Not giving their opponent a chance to recover, our Gunslinger finishes them off with a well-timed Quickdraw. The opponent falls, and our Gunslinger can set their sights on a new target.


We’ve revealed the new ability, discussed Set Bonuses and Tactical items, and painted a picture of how these two systems merge together to augment different styles of gameplay for Snipers and Gunslingers. These Set Bonuses and Tacticals are a small sample of what players can expect in ‘Onslaught.’ With that, twelve Advanced Classes are down, and only four to go! In the next article of this “Day In The Life Of” series, we will cover Marauders and Sentinels. Stay tuned!