Monday, 21 September 2015

Don't get defensive!

I want to talk about the changes upcoming to Snipers (my main class) in KotFE.

I sat on this post for a while, to see what came out of the various datamining sources and/or BioWare themselves. I also wanted to see if anyone else was discussing this and what their thoughts were.

I heard the team on the Galactic Gamers Coalition being decidedly unimpressed with what Snipers got out of the ability lucky-dip. The Angry Sniper on Youtube was likewise non-plussed, calling the changes little more than a return of some of the utility that was taken away from Engineering Snipers in 3.0.

I'd like to offer a different interpretation.

Something to keep in mind is that the Sniper is the antithesis of the philosophy behind the changes BioWare is implementing in 4.0. It's been clearly stated that the intent is to grant more mobility to classes. But the Sniper is a 'turret' class. It always has been.

So what was BioWare to do when the philosophy that is informing upcoming changes is in direct opposition to the philosophy that informed the very design of the class?

They decided to stay true to spirit of the class (which I applaud considering the freedom they've already granted by taking the reliance on cover away from a lot of abilities) and instead used the opportunity to address some very pertinent concerns being raised about the class's performance in Ranked PvP instead.

Because the changes coming in 4.0 are meant for PvP, specifically Ranked PvP.

Consider the following:

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...
  • The new skill is a comprehensive defensive cooldown reset, and it's pretty unanimously agreed upon that Snipers are a free kill in Ranked Arenas.
  • Sniper's don't have an 'Oh shit!' button, like so many other classes do. Their health tends to continue dropping once it starts until there's none left.
  • The new skill has a remarkably long cooldown of its own...which means nothing in a Ranked match as CDs are reset between rounds.
  • Any Sniper who needs all of their DCDs reset during a PvE encounter should probably consider playing a different class.

So, while I feel sorry for any Sniper devotees who were hoping for a shiny new variant of 'BANG! BANG!' to impress their friends with, I look forward to seeing how the class starts to perform on the Ranked Arena leaderboards

Author's Note: I don't consider myself to be an expert on Ranked PvP and its meta-game. Far from it, I've never played a single ranked match. But I have experienced arenas in the regs solo queue. Also, I am an expert in playing the Devil's Advocate. ;)

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