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The real reason people don't use Snipers


Jackviator
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I understand that this is a massive wall of text (as this is basically two posts in one), so TL,DR of my main points:

  1. Sniper rifles don't fit into the mechanics of the game very well due to how slow and clunky they are/the forced scope and hipfire nerf.
  2. There doesn't seem to be a reason to use them over Bows.

(My proposed solutions for these is at the bottom of the post).

Let's break those two points down.

1: Game Mechanics.

Warframe is a very, VERY fast-paced shooter. By its very nature, this doesn't lend itself well to Snipers. Snipers are semi-automatic, single-target, accuracy-based, high-priority target killers that require you to sit still, aim for the head, and fire to be most effective. Thus, unless you're using certain Warframes that can slow down enemies and/or protect oneself from taking heavy amounts of fire, such as Frost or Assimilate Nyx, you're gonna have a bad time.

That's not even going into the environment itself, which seems to discourage their use; most tilesets consist of tight hallways and small rooms that don't play well with snipers, and enemy AI is erratic, preventing you from predicting where to aim with the scope. And that brings me nicely to the next big bugbear of Sniper mechanics; the scope.

If you use a sniper, you're forced into a reduced FOV every time you aim the weapon, which doesn't lend itself well to the gameplay. WF has so much going on at all times that forcing yourself into a restricted FOV can be a suicidal decision.

"Oh, looks like I have a nice spot here, let's just take aim, boom, aaand a miss. And- oh. I'm suddenly dead because that Butcher came out from behind a corner and hit me from the side, which I WOULD have been able to see coming had I been using any other weapon but a Sniper rifle. And I didn't even hit the enemy I was aiming at because of the stupid scope sway."

And if you decide to opt to not use the scope and fire from the hip, you're punished by having an innate massive hipfire accuracy penalty. You may as well be using a shotgun that can only fire ONE pellet at a time, and I've found myself missing enemies literally 4 feet in front of me while the reticule is dead-center on their torso.

Finally, they're not able to damage groups, which is kinda necessary in a horde-mode game such as this one. With how long it takes to reload them and how slowly they fire, you're lucky if you can kill 10 enemies inside 20 seconds most of the time.

Moving on:

2: Aliens vs Predator Bows Vs Snipers.

There doesn't really seem to be an incentive to use Snipers over Bows. Bows:

  • Are silent.
  • Have much, MUCH higher critical chances for the most part. For example, the Dread is able to redcrit with only a rank 5 Point Strike mod (and if you have Argon Scope installed and land a headshot, there's only about an 8% chance it WON'T redcrit).
  • Have innate punch-through for CC and group damage.
  • Don't have a hipfire accuracy penalty (except when using Split Chamber, and even then the accuracy penalty only affects the extra arrow that's fired)
  • Don't massively restrict the FOV at all times when aiming, therefore syncing better with the game's mechanics as a whole.

All Snipers have over bows is the clunky combo counter (which forces you to shoot as quickly as possible to deal more damage, which doesn't lend itself well to how Snipers are actually designed to be played) and that most of them are hitscan.

So, how do we fix this?

1: Give innate punch-through across the board of at least 1-2m. A change that the community has been requesting for years now, and would help Snipers counter groups of enemies more effectively.

2: Revert the hipfire accuracy nerf so that we can counter enemies that get too close.

3: Remove the scope sway altogether. It's just annoying and doesn't add anything to the gameplay.

4: Tweak the reset on the combo counter system so that you don't feel pressured to shoot as fast as possible. It doesn't even have to be that much; just add 8-10 seconds at most.

I believe that with these changes, Snipers would have a fighting chance among the rest of the so-called "meta" weapons, and would see more use overall.

Edited by Jackviator
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The accuracy nerf was what made me stop using my Vectis and Lanka almost entirely. I do like the idea of making snipers different from bows, and I like the combo meter, but maybe something else should set that apart. I think it'd be cool to see little weakpoints pop up on enemies while scoped in, kinda like Banshee's Sonar, and they'd give boosts to damage and the combo counters, or other things. Anything to bring them back and separate them from bows.

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I use snipers for two reasons:

1. Because I want to friggin' snipe, and neither you nor sh#tty mechanics are gonna stop me. Dang it, stop killing them so fast, I'm tryin' to snipe here!

2. Because I'm running LoR, where I will frequently be the host, and thus driving the core during stage two. There's a certain satisfaction to sniping the Gustrag Three and driving the core at the same time while everyone else has to plant their shiny metal asses on pads. I can usually get two down before someone else swoops in and kills the third. Also, snipers are great for dealing with the Disruptor Drones in LoR Nightmare. (#JustRaiderThings)

 

And yet...

I agree that snipers in general need some love. On top of your suggestions, I feel the reload speeds and/or magazine sizes need to be looked at. Getting all of five shots off before you have to spend three seconds reloading on the Rubico is a real killjoy, causing me to run Primed Fast Hands.

Edited by DeltaPhantom
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I totally agree. Although, I still prefer my Rubico over any bow.

The way I have my weapons set up is Rubico, Akmagnus (which I think is a great combo, if you're able to switch between them enough) and whatever melee weapon (my favorite has recently become War, but I'm still leveling some new ones).

Still, I really hope that the Devs take this post into consideration.

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You have some good points, but I will point out some flaws.

 

"Oh, looks like I have a nice spot here, let's just take aim, boom, aaand a miss. And- oh. I'm suddenly dead because that Butcher came out from behind a corner and hit me from the side "

That problem is easily solved using Loki, so it's not much of an issue. For the missing part, learn to aim better.

As for bows vs snipers, the Lanka has innate punch through and ones shots enemies into the 170s. NO bow can do that. Also with Loki's augment mod, all weapons are silent.

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You make many good points. The problem with how they have been implimented is simple. DE made snipers in Warframe like snipers in other kinds of shooter games. The problem is Warframe is not like other shooter games, its much faster paced, more twitch response oriented, and not really designed for camping a location and methodically sniping enemies from a distance. In fact none of the maps are designed for snipers. The sniper rifles in Warframe need to be made for fast twitch gameing. Keep in mind, the Warframes are robotic dolls, not people, so there would be no aim sway or hipfire inaccuracy as a robot does not sway about in their movements like a human would. 

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The issue is, they're objectively great weapons, but most people can't use them well or don't want to try to. I can regularly get 3x multipliers in survival missions now, which allows me to 1-shot a whole lot. My usual Vulkar Wraith build also has punch through, and allows for a great kill rate. Player skill is too just much of a factor for dissatisfaction to not be highly present. I don't mean to brag, but players like me can use them quite well already. Buffing them further would be quite questionable. I surely don't agree with your post, but I also surely can't disagree fully either. Snipers need something special for everybody to love them, without being OP. Who knows what that special something is though?

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23 minutes ago, (PS4)Jaztok said:

That problem is easily solved using Loki, so it's not much of an issue. For the missing part, learn to aim better.

MOST problems in this game are easily solved by using Loki.

Plus, I shouldn't be forced into using a certain frame to effectively use a certain type of weapon. That was one of my initial points; Unless I use Frost, Assimilate Nyx, (or Loki,) while sniping, bad times will be had. That shouldn't be the case.

Also, my aim is fine. It's just that the futuristic, cyborg-ninja demigod holding the rifle seems to suddenly acquire Parkinson's disease if I switch to higher zoom levels for longer ranges, and the scope begins to sway all over the place.

Edited by Jackviator
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+1

I'd like to add that sniper combo shouldn't reset at un-scoping (but timer should keep going on) and it should last long enough to reload without the need of bandaids like Harkonar scope or [Primed] Fast Hands, otherwise the combo gets lost while repositioning (very needed in a fast paced game, the current system forces us to stay almost stationary in order to keep the combo counter going) and when we're forced to reload.

About hipfire accuracy nerf, I guess that if I'm able to kill an enemy 90 mts away with a latron with no need of ads, I guess I shouldn't be punished for trying to do the same with a sniper. The scope should be an enhancement that we choose to use when we need it instead of a forced tool that magically rectifies the accuracy of our snipers.

And please, get rid of depleted reload, the most blatant bandaid mod which makes Vectis prime work as it should have been from the start. Make it work backwards (increase magazine size while reducing reload speed, like tainted mag, which I'm not sure if snipers can equip it) to make it at least have a use in other snipers

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1 hour ago, Jackviator said:

MOST problems in this game are easily solved by using Loki.

Plus, I shouldn't be forced into using a certain frame to effectively use a certain type of weapon. That was one of my initial points; Unless I use Frost, Assimilate Nyx, (or Loki,) while sniping, bad times will be had. That shouldn't be the case.

Also, my aim is fine. It's just that the futuristic, cyborg-ninja demigod holding the rifle seems to suddenly acquire Parkinson's disease if I switch to higher zoom levels for longer ranges, and the scope begins to sway all over the place.

Which is why I said I agree with most of it. I just got used to the scope sway I guess because I used to play long hours in Planet Side 2 sniping where the sway there is annoying.

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7 hours ago, (PS4)Jaztok said:

I just got used to the scope sway I guess because I used to play long hours in Planet Side 2 sniping where the sway there is annoying.

I guess if you've had practice in other games, it's easier to adapt to it... still, in PlanetSide 2, and many other multiplayer FPS's with scope sway at least you're fighting against human players. You can predict the movements of humans in most situations, and so it's forgivable for the devs in that game to put in that little balancing factor for having such a powerful (often one-hit-KO) rifle in the hands of a player.

On the other hand, in a game where you're mostly fighting AI, and very erratic/unpredictable AI at that, it's just an annoying problem, and doesn't really add anything to the gameplay.

Edited by Jackviator
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While I do use sniping rifles, I agree with all of your points.

I'd add that the sniper meter should only reset on a miss and not be time based at all. Hip fire shots would not add to the meter but wouldn't cancel it either. That way if we managed to build it up, scoping will be incentivized for the damage while fodder can be dealt with ease through hip shots.

I can't imagine someone wouldn't miss eventually unless it's some easy mission in which case it wouldn't make much difference.

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