[Argument] Sniper Rifles Are Broken And If You Like Them You Are Broken Too


#1

Let me preface with the following:

Sniper rifles are cancer and people who main them shall be purged in Dante’s Moronic Inferno. Or they should convert themselves to the cult of DMR-goodness (I mean there’s the dragunov and the scar ssr, win-win).

Assimilate or Degenerate. Let this become the rallying cry for the non-corrupted members of the PF community.
/s

Alright. Let’s begin.

Preface


As some of you are aware, there was a forum topic about OP-ness a month back. I posted something in that thread that I feel is unrelated to it, and deserves a topic of its own. I’ll detail that part of the conversation in full, with several reformats. let’s not make this an assault on the eyes, right?

Here’s the link btw: What do you think is OP in PF?

My argument was about how sniper rifles are a broken game mechanic in its current state. Here’s the post. I’ll copy-edit more of the text when I have the time, but this is the first installation. If you can’t/don’t want to read, please refer to the TL;DRs in bold text

Sniper rifles in general aren’t traditionally ‘OP’ like meta weapons and such, but they exert a disproportionate amount of influence on gameplay compared to other weapons. If there are (assuming equal skill and experience) 4 players of each weapon type on each team, the snipers basically dictate the tempo of the game. They might not always win games (BFG) but you cannot just ignore them, a sniper rifle will get you anywhere. And people who say sniper rifles have a balancing ‘drawback’ are pretty ridiculous, in my humble opinion.
I’ll borrow a term that people use in pokemon: centralization. While sniping is a perfectly viable and enjoyable part of PF gameplay, sniper rifles are extremely intrusive and they contribute to the complete opposite of dynamic, equally fun experience for everyone.

TL;DR this was my intro.

To elaborate on how a sniper rifle can overcentralize the game, let’s use a gameplay model to demonstrate how an entire class of weapons can buzzkill everything. (I need to be more clear, sniper rifle apologists will stop at nothing to call “leaks” a gaping cavern)

I’ll be writing this while sleep-deprived and possibly stoned so bear with.

your average PF game

For some ground rules, we’ll simplify the pacing of your average Phantom Forces match so that it resembles X-COM, where movement is turn-based. More importantly, stuff like shooting and reloading are represented as action points. In this particular example, a limited set of movement and action points are given to each player on the board. Also, movement and action points are not mutually exclusive, you can use both at the same time (since you can shoot and move in PF).

We’ll then combine this with a scenario in which Player 1 meets Player 2 in a firefight, while Players 3/4/5/6/7/8 are elsewhere. This is meant to represent what happens in the most ideal situation for everyone (brain farts/ignorance of game mechanics need not apply). Let the fight be set in the Desert Storm map (because everyone seems to like it). Now we go into what the sniper rifle basically is.

So the sniper rifle is this high-powered, accurate rifle. As a high-powered rifle, it shares a trait with the shotgun, high damage and shock value. It also has virtually infinite range, and it’s extremely accurate. Also assume that bullet drop is negligible; every semi-competent fool knows how to adjust for bullet drop. You don’t know if you’re being targeted until you hear the crack of a near-hit, or you get hit yourself. If you aren’t killed by the first shot, your new priority as the victim is suddenly completely shifted. Forget capping or holding a strong-point, you’re dead if the next shot hits. Basic psychology.

TL;DR snipers hit you from anywhere, and hard. Getting hit hard from nowhere is a pretty big advantage

A sniper rifle completely interrupts the “flow” of a game because what it essentially does is incur a fatal penalty for moving (other weapons do this too, but the sniper rifle is especially infuriating for reasons I will explain later). In X-COM terms, this means that for every 2 movement slots that a player might take, they have a good chance of getting deleted. Evasion and flanking are movement slots that can address this…but not really. Taking movement slots to Evade slows you down when you could be doing better things with your time. Flanking also takes a while; moreover, Desert Storm and all but the most CQC-oriented maps don’t give a many options. Why do I say this? Well, look at all the maps, and tell me how many strong-points are in each map that enjoy long-firing lanes, open ground, or are quite simply chokepoints. There are many, and for better or worse those kinds of things are inevitable in even the best map designs where you need to hustle just to take on a sniper. Like, even Mall Construction provides powerful niches for sniper rifles at the top floor (and common knowledge is that with Mall, all fights funnel towards the top floor). Your action points are pretty worthless against a sniper because sniper rifles out-fight you at the range game. Shooting there and such seems like a pretty bad choice since that leads to getting rekt by high-alpha. So let’s try using movement points. Your only choice is to keep moving forward into its range (which is time-consuming and risky), or avoid the sniper rifle altogether. You can’t fight back on equal terms as long as you’re playing in a sniper rifle’s playing field. And as basic mathematics dictates that “short-range” is a much smaller playing field than using the entire map as a buffer. You must move in order to respond. At the same time, the sniper rifle is allowed to respond while you’re moving, as long as you’re in line of sight.

TL;DR sniper rifles are great at map control, which means that making sniper rifles unfavorable to maps is extremely hard. A waste of effort for both players and developers

Why does this matter? Well, I like to believe that people like to feel in control during a game. In the 1v1 scenario I’m using, Player 2 needs to be able to respond to Player 1, using the available tools at hand. Action 1 causes reaction 2–> reaction 1–> reaction 2 until there’s some victor. Push and pull. Give and take. So consider this, I already explained that a sniper rifle by nature uses its range to deny an equal playing field for non-snipers. And if you ignore it, the sniper rifle is allowed to take you out at will. As such, Player 2 must respond. Player 2 can move and relocate to find a blind spot, but this takes time, and in that time Player 1 can also relocate. During this “dance” Player 1 always has the advantage as long as range is played with, which is Player 1’s natural response. Player 2 cannot address the threat without moving in, while Player 1 can always address Player 2 by moving away. Kiting.

TL;DR Gaming is all about action <–> reaction. Being able to fight back. It’s also about making every tool equally viable, making competition diverse and not contingent more than several OP sets or weapon classes

Even in a less than ideal scenario, Player 1 can rely on the team for support. At the end of the day, Player 1 cannot cede superiority without making stupid mistakes. At the end of the day, we haven’t even considered Player 2’s original strat, which is definitely sidelined by the necessity to eliminate the threat of a long-gun that can touch everything with impunity and security. At the end of the day, Player 2 has done little that fulfilled his/her objectives, while Player 1 has succeeded with minimal effort. Further into the future, Player 2 may choose to account for these snipers by choosing “safe” routes (the underground, avoid the center, etc) or by using a long-range weapon too. This is what overcentralization is, when a huge chunk of Player 2’s decisions are dedicated to addressing 1 threat (Player 1) much more than the other threats (Players 2, 3, 4).

Perhaps Player 2 can get the drop on Player 1 with a surprise attack, providing first-strike advantage. That is indeed true. However, this is equally true with the sniper rifle, which has two things going for it. First, the sniper rifle’s capacity for first-strike isn’t restricted by movement very much, it can be done anywhere. Second, it’s first-strike is powerful and accurate enough that it will always warrant a response, if a headshot doesn’t eliminate the target outright. A sniper rifle will more often or not have the better first strike. And its first-strike can end the skirmish in an instant.

TL;DR sniper rifles are pretty OP in their element. And sniper rifles have only one element, in long-range. This is why the player isn’t bad for using a sniper rifle, but it also means that sniper rifles are literally SATAN

My last salient point is that unlike a DMR, a sniper rifle is by nature overspecialized in its role, both IRL and gameplay-wise. A player using a sniper rifle is at a disadvantage in close range (though not always; high-damage weapons have a tendency of pulling crazy things at the 40 studs and under), and the exact opposite is true at long range. It makes sense that the sniper rifle dude is encouraged to min-max like heck, leveraging long-range and alpha strike. To heck with the cap, or the flares. As long as you stay in a point overlooking all the movement paths and firing lanes you’re golden. And there are a LOT of open firing lanes in every single map. Many sniper rifles also slow you down pretty badly.

TL;DR sniper rifles encourage you to play like a shitter, for lack of a better word.
This is what the gaming folks call overcentralization

This gameplay isn’t just shitty for the person getting shot at, it’s an exceptionally monotonous deal for the sniper, where the only reward is killing players. If any of you have played a game called World of Tanks, then I’ll just say the sniper mechanic is a marginally more interactive version of World of Tank’s arty mechanic. One handed gameplay. Along those lines, people defending sniper rifles sound like people defending WoT artillery. Hear that and quake with irrepressible nerd-rage.

TL;DR this is just a personal comparison. It’s ok if you don’t get it.

Now, this isn’t specifically a problem with PF. Every terrible, trashy triple AAA FPS shooter involving sniper rifles grapples with the Sniper Rifle Question.
But, this doesn’t excuse the developers for following on a bad trend. Though Lito and Co. have been better than the lowest common denominator for adding bullet drop and distance modifiers and sway, those are just bandages. Maybe it’s just impossible ‘fix’ sniper rifles since they are so at odds with the nature of a fast-paced, map-constrained FPS shooter.

Conspiracy? No. Cancer? YES

In which case the real question is why sniper rifles are considered an equal weapon class with the others to begin with. Sniper rifles are not equivalent to the rest of the weapons in PF. In fact they operate entirely outside. There’s a reason why snipers IRL are classified outside of the usual military hierarchy (inside they would be designated marksmen.)

EDIT: As a disclaimer for some, this argument doesn’t really extend to DMRs. DMRs are faster firing, its damage is more negatively affected by long-range shooting (I assume, I’d have to look into stats again), it has less alpha-strike to start with. It encourages smart snipes (headshots/crits for days) while incentivizing players to move, since DMR gameplay is closer to the frontlines. The DMR is, after all, a frontline weapon.

EDIT 2: Why use a sniper when you can run shotguns with slugs for double the fun. Or DMRs, which don’t outright cripple you when someone gets in your face.

Addendum: There are good snipers and bad snipers. But I’m not talking about them, I’m talking about sniper rifles. At any rate, players can snipe with any weapon, while sniper rifles are min-maxed to fit that role.

Addendum 2: There are sniper rifles that are good and there are snipers rifles that are bad. But I’m not arguing that sniper rifles are OP, I’m arguing that they are broken.


#2

sorry for not being helpful but i tl;dr’ed the tl;dr


#3

Somebody called Viritrilbia countered, which I appreciate. Here’s the post.

Here’s my response, it’s also in the thread, I’ll outline it here


“but they are targeted”
*And why should you prioritize targeting a fool who only fires once every 5 seconds from an average distance of 400 studs away.

*And no, the maps are not supposed to be in favor of sniper rifles.


#4

My third big post:


#5

I already tl;dr’ed the tl;dr with the preface tl;dr which you did not see.

tl;dr Sniper rifles are cancer and people who main them shall be purged in Dante’s Moronic Inferno.

you have been tl;dr?


#6

This whole thread seems like a big filler to cover-up some basic contradictions.

You say that sniper rifles exert a disproportionate effect on gameplay then turn around and question why you would target the snipers?

You emphasize the strengths of snipers while leaving out their weaknesses entirely.

I don’t think you are very qualified to talk about this at all since you claim that sniper play is boring camping. Clearly you aren’t a professional sniper, in which case you would know it is anything from camping and involves fast skill.

Snipers rifles being overspecialized in their role is fine. You know why? Because that role is a small role in the general, fast-paced gameplay of phantom forces.

If you are complaining about the fact that a majority-sniper game puts autos out of place, while a majority auto game doesn’t put snipers out of place, I agree with that.

That doesn’t change the amazing feeling you get when you get behind the sniper group and get a multi-kill. :wink: Snipers belong in anything pretending to be a shooter. And that’s partly what 'nades are for. :wink:

I think you should play more with snipers yourself to get a sense of how OP they AREN’T.

If you took snipers out completely, all you have is a monotonous repetition of run out, shoot, and die. There’s no skill or variety involved. And variety is the prop of a good game.


#7

This whole thread seems like a big filler to cover-up some basic contradictions.
You say that sniper rifles exert a disproportionate effect on gameplay then turn around and question why you would target the snipers?

That isn’t a contradiction. I didn’t say “why would you target the snipers” it’s more “why SHOULD you target the snipers (especially using sniper rifles) over that of LMGs, shotguns, AS, SMGs, the like?” This is a question of prioritization. And by the way, it’s not a cover up, you might be exaggerating to suit your case. Of course I could be wrong, but then prove it.

You emphasize the strengths of snipers while leaving out their weaknesses entirely.

Strengths vs weaknesses doesn’t change the fact that I’m saying they’re unbalanced. They could be unbalanced whether they are good or bad. I suppose you want me to say that sniper rifles are weak at close range, and are bad at targeting multiple targets. That is true, I did mention off-hand that sniper rifles encourage long-range zoning because they are bad at close range, but I guess that wasn’t clear enough to you. There you go, I did mention its weaknesses, did I? :grin:

I don’t think you are very qualified to talk about this at all since you claim that sniper play is boring camping. Clearly you aren’t a professional sniper, in which case you would know it is anything from camping and involves fast skill.

So are you a professional sniper? Also, never did I say that sniper rifles (though you say sniper) and camping are necessarily equivalent. To clarify, sniper rifles encourage camping, which isn’t a problem if one is professional like you say. However, you’d probably agree with me if I countered that 90% of the playerbase is not-professional/unprofessional/bad.
This is not a question of how to be professional or not, because the big picture is this: is your average XxNoobSlayerRawXx going to be professional? No that guy’s going to take the path of least resistance and min-max a weapon’s obvious strength. In the case of sniper rifles, that means camping, yeah.

Snipers rifles being overspecialized in their role is fine. You know why? Because that role is a small role in the general, fast-paced gameplay of phantom forces.

Actually, the sniper rifle’s role, sniping, plays a pretty significant role in the general, fast-paced gameplay of phantom forces. You may agree with me, since in our conversation at the other thread you said that you were ok with sniper rifles being in the game despite overcentralization because they “provide a break from the monotony” so to speak, by that I guess you mean the monotony of a constantly chaotic game. That’s a fair point, and it highlights that you think that sniping keeps the game from descending into completely. And I agree with that. But perhaps sniper rifles do the job too well?

If you are complaining about the fact that a majority-sniper game puts autos out of place, while a majority auto game doesn’t put snipers out of place, I agree with that.

**So, which part of my argument do you disagree with exactly? Not being hostile, but I’d like to narrow down the discussion. In other words I’d like to know if you have something to offer, given that you acknowledge that sniper rifles are overcentralizing tools.

That doesn’t change the amazing feeling you get when you get behind the sniper group and get a multi-kill. :wink: Snipers belong in anything pretending to be a shooter. And that’s partly what 'nades are for. :wink:

That is true. I really enjoy that. But if, say, we both agree that kills and points should be earned through one’s skill and knowledge, then killing groups of snipers focused into their scopes runs against that. I dunno. It feels cheap to me, though you are definitely entitled to feeling good about that.

I think you should play more with snipers yourself to get a sense of how OP they AREN’T.

I mean, the first day I took out a sniper I averaged 7.83 kd, and then it balanced out over time…to a 3.8 which is higher than my average so yeah you’re right. My personal experience biases how I view sniper rifles, so I view them as OP. But I’m not arguing that, my point, again, is that the sniper rifle is a broken gun. This was using the mosin nagant, the intervention, and the BFG (never again), for reference. With regards to the Remington 700 and the AWS rifles in CTE I can only say that with the latter they have turned the CTE metagame into a sniping one. So that leaves the remington. I made the conclusion that the mosin is quite fun, the intervention is quite unfair, and the BFG is better left unspoken.

If you took snipers out completely, all you have is a monotonous repetition of run out, shoot, and die. There’s no skill or variety involved. And variety is the prop of a good game.

Here is a true example of a strawman. First, never did I say sniping is a broken mechanic. Sniping as in the playstyle. Sniper rifles are the tool, perhaps the tools are broken/not broken So with regards to that, taking out sniper rifles isn’t eradicating sniping as a mechanic, so this changes little about my argument. There is still the sniping dynamic, therefore little variety is lost. You’re also misframing what would happen if sniper rifles were either removed or (shocker! I’m not an extremist?) reworked.
My point is that sniper rifles make for less variety, which makes a game worse. This is, at least, the status quo right now. It’s role can be taken over by DMRs – hell I already mentioned that one can snipe with anything. Neither does this require the complete eradication of sniper rifles, as reworking sniper rifles can produce a similar result to what I and other players desire, a more dynamic gamespace that isn’t hard-countered by sniper rifles beyond visible range.


#8

As I’ve said before, the main issue is you seem to be comparing GOOD-to-PRO snipers with below-average “others”. Sure, a team of good snipers can spawntrap the enemy and destroy their fun. However, pit a team of good AK users against a team of learning snipers and the snipers will be massacred. They’ll spawn, start to scope in at one of the 14 moving targets, and then see the killcam.

That’s just the point; your average player (sniper)
isn’t a threat to me with my Ak-12 or Scar-L and in fact he’s just cannon fodder.[quote=“TIREUR, post:7, topic:3222”]
Actually, the sniper rifle’s role, sniping, plays a pretty significant role in the general, fast-paced gameplay of phantom forces. You may agree with me, since in our conversation at the other thread you said that you were ok with sniper rifles being in the game despite overcentralization because they “provide a break from the monotony” so to speak, by that I guess you mean the monotony of a constantly chaotic game. That’s a fair point, and it highlights that you think that sniping keeps the game from descending into completely. And I agree with that. But perhaps sniper rifles do the job too well?
[/quote]

I don’t think it does its job too well. I can’t remember a single game in which it was just a sniper war (which is actually enjoyable, especially when the good players have sniping wars and some go behind the lines). PF is generally fast-paced, in fact, I view it as a bit too fast-paced for my liking, but most people agree it is fast-paced.

There’s a certain kind of skill which is how fast you can aim, and another kind which is how well you can adapt to the changing situation and map. Getting behind snipers repeatedly is a testament to a certain kind of skill, or strategy, if you prefer.

This isn’t really relevant. A sniper rifle, by definition, will have a higher k/d. That is not an indication of its general performance and effectiveness.
We all know those times when we’re playing KOTH and half the team is sniping. Am I grateful to them for “holding up the enemy team”? NO. They make us loose and don’t play the objective. I’ve no problem with a good sniper on my team but usually I get frustrated with my whole team sniping because most of them are unskilled and uneffective.

Actually it would be more of a reductio ad absurdum. (Sorry, had to get that in there. :stuck_out_tongue: )[quote=“TIREUR, post:7, topic:3222”]
It’s role can be taken over by DMRs – hell I already mentioned that one can snipe with anything. Neither does this require the complete eradication of sniper rifles, as reworking sniper rifles can produce a similar result to what I and other players desire, a more dynamic gamespace that isn’t hard-countered by sniper rifles beyond visible range.
[/quote]

Changing the sniper rifle class to be like DMRs is effectively removing the sniper rifle class. There’s not much around it.

P.S. I’d also like to mention, that staying out of your opponent’s visible range is another type of skill.


#9

Carry your self higher man… Your title is just immature and makes me think you’re a butthurt 12 year old @TIREUR


#10

Huh then is the Very Sealthy Sniper rifle is broken HUH…


#11

Anyway I dont want to debunk you but (I know you put some effort into this post but…) Well sniper rifles have gotten a Pretty noticeable Nerf not that long ago and well Ill go back to my M60 Reference

Let it be just let it BE

It aint gonna change the hate aint gon end just Let it be

There will always be 2 sides to this topic (and the people in the middle)


#12

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I agree…


#13

As you can see @Mardemon , here we see the natural butthurt 12 year old who got sniped by poke. These are very rare indeed


#14

Nah he’s just mad because he doesn’t know how to spot.


#15

Kek.


#16

I only have two problems with sniper rifles.

They are not balanced correctly for the player’s hitboxes.
Heads in Phantom Forces are massively out of proportion. Its hard to hit someone’s head from across the map in other games such as Battlefield where the heads are small. But in Phantom Forces, they are larger than Zimbabwe’s inflation rate. They are only 1/4 the size of the torso. The whole mechanic of being able to shoot the head once and having the player die is a little bit strange considering how easy it is to land a shot on the head.

They completely interrupt gameplay and force you into hiding.
There are some maps which make it plain impossible to hide from sniper fire. A prime example of this is Ravod 911. If you don’t have the roof, you’re being constantly sniped from above. If you have the roof, then everyone below is sniping you from the hill and the small buildings near the train. In these situations, the most you can do is hide and attempt to occasionally peek out at the risk of being instantly killed. You’re punished for not constantly hiding somewhere.

How about when you are shot by a sniper? Either you are killed, or you’re put down to an insanely low amount of health. Once you have a low amount of health, you’re most likely not rushing B. Instead, you sit there and wait out the insanely low heath regeneration rate. In this time, you are doing nothing for your team or for your own enjoyment. The sniper who missed the shot isn’t having a blast either; you are in cover and can’t be killed. This isn’t fun for either party.


#17

God dammit chroni, that fix derailed my train of thought…


#18

I’m fine with it. It’s part of tactical gameplay learning how to avoid being shot and such, and it’s fun for good snipers to move around to new spots. Tactical gameplay= fun, at least for me.


#19

Why do you bring Reddit’s toxic to the Forum?

I wanna fucking know.

Also, plz don’t be a Seraphim. It won’t do you any good.

Also,

Get the fuck off this Forum, kid.


#20

lol