Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

darkerevent
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Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:01 pm

I've been experimenting with an ini tweak that lets Sharpshooters equip the Rifle weapontype, thus also allowing them to equip SMGs.

I did this because I regularly make use of Holotarget built sharpshooters with Phantom that I seldom (if ever) want to fire shots, and it seemed odd that there was no way to remove their heavy and stealth-diminishing sniper rifle. It also generally seemed strange that they somehow lost the ability to equip rifles because of getting specialized training as a sharpshooter.

Is there any chance this could become baseline to the mod? Is it something others might be interested in seeing as a quality of life change for Holo Sharpshooters? Are there any known or foreseen bugs that would arise from doing so? (I haven't been able to find any yet, for what it's worth.)

fowlJ
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by fowlJ » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:10 pm

darkerevent wrote:Are there any known or foreseen bugs that would arise from doing so? (I haven't been able to find any yet, for what it's worth.)
Death from Above returns one action point when you get a kill from elevation, which normally prevents the Sharpshooter from firing more than once per turn (because the sniper rifle requires 2 AP), but does not prevent them from shooting again if they trigger the ability with a normal weapon. This means they can benefit from DfA multiple times in a single turn, and essentially become unstoppable killing machines any time they have an elevated position to shoot from.

(I assume it's probably possible to limit DfA to once per turn, but that's in the realm of 'actual effort' compared to just enabling extra weapons in the config file, so I'm not sure they'd be interested in dedicating the time to it.)

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:55 pm

I like this idea very much.

I think main complaint with SMG for Sharpshooters come from role interference with stealth Shinobies, but this don't look like a serious issue for me. Stealth shinobies much better in pure stealth, thank to Covert and Ghostwalker.
Last edited by DonCrabio on Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:58 pm

fowlJ wrote: Death from Above returns one action point when you get a kill from elevation, which normally prevents the Sharpshooter from firing more than once per turn (because the sniper rifle requires 2 AP), but does not prevent them from shooting again if they trigger the ability with a normal weapon. This means they can benefit from DfA multiple times in a single turn, and essentially become unstoppable killing machines any time they have an elevated position to shoot from.

(I assume it's probably possible to limit DfA to once per turn, but that's in the realm of 'actual effort' compared to just enabling extra weapons in the config file, so I'm not sure they'd be interested in dedicating the time to it.)
Developers already have "one per turn" abilities, plus they have abilities tied to weapon type, so this is not an issue.

darkerevent
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:06 pm

fowlJ wrote:Death from Above returns one action point when you get a kill from elevation, which normally prevents the Sharpshooter from firing more than once per turn (because the sniper rifle requires 2 AP), but does not prevent them from shooting again if they trigger the ability with a normal weapon. This means they can benefit from DfA multiple times in a single turn, and essentially become unstoppable killing machines any time they have an elevated position to shoot from.
Correct, just tested it to corroborate.

Honestly, if DFA is going to exist as a perk in the AWC, a once-per-turn restriction should probably be implemented for it regardless. There seems to be a pass being made on broken combinations like that right now (e.g. the whole Close Encounters into Run and Gun thing that was possible in 1.2), so this is probably as good a time as any to go ahead and do it.

Granted, I have no knowledge of how trivial or not that is to program, but I figured I should mention the possibly broken AWC interaction. (As DonCrabio said though, I am guessing that the devs have a pretty good handle on the technical side of how how to limit this at this point.)

JulianSkies
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by JulianSkies » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:33 pm

It is probably rather easy for devs to make DFA interact better with SMGs, but then I think that'd give them far too much that they can do while on stealth.
Basically they would be much better stealth soldiers than shinobi, because they bring far more utility to go along with their recon.
Myself if I pick a good high mobility sharpshooter I already have all I want from a spotter

hewhoispale
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by hewhoispale » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:41 pm

As squadsight works with any equipped weapon, I would wonder about range falloff tables for non-sniper weapons not having values out to squadsight ranges.

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:26 pm

hewhoispale wrote:As squadsight works with any equipped weapon, I would wonder about range falloff tables for non-sniper weapons not having values out to squadsight ranges.
Pistols don't work at squadsight already, so there must be config switch for this ability.

Solomani
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by Solomani » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:13 pm

There's a mod with Halo 5 weapons that has a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). It's basically an assault rifle with longer range stats. For awhile the mod was allowing my sniper to equip it, but it seems to have changed. I loved using it on my snapshot snipers as it really seemed to fit their role.

JulianSkies
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by JulianSkies » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:21 pm

DonCrabio wrote:
hewhoispale wrote:As squadsight works with any equipped weapon, I would wonder about range falloff tables for non-sniper weapons not having values out to squadsight ranges.
Pistols don't work at squadsight already, so there must be config switch for this ability.
Squadsight is primary weapon only. There is a hack reward (Integrated Comms) that grants squad wide squadsight. Assault rifles are, however, strictly worse at squadsight range, their penalty caps at -30 while sniper rifles cap at -20, most of the penalty comes from Squadsight itself

darkerevent
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:58 pm

JulianSkies wrote:It is probably rather easy for devs to make DFA interact better with SMGs, but then I think that'd give them far too much that they can do while on stealth.
Basically they would be much better stealth soldiers than shinobi, because they bring far more utility to go along with their recon.
Myself if I pick a good high mobility sharpshooter I already have all I want from a spotter
To be fair, if 1.3 creates a situation where stealth shins are so bad off, balance-wise, that giving sharps the ability to equip the weakest+lightest primary weapon in the game is all that it would take to remove the relevance the stealth shinobi as a build, then stealth shinobis probably need serious rebalancing in general.

To put it another way, I don't want holo-officer sharpshooters to continue being forced to use a loadout that is nonsensical (enforced heavy+easily detected sniper rifle), just because another class+build combination is so irrelevant that it can only be propped up by its "unique" ability to equip an SMG while serving as a stealth scout.

That said, I still don't think stealth shins are going to be distinctly inferior scouts and objective runners even if you give the sharp the ability to wear the SMG. The sharpshooter is still missing key stealth usability perks like ghostwalker, covert, and tradecraft, all of which have very large impacts on how well the stealth shin can do their job on the ground (and, at the strategic layer, how easy they are to squeeze onto the roster of a mission whose size is already pushing the limit allowed by the infiltration time available).

JulianSkies
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by JulianSkies » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:26 pm

darkerevent wrote:
JulianSkies wrote:It is probably rather easy for devs to make DFA interact better with SMGs, but then I think that'd give them far too much that they can do while on stealth.
Basically they would be much better stealth soldiers than shinobi, because they bring far more utility to go along with their recon.
Myself if I pick a good high mobility sharpshooter I already have all I want from a spotter
To be fair, if 1.3 creates a situation where stealth shins are so bad off, balance-wise, that giving sharps the ability to equip the weakest+lightest primary weapon in the game is all that it would take to remove the relevance the stealth shinobi as a build, then stealth shinobis probably need serious rebalancing in general.

To put it another way, I don't want holo-officer sharpshooters to continue being forced to use a loadout that is nonsensical (enforced heavy+easily detected sniper rifle), just because another class+build combination is so irrelevant that it can only be propped up by its "unique" ability to equip an SMG while serving as a stealth scout.

That said, I still don't think stealth shins are going to be distinctly inferior scouts and objective runners even if you give the sharp the ability to wear the SMG. The sharpshooter is still missing key stealth usability perks like ghostwalker, covert, and tradecraft, all of which have very large impacts on how well the stealth shin can do their job on the ground (and, at the strategic layer, how easy they are to squeeze onto the roster of a mission whose size is already pushing the limit allowed by the infiltration time available).
I mean, essentially, the only advantage a stealth shinobi brings to a combat squad is scouting, seeing what is ahead. They pay for that capacity for not being able to bring anything else to the table. Even a kensai is still superior, in my opinion, as a scout to a proper stealth shinobi in a combat mission as they can actually do something at some point while stealth shinobi effectively only provides (admittedly incredibly important) intel on the battlefield.

A stealth spotter with high mobility, smaller detection range AND the ability to meaningfully impact the battle without losing concealment would be a much, much greater boon to the team than a stealth shinobi as it can still do the same job (you don't need all the stealth abilities to be a good battlefield recon, you just need good enough movement, especially if you can use your abilities at squadsight range) and then do even more.

darkerevent
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:41 pm

JulianSkies wrote:A stealth spotter with high mobility, smaller detection range AND the ability to meaningfully impact the battle without losing concealment would be a much, much greater boon to the team than a stealth shinobi as it can still do the same job (you don't need all the stealth abilities to be a good battlefield recon, you just need good enough movement, especially if you can use your abilities at squadsight range) and then do even more.
Broadly speaking, I think it would make the most sense if things were balanced so that a Stealth Shin is ideal to bring on "get the objective and then evacuate" GOps, while a phantom holo sharp would be ideal to bring on an open combat mission like a supply raid or troop column.

It just seems like a logical overall way to balance them against one another, considering their respective kits of abilities. Shin already has a leg up on getting in undetected while everybody else is being a distraction by fighting (due to ghostwalker and covert), while the holo spotter has more direct combat utility at the expense of not being able to get bleeding-edge-close to enemies undetected (as is often necessary in things like jailbreaks and other quieter GOps). If shin needs a buff somewhere in that, then it should be given one, although I'm waiting to see how they fare in 1.3 before I argue much about what could be done for them. It's going to take some time for the stealth-meta dust to settle before we'll get a fully clear picture of that, I think.

Just as a brainstorm -- it might add some interesting gameplay choices if the developers were to give Shins access to a perk which says, "If you perform a hack from concealment, that hack is treated as if you have +50 hacking stat" (number is arbitrary and purely for example). It would encourage sneaking the shin in to the objective while everybody else is outside fighting as a distraction (bearing in mind that 1.3 objectives will otherwise be a lot harder to slip in and hack covertly), without having to fiddle around so much with squadsight hacky shenanigans from a specialist in order to secure the hack rewards. I think that would "feel cool" thematically while also deepening the gameplay for stealth shinobis a bit (getting to the objective with the shin truly undetected is rewarded, rather than doing a command -> run through enemies -> hack -> run out to cover cheese move).

I'm also very tempted to suggest the existence of a perk named "Hack and Slash" purely for the sake of punning, but I'm not entirely sure what its effect should be.

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:59 pm

Holotargeting without scouting or shooting potential do not enough for me to justify sharpshooter in small ops squad.

Actually, I don't need even SMG, just empty slot will be better than this useless sniper rifle on holobot SS. Maybe pistol as primary weapon? It will be nice gunslinger themed build.

I can think of another variant, if I can have Snapshot and Rapid Targeting in same build, this probably can result in very interesting hybrid holobot build. Maybe it will be too good, I don't know.
Last edited by DonCrabio on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

darkerevent
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:00 pm

DonCrabio wrote:Actually, I don't need even SMG, just empty slot will be better than this useless sniper rifle on holobot SS. Maybe pistol as primary weapon? It will be nice gunslinger themed build.
Pistol as primary doesn't let you use the AWC pistol perks with the primary gun, due to how the weapon slots are linked up to the attack skills. Otherwise I would suggest that immediately as my preferred alternative too.

knrp
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by knrp » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:35 am

fowlJ wrote:(I assume it's probably possible to limit DfA to once per turn, but that's in the realm of 'actual effort' compared to just enabling extra weapons in the config file, so I'm not sure they'd be interested in dedicating the time to it.)
It is actually possible to trigger DfA twice with Command giving you the second AP for the second shot, so this would be a slight nerf to sniper rifles, while still leaving the proposed rifle sharpshooters with a light 'em up that only works on kills from elevation.

darkerevent
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by darkerevent » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:49 am

knrp wrote:It is actually possible to trigger DfA twice with Command giving you the second AP for the second shot, so this would be a slight nerf to sniper rifles, while still leaving the proposed rifle sharpshooters with a light 'em up that only works on kills from elevation.
The very slight nerf to the Command edge case isn't something that worries me based on my own experience with DFA sharpshooters. You would still get to take both 2 AP shots in the scenario provided, you just wouldn't get the extra freebie action afterward for reloading/holotargeting/steadying. If that second DFA sniper shot was important enough to spend an action commanding for it in the first place, then that tradeoff is probably fair.

Personally, I still don't see a limit-one-per-turn DFA on a rifle sharpshooter as being likely to cause any big balance problems (you've still gotta get the kill and do it from elevation in order to get that second shot), but if there's concern over it, I would also be content with the devs introducing a +3 mobility primary weapon that has zero range and a bare fist icon. I would equip it instead of the sniper rifle on my holotargeters in nearly every case. My primary concern is that I don't want my holosharp scout slowed down and made more visible by the big sniper rifle he/she is forced to carry in the current design.

ndessell
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by ndessell » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:50 am

darkerevent wrote:
knrp wrote:It is actually possible to trigger DfA twice with Command giving you the second AP for the second shot, so this would be a slight nerf to sniper rifles, while still leaving the proposed rifle sharpshooters with a light 'em up that only works on kills from elevation.
The very slight nerf to the Command edge case isn't something that worries me based on my own experience with DFA sharpshooters. You would still get to take both 2 AP shots in the scenario provided, you just wouldn't get the extra freebie action afterward for reloading/holotargeting/steadying. If that second DFA sniper shot was important enough to spend an action commanding for it in the first place, then that tradeoff is probably fair.

Personally, I still don't see a limit-one-per-turn DFA on a rifle sharpshooter as being likely to cause any big balance problems (you've still gotta get the kill and do it from elevation in order to get that second shot), but if there's concern over it, I would also be content with the devs introducing a +3 mobility primary weapon that has zero range and a bare fist icon. I would equip it instead of the sniper rifle on my holotargeters in nearly every case. My primary concern is that I don't want my holosharp scout slowed down and made more visible by the big sniper rifle he/she is forced to carry in the current design.
I would rather they give holo sharpshooters reason to value that long rifle, instead of being a officer/holo bot.

Dlareh
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by Dlareh » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 am

ndessell wrote:I would rather they give holo sharpshooters reason to value that long rifle, instead of being a officer/holo bot.
*peers into crystal ball*

Next balance change: holo targeting breaks concealment.
Excitement continues to build as city centers across the globe prepare for the latest incarnation of Groundhog Day.

LordYanaek
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by LordYanaek » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:16 am

ndessell wrote: I would rather they give holo sharpshooters reason to value that long rifle, instead of being a officer/holo bot.
Did any of you actually try to use that sniper rifle?
I had an holo-officer leading my heavy duty squad during my finished commander campaign. She had crap aim to start which is why i made her holo-officer but due to the SS aim progression, after some level-ups she had decent-ish aim and by MSgt was on par with most soldiers in the squad (the exception being the dedicated Serial sniper).
She spent about half her time doing support and the other half actually shooting and wasn't bad at all. Sur she wouldn't take anyone behind full cover but double-tapping those heavy mecs or berserkers, sometimes a stupid muton elite out in the open with shields up or even an archon after rapid-targeting it definitely wasn't useless. During the numerous 0% Destroy the Relay the squad fought she was also the dedicated relay-destroyer while the rest of the squad was busy fighting incoming pods.
When she didn't have a good shot or on turns where Double Tap was on cooldown she would provide improved aim and damage to the rest of the squad on those hard to hit enemies i couldn't afford to leave alive.

I never felt she was useless and never regretted the Sniper Rifle.

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:35 am

It's really hard for me to level up low aim Sharpshooter to the point there it maybe will be worth taking on mission. At MGST level it maybe will pull it's weight in squad roster, but early on? I need to waste damage dealer slot to have +10 aim on two targets, this is bad trade off from my point of view.

LordYanaek
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by LordYanaek » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:19 pm

I didn't take precise notes during that campaign so i don't really remember the specifics but i would say she started to really pull her weight by SSgt with Independent Tracking. The first level-ups she mostly tagged along some skirmish or stealth groups. In case of a fight she would RT someone to almost completely offset her bad starting aim. If the fight lasted more than 1 turn she would point 2 enemies for the rest of the squad. I didn't consider pistols at that time but she would have been more useful with one.
I don't remember exactly when i assembled the squad she led, it was probably when i started doing some low % supply raids somewhere in May or early June. She already had an officer level or two and helped with officer actions and holotargetting at that point, plus some killing when RT was available. SSgt wasn't that far away and as i also added a dedicated shinobi scout to the squad, i started marking some targets one turn then start the real fight the next turn by marking a 3rd one with RT.

The beauty of Double Tap on such a build once you reach MSgt is that you only loose 1/3 of your firepower by firing only every other turn but you provide a lot of boosts to the entire squad. I usually had +15 aim/crit and +1 dmg against the whole enemy pods and with high defense/dodge on late game enemies it really helped me control the flow of the fight.

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:43 pm

LordYanaek wrote: ...The first level-ups she mostly tagged along some skirmish or stealth groups...

...I don't remember exactly when i assembled the squad she led, it was probably when i started doing some low % supply raids somewhere in May or early June...
This is probably make difference. I ruled out 0% supply raids and most stealth missions, since developers clearly stated what this will be removed/nerfed in 1.3. So I do almost all my missions by fighting and it's hard to fit low aim SS in small GOPS squad. I have one low AIM Sharpshooter from Gatecrusher squad and she is still LCPL while my DFA snipers SSGT already, and they don't see much action too.

LordYanaek
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by LordYanaek » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:59 pm

Yep, that campaign was started long before any discussion about stealth and 0% supply raids nerfs so i just played whatever missions i got with whatever squad i could fit in ;)
That being said in the early game i had very few real stealth missions as i was trying to level up everyone. Sometimes i would stealth a 5 men squad and fight only one pod but pure 2-3 men stealth mostly came later when i already had Battle Scanners.

But even with crap aim, RT can help you do something in fights. Consider a really crappy 58 starting aim (is it even possible to get below?). By LCpl you have +7 for 65, when you use RT you're up to 75. Now take a very good (max 75 starting aim) Ranger or Gunner, by LCpl you're looking at 80 aim. That's only 5 more than the crappy aim SS you're trying to level-up and those are extreme examples. Most of the time you'll have the same aim (or slightly better) the turn you use RT compared to the rest of the squad.
Sure those other soldiers have perks that help them rather than just make up for their poor aim but if you want to give them a chance on missions you expect won't be too hard they are not exactly dead weight even with such a poor aim and it's an investment that will pay off later once they actually become really useful.

I personally couldn't stand with a LCpl soldier when i already have SSgt unless it was a guy fresh out of the GTS who just completed his first real mission. That soldier simply doesn't see enough missions so of course he will never become useful. What i'm doing in my current run where i try to avoid stealth and never did an raid with less than 100% is whenever i have a mission with good infiltration timing and a non timed evac i look at my roster and choose some low level soldiers to train then add one or two higher level soldiers as safeguards. Alternatively if the timer allows it i just go with as many low level soldiers as possible to still reach 100% infiltration. Having a low level Spark you want to train to tank a few shots does help of course :)

DonCrabio
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Re: Suggestion: Allow Sharpshooters to equip rifles (SMGs)

Post by DonCrabio » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:21 pm

One more thing, what actually bothers me. Why SS have both Phantom and Conceal if we not supposed to use them as scouts? Only use of Conceal outside of scouting job is assassination missions with bad infiltration timers. And Phantom? What use is possible for Phantom on non-scout unit?

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