Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

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trihero
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Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Thu May 25, 2017 7:53 pm

Version 1.4, Rookie mode (although I will give substantive feedback that should be valid even for higher difficulties)

So this run I made 4 holo-sharps (learn just about everything down the middle path), and I have some feedback regarding this. I deliberately set up my teams to be massively offensive ranger based in order to take advantage of the holo-targeting buff.

1) due to bad corpse distribution, it is quite difficult to outfit 4 holo-sharps with MKII and MKIII holo-targeters. MKII kind of solves itself after a while IF you choose to liberate a lot of HQs and/or underinfiltrate supply raids, but it is still an issue if a minor one and MKIII is just plain hard to get in a reasonable amount of time unless you just stall out the game as long as possible looking for andromedon corpe retrieval missions

2) since holo-sharps rarely if ever get killing blows, their experience gain sucks. Substantively, in the early game up until about Sergeant my holo sharps could keep up exp wise, but when the majority of my troops started to hit TSGT, my holo-sharps were still wandering around barely hitting SSGT. There should be some kind of option in the tree or just something in the game that recognizes if you take the holo-route, you should get more exp to compensate since you're essentially just buffing from the shadows and never getting any killing blows. Ironically stealthy/swordy Shinobis can level up just fine in fact my shinobis usually hit MSGT first because they are quite excellent at knocking out enemies, but the holo-sharp's terrible mobility means they can only get flanking shots if the enemy wanders into flanking range on their turn, and without a flank it's really hard for a holo-sharp to kill anything (if you even bothered to equip it with a good sniper rifle to begin with since it's somewhat of a waste). Specialists receive a class-wide exp buff; somehow holo-target specced sharpshooters should as well since they are significantly falling behind in ranks, which both feels bad and makes training them as officers a chore.

3) independent tracking feels like a waste of a perk. When I holo-target, I usually kill that target in the same turn. The benefits are marginal at best, saving your holotargeter one action point every once in a long while, when they have nothing else very important to do but holo-target anyways.

4) multi-targeting: I wish this worked like Faceoff. When enemies bunch up for a multi-target, you usually just want to use explosives in that area, but there are many circumstances where there are lots of spread out targets and I wish multi-targeting could really help out in that situation. The sort of "best" you can do is rapid target + 2 x regular holo targets for spread out targets, multi-targeting in its current state doesn't do much better even with the best holotargeter. It'd be great if it worked like Faceoff. If it worked like Faceoff, independent tracking might be worth taking.

5) rapid targeting: it feels like its cooldown is one turn too long. Compare it with something like run and gun and it's just nowhere as impactful. There are many situations where I'm like "what, really? it's still on cooldown?" For short missions, I feel like I can only use it once per map and it's an issue because the mobility of a holo-sharp is pretty poor (can't use an SMG), and you wind up wishing you could do something like RT + double move to keep up with the team but the cooldown is about 1 turn too long. I think with 1 turn shorter cooldown you could squeeze it in twice per guerrilla ops mission, which I think would be fair considering how fast those move along.
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Manifest
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Manifest » Fri May 26, 2017 3:12 am

1) As you said, this could be seen as a minor issue, stemming around the bigger problems in 1.3 revolving around corpse retrieval (and the LW problem of Long War being a rather short). Because corpse retrieval is so RNG (A potential problem or potential feature) at the moment, you shouldn't really plan a build that requires corpses in advance, instead you should try to adjust your equipment to your corpses, e.g. build for more incendiaries with Officers and train more Shinobi with Lancers.

2) Extra experience is also given to Specialists because of their weak combat capabilities (at least before they got Sentinel in 1.3), not necessarily just because they don't get killing blows, I'd say a holo-targeter, while they don't kill, can still be as adept in combat missions as average units with some levels. I'd rather fight a pod by using a Holo-Targeter than by fighting with a 1.2 Specialist. Those especially good at combat also have a higher infiltration cost (Grenadiers, Gunners and formerly Technicals), so this could be an easier way to incentivize Holo-Targeters (give holo abilities some small infil bonuses).

3+4) The way you talk about these perks makes it seem like you don't take Phantom.

>when enemies bunch up for a multi-target, you usually just want to use explosives in that area

This implies that you aren't doing both (Multi-Target+Explosives). Both of these skills are meant to be used with stealth. Independent Targeting is of course weaker on quick missions, but on the more combat-intense slow missions you use it to scout a pod, hold your main force back, and take holo-targeting actions. Then next turn you can activate, and holo-target again! It's like a free turn of targeting so next turn you can take offensive action or target more, or make use of officer abilities (great stuff).

Multi-Target is again, supposed to be used with Phantom, because you can use targeting from stealth, Multi-Target can be used when a whole pod is bunched up in patrol mode to hit them all, it's not optimal to use once the pod has been activated and scattered. You can both Multi-Target and use Explosives/Killzone whatever is good on a bunched patrol, as targeting is a stealth action.


5) I don't really mind the long cooldown, as free actions are quite substantial, but the perk Rapid Targeting in general seems to have suffered from being left behind when its alternatives (Snap Shot and DFA) have been buffed substantially, so maybe RT could use a small buff? Though maybe the other two will just get nerfed. I don't especially mind that you can't build a full retinue of holo-targeters either as I think it's fine to adapt to the corpses you have, but we'll see what the devs do later.

So, your issues with holo seem to be summed up in Corpses, Quick Missions, and Experience Gain. I'd say corpses is a 1.4 problem, quick missions could simply be a mismatch problem (maybe holos simply aren't meant for quick missions), and experience gain is a concern, but still, I don't think every class necessarily needs to level up at the same rate.

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Fri May 26, 2017 9:31 pm

2) Extra experience is also given to Specialists because of their weak combat capabilities (at least before they got Sentinel in 1.3), not necessarily just because they don't get killing blows, I'd say a holo-targeter, while they don't kill, can still be as adept in combat missions as average units with some levels. I'd rather fight a pod by using a Holo-Targeter than by fighting with a 1.2 Specialist. Those especially good at combat also have a higher infiltration cost (Grenadiers, Gunners and formerly Technicals), so this could be an easier way to incentivize Holo-Targeters (give holo abilities some small infil bonuses).
Wait what? We aren't playing in 1.2, so why talk about a 1.2 specialist?
3+4) The way you talk about these perks makes it seem like you don't take Phantom.
Factually untrue, I always take phantom.
This implies that you aren't doing both (Multi-Target+Explosives).
This implies you don't know that multi-targeting doesn't buff explosive damage.

I honestly can't take any of your counterpoints seriously because they contain severe factual errors, but I will give you credit for trying to converse.


Overall I feel the holo sharp could use a bit of help. A couple additional points:

1) the last row doesn't make the holo targeter feel better in her role. All other specs/roles get a very nice capstone at MSGT. scouting shinobis get conceal, swords get coup de grace, gunner gets sat fire, so on and on. None of those last row perks helps the constantly concealed holo officer do her role.

2) the holo targeter feels just a bit lackluster in general due to lack of a "big turn" cooldown or help. This is not necessarily bad in and of itself except I don't know that the +10 or +15 aim that she offers is that impactful, even when I'm using nearly full team of rangers to take advantage of it. Maybe bump the buffs across the board to +15/+20/+25 from the holo targeter?

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Sun May 28, 2017 3:34 am

Wanted to add more thoughts now that I'm at the end game state:

1) the experience problem is awkwardly large at the last couple ranks (and already noticeable as mentioned at SSGT/TSGT). While all my 10+ rangers have reached MSGT for 1-2 months now, none of my 4 holosharps are there despite sending them on every mission available.

2) the use of a holo-sharp as a scout with phantom is problematic when advent tech goes up due to MKII drones and MKIII just stuff in general. You get spotted left and right due to the huge radii, even at high infiltrations. Holo-sharps have no remedy for this, lacking covert, ghostwalker, and SMGs. I would go so far as to say they are unviable in the late game as scouts versus shinobis. Having done a few HQs at high tiers, the only thing saving my holo-sharp scouts have been save scumming since they have bad mobility and no way to reduce detection radius.

3) fairly unimpressed with the lack of "hero mode" options for the holo-sharp, i.e. that big turn when things need to go down. They just don't have any explosive moments. Not every class needs one, but they need something to compensate at least for it. Considering even with elite scopes and holo MKII I'm getting roughly 40-50% shots in the late game against high cover targets (aye aye aye defense and tac sense dark events), maybe there is some room for a little bit better holo-targeter buffs in general, like another +5% aim/crit across the board. I just felt like why am I even bringing this class when I could be bringing say a grenadier to give +45% aim/+40% crit buffs, and a shinobi to scout better. (I know someone here will try to claim I am trying to replace 1 class with 2 classes, but that's not really the point; with a big team you can bring both shinobi/grenadier without issues and the point is the holo sharp does nothing particularly well that would warrant a spot on the team).

It's just not bringing quite enough to the team. Obviously holo-sharp is a bad pick for smaller teams, but even for bigger teams it's not bringing much, either.

I wouldn't say you can't beat the game with a holo-sharp, but the overall effectiveness is pretty poor, and I would like to see some changes:

-better experience distribution
-better holo technology availability
-better mobility/stealth
-better overall impact on the battlefield, say with better holo buffs
-a meaningful MSGT perk that goes with the phantom/holotarget mode

I'm totally OK with shinobis being the best stealthers, but the gap is just too big in the late stages of the game to warrant a holo sharp scout. I don't need for this class to be overpowered, but it's just a little bit too far south to be considered viable, and I think it's easily the first spec to cut if you were going on legend mode considering it's already pretty underwhelming on Rookie mode. I think we could safely buff this spec in a few ways to make it more viable, without being overpowered.

Tuhalu
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Tuhalu » Sun May 28, 2017 4:20 am

You're buying into the cookie cutter, low aim, dumping ground theory of holo sharp use. That's not the only way to use holo-targetting in a sharpshooter spec.

A medium to high-aim holo-sharpshooter that lets a shinobi do the scouting can set up a pod with Independant Tracking and Multitargeting one round and then assist in their destruction from beyond visual range on the next round. Damn Good Ground/Center Mass and Serial/Double Tap play into this cleanup roll pretty well. You do need to keep your holo-sharpshooter closer than you would with a DFA sniper, but that's the price you pay to make every shot for every member of your crew better.

Mostly, it's about knowing when to actually use your holo skills and when you can just murder things instead. With your sharpshooter contributing their own kills to the party as needed, they won't fall behind on levels quite so much.

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Sun May 28, 2017 5:06 am

But independent tracking, multi-targeting, serial, are high level skills that you won't get to, to begin with because of poor experience gains. You've bought into a Catch-22.
Mostly, it's about knowing when to actually use your holo skills and when you can just murder things instead. With your sharpshooter contributing their own kills to the party as needed, they won't fall behind on levels quite so much.
It's easy to say that, but for one thing, I try to use it as a replacement scout for a shinobi. You almost never want to murder things unless it's the last pod or it's a do or die situation. I usually don't reveal the phantom holo-targeter the entire round, and that to me is fine/successful.

It doesn't contribute kills nearly as well as a focused DFA rooftop guy, which defeats the point. If you are murdering, then are not making use of the holo-targeting skills you chose. The whole point is to trade away the use of your sniper rifle in exchange for a good buff, which it's not really good enough of. That you can occasionally use your sniper rifle is a point not lost on me whatsoever since I've been exentensively using 4 holo-sharps and I totally shoot when I have to, but in spite of that, it's simply not bringing enough to the team, and always falling behind MASSIVELY in levels. This is not disrespect to you, but I don't think you are actually playing the spec if you are saying that they can occasionally kill targets and "keep up" in levels. Except for once every 4 turns, you can't even holo and shoot with your own gun.

Even if what you say is true, it's still a slap in the face to low aim holo-targeters who can't keep up in experience.

I also run 4 rooftop snipers for HQs/raids, and they are miles ahead in kills and ranks for obvious reasons.

Your example is a very strange one where you have a shinobi to scout, with a holo-targeter spec to set up for who to shoot? With 5-6 man teams it's fairly luxurious to use both a scout and a high ranking holo-targeter to set up a bit of better aim, for who to actually shoot them? I feel like this is a theoretical situation you made up and isn't one that is particularly good in practice, nor does it go with the phantom-choosing holotargeting. This strange example doesn't really answer the substantive issues raised like experience gain, overall impact, etc etc. It's just a strange niche example trying to make the spec look better than it is. I feel like you are playing devil's advocate for the mere sake of playing devil's advocate instead of really trying and basing the strength on substantive tactical experience. In your example I would have just taken a DFA sniper who doesn't need holo-targeting to set up shots on scouted (flanked) targets.

The spec fails as being a replacement scout for a shinobi, falls behind in levels if you intend to use it in a manner consistent with its skills (phantom, holotargeting not breaking stealth), and is generally not impactful enough (the aim buff isn't really that great unless you massively stack your team with lots of people who shoot, which is exactly what I tried with rangers and still was underwhelmed).

Tuhalu
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Tuhalu » Sun May 28, 2017 5:42 am

Yes, it isn't a replacement for a Shinobi. That is exactly what I was saying and thanks for agreeing. Just because they have 1 perk on their entire tree that lets them stealth a little while longer, does not mean that you should try and stealth for the entire mission or even much of it.

If a strategy isn't working out for you, its just as likely that your strategy is wrong as the game is wrong.

Low aim sharpshooters are never going to be as murderous as high aim sharpshooters, regardless of spec. If you are unlucky enough to get an early low aim sharpshooter and want to get some use of them, then you take Damn Good Ground instead of Center Mass to account for 10 points of lost aim. Otherwise, I'd recommend turning low aim characters into point blank Assaults, Flamethrower Technicals or Grenadiers.

That sharpshooters are relatively weak at low levels is a known thing. Holo-target spec is not unique in any way there, so I don't take it as an argument. At high levels, the ability to turn 80% shots against full cover into 100% shots is godlike (you can actually do this with high accuracy rangers and gunners sporting superior scopes and aim pcs!). It makes your team super able to kill things. I used it in my 1.2 campaign and it was amazingly deadly.

That a holo-target sharpshooter does not get as many kills as other builds is no surprise and no argument. It causes the rest of your group to get kills more reliably, which is what you brought it for.

In any 5-6 man mission where you are fighting 10-15 enemies on the map, holotarget spec is less optimal exactly as expected. Snapshot is the best sharpshooter there, no doubt. But you also have to beat Base Assaults, Supply Raids, Troop Columns, Facilities, Retaliations and Golden Path missions. In any of those you'll have at least 8 men and plenty of time to kill things with. In those, a holotarget sharpshooter can pull their weight.

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Sun May 28, 2017 5:48 am

But I already said that the holo targeter isn't a replacement for a shinobi well before you did, so....thanks for agreeing with me too?

The point I was trying to make with stealth is as I already stated many times - I don't care, and I'm fine with shinobis being better stealth scouts overall. But the gap is too large at the end game which makes holo scouts unusable towards the end of the game, which limits variety and is ultimately bad for the game. The gap should be narrowed.
In any of those you'll have at least 8 men and plenty of time to kill things with. In those, a holotarget sharpshooter can pull their weight.
No, in those missions a DFA sharpshooter is purely better every time. The DFA sharpshooters are constantly buffing themselves every turn with kill into steady weapon (much better buff than holo target). I take 3 DFAs on 8+ men every time and never see how a holo-target would do better as a replacement somewhere in the mix. I have a scout, then my 3 DFA guys rip most pods apart before they come close, and I don't see how holo-targeting in the mix would help that any better. I did experiment quite extensively in my most recent playthrough with holotarget sharps and find them extremely lacking. I would rather have had a covert shinobi in the scout position, and I would rather have a dedicated DFA sharpshooter in the rooftop position.

Every time you holotarget you give up the opportunity to shoot with your own weapon (except once every 4 turns when you can do both, which kind of whoop-de-doo), and I don't feel it's worth it having extensively played with both DFA/holo sharps on both timed and untimed missions.

Where do they fit in 8 man missions "pulling their weight?" How do they gain experience to begin with, in order to earn their spot on 8 mans, if you choose to use them in an obvious manner with phantom + holotarget support where they clearly have bad experience gains?

Most of what you posted is extremely irrelevant, and unsubstantive fluff. For instance
If a strategy isn't working out for you, its just as likely that your strategy is wrong as the game is wrong.
What's the point of saying something like this? Simply discuss the issue at hand. The could game could be wrong is why I'm taking time to give feedback, based on hours of gameplay. The only reason why you would say something like this is as a personal insult, since it doesn't try to talk about the substantive issues at hand but instead is an ad hominem. I could just as easily say something like "just because you disagree with me, doesn't mean the game is balanced properly." Why even bother with words like these? Please be more substantive like I have been the entire time.
Low aim sharpshooters are never going to be as murderous as high aim sharpshooters, regardless of spec. If you are unlucky enough to get an early low aim sharpshooter and want to get some use of them, then you take Damn Good Ground instead of Center Mass to account for 10 points of lost aim. Otherwise, I'd recommend turning low aim characters into point blank Assaults, Flamethrower Technicals or Grenadiers.
The funny thing is, I'm not playing with NCE. Never said I did. There are no "low aim" sharpshooters. All of this talk about low aim sharpshooters is completely besides the point and you spend too much time talking about it. It's quite strange that you see the holo-targeting route as a use for a high aim sniper by the way. Going holo-targeting means you are planning to forgo the use of your rifle at least some of the time, which is a waste of the high aim. I'm unconvinced this is an optimal use of a high aim character.

If you choose to spec the sharpshooter as a support guy, aka phantom with giving up your rifle to buff other targets, it should feel good period. It doesn't. That's the simple argument I'm making, based on current 1.4 hours of gameplay experience, while you are inventing theoretical situations where they might pull their weight if you use them in a way not consistent with their perk setups (i.e. not using phantom, trying to replace DFA sharpshooters).

Manifest
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Manifest » Sun May 28, 2017 6:43 am

trihero wrote: Wait what? We aren't playing in 1.2, so why talk about a 1.2 specialist?
Because I mentioned that 1.2 and earlier were where specialists merited their experience boost for weak combat. I'd say that now that they're stronger they no longer deserve this boost, so it's odd to say a holo-targeter should get a pity boost for being better at combat than the specialist's pity state. Similarly to how you said sword shinobi could level just fine, I'd say specialists can also level fine and there's reason to consider a nerf to their experience gain rather than a buff to someone else.
This implies you don't know that multi-targeting doesn't buff explosive damage.
I did mention "Killzone or any other pod opener" right after, since I prefer Killzone with it.... (and often I enjoy adding explosives to that as well.) I said it because you said explosives were the best, and because you seem to not like MT from stealth, so I don't know whether you take the alternative openers. You just seemed to not think it could be used as/with a pod opener or that it doesn't stop you from using explosives at all.

Besides, the change was not really hard to see after they (double-) nerfed VPT, and it was really hard not to see when it worked, I don't see how anyone could miss it.
I honestly can't take any of your counterpoints seriously because they contain severe factual errors.


That post in particular didn't actually contain any. I even made sure not to say you didn't take phantom, I specifically said from your grievances it didn't "seem" like you took phantom. And anyone would say it did seem that way, from the way you thought it was somehow nontrivial to counter enemy scatter, how you said multitargeting would rarely be "better" than just targeting 3 enemies (especially after mentioning how scarce RT felt to you), or how you said that independent targeting does nothing besides "save your holotargeter an action point every once in a long while", when in practice a stealth holo of course does much more with it and more frequently, especially many times over the course of a slogging, long mission. Despite this, I actually had no difficulty answering your post normally anyways, I'm sorry you had trouble.

Overall I feel the holo sharp could use a bit of help.
Sure, I especially thought it was overkill how they nerfed the damage part of VPT in addition to fixing the AOE and DOT proc. I think it'd be a bold move to make it so one of the Targeter perks enables the use of an SMG, probably too much of a contrast with how Pavonis usually does things though.

Jacke
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Jacke » Sun May 28, 2017 7:04 pm

Back in 1.1-1.2, I had one Holo-sharpshooter just to test it out. Can't remember it being anything but meh. And after reading here, I don't think I'd bother with that spec at all. The principle benefit seems to allow holoing 2 targets a turn and 3 every 4 turns. But in that case, why would a soldier carry a sniper rifle at all? And with the problem of getting higher level holotargetters due to shortage of corpses, why bother with this perk?

Manifest
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Manifest » Mon May 29, 2017 12:04 am

Jacke wrote:The principle benefit seems to allow holoing 2 targets a turn and 3 every 4 turns.
Do you mean just the RT perk? The main benefit of the HT tree is simply that they have the strongest stealth actions (along with Officers), so you can have a scouter who can still participate in "combat", not that they're the best at either area, I still appreciate their role. Though it's true they're a bit weak right now.

Zarnak
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Zarnak » Mon May 29, 2017 5:03 am

Don't they make decent officers? The fact that their officer abilities don't compete much with combat abilities seems to be a plus.

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Mon May 29, 2017 5:36 am

Zarnak wrote:Don't they make decent officers? The fact that their officer abilities don't compete much with combat abilities seems to be a plus.
As I pointed out extensively and substantively, they currently make poor officers since they fall many ranks behind due to not being able to land nearly enough killing blows to keep up with other people + wet work. The consequence is you are lacking higher officer perks that you could have had, had you trained a class that can take advantage of wet work.

What's really sad in my recent run is that I had rangers hitting MSGT, and then I trained them from the ground up as officers and they still outranked my holo-sharpshooter officers. It actually had practical consequences as I couldn't use my holo-sharp officers to use focus fire since they were no longer the acting officer in the tactical layer when paired with the ranger officers.
Though it's true they're a bit weak right now.
Thanks, it's apparently hard to get to people to agree with well written, substantive feedback but at least they do show up eventually. I'll just be glad to log in months from now and see that they have been buffed.

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8wayz
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by 8wayz » Mon May 29, 2017 7:25 am

I held off replying to this post for a couple of days, just to get a better grip on the issue at hand.

To be frank, there is no issue though.

Trying to balance a whole class just because one of the ways to play it falls behind the curve on a certain difficulty level will be a nightmare.

At Commander and Legendary difficulty the non-combat builds balance out nicely by the sheer amount of wounds you get on your front-line soldiers.

I remember back in 1.2 a Stealth Shinobi with almost no kills managed to out-rank all but one of my rangers due to never getting wounded.

As 1.3 is a lot more combat-intensive, I have yet to field a truly non-combat orientated soldier for a long time. But the underlying mechanics are the same - the lion's share of experience is given for just finishing the mission. Assuming a normal campaign where you do get some wounds on your front-line soldiers, in the long run the experience level should even out.

Regarding the perks themselves, the main issue is that they do not have enough active Holo Targeter perks and thus you end up relying on the ones you do have. Most of them are simply passive ones. To make the sub-class truly viable I think it needs at least one more active ability involving the Holo Targeter.

trihero
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Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Mon May 29, 2017 8:58 am

To be frank, there is no issue though.

Trying to balance a whole class just because one of the ways to play it falls behind the curve on a certain difficulty level will be a nightmare.
To be frank, I've given plenty of evidence there is an issue, and now I will demonstrate it doesn't matter that I played on Rookie to arrive at those conclusions; they are still the same issues on higher difficulties. I even hinted in the original post it doesn't matter that the observations I made were on Rookie, because they apply to all higher difficulties.

The exp issue is a real one, and the source is wet work. It's not like wet work only works on rookie mode but not legendary. Wet work allows people who actually get kills to significantly get more ranks. On higher difficulties, the experience required to hit higher ranks is actually bigger than it is on Rookie, so you will actually experience even huger gaps in ranks for longer periods of time than I have experienced on Rookie. Your appeal to "more wounded frontline troops" doesn't offset the effect of wet work. I have had plenty of wounded frontline troops even on Rookie, but having both watched players like xwynns and other L/I players, they appear to have LESS wounds than I do because of their skill. This invalidates the claim that more wounded frontline troops lets holo targeters rank up at the same rate as everyone else.

Also, I constantly maintained a huge roster of 12+ rangers who I constantly rotated out to AWC/wounds/trains timing (you cannot maintain such a large roster on legend I've heard for various reasons), and despite constantly rotating them and deliberately evening out their exp, they ALL, I mean 100% of them reached MSGT 1-2 months before any of my 4 holo-targeters did, regardless that I always tried to send a holo-targeter on every mission. Your claim of wounds on higher difficulties is first unsubstantive (I don't see your gameplay trying out holotargeters and looking at their ranks), and secondly there's no way it can also account for the massive troop rotation I had which in fact would make my rangers have LESS ranks than they normally would.

Everything I'm stating here are plain facts. The issue is real. It can be extrapolated to higher difficulties, because wet work works the same way on rookie as it does legend.

Not only is the exp issue a real one, but the vast inferiority of phantom scouting in the late game due to MKII drones and other enemies makes it an unviable alternative to shinobi scouting which doesn't change based on difficulty. The gap is too large in the scouting. There should be enough overlap in the classes that there isn't only one viable stealth class; it's of like how technicals and grenadiers overlap in destroying cover so you don't feel forced to use one and not the other for that role. There is similar overlap in the offensive/OW abilities between ranger/gunner, but the gap is too large in stealth scouting for shinobi vs sharpshooter due to lack of smg (huge mobility and detection radius loss), covert, ghostwalker, conceal. Oh and I forgot, the lack of combatives on a sharpshooter further makes it unviable when chrysallids enter the mix, while stealth/sword shinobis can comfortably take that talent, further widening the scouting gap.

Not only are the two above thing real issues that are true regardless of difficulty, but the overall effectiveness of sacrificing one soldier to add very miniscule aim buffs, that are largely outweighed by late game enemy tech anyways, to some enemies every turn simply doesn't feel like a good tradeoff at the current numbers on the holotarget buff. A small +5% across the board to all holo-targeters I think would be fine, without being overpowered in the slightest. It's clear that holosharps aren't meant for small ops, but in larger ops they also don't add anything meaningful that a DFA sharp isn't (DFA sharps can constantly put out huge pressure every turn while self buffing for +25 aim/crit on the same turn). Or just plain cover destruction you could get with another class (grenadier, technical, sat fire gunner) which is +45% aim and +40% crit along with roughly 10 explosion average aoe damage, which >>>>>> holo targeters +20% aim/+20% crit with +2 damage.

Why go for tiny aim/crit buffs from a holo-targeter when you could be removing cover instead? And I'm sure at this point someone will say "but you can have both"; this is not a good argument because honestly you usually do have to choose one or the other due to squad size restrictions. Having both is also overkill by the way. I would rather that second soldier take advantage of the flanked/damaged units from the grenade, instead of further debuffing them a little bit with a holo. When most people can hit 100% on flanked targets anyways.

Not only are the above issues real that are true regradless of difficulty, but the corpse distribution is an eyesore on all difficulties, even reading this recent 1.4 L/I this player comments corpses are so hard to come by, so how do you upgrade those holotargeters to remain remotely relevant?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Xcom/comments/ ... ip_report/

I frankly cannot see how you can say with a straight face there is no issue. I think you are trying too hard, in an irrational way, to be protective of the game's balance. We all enjoy the game, but it doesn't mean there still aren't imbalances. It's obvious that you would try to attack my facts based on the difficulty, but I hope I have sufficiently demonstrated that the difficulty I played on actually is irrelevant. Even if it only applies to Rookie, I have seen the devs many times ask for specific difficulties in order that they can change things specifically, and I would be fine if there at least some Rookie changes to the holo sharps.

Frankly I'm at the point where I think I actually said everything I meant to say precisely in the unedited original post, and those who disagree are not even trying to address these points in a direct manner but appealing to strange, theoretical situations and are unbacked by play experience quantifying difference in ranks, lack of corpses, overall lack of effectiveness/hero mode, and the like. I would take your claims more seriously if you actually did L/I using holo-targeters in the same way I do (i.e. as phantom scouts, not trying to get kills but only in the most dire of circumstances) and found that there was no significant rank difference, but until you do I really don't see how things would be different on higher difficulties for the aforementioned reasons.

Also I think finally it's worth mentioning again from a design perspective, that the holo-targeter sharp lacks a MSGT perk that meshes with the whole support idea. Every single other spec in the game has a MSGT "capstone" perk that makes sense with the spec, I'll go through them all to demonstrate

Shinobi: stealthers get conceal, flankers get rapid fire, swords get coup de grace. Check, makes sense
assault: stunngers get chain lightning, flankers get streetsweeper, single target guys/CCS guys get lethal. Check, makes sense
grenadier: plasma grenades get combat engineer, defense/special grenades get full kit, support get cloaking grenade. Check, makes sense
gunner: offensive gets sat fire, OW gets combat fitness, they both share traverse fire. Check, makes sense
ranger: offensive gets rupture (important for bullet sponges), both get combat fitness, OW gets kill zone. Check, makes sense
specialist: medic gets restoration, hacker gets capacitor, OW gets kill zone. Check, makes sense
technical: rocket gets bunker buster, fire gets firestorm, generalist gets rapid fire. Check, makes sense

sharpshooter: holo target support gets no option that goes in line with the whole "stay in phantom, or give up your shots to enhance other's shots" . serial/AMF/double tap don't make any sense. I usually pick double tap for burst damage for that one turn where I have to use the holo-sharp to shoot, but again from a design perspective, there is room for creative improvement here.

RookieAutopsy
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 9:35 am

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by RookieAutopsy » Mon May 29, 2017 9:57 am

Holobot officer is something I have tried but I could never get working for me. Maybe because I never got one near MS perhaps, but I just gave up on them. I just got so bored of holotarget, wait 3 hours for the animation to complete, then holotarget again or some officer skill. They did nothing else, really. All my other officer classes (low aim specialists, low mobility stungunners, stealth shinobis) at least perform other functions when not officering. I now prefer to just give poor aim sharpshooters Damn Good Ground and Lone Wolf to complement DFA and improve their stats and keep them firing away, albeit with lower damage output that high aim pure death snipers.

DonCrabio
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:51 pm

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by DonCrabio » Mon May 29, 2017 11:52 am

I can confirm at least experience issue. From early game automatic promotions I have two Holobots, planned as officers especially for combat heavy missions. I send them on every mission possible, ignoring their limited uses on timed missions, but they still can't catch up with the actual fighters.

If only they can use SMG's... This at least make them great competitors against sword Shinobies on small squad missions, giving more utility in exchange for lesser damage output.

trihero
Posts: 1099
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:01 am

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:16 am

After a legend run, I can confirm both experience issues and effectiveness issues are painfully real. Holo-sharps are a really bad thing to bring to 6 or less man missions as they provide not enough firepower/killing support, and on bigger missions they level up slower and do less killing than DFAS.

Severe rework needed; both need to level up faster and just be more effective.

IslamDunk
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:43 am

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by IslamDunk » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:02 pm

I agree, in this state I would rather take one more custom-build Sharpshooter, Shredder Gunner or even a Ranger with Redscreen Rounds and Pistol Perks rather than a Holo-Sharpshooter.

If every version of Holo-targeters get a +5 Aim buff (as trihero suggested) and also reduces enemy Dodge by the value identical to the Aim bonus, then I'll bring them in a large squad. But until then, more firepower.

Edit : I had a good time reading and understanding why OP thinks Holo Sharpshooters need rework.

trihero
Posts: 1099
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:01 am

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by trihero » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:51 pm

Glad to hear someone else agrees.

I'm rather surprised, coming back a few months later I still see absolutely nothing in the changelog of game balances about support classes (holo sharps, defensive grenadiers) getting MUCH lower experience than other classes. They simply don't get killing blows anywhere in the near ballpark as other classes, but they are considered offensive classes so they don't get exp bonuses like the specialist does for instance. This should be corrected.

It's a real issue that should not be ignored. There should be something like if you learn two defensive/support perks, then the game realizes you're going support and gives that particular character more exp to compensate.

Dwarfling
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:16 pm

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Dwarfling » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:55 am

Even if my Sharpshooter comes with abysmal aim, I still take DFA. With the other aim bonuses (Damn Good Ground and Lone Wolf), plus a Scope and Stock and the rank bonuses you'll eventually get enough aim to get good odds vs most things. Or at least good enough to Double Tap the big-bads in the open. Won't be as good as the high aim DFA tho, that can take laser, center mass and precision, and won't even get to use all the other stats you got in the tradeoff (6hp sharpshooters, woop de doo), but at least it can pull his weight (eventually).

It is sad however that there's no build for Sharpshooters that wouldn't be better with higher aim. Even if you decide to go Holo spec, that soldier is much better with high enough aim to reliably put damage down range when things go south. If you could swap the Sniper Rifle with an SMG, things would be different.

Psieye
Posts: 829
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Some feedback on Holo-sharpshooters

Post by Psieye » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:12 pm

Disagreed on the EXP issue for both holo guys and defensive grenadiers. But then again, I'm running fucked up 8-man GOps and experience just isn't a concern for me. Both those builds who don't get the killing blow often (they get a couple every 8-man GOp) are fine levelling up from the mission EXP alone, provided they're finishing a mission every 2 days.

I do agree that holo guys and smoke-spam grenadiers can't thrive under normal 5~6-man GOps. But they both only need to be around Cpl to do their job well. Sting grenadiers have to work hard to get their signature perk, but that's what incendiaries are for.
My three 8-man GOp squad Commander campaigns:
1st
2nd
3rd

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