SWTOR Sniper/Gunslinger Top 3 Answers

Top 3 answers for Snipers/Gunslinger are posted. You can view them below.

PVE Question:

The coming patch 2.8 will bring a few changes to the double proc relicbug and several buffs to other classes. We fear that in the recent patches preceding 2.8 and 2.8 itself the DPS gap will be widened between several classes.

We do understand that gunslingers are bringing some defensive capabilities for ourselves and a great cooldown for the raid in the form of scramblingfield. These defensive capabilities and the universal playstyle of the gunslinger might have the potential to keep us in the raiding teams. But taking a gunslinger in a raid team will lower the raid DPS and we might get changed out for higher level content just like shadows, sages or even commandos in the past.

The only exception to this is playing Engineering/Saboteur and exploit gamemechanics to drop all Scatterbombs on one location which is a highly controversial playstyle.

Does the combat team believe that a gunslingers defensive and raid utility capabilities are enough to compensate for the relatively low sustained single target damage and overall AOE damage without "exploiting" Scatter Bombs? If not, what changes do you have in mind and what timeframe can we expect those changes to occur?

We believe that many operation group leaders still prefer bringing a reliable Gunslinger/Sniper to their operations over many of the other damage dealers in the game. Our goal in boosting the sustained damage output of other classes was to give those classes a chance to actually compete for a spot in an operation group (our hearts sank seeing operation groups full of nothing but Gunslingers/Snipers and Sentinels/Marauders in their DPS slots).
As you pointed out in your question, Gunslingers/Snipers still bring a lot of utility and survivability to an operation group. If it turns out that this utility is not enough to keep a spot in an operation group for a Gunslinger/Sniper, then we will adjust damage accordingly. We know that with all the utility Gunslingers/Snipers bring to an operation group, having Gunslingers/Snipers deal sustained damage equal to that of other classes will guarantee the Gunslinger/Sniper the spot over the other classes (in the opinion of many operation group leaders), so even if we do end up needing to increase Gunslinger/Sniper sustained damage output, the increase would not be very substantial.
While we are on the topic of damage versus utility (or utility tax, as some may call it), let us clear up some confusion here, as we are currently still in the process of transitioning away from the old way of thinking, and we have to explain our current balance philosophy based on a combination of old and new thinking.

  • Old Way of Thinking (game update 2.0 and prior): Sentinels/Marauders and Gunslingers/Snipers need to bring the most DPS and the most utility, or they will not be brought to operations because they cannot tank or heal.
  • New Way of Thinking (game updates after 2.0): Every damage-dealing specialization should bring some utility, and no class or classes should have absolute damage dominance over the others (though this must also come with the general understanding that there will always be differences that can lead to players calling out “best” and “worse” specializations, because all the specializations are different, and we do not intend to turn this game into Checkers in an effort to create perfect balance by eliminating all diversity).

In the expansion after Galactic Strongholds, we intend to give all of the damage dealers some utility, such that operation group leaders will want some utility or another from every damage dealer. At that time, we intend to make the damage output closer between each damage dealing specialization as well. But we cannot do this in a regular game update, because it is a massive overhaul to our existing systems and design philosophies, and it takes a significant amount of time to implement (longer than the typical 4-8 weeks that a normal update might take). So for now, while we are forced to work with the current iteration that was solidified in game update 2.0, we must continue to consider utility versus damage – otherwise we are short-sighted, and operation group leaders will continue to build groups that have nothing but Gunslingers/Snipers and Sentinels/Marauders in their DPS slots.
Our ultimate goal is for every damage dealing specialization to viably fill the DPS role in operations. We know that we are not there yet, but we have begun the long process to get there. Please be patient as we work toward this goal and as we refer back to our old design philosophy at times to defend some of our current balance decisions.

PvP Question:
It is a well-known established fact that Gunslingers/Snipers have survival issues in arena’s and most classes see them as a free kill or at the very least the class to focus first even over (healing) commandos or sages. With the sometimes deflected legshot and nerved flashbang we are dead in the water the moment we are out of cover. We know and understand that essentially you feel we need a new button and that you’re hesitant to create new skills at this time. Unfortunately this puts our class in a difficult situation and we don’t feel as if that is a suitable situation. For example what kind of time frame would a survival boost be implemented, by your comments so far it’s going to be later rather than sooner. And in the meantime can we look forward to a temporary solution like an increase of the amount of absorb by shieldprobe/defensecreen or a ‘Cover Screen’ (SS/MM) against melee damage too?

How will you address the survivability issues which gunslingers currently are facing in Arenas?

We do not currently have any detailed plans to share regarding Gunslinger/Sniper survivability in PvP, but we know that Warzone Arenas present Gunslingers/Snipers with some situations that are difficult to survive. In a prior update, we nearly made Dodge/Evasion grant practically full invulnerability for Gunslingers/Snipers, but we pulled the change out before it went live because many players were concerned that it would be too powerful.  
We agree that Gunslingers/Snipers need a bit more, as far as PvP survivability is concerned. We are open to hearing the community’s ideas here. Specifically, what would the community like to see done that increases the Gunslinger’s/Sniper’s survivability in PvP without increasing their survivability in PvE?

Wildcard question:
In the previous round of questions for Snipers, the combat team stated their dissatisfaction with the Engineering/Saboteur specialization. Noting long cooldowns on core abilities, single target limit on Interrogation Probe/Shock Charge and the energy management mechanics which all contributed to a clunky rotation and playstyle. Furthermore both in PvE and PvP Scatterbombs are highly controversial. PvP’ers are capable of one-shotting people with 10 mines but have to sacrifice their survival hightail for damage. PvE’ers face the issue of scatterbombs making up for about 20% of all damage done and a melee requirement. While the damage output is nice for the saboteur gunslinger, the combat team stated it was not intended to be used as such.

What has the combat team drawn up since the previous set of answers for resolving these issues present in the Engineering/Saboteur specialization while keeping the AoE-ness of our spec? Related to this, can we expect an official brainstorm thread where devs and the community can work together to discus possible changes?

There will be major changes to the Saboteur/Engineering Gunslinger/Sniper in the expansion after Galactic Strongholds. At this time, we cannot discuss all the details of these changes, but we can say that the changes will address the damage done by Scatter Bombs and the clunky feeling of the specialization without eliminating area-of-effect capabilities.
It is possible that we might even decide to address the Scatter Bombs issue in a prior update, but would Saboteur/Engineering players want this skill toned down if they are not also receiving an overhaul to the rest of their skill tree with it? Let us know!


By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

23 replies on “SWTOR Sniper/Gunslinger Top 3 Answers”

Am I reading too much into it where they say expansion after Galactic Stronghold rather than Game Update?

Game updates are the same as Expansions, at least thats the way BW is using it Example Game Update 2.9 Is Galactic Stronghold Exspansion. Expansion after GSH is Game update 3.0. What the name of Game Update 3.0/Expansion will be is unclear. But i’m assuming it will be something with continues of the story line, increase level, at least i heard rumors about level increase not sure though.

In general: pure BS.
Some time ago they sait that utility-balance and dps-balance are separate things. Now they say that they wont increase dps cus of utility…
And further on they say that all damage dealers should do equal dps, after admiting that sniper’s dps is inferior to other classes.

Slingers angry about survivability? Conceal ops got the shaft for like 2 years and then they finally started making changes. Waiting around like 2 months for a change must be heart wrenching…

So the old way thinking was we love gunslingers & sentinels.

The new of way of thinking is now fuck gunslingers & sentinels. We can’t believe we ever dated you.

Bullshit. Speaking of game balance when noobie madness assassin in average gear produces nearly the same damage output as seasoned BiS sniper. Pure bullshit. Now I’m angry as hell.

Almost every patch for last few months nerfed Snipers in some way. Beginning with OS nerfed down by 60% (SIXTY !!!!!). The epic, high level skill produce less damage than frag grenade (given at level 1). Just get used to Bioware telling us “fuck you snipers”.

I’m pretty sure what they are telling you is “Giving Snipers 10-15% more DPS then every other class, great defensive CDs, raid wide defensive CD and 35m range…on top of all the usual benefits of RDPS isn’t conducive to a balanced game.” The response of the Sniper community to this message has been…illuminating.

The only thing they’ve taken from Snipers is the universally-recognised-as-being-OP AoE because it’s existence skewed encounter design and made all other DPS classes obsolete. A raid of Snipers can still clear all PVE content in the game (and are uniquely suited to clearing Brontes). How many DPS classes is that true of?

Perhaps you could look at it from a slightly different PoV for the last year (or more for several classes)?

“Speaking of game balance when noobie Sniper in average gear produces nearly the same damage output as seasoned BiS Merc/Sorc/Powertech/Jug/Operative…”

We have good defensive cds? Let me see…
Shield Probe that absorbs 5k dmg. Nice if u have to use it on CD due to constant damage, in every other situation its shit.
Evasion thats good only for self clensing.
AAAAND Ballistic shield, which has 3 min CD
Yup, really great.

And before u say that, ballistic dumpers, cover screen and 60% aoe reducion for Entrench are only in 1 spec, and many other classes get constant 30% aoe reducion so, dont tell me its OP.

I’m intrigued. Tell me more about these ‘many other classes’ that get a constant 30% AoE reduction?

I’m also interested that you don’t rate Evasion’s ability to ignore damage as useful. And I believe you’ve missed a few other ‘minor’ bits and pieces that Snipers get. If you are really worried, as you say, you can switch tree to a competitive DPS spec with significantly more survivability (something that is rarely available to other DPS classes).

But, agree or disagree about defensives (and you’ll hopefully note that I didn’t say they were OP) and their relative merits vs other classes (try comparing to a Commando), they aren’t relevant to the conversation as a whole.

Does it not concern Slinger players that their community and its spokespeople are saying that Slingers (and Snipers) “will lower the raid DPS” and then raising the spectre of raid exclusion “just like Shadows” effectively were?

Does that sort of childish hyperbole not risk devaluing not only the input of all Slingers but also of the other class reps who work hard to represent their classes fairly and accurately (many of whom had or have actual problems that need resolution)?

Dumbest questions yet in this Q&A series. What is so bad about a double roll against a wall ? If you’re silly enough to charge at a sniper with her back against a wall you deserve to be hit with 10 cluster bombs. And only Lethality snipers complain about arenas; Marksman and Engineering are very powerful in 4v4 fights.

… but they don’t have to roll against a wall. Especially with a macro, it’s very doable to roll on same spot without wallbanging.

oh ok, I didn’t know that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. But then again everyone on my server just plays Lethality snipers all the time.

Yup – engineering+lethality 🙂 Can someone send me macro/tell me timing beetwen pressing buttons (to make my own macro)? Today I recognized how to roll like on this video (shared by Meramir) but I want to have macro to not fail with manual pressing 😀 Who knows, maybe i’ll start using engineering (if it will give much fun) 😛

Isn’t that considered cheating ? I mean not a lot of people do it so its kind of a lame way to take advantage of a poorly scripted game that never updates its code to fix exploits.

the glitch is that you can drop these bombs anywhere, so it doesn’t require a wall to roll against

I’m Lethality Sniper and I am fine with my Defensive abilities, by the contrary, I do a way better job taking hits and surviving them. These Q&A were just terrible. They address something that is not necessary to change.

I like their new way of thinking and see nothing wrong with them creating more balancing between classes and making it possible for all classes to play all roles in raids by depending on what specialization you go with as long as it’s done right. If they get it right maybe then you will have less complaining because as much as one side may say oh that’s OP or broken well there will be a side that disagrees as well and then there’s the good old well this class is fine in PVE but in PVP they will disagree so I really hope they are serious about what they are doing because it could be a good thing if done right for everyone no matter what side their on or what they play.

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