01-20-2004 07:02 AM - edited 01-20-2004 07:02 AM
I don't disagree that being a sniper requires little or no skill and they can be very frustrating, but I don't see them as being any worse than the average bunny hopping moron that is jumping around, spewing lead in every direction. That requires even less skill and is just as frustrating.
Message Edited by Cranky on 01-20-2004 07:16 AM
01-20-2004 07:17 AM
Depends on the game. Realistic games where you need to lead the target and take into account distance and bullet drop make it much tougher. Crap like CS takes no skill. Regardless, I think that snipers do have their place in any game, but they just need balance is all.
01-20-2004 07:54 AM
A lot of BS in that article. It may be true for CS or CoD, but not for OFP, America's Army or Ghost Recon. When the weapons are modelled realistically, sniping becomes more difficult - easier than using an M16, but far harder than the AW/M in CS.
There are a few things that are really needed to balance snipers - if they are not in the game, snipers are unbalanced. Here they are:
1: Scope sway and/or ballistics: if you have a scope that's stable regardless of how much you've just ran and bullets that hit instantly, sniping is unrealistic, easy and boring. But then, if every weapon had perfect accuracy every weapon would be boring - when the scopes don't sway, the sniper rifle is not playing by the same rules as the rest of the weapons. OFP does this best - it has both sway and ballistics (aka bullet drop). America's Army also has a nice solution where you really must stay in one place for quite some time, give your soldier time to calm down and, ideally, deploy his bipod (rendering him immobile) or your scope will be all over the place. AA lacks ballistics though, which is a serious drawback.
2: Accuracy of other weapons must be high. If every other weapon is a shotgun, the sniper rifles will be unbalanced. DUH! In Ghost Recon and America's Army, every weapon is a sniper rifle. This makes the matches slow, but then again, the game is supposed to be slow. That's the entire idea, to remove the emphasis from the bunnyhopping twitch gamers and give the advantage to the stealth and tactics gamers. You don't whine about Tachyon implementing Newtonian physics - or do you?
3: Good counter-sniper options. I've only seen this in AA; when a bullet strikes close to a soldier, that soldier gets nervous and his ability to aim decreases significantly. When a barrage of bullets surround the soldier, he'll have to be a pro to hit the broad side of a barn. This means that if you know a sniper is somewhere in the group of trees and your teammates must get past him, you can load up the SAW and start firing blindly. You might not hit the sniper, but you render him ineffective, letting your teammates get past the danger and take the objective. M203's work wonders too. The point is, as long as there is a counter-tactic, sniping is not a problem. In such cases, whining about sniping makes you a scrub, as this article explains with other examples: http://www.sirlin.net/Features/feature_PlayToWinPa
4: The number of sniper rifles should be limited. Sniper rifles are only really needed in pseudo-realistic games anyway, and in real life snipers are rare. One or two for each team is perfectly enough - they are specialists, not common soldiers.
Also something that is outright wrong in the article:
IRL, you CAN fire one shot/second with a bolt action, and you don't need to loose sight of your target. Bolt actions are much faster to use than inexperienced gunners think - it may seem to take long to reload, but when you're in a hurry you can have it done in half a second. If the rifle is resting on something there is no need to ever remove your eye from the scope. Sure, your aim will be off, and normally it will take more than a second to reaim, but it depends on the skill of the gunner and the mobility of the target.
01-20-2004 09:03 AM - edited 01-20-2004 09:03 AM
I agree for the most part. Also, I’ve always disliked railguns in Quake 3 because people get too busy sniping and ignore the game play. I had some frustrating games where the other team was scoring right under the noses of the railers who were too busy sniping. Really, if you want to occasionally snipe then that’s fine, but at least pay attention to the overall game.
I think that the best way to solve this problem is to allow only one sniping weapon per team (one at each side of the map), so only when a player dies someone else can pick up the weapon to use it. This would be a similar concept to the Team Arena Power Ups.
Message Edited by Hoopla on 01-20-2004 09:05 AM
01-20-2004 09:06 AM
"So let me dispatch these myths and send them to hell before we tackle the reasons why sniper rifles should never, ever be implemented in any other game again."
Well. I think that covers pretty much any game you didn't specifically mention.
Anyway, I do like that you expanded on games that implemented sniping well. I also believe ET has done an admirable job of implementing snipers. The results at the end of a match in ET are ordered by XP, not by kills. Players are rewarded for doing their job, not just trying to rack up kills. As far as snipers (Covert Ops) go, as you said, one shot kills are rare. Covert Ops also have other (arguably more important) jobs to attend to during a match. Besides all this, probably the most important aspect is that playing the other classes is just as fun.
Where do you set the "No Millerboy" filter?
It's not whether you win or lose.
It's how many you kill.
01-20-2004 09:07 AM
I was totally going to disagree with you up until you talked about ET. I play it all the time and cov ops are not the most powerful in game. I still think they are sometimes useless to have on your team since it is objective based. Good read though. I've had CoD for a while now but havent been able to try the multiplayer out completely. I hear that the Demolition mod is like ET where you keep respawning and dont having to worry about only having one life.
SoH Enemy Territory Server:
Now running Shrub BETA 1.2 test 13
01-20-2004 10:23 AM
Finally, somebody who could articulate what I've always been trying to say about sniper rifles. I don't want to force my "close-and-personal is fun" philosophy on everyone, but it seems to me that sniping is only fun for 1 person: the sniper. With assault rifles, shotguns, and such, there is some fun to squaring off against someone and losing. Getting shot by someone you never see just sucks. I suppose you could make the case for sniper v sniper battles, but they really have no place in objective based team games.
As to the sniping=realism aspect, well that's pretty much BS anyway. Hit points aren't real. Respawning isn't real. Health-kits aren't real. "I'll beat you next round" sure ain't real. These are GAMES, people. I've got a realistic game for you: if you should ever die, then the game automatically uninstalls itself, scratches the CD to hell, and refuses to allow you to ever play again. Sounds real, but not too fun.
Oh yeah, he's right about ET doing sniping pretty well. That's the first game in a long time where I've actually picked up a sniper rifle and not felt like a total shmuck. Still, there's almost always a better way to help your team than sniping for a few cheap kills.
Just my $0.02
01-20-2004 10:59 AM - edited 01-20-2004 10:59 AM
Well I agree that sniping can be annoying in games like CS, but then again anyone with skill can over come a lame AWPer fairly easily. Also bullet drop isn't necessarily realistic because scopes are setup to compensate for that. The main problems with sniping, particularly in CS, are the ease with which you can change weapon, the speed at which you can be accurate after having been moving - i.e. Jumping round a corner and crouching, to fire off an accurate shot within a second, and the speed at which the next shot can be fired/you can reload.
Having said all that I still love CS. =P
P.S. Actually AWP's are one shot 'kills', reguardless of where it hits you (an AWP in the hand or the heart would still incapacitate you), they're built to take down polar bears in one shot ffs!
Message Edited by meanmotion on 01-20-2004 11:16 AM
Athlon XP 1700+
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe
512Mb (1*Corsair*256Mb, 1*Crucial*256Mb)
Sapphire AIW 9600pro
SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum
Maxtor Diamond Max Plus 9 80Gb
Maxtor Daimond Max ? 40Gb
IIYAMA Vision Master Pro 413
Xp Home *Hides face in shame*
And other bits and bobs...
01-20-2004 11:27 AM
I have a high personal satisfaction on sneaking up on an enemy sniper (perhaps someone who has sniped me multiple times before, and has "skill") and bashing him in MOHAApearhead, more satisfaction than going round-strafing against another SMG wielding opponent and killing him.
Snipers are good when you need cover too, so, I think they have a place in the overall strategy of the game.
01-20-2004 11:31 AM - edited 01-20-2004 11:31 AM
People who complain about snipers are usually the ones who get killed the most by them. I have no problem with 1-2 snipers per team, mostly cause I know how to avoid them. They are a apart of the game and I adapt to them. But having whole teams of snipers is annoying as balls, or having the worst shot hog your teams only sniper spot.
You can't forget the benefits of having a sniper on your team as well.
Message Edited by yoda_blues on 01-20-2004 02:32 PM
01-20-2004 11:32 AM
Just talking about CoD, I find that skill has very little to do with any of it. There isn't much tactics or strategy involved. You have the snipers sniping and the bunny hoppers hopping and the grenade throwers hurling. Everyone else runs around firing at anything that moves. I just don't see where skill is involved in any way with that game. Now, having said that, I still find the game to be a total blast. I play it a lot and it will probably take Painkiller, HL2, or Doom 3 to replace it as my game to play.
01-20-2004 11:41 AM
01-20-2004 12:44 PM
I think it very much depends on the type of game you're looking for and, particulatly, the type of gamer you are. Personally, I think the author is arguing for Quake. I don't like "rush 'em and shoot" games, charging the enemy lines, yelling to Valhalla and squeezing the trigger... Yes, many of the folks who play like that DO have a great deal of skill. They kick my ass because their eye/hand coordination blows mine away. Somehow they're able to run fast enough, jump enough, and dart around corners and acquire targets quickly enough that I just can't respond.
And, these are skills that relate to FPSs. They do not, however, portray realism in combat. And its the realism I'm more interested in.
Do sniper rifles add realism? Yes and no. I think the author is actually complaining less about sniper rifles than the fact that he just doesn't like going against players who prefer slower more strategic combat. It's when you mix those players (the ones who prefer to shoot and charge and test their reflexes against one another versus those who prefer to take a more methodical approach) that you have these frustrations. Yes, it slows the combat down, but I'm okay with that... I think it makes the combat more suspenseful. I think if you have a collection of players who prefer that slower more methodical style of play that really involves using the terrain and coordinated movements, then they'll be happy and there will actually be fewer sniper rifles because tactics will have adjusted to eliminate the advantage.
Anyway, interesting article. I generally disagree with it... but interesting and well-thought out all the same.
01-20-2004 12:49 PM
Nono, I don't want Quake. If I want Quake I can load Q3A or wait for Painkiller.
I just want Call of Duty or CS to have flow, with people moving. I really wouldn't have made the statements I have, if I hadn't played CoD without scopes. It is SUCH a better game, and take a look at my CoD review - I like it even with sniper rifles.
You can still engage in ridiculously long-range duels with regular rifles or even auto weapons. The only difference is that they're not so effective as to completely stop gameplay, yet effective enough for a good pure rifle player to have a score as good as a pure SMG guy.
01-20-2004 12:58 PM
01-20-2004 01:08 PM
I got the distinct impression that you were using those games as examples while talking about sniping in general. If you were talking about sniping in those particular games only, why didn't you mention that other games handle sniping just fine? Would it perhaps ruin your rant to admit that the problem is not sniping so much as those particular games themselves?
01-20-2004 01:15 PM
01-20-2004 01:16 PM
I generally agree with the article. In CS the AW/M is a completely unbalancing weapon. So as a CS Server administrator (Frag'em and Bag'em 22.214.171.124) the first task was to ban the AW/M with AdminMod. This definately speeds up game play, but inevitably the dedicated campers still endup at either end of the de_dust tunnel with the AUG/SIG/Scout. Well, at least those weapons take two or more hits to kill (unless the head is the unfortunate bullet recipient). I would agree that America's Army does well with their implementation of the Sniper Rifle with it's unsteady zoom mode. No quick/strafing/jumping pick off with a zoomed rifle in that game.
The only point I disagree with is that the author is writing from a head-on style of game play and doesn't allow for the gamers that enjoy a slower, ranged style of gameplay. It comes down to the simple fact that you can't please everyone all the time. Game designers try to appeal as much of the gaming population as possible, which means coding sniper rifles in the games and try their hardest to keep them balanced within the frame work of the game.
TerrorDBN, Admin -- Frag'em and Bag'em -- 126.96.36.199
01-20-2004 01:20 PM
Terror, I LOVE ranged play. I'm a rifle whore in Call of Duty, I got kicked a few times for "aim hack" b/c I kept picking people off on hurtgen and brecourt with just the Kar98. But I also like being able to change tempo, pick up a Thompson and rush in. With scopes it's just impossible - they dictate the tempo completely.
01-20-2004 01:40 PM
It's always fun to give Ally Snipers a satchel hat on sniper hill (Fuel Dump) in Enemy Territory.
SoH Enemy Territory Server:
Now running Shrub BETA 1.2 test 13
01-20-2004 01:48 PM
You said, "There are two and only two popular games that have done sniping correctly." That implies that you are talking about all games, or at least the "popular" ones. If you want to claim some bs position like "Ghost Recon and AA aren't popular" then you've got bigger problems.
Don't be so defensive and don't get all whiny when people disagree with your opinions. (And really, no matter how many times you say they are facts, they are just your opinions.)
You admitted that you hadn't played much of the other games, so go give them a try. There is, after all, a chance that your broad generalizations might be wrong, and the more you mouth off the more humiliating it will be if you ever have to admit you were wrong.
01-20-2004 01:52 PM
I agree that they do *change* the tempo of play, but in CS with the AW/M banned, the other "standard" rifles are more than a match for the left over sniper rifles. I have been pegged with just as deadly results from an AK47 as I have with the SCOUT. On our server the SCOUT is relegated to the 8th position in kills behind the M4, AK47, SIG, AUG, MP5, DEAGLE, and USP. Snipers exist on the server, but since the AW/M is left out, they are not nearly as prevelant. I agree that the one-hit-wonders like the AW/M are unneeded in games. Or if absolutely necessary, make their use have HUGE disadvantages. For example, no movement for 1-2 sec before firing for *any* accuracy, longer for better accuracy. Refiring should take just as long as setting up for the first shot.
I'm sure we all have our opinions....
TerrorDBN -- Administrator -- Frag'em and Bag'em -- 188.8.131.52
01-20-2004 01:53 PM
01-20-2004 02:00 PM
Well, that's great for Call of Duty and CS...I don't play CoD and haven't played CS in years. He's got you on the broad generalizations...Your Title of the Article and the post is "Sniping Sucks", not Sniping sucks in CoD and CS.
I DO play Medal of Honor and BF1942/ Desert Combat. In all 3 instances, sniping doesn't hurt the game, it makes it more challenging.There are always people who try to be sniper whores, but they tend to die very very quickly, so they learn the benefits of an SMG. Or they keep dying. Either way, it balances itself.
01-20-2004 02:06 PM
Then you are simply ignorant and lazy. If you cannot even be bothered to check, say, www.gamespy.com/stats before determining which realistic games are popular (AA being the 5th most popular online FPS), then you should not make broad statements about how no game has done sniping the right way or that "sniper rifles should never, ever be implemented in any other game again". Getting defensive when people point out flaws in your rather narrowminded opinions only makes you appear as the average forumposting scrub who can't deal with a certain issue and must whine about it as loudly as possible.
Fix that attitude before you write another editorial - please.
01-20-2004 02:08 PM
OK, let's talk CoD. A great example of a game with a mechanism - the kill camera - to balance against the power of the sniper rifle. If the sniper rifle *isn't* balanced in some games, that's just a poor design or implementation. But in CoD it's far from an all-powerful tool.
Second, your article fails to mention *the* most important benefit of sniper rifles ... it balances a game so that it's not 100% about your mouse-hand-eye coordination skillz. (I suspect this unstated point is what you're actually angry about, as opposed to the straw men arguments about realism and so-on that you propped up and then knocked down.) A newbie can join in as a sniper and learn about the maps, choose tactics, and at least get a few kills. Just as importantly an experienced player who prefers to play in terms of tactics - yes, even in an action game - has a role to play, a well-balanced role in the case of CoD.
To put it another way, an action game doesn't have to be 100% hand-eye coordination. It can be about what actions you choose to take in the environment. In fact I'd argue that games like Q3, that are exclusively about the skillz you are obviously so proud of, are fundamentally flawed in some ways. They have a smaller audience of people that are willing and able to devote the time to such skills. They are utterly hostile to newbies, a problem that gets worse and worse the longer the game is around.
01-20-2004 02:15 PM
i don't see any problem with snipers in the game. i can also imagine how it is possible that it will slow down the pace of the game. in fact, it's SUPPOSE to slow down the pace of the game. that's the realism part. when you have a sniper covering a field, you can't have the whole army running down the middle of it. this should force teamwork and coordination between players to come up with a new strategy.
01-20-2004 03:03 PM
I liked your article, for the most part I agreed with what you wrote. Sniping has become too much of a power like way to completely lay waste to opponents. Yeah, it requires a great amount of hand eye coordination to make so many accurate shots, but let's face it it's not fun getting 1 shotted on a constant basis.
I really like RTCW and ET. The weapon balance is incredible and there isn't a single class that doesn't contribute to the overall goal of the team. Snipers while useful, are useless close range and the fact that when snipers move they can't get an accurate of a shot makes it's much more realistic. It's the only multiplayer FPS that I play now.
"Never run from an enemy in the heat of a fight. Courage and strength shall prevail. Oh wtf am I kidding..run fer your puny life"
Hardcore Doom and Quake fan.
Even harder core Dark Age of Camelot fan.
My gaming rig - P4 3.0 Ghz, 1 gig (2x512 dual channel PC400 ram), 80 gig hd, ATI 9800 PRO, SB Audigy 2 internal, Logitech z680 sound speakers, 19 inch Samsung 955 DF monitor
01-20-2004 03:10 PM
What?! No, nothing of the sort.
a). Sniping is ALL about mouse reflexes and aim. Two snipers face off, it's just a matter of who's faster.
b). Kill cam doesn't do ANYTHING to stop snipers. You still see teams being half sniper.
c). My point about snipers slowing the game down and taking away from skill is that everyone ends up sniping instead of testing movement. If all the people wanting to PLAY, die before they get to for the sake of some sniper's kill count, it's not much of a game, is it? And it sure as hell doesn't test skills like prediction, feints, etc.
01-20-2004 03:24 PM
Can't say that I agree. I play Urban terror, the only real sniper rifle in it being an sr8, complete with bolt action (which unscopes your view each time) and also has a movement penalty (to stop you from just running down the main street with it : ) It is a pretty serious weapon damage wise, but it does require some skill. In Quake3 my accuracy is very high, but despite this I don't do well using the sr8. I still do very well using the other weapons, and I have found that snipers far from removing the fun, actually add alot to the game. I am sure that in some games they are not implemented correctly, but perhaps the same can be said for any game element.
01-20-2004 04:19 PM
Mortars would solve all sniping issues for games, as they do in ET with a good mortar man. I just love doing this on fuel dump, launching mortars out of the window from the command shack onto sniper hill. Team Fortress also had a nice solution with the Pyro, who could launch a flame rocket at the sniper quickly to light him up. Even if it didn't kill him with an indirect hit, he was momentarily blinded by flames.
Weapons balance is key to keeping players interested in a game, as sniping may be fun occasionally but if your in your 155th consectuive snipe-only match, it just gets too dull. Weapons balance can be improved through good level design, particularly when you allow attackers one path that is not so open, and cannot be covered through long-range defense. Snipers are not nearly as effective in close quarters, and designers should take this into account when considering attack/defend routes.
01-20-2004 04:30 PM
The implimentation of sniper rifles is a very very intricate balancing act.
Am i the only person who laughs at the "slower means more strategy" point of view? A slower game actually limits the amount of strategy available at your disposal. Its futile though... we might as well argue about abortion rights.
01-20-2004 06:17 PM
THANK YOU FOR WRITING this all-too-short article. More people should write things like this.
The railgun did the same thing to the hardcore deathmatch games. Sniping totally slows games down to a crawl. Look at how fun Quake 1 can be, and how fast and furious even Q3DM13 can be (no rail). Then you have big open maps with railguns, and all people do is sneak around the corner, take a shot, then sneak back if it's a miss. Duck and cover, sneak around, get hit... then run for health/armor, then again sneak back. WHAT THE HELL is this crap? I want to get dicey, get up close, and fight! This is what makes Rocket Launcher fights so awesome.
Sniper guns have ruined a lot of the war/combat sim games. It seems to be the same phenomena as the railgun (except worse). I completely blame all of this on the game developers.
I no longer play war/combat sims, but still play DM games like Q2/Q3 that have the lame railgun. If I had my way, the railgun would be completely eliminated, or made to 40% health damage and 5 second reload.
It seems like the people defending the sniper gun, despite the fact that it slows games down to a crawl (and takes no skill except point and click) are the very people who abuse the sniper gun and slow games down to a crawl.
01-20-2004 06:27 PM
Play America's Army. You'll develop plenty of respect for Sniper, especially Bolt Action - it's a very well balanced weapon, given its uselessness in close, and extreme vulnerability to gren flank.
You're complaining because the games you play don't require cover - instead, they offer unrealistic levels of armor and even more unrealistic "instant heal" icons. A game can still have a sniper rifle in this "Mario" like environment, but you have to accept that either the sniper is 10x as powerful as any other gun (in order for a headshot to still mean a kill), or that it's just a long-range cripple/stun weapon. In the case of the former, you need to either make snipers more vulnerable - as in Quake3 with the Rail Gun's bright, slow-fade path pointing back to sniper - or make everyone else as powerful - for example by carrying 6 long-range major explosives that can counter a spotted sniper.
It's the fact that none of those alternatives appeal to game-makers or players, they think that's "nerfing the sniper" - so really it just comes down to a desire to complain.