Monday, August 30, 2010

Balancing Act: The Sniper

Recently we've seen plenty of chatter about making sniper rifles one-shot kills, removing tracers and making snipers show up less on the mini-map. Some of these things would making sniping more easy, but would wreak havoc on game balance when invisible, impossible-to-find snipers litter the battlefield. The tracers are a great game mechanic for balance and quite simply have to stay.

The "realism" arguments fall on deaf ears as well. Balance trumps any and everything in regards to gameplay. Giving sniper rifles one-shot kills might be accurate, but what it would do to "break" the game with run-and-gun snipers would be horrific. Imbalancing a weapon to make it easier to use for newer players is bad any way you slice it (i.e. the LMG) you always have to keep in mind how an unbalanced weapon is going to perform in the hands of the skilled player. Here are our suggestions to balance sniping a little better.

1. MAG is essentially a game fought inside 15m for the most part, since its too hard to simulate bullet-drop, the sniper rifle should be the only weapon that keeps its max damage over 50m.

2. Make Acoustic Locators relevant, a silenced sniper rifle should only reveal its location on the mini-map within 15m, make it 30m with the locator.

3. Eliminate the locator triangles above the heads of shooters to enemies outside of their locator range.

3. Keep the tracers. The game is broken in favor of snipers otherwise.

4. Implement the "spotting method" personal waypoints, something, anything that will help us show our squad-mates where snipers are.

5. Decrease the turn speed on non-CQC weapons like the sniper rifle and LMG (and make it unaffected by adjusting rotation) This will eliminate the run-and-gun sniper for the most par.