Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Your Twenty-ninth Assignment: Sniper Rotations

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me.
-Rifleman's Creed
Lock and load, agents!  Targeter is currently sitting at level 38 and has just arrived on the planet Quesh.  It was a backwater paradise, since turned into a poisoned planet by the Hutts.  It's also home to most of the galaxy's adrenal production and under Republic control, so this ought to get interesting ...

So far, the Agent has not disappointed me story-wise.  It's engaging, epic, and most of all ... very non-Forcey.  By non-Forcey I mean that the Agent has little truck with Sith Lords and Jedi.  In fact, my Chiss can barely hide his contempt around such individuals (with the exception being Darth Lachris ... oh you naughty little Sith).  Oh, where was I?  Yes, the Force and all its inanity.  The Force won't save the Empire partially because Force-wielders, in my Agent's mind, are the corruption eating away at its base.  Time will tell if my Agent will have a chance to set things right ...

But you've not come here to read about Targeter's exploits, have you?  No, you saw the post title and thought, hmmm, Sniper rotations eh!  Let me see what this jackanape is about!  Mind, this is at level 38, so don't get your knickers in a twist if I'm missing something.  Also, this is just my own personal rotation; modify at will and report the results in the comments!

In my experience, the Sniper rotation is a fickle thing; it's less a rotation and built more around a trigger system.  Let's take a look at the primary abilities we'll need to use:
Series of Shots

As Ambush has the longest cooldown, it's best to lead with.  It makes for a nice gap-filler while your companion (perhaps Kaliyo) rushes to engage.  I always follow Ambush with Snipe, as our talent Snap Shot (2 points talent, 50% chance per talent point to make the next Snipe instant when entering cover) give us an instant shot, which can then be followed by Followthrough, which is available after a Snipe or Ambush.  After that, usually the target is still up so I've got a couple of options; I can toss a Flash Bang if they are within range and then use a Headshot, or I can use Series of Shots and finish them with a Takedown.  If the enemy is too close, I can always Debilitate them, then follow with a Headshot or Eviscerate.  Alternatively, if Ambush is off cooldown and you have the talent Heavy Shot, you can knock them back 10 meters and finish them with the Followthrough that Ambush triggered.  Cover Pulse is a great way to clear out enemies as well.  Don't forget that Suppressive Fire can clear a whole room of low-health enemies.

This system of triggers and procs reminds me a lot of a WoW Elemental Shaman.  I'm constantly aware of when my next Ambush comes off CD, while managing my Sniper/Followthrough procs, as well as making sure I keep a nice stack of Sniper Volley to increase my Alacrity.  It's an engaging system and can be fine-tuned even more once I hit max level and start raiding.

Fly safe, shoot straight!  For the glory of the Empire!

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