Monday, December 5, 2011

Your Twenty-third Assignment: Sniper Breakdown

Cipher Nine, this is Watcher Two.  Time to target: 2 minutes.  The target is located inside the bunker, in the command room.  Do be careful.  Your training has been expensive.

Touching, Watcher Two.  I'll be back by tea time.


Lock and load, agents.  It's go time.

Today we're talking talents for agents.  Specifically, sniper agents.  Check this build out here, provided by the Darth Hater talent calculator (and made by mauler5858).  This is representative of the premiere sniper build for PVE.  We're maximizing our output and stat buffs to turn us into long distance DPS machines.  We'll break down each tier.



Your primary tree is Marksmanship.  It is an obvious DPS tree centered around PVE, as opposed to Lethality which seems to be a PVP tree, and Engineering which is a  ... well, it looks like a gimmick tree.  Engineering actually looks like a lot of fun; you get more grenade powers and other kooky stuff.  But for max dps, it's basically useless.  Let's get crackin'.

First tier of Marksmanship should be near maxed out; like the build states, skip the last point in Cover Screen.  Steady Shots and Marksmanship both provide passive bonuses, one to damage, one to accuracy.  On the second tier, skip Imperial Demarcation; that's purely a PVP talent.  Fill out the rest of the tier.  Heavy shot provides a critical knockback, Ballistic Dampers absorbs extra damage while in cover, and Precision Ambush ignores up to 20% of an opponent's armor.  Third tier gives us some interesting abilities.  Reactive Shot lowers the cooldown of Ambush through critical Snipes and other attacks.  Diversion is a cover breaker that also lowers target accuracy by 45%, but is short range (3 meters, basically melee range), and Snap Shot gives you a chance for an instant Snipe when entering cover.  Fourth tier skips Sector Ranger, which bolsters your Cover Pulse with a knockback.  This point can instead be taken out of the fourth talent, Sniper Nest, if the idea of knockback cover pulse works for you.  We pick up 2 points in Between the Eyes, which is a static critical hit bonus to Snipe, Series of Shots, and Followthrough.  Sniper Volley is a stacking buff keyed off of Ambush activation; if you gain Sniper Volley, it increases each Snipe damage and can stack to 3 times.  The final talent is Sniper Nest, which aids in energy regeneration (remember, you can swap this out).  Fifth talent tier contains Pillbox Sniper; you can ignore this.  Entrench and Orbital Strike are really nice abilities to have, but so far in my own testing, have little practical use other than to draw aggro.  Invest instead in Recoil Control which lowers the cost of the other talent you need to take, Followthrough, and also reduces its cooldown.  Followthrough allows you a free shot after using Ambush.  The last two tiers contain 1 talent each: a 5 rank Imperial Assassin talent that increases critical damage of Series, Takedown, and Followthrough by 30% (maxed out), and Rapid Fire, 1.5 minuted cooldown breaker for Series of Shots, as well as making the next Series fire without a cooldown.  Pretty powerful stuff right there.

Just by looking at the talent tree, you can see that the Sniper is built to be the best DPS on the Imperial side.  We won't suffer from knockbacks and splash damage like melee Marauders or Assassins will.  Our extreme range will put us outside the damage range of most mobs, but be careful this range doesn't hamper you.  Don't get outside the range of your healers or you'll feel the pinch.

I highly recommend you visit Darth Hater's new talent calculator and fiddle with the trees before Early Access starts.  You can find it here.

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

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