40mmrain

On The Sniper Kit, and how it could be done correctly in Squad.

TL;DR: There could be a sniper kit in squad such that it aligns with the design goals of the game, but it would have to only be available on maps and layers where it is a relevant and effective use of manpower, and it would have restrictions such that the sniper would have to work with at least some teammates.

 

The role of "sniper" easily the most requested feature for Squad, simply putting the parameters of "sniper" and "in: title" in the search engine of this forum will yield countless results, some decently well thought out, some, not so much. Just what is it about the sniper that draws so much request? It's a fantasy that involves the sniper being all powerful, killing his enemies without detection, outside their range, and with a lifetime's worth of skill; ballistics are his bitch. The fantasy sniper essentially has superpowers, and in a PVP game like squad, a lot of the fun is in killing the crap out of the enemy, so obviously people want to be snipers.

 

There are however a lot of problems with including a sniper kit in a game. It is the ultimate "lone wolf's fantasy". Where a fighter jet needs ground designation, recon, and gets effortlessly beaten by superior numbers due to being unable to hide, and an attack helicopter or tank needs a gunner/co-pilot, the sniper has an (in theory) very powerful killing tool that sets him above the enemy's infantry, and he can do it all by himself. The people that the sniper kit attracts are usually more interested in their own enjoyment of the game, rather than the team's chances at victory, even if these two things do not align.

 

Now, I'm not just talking out my ass here. I have real world experience observing and playing as a sniper in the grandfather of Squad: Project Reality. Despite limitations put on the kit, and how ineffective it was most of the time, it was extremely common to see some random guy with a sniper kit all by himself, wandering around looking for places to shoot at the enemy. Despite all of the limitations on the sniper, which was his dependency on having some kind of medic support, lack of security, mobility, or how there really weren't many maps the kit was good on, people would try tirelessly to get the kit and try and live out their fantasies of the Lone Ghillie In The Mist.

 

So be it though, right? Let them have their fun, there's no harm in having sniper fantasies. While this is true in the context of a singleplayer or non-team based game (go right ahead being a sniper in Arma, PUBG, of whatever, I'll be happy you're enjoying yourself), when you play a multiplayer game on a team, you are being selfish and destructive to the fun of everyone else if you are not doing your best to win the match. If you try and play as a sniper by yourself in Project Reality, most of the time, you are wasting manpower and being selfish, telling your teammates that your enjoyment is more important than theirs, and that is not fair.

 

But it can't always be the case that the sniper was a waste, right? This is true, but it has many, many caveats. In the following few paragraphs I would like to outline the situation in which the sniper is a relevant and effective tool, in the context of Squad.

 

The way the the sniper role is defined, is that, while he is an infantryman with a long range rifle, unlike the marksman, he does not work under a squad leader as a tool for extending the squad's effective range. Instead, the sniper works in a small team, with a spotter, and perhaps a medic and some kind of rifleman for security, medical support, and extra pairs of eyes. Unlike the infantry, whose goal is generally aligned with either taking or holding ground, the sniper is there to perform fire support, battlefield interdiction, and to act as forward air controllers / artillery spotters. Yes that's right, the sniper's main job is to just shoot the enemy, and as a secondary goal, provide some recon.

 

So where can that go wrong? The main problem with the sniper is that, he is completely irrelevant in situations where infantry engagements do not exceed the range that regular infantry rifles are effective. This one should be obvious, why would you ever want a sniper rifle in an area with little elevation and high density of objects like Operation First Light or Chora, or where the map is just too small to ever have long range engagements, like Sumari Bala, and Logar. However, something that is also true and even more damning is that the sniper is irrelevant in terrain that is favourable to vehicles.

 

Yes, that's right. The sniper as a class is completely pointless in terrain where vehicles are effective and available. Why would I ever want to walk around with an M2010 in Kohat, when I can use a CROWS humvee which is more mobile, more accurate, has a longer range, does more damage, has better optics, and is just more effective in every way. Not only do vehicles outperform snipers at both killing and recon, they completely counter them. The sniper's whole point is that he outside of the enemy infantry's engagement range, and is safe to shoot at them. Against a team with heavy vehicles. this is just not the case, and the sniper is easily suppressed or killed to the point of uselessness.

 

So for the sniper kit to not be a complete waste of manpower the environment must be as such

 

1) Long range enough, with long enough lines of sight for the sniper weapon to be relevant

2) Not viable for vehicles to be used in

 

What kind of environment is this? There are two: Steep mountain terrain, and large dense urban centers. Because of the narrow choke-points and slow steep, or non-existent roads, vehicles struggle to be effective, and are generally not-used or are very limited. This kind of terrain also provides a lot of places for snipers to hide, and shoot from. Otherwise, a sniper is not effective. Any sort of non-dense terrain will favour vehicles too much, any sort of flat and dense terrain like a forest or jungle will usually not have long enough engagement ranges for snipers.

 

The problem with this is that, well, there just aren't any maps in Squad currently like this. Al Basrah's city as of now is too small. None of the valley maps are big and steep enough; Kohat Toi is vehicle heaven, not hell.

 

So that's it, pack it in right, Snipers have no place in Squad? Well, almost, but not quite. There are two more situations where snipers can be relevant

 

1) It's terrain where vehicles and snipers would be effective, and your faction doesn't have vehicles

2) It's terrain where vehicles and snipers would be effective, and the mapmaker decides to just not give your faction vehicles because they would be OP

 

Kohat Toi may be vehicle heaven, but what good is that with no vehicles? The insurgent faction could be given a sniper kit that has a more powerful optic and is a little bit more accurate than the SVD at long ranges for example, and it would be a good use of manpower. The same is completely true of the US on Kohat against Insurgents. Sure, I'd rather have a bunch of Strykers, but that would just be broken as shit. The sniper kit, like many vehicles, should only be available when the developers deem it appropriate. This would completely solve the issue of having people wasting man power by sniping on a map that it's just not effective on.

 

So we've solved the issue of having the sniper kit on maps where it is not relevant or effective, how do we prevent people from being lone wolves with the kit, even on maps where it's an effective tool? Players acting by themselves is totally contrary to the design goals of squad, and just attracts the worst kind of people into the community. There's an easy way to fix this

 

1) Make 2 new classes: Sniper and Spotter. Number that a team has is determined by mapmaker.

2) Spotter is a squad leader only kit. It is almost identical to the Squad Leader, however it has 4 patches instead of 2, lacks frag grenades and a pistol, has less smoke, and it can only be taken in a squad with a size of 4 or less. Spotters can not place radios, but they can place rallies with just 2 men.

3) Sniper may only be taken if the squad leader is a spotter, and a squad leader can not have this kit. It has a pistol, a sniper rifle, 2 smoke grenades, 2 trip flares, binoculars, and 0 patches.

 

This prevents people making a squad with the intention of grabbing a sniper kit and just ignoring their squad members. This prevents random players from joining a squad, grabbing a sniper kit and going off on their own, as the squad leader would have to grab the spotter kit, usually with the intention of working with a sniper. For a sniper to be lone wolfing a squad leader would have to take the spotter, and just not care that his sniper is acting like that. Finally, even if that does happen, the sniper's complete lack of bandages would make this generally pretty unproductive, if they started bleeding for any reason they would have to run for a medic. The squad leader would also be responsible for rangefinding, further making a lone wolf sniper useless.

 

With these restrictions in place, the sniper could be in Squad. The users would be forced to use teamwork, and they would be relevant and effective use of manpower, and thus their enjoyment would align with the goals of the team. I think they would be a great addition to the game, as Sniping is quite fun, and it would provide more variety for the players. It would also be good for marketing of the game too.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, 40mmrain said:

Now, I'm not just talking out my ass here. I have real world experience observing and playing as a sniper in the grandfather of Squad: Project Reality.

 

I totally didn't read your essay but that sentence caught my eye. 

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You shouldn't have wasted your time writing all that in support of something that will never be implemented.

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15 minutes ago, Tartantyco said:

You shouldn't have wasted your time writing all that in support of something that will never be implemented.

 

Oh, this is unfortunate. I loved the idea of OP because it requires someone's approval to have the sniper role, as most players wouldn't see "Spotter squad" or something along these lines to be desirable and the requirement to have the Spotter (that can kick the Sniper anytime he wants) would possibly prevent most of the "Lone-Wolf Sniper" cases. 

 

I just registered on the forum to comment on this thread because after a match in Al Basrah that I just played on , where my squad rushed Refinery and defended it to block the Insurgents from capping the other flags (it was AAS V1), I got designated to stay on the north watching the area where the enemy would possibly try to backdoor/flank us, so I got on top of a silo and tried watching the desert, I had the Riflemen + Red Dot role, couldn't switch with someone because the other guys with optics had to watch the buildings in the south and I realized that watching the desert on North and West was difficult on the aspect of spotting enemies and warning my Squad leader to warn other squads where the enemy scouts were placing the mines and ieds,so I had to leave my squad, become a squad leader (on a  empty squad) and use my binoculars instead and all of this seemed too unrealistic,as in real life a riflemen wouldn't do this and a 1 man squad squad leader wouldn't exist. Before you say: "Oh but you should've been a Designated Marksmen instead", however , in real life this wouldn't be the role of a designated marksmen, it would be the job of a Forward Observer or a sniper, as seen on many Reconnaissance battalions around the world; and I thought "Well, this would be the right time to have a sniper on the team" as I couldn't properly shoot down enemies putting explosives on choke points or making FOBs in hidden areas to prepare flanking attacks, but at the same time I thought that for this to happen it would need some way to prevent snipers from being useless/lone wolfs/self-centered players and I believe that OP's suggestion would solve the problem. 

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1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

You shouldn't have wasted your time writing all that in support of something that will never be implemented.

 

I like writing these kinds of things anyways. Though I don't have hopes that a sniper kit would be in Squad ever, I still think this thread has a point. I tried to articulate as best as I could the reasons why (at least I think) the sniper kit has been held back from Squad, because it's mostly misused and abused. I also think my ideas for how to solve these issues are original, I dont think anyone has ever suggested for the Sniper to be map and layer dependent. At the very least I'd like for users to read this thread and understand why the sniper is being kept out of Squad.

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Squad will be open to modding, so even if the devs don't implement it, there's no fundamental reason why there couldn't be a community-made sniper mod at some point. Not sure how much it would add, though, because it's probably going to be kind of like the marksman kit: wasted in the hands of over 90% of the players that pick it.

 

Of course if the devs would ever add it, the team play aspect would be a requirement, and I can see it being fun with a spotter. Another way to make it less 'fun' for non-team-players would be to actually make it very difficult, with wind conditions etcetera to take into account. But I don't know if that can be realistically done on Squad's engagement ranges and culling distances.

 

(I currently play marksman mostly, or SL. Even in competitive Squad games. Naturally, always to the goal of whatever our squad's goal is, and a main source of intel.)

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9 hours ago, 40mmrain said:

The role of "sniper" easily the most requested feature for Squad

Hahah, no.

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Naaaaaaah, just a DMR please. A "sniper" class wouldn't be used effectively at all. 1 out of a 100 squads that pick the class would use it properly and the rest would be dead weight towards your team winning. Lone wolf's would be all too real with this class, no matter how anyone envisions it being used. The developers will not put it in the game, they said so. But mod's will be the place to tinker with a sniper thing.

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OP if I can use the AWP in de_dust2 and get a decent k/d ratio how is even the smallest Squad map too small for sniping? 

 

Numerous times I've gotten up in one of the 9 stories with just the ACOG M4 and got close to 40 kills but I always run out of ammo.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Zylfrax791 said:

OP if I can use the AWP in de_dust2 and get a decent k/d ratio how is even the smallest Squad map too small for sniping? 

 

Numerous times I've gotten up in one of the 9 stories with just the ACOG M4 and got close to 40 kills but I always run out of ammo.

 

 

 The fact that you were able to do that with the m4 tells me that indeed the map was too small to need a longer range rifle

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11 hours ago, Karm said:

Squad will be open to modding, so even if the devs don't implement it, there's no fundamental reason why there couldn't be a community-made sniper mod at some point. Not sure how much it would add, though, because it's probably going to be kind of like the marksman kit: wasted in the hands of over 90% of the players that pick it.

 

Of course if the devs would ever add it, the team play aspect would be a requirement, and I can see it being fun with a spotter. Another way to make it less 'fun' for non-team-players would be to actually make it very difficult, with wind conditions etcetera to take into account. But I don't know if that can be realistically done on Squad's engagement ranges and culling distances.

 

(I currently play marksman mostly, or SL. Even in competitive Squad games. Naturally, always to the goal of whatever our squad's goal is, and a main source of intel.)

 

Yeah, I fully expect a sniper class and sniper only, sniper heavy maps/mods. Which would be fun, but not in the same way Squad is. 

 

I'm no expert, but I'd presume that a snipers role IRL would be much more effective than in game, since IRL, no one wants to die. Your buddy's head explodes or a sniper has over watch on a street IRL? What you'd do next would be very different than how you'd react in Squad. A sniper in Squad would be no more terrifying than any other guy with a weapon. And you'd get all the negatives that everyone else has posted about. 

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Honestly having a designated marksman in the game is sufficient. From my time in the game there isn't much demand for a full Ghillie suited sniper with a bolt action rifle.

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2 hours ago, Zylfrax791 said:

Honestly having a designated marksman in the game is sufficient. From my time in the game there isn't much demand for a full Ghillie suited sniper with a bolt action rifle.

Im begining to suspect you didnt actually read the original post. Thats pretty much what I said, and the point of this thread isnt to demand that there be a sniper kit in Squad. Rather it was to outline the only situations where a sniper kit wouldnt be a waste, and how maybe a sniper kit could make sense in Squad, but only under specific situations. This insight I think is important for those that think there shouldnt be a sniper in squad under any circumstance, or how there should be one now.

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The only sniper rifle I can see being useful in a way that can't be replicated just as proficiently by a DMR is a .50 cal sniper for anti-materiel and anti-vehicle use. I don't know how you'd prevent them from being used as anti-personell weapons though, maybe give them extremely limited ammo, to make it a kit you grab when you need it, rather than one you walk around with.

 

Otherwise a DMR is accurate enough to shoot people at range just as well as any sniper rifle. We just need to wait for proper scopes.

Edited by Qaiex

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