Mega gaming portal gPotato has recently brought another massive PvP
game to our shores. Aika
features 1000 vs. 100 battles, 100's of
quests and 6 unique classes. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Christina
Kelly, Community Manager from Gala-Net, Inc., to discuss those classes
in a six part interview series.
Next up we have the first of the three male gender locked classes, the
Rifleman.  A long ranged assassin who uses stealth and
precision to get the job done, the Rifleman is a damage dealer
extraordinaire. What sets the Rifleman apart from the other DPS classes
in Aika? Is this the right class for you? Join us this week as we get
the answers to these questions and more.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us a brief overview of the Rifleman class?

Christine Kelly: Sure! 
If I had to pick three adjectives for the Rifleman, they’d be
“precise,” “stealthy,” and “fatal.”  He’s a long range stealth
class, basically an assassin, who deals massive amounts of burst
damage.  He’s great for ambushes and picking off enemies from
the back of a party, and he’s also a good solo class for those who
favor ranged DPS over melee.  At higher levels, the Rifleman
gains the ability to shoot area effect shells as well as build fixed
turrets which fire autonomously, but otherwise he doesn’t have much in
the way of area-of-effect attacks.  He wears leather suits and
his weapon is a two-handed rifle.

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alt="Aika Rifleman"

style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-style: italic;">The Rifleman prefers to keep the
enemies at bay.
style="font-weight: bold;">

Ten Ton Hammer: How is
the Rifleman different than the Dual Gunner?

The Rifleman and Dual Gunner are both “scout” classes in style="font-style: italic;">Aika (meaning that
they use guns as weapons), but the Rifleman is a ranged attacker who
wields one gun whereas the Dual Gunner is a mid-range attacker with two
pistols.  We sometimes call the Rifleman a “one-shot wonder,”
and that reflects his reliance on well-timed single attacks which deal
huge amounts of damage per bullet.  The Dual Gunner, on the
other hand, is more adept at chaining attacks to take down a foe,
particularly since DG skills tend to be more debuff-based and less
damage-based than Rifleman skills.  Another major difference
is casting times/cooldowns – Rifleman attacks have shorter cooldowns
and longer casting times than Dual Gunner attacks, which means Riflemen
generally have greater endurance in offensive maneuvers. 

Of course, the most visible difference is that Riflemen are male and
Dual Gunners are female.  Aika’s
classes are gender locked, with three male and three
female classes total.  This feature is a key part of the game
engine which developer JoyImpact built for style="font-style: italic;">Aika and which
enables our massive, thousand-plus PvP battles.  The gender
difference doesn’t affect gameplay, though.

Ten Ton Hammer: Being
primarily a ranged class, does the Rifleman have any tricks for dealing
with close quarters combat?

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alt="Aika Rifleman"

style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-style: italic;">The Rifleman walks softly and
carries a big boomstick. 
style="font-weight: bold;">

 Yes, although his effectiveness is limited.  The
Rifleman’s Stealth ability coupled with the Ambush attack allows him to
deliver a powerful punch while being hidden from any enemies, which can
catch a close range target off-guard.  He also has an ability
called Rifle Smash which damages and stuns an enemy, and a couple good
AoE attacks which prevent targets from casting spells for limited
amounts of time in addition to dealing damage.  If timed
right, and if the Rifleman has good stats and critical attack rates,
these skills can be enough to get out of a tight squeeze. 
They mostly can only be learned starting in the mid-level 20s, though,
so new players rolling a Rifleman should avoid being approached quickly
or surrounded while solo. 

Ten Ton Hammer: style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-weight: bold;">What
challenges have there been in balancing this class for PvP?

 We haven’t actually had to deal with balance issues for the
Rifleman in PvP.  Aika
as a game has been available in certain Asian countries for some time
now, and so most balance problems were already ironed out before we
(gPotato) brought Aika
to North America.  Riflemen are pretty good for mass PvP,
particularly if they focus on using Stealth and picking off enemies
from the back of a crowd, or for smaller scale PvP if they can catch
their targets by surprise.  Their strengths and weaknesses
complement those of other classes well, and there are frequent
arguments among our players over which classes are best/worst for PvP,
so we consider that a good sign.

We’re also proud of the fact that players who swear by a certain class,
no matter which it may be, still have healthy debates over the best
builds, i.e. ways to distribute their skill points to learn and upgrade
certain attacks.  Players have said there is no “right” build
for the Rifleman (or any other class), demonstrating the flexibility of
the skill system for adapting to different styles of play.

Ten Ton Hammer: style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-weight: bold;">What
sort of player will enjoy the Rifleman class?

 Players who enjoy using Stealth or fulfilling assassin-type
roles will likely enjoy the Rifleman.  The Rifleman takes a
sort of finesse and coolheaded awareness to play well, and attack
timing is essential, so this is not a good class for button
mashers.  Players who prefer filling a utility role in parties
might not be drawn to the Rifleman, either, since he can’t buff other
players and has limited debuff attacks.  The Rifleman is for
the perceptive planner – the player who wants to be artful and deadly
with kills without the hack-and-slash of the melee classes or the crowd
controlling debuffs of the spellcaster classes

Ten Ton Hammer:
There have been some
concerns from the players that this class is not as valued as others
for PvE groups, is there any truth to this or is just the age old over
abundance of DPS problem?

 There’s some truth to this because the Rifleman can come off
as a bit of a lone ranger.  His lack of healing or tanking
abilities coupled with his physical vulnerabilities mean that he’s not
quite as sought-after for PvE parties as, say, the Paladin and Cleric
are.  The Rifleman specializes in knocking out one target
quickly from relatively far away, but this isn’t often an issue in
areas where the name of the game is endurance and taking out rapidly
approaching crowds of monsters.  Riflemen do come in handy for
boss monsters, though, and a capable Rifleman with a more PvE-focused
build is useful for picking off ranged attackers or particularly
heavy-duty MOBs before they become a problem.

Ten Ton Hammer:  style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-weight: bold;">Is
Rifleman a capable solo class?

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alt="Aika Rifleman"

style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-style: italic;">The Rifleman excels at solo or
group play. 
style="font-weight: bold;">

 Yes.  We’ve had plenty of Rifleman players report
that they’ve been able to solo PvE without much trouble through the
first few mini-bosses.  This class has a good early kiting
skill called Leg Shot which deals damage and decreases speed, and if a
Rifleman finds himself with too many MOBs on his hands, there’s always
Stealth to escape a tricky situation.  Some of the Rifleman’s
skill attacks are rather MP-intensive, meaning good potion management
is important once you get past a certain level and need to call upon
those heavy-hitting attacks more frequently.  Soloing dungeons
is not recommended with this class.  In general, though, it’s
not more difficult to solo with the Rifleman than with any other class
if your play style is compatible with his strengths.  We have
a wealth of information and advice for Rifleman play on the forums and
wiki, and I definitely encourage anyone who has questions about this or
any other class to come check them out.

Ten Ton Hammer: style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-weight: bold;">Are
there any major planned changes coming for this class?

 We just announced our first major expansion, style="font-style: italic;">Ashes of Betrayal,
which will include a raised level cap (the cap is currently
50).  I can’t give too many details, but the additional
content will add new attacks and other features to the Rifleman and the
other five classes.  I suggest that readers keep a close eye
on the Aika
website and news sites like Ten Ton Hammer for more details to come …

Ten Ton Hammer: 
Is there anything else you would like us to know about the


scout classes are among the game’s most interesting features,
particularly for those who are tired of more traditional medieval
archetypes.  If you’d like to mix it up and play a nuker with
a gun, or if you really like the idea of one-shotting your foes, come
on over and roll a Rifleman!

Once again we would like to thank Christina for shedding light on the
varied and interesting classes of Aika. Stay tuned
next week as we
explore the Warlock class.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aika Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016