One Shot, One Kill!
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
So you think you have what it takes to be an AFS Sniper huh? Only the sneakiest and most patient soldiers in the military can handle the tasks required. You will become the master of long range assassination by entering a kill zone quietly, terminating a target, and disappearing before the enemy ever knew what hit them. You will be as silent as the wind, move like running water through various terrains, and blend into the landscape as if you were completely invisible. The Sniper is a natural extension of the Ranger class, the major difference being CQB (close quarters battle) is no longer a viable option for you.
How to become a Sniper - As we stated above, the Ranger is part of the Tier 3 class selection and requires you to follow the Soldier branch. When you gain enough experience to become level 5 you will receive a mission to find the Soldier and Specialist trainer. Choosing the Soldier branch will allow you to continue along until you receive enough experience for level 15 and will need to see a Commando or Ranger trainer. While Ranger trainers can be found at many locations, the most accessible is just outside the Foreas Command Center in Foreas Base. After training as a Ranger you will receive the following skills:
- Signature Ability: Crit Wave
- Ability: Shredder Ammo
- Ability: Target Painting
- Ability: Called Shot
- Training: Torqueshell Guns
Crit Wave - When activated, the user and all allies within 25m will receive a 60-second buff that multiples their chance of making critical hits with weapons by 5. Requires 100% adrenaline to activate. Requires Logos Vortex, Attack, Enhance, and Friend.
What this means is you and your squad will have your critical chance modifiers boosted by 500%. Granted it does only last 60 seconds but it's hard to argue the benefit of being able to bring a DPS bonus like that. The only unfortunate side effect of this ability is you do have to be within 25 meters, which is much closer than the optimum range of a Torqueshell. You won't be at your best, but that Bonus will make a shotgun or pistol damage absolutely brutalizing.
You'll need to find the Vortex Logos in Plateau which can be found in a cave at -118.9, 409.2, -346.3 and requires Empower, Only, The, Strong, and Eloh Logos. You'll also need Enhance in the Alia Das Caverns, Attack northeast of Twin Pillars around 39, -328 in the Concordia Wilderness, and Friend Logos which can be found southeast of Nidu Dav at -762.1, 365.2 in Concordia Divide.
Shredder Ammo - Shredder Ammo - Enhance the ammunition in your targets weapon with Logos. The target's weapon will deal a slight amount of additional damage with each attack of a particular damage type for 20 seconds. Requires Logos Add, Damage, Effect, and Attack.
This ability basically enhances damage types based on the pump level used. Pump 1 is Physical followed by EMP, Sonic, Electric, and Laser damage. This particular skill is ideal in close quarters situations where the use of a sniper rifle isn't feasible due to range or sheer number of targets.. It's recommended you at least use Pump 1 with a pistol or a machine gun to maximum your damage to groups of creatures.
You'll need to find the Add Logos which is in the Infensus Garrison on the north side of the Incline around 169, 742. Damage Logos is located in the Lower Eloh Falls cavern in Concordia Wilderness around 406.4, 244.6, 438.1. Effect Logos is located to the northeast of Orsa Garrison around 102, 322 just outside the facility area. The Attack Logos is located northeast of Twin Pillars around 39, -328 in the Concordia Wilderness.
Target Painting - Use Logos to "paint" a target with EM radiation. Higher pump levels cause increasing negative effects on the target 1> The target gains less benefit from cover; 2> Shots fired against the target automatically gain some percentage of armor piercing; 3> Shuts down the target's armor regeneration with the duration of the shutdown increasing per pump. Requires Logos Increase, Target, Location, and Clarity.
This is an interesting ability the Sniper has allowing them a more and more powerful shot based on the skill points dedicated to it. While Pump 1 reduces just the targets ability to use cover, 2 increases armor piercing, 3 shuts down their ability to regenerate armor while 4 and 5 just increase these effects. While this might not be the first choice of the Sniper, it's hard to say the ability to shut down armor regen isn't darn useful in many instances. It does only last 15 seconds however.
You'll need to locate the Increase Logos which is west of Purgas CP around -958, -620, Target Logos which is in Enigma cave Falls west of Ranja Gorge, Location which is just outside the northern exit of the long tunnel in the Incline around -722, 537, and Clarity which is which is far northeast in the Pincale Badlands.
Called Shot - This ability allows the Sniper to select an area on a humanoid opponent and apply a status effect when the sniper fires their next shot. Each pump is a different body part and has a different effect. A called shot activates on the next shot of the user, but expires in 20 seconds if not used. Requires Logos Control, Attack, Target, and Destruction. This skill can be used while beading a target.
This is a versatile and powerful ability the Sniper possesse providing a number of tactical solutions depending on your needs. Pump 5 is the most obvious choice providing a 1.5X damage modifier which helps make short work of anything. You'll also be able to cause Leg wounds slowing creatures down, Arm wounds slowing attack speed, Torso wounds providing a Damage over Time, and Eye wounds reducing damage output by 50%. This is a very good skill to work up as a Sniper and can be used frequently on the battlefield.
You'll need Control Logos which is in the Pravus Research Facility, Attack Logos located northeast of Twin Pillars around 39, -328 in the Concordia Wilderness, Target Logos which is in Enigma cave Falls west of Ranja Gorge, and Destruction Logos near the Energy Weapons Center in Incline around -327, 187.
Torqueshell Guns - Allows the use of Torqueshell weapons. These stealthy guns fire self-propelled rounds which launch with little recoil and minimal noise. They continue to accelerate while traveling towards their target, becoming more deadly at greater distance.
The Torqueshell Rifle is an ungodly weapon of destructive power that will awe and amaze many. Allowing you to take down sizable targets with just a few rounds the only shortcoming you may notice is the need to sit still for a few moments to fire. Increasing your skill in this ability will boost your damage 10% per level starting at Pump 2 and at Pump 3 will also add +25% armor penetration per pump to each shot.
It's important to take a quick moment to explain a little bit about the TSR. First, what types of damage does it have? Physical, Laser, EMP, and Sonic. In order to use your weapon to maximum effectiveness not only will you need to select the right one, but need to let the three indicators outside your cross hair "lock on" to your target. Every time your rifle fires, you'll lose your lock on the target and suffer a penalty. Crouching increases the speed of the lock on.
What Skills to Keep:
Your mileage may vary but there are a few abilities you might want to keep from your earlier days as a Soldier/Recruit:
Firearms - Most agree you should take this to at least Pump 3 as you can't always depend on your rifle especially with multiple targets. A good pistol matched with Shredder Ammo can save the day.
Shrapnel - Ok, the skill used to be a little on the craptasitc side. With recent changes it's unbelievably useful in an AoE situation where you need to hit 3 or 4 targets at once. At Pump 4 you'll have near the range of a shotgun in all directions. Granted it does cost a little but the damage is ungodly.
Rage - Yes, the changes is coming but even at 50% boost to damage when you are shooting a Torqueshell is nothing to scoff at.
Machine Gun - The alternative to the pistol. With the reduction of ammo cost in Patch 1.4 the Machine Gun is not only an entertaining but viable option for combat. Mixed with Rage and/or Shredder Ammo it can be quite devastating against close range targets.
Stealth Armor - Moving unseen is a necessity and I don't think many Snipers would argue you should Pump 5 this to help reduce your visibility.
Carpet Bombing - Just a useful skill to have along for a mass AE and might just come in handy. With recent improvements to the cast time and recovery this is an extremely powerful ability to have handy.
Net Gun - The ability to pin down an enemy is a useful one so dropping at least a point into this never hurt. Many people don't use Net Guns honestly.