This has been a long time coming. I've made a thread on this in the past but not with the same finality of this one. Again, poll results are not the metric by which developers will take action. It is merely a way to quantify where the community views the suggestions made in this OP and which of the offered approaches they prefer. As the title of this thread suggests, this post will be discussing the issue of Snipers in Moviebattles II and the dilemma they propose with their current state of balance. Snipers are detrimental to the balance of Moviebattles II. I hold the view that they are largely responsible not only for some of the terrible balance decisions which exist in the game (dodge) but also for a large part of player dissatisfaction and thus low player retention among new players. Additionally, they are extremely troubling for high level play with large swathes of the gunner versus gunner meta being focused solely on sniper play as gunners have little to no chance to compete against a competent sniper without one of their own. I base this view on the following facts. I have spoiler tagged them below so they do not take up too much of the post on first viewing as this is going to be a long one already without justifications taking up half the page. Spoiler 1.) Snipers are capable of taking anywhere from 60% to 100% of a player's overall HP away with a single hit. This means they can effectively negate a skilled opponent's ability to fight if they do not also deploy a sniper rifle as even a single glancing hit can potentially deal enough damage to cripple a player for the rest of a round. This is something that has drastically impacted high level play in MBII to the point that there is almost no point competing without playing a sniper. 2.) Sniper projectiles travel significantly faster than any other weapon in the game. This means that at high level, a sniper is able to fire a shot and avoid return fire consistently. In good hands this is partially responsible for the creation of a situation where most skilled players end up playing sniper because there is no way to compete against a good player with the projectile rifle using an E-11 at a distance. 3.) Snipers are far too cheap. In terms of point economic impact an upgraded Westar M5 costs more than a Projectile Rifle. An upgraded E-11 costs more than a Disruptor. This means that you can often times make sniper builds which not only have these incredibly deadly primary weapons, but also can afford to run high armour, high ammo and decent sidearm builds. Or even builds that contain additional tools such as thermal detonators. This is a pretty blatant example of poor point balancing and I'm amazed this has never been addressed before now. 4.) Snipers require no extra skill that regular gunnery does not also require. The only difference is that you must practice with the sniper instead of a regular gun to get a feel for the projectile speeds of the weapons and the timing for things like the Disruptor. This is most evident on the Disruptor which is one of the most busted weapons in game in good hands. As someone who routinely dukes it out with some of the best players EU has to offer, watching what a Quake vet can do with any sniper rifle is disgusting. Watching what they can do with a Disruptor is downright disgraceful for the mod. 5.) Snipers have no range limitation. There is no situation in which they are not able to compete, unlike regular guns, which are unable to effectively deal with long range targets. This is problematic because it allows the weapons to not only function as precision killers but also as a shotgun of sorts and indeed they often see use in this capacity, being used to hold tight angles and dissuade anyone from pushing there lest they risk taking a hit that will cripple or outright kill them. 6.) Snipers add nothing to the Open gamemode, in fact they take away from the overall skill level of the mode. A player with a sniper is able to reliably shut down almost every single class in the game that is not another sniper in almost every situation even if they are on a similar skill level with the other gunner. The risk of taking on a sniper especially one wielded by a player that is competent with its use is such that pushing an angle without a jedi/sith to dislodge them or block the shot is only done in desperation. 7.) Sniper gameplay is enjoyable only for the sniper themselves. This is less an argument on a competitive front, but one from a player enjoyment front. Sniper gameplay in almost every shooter is enjoyable primarily for the sniper. The player without a sniper often only experiences instant death or serious injury from an opponent they had no chance of seeing or no chance of effectively engaging. This is something that is very true across many games and is why many games will implement mechanics to shut down snipers such as smoke grenades/line of sight disruption tools or significant projectile drop over distance. MBII however has no such utility, which creates an obvious issue for a weapon system that was ripped straight out of Counter-Strike, to not have its intended counter be available. As with my post on dodge, I really shouldn’t have to explain why snipers are such a huge issue in MBII as it should be rather obvious. But for those who are uncertain, the largest issue with snipers is the following: A single hit can potentially cripple a player’s entire capability to fight back. The weapon functionally allows a sniper to ignore the skill of their opponent and shut them down without them having an opportunity to compete unless they also have a sniper rifle. And I haven't even properly touched on the M5 scoped or the EE-3 scoped in detail both of which have the potential to be just as if not more disgusting than the projectile rifle/disruptor in certain situations. The key point I’m trying to get across here is that snipers are drastically over performing in MBII. They are long overdue for a fix. I am amazed that it has not been addressed before today but I consider snipers one of the biggest threats to player retention in Moviebattles II. And not even necessarily just to new/inexperienced shooter players, I have personally introduced just under a dozen of my close friends who have been playing FPS games at a competitive/LAN level with me since the late 90s to MBII, almost all of them came to the same view without me bringing it up to them. Why would they bother playing regular gunner classes when they can take a Hero or a Bounty Hunter class and simply use the sniper to land killing blows on people who have almost no chance of retaliating at range against them? And that’s not even mentioning the amazing sidearms and utility options they can afford to take alongside their sniper. This is an incredibly blatant and poorly designed weapon archetype that exists only the way it does because most of the balance for MBII was lifted straight out of Counter-Strike unfortunately it is also very obvious that the people who did lift this weapon from Counter-Strike are also not very good at FPS games. The only reason why the AWP in Counter-Strike is not considered overpowered is because almost any weapon can 1-shot at any range so long as they land headshots. However in Moviebattles II, this is not possible. Not only do regular projectiles have to travel the distance that a sniper projectile clears in double or triple the time of a regular firearm but they do not deal sufficient damage to dissuade hit trading. Fundamentally the interaction between regular guns and snipers is fucked and has been fucked for years. With that out of the way, not only do I consider snipers problematic for the reasons listed above but I also consider them problematic on a thematic level as well. I would be willing to put money on a wager that a great many people who have tried MBII over the years have enjoyed their time with it as a gunner or as a saberist until they ran into their first high level sniper. At which point the game's meta drastically shifted, from being able to take risks and push angles to having to rely wholly on jedi/sith to dislodge snipers if they want to have any hope of pushing without either being seriously injured for the rest of their current life or outright dying in a single hit. That's not even to mention that there are no tools in this game which can counter snipers effectively outside of other snipers. There are no smoke grenades, no portable shields, nothing a regular gunner can really do to compete with a sniper short of hoping that the sniper misses enough shots that they can close the distance to where they can more reliably land hits, though even closing the distance is not guaranteed as a sniper is no less lethal up close than at range. I'm going to be breaking down the suggestions into each specific sniper weapon system and then proposing a few changes for each weapon system, this should allow me to more effectively cover the issues each sniper system has at this point in time. WESTAR-M5 SCOPED The ARC class really has no need of a sniper system. A class this mobile, capable of accessing very difficult to counter positions and ambush points does not need access to a weapon which can reliably 2-shot half of the classes in-game. As a result, all of the proposed changes remove the sniper function from the scope mode and instead give it a different role. Some of these changes are not intended to make the attachment a viable choice for competitive play but simply to give it a different role. The third option for example has the potential to be useful on some larger maps and custom maps which have less obvious sight lines, though will likely not be of much use on maps like DOTF. Option One, Remove the scoped attachment from open. This is my preferred option as an ARC main simply because I do not believe the class requires a sniper system of any kind. I've brainstormed with possible replacements for it but honestly, there's nothing that could be added to ARC as a weapon attachment that would not risk stepping on the toes of other classes/equipment for other classes. There is no need for a replacement on this front, given that the only reason the M5 scoped really existed was to give the ARC class a way to compete with the sniper meta which will hopefully be shaken up or completely smashed with the changes proposed in here. Option Two, Replace the sniper mode with a burst fire mode, similar to the ET's A280. This firemode should however not benefit from the ARC's inherent accuracy boost when running a rank 2 Westar-M5 and should instead only be accurate while walking, crouching or standing still. The firemode should result in an increased rate of fire for the burst, firing all of the shots in the burst within a significantly faster timespan, with a cooldown window thereafter similar to other burst fire weapons. Option Three, Decrease the velocity of the sniper mode's projectiles to that of the standard non-scoped shot. Decrease the damage of the sniper mode's projectiles to that of the standard non-scoped shot. Decrease the ammunition usage of each shot down to that of the non-scoped standard shot. This mode should now function similar to that of the SBD's zoom - something you can use on larger maps if you need better sight of a target rather than an actual alternative fire-mode. It should get a point reduction with these changes however, down from 10 points to 5. EE-3 ALT Fire-mode In the same way that the ARC class does not need a sniper system, the Mandalorian class certainly does not either. This class has the potential to access spots that are unreachable even for Jedi/Sith. For it to then also have access to one of the most potent sniper rifles in the game is an incredibly blatant case of poor balancing. As a result, all of these changes will propose the removal of the sniper mode or replacement of the sniper mode with another mode, similar to how the ARC's scoped mode changes were proposed above. Option One, Remove the ALT Fire-mode from open. The EE-3 is an incredibly potent rifle already without the sniper mode being purchasable to drastically shift the power of the weapon to a place it does not belong. Instead of the EE-3 providing access to the ALT Fire-mode when purchased at level 3, ranking the weapon up to level 3 now triples the amount of shots which can be fired with pin point accuracy before the overheat mechanic begins and causes the weapon to spread erratically. These changes should be sufficient to keep the weapon from being as dominant as it was in sniper mode while also allowing it to be more effective without a sniper mode, as it is a 28 damage weapon which with these changes, would be able to fire roughly 10 - 14 shots accurately before the overheat mechanic becomes a concern. Option Two, Replace the ALT Fire-mode with a charged shot firemode similar to a pistol however rather than firing a high power shot it should instead fire a four shot burst which has the bounce property. Similar to the clone pistols, allowing for a Mandalorian to bounce a few shots around a corner, cover or into the back of a target. Should have a short grace period between bursts to prevent bounce spam similar to the pistols, given that the EE-3 deals more damage. Option Three, Replace the ALT Fire-mode with a 'Supercooled' firemode. When activated, the firemode removes the overheat mechanic inherent for the weapon for a duration of six seconds. During this time, the weapon fires roughly 15% slower but can be fired without pause and no spread increase, on the move or walking, similar to the Westar-M5 at rank 2. After the six seconds have passed or the user changes firemode again, the firemode is put on a 'cooldown' during which it cannot be selected again for a duration of fifteen seconds. Projectile Rifle Only two options here and for the Disruptor as well. The projectile rifle is an extremely powerful weapon and in good hands, is pretty much the most lethal weapon in the game. The weapon is far too cheap, far too deadly, carries far too much ammunition and a whole heap of problems that result in it being one of the most balance breaking weapons in the game. In good hands, there are few reasons not to run this weapon. I hope to change that. Option One, Remove the weapon from Open. No replacements issued. This weapon is incredibly powerful in good hands and can be used at long, medium or short range so long as you've practiced with it. It is also far too cheap and generally disruptive to the game. I do not prefer this option, but it is a valid option and I recognize it as such. Option Two, Reduce the damage of the weapon on body/leg/arm shots to a flat 65 damage. Reduce the damage on headshots to a flat 100 damage. Set the multiplier for bodyshots and headshots to 1.0x. Increase the point cost of the weapon from 20 points to 25. There's really no need to fuck things up with arbitrary math on this weapon, it should be dealing a consistent chunk of damage but not enough to one-shot classes or take over 60% of a class' health in a single hit. Headshots with this change are still rewarded more than bodyshots and will still deal a noticeable chunk of damage but not enough to where the weapon will overperform and outclass other weapons in almost every situation, it will be a solid support option but no longer the be-all end-all of sniper gameplay or even gunner gameplay in general. A weapon you take because the travel speed is nearly double that of any other gunner weapon, not because it can one-shot kill or seriously injure anyone you point it at. Disruptor This one is probably the most blatant of problematic sniper weapons in any game I've ever played. This weapon is hitscan in a game of only projectile weapons, which not only makes it amazing unscoped if you can aim but also amazing as a sniper rifle since you can reliably engage targets across a map and hit them infinitely faster than they can hope to return fire against you. This weapon is the most busted thing in Moviebattles II that is not a wholly seperate class such as SBD/Wook/Deka. It cannot be allowed to remain like this. In good hands, it's an incredibly powerful weapon that even removes the need for a sidearm as good aim means you can reliably chunk someone with the hitscan unscoped shots. Option One, Remove the weapon entirely from Open. This weapon is the most powerful sniper in the game for holding a corridor or an angle, it suffers a bit as a reactionary sniper due to the charge up requirement but with good movement/jumping around cover as you charge your shot and then fire it once you get a clear target sight, likely avoiding return fire with the jump, there are plenty of ways to make it work. This weapon is an absolute power house and for the price is ludicrously powerful. Removal is the option I prefer for this weapon. I don't see any other way to reconcile it with the rest of the game outside of completely changing the weapon's functionality to give it a new role. Option Two, Replace the weapon entirely. It can retain the model, but rather than functioning as a sniper rifle or even a long ranged beam weapon, it should now function more akin to a Quake LG. Instead of a scope and a charge up mechanic, the weapon should now fire instantly and act like a close range beam weapon. What I mean by this is that it should continually fire a beam so long as there is ammo in the magazine which travels a short distance and deals slow but consistent damage. It should have no accuracy penalty whether running or walking, jumping or crouching. This form of Disruptor would far more reward consistent accuracy over flick shots and give it a niche role within the game as a close range weapon that can consistently land hits on a target even with erratic movement so long as you can reliably track them with your aim. It also solves the rather egregious issue of the Disruptor being used to completely shut down any possibility of infantry movement in corridors and open areas. I don't have any numbers to suggest for this weapon as I'm not even sure how coding such a weapon in the iDtech 3 engine would work as I am not familiar with the code. As such, I instead provide a video example of how the lightning gun works in Quake for the developers to imitate.