Sharpshooter Gunslinger (Marksmanship Sniper) Mechanics in PVP


In this video, I discuss the mechanics for the Sharpshooter tree for the Gunslinger class in SWTOR, using footage of my 37 Gunslinger in a Huttball match (queued solo). Sharpshooter Gunslinger is the mirror to Marksmanship Sniper.

While the Sharpshooter tree contains talents that buff cast-time nukes, it also offers instant-cast nuking capability, defensive talents to boost mitigation and control gaps to opponents, and improved “mana” (Energy) management. Between Trickshot and the Foxhole talent, I rarely have to weave in the mana-free ability Rapid Shots. So more non-stop pew pew :)

Here is the spec used in the video

At 50, if I don’t go 31 points into Sharpshooter, I am targeting the following 23/16/2 spec:

I’ll have to see whether Shock Charge with the 30% snare for 18 seconds is worth investing 16 points into the middle tree. A snare is the main thing Sharpshooter is lacking. TBD.

Let me know if you have any questions, tips, or feedback!

If you want to watch footage of a kick-ass Sharpshooter Gunslinger playing an almost identical spec at 50, check out Revy’s Gunslinger video:

To see me PVP’ing live, check out my TwitchTV channel. My stream features real-time commentary and between matches I interact with the Chat Room.

UPDATE (2012/04/26): I’ve changed my target spec at 50 from 23/16/2 to 28/13/0, to get the Surge talent toward the top of the SS tree. And I’d still have the 30% long-duration snare if needed.
– Gunslinger: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#700bcrrdRoRGZrI00oM.1
– Sniper: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#400bcrrdRoRGZrI00oM.1

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Posted in Gunslinger / Sniper, PVP, SWTOR, Video
42 comments on “Sharpshooter Gunslinger (Marksmanship Sniper) Mechanics in PVP
  1. RealTootzi says:

    Compared to playing Vanguard.. isnt Gunslinger alittle “slow”?

    • taugrim says:

      RealTootzi :

      Compared to playing Vanguard.. isnt Gunslinger alittle “slow”?

      It’s a very different feel.

      Vanguard is primarily instant-cast regardless of situation and is therefore highly mobile by nature. Vanguard deals the most damage when consistently within 10m of the target.

      Gunslinger is instant-cast only in certain conditions, has more control-oriented abilities, better chained burst, and damage mechanics are not based on range.

      Gunslinger moves around less, but I wouldn’t say that it plays slower. You have to pay attention to situational buffs and manage more cooldowns.

      • RealTootzi says:

        Thanks for the answer! I will take a look at the video and see how the gameplay is like. On paper, the class seemed like alot of fun, was just worried about it beeing to stationary and slow. Maybe ill give it a go!

        • taugrim says:

          RealTootzi :

          Thanks for the answer! I will take a look at the video and see how the gameplay is like. On paper, the class seemed like alot of fun, was just worried about it beeing to stationary and slow. Maybe ill give it a go!

          I see a lot of Snipers and Gunslingers turreting in Cover for too long. Bottom line is your legs are key to stay alive.

          The only times I intentionally stay in Cover for a while are when I have Hunker Down up or when I’m concerned about getting Charged or Pulled.

          And by moving around and re-planting Cover periodically you gain the Snap Shot and Ballistic Dampers buffs.

    • Greg says:

      I’ve got both at 50 and to be quite honest, gunslinger plays a lot faster. It just doesn’t necessarily feel that way when viewing it on video. As a vanguard I’m kiting and popping a 4-5 move rotation but as a gunslinger I’m constantly cycling through 20 or so skills to hit the right combo to counter what the opponent is doing. Clinch dodging an aimed shot from another slinger is a good example – you’re timing the dodge to turn on right as the cast time finishes on a major nuke from another player.

      Anyway, on video it looks a lot like turreting but during gameplay its actually quite involved.

  2. Elroy Vrehen says:

    Sorry if this is completely unrelated to the spec discussed in the vid. I just noticed you using it in the vid and it reminded me of something I found out a few days ago on my own Mirialan.

    I noticed the Mirialan’s “focussing ritual” (=out of combat ‘rest’, for those unfamiliar) that it actually does break from periodic damage, unlike the class specific rests that were made immune to this in 1.2. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems the focussing ritual regenerates health about 1% or so slower per tick.

    Anyways, because of this vid I am a lot more eager to try out a Sniper. I never have been a fan of ranged and/or cast combat, but this seems like a lot of fun. :)

    • taugrim says:

      Elroy Vrehen :

      I noticed the Mirialan’s “focussing ritual” (=out of combat ‘rest’, for those unfamiliar) that it actually does break from periodic damage, unlike the class specific rests that were made immune to this in 1.2. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems the focussing ritual regenerates health about 1% or so slower per tick.

      Ah, I forgot that the class channeled heals aren’t interrupted by DoTs. I may have to switch back.

      There is one thing you can do with the Mirialan heal – you can use it while in Cover. I don’t do that, because it feels like an unintended mechanic.

  3. Elroy Vrehen says:

    On a different note, check out the patchnotes for 1.2.1. It seems gunslinger en sniper dmg on several skills has been increased by about 5%. Also, the warzone medpacks have been reduced in cost back to 10 commendations. :)

    • taugrim says:

      Elroy Vrehen :

      On a different note, check out the patchnotes for 1.2.1. It seems gunslinger en sniper dmg on several skills has been increased by about 5%. Also, the warzone medpacks have been reduced in cost back to 10 commendations. :)

      That’s odd. The damage buffs to Gunslinger/Sniper aren’t really needed.

      http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes/1.2.1/4242012

      Oh well, more pew pew!

      That is AWESOME news re: the medpacs.

      • Attic Lion says:

        There was a dev post back on the PTS board about how they were aware that damage contribution from the DPS stat on several sniper/gs abilities was bugged to be lower than it should, but that the fix wouldn’t be going in for 1.2. Unfortunately it looks like the forums ate it when they closed the PTS board.

        As a more general comment, even though I use DF spec on my 50 I’ve always found the energy reduction on Sab Charge and Shock Charge to be more useful than the snare. It essentially makes Sab. Charge energy neutral when combined with Insurrection and Shock Charge hits harder and lasts longer than Vital Shot. It’s even better so now that Shock Charge resets its cd if it’s cleansed or the target dies while it’s active. YMMV of course.

        It’s also good to see them reducing the consumables to 10 comms again. Now if only they’d undo both of the annoyingly large comm cost increases on the sub 50 gear.

        • taugrim says:

          Attic Lion :

          As a more general comment, even though I use DF spec on my 50 I’ve always found the energy reduction on Sab Charge and Shock Charge to be more useful than the snare. It essentially makes Sab. Charge energy neutral when combined with Insurrection and Shock Charge hits harder and lasts longer than Vital Shot.

          Understood, but Energy isn’t an issue for Sharpshooter.

          In general I avoid DoTing targets because I can lose control in terms of rooting and mez’ing, but I’m making an exception for Shock Charge since Sharpshooter lacks a snare.

          Attic Lion :
          It’s even better so now that Shock Charge resets its cd if it’s cleansed or the target dies while it’s active.

          Yes, I’m glad they improved the talent to make the cooldown reset.

          Attic Lion :

          It’s also good to see them reducing the consumables to 10 comms again. Now if only they’d undo both of the annoyingly large comm cost increases on the sub 50 gear.

          Yea I’m glad they made the price change. Boosting rewards for the losing side and putting the consumables back to the same price were good adjustments.

          • Attic Lion says:

            taugrim :
            Understood, but Energy isn’t an issue for Sharpshooter.
            In general I avoid DoTing targets because I can lose control in terms of rooting and mez’ing, but I’m making an exception for Shock Charge since Sharpshooter lacks a snare.

            Fair enough. I’ve just found the snare to be an anemic defensive tool with the extreme proliferation of assassins and shadows on my server. So I feel like I get better returns from the extra energy.

  4. EuchridEucrow says:

    Thanks for putting out more content!

    • taugrim says:

      EuchridEucrow :

      Thanks for putting out more content!

      I’ve been trying to record some footage for Sharpshooter spec for a while, but it’s actually good that I waited, because Trickshot at 30 and Speed Shot at 36 are key abilities are far as mechanics go.

  5. Whaculous says:

    I’m currently at lvl 45, build – http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#700bcrrdRoRGMZ0cZh.1
    I’m number one in damage, kills and killing blows in almost every wz I’m in, run pug only. I feel the single target damage is way cool, I stress crit in my build. Here is my plan for lvl 50 – http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#700dsrrdRoRGRZMcZh.1 . Next point will be top in SS, as this gives you 3 speed shots in a row. The new 60% reduction in aoe damage is very nice, and you feel it immediately. I personally use flourish shot quite often as an opener, it also is evident in the increase in damage. I think slinger makes you think a lot, but there are ways to “control” your opponents nicely. Just my 2 cents. Read a lot about it not having enough cc, or too squishy, I just plainly don’t think that’s true, but you can’t just run into the middle and expect to live, lol.

  6. Chaz says:

    I think one of the reasons the gunslinger/sniper were deserving of a little damage buff is because all of their attacks are white damage, except sabo charge.

    I mentioned in the gamebreaker chatroom that I run a 31darkness assassin with BM survivor gear and I never felt threatened by this class because most of their attacks could be deflected/shielded

    • taugrim says:

      Chaz :

      I think one of the reasons the gunslinger/sniper were deserving of a little damage buff is because all of their attacks are white damage, except sabo charge.

      I mentioned in the gamebreaker chatroom that I run a 31darkness assassin with BM survivor gear and I never felt threatened by this class because most of their attacks could be deflected/shielded

      OK understood.

      31-pt Assassin tanks are a hard counter for multiple classes, given that you have buffs to avoidance for Melee / Ranged attacks and immunity to Force / Tech attacks.

      • Chaz says:

        Yeah, but that is not the point, abilities like deflection and saber ward are available to several classes allowing them to significantly increase their defenses against ranged attacks.

        Im not sure if the buff was needed or not since I dont know what numbers Bioware is looking at. You mentioned it was not needed, but from watching your stream I can see that you are usually going up against the clueless people frome the lower bracket and picking them apart, that might affect your perception of how powerful the class really is.

  7. Gothic90 says:

    Well, I think the damage buff probably has something to do with PvE, balance between PvE and PvP was always an issue in MMOs.

    but I’m surprised that if GS/Sniper got buffed, why aren’t DPS sage/sorcs buffed.

    • Zarovich says:

      Maybe because Sorc/Sage damage isn’t white damage and already ignores armor?

      • taugrim says:

        Zarovich :

        Maybe because Sorc/Sage damage isn’t white damage and already ignores armor?

        While I don’t think that the 5% damage buffs to many of the Sharpshooter nukes was needed, I agree with you that the damage type is very important.

  8. Edon says:

    Could you explain why you chose the three points in Sharpshooter over two in Cover Screen? Especially for the sharpshooter spec, that automatic 20% ranged defense boost looked very attractive to me for moments between cover over 2 points for 2% accuracy (I put 1 point in the SS talent).

    • taugrim says:

      Edon :

      Could you explain why you chose the three points in Sharpshooter over two in Cover Screen? Especially for the sharpshooter spec, that automatic 20% ranged defense boost looked very attractive to me for moments between cover over 2 points for 2% accuracy (I put 1 point in the SS talent).

      Cover Screen is garbage. The 20% Ranged Defense doesn’t work against Force, Melee, or Tech attacks.

      SS is a worthwhile talent because most of our attacks are classified as Ranged, so having Accuracy prevents them from being Defense’d (avoided).

      • Edon says:

        I see. I had just figured that many of the typical/spammable long-range attack types you face in between cover would be classified as ‘ranged’, but I never got around to investigating troopers or consulars (there’s force lightning – which I assume is a Force type). So basically, by no means do I think it’s an amazing talent (it would probably be labelled ‘OP’ if it included other damage types), but for the short windows between cover, but I thought that the likelihood of being attacked by a ranged-type would be high enough to make it worth it.

      • Greg says:

        SS is also worthwhile because that’s 3 more percent you can drop off gear to stack more crit without worrying about missing against people with standard defenses.

  9. Mordantos says:

    I really like your User Interface. Have you posted it anywhere (now that they can be shared)?

    • Elroy Vrehen says:

      I did like it as well, so I’ve made one that is very similar and dubbed it “Taugrim’s”. I am not sure if Taugrim himself made this layout, but since I based it of the layout on his vid it seemed like the only right name to give. :P

      You can download it @ http://dl.dropbox.com/u/926532/SWTOR/Taugrim%27s.xml

      I’ve made some minimal changes to it such as having the social bar underneath the chat rather then above. I did this mainly because in conversations the bar wouls show in the middle of the screen and it kind of took the immersion out of them. xD There some more small differences but I can’t recall more at the moment of writing.

      Lastly, I alway shave a seperate chattab above my regular chat. In my own game I use this solely for things like combat- and system info. Sadly, the contents of the window seems to reset itself to default whenever another player uses this layout.

      • taugrim says:

        Elroy Vrehen :

        I did like it as well, so I’ve made one that is very similar and dubbed it “Taugrim’s”. I am not sure if Taugrim himself made this layout, but since I based it of the layout on his vid it seemed like the only right name to give. :P

        You can download it @ http://dl.dropbox.com/u/926532/SWTOR/Taugrim%27s.xml

        Thanks for the reminder!

        Here is a link to my UI:
        http://www.fileswap.com/dl/hi0k2nQRDT/Taugrim_4_Stacked.xml.html

        • Elroy Vrehen says:

          Going to try it right away and see how close I came to yours while making mine. xD

        • Elroy Vrehen says:

          Lol, your UI xml bugs out my ingame profile selector. Once I switch profile, I can’t select another. The pop-up menu become almost entirely transparant and I can’t click on any of the presented profiles.

          The problem was solved after deleting yours (had the game running while I deleted it and it started working again).

          Not sure what is causing it. makes me wonder if anyone trying the one I uploaded will have the same problem. :P

        • Elroy Vrehen says:

          Nevermind that last comment, it seems to be a general bug. :P

  10. Myve says:

    Damnit, now I have the urge to play my sniper again. Damn you, Taugrim, for showing me again why it’s fun! :D (am not looking forward to reorganize the skills on the hotbars though (stupid me waiting till 50 to organize them and then being to lazy to do it))

  11. Greg says:

    I noticed that no one pointed this out but flourish shot is something you want to reserve generally for when the person is having healing applied to them. Excepting dedicated tanks, if the person’s armor is in the 20-30% range sacrificing the GCD is not a worthwhile trade. One might argue “Well, the debuff affects them from all people attacking them” but unless they’re getting healed they will drop very quickly either way.

    If the person is another slinger lets say – you’re talking about ~6% additional damage once flourish shot is applied which is 60hp on every 1k. Bursting faster by one additional GCD more than makes up for this.

    There are other tricks too such as using smuggler’s luck to trigger the aimed shot against people that you have limited time to burst against. I’ll quite often do cover, sabo, adrenal + lucky + relic, charged->trick->aimed as a faster way to drill them down on the move. You can also use leg shot to bait them to use their movement CD then pop them with the long mez and one other trick I’d suggest is stacking diversion while peeling against classes it works well against (marauders, snipers).

    Finally, I’d definitely recommend going 31 point SS. People knock rapid fire but combined with illegal mods it is actually *very* powerful, especially with adrenals and relics. Shock charge snare is good but to be quite honest I’ve never needed it as I prefer to burst people down faster when in sharpshooter. Sabo is the survivability tree, you’re giving up a lot of damage by skipping the rest of the sharpshooter tree (you’d be better doing full sabo in that case).

    As for the 5% boost, it’s because sabo single target was outperforming SS single target – which considering sabo vastly outperforms SS for survivability, mobility and AOE damage just made it a no-brainer to go sabo.

    • Greg says:

      I’ll also note sabo has a lot more burst. It’s actually a much better PVP spec unless you’re facing a lot of healers.

      Sabo – general PVP.
      Dirty fighting – tank killer.
      Sharpshooter – squishy killer/healer killer.

      • Greg says:

        One more thing. Why no percussive shot? An additional knockback is fantastic.

        • taugrim says:

          Greg :

          One more thing. Why no percussive shot? An additional knockback is fantastic.

          It builds Resolve, and it may not push the target in the direction I want to.

    • taugrim says:

      Greg :

      I noticed that no one pointed this out but flourish shot is something you want to reserve generally for when the person is having healing applied to them. Excepting dedicated tanks, if the person’s armor is in the 20-30% range sacrificing the GCD is not a worthwhile trade. One might argue “Well, the debuff affects them from all people attacking them” but unless they’re getting healed they will drop very quickly either way.

      There is a lot of disagreement on this point. I’m with the “use Flourish on high HP targets” crowd.

      Greg :

      There are other tricks too such as using smuggler’s luck to trigger the aimed shot against people that you have limited time to burst against. I’ll quite often do cover, sabo, adrenal + lucky + relic, charged->trick->aimed as a faster way to drill them down on the move. You can also use leg shot to bait them to use their movement CD then pop them with the long mez and one other trick I’d suggest is stacking diversion while peeling against classes it works well against (marauders, snipers).

      Yep.

      Greg :

      Finally, I’d definitely recommend going 31 point SS. People knock rapid fire but combined with illegal mods it is actually *very* powerful, especially with adrenals and relics. Shock charge snare is good but to be quite honest I’ve never needed it as I prefer to burst people down faster when in sharpshooter. Sabo is the survivability tree, you’re giving up a lot of damage by skipping the rest of the sharpshooter tree (you’d be better doing full sabo in that case).

      I’m stopping at 28 in SS right now, and putting 13 points to get the solid talents in the middle tree + 18 sec 30% snare.

      I don’t think I’ll be giving up much damage by stopping at 28.

  12. Whacic says:

    Hi Taugrim, have you seen this spreadsheet – https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0BzK4QtqFi-4dOUV5NE5QN3RZa2c. It’s extremely detailed. I got the link from the forums, a user named Tibbel had it in his signature.

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