The problem with Nanoweave

So it has long been known that sniper rifles have damage degradation over distance – even before SOE included weapon stats in the game, numerous youtubers and infiltrators have known that nanoweave armor would allow an infantry player to survive a headshot at a given range.  I was probably one of the handful of infiltrators who naysayed in the forums, telling people that; yes, it happens, but no, it’s not gamebreaking.  As is the tendency to overreact on the forums, I probably leaned too far in the other direction, pretending that you could still be a good infiltrator regardless of this mechanic.

Perhaps something changed in GU09, or perhaps on Mattherson (and I’m sure other servers), the overall high level of cert points have lead more people to fit nanoweave.  Or perhaps as HE was nerfed, more and more people are using nanoweave over flak.  For whatever reason, I have never had this much trouble sniping, and while it doesn’t make me mad, I am finally convinced that this is broken and should be fixed.  I do not believe sniper rifles need a direct buff, however I do think the headshot multiplier should increase, such that a headshot = kill with the bolt action rifles.  You sacrifice so much in order to do it, and it is not an easy thing to accomplish unless your target is stationary.  If infiltrators cannot reliably be rewarded for landing headshots on targets at long ranges, than you will seriously negate the strength of the class.  Perhaps another fix would be addressing the degree of damage degradation over range, as that also is part of the equation that allows users to survive headshots with nanoweave armor.

Either way, I confess, the forums had it right, even if the message was over-emotional and reactionary.  This is broken and severely hurts the class in a game with short TTK and unforgiving combat.

Also linked is the video from DrankTHEKoolaid who demonstrates the nanoweave issue in a controlled setting.

Sorry for the chatter in my video, we were goofing off during double XP weekend and I need to include the audio to capture the headshot sounds.

 

Stay frosty,

Mustarde

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GU09

GU09 hit this week, and we have a double XP weekend upon us!  Hooray!

 

First thing I noticed was the XP for recon darts.  A very welcome addition, and it can net you an extra few certs during a fight.  I’m glad someone on the dev team was thinking of us humble infiltrators and our super expensive darts.

Hacking occupied turrets remain broken, and continues to frustrate me so greatly.  I used to be able to competently disable a tower, even with the guns manned.  Now, it is Russian roulette whether or not you will survive.  I keep hoping each update will bring with it, a hotfix for this issue.  I keep being disappointed :\

They played with flash handling, which I have used a fair bit and am not sure how I feel about.  It seems a little more stable, but I have to retrain myself on how to use it.  This is the second or third patch that they have tweaked flash handling and it’s hard to relearn the feel of it each time.  Hopefully they are happy so I can get used to driving it again.

The fury remains in its original state, no nerf yet.  Yay!

Towers were re-designed… AGAIN.  I’ve adapted to about 4 tower redesigns now, and with each one, they take away a little more of the visibility I used to have on enemy targets.  I think SOE is slowly trying to nerf my ability to camp a tower and farm dozens or hundreds of kills, lol.  Notably, the AA turrets are more vulnerable, the AV turrets are more protected and you can’t jump up the lift and onto the overhang on top of the top floor.  I will adapt and hopefully continue to farm people in towers 🙂

I was disappointed that the infiltrator revamp got pushed off but overall I feel the class is in a pretty good place.  I prefer SOE taking their time to make new abilities that don’t break the game.

Oh I almost forgot, people now run around with a little lean to them.  I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it’s a little weird and a bit harder to land headshots.  I’ll try to get a screenshot today.

Now go get that double XP!

Stay Frosty,

Mustarde

An exceptional night

I usually try to make this blog about my outfit, the infiltrator class, and the tools/items we have to use.  However sometimes you have an awesome gaming session and just have to brag a little.  Of course, I’ve seen people post better runs, (though usually using vehicles), but tonight I was absolutely on fire.  We were on Amerish, going up against the NC at Crux mining operation and the pops were 50/50.  BWC had 3 squads operating there, and it was platoons vs platoons.  I immediately went into the tower and got to work, using very similar style to my other tower videos.  A few people started hunting me in my sniper nest, so I had to do a lot of dancing on the lifts, knifing and pistoling my way to victory.  Here’s the end result of the carnage which lasted nearly an hour…

 

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For me, that was an exceptional fight, I’ve never gotten 141 kills in a single cap.  So, sorry if it sounds like I’m bragging, but I was just really pumped to end the weekend on a high note.  I still laugh every time I read on the forums about how useless infiltrators supposedly are.

 

 

TR SMG: Armistice vs. the Hailstorm

This question comes up from time to time and over time I have come to a conclusion that differs from what most people will advise other players regarding the SMG’s.  It’s worth taking a closer look at the SMG’s, which were released several months ago and completely revolutionized the infiltrator class, providing salvation as our full auto scout rifles were laughably terrible bad up until GU07.  Let’s discuss each one individually.

SMG-46 Armistice:

The Armistice was the first SMG released.  As you can see, the ROF is 896, compared to 652 for the NC Cyclone and 750 for the VS Eridani.  This is balanced by less damage per round.  True to the TR attributes, the magazine size is larger at 30 (compared to 25 for the others), with an ammo pool of 210.  With such a high rate of fire, the Armistice feels like a bullet hose and is very fun to use.  It carries a slightly higher damage per second over the PDW Hailstorm.  My recommendation for loadout is similar to what most people run – scopes to preference, suppressor, soft point ammunition and extended magazine.  The armistice, with its higher damage and smaller magazine size, is more suited for small engagements: 1v1, 1v2, flanking and surprising targets.

PDW-16 Hailstorm:

A few weeks after the Armstice was released, SOE came out with the second generation of SMG’s.  The hailstorm has several interesting attributes.  The most noticeable one is the magazine size, defaulting at 60, with no extended magazine upgrade.  This makes the barrel upgrades quite simple, as laser sight is now a reasonable option for better hipfire.  The rate of fire is lower than the Armistice, at 800.  The damage profile is identical: 125 @ 6m, 84 @ 42m.  This makes the Hailstorm suited for engaging multiple targets, perhaps over slightly more prolonged fights.  Some individuals I have spoken with use it as a spray & pray hipfire weapon, running into crowds and blasting away while dancing, hopping, and ADAD all over the place until you win or kill everyone.  My preferred loadout is similar to the armistice: scope to taste, soft point, advance laser sight, suppressor.

Perhaps in looking at each weapon individually you can see my own bias and conclusions.  I bought both SMG’s as soon as they were released although I only have the auraxium with the Armistice.  I initially thought the hailstorm would be far superior in combat due to the increased magazine size (60 bullets with laser sight for hipfire accuracy FTW!).  The increased TTK on the hailstorm really sucked for me though, and I found that the consequences of this are numerous:

1.  When engaging a heavy assault, they would often have the time to spin around and return fire.  With shields, as well as overall higher health than an infiltrator, this would either end in death (even with the element of surprise) or taking lots of damage.

2. Engaging shotgun users were much more dangerous, as I often struggle to bring them down before they whip around and derp me in the chest with a few pellets.

3.  The supposed benefit of the increased magazine to engage multiple targets is negated when you take longer to kill each one – even the best ninja will struggle to bring three targets down in a single magazine before someone whips around and blaps you.

I find that as an infiltrator, even with a CQC fit using an SMG, you need to be surgical with engagements.  Flank a target, decloak and quickly dispatch said target, reload/recloak and move on to the next one.  You can still be a deadly force, engaging numerous targets quickly – however you are less exposed and can take more advantage of the element of surprise.  A faster TTK means less damage taken by an opponent returning fire and hopefully increased longevity on the battlefield.

So overall, my recommendation goes towards the SMG-46 Armistice.  This initially surprised me as I assumed the 60 bullet magazine and laser sight from the hailstorm would completely negate the extra 96 rounds per minute from the Armistice.  It wasn’t until I started using both of them that I came to this conclusion.

I decided to do a quick poll of my colleagues in the Black Widow Company, a group of experienced and deadly soldiers.  They gave some great responses that I want to summarize for you.

Q:  Which SMG do you prefer?

A: SMG-46 Armistice 9 (23.1%)
B: PDW-16 Hailstorm 18 (46.2%)
C: Never used 3 (7.7%)
D: Both, depending on the situation 4 (10.3%)
E: Pump Action Shotgun > Everything else 5 (12.8%)

Some of their responses:

“For infiltrator I would go with the Armistice every time. Its DPS is much higher so it gives a better 1v1 edge when running with less health. Since its mostly for 1v1 you don’t need the extended mag and can run the laser sight and make it a laser beam. for anything above one opponent extended mag.”

“I much prefer the armistice. It feels better overall and I just slap extended mags on it. I haven’t used a laser on it but i don’t really think it needs it, at least for how i use it, and being able to down 2-3 people before reloading is a plus”

“PDW guy here.   Capacity all the way, I actually run it with just a suppressor and sometimes the forward grip (not sure that even makes a difference).   Since I tend to use it at ranges where I could throw it at someone and do damage, I prefer the volume of fire.   Not that I’m hating on the other SMG, I have both, just prefer the feel of the PDW for the task.”

“Typically run with a decked out hailstorm on my infiltrator.  I like the slightly lower ROF and increased magazine size which typically allows me  to engage enemies in quick succession. Especially if I’m sneaking up on an encampment of enemies snipers.   1v1 the Armistice is definitely the way to go, but for any other scenarios I find the Hailstorm to be more versatile.”

“I’d been using the Armistice since it was released, then picked up the Hailstorm when it was on sale a couple weeks back. Despite the increased capacity, I’m starting to gravitate back towards the Armistice. It just has an absolutely demolishing rate of fire and just feels all-around more lethal to me.  Just pick your fights wisely and make sure you have enough ammo to get the job done.”

A lot of the guys use their SMG’s on other classes which definitely is different than the question, which SMG is better for an infiltrator?  Certainly there is no one right answer, but I think that if you play a hit-and-run, focused fire style of CQC on your infiltrator, the Armistice might be the way to go.  It certainly is my preference.

Not Impressed with the Kobalt (Flash)

On teamspeak this weekend I heard a very respected member of my outfit raving about how lethal the Kobalt was and that the fury was an inferior choice for flash weaponry.  This kind of claim had me very intrigued, enough so that I spent the certs (100) to buy the gun and blindly dumped a few more hundred into magazine and optics.  I drove around trying to use it at various ranges, and in different environments and my initial impressions are not very positive.

On individual targets, it has a relatively low TTK, high accuracy and managable recoil.  The supposed advantage is the range you can take a target down at, and admittedly, the fury can get tricky when you are using 3-4 bars on the optics to arc rounds across a large space.  However, I just have not found it very effective as an anti-infantry weapon, certainly not in comparison to the fury.  Even if you have to play with the vertical height to lob rounds on a target from far away, it only takes a few misses to get it right and kill someone.  The TTK with the fury ends up being near zero with a direct hit and combined with splash damage, you will always be better off killing multiple targets with the fury.

The other concerning aspect of the kobalt is the need be stationary to use.  It is an accurate weapon that you need to be still to fire accurately.  No run and gun like the fury.  This creates many issues considering how vulnerable you are on the flash.  It generally will force you to engage at longer range, using the zoom optics.  This would be OK, except that at longer ranges on isolated infantry targets… why use a flash when I can pull out my sniper rifle?

I will give it some more time to play with and see if I can’t find more uses for the kobalt.  It certainly will allow you to kill targets.  But does it expand the infiltrator engagement opportunities?  Does it provide any advantage over the fury?  I can’t see any reason to favor it currently.  With the proposed nerf to the fury (that was so wonderfully withdrawn due to a PR debacle), I wanted to take a look around and make sure I have options if and when they make these ultimate changes.   So far, the answer is no.  And I am not in the mood to drop 1000 certs on the shotgun since it seems very silly 🙂

Anyone have a different perspective on the kobalt?

Some weekend highlights…

I had a blast logging in this weekend and playing with BWC.  I’ll just share some more in-game footage highlights since they are fun, and why not!

I have spent a lot of time that I dedicate to “not gaming” working on training modules for our in-house infiltrator group at BWC.  It’s super top secret stuff (lol) but is designed to take people who like the infiltrator class and teach them how to make the best use of their weapons, and combine it with small squad tactics to become a lethal and effective force working alongside our larger infantry platoons.  Unfortunately, none of what I was working on will make it on the blog (at least in any official capacity) so my posting hasn’t been as robust as I’d like.

I am very close with the SMG breakdown.  It’s a long time coming, but hopefully I can wrap it up early this week.  Until then, enjoy some sniper porn!