The straight pull attachment finally made it to live server, after being teased in the infil update reveal back in April 2013. Yes, it’s been a whole year since we heard about it. And finally, we have a rail attachment worth using.
First off, what does the straight-pull do? In essence, it allows the user to remain scoped in while rechambering each round. The benefits are that you are less likely to lose line-of-sight on a target, making follow up shots more intuitive. You also get to see the tracer reach the target so if you miss, you have a better sense of the margin that your aim was off which can allow for a more accurate follow up.
By keeping line of sight and having more accurate follow ups, I found that the straight pull attachment let me expend more ammunition at a faster rate because I was spending that split second normally lost in target acquisition already shooting the next round. The attachment has the overall affect of turning your bolt action into a very slow firing semi-automatic weapon that can score OHK’s to the head. To top it off, there are no built-in downsides or tradeoffs to using this attachment. It is 100c and is available on all the bolt action rifles.
Does this sound too good to be true? Has SOE just given all snipers a flat buff in the form of this attachment? Is the delicate balance of sniping about to be thrown into chaos on Auraxis??? No! Let me share with you my own skepticism over the straight-pull and why I don’t think we will see a huge change in sniper performance.
The biggest problem with this attachment is the habits that it causes snipers to form. By virtue of the fact that you can stay scoped in and keep shooting until the target goes down or you need to reload, the straight-pull encourages you to be vulnerable to enemy fire, particularly other snipers. My previous habit of sniping was to fire, cloak, move, spot target, uncloak, fire again, cloak and keep moving. With straight pull, I am tempted to fire, strafe a little, fire, strafe a little, fire, reload and cloak, decloak and repeat.
As a dedicated sniper, the best thing that an enemy can do is ADS in open ground. Even if they are shooting at me, I prefer to see a HA aiming right at me, moving in a predictable pattern at 0.5ADS movement speed. I can easily land the headshot and survive incoming fire. The straight-pull encourages a similar pattern, in that other snipers are more likely to ADS and continue to deliver shots, making themselves an easy target to take out. I’ve already started to see this on the field.
One of the advantages I listed to the straight pull of being able to fire more rounds down-range is also a downside, as it encourages players to spam more sniper rounds, each of which uses nice big tracers and mini-map pings to let everyone know where you are.
Ultimately, I do not like using the straight pull in long range sniping. I prefer to acquire my targets visually before scoping in. I then wait until the target has stopped moving or is moving in a predictable manner before I decloak and hold my breath. I don’t need the straight pull to make the follow up shot. And I don’t want any more tunnel vision than is already inherent in sniping. When it comes to mid-range sniping, the straight pull has its perks, as battles get a bit more chaotic and you take more shots at running targets. I still tend not to use it.
The one circumstance where I’ve found use for the straight-pull attachment is with the close range bolt actions: the TSAR-42, Ghost and SAS-R. In those weapons, you have a quick fire rate, quick reload and close engagement range. With the right position, you can take advantage of the benefits of straight pull to look down on a group of enemies and shoot their heads until the magazine runs dry. It is wonderfully fun and effective, and really lets the attachment shine.
So to summarize, the straight pull attachment can give you tunnel vision and make you more vulnerable to incoming fire, at a benefit of letting you shoot faster and have an easier time with follow up shots. I don’t think it is a good choice for long range sniping, but have found a benefit with close range sniping using the TSAR-42/Ghost/SAS-R. I’m glad SOE added a useful barrel attachment for us, and would also like to see the forward grip removed or redesigned for bolt actions. No matter what, the straight pull does require a little practice, so I encourage you to cert into it and get the hang of using it, even if you don’t intended on keeping it on your rifle. My one intermediate skill-level tip is that if you insist on using straight pull while sniping mid-long range targets, learn to toggle your cloak in-between shots to break the line-of-sight your enemies have on you. Even just a little visual disruption will make it harder for them to snipe you.
That’s all I have for the straight pull attachment. I know blog posts have been a bit less frequent over the last few months. Partially this is due to real life getting busier, but also I have been focused on the Community Clash season 1 competition with No Nonsense Gamers [NNG]. We were eliminated this past week by DasAnFall [DA] in the NA finals, so I now have a bit more time to put into videos and blogging. As always, your feedback is welcome, and I look forward to putting out more content in the future!