Gosh it has been a long time since I’ve posted here. I’m still active in PS2 and the community, perhaps more now than ever. I stopped posting to this blog as I started running out of reasons to write things here that weren’t better off going on reddit. I also ran out of interesting things to say about the infiltrator class that hasn’t already been said. Today however, I’d like to expand upon a simple suggestion that I have had for a long time. And after stumbling upon a thread on the official forums by a new player who announced he was quitting after having a bad new player experience, I think this is more important now than ever, as this game nears launch for the PS4, exposing this game to a lot of new players.
Currently, infiltrator defaults to the long range semi automatic sniper rifles for TR (99SV) and VS (Spectre). To put it bluntly, these weapons are difficult to use well, and generally perform horribly for a new player. There are several reasons these weapons are a poor choice for new players: most of this game takes place in close quarters, where the 6x scopes are awkward and the weapon is flat out-performed by automatic weapons by a large margin. These weapons have a high skill floor, requiring precise headshots to be competitive (2 HS or 1HS + 1body or 3-4 body shots to kill). With only 10 rounds and a high COF bloom, poor moving ADS accuracy and scope sway on top of it all, giving the new player this weapon at default is a setup for disaster. If you want to participate in the long range sniping, you are forced to buy a sniper rifle. If you want your infiltrator to play in facility and base captures, most players will feel forced to buy an SMG or auto scout rifle.
In short – the long range semi-auto sniper rifles are better suited for experienced players who will know when and how to use such a weapon. Giving them to new players denies them the ability to participate in the long range sniping game, or move into facilities and have an effective weapon to fight in closer ranges. I do have one criticism of the NC infiltrator starting with a bolt driver – while it allows for sniping, it also discourages fighting in bases and doing things like hacking terminals and bringing your recon darts into the fight. And while it might not be too difficult on a new PS4 server, sniping on the PC platform is pretty difficult to do well as there are experienced infiltrators all over who will countersnipe new players standing still trying to aim their rifle with ease.
My suggestion? Make the automatic scout rifles default for the infiltrator class. These weapons still require an amount of precision to play well, but give a better effective range for most situations new infiltrators will get into. This also better emphasizes the infiltrators role in espionage and hacking enemy bases. While it won’t be easy to go up against a shielded heavy assault, your new infiltrator player will at least be competitive against other classes. This would be a much more intuitive default loadout that would be less frustrating for new players and help give them more reason to stick with their squad and engage in base captures