Introduction to the Sniper

December 22, 2011 - 7:35 pm No Comments

Meet The Imperial Agent: Sniper

While the servers are down for pre-launch maintenance, I thought I’d introduce you to the Imperial Agent. There are lots of primers out there already. I’m sure anyone interested in the class has already done their homework on it. So I’ll just touch on the obvious and throw in a little commentary as to what I’ve experienced so far.

The Imperial Agent is the star agent of, as Kaliyo Djannis puts it, “the freaking secret police.” That is, the Agent is employed by Imperial Intelligence, essentially the CIA of the Empire. Through your first 15 levels or so, you are tethered to the whim and command of Keeper, the head honcho of Imperial Intelligence, at which point you are given a much longer leash with near autonomy to deal the Empire’s bidding.

An Agent can specialize as an Operative or a Sniper. The Operative can go damage or healer, while the sniper is all out offensive action. As a Sniper you can specialize three ways: amping up your droids and probes, mastering your poisons (which is the shared tree with Operative), or provide massive damage from range with Marksmanship. Marksmanship is, of course, going to be the focus at Die by the Blaster. Read through the cut for an overview of the Imperial Agent: Sniper.

The Agent uses the unique combat style called “cover.” By utilizing terrain or a portable shield generator, the Agent skillfully hides behind objects to reduce incoming damage while steadying his own shots for greater damage. In fact, many of the Sniper’s most damaging attacks can only be used while in cover. There is also talents that making jumping in and out of cover advantageous, especially when soloing.

The Strengths of the Sniper

There is very little left to the imagination of being a Sniper – it is by no stretch of the term all-out ranged damage. Nearly every talent focuses on dealing damage while some provide advantages to dropping in and out of cover to temporarily reduce incoming damage. The Sniper also has several skills to keep opponents at a distance, and enemies at a distance should be very afraid of a Sniper.

  • Massive ranged damage capacity
  • Cover for reduced incoming ranged damage
  • Minor crowd control (especially droids)
  • Knockback abilities
  • Interrupts and stuns

The Weaknesses of the Sniper

As would be expected, where the sniper falters is in personal defense. Even with a plethora of escape abilities, once the Sniper’s ground is overtaken by the enemy things get ugly fast. While he does have several attacks that can attack from close range, without help or the chance to get back into cover, the Sniper will not last long. Luckily, the Sniper’s companions do generally help out by drawing fire. The biggest problem with survivability lies in not having any heals to speak of.

  • Weak (medium) armor
  • Weak healing options
  • Mediocre close-combat damage

Guns, guns, guns

That’s a very loose and brief description of the Sniper. If you’ve played a Hunter in World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online or a Ranger in Everquest, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Imperial Sniper, minus the cover mechanic. If you’ve watched a good cop movie lately and recall the SWAT sniper perched on a rooftop, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect… including what happens to that one guy that doesn’t watch his back.

Keep your eyes on the site for the next post. I’ll be going into detail on how best to solo as a Sniper through the first 25 levels and reveal my current level 50 planned build. I know you are waiting for it. Here’s a screenshot teaser of what the build will look like (courtesy torhead.com).

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