The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Sword Art Online II-style

“There’s a maniac out there! He’s shooting everyone in the head!” —Pure_Pwnage

This is the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range, a new series inspired by LevelCapGaming’s Loadout series. The difference here is I’ll be running with various Battlefield 3 weapons that are seen in some anime (or approximate the loadout the best I can), rather than taking on a kit and customisation readers will choose, and instead of videos, I’ll be doing a talk as per my usual format. Unlike Loadout, I’ll only consider the gadgets and specialisations if required. Today, I’m running the M98B with the 8x rifle scope, straight-pull bolt and a laser sight, and my sidearm is the Glock G18C. To mimic Sinon’s speed, I’ve chosen to go with the sprint specialisation. This deviates slightly from Sinon’s Hecate II, which has bipod in place of the straight-pull bolt and no other attachments. In general, I’ll try to set up my weapon as close as possible to the loadouts seen within the anime, but because I captured the footage on short order, I forgot to set the customisations up properly in the images. With that said, Sinon’s choice of weapons is logical and doable: optimised for extremely long range combat, a bipod helps stablise the rifle and minimises scope sway. The rifle scope is well suited for long range engagements far away from the front lines. In Gun Gale Online, Sinon typically engages enemies from great distances, so high-powered optics make sense. However, in both cases, the optics obscures one’s field-of-view and leaves players without a good sense of their surroundings. Moreover, scope glint gives the player’s position away, forcing snipers to move from place to place to avoid being hunted down. For close-quarters combat, the G18C automatic pistol is an ideal weapon. As with Sinon, I’m going with the non-suppressed version, which deals more damage and has a slightly better range compared to the suppressed G18C. The weapon is remarkably effective in some cases: with a firing rate of 900 rounds per minute, it out-powers the 93R at close ranges, but is still woefully underpowered compared to the primary weapons.

  • In the few months after I had picked up Battlefield 3, I was downright terrible with the recon class. Bullet drop and scope sway meant that I was constantly missing targets, and my typical preference for close-quarters combat meant I was not doing well at all with the recon class in its intended role. However, that changed somewhat after I unlocked the SV-98, which performed quite admirably. My fondest memory was using it to take down an enemy sniper camped out on the crane.

  • Just a few days ago, in my Sabagebu! talk, I mentioned that I have no combat efficiency ribbons because I still play Battlefield 3 as I did Halo 2. However, the sniper loadout forced me to hang back, far from the front lines. I also happen to have Noshahr Canals’ entire layout memorised: there’s a corner of the map where the enemy team will sometimes spawn in large groups, and over a very short period of time, I managed to get a killstreak going, landing me my first-ever combat efficiency ribbon (to earn it, one must get eight kills without dying).

  • Bullet drop, though intimidating to beginners, isn’t actually that difficult to master. It will take practise, but making use of the sights (and understanding what the different markings mean) helps considerably. The M98B has the smallest bullet drop of any sniper rifle in Battlefield 3 owing to its muzzle velocity, and paired with some practise, getting headshots is reasonably straightforward.

  • During a chaotic match on Kharg Island, I encountered several snipers at close range, and proceeded to wreck them using the G18C. Some players will try to perform either no-scopes or quick-scopes in close quarters with bolt-action rifles, a range where firing rate matters more than any other statistic. They’ll fire, usually miss in a panic and be taken out without too much difficulty. Against the other weapons, I got wrecked when using the G18C.

  • I think Sinon’s loadout is quite viable in Battlefield 3. Compared to my usual play-style, it requires more patience and excellent decision-making skills to ensure that every shot counts. That’s it for the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range. Next up in the series will be Maya’s M4A1: she uses the Close Quarters Battle Receiver, which isn’t available in Battlefield 3, but the EOTech holosight is. The timeline for this is going to have to be “whenever my schedule allows”.

In practise, equipping a bolt action rifle, automatic pistol and sprint specialisation is somewhat unusual: one would preferably go with the ammunition, suppression or anti-suppression specialisations (to carry more rounds, suppress enemies downrange more efficiently or prevent enemies from doing the same). There is little question that, at long ranges, nothing else matches Battlefield 3‘s premier bolt-action rifle. Easier to unlock that Gun Gale Online‘s Hecate II, the M98B is one of the most powerful weapons, dealing 95 points of damage and trailing out to 59 points at 120 metres, much greater than other sniper rifles. At closer ranges, players will sustain massive damage if hit, and even at long ranges, two shots will dispose of any opponent. The M98B also has the greatest bullet velocity, so one does not have to compensate for bullet drop or lead their targets quite to the same extent. To balance it out, the weapon has a slower firing rate of 40 rounds per minute and is limited to a five-round magazine (and an extra round in the chamber), although the limitations don’t impede the M98B’s overall performance, making it an excellent weapon at long ranges. For short range engagements, the G18C’s rate of fire allows one to hold out reasonably well, although in general, having the M98B in one’s loadout will leave one with a serious disadvantage in close quarters. When equipped with the M98B, players in Battlefield 3 will do well to follow a similar pattern as Sinon, having squadmates provide cover and moving from place to place to avoid being out-gunned, making use of the G18C as a last resort.

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