The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Tag Archives: Sniper

Cleaner’s Carbine

Joining the Hitman’s Heatmaker in the rank of supressed weapons, the cleaner’s carbine is sniper’s latest secondary weapon and was introduced in the Meet the Pyro update. A submachine gun with a suppressor and folding skeletal stock, this weapon grants three seconds of guaranteed critical hits when it kills an enemy, similar to Killing Gloves of Boxing. To offset this boost, it has a reduced magazine capacity that is 20% smaller than the SMG and is further handicapped by a 35% reduction firing speed. Killing someone during a crit buff will reset its duration time to 3 seconds instead of adding it. When critical hits are active, the user gets the bonus for all weapons, rather than for just the cleaner’s carbine.

  • In practise, a suppressed SMG is immensely useful for defensive purposes: weakened opponents can be picked off, giving the weapon increased firepower. The weapon doesn’t always glow: it’s typically a sleek, black colour.

  • I’ve found the cleaner’s carbine to resemble the MP7 to some extent with respect to its appearance. The suppressed fire isn’t too much for stealth, but gives the carbine a heavier firing sound.

The cleaner’s carbine is more suited as a finishing weapon rather than a close quarters weapon for the sniper, given that it deals less damage per unit time compared to the standard Submachine Gun. The guaranteed critical hits for three seconds upon killing an enemy gives it utility in opportunistic situations, allowing for a handful of opponents to be dispatched. Given that the cleaner’s carbine fires more slowly, precision is more effective; reloading will consume a little over a second of the weapons’s critical hits.

The Hitman’s Heatmaker

The Hitman’s Heatmaker (affectionately referred to as the heatmaker) is the latest of the rifles to grace the Sniper’s loadout. It is a suppressed rifle outfitted with a sleek scope and features a wooden stock with a brown leather rest. The heatmaker is unique in that it decapitates the enemy on a successful headshot. The heatmaker also incorporates focus, a system similar to the Bazaar Bargain’s Headshot system: this time, the bonus is simply gained on kills or assists, rather than on successful headshots, and does not disappear on missed shots or body shots. Once the meter is full, the subsequent shot will activate the Focus state, granting the wielder an increased firing rate and  removing the necessity of unscoping after every shot. Like the Bazaar Bargain, the Hitman’s Heatmaker is made for accurate Snipers; bodyshots from this weapon suffer a damage penalty.

  • My initial impressions of the heatmaker are that it is a direct upgrade from the standard sniper rifle. While bodyshots are nowhere near as powerful, it compensates for this by being able to decapitate opponents on a headshot. When the focus meter is filled, a player will be able to prolong focus indefinitely by getting continuous kills. Another aspect I like about this rifle is that it fires suppressed rounds, giving the impression of a rifle optimised for stealth missions, not unlike the M21 suppressed from the CoD4MW mission All Ghillied Up.

  • The heatmaker is generally more useful than the Machina and the Baazar Bargain for the sniper with less experience in combat, given that it can fire while unscoped, unlike the former, and missing won’t cost the operator anything, unlike the latter. The only real disadvantage is that tracer shots are fired while focus is active, revealing the operator’s location to the other team.

The weapon requires 3 kills (or 9 assists, or any combination of those) in order to fill the Focus bar entirely. It triggers automatically if it is filled with a killing shot. While focused, the weapon will charge 25% faster, fire tracer darts similar to the Machina, and will not unscope after firing. This does not increase rate of fire, but the weapon will still charge while reloading.

Remember when they made Team Fortress 2 Free?

The most fun you could have online…is now free!

It’s been over a year since Team Fortress 2 was made permanently into a free-to-play game, and a year later, the multiplayer FPS is as popular as ever. The Meet the Pyro update was released just a few weeks ago, completing the “Meet the Team” series, and from a personal standpoint, this move was correctly foreseen by Valve to be a successful one, considering that I originally got on board with the entire TF2 business because it was free to play. For your amusement, and mine upon the viewer’s reactions when they see the following Team Fortress 2 art, I’ve presented some rather interesting takes on the playable classes in TF2. I just hope someone doesn’t get mad as a result.

  • Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, I hurt people. 

  • If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!

  • Mpphhh mphh mph mphhhh mphhh mhh!

  • One crossed wire, one wayward pinch of potassium chlorate, one errant twitch…and kablooie! 

  • Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe, *sniff* maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet. 

  • Hey look, buddy. I’m an engineer — that means I solve problems. Not problems like ‘What is beauty?’ because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems.

  • Let’s go practice medicine. 

  • Snipin’s a good job, mate! It’s challengin’ work, outta doors. I guarantee you’ll not go hungry, cause at the end of the day, long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.

  • This Spy has already breached our defenses… you’ve seen what he’s done to our colleagues! And worst of all: He could be any one of us.

A year later, I now have a premium account because I was compelled to enhance my experience in the game (actually, it was a consequence of purchasing items from the in-game Mann Co. Store for a friend), and I can attest to the success of the free-to-play model. Valve developer Robin Walker stated in an interview that there would be no hidden fees as with other multiplayer games. Instead, the entire game is funded by micro-transactions in the Mann Co. Store, much as the small payment I made. This model is hugely successful compared to other games in its implementation: as there are no hidden costs associated with getting game-necessary gear, players only pay to purchase aesthetic elements like hats. By making the game available to most anyone, this mechanism minimises piracy in that if the game is already free from the developers, there is no need to obtain an illegal copy.

With this in mind, this model would hardly be applicable to Valve’s other games, or MMORPGs. Nonetheless, this decision was a good one on Valve’s part and got me into the entire business of Team Fortress 2. Given I’ve had a year to mess around in TF2, I cite the game as one of my favourite means of blowing off steam after a week of course work, whether it be dominating F2P players or aggravating the more serious players with high-value items.  The only negative side effect of this is that my Halo 2 headshot skills have pretty much dissipated over the past year.

Offensive Classes

Defensive Classes

Support Classes

There is quite a bit of artwork out there depicting the classes in TF2, although not in a sense you’d expect. I’ve tried looking for unique art of the classes as they are in-game, but artists seem to have other ideas in mind. Nonetheless, I do believe that TF2-themed artwork, accuracy or not, is suitable for decorating this page. Who knows? Maybe I decided to talk about how I’ve enjoyed Team Fortress 2 for the sole purpose of showing off some TF2 artwork?

Snipers

“Snipin’s a good job, mate! It’s challengin’ work, outta doors. I guarantee you’ll not go hungry, cause at the end of the day, long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.” -The Sniper on his profession, Team Fortress 2

Sniping is generally the most sought-after skill set in virtually every FPS involving long range, scoped rifles. Whether it is Halo or Team Fortress 2, there appears to be very few experiences in a game like getting a headshot at long range.

  • In Halo, sniper rounds have a slight delay in reaching their targets. Halo veterans recommend using the 5x magnification to hit targets reliably at mid ranges, and to constantly remain on the move to avoid revealing their position: both the sniper rifle and beam rifle leave behind a distinct trail that reveals the position of the sniper.

  • There are two types of snipers in Halo: the human sniper rifle, and the Covenant beam rifle. The sniper rifle has a larger carrying capacity (i.e. more rounds carried) and does not overheat, while the beam rifle can fire two shots in rapid succession and is quieter.

In reality, snipers are highly trained marksmen that typically work in pairs, from concealed positions, to take down single high-value targets. Snipers train vigorously to ensure that they are capable of making every shot count,  and must continuously take into account environmental variables such as gravity, wind speed, air temperature, relative humidity and (yes, I’m pulling this straight from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) the Coriolis effect at longer ranges.

  • Snipers in Team Fortress 2 have the distinct ability to ‘charge’ their rifles: by remaining scoped, the rifle charges and increases the damage an individual round until full charge is reached, whereupon it becomes possible to kill any class with a single headshot. The ability to one-shot any class is offset by the sniper’s low health, and being scoped also reduces a sniper’s awareness, making them prime targets for spies. Defensive snipers will carry a razorback to defend them from a single backstab attempt.

  • There are five sniper rifles available to the sniper at time of writing: the stock rifle is a good all-around weapon, the huntsman is bow meant as a closer range weapon, the Sydney Sleeper cannot headshot but covers opponents in Jarate (an agent that causes all damage taken to be mini-crits) and is an excellent support weapon. The Baazar Bargain is a weapon ideal for marksmen who can land consecutive headshots, and the Machina is a highly powerful support rifle. Players usually pick the rifle that suits them the most: for me, it’s the Machina.

In video games, sniper rifles are designed to fire a projectile in a straight line or else act as hit-scan weapons, ignoring most of these elements altogether to ensure that the weapons are effective at long range without the same training snipers undergo. That said, sniping in video games is also challenging, as other players are constantly moving, and players must carefully lead their shots to ensure that their shots hit their target.

  • In Battlefield Bad Company 2, the campaign offers two sniper rifles, while there are seven rifles in multiplayer. The Type-88 is a semi-automatic rifle with a reasonably large magazine, making it highly useful as a designated marksman rifle. Most wielders find that its rate of fire and magazine size make it more viable at medium ranges, where more enemies are likely to be engaged. Moreover, beginners should have an easier time getting two body shots off.

  • The M95 sniper rifle is a bolt action rifle that offers more stopping power than the Type-88 at the cost of firing rate and magazine size. In general, each of the rifles have a different set of characteristics that appeal to different players.

Every game has a different set of mechanics for its sniper rifles and as such, require a slightly different adaptations to ensure they are wielded effectively.  For instance, snipers in Battlefield 3 need to be aware of bullet drop and use the markers on their scopes properly to compensate, while snipers in Team Fortress 2 need to be cautious of spies and play carefully to avoid death, as they have less health than most of the other classes. While I’m not totally familiar with all of the sniper weapons in every FPS per say, there are a general set of guidelines that seem to apply to all players interested in sniping.

  • Aim for the head– This is probably the most common thing posted out there on almost any guide about playing effectively as a sniper. While headshots are one-hit kills under almost all circumstances, the head presents a smaller target than the body. As such, aiming for the head is usually done only if there is sufficient time to line up a good shot. Otherwise, two body shots will usually be most effective.
  • Move constantly– This is another classic tip and usually involves either strafing constantly if one’s cover is blown to avoid taking fire, or moving from location to location to avoid being engaged at close range.
  • Secure a good location– A good place to snipe is essential. Many guides will emphasise finding several good hiding spots that offer a good vantage point while simultaneously providing cover.
  • Compensate for target movements– Depending on the game, some sniper rounds will travel more slowly than others. Players are typically told to lead their shots by a certain factor to ensure that they hit the target where they are expected to be, rather than they are.
  • Choose a suitable rifle– Most games offer several rifles with varying attributes. Sniper rifles can be grouped into two main classes: semi-automatic marksman rifles have slightly less damage and range but compensate with a higher firing rate, whereas bolt-action sniper rifles are slower to fire but have greater range, accuracy and stopping power. Players choose their rifles based on their preferred combat styles: the former is more suited for mid-range combat, while the latter is better for support roles.

  • I’m not too familiar with the Battlefield 3 sniper rifles, but here is the SV98, a Russian bolt-action rifle. In Battlefield 3, all sniper rifles are affected by bullet drop; moreover, different scope magnifications affect drop compensation. As such, guides recommend that players choose equipment that they are both comfortable and suited for the situation.

  • The Dragunov SVD is another sniper rifle found in Battlefield 3. One of the more interesting aspects in Battlefield 3 is unlockable customisations for rifles. These customisations allow players to choose a rifle and further modify it to suit their game style.

These are the five main points I’ve seen discussed time and time again by veterans to new players. Generally speaking, they are effective in the sense that they increase a sniper’s survivability. On the other hand, getting kills is a little more challenging for beginners, who have yet to find their ideal look sensitivity and learn the game mechanics with respect to where bullets land after being fired. Once players are familiarised with these essentials, they can work on their reaction times to ensure they are more combat effective. Of course, we are discussing games here: for players seeking a good time, sniping is but one of these means of do so.

The Machina

This is my first post about Team Fortress 2, and as such, leaves a lot to the imagination as to what I might discuss here. I’ll cut straight to the chase and say that my ‘tips’ will largely concern weapons choice and what I’ve found to be the most effective means of wielding that particular weapon is. Today, we’ll begin with discussion of the Machina Sniper Rifle, a sleek, futuristic rifle modelled after the Longsword 202 ERASER from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It was distributed as a promotional item in genuine quality to anyone who preordered Deus Ex, although it can be crafted and acquired through the drop system.

The Machina can only fire while a user is scoped, and emits sparks when attempts to fire it are made while the user is un-scoped. The rifle does 50 points of damage when uncharged and 150 points of damage when charged if the shot lands on the body, while a headshot will yield 150 points of damage when uncharged, and 518 points of damage when charged. The rifle has a firing rate of 40 rounds per minute, and requires 3.3 seconds to fully charge.

The unique attributes of the Machina make it most useful as a long range defensive weapon in games like KOTH, Control Points and when defending against another team in Payload. This arises from the fact that a fully charged round from the Machina will pierce and eliminate multiple enemies. Thus, if a group of people are clustered together, a single shot is likely all that is needed to defend an objective.

The main drawback to the Machina is that it fires tracer rounds that give away a sniper’s position to the enemy, and cannot fire while unscoped. As countermeasures, a sniper wielding a Machina should have several sniping locations in mind, and wield the SMG as a close-quarters weapon.