Really, this should be obvious. And I should start off with being 100% honest that I dislike dying – I just want to heal people and spread Medic-y goodness. So really, any class that kills me is going to get ranted at more than necessary. That is, unless they can protect me and net me lots of assists. Don’t look at me like that, I need to get my violent blood lust somehow, and whenever I draw my syringe gun, you all bitch at me. Plus, people need to put my healing to good use. But nothing irks me more than being killed by a Sniper.
Particularly if he’s half way across the map.
Actually, let’s have some more honesty. If a Sniper is in melee range and he manages to pull off that quickscope on me or the Scout protecting me, he probably deserved it. Or it was luck, since luck is a fucking huge thing here in TF2. Plus most people are aiming at the chest or head anyway, it’s just Soldiers who shoot at your feet. There IS a lot of skill involved in becoming a top Sniper in a fast moving, competitive environment in a balanced setting. There’s more skill in playing Scout, but that’s another story… um, article.
The problem with Sniper is that he’s just not very fun to play against. If you get killed by a Sniper, you rarely actually see where he was. If you do see him, he’s probably safely behind the entirety of his enemy team, or at least behind a few of them. Getting dominated by a Sniper means you won’t ever be able to shift that domination, particularly if you’re a squishy, non-killing person like me. A Sniper’s presence is incredibly unannounced (unless you’re playing Payload and the cart has stopped moving – while we’re at it, please change this so Spy doesn’t speak while cloaked and says the opposite lines while disguised!). A map will have its sniper spots, but many maps have multiple ones – not to mention the fact that Snipers can snipe from anywhere – and you’ll need eyes in the back of your head and some fine communication trying to keep tabs on them all. That’s perfect for a Sniper though, he’ll just use his team as a distraction so he can take me out. And not even break a nail.
That’s bearable though. A Sniper’s job is long distance assassination. But Sniper is also equally powerful at mid range, should he equip the Huntsman. Thing is though, the Huntsman is totally salvage-able. All we have to do is make the projectile really fricking tiny. The same size as a syringe, despite keeping the same arrow model. Spamming it down chokepoints would quickly become rather pointless, due to the tiny ammo count.
I get distracted so easily. Sniper may be at his best at long range and still a threat at mid range, so you’d think he’d be weak at melee range, yes? Jarate would like to have a word with you. A large, area-of-effect recharging miniature anti-Buff Banner. It also puts fires out and reveals Spies, as if Spies needed any more ways of being revealed and Pyros needed any more of an excuse to just use their primary weapons for airblasts. I mentioned this in my other Sniper article, but Jarate is really fucking useful, despite doing no damage at all. Mini-crits are incredibly painful, and melee ones will really hurt – so will Bushwacka crits, so unless you can 100% kill that Sniper, being coated in Jarate means you should back off.
Maybe I am putting a little too much pressure on Jarate, but that thing charges in 20 seconds and lasts for 10 seconds. A Medic can only charge up a Vaccinator in that time.
That’s not my biggest issue though. What I hate most is that I feel so helpless against Snipers. If I see a Scout coming, I know I’m probably dead, but I can try and run away and maybe get a few syringes into him before I perish. If I see a Demoman or Soldier, I can attempt to surf away on their explosions. With Pyros, I had loads of time to inform my team mates of his presence. Engineers and Heavies are loud and clanky and can be heard from a mile away. And if a Spy gets me, then he must have worked his ass off to get so close. But a Sniper? I can duck and weave and hide behind the map as much as I want. At some point, I NEED to move into open spaces. I can’t just sit there and wait until I have Uber, or be a prick to both the Sniper and my team and use the Vaccinator.
Deep down, that’s what Sniper does. He forces you to hide, while being a small, out of sight target. No one else can as quickly and effectively hold down an entire team as a Sniper can. Yes, Engineers can with their sentries, but they take time. All Sniper needs is some idiots to distract the enemy long enough so he can line up that shot.
That’s not to say that Sniper should be removed! He, like everything else in TF2, just needs some tweaks.