In most FPS titles the sniper rifle is considered the strongest gun there is – often even overpowered. In CoD UO that is not the case. In our game it’s extremely rare to see dedicated snipers. Was it always like this? What snipers left a mark in history? And what does the future look like for the gun? In my second column I will take you on a journey in a field I dedicated some thousand hours on the past 15 or so years.
In the previous column I came to the conclusion that the rifle meta is here once again – just like in the early days of UO. Shouldn’t that mean that also the sniper meta is here? A hard no, im afraid.
In other Call of Duty titles you see the sniper role being perhaps the most valuable one on the server.
In both CoD2 and CoD4 you might ask yourself: is it to strong?
But in UO the question is rather: is it even worth picking it?
Sure there has been players prooving great worth with the sniper.
One of the pioneers was swedish HeXagon starsniper Rydan, that was perhaps the first famous sniper in the game. His time came before mine, so except for a few demos (where his aim was something special for sure), I havent been able to see him with my own eyes in UO. But even if he was highly praised, again, we must speak about the PAM at the time and the small knowledge players had of different movements and also spots on the maps. I personally reckon the game is a lot better today then it was 2005 among the topteams. I also believe the sniper could be used a lot more efficiently since opponents partly played slower, but mostly wasn’t very good at dodging the bolt action rifles.
Around 2006 even more famous snipers emerged on the UO sky. Some of the craziest battles took place between the powerhouses H2k and Kylahullut and what made things even better was that both teams had very potent snipers. Battles between finnish Magara, widely considered the sniper goat in UO, and dutch BakP1337 (or from time to time Prullukuh) gave an extra spice to the matchup.
I specifically remember getting my hands on a demo when Magara and BakP1337 battled it out on uo_powcamp (one of the best maps for snipers). The crisp aim, tight angles and extreme reflexes stood out. But there was something else that caught my eye. Something that you can only really see when there are two high skilled snipers going at it: the mental game.
Every player knows the basics of the duels on powcamp. Normally you meet each other in the central towers and the better sniper picks up the frag.
This wasnt like that.
It was all about positioning, reading your opponent and preaiming the correct spot. Who could get into who’s head, would you go north or central tower, and who had a better counter the round afterwards. It became more of a game of chess then a game of aim.
And I feel like this also leads us into the current state of the sniper rifle.
Because after trying it out, for god knows how many games, I feel fairly convinced to say this:
No matter how good aim and reflexes you have you can never be a ”carry” sniper.
To be fair I would say: ”a successful team can’t have a sniper as carry”. Period.
The gun doesn’t work like that. It’s not strong like that. And the maps aren’t made for that.
The sniper rifle can be used to two things:
- Support plays.
Sure, you can occasionally be somewhat carrying on maps like cassino and powcamp. But that’s about it. There are no other maps where you can consistently be the carry on both sides.
Dawnville you said?
Maybe on axis side.
Allies? I dont think so. Sure you can get entries both street and grave. But then? Can your team rely on you to finish the round? Most often no.
Stanjel, carentan, depot, germantown, harbor. Did you ever think to yourself: “if only we had a good sniper”?
Peaks, railyard and tigertown are certainly viable to snipe both sides. But again: entry and support. Not carry.
And when I say support I mean holding angles to enable your teammates as much as possible, playing solid angles which keeps you alive for as long as you can – while also contributing in some way.
But if you try and be the playmaker for 2 minutes x 24 rounds you will find yourself in trouble.
At the same time you want to be a threat on the server. So what players managed to juggle these pretty hard tasks and still be successful?
One of my favorite snipers of all time must be dutch myfrustration starplayer Sneaker. Especially during his time in h2o. With one of the most stacked lineups ever, consisting of nreo, choobie, woffen, keveemooses and himself, it was pretty clear he was never the outspoken star of the team. He wasn’t the guy they had to rely on carrying during rounds. But damn was he dangerous. I think I’ve never gotten as outplayed as I was by him. Even the angles I knew how to hold, he just held better. A phenomenal player in a phenomenal team.
Hungarian KRADZZjE is another one i had tough battles with during the most intense FRS vs TcfC era. A much more aggressive sniper then myself, but also a guy that knew when to just sit and hold an angle. And trust me, he didn’t miss. His angles were on lockdown. Also he rose to the top at a time where the xhair was used A LOT if you sniped. And few mastered it as well as he could.
I could go on with strong snipers. King (czech one), mess!ah, k3zzo (brokN), jOker, sKuzz, riddle, and probably many that I myself haven’t played against or am forgetting right now.
But today … do we have any dedicated snipers besides myself?
Gerl0 would probably be the closest to it, making good use of it on many maps. One of few lurking snipers – more then a support sniper, but also someone looking for entries. Worth mentioning is that Darkfall possess another very potent sniper in form of archiMedes who wrecked some havoc with it around 2010. Nowadays though he is one of few aggressive players, together with majkiiEh, in the lineup, and putting him on the scope would probably give an even more unbalanced lineup.
L1mewax is another one picking it up frequently, but less and less for every cup it feels like. The hungarian star is by no means a player that is satisfied with being support to his teammates – and I think thats a reason the sniper is both picked up inconsistently by him, ans also somewhat performed inconsistently. We have seen him completely shut out teams on cassino and dawnville – but also made us wonder from time to time what he could have done with an mp44 instead on for example carentan. In the long run I think a guy like COBR4CSKA, who has been secondary sniper, is more fit for the support/entry-role and that would give better balance in this TcfC lineup having him do it full time when needed.
Guys like Ace, NESTLE, TjEEEBi, Bassie and RnDll are no strangers to the sniper rifle. But they have to live with the same curse that L1mewax do.
They are to good with other guns to be ”wasted” on a sniper.
Sure they can do great things with it, especially if in possession of a secondary. But in the long run their respective teams will have a more consistent success with them being dedicated to other weapons – and the sniper just being something occasional. They need to play a bigger part in the rounds then to just enable teammates.
It is a bit of a shame to see the sniper fall this deep in priority.
Some of the most iconic players in other CoD titles, such as stevy, luckeR and kickR were all wielding the scope.
It also gives a nice dynamic to the rounds to have those battles man to man to look forward to.
But right now it feels like some sort of buff is needed to see that happen in UO.
Removal of sway, faster zoom, higher damage, an extra grenade. I’m not sure what is the best way to go. But something needs to happen for the sniper to have a steady place in every team. Zoom and damage are probably the two details right now making it such a dull weapon.
You would think that a gun limited to maximum 1 per team would be strong.
Right now it makes about as much sense as limiting the gewehr or mp40 to max 1 per team.
What would the game look like if a team could use more then 1 sniper rifle? Right now I doubt it would even happen in any of the topteams if the gun was unlimited.
Sure, I may be biased, but I think everyone would love to see more sniper action.
At the very least feel like it’s worth a pickup on all the bigger maps.
We will see what the future holds for the Springfield, scoped kar98k and scoped Mosin Nagant.
I hope im wrong and that we will see Gerl0 carry his team with a sniper to the championshi … hm, no I take that back. …TjEEEBi carry his team with a sniper to the championship.
But right now I doubt that will be the deciding factor.