SNIPERS: A Nightmare for Developers and Players

Published 2023-01-15
The Unbalanced Problems with Snipers in Video Games.
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⍜ Musicians Featured in Video:
Chris Doerksen:
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⍜ Timestamps
00:00 - The beginning or Arch
00:47 - All the Guns
04:12 - Is there really a problem?
10:16 - A rushed history of Snipers
14:11 - The stat change part
22:36 - 3 Solutions
29:48 - Conclusion

Arch is a channel that releases high quality 30+ min videos on media like games, series and movies.

All Comments (21)
  • I recall an old quote of Tf2s balancing issues. It went something like: "Not one class was designed around an individual player having 50k hours of playtime on said class."
  • Fun Fact: According to a developer interview with the Team Fortress devs, when asked, “If you were forced to remove one class from Team Fortress 2, which one would it be?” they answered Sniper because even they found it unfair that a class could basically kill anyone from anywhere on the map.
  • @beefyblom
    I was personally always a fan of "inverted damage fall-off" as a solution. It just makes sense from a gameplay perspective, as it forces snipers to y'know.. snipe, instead of use it as a glorified slug shotgun.
  • @eagles2249
    One factor I like about the CS sniper is the audio from scoping in which can give away your position or weapon choice in close quarters. Limits your mobility without actually limiting it
  • @husveq
    Another thing to consider is hitscan vs projectile. The original snipers in fortnite had massive travel times making shots far harder to hit and feel much more fun to use and fight.
  • @ka1withan1
    Many games have mechanics similar to over-penetration. Simply, you do less damage up close because they just go clean through the target. This also has the fun mechanic of walbangs dealing MORE damage at close range
  • @tybreezy5894
    I think a very important thing about sniper balancing is movement. When you have slow movement options,like counter strike, and run into a sniper it’s nearly impossible to dodge.
  • @theraque1
    The fix is easy: remove the reticle when not in ADS and adding a slight weight variation when shooting at the hip and force scopes to have a 8x and larger zoom forcing long-distance combat. This makes no scopes very difficult and the gun only is useful at long range. That way snipers would need to swap to secondary in close quarters.
  • One thing you didn't touch on at least for CS GO is that when you buy a sniper, you also gamble on the chance that if you die with it, you just handed a powerful weapon over to the other team. I think that in itself can be a partial balancing factor. Especially if you cant afford another one/good weapons next round.
  • @georgeisratemint
    Let's not forget that in CS:GO a lot of gameplay revolves around sound cues. the sniper makes noise when you scope in, so players have the choice of walking around scoped in which leaves them open to more angles, or staying unscoped, increasing time to kill, as the snipers are still inaccurate for a few moments after ADS. In higher level CS, giving away your position is almost always a death wish
  • @DylanKreutzer
    One thing to take into account in regard to snipers that I didn't see mentioned in this video is 'aimpunch'. This is when your first-person-view flinches upwards, often away from the target, because the enemy hit you with a bullet from their gun. The phenomenon of aimpunch goes a long way in helping to balance sniper rifles in a lot of FPS games.
  • @JennyTheNerdBat
    I really like the way Splatoon handles it - your bullets kill in one hit, but charging and aiming the shot gives your position away (via visible tracer). It eliminates the whole "sitting in the corner and potshotting door frames" playstyle while still keeping snipers a menace to deal with on long distances
  • @ME0_
    quickscoping becoming it’s own thing just made this fight that much more complicated
  • @steeeen
    Battlefield 1 utilized a "sweet spot" mechanic. The snipers had a specific range for 1 shot body kills, for example: 150m - 180m. Ranges closer than or further than this "sweet spot" become ~2+ shot(s) to kill. It worked well in BF1 and was really fun. Though it's a viable balance idea due to Battlefield's projectile based weapons and large maps.
  • @mintytwist5239
    I always believe this solution would work for tf2: Old school Halo had a great idea where if you recieve a threshold of damage, then you get unscoped. This would allow a lot of classes, even Heavy, to fight back, and doesn't result the sniper being useless and is forced to reposition which is SUPPOSE to be his downside, where he has to avoid being targeted.
  • @lesstanthree
    Simple solution: make the Aim Down Sight time go up dramatically while moving and taper down once the player stops. That way as you push with a sniper your ADS becomes less useful and you have to no scope. Add this to shot scatter (sway) while running for no-scope shots and it becomes less usable for pushing. When the player stops moving or stands still the ADS returns to its default value, which is what snipers are supposed to do (stay static to shoot and move strategically).
  • @digitalnuke
    You forgot to mention the ORIGINAL Team Fortress, which was based on Quake. The Sniper had a gradual zoom that zoomed in over a few seconds and got more powerful as it zoomed. So it got harder to aim at the same time as it got more powerful. Shooting unzoomed was about the same damage as a standard rifle.
  • @Deadvalley200
    The game Project Reality has a feature known as “stability.” The way it works is that if you move around and then aim down sights, your shots will have higher deviation. In order to shoot accurately, you have stay still for a moment to stabilize your gun.
  • @sucio-
    I like your “reverse falloff” solution, i think more games should attempt unintuitive solutions to balancing instead of the most intuitive, because sometimes it can give really nice solutions like that, would be very interesting to see that in game.
  • @teagan3139
    An interesting sniper in a game is Titanfall 2. The Kraber is incredibly powerful. One shot kill to the body or head. However it is incredibly difficult to use. The movement in Titanfall 2 adds a crazy new element to sniper gameplay. Not only do you have to consider your opponents movement because of the gun's bullet travel time and drop -- you have to consider your own movement as well. I love the Kraber, it's one of my favorite snipers in any game.