SWTOR Sniper Group PvE Beginner’s Tips
SWTOR Sniper Group PvE Beginner’s Tips by Swuulerian
I’d like to share my views of how snipers are most useful in groups. Sadly I’ve seen not all (new) snipers are that familiar with their role in groups, so lets go over a few things to avoid the nooby mistakes others (cough) have already made in the past.
You are there to deliver damage. Lots of it. However, pumping out maximal damage from start will kill your group. So, how do you pump out lots of damage without making the tank and healer hate you? Basically, your group will notice you if you are a bad sniper. If you are a good sniper, the group members will wonder aloud how everything went so easily this time. Cherish those comments, they will soon realise the good fights happen when you are around.
Snipers hit hard. If they want to go nuts right from the start of battle, then will hit so damned HARD there is no tank in the game who can hold aggro to themselves. Especially if you hit mobs Which the tank has not built aggro on. This will see mobs run for you, which will see you killed, which will see the healer killed, which will see the group wipe. If you do that, you deserve all the shouting you are going to get.
Learn to handle aggro!
When fights start, target your tank. Press ALT-T, this will target what ever the tank is targeting, and start shooting at that one. Not mega hits at start, go easy. After a few seconds you can start to deliver more pain, however at all times remember to hover above 60% energy to keep your energy regenaration fast (you of course do know snipers regenerate energy faster when they have at least 60% left, so during long fights *always* stay at 60+ until the burn phase). When the current target is down, target your tank again and press ALT-T so you know what to kill next.
On boss targets you can go nuts in the late phase of the combat. BURN that DPS, your groups survival might depend on getting the boss down before your healer runs out of resources and/or your tank runs out of health. Use what ever energy regeneration you can (especially Adrenaline Probe), and just go crazy with the shots. Just don’t start the burn phase too early, or you’ll run out of energy too soon, and then you’ll spend the last moments in the battle just using Rifle Shots (which is ok if it is for the last 3-5 seconds, but not so cool if it is for the last 20+ seconds).
If you get aggro and can’t handle it, run to the tank. The worst thing you can do is to run around the place, nobody will be able to save you. Run to the tank, use Evasion (if you have it) to get there, and while you are at the tank wait for him to take aggro from the mobs (use Countermeasures if you have it; just remember to *not* use Countermeasures when you are next to your healer, as the mob(s) will likely aggro on the healer (it requires less aggro to target somebody in melee range rather than outside melee range)).
Snipers are a DPS class, and that is all they do in battles, right? WRONG! Look at your abilities, you have quite a few CC (crowd control) abilities. Use them, and your group will have a much easier time! You may not get thanks for good handling of CC, but you will know you did a good work when the tank and healer wonder how this was such an easy fight this time even though it did seem like poo hit the fan.
Park yourself near the groups healer. They usually stand back a bit, and that suits you just fine. Many boss fights have adds coming in, there are maybe patrolling mobs, your tank might get cc’d by mobs, all these will see mobs charge for the healer. The tanks responsibility is to pick up loose heavy adds, but you can handle normal adds just fine. Use your AoE abilities to grab their attention, then burn them down; anything to save the healer.
Remember you have even from early levels five very good CC abilities. Slice Droid takes out a droid/turret add for ever, just refresh it after 60 seconds; *many* of the gold elites in the game are droids or turrets, and thus this is a *very* handy skill. Leg Shot is something to freeze a melee mob in place until the tank can aggro it or you can burn it down. Pulse Cover sends all the mobs in your neighbourhood away, freezing them for a while (again, let the tank pick up aggro on them, or just burn them down). Flash bang is an excellent tool to CC a clump of ranged mobs for 8 seconds; a damn *marvelous* skill to save the healer from ranged adds. And last but not least, Debilitate stops *anything* from hitting the healer for four seconds, which is four seconds for the tank to pick up aggro or for you to burn down the target.
At level 18 you get Distraction. *LEARN TO USE IT!* When you see a boss mob start casting something, then you will stop everything else and use Distraction on the boss. Later on you will learn which ones to interrupt and which ones can go throug, but before you get more knowledgeable in the game, presume that anything the boss casts for a long time is something you do *not* want to happen.
You can also get more/better CC abilities from the skill trees, like Heavy Shot in the Marksman tree. Don’t be shy to use them to save the healer (or yourself). I’ve seen many players comment the CC skills in the skill-trees are for PvP only, but I disagree with that. Be useful for your group, and you will get to groups more often. This is, after all, a MMO game, so doing stuff together with others is where the most fun is compaerd to single-player games.