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Odd things, those sniper rifles.

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The_Gun_Nut

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« on: <09-05-10/0310:43> »
Has anyone else noticed something odd about sniper rifles and their damage?  A heavy machine gun (.40 to .50 caliber range) does less damage per shot than a sniper rifle which uses the same caliber ammunition (the Barrett, for example).  The HMG even has less armor penetration while using the same round.

Some might attribute this to the longer barrel of the sniper rifle and the targetting system built into it, but that is patently not true.  HMG's typically have much longer barrels than the sniper rifles which use the same ammo, and, more importantly, the longest sniper shot ever taken was done so by a soldier firing a M2 .50 cal. HMG well over a mile away.

These discrepancies always felt odd to me.  Does anyone have a good reason (other than "game balance") for the dominance of the sniper rifle?  After all, sniper's will likely use aiming and called shots to increase the damage of a shot, so it isn't like they need the extra 2 or 3 damage points.
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GBL

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« Reply #1 on: <09-05-10/0316:04> »
Nope. Just Game Balance.

People complained when (apparently) the most powerful weapon in Eclipse Phase was the Sniper Rifle.

Critias

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« Reply #2 on: <09-05-10/0322:01> »
Nope.  No good reason for it other than game designers, as a general rule, aren't gun guys.  "Rule of Cool" trumps firearm realism, for better or worse.  SR4's a minor miracle, in that the base damage of an Assault Rifle is a little better than the base damage of a good Pistol, for once.   ;D

4th edition did a lot better than previous editions on the firearm damage front, and beats a whole lot of other games, hands down.  It's still very obviously focused more -- and rightfully so -- on playability than realism, but it could be much, much, worse.

John Schmidt

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« Reply #3 on: <09-05-10/0346:47> »
Yeah...

Back in the day, when I was an admin on the Detroit Mux had a player who wanted to mount a sniper rifle on their drone. That idea turned into a STD with the riggers "I wanna sniper rifle in the turret of my bulldog."

Unofficially,

I have always believed that the high damage value of the sniper rifles was due to precise placement of the bullet through the target's eyeball (doing an end run past the target's armor). As such, I would not allow the player to do called shots or even aiming. They seem redundant, to me, given the damage value of the weapon in question. Kind of like, "do I get a bonus for exhaling (holding my breath) and squeezing the trigger instead of jerking it?"

HMG's have burst fire and full auto mode so that levels the playing field (literally).

There are barrels and then there are -barrels-. Sniper rifles boast accuracy of 1/4 MOA something that any machine gun (light, medium or heavy) simply can't claim. It might help to think of machine guns as area denial weapons, you go into their field of fire and you are denied life. Sniper rifles are on the other hand are high value target weapons, snipers are trained to target officers, radio men, machine gunners, exposed tank commanders, etc..

Once you get into the .50 BMG range, technically those are anti-material rifles (and about as much fun to shoot as being hit by Mike Tyson).
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #4 on: <09-05-10/0354:55> »
True, but the world record sniper shot is held by a soldier firing an HMG, not a sniper rifle.

And I have always found that soldiers will fire the .50 cal. at a regular meat body by saying "I was shooting at his weapon, and just happened to clip him."  Even a graze from a .50 will put a man down.
There is no overkill.

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John Schmidt

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« Reply #5 on: <09-05-10/0402:07> »
I believe the record is held by Craig Harrison, 8,120 feet, firing an Accuracy International L11583...although I may be mistaken.

Don't get me wrong, the .50 BMG is positively lethal. I only know of one man who survived being hit (in the head) with that round...Japanese fighter pilot during WW2 amazing story.
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #6 on: <09-05-10/0409:59> »
Nope.  No good reason for it other than game designers, as a general rule, aren't gun guys.  "Rule of Cool" trumps firearm realism, for better or worse.  SR4's a minor miracle, in that the base damage of an Assault Rifle is a little better than the base damage of a good Pistol, for once.   ;D

4th edition did a lot better than previous editions on the firearm damage front, and beats a whole lot of other games, hands down.  It's still very obviously focused more -- and rightfully so -- on playability than realism, but it could be much, much, worse.
Ya, the submachine guns should even do more damage than the heavy pistols, due to the longer barrel of the SMG firing the same round.

@John Schmidt

I just looked it up.  The Brit got the shot off in May of this year.  The previous record of 2430 meters (~7972 feet) was made by a Canadian in 2002, though I can't find what weapon the team used.  Both are still impressive, as they beat the 35 year record of Carlos Hathcock, one of the greatest snipers the world has ever seen.
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Mooncrow

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« Reply #7 on: <09-05-10/0410:38> »
Yeah...

Back in the day, when I was an admin on the Detroit Mux had a player who wanted to mount a sniper rifle on their drone. That idea turned into a STD with the riggers "I wanna sniper rifle in the turret of my bulldog."

Unofficially,

I have always believed that the high damage value of the sniper rifles was due to precise placement of the bullet through the target's eyeball (doing an end run past the target's armor). As such, I would not allow the player to do called shots or even aiming. They seem redundant, to me, given the damage value of the weapon in question. Kind of like, "do I get a bonus for exhaling (holding my breath) and squeezing the trigger instead of jerking it?"

HMG's have burst fire and full auto mode so that levels the playing field (literally).

There are barrels and then there are -barrels-. Sniper rifles boast accuracy of 1/4 MOA something that any machine gun (light, medium or heavy) simply can't claim. It might help to think of machine guns as area denial weapons, you go into their field of fire and you are denied life. Sniper rifles are on the other hand are high value target weapons, snipers are trained to target officers, radio men, machine gunners, exposed tank commanders, etc..

Once you get into the .50 BMG range, technically those are anti-material rifles (and about as much fun to shoot as being hit by Mike Tyson).

This has always been my "explanation" for it as well.  While it may not be totally realistic, it at least "feels" real to most players, and often times that's more important to fun than actually being real.

John Schmidt

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« Reply #8 on: <09-05-10/0421:02> »
Hopefully, nobody believes that I am detracting from the training or skill of snipers. The soldiers involved with those phenomenal shots, you are literally talking about a group of individuals that are less than probably 20 in the entire world. These shooters are in a class far removed from even Olympic shooters.

Again, unofficial opinion by just a regular guy so please don't hold my opinion up as something valuable...it is worth exactly what you paid for it.  ;D
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #9 on: <09-05-10/0443:51> »
Oh, heavens no.  I was merely commenting on the fact that the weapon in SR always seems to be doing the heavy lifting, as it were, and not the shooter's skill.
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Turtletron

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« Reply #10 on: <09-05-10/1159:18> »
Quote
HMG's have burst fire and full auto mode so that levels the playing field (literally).

There are barrels and then there are -barrels-. Sniper rifles boast accuracy of 1/4 MOA something that any machine gun (light, medium or heavy) simply can't claim. It might help to think of machine guns as area denial weapons, you go into their field of fire and you are denied life. Sniper rifles are on the other hand are high value target weapons, snipers are trained to target officers, radio men, machine gunners, exposed tank commanders, etc..

Once you get into the .50 BMG range, technically those are anti-material rifles (and about as much fun to shoot as being hit by Mike Tyson).

True, also you usually try to kill the target from afar with the sniper, let's say your on a roof and try to kill a corporate big shot in another building, so if for some reason you miss or the target is not dead (god knows how a shadowrun is never as easy as it seems) then you have to get your sorry ass in the building to finish the mission. For that reason the security will also be increased. So even if the sniper is strong, it's still a weapon that you will use only in certain circumstances and if not used properly can alert the enemies of your presence.(well about alerting the enemies, same could be said of a HMG, but that's a given since it's going to do a lot of noise XD)
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Critias

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« Reply #11 on: <09-05-10/1516:10> »
Nope.  No good reason for it other than game designers, as a general rule, aren't gun guys.  "Rule of Cool" trumps firearm realism, for better or worse.  SR4's a minor miracle, in that the base damage of an Assault Rifle is a little better than the base damage of a good Pistol, for once.   ;D

4th edition did a lot better than previous editions on the firearm damage front, and beats a whole lot of other games, hands down.  It's still very obviously focused more -- and rightfully so -- on playability than realism, but it could be much, much, worse.
Ya, the submachine guns should even do more damage than the heavy pistols, due to the longer barrel of the SMG firing the same round.
Right...but, given the track record of this sort of thing, I'll take "even" if it's the closest I can get.  "More" would be great, mind, but at least the base DV's in SR4 was a big step in the right direction.  Go compare an Ares Predator to any submachinegun in SR1-SR3, y'know?

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« Reply #12 on: <09-05-10/1535:55> »
Quote
HMG's have burst fire and full auto mode so that levels the playing field (literally).

There are barrels and then there are -barrels-. Sniper rifles boast accuracy of 1/4 MOA something that any machine gun (light, medium or heavy) simply can't claim. It might help to think of machine guns as area denial weapons, you go into their field of fire and you are denied life. Sniper rifles are on the other hand are high value target weapons, snipers are trained to target officers, radio men, machine gunners, exposed tank commanders, etc..

Once you get into the .50 BMG range, technically those are anti-material rifles (and about as much fun to shoot as being hit by Mike Tyson).

True, also you usually try to kill the target from afar with the sniper, let's say your on a roof and try to kill a corporate big shot in another building, so if for some reason you miss or the target is not dead (god knows how a shadowrun is never as easy as it seems) then you have to get your sorry ass in the building to finish the mission. For that reason the security will also be increased. So even if the sniper is strong, it's still a weapon that you will use only in certain circumstances and if not used properly can alert the enemies of your presence.(well about alerting the enemies, same could be said of a HMG, but that's a given since it's going to do a lot of noise XD)
Of course, proper use of a missed shot can set up better situations for certain types of runs.

For instance, you take a missed shot on a certain Ares VP. Typical Ares MO might be to dial up security, evacuate the higher echelon corpsuits and send out patrols to find the shooter. Now, they will most likely send a good portion of their elite troops as bodyguards to the suits and send out the second string to find the shooter. That leaves the third stringers patrolling the grounds. Sure, they have a heightened level of security, but if you are able to get your team in disguised as Ares security, you might be able to get in a lot easy for data-grabs and similar types of runs.

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« Reply #13 on: <09-05-10/1907:29> »
too much focus on the .50 BMG cartridge here... remember, as times ahve changed, snipers are moving away from it.  .338 lapua and the .416 are getting quite popular now on the scene.  You can cary more ammo and they are designed specifically for the sniper role.  you can imagine 50 years further on that ammo is going to get more specific to that role.  Which is why you might see that difference in the damage codes.  As well as the guns being perfectly balanced and designed for the roles, meaning that the hits are going to happen as the shotter wants (which would be in the areas of the lightest armor)
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« Reply #14 on: <09-05-10/1918:04> »
But...but...but .50 is such a nice round number!   ;D