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An Overview of Snipers in Dreadnought



Posted: //
July 18, 2016, 6:01 p.m.



I've put together an overview of Artillery Cruisers, linked here!

I think myself pretty decent with the class, specifically the Svarog and Grenada, and decided to try and contribute a little towards getting more people to learn the intricacies sniping. smile

I'll write a "what to buy first" section in the coming days, and I'd love some feedback.


We need "Alpha" and "Beta" Camo Patterns! Just plaster the Word all over the ships hull in various sizes and angles !
Link: Artillery Overview


Posted: //
July 18, 2016, 6:01 p.m.


Updated //
Aug. 1, 2016, 7:12 a.m.

Shortened forum version:

The Art of Artillery
A short guide (for the full version, the PDF is linked above).

The Artillery Cruiser. Large guns strapped to engines. Death from afar.
Generally seen as powerful, but fragile, they are often misunderstood, and struggle to find a role in very mobile or very static battles.
In case you’re new, I recommend this thread for starters:
https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/5955/

The Ships
There’s three of em, like all the classes.

Nox:
The lightest of the class, and first available to unlock.
15000 hitpoints, 2500 Dmg, 1667 Dps while the magazine lasts, decent mobility.
It’s unique selling point is the 360° firing arc and the 10 round magazine. It plays somewhat like a light, long range destroyer, albeit a very fragile one. It’s easier to learn than other artillery cruisers, but it doesn’t actually help you learn for the others, either. If you’re strapped for FP, and you really like the Trader Svarog, consider saving up instead.
There's some more insight on that ship's playstyle by Mantissa, below in this thread.
Svarog:
The medium, and entry into the market through its trader loadout.
20000 hitpoints, 5500 Dmg, 3s reload.
This is the toughest of the Snipers, with still decent mobility.
Against fast targets, it also hits the hardest with its Tesla Cannon.
Generally a good ship in all environments if you can get used to the playstyle.
Grenada:
The heavy weight of the Artillery bracket.
15000 hitpoints, 2x ~4750 Dmg, 4.5s reload.
Extreme firepower, low health, low mobility. If you really like the Svarog and are willing to sacrifice everything for more dakka, this is the ship for you. Against serious opposition, it’ll also have serious shortcomings, so choose wisely.

Secondaries
Like every class, there’s three, as well.
The options here are the Flak Turrets, preinstalled on all Artillery Cruisers, Bolt Guns, for additional long range power, and Machine Gun turrets.

Flak:
Short range, high damage. Actually decent ammunition. Very good if someone tries getting cozy.
Bolt Guns:
Very long range with an ok punch, they allow you to fire in all directions in the heavier snipers, or hit corvettes hovering far above you. With some practice, you can also intersperse them with your main weapon for extra dps. Obviously, you’ll lack that dps close in.
MGs:
Higher range than flak, higher damage than bolt guns. Would be a great middleground if they weren’t so darn underwhelming. Try them out, but I honestly can’t recommend them.

Modules:
So what’s usable? (personal opinion)

Module 1:
You start with Siege, situational but useful. Never use it if an enemy sniper is in range. Seriously, don’t.
Depending on preference, you can unlock the Bomb Catapult, offering good area damage at very high range, even when barely peeking out of cover. Close in, you can shotgun a target flying above you with it, best in combination with a dive maneuver or stasis.
Sentry Catapult will be a great help in Sniper Duels and for harassing enemy supports.
Purge shot allows you to slow, disrupt, and drain up to two targets. Hard to hit at a distance, it has higher range than your actual gun. If you’ve ever been hit by it and thought “that’s OP”, you are probably right.
Disruptor Autobeam can be used as a defensive ability against mobile team comp, targeting close in corvettes and destroyers and making sure they overthink that ramming/Blink Warp idea they had.
Module 2:
Don’t use Flechettes.
All debuff missiles will be a good choice, depending on your preference. Stasis Mines can help you cover your back and inconvenience corvettes, but you’ll have to play around them a little.
Everything here is somewhat worth a try.
Module 3:
Anti-Missile abilities and area debuffs.
You’ll need a good reason to not use an Anti-Missile ability, as they can be live savers. Still, both Disruptor and Stasis can be useful in case you feel you need more of them.
Module 4:
Mostly defensive utility.
If you like Cloak, Stationary cloak is actually pretty decent.
Isn’t stopped by moving, just more visible.
Dive Maneuver can be used to quickly drop to cover, or initiate a shotgun maneuver with Bomb catapult.
Everyone else uses Armour Amplifier.

Useful Briefings
The following is my personal opinion, pick what you like.
In every case, the 101s are useful, and sometimes even a superior choice.

Comms:
Once you can, unlock Desperate Measures. It might save your life.
Weapons:
If you’re flying a Svarog or Grenada, Survival Instinct. Otherwise, pick what you think works best for you.
Nav:
Everything goes, though Navigation Expert is unusual on the heavier ships. Dodging is important, but against a corvette you might want those shields.
Engineering:
101 or reinforced. The latter grants 3000 / 3500 / 3000 hitpoints, depending on weight class, and increase your cooldowns by around 10%. It’s a pretty decent amount of hitpoints.

General Behavior Advice
So, how does one play Artillery? Easy question, hard answer. Sometimes, the answer is actually “You don’t”.
Still, some advice:

  • Don’t be predictable. Bobbing up and down is fine, but if you do it in the ever-same interval, someone will catch onto it and still hit you
  • Don’t just hover there. You can actually move. Flanking becomes far easier if the target isn’t going anywhere.
  • When in doubt, shoot the healer. If nothing else, he probably deserves it.
  • Prioritize what you can actually kill, and help your team focus fire; It’s the only thing Snipers actually bring to the table, they might as well do their job.
  • On Svarog and Grenada, the gun is at the very tip; With the right angle, you can fire out of cover while barely giving the opposition a target.
  • Don’t hover around all alone. Corvettes will have a field day.
  • Try to keep some energy in reserve. You might need it.
  • With the 7km range cap, chances are if you can hit them, they can hit you.

More details and actual reasoning find their home in the linked overview.

Changelog of the PDF Guide:
Nothing so far. I mean, I just posted it. smile

EDIT: Currently very busy, so this might take a while. Expect something till early Sept.


We need "Alpha" and "Beta" Camo Patterns! Just plaster the Word all over the ships hull in various sizes and angles !
Link: Artillery Overview


Posted: //
July 18, 2016, 6:42 p.m.


Updated //
July 18, 2016, 6:45 p.m.

Looks good, comprehensive, too.

Only looked over the first half. Things I noticed are the DPS value for the Nox which is too high but doesn't matter since you do not list one for the other two, and you do not mention the one major (IMHO) advantage of the Grenada over the Svarog, which is the 15° better pitch angle, allowing it to hit targets further below or above you.

Also I'd mention for the Anti-Missile Pulse that it's the only guaranteed way to get rid of Corvette torpedoes (if they launch them from a close distance the Anti-Missile Lasers won't stop them in time).


My Dreadnought tools and resources: Dreadnought Datamine | Snib's Dreadnought Steam Launcher | Hangar background noise remover


Posted: //
July 18, 2016, 7:18 p.m.



Really informative. Very good job. Keep it up smile


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 7:49 a.m.



Nice overview, I liked how you pointed out the different strengths and weaknesses of basically everything. I would say though, that bolt guns are a very viable option against corvettes, I had too many experiences where they shoot down on me, just out of range of flak and most definitly outside my main firing angles. I might however switch to machine guns when I get to that level, if i feel they are the better option.


All that is good and righteous


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 8:19 a.m.


Updated //
July 21, 2016, 8:22 a.m.

I consider myself the resident Artillery expert. As in most of whatever anyone else says is wrong and they are clueless fools who are going to die in a ball of fire. This includes some DN staffers smile

Great guide! I agreed with most everything. I can see you were trying to be a bit diplomatic with some wording and I don't blame you as people will start to think your analysis is biased.

My 2 cents to add and far less diplomatic is the Nox is useless. As nearly every other ship can do it's job better... and more safely. The Grenada is to risky of a ship in high tier play outside of AMAZING teamwork. Meaning the Svarog is the only real choice forever and always... barring DN actually buffing the Nox and Grenada.

That's my biggest point I always try to stress to DN any time they may read this. There is nothing OP about the Svarog. It fits perfectly into it's role. Any tweaks to it could easily ruin it's already precarious position. I'm still miffed on the 4 changes it received all at once. Range limitations might not have been needed once aim assist was removed. We'll never know though as they hit us with both of those at once.

Meaning if you plan on balancing them again one day... Buff the Nox and Grenada. Whatever combination you think would help make them more viable. Just don't you dare ruin the only good sniper in the game!

Last two bullet points... Purge and Bomb Catapult are really the only two offensive modules I find of value. Bomb for all situations and more personal protection. Purge is more for team work and trusting in that protection. As any "mode" locks you in place and makes you easy pickings for counter sniping. It's hard for me to swallow that pill lol.

Again man... great guide. Nice to see you actually know what you're talking about!


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 12:57 p.m.



Have you made guides for any of the other classes?


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 3:02 p.m.



Hah! Nah, I didn't. I'm honoured by the question, though. I don't play other classes enough to be in that position.

Thanks for the (mostly positive) feedback so far, everybody!
I'll upload a new version over the weekend.


We need "Alpha" and "Beta" Camo Patterns! Just plaster the Word all over the ships hull in various sizes and angles !
Link: Artillery Overview


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 3:32 p.m.



If you choose to make guides for the other classes, can I suggest a few titles?

Carrying with corvettes.

Dominating with dreadnoughts.

Delivering pain with destroyers.

Ticking people off with tactical cruisers.


Posted: //
July 21, 2016, 11:04 p.m.


Updated //
July 21, 2016, 11:09 p.m.

I have a mainstay Nox named "The Maw," and she's anything but useless. I'll share my expertise, if you don't mind. Feel free to include whatever is written here, and to edit it in any way necessary. Because the Nox plays so differently than most other ships, this will be a long post.

The Nox does not play like the other Artillery Cruisers, and chances are, if you enjoy playing either the Svarog or the Grenada, you will not enjoy playing the Nox, and vice-versa. Think of the Nox more like an Ultralight Destroyer, or a Corvette with extremely long range. A Vindicta designed for sniping instead of ramming. It ranges away from its team, beyond the line-of-engagement, weaving through cover and dodging shots. Nox players skirt around at maximum range from their enemies, negating cover advantages, forcing support ships to move into exposed positions, and drawing fire from Destroyers and other Artillery Cruisers.

Example Loadout & Playstyle

Primary Module

Decisions, decisions. For a long time I ran Bomb Catapult to improve my anti-corvette abilities, but with the 'Vette meta nowadays being gotta go fast, it's not nearly as useful. The bombs spread out too much to do significant damage at long range, and so aren't useful against hardened targets. My goto is still Bomb Catapult, but I'm experimenting with the others right now.

  • Disruptor Autobeams: Very useful for anti-Corvette action. Combine with Armor Amplifier to effectively nullify Corvettes. Or, switch out Armor Amplifier for a different ability. The current Corvette meta uses Blast Pulse, almost always, so the Disruptor Pulse isn't that big of a threat right now.
  • Sentry Catapult: Just bought it, gonna try it out. Will report back tomorrow.
  • Purge/Siege/Rapidfire Mode: Very situational. Because they drain all energy, and the Nox is extremely reliant on its energy pool, these aren't the best idea. Use Purge Mode in combination with the Nox's multishot (I believe it can fire 2-3 Purge Shots?) to disable multiple enemy ships, as long as you have team support nearby.

Secondary Module

More decisions!

I currently take the Stasis Missile, but there is no clear right answer here.

  • The Drain Missile is really useful for reducing a Corevette's potential damage output/escape, depending on how the 'Vette is built. Also useful for contributing to firefights by draining a ship that's about to be blasted.
  • The Scrambler Missile is just annoying. Use this if you feel the need to make other people sad and angry.
  • Mines are not as useful, but they will keep more wary Corvettes at bay. Use as a deterrent, do not expect them to deal significant damage or save you in any way.
  • Flechette Missiles are the least useful option here. They seem to have a bug where they deal no damage whatsoever, sometimes. Corvettes can easily outrun them. Every other ship can easily tank them. Avoid if at all possible.

Area Module

Antimissile Pulse. You might think this is unneeded with Armor Amplifier, but Antimissile Pulse also takes down those annoying 14km Cruiser Missiles fired by Destroyers and Artillery Cruisers, as well as 'Vette torpedoes. Use it primarily for this purpose, so you aren't drained/disrupted/scrambled, and can continue sustaining your barrage. This is the one module that I will say is necessary for The Maw.

Nota bene: Use Antimissile Lasers at your own risk. I've found the Pulse to be much more effective.

Internal Module

Armor amplifier. Try the others at your own risk and discretion. Useful for escaping barrages of warping dreadnoughts, but more importantly, for tanking missile barrages from Destroyers and Dreadnoughts. This allows you to preserve your Antimissile Pulse to eliminate status effect missiles.

  • Stationary Cloak is completely useless for the Nox. If you are using Stationary Cloak with the Nox, I will find you and frown violently at you.
  • Never tried Turn Amplifier. Nox turns on a dime anyways, probably useless?
  • Mobile Cloak doesn't last long enough to be useful. The Maw is meant to be within full view of the enemy team, so there's really no sneaking opportunity.
  • Dive Maneuver was useful before, now with the Bomb Catapult changes, it isn't very effective.

Briefings

  1. Desperate Measures. Always. Even if you don't survive a Corvette attack, you will at the very least take the 'Vette down with you, so long as you buttonmash correctly and you're a sharp shot. The others are not appropriate for the Nox for various reasons.
  2. Weapons 101. Destruction Cascade is also useful, if you find yourself landing lots of killing blows (the Nox is hit-or-miss for killing blows). Do not take Glass Cannon. The Nox will be under fire regularly enough that the -25% damage debuff is actually crippling. Survival Instinct is not as useful for the Nox on account of its large magazine size.
  3. Navigation Expert. More on this under Playstyle. This is the Nox's lucky underwear; never leave home without them.
  4. Engineering 101. Pick another one if you have a favorite. It's a Trap is very useful with the Nox, on account of its ability to fire and retreat at the same time. Reinforced is also a very useful option with the Nox, to help fend off Corvette attacks.

Playstyle

Okay, the fun stuff. First thing's first, activate Power to Engines, and keep it there. Your energy will drain very slowly with Navigation Expert. Only use Shields if you are being attacked by a Corvette or snapshotting Shields to take shots from other Arties. Only use Power to Weapons if you know for a fact that you have the killing blow on an enemy, and a teammate is incapable of killing them. Your energy is your speed, and your speed is your life. Do not sacrifice your speed unless you need to. Recharge while you aren't being fired at or are behind cover.

You will be detached from your team, for most of the match. And, by detached, I mean 5-12km away. You do not hover around your teammates for a variety of reasons:
1. You are squishy. You should be constantly moving and dodging shots. A still Nox is a dead Nox.
2. One of your primary jobs as a Nox is to draw enemy fire, to reduce incoming damage to your teammates. It is harder to do this if you are hovering directly over the very juicy, squishy Tactical Cruiser.
3. Your other primary job as a Nox is to flank and suppress. You also cannot do this if you are hovering near your team and the enemy is behind cover. Flank around enemy cover, negate it, fire on squishy targets.

Next, get used to firing and moving constantly. There are only two times you shouldn't be firing:
1. You are reloading.
2. There are absolutely no targets. In this case you are planning your next flanking route and scanning for Corvettes.

And I mean constantly. The Nox's primary advantage is its sustained DPS. You can only utilize this advantage if you are firing c o n s t a n t l y. While you are firing, you should be dodging and weaving up and down. Do not be afraid to un-zoom in order to scan for Corvettes, missiles, or opportunity targets. The Nox is still fairly accurate while un-zoomed, so continue to fire, even if you don't hit all of your shots. Get used to aiming like this.

Use Antimissile Pulse mainly to take down Status Effect missiles. This way, you aren't drained (you don't lose your speed), you aren't slowed (you don't lose your speed), you aren't scrambled (you don't lose your sight - your constant barrage stops), and you aren't disrupted (missile protection goes away). There is no reason to run away from missiles, considering that you have two antimissile modules. Tank missile barrages with a well-timed Armor Amplifier; you don't even need shields.

Stay at the periphery of your enemys' maximum range. You should look at an enemy and see them at 6-7km away. Use the universal maximum range to screen potential retaliators out of range. Doing this, you can still fire at an enemy Destroyer, Dreadnought or Tactical while avoiding the Artillery Cruiser's cone of fire.

Because you are effectively immune to missiles, and you can dodge most, if not all projectiles, cover is not as important for you. Be visible. Be constantly within your enemys' line of sight, but just inside of their range. Draw their fire away from your team and towards yourself; be aggravating. This is how you support the team with a Nox. I would even dare call it the secret bullet sponge, for this reason. You have the potential to negate more damage than a Dreadnought, if you are annoying enough.

Be on the lookout for Corvettes. Your health is dismal, if one catches you off-guard, that's... It. You might have a chance to pop abilities before going out, but because Bomb Catapult rarely hits 'Vettes hard anymore, you probably won't kill him.

Scan for cloaked 'Vettes and Vindictas, and fire at them. Learn to lead them, it takes a bit of practice, but it's not hard. Good Nox players can shoot down Corvettes before they even enter firing range. Corvettes are probably the biggest threat you will face, especially now that they can insta-kill you with Assault Blink Warp + Blast Pulse. Be very aware of the minimap and the area around you.

Targeting priority for "normal" targets should definitely be Tacticals, aside from Corvettes. Then Destroyers, with Dreadnoughts last. Make them work for their heals. Assist teammates when they are focusing down a single target; you may be able to tip the healing scales. Just because your individual shots don't deal a lot of damage, do not underestimate your high damage potential. Along with Destroyers and other Artilleries, Noxes are capable of adding the most raw damage to a game.

Avoid other Artillery Cruisers like the plague. They counter you, hard. Attack them only if they are low on health and there is no Tactical nearby, and you are behind them, and you have abilities available to use, and they haven't noticed you. I.E. you will rarely be engaging enemy Arties, unless they force you to. Luckily, because of your high speed and maximum-range-fencing, you can just outrun any chasing Arties. Encounters with enemy Arties are the one occasion where you should really think about using cover; for this reason, stay near, but not behind cover with the Nox.

Lastly, know when to switch to another ship. Two enemy Artilleries will render the Nox useless. So will two Tacticals. Two Corvettes will see your death counter rise very quickly. If the enemy team is slow and campy, the Nox is a good bunkerbuster. If they are skirmishy, you can be even more skirmishy. Otherwise, there are better alternatives. The Nox is definitely not the strongest, or most adaptable choice in the game.

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