View Poll Results: Which sniper promotion is better on classic and higher difficulty ?

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  • Gunslinger

    26 55.32%
  • Damn Good Ground

    21 44.68%
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Thread: Gunslinger or Damn Good Ground

  1. #1
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    Question Gunslinger or Damn Good Ground

    Which sniper promotion is better on classic and higher difficulty ?

    a) Gunslinger: Confers 2 bonus damage with pistols.

    b) Damn Good Ground: Confers +10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation, in addition to the usual elevation bonuses.

    How useful is "gunslinger" ? I think "damn good ground" can be better if you pay attention to move your sniper last and move him/her to a position previously passed around from all directions.

  2. #2
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    I started out taking DGG all the time. Now I take Gunslinger because by later game the snipers are already facerolling with their aim and that little pistol has gotten me out of a jam on a number of occasions like when you get dealt one of those tiny maps and every alien gets aggro'd.

  3. #3
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    I still have one DGG sniper to help capture enemies with his pistol, not kill them. That said, I'm getting more inclined towards gunslinger because of the powerful move, overwatch and opportunist combo. So overall, my vote goes to gunslinger.

  4. #4
    I tend to take DGG. Snipers get a perk that allows them to treat half cover as full. Most rooftops have half cover around the edge. A DGG sniper on a roof has very good defence.

    However, once you have plasma pistols and the pistol improvement projects are researched in the foundry then gunslinger is good. I might start taking that if I'm thinking more long term.

    Part of the problem with pistols is that I keep my snipers as far from the action as possible (once they have squadsight) so they are usually out of range for a pistol.

  5. #5
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    Depends on what role you want your sniper to be;

    Long range support ~ Squad Sight + DGG
    Designated Marksman ~ Snap Shot + Gunslinger

    LRS is for picking off targets at extreme range, wont need your pistol much so take DGG for the extra bonuses.

    DsM is for moving with the squad and taking out units as they appear. In this case when a sniper rifle runs out or the range is to short meaning a major im penatly the PP with the mk3 upgrade will do comparible damage to a light plasma and crucially, never have to reload. On a terror mission with a target rich enviroment, reloading ammo can be out of the question. Thats where a gunslinger can make all the difference.

  6. #6
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    For the first sniper, definitely Gunslinger. At that time, you don't have grapples to reach the high ground yet, you don't have 6 squad members so you need all the guns you can get in close quarters situations, and you start facing floaters who launch in the back of your sniper.

    DGG makes sense for a second sniper, but even then I tend to prefer Gunslinger because most of the endgame missions are large UFOs, so most of the fighting can happen inside the UFO where lines of sight are too short for Squad Sight.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traul View Post
    DGG makes sense for a second sniper, but even then I tend to prefer Gunslinger because most of the endgame missions are large UFOs, so most of the fighting can happen inside the UFO where lines of sight are too short for Squad Sight.
    Exactly. Gunslinger allows the sniper to move between sniping and close quarters easily. If you know it's going to be All Snipe All The Time, then take DGG, but it I find it never works out that way. I just finished the Base invasion and Gunslinger saved me some heavy losses/damage.

  8. #8
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    DGG for me because I almost exclusively use Snapshot. I see no reason for Gunslinger on a Snapshot sniper. The point of snapshot is to move and shoot your sniper rifle, and using your pistol instead doesn't really make sense and undermines Snapshot. Sure there are a lot of situations where Gunslinger on Snapshot would be nice, but I try to use my rifles so not to waste the perk. Also DGG means that if you use your first move to get to high ground, then the elevation advantage cancels the Snapshot penalty. Then DGG kicks in and you actually have a higher chance to hit after moving than before.

  9. #9
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    I voted gunslinger because I think it's better overall but usually my second sniper gets DGG. Late game enemies (namely muton elites) have considerable natural defense and once they're in full cover hitting them with sniper, even in AA, is not always so easy. I like for my late game snipers to hit at least 95% of their shots and 100% of their OW shots. DGG, along with being in AA, helps to insure this...But, in early/mid-game gunslinger is like 110% more useful, imo. Being able to move and shoot (and hit reliably) or move sniper then go on OW with pistol for increased dmg is very useful on all maps (particulary inside UFO's) whereas on lots of maps you often don't even get nice highground for your sniper so the DGG perk can easily end up being wasted. Also, once you get all the pistol upgrades in the foundry, gunslinger can do some truly amazing stuff.
    Last edited by Star428; 06-01-2013 at 07:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    DGG is designed to work with Snapshot since before archangel there are few good elevated positions for Squadsight Snipers. UFO maps have some, but taking DGG over Gunslinger makes him useless after you breach. DDG is meant for Move to Roof Edge -> fire or Grapple -> Fire. You need a unit that can move -> fire to get the most out of roofs, they're generally poor positions for squadsight snipers.

  11. #11
    Plasma pistol + pistol upgrade III + gunslinger gives your sniper a very good weapon for back up and for OW.

  12. #12
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    On my last II campaign I had one Gunslinger sniper and one DGG sniper. I never had to use a pistol with the Gunslinger but DGG came useful about a 100 times. So my vote is obvious.

    Damn Good Ground just makes those UFO missions so much easier. I don't really see the point for Gunslinger. I've never felt like I needed it in any II run despite taking it a few times.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    On my last II campaign I had one Gunslinger sniper and one DGG sniper. I never had to use a pistol with the Gunslinger but DGG came useful about a 100 times. So my vote is obvious.

    Damn Good Ground just makes those UFO missions so much easier. I don't really see the point for Gunslinger. I've never felt like I needed it in any II run despite taking it a few times.
    I agree! Gunslinger seems to be a waste of a perk on a sniper build even if i'm playing with snap shot. I'm sure it is a very good perk for some people but it does not really work well with how I play and thus does not get used hardly at all.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by UglyMug View Post
    DGG is designed to work with Snapshot since before archangel there are few good elevated positions for Squadsight Snipers. UFO maps have some, but taking DGG over Gunslinger makes him useless after you breach. DDG is meant for Move to Roof Edge -> fire or Grapple -> Fire. You need a unit that can move -> fire to get the most out of roofs, they're generally poor positions for squadsight snipers.
    I think you nailed the point well. To get the most out of snap shot, you would want your sniper to be mobile with his sniper rifle to shoot immediately, which reduces the need to switch to pistol after moving. As pistol upgrades only come in later in the game, DGG snipers don't do much damage with pistols in the early game and should stick to their rifles as much as possible. Yet, there may be times when a pistol is preferred at very close range to enemy to avoid the sniper rifle's aim penalty at that range. As DGG compensates somewhat for the snap shot and sniper rifle close range aim penalties, it may help in such a situation. For close quarter combat though, I don't see many opportunities for gaining the elevation bonus.

    In contrast, you want to place your squadsight sniper at a well elevated position way behind the front with clear LOS in all directions if possible from the very beginning and move as little as possible until the squad needs to move on. Which means close range sniper rifle penalty is often irrelevant. The elevation aim bonus, even without DGG, can also already be substantial. While DGG is an added bonus in this scenario, it does not help much in close quarter combat like within the ufo itself. Which means gunslinger gives the sniper greater versatility for both long range and close quarter combat even in the early game.

  15. #15
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    Gunslinger, definitely. We had a pretty good discussion about this in another thread recently, actually.

  16. #16
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    DGG by far.

  17. #17
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    In contrast, you want to place your squadsight sniper at a well elevated position way behind the front with clear LOS in all directions if possible from the very beginning
    My point was more that such positions are rare, practically nonexistent, outside of UFO maps. The great majority of elevated positions don't have sightlines that extend past normal visual range, meaning you need a unit that can fire when it moves to the roof edge to draw LoS to take the best advantage of them. A squadsight sniper simply doesn't have the mobility you need to take advantage of elevated positions.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UglyMug View Post
    My point was more that such positions are rare, practically nonexistent, outside of UFO maps. The great majority of elevated positions don't have sightlines that extend past normal visual range, meaning you need a unit that can fire when it moves to the roof edge to draw LoS to take the best advantage of them. A squadsight sniper simply doesn't have the mobility you need to take advantage of elevated positions.
    I agree. On my current I/I game, my squaddie high-aim sniper that i was desperately trying to get kills with so i could have a squadsight sniper was killed. So, i was forced to try and level up another one that had really ☺☺☺☺ty aim for a sniper (or any class for that matter). I decided to give her DGG (something rarely do for first sniper) to help out her pathetic aim a little. Problem was, even after i got skeleton suit (also very rare for me) i was having problems getting in any use whatsoever out of the perk because advantageous elevated positions were extremely scarce. I could've put her on top of vehicles on a few maps but they offered no cover so that would've been extremely risky at the beginning of mission when i hadn't cleared away much fog. I've regretted taking such an inferior perk that is way too situational to use. Fortunately, I've just obtained another sniper (a lieutenant) as a mission reward who i gave gunslinger to. As soon as he reaches captain level for opportunist perk i'm benching my other P-O-S sniper (nicknamed "Unreliable") at least until i get AA.

  19. #19
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    AA is the only thing that makes DGG a reasonable perk to take.

  20. #20
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    Gunslinger to start,
    DGG after I get plasma and heavy armor.

  21. #21
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    UFO Maps have elevated ground to take your pick from. And these consist at least 1/3 of all the maps you're gonna play in the game. So DGG is an easy choice. You'll most likely never even use Gunslinger except late game where it doesn't even matter anymore cause you won anyway.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by UglyMug View Post
    My point was more that such positions are rare, practically nonexistent, outside of UFO maps. The great majority of elevated positions don't have sightlines that extend past normal visual range, meaning you need a unit that can fire when it moves to the roof edge to draw LoS to take the best advantage of them. A squadsight sniper simply doesn't have the mobility you need to take advantage of elevated positions.
    Yes, of course there are few elevation opportunities outside of ufo maps but even with elevation, a snap shot sniper needs to be at a much closer range than a squadsight one to get a valid shot, assuming both have LOS. Though I think roofs give a slight LOS range bonus, there were often times before the sniper gets squadsight rank when I thought he was within LOS range of the enemy for the target button to light up but he wasn't. I'm not sure if his LOS range increases with rank. I also don't know exactly how many LOS range tiles the non-squadsight sniper has more than other classes, but I know that he needs to get within an LOS distance from the enemy that I'm not comfortable with for a sniper. That's why I always take squadsight.

    At close enemy range, I also don't like putting snipers behind the roof edge. If he misses or an enemy runs up from under him next turn after he expended his shot the previous turn, he could be a sitting duck. If you know how to make this work for a snapshot DGG sniper, then go ahead by all means.

    As much as I like elevation for snipers, I think the importance of elevation has been overhyped at the expense of other viable sniper tactics. A squadsight in an urban scenario is not necessarily disadvantaged by fewer elevation or LOS opportunities. You just need to choose his position carefully so that enemies are more likely to be channeled into his LOS. For example, you can use other team members to bait enemies into flanking them (if the risk is reasonable of course), only for the aliens to find that they have unwittingly moved into a vulnerable position that's already flanked by your squadsight sniper. And it's possible for this to be done at a safe distance.
    Last edited by fareast2002; 06-04-2013 at 08:02 AM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Traul View Post
    For the first sniper, definitely Gunslinger. At that time, you don't have grapples to reach the high ground yet, you don't have 6 squad members so you need all the guns you can get in close quarters situations, and you start facing floaters who launch in the back of your sniper.

    DGG makes sense for a second sniper, but even then I tend to prefer Gunslinger because most of the endgame missions are large UFOs, so most of the fighting can happen inside the UFO where lines of sight are too short for Squad Sight.
    All is said! Gunslinger come in handy when things don't go as planned. And in X-com, that happen a lot!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    UFO Maps have elevated ground to take your pick from. And these consist at least 1/3 of all the maps you're gonna play in the game. So DGG is an easy choice. You'll most likely never even use Gunslinger except late game where it doesn't even matter anymore cause you won anyway.
    Gunslinger can be very useful in, for example, UFOs, which as you mentioned 1/3rds of all the maps have.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    UFO Maps have elevated ground to take your pick from. And these consist at least 1/3 of all the maps you're gonna play in the game. So DGG is an easy choice. You'll most likely never even use Gunslinger except late game where it doesn't even matter anymore cause you won anyway.
    LMFAO...I guess I've got a pretty damn good vivid imagination then cause I could've sworn I remember gunslinger saving my soldiers' collective asses many, many times in the early game which is when it matters most. DGG? LOL. Not so much. Inside UFO's or any type of close quarters gunslinger is leagues above DGG. Throw in the fact that a sniper can OW at long range with a pistol with squadsight and that pistols can be heavily upgraded in the foundry, choosing DGG over gunslinger seems like insanity to me. Taking gunslinger for first sniper is a no-brainer for me.
    Last edited by Star428; 06-04-2013 at 10:41 AM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star428 View Post
    LMFAO...I guess I've got a pretty damn good vivid imagination then cause I could've sworn I remember gunslinger saving my soldiers' collective asses many, many times in the early game which is when it matters most.
    I didn't use it one single time during my last I/I playthrough. I play with a goal to shoot with the sniper rifle instead. Much more effective.

    Usually when you need to use your pistol you've screwed something up badly. And how come you need pistol inside the UFO's? I mean for the early game you're just facing 1 Outsider inside the UFO. Even after that you're mostly fighting outside or in very long corridors where the sniper is still effective.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    Usually when you need to use your pistol you've screwed something up badly. And how come you need pistol inside the UFO's? I mean for the early game you're just facing 1 Outsider inside the UFO. Even after that you're mostly fighting outside or in very long corridors where the sniper is still effective.
    Not necessarily. Pistols are a crucial option when facing many enemies especially in the early game before ammo conservation. Imagine running out of ammo just as you get mass ambushed. If you can save ammo by using a pistol and still achieve the same result as a rifle, that isn't a bad move imo. And my ufo scenarios so far have been mixed. There is no rule that says most aliens must spawn outside the ufo in the early or any part of the game. I had quite a few occasions when most were within the ufo.

  28. #28
    Just as an aside, the XCOM: EW wiki claims that "The Aim and Crit bonuses from the S.C.O.P.E. don't stack with pistol upgrades". Does anyone know firsthand if this is true?

  29. #29
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    I always find this the toughest either-or decision on my sniper promotion path, but overall I gotta go with DGG here. I start every UFO map by finding the high ground, posting snipers, and clearing all patrols within the nest's sight lines... so DGG is invaluable on those. You can do the same strategy on a decent fraction of the other maps, and once you have skeleton armor the decision is easy. The first sniper could probably go either way, gunslinger is nice on the first 2 counsel missions if they are bomb threats, as they can get pretty frantic (any escort and I prefer DGG however), and the first terror mission comes pre-"Ammo Conservation" so a gunslinging pistol can come in handy there as well. Though laser pistols cost too many alloys for my liking and are generally the first thing to get cut from a tight alloy budget, so my alloy stockpile does factor in. Hundreds of DGG aim boosts or a few clutch pistol shots, in general the hundreds of DGG boosts probably have turned more tides.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    Usually when you need to use your pistol you've screwed something up badly.
    So not true. I guess you haven't played enough games on the harder difficulties to know that aliens often gangrush you on their first turn before all your soldiers have gotten into adequate cover. Which is why I always, on the very first turn, move (not DASH) my sniper into cover as far back as he/she can move and go on OW after switching to pistol. That simple maneuver which I usually always do has helped my units survive any gangrush countless times simply because of gunslinger + pistol upgrades. But, even before the upgrades the extra 2 dmg is enough (on C/I anyway) to guarantee a kill on sectoids and sometimes even thin men and floaters with just a basic pistol. Once you get the opportunist perk and a laser pistol it gets even better. With plasma pistol + pistol upgrade #3 it's really friggin' powerful...Gunslinger is also much more useful when a floater launches all the way across the map and lands right next to your sniper you thought that was all safe and snug far away from action. My point is just because you need to use your pistol doesn't necessarily mean you've screwed up in some way. You can't always predict how things are going to happen and gunslinger helps your squad out of tough jams a hell of a lot more than DGG. Also, as Fareast pointed out, you can use your pistol to kill something with low HP remaining to save precious ammo especially on those small maps where your sniper can't get back far enough into safety when the aliens gangrush you.


    And how come you need pistol inside the UFO's?
    LOL. An extra gun is always helpful.



    Look, if nice and cozy elevated positions were available with a greater frequency than what they actually are then I guess I could see a valid argument for taking DGG over Gunslinger. But, they're pretty rare in my games and even if they weren't i'd probably still take gunslinger most of the time.
    Last edited by Star428; 06-04-2013 at 01:35 PM.

  31. #31
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    Nice with so many different opinions on these perks, I play only Impossible ironman and I use the pistol maybe 2 or 3 times each playthrough to kill aliens, maybe one or two times to lower aliens hitpoints to capture them, I shot probably 200-300 shots from elevated postion with my sniper, so for me the choice is easy. I Always position my sniper so he has clear line of sights and dont need to move and shot and have no problem to position him in UFO:s, only hard place to get a good line of sight is the last encounter in the battleships.

  32. #32
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    Wow. Evenly divided opinion on the poll so far. I just got to my second month on C/I and took DGG this time instead of my usual Gunslinger. Will report back my impressions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Star428 View Post
    So not true. I guess you haven't played enough games on the harder difficulties to know that aliens often gangrush you on their first turn before all your soldiers have gotten into adequate cover. Which is why I always, on the very first turn, move (not DASH) my sniper into cover as far back as he/she can move and go on OW after switching to pistol.
    What? You're saying that you can do this on most maps? I'm pretty sure there is no hard cover on my games BEHIND the starting line to go to on almost any map. And if there was, that was still just one +2 dmg shot with a pistol. Hardly groundbreaking.

    Like others have already said. 100's of shots with DGG during the campaign or a few shots with Gunslinger. Take your pick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Star428 View Post
    Look, if nice and cozy elevated positions were available with a greater frequency than what they actually are then I guess I could see a valid argument for taking DGG over Gunslinger. But, they're pretty rare in my games and even if they weren't i'd probably still take gunslinger most of the time.
    You can easily find elevated cover on any UFO map. Usually with good sightlines of the map too.

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    I really get the feeling people saying DDG just aren't reading what Gunslinger takers type. It's almost like they just keep going "... yeah, but he's a sniper, he shouldn't be using a pistol, I just set him up in a good position and everything always goes according to plan! Wee!"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticBloodFireDeath View Post
    I really get the feeling people saying DDG just aren't reading what Gunslinger takers type. It's almost like they just keep going "... yeah, but he's a sniper, he shouldn't be using a pistol, I just set him up in a good position and everything always goes according to plan! Wee!"
    It's just that I used to take Gunslinger for a long time because of reading things here how good it is. And I almost never came up in situations where I needed it. I've since abandoned taking it at all. DGG is just the safe way, you're going to benefit from it greatly no matter what happens. Gunslinger not so much.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    It's just that I used to take Gunslinger for a long time because of reading things here how good it is. And I almost never came up in situations where I needed it. I've since abandoned taking it at all. DGG is just the safe way, you're going to benefit from it greatly no matter what happens. Gunslinger not so much.
    This comment is just mind boggling because I find it's the exact other way around. How do you ever benefit from DGG in a "safe way" in the early game more than Gunslinger? If I were to pick three aliens that Gunslinger is a massively helpful perk against straight off the bat, it'd be sectoids, floaters and chryssalids (before ammo conversation), this is essentially month one and two in a nutshell. What's DGG in month one and two? The odd time where you just happen to be lucky enough to already have your sniper in an elevated position, which barely ever happens vs floaters?

    I just think people who slam Gunslinger don't even realise how to use it, or something. Maybe they forget they even have it. I actually think it'd also be really interesting if the people who picked DGG for the early game and poll would put which difficulty they play on most.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticBloodFireDeath View Post
    What's DGG in month one and two? The odd time where you just happen to be lucky enough to already have your sniper in an elevated position, which barely ever happens vs floaters?
    UFO maps. That's basically why I take it. You'll always shoot from an elevated position on those maps. There are a few normal maps as well where you'll be shooting from elevated positions. Grand Cemetery in particualr is where it comes a lifesaver cause you can't afford to miss those shots or you're dead (you might be dead either way though).

    Also I don't like putting my sniper in danger, when you shoot with the pistol you're risking that the alien is gonna take a shot at your sniper as well.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philo View Post
    UFO maps. That's basically why I take it. You'll always shoot from an elevated position on those maps.
    First of all, that isn't true. So many times there's trees and crap in the way you weren't expecting, sometimes aliens come up behind you on UFO maps and you have to move your sniper first move thus his shot is irrvelent for that turn, sometimes you have to abandon the high ground, etc. and UFO maps in the first few months? There's maybe like, two or three compared to four abductions, a council and a terror site. You're really cutting off your nose to spite your own face with that tactic.

    There are a few normal maps as well where you'll be shooting from elevated positions. Grand Cemetery in particualr is where it comes a lifesaver cause you can't afford to miss those shots or you're dead (you might be dead either way though).
    We can go through all the individual maps if you want, but there's barely any seriously good sniping spots that warrant taking DGG and trying to base your sniping tactics around it. I won't comment on Grand Cemetary because it's just broken to hell to begin with, but you don't seem to realise wherever along that back platform you place a squadsight sniper, he can't see 50% of the map or so because of the church in the middle. Add onto that the fact one of the council missions is a Grand Cemetary map, but a bomb disposal, and suddenly moving all your guys closer together is a big deal, so having the option of the pistol (which works about as good as a rifle thanks to Gunslinger) is massive.

    Also I don't like putting my sniper in danger, when you shoot with the pistol you're risking that the alien is gonna take a shot at your sniper as well.
    In a perfect world, none of your units would be in danger ... but Gunslinger is also massive for sniper protection rather than offence, anyway. DGG is not.

  39. #39
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    From my personal experience I just never run into situations where I would use Gunslinger or even wish I had taken it. DGG helps on UFO maps, I don't usually run into many problems with LoS issues on those maps since they are so open.

    Not to mention DGG gets better the further the game goes as UFO missions tend to become more frequent. Given that as the game progresses on towards mid-late game, if you're still alive you'll probably be winning it no matter what.

  40. #40
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    The problem is that you can't really test DGG, so when someone says "100's of shots with DGG" we don't know how many of those shots hit where the aim bonus from DGG was the deciding factor. Or how many alien misses were do to the defense bonus. My snipers using SS without DGG are mowing everything down so much it feels like cheating. Gunslinger is my "Oh ☺☺☺☺!" skill that usual saves my butt at least once in a game.

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