[3.0+] THE MARKSMANSHIP I SHARPSHOOTER GUIDE
Greetings everyone. I am back with the 3.0 Marksmanship/Sharpshooter Guide. Through intensive testing in live, I have maximized my Sniper potential as best as possible.

Introduction:

Spoiler
I am Shulk, a member of <Zorz> and a former raider of <Intrepid>. My in-game toon name is Lumyne, my Sniper Imperial Side (or Prompto, my Gunslinger Republic Side). I have cleared 5/5 DF and 4/5 DP with Intrepid Republic Side, and have finished off the Dread Council (as well as obtaining Gate Crasher and Dread Master) with Zorz Imperial Side. I previously mained a Mercenary since launch, but have re-rolled to my Sniper in 2.2 where I have fallen in love with the Marksmanship spec. Since then, I have learned from the best Marksmanship Snipers of the game, and have gotten to where I wanted to be. I hope this new guide will be of great use for people who are looking to optimize their new rotations in 3.0 or for people who are looking to re-roll to this awesome class.

I would also like to introduce my fellow Sniper, Thraxara of <Drop It Like Its Hoth>. He has helped me with a few edits for this guide, and provided his intel on the Marksmanship spec. For those who don’t know, <Drop It Like Its Hoth> is one of the best world class progression guilds hailing from The Red Eclipse server in European regions. They have gotten World 1st Dread Guards (pre-nerf) with Nightmare Terror from Beyond as well as World 1st Nightmare Scum and Villainy. I like to thank Thrax for his efforts, and therefore would like to credit him for his input.

Overview:

Spoiler
Because 3.0 is a fresh start for all classes, this guide is a general overtake of a Sniper/Gunslinger’s optimal stats, abilities, utilities, optimal rotations, and their role in raid bosses (which will be added in the future due to competition). Any other elite Sniper/Gunslingers can feel free to voice in their logical input in order to enhance this guide into full potential.

Generally speaking, nothing has changed in terms of rotational priority, though we will go in-depth about what’s changed in this guide.

(Thrax: “Laze Target > All”)

Discipline:

Spoiler
Marksmanship (Damage)
“One perfect shot has the potential to change everything, and no one is more precise than the Marksmanship Sniper. From the safety of cover, the Marksmanship Snipe ambushes the enemy and follows up with an encore of penetrating blasts that make extra sure the Sniper’s job is done” – Marksmanship Lore 3.0

With 3.0’s new Discipline system, you will be optimized to full capacity. Pre 3.0, you had to level and buy skills in order to become a viable Sniper. This is no longer the case in post 3.0. The difference is that you no longer need to purchase skills with credits. Instead, you are given a set amount of basic Sniper skills to start. This means abilities like Series of Shots Orbital Strike, Suppresive Fire, and Shield Probe are automatically given to you once you commit to an advanced class (in this case, Snipers)

To put this in MLG terms, if you want to pull threat from the tanks so hard, they desperately want to get it back, choose this spec.

Full Range of Abilities and Talents

Spoiler
Sniper Passives:
1.) Energy Tanks: Increases maximum energy by 10.

This is now one of the Sniper passives. A nice addition to our resource management.

2.) Steady Shots: Increases the damage dealt by Snipe, Lethal Shot, Series of Shots, and Penetrating Blasts by 5%.

A great passive that globally increases our core skills in all of our specs. In this case for Marksmanship, Snipe and Penetrating Blasts get the most benefit.

3.) Hold Position: While in cover, ranged defense is increased by 20%, you cannot be leaped to or pulled, and you are immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback. In addition, Evasion reduces the damage you take from Force and tech attacks by 75% while in cover.

In 3.0, we get some nice QoL buffs for Hold Position. This adds another layer of benefit for Evasion which is all the more reason for a Sniper to be in cover at all times within burn phases.

4.) Imperial Targeting: Increases the range of Overload Shot, Flash Bang, and Distraction to 30 meters, and additionally increases the range of all rifle, probe, and dart attacks by 5 meters. In addition, Corrosive Dart marks its target for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged weapon attacks.

This passive defines the Sniper class in a way our abilities can hit 35 meters as opposed to the traditional 30 meters from other classes. It also allows Corrosive Dart to be used more efficiently because it has a 5% increase in ranged attacks. In Marksmanship, you will be using Corrosive Dart a lot in your rotations, so hence this is a better change for this discipline.

5.) Spotter: Upon entering cover, your stealth detection level begins to increase gradually, reaching up to 30 additional levels of stealth detection over the following 30 seconds. This effect ends when you leave cover.

This passive is the best passive for PvP in case you need to track down stealth-based classes in warzones and ranked arena play. In PvE, this is somewhat useless to a degree unless you encounter NPCs with stealth.

Offensive Cooldowns:

1.) Laze Target: Increases the critical hit chance of your next Ambush, Explosive Probe, or Cull by 100%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

This is one of your core offensive cooldowns in generally your Sniper rotations. In this case for Marksmanship, this buffs Ambush’s critical hit chance by 100%. For this, it is mandatory to pop Laze Target before opening up with Ambush in your MAX DPS rotations. With the 6-piece set bonus, Laze Target gives your two opportunities to crit Ambush which is definitely a plus.

2.) Target Acquired: Increases ranged and tech accuracy by 30% and armor penetration by 15% for 10 seconds.

Another great offensive cooldown. Typically, you would only use with in conjunction with Sniper Volley (double Penetrating Blasts). With the set bonus, you will have more options to use TA in terms of energy management.

3.) Adrenaline Probe: Summons a probe that helps you recover 50 energy over 3 seconds.

A resource gain cooldown that lets you gradually gain back 50 energy over time. Very good cooldown in a couple of scenarios:
a.) Rotation complications that cause energy problems
b.) Burn phases in raid fights

Defensive Cooldowns:

1.) Shield Probe: Summons a probe that projects a shield around the Agent, absorbing a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 30 seconds)

This defensive cooldown is great for mitigating small to moderate incoming damage, regardless of any damage type. Only use this when you can predict miniscule damage, and be very efficient with it.

2.) Evasion: Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

With Hold Position, Evasion gains the benefit of mitigating Force and tech attacks by 75%. Therefore, it is imperative that you use it only for massive incoming damage as well as staying in cover for maximum potential.

3.) Ballistic Shield: Deploys a ballistic shield that spans 10 meters around you and reducing the damage taken by allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 3 minutes// 2 minutes 45 seconds if specced into Deployed Shields)

Your raid wide cooldown for your operations group. A very situational, but powerful defensive. You would ideally save this for burn phases where damage gradually takes a toll on your group, and making healers’ lives easier.

4.) Entrench: Entrenches you into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover. Lasts 20 seconds (Cooldown: 1 minute // 45 seconds if specced into Pillbox Sniper)

Entrench is your jack-of-all-trades cooldown with a myriad of utilities to support it. Immune to crowd control, movement-imparing effects, and physics, this cooldown is one of the best defensives a Sniper can have. There are plenty of utilities to list from:

a.) Portable Bunker (LEVEL 52 Talent) (Marksmanship Exclusive): Increases the duration of Entrench by 3 seconds. In addition, when you enter cover after using Covered Escape, you gain Entrench for the first 3 seconds.
b.) Seek Cover: When Entrench ends or you leave cover while Entrench in active, you gain Seek Cover, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.
c.) Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.
d.) Siege Bunker: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.

5.) Countermeasures: Activates countermeasures, instantly lowering threat by a moderate amount.

Your main threat dropping ability. You would want to use it immediately after you perform your MAX DPS Opening Rotation or if you somehow pull threat from your tanks. Really, don’t be a hero and expect to pull threat from tanks. Use it immediately.

Crowd Control and Active Utilities

1.) Cover Pulse: Detonates an emergency charge that knocks all nearby targets back several meters and immobilizes them for 5 seconds. Damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. Only usable in cover. (Cooldown: 30 seconds)

This is your CC defensive in case you want to escapa from all NPCs bunching up on you. Very useful for knocking players and NPCs out of the edge into their own timely deaths.

2.) Flash Bang: Detonates a flash bang that blinds the target for 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

Your other CC ability that stuns the target for many moons (unless you damage it of course).

3.) Debilitate: Deals X energy damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds.

Your “hard” CC stun ability (“Hard” means a stun that persists through damage). In certain PvE situations, this is useful. In PvP, this is one of your core CC abilities you want to save this for burning your opponents in ranked.

4.) Leg Shot: Fires a shot that deals X weapon damage and immobilizes the target for 3 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.

Often times, you want to use this to keep NPCs in place to prevent incoming damage or activating mechanics. This has more better use in PvP.

5.) Covered Escape (Or Covered Escapa ^o^): Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement slowing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%.

Your anti-mechanic ability which allows you to be invulnerable in a short window of rolling. This has the best of both worlds, both PvE and PvP.

6.) Diversion: Reduces the accuracy by 45% and exposes from cover up to 8 targets within 8 meters for 8 seconds. Cannot be used on Operation bosses.

Diversion has been buffed to become an AoE utility skill, so this is a welcomed change. In certain raid fights with adds, this is a valued cooldown you need to save. In ranked, you should also save this to prevent incoming burn damage from other opponents.

Utility List:

Spoiler
I have broken down these following utilities into PvE and PvP. Please note that I have no experience in Ranked PvP play, but I am looking in getting into it post 3.0! I invite the experienced PvP Marksmanship Snipers to share their input. Do also note that my rating should not affect the way a player proceeds with the utility tree, but rather consider their choices in PvE and PvP situations.

Skillful
1.) Ballistic Dampers: Entering cover grants 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers. Each charge absorbs [15 / 30]% of the damage dealt by an incoming attack. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Ballistic Dampers can only be gained once every 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility has the best use in PvE by adding another layer of defensives in Hold Position. You will have the most use of it in many fights, and some moderate use in PvP. For this, it is safe to safe this deserves a value of 9.

2.) Snap Shot: Entering cover makes the next Snipe or Lethal Shot activate instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility is pretty situational. Every six seconds, you have the opportunity to gain an instant Snipe which is pretty great if you need to kill of an add or boss quicker in burn phases. However, the reason I give this a 7 is because it’s really not that great of an utility. A misconception is an instant channel ability would lead to a DPS increase. This is pretty wrong. It’s really an APM increase. A Snipe takes a GCD to cast the ability regardless, so generally, I sort of undervalue this utility.

Still, with Honed Shots, this is, at the most, good enough reason to take this talent, so I would pretty much take it in most (but not all) scenarios. In PvP, this is a slightly better pick as PvP is all about fast-paced control.

3.) Cover Screen: When exiting cover, you gain Cover Screen, increasing ranged defense by 20% for 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 4/10

It’s a pretty underwhelming utility. While the bonus to 20% ranged defense is nice outside of cover, it’s really lackluster. There really isn’t much variety to this utility in terms of other damage types. If there was such a thing (like reduces Force and Tech damage for example), I would definitely take it. But, as it stands, it’s pretty useless, so I rate this a 3.

4.) Flash Powder: Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Flash Bang ends.

PvE Rating: 2/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility has little situational use in PvE, so I won’t go too in-depth on that. In PvP though, this is good in terms of duration and accuracy loss. Combine this with Evacutate, it’s a decent soft stun to hold in ranked PvP. I would pretty much overvalue this utility, but some professional PvPers may disagree.

5.) Vital Regulators: While in cover, you heal for [0.5 / 1]% of your total health every 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 2/10
PvE Rating; 1/10

This utility is pretty much bad. Normally, you would spec into this if the glitch still existed. However, this is a pretty pathetic choice to take. 1% of restoring health every 3 seconds bears nothing in PvE and especially PvP.

6.) Reestablish Range: Striking a target with Shiv grants Reestablish Range, increasing your movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds. Additionally, the final shot of Series of Shots and Penetrating Blasts knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

PvE will see little use with Reestablish Range, so I rated a 3. In PvP though, this is a beastly. Ranked arena is generally about CC control, and this takes the cake. Combine this with Series of Snares, this is almost mandatory to pick both utilities. I overvalue this with a rating of 9.

7.) Imperial Efficiency: Increases the damage dealt by Suppressive Fire by 25%.

PvE Rating 9/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

I give this utility a rating of 9 mainly because with the Marksmanship talent, you have Accurized Rifle which increases the Critical Hit Chance of Suppressive Fire by 15% and increases its critical damage by 30%. This is all the more reason for you to spam it in add phases, even more powerful than Orbital Strike. In PvP, this can be quick good to prevent objective captures in Regs, and some great area of affect control in Ranked Arenas.

Masterful

1.) Seek Cover: When Entrench ends or you leave cover while Entrench in active, you gain Seek Cover, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

In some raid scenarios, this utility will allow you to infinitely abuse the Entrench’s duration by cover dancing, and resetting the Speed Boost duration. A pretty powerful utility in PvE. In PvP, you would certainly want to take this in case you need to escapa from your opponents burning you down.

2.) Augmented Shields: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility allows Shield Probe to absorb even more damage, so at best, this allows the defensive itself to be used for moderate to slightly high damage. Both in PvE and PvP can benefit from this most of the time, so I would take this talent.

3.) Counterstrike: Countermeasures will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

I see this utility as very weak in PvE, so I will leave it at that. In PvP though, this has some decent use. However, I would argue that Seek Cover is a better alternative than Counterstrike mainly because that utility can also prevent movement-impairing effects during the duration. Still, I would see some use outside of the Entrench’s duration, so pick this one if you want to.

4.) Stroke of Genius: Activating Cover Pulse makes the next Sniper or Lethal Shot activate instantly.

PvE Rating: 1/10
PvP Rating: 4/10

Wow! This utility is pretty garbage. Again, I want to emphasize that an instant GCD really doesn’t make a difference other than short executes. That being said, I would definitely not touch this talent at all in PvE. Otherwise, why are you picking this Sniper class? In PvP, this is slightly better as it synergizes pretty well with other utilities with Cover Pulse benefits, but still much worse than other PvP utility top picks.

5.) Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

This utility is pretty good both PvE and PvP wise. Entrench benefits much with its cooldown reduced by 15 seconds, thus allowing even more uptime of its defensives. PvP gets the added benefit of having Cover Pulse knock back targets by 4 more meters. Thus, it has a slightly higher rating than PvE, but both can benefit from this utility.

6.) Calculated Pursuit: You gain 4 charges of Calculated Pursuit upon exiting cover, which reduces the energy cost of Overload Shot by 100%. Each use of Overload Shot consumes 1 charge, and consumption of the first charge triggers a 20 second rate-limit on this skill. This effect lasts 15 seconds but is also removed by consuming all charges or reentering cover.

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

Calculated Pursuit is a pretty decent utility, mainly because in damage based boss fights, you would want to take this for better damage than Rifle Shot as well as a free 4 Overload Shots. In PvE, this is decent if you want to stay mobile in between boss phases. Outside of that though, I rated this a 7 because I personally believe it’s a waste of space. I would value survivability more than damage in HM/NiM fights for the sake of progression. Still, this is a worthy point to invest in.

In PvP, it has a slightly worse value. I can’t comment much how this can make a big difference in PvP, but this utility is more PvE than PvP.

7.) Imperial Demarcation: Reduces the cooldown of Leg Shot by 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 2/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

Yet again, this utility see rare uses in PvE scenarios, so I rate this a 2. In PvP, this combined with Debilitating Shots is a decent utility to invest in. Outside of that, Leg Shot is sort of underused than other CCs in PvP.

Heroic

1.) Siege Bunker: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This adds another layer of defensives in Entrench, so with 60% AoE damage reduction, healers will laugh at how little of a damage you’re taking within the duration. Both PvE and PvP can benefit from this utility. I think in ranked Arena, AoE is fairly as common as CCs stuns, so this see’s almost a must-have to take this utility.

2.) Deployed Shields: Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 6% and reduces the cooldown of Ballistic Shield by 30 second

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

This further augments your defensives while in cover, so another reason why you should remain in cover as often as possible. A reduced cooldown in Ballistic Shield is a welcomed plus in PvE and PvP settings.

3.) Debilitating Shots: Increases the Trauma duration of Shatter Shot by 8 seconds. In addition, when Leg Shot’s immobilize effect wears off the target’s movement is slowed by 70% for 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 1/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

Overly useless in PvE, so therefore it has the lowest rating of 1. In PvP though, Shatter Shot is your primary ability to reduce the amount of healing done to a single player. Given that healing has been nerfed post 3.0, Trauma becomes a deadly ability for healers, so therefore, I rate this an 8. An additional effect of Leg Shot’s immobilize is welcomed, and combined with Imperial Demarcation, you can continue to immobilize players at a faster rate.

4.) Hold Your Ground: Reduces the cooldown of Escape (or Escapa) by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 4 seconds and Cover Pulse by 5 seconds.

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

Somewhat a decent utility for PvE since Escapa and Shield Probe are used often in raids. It has even more value in PvP because of Cover Pulse too. Stun breaks are very valued in ranked, so hence why it has a higher significance than PvE.

5.) Evacuate: Reduces the cooldown of Debilitate and Flash Bang by 15 seconds.

PvE Rating: 4/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

In PvE, there is rarely enough targets to CC in raids, so I would give it a four. In PvP, this is your go to utility to invest in. You want to have as much stuns and CCs as quickly as possible, so go with this one.

6.) Series of Snares: Each shot of Series of Shots and Penetrating Blasts slows the target by 20% for 3 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.

PvE Rating: 4/10
PvP Rating: 10/10

I undervalue this utility in PvE to a degree, so not much use for stacking slows.

PvP on the other hand, Penetrating Blasts becomes a deadly ability among other players in ranked. The stacking slows that can total up to 80% of movement impairment for 3 seconds means it’s often a guaranteed death sentence for that slowed player. With Reestablish Range, it synergizes very well for knocking the target 10 meters away from you. I gave it a perfect 10 because of how well this ability does in PvP.

7.) Crippling Diversion: Diversion slows all targets by 50% for as long as they remain in the area.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

As with other slow-based utilities, not much use in PvE. In PvP, it adds a bonus to Diversion where it slows all targets within its AoE range (like Kolto Missile). This is very good in regs. In Ranked, it sort of has a slight lower value, but it gets the job done.

The Key Abilities and Friends:

Spoiler
Key Abilities:

1.) Ambush/Aimed Shot (LEVEL 10) – Fires a high powered shot that deals X weapon damage.

Ambush is officially a Marksmanship/Sharpshooter exclusive skill. Pre 3.0, this has been a global skill to use for all three specs. Now, this is (and has been) one of your primary burst skills in Marksmanship/Sharpshooter. Nothing has changed on this skill other than the fact that you will be using this as much often as the Pre 3.0 MM/SS rotation. (Cooldown 12 seconds)

2.) Penetrating Blasts (LEVEL 26) – Fires a number of blasts that deal X weapon damage and sunder the target for 45 seconds. Sundered targets have their armor rating reduced by 20%. Consumes 20 Energy over the duration of the channel. Shares a cooldown with Series of Shots. (Cooldown: 12 seconds)

The advanced “Series of Shots/Speed Shot” of Snipers/Gunslingers, except in Marksmanship/Sharpshooter only. A 2.0 second base cast over the course of 5 shots fired, an additional Armor Sunder debuff, and a 12 second CD makes this skill very lethal, and very critical to our rotation. Again, nothing has been changed in terms of priority, but this skill is an obviously replacement for Series of Shots/Speed Shot

3.) Followthrough/Trickshot (LEVEL 41) – Fires a well-controlled follow-up shot at the target that deals X weapon damage. Only usable within the 5 seconds immediately following a Snipe, Ambush, Takedown, or a complete Penetrating Blasts. (Cooldown: 9 seconds)

A powerful filler skill. This is your 2nd highest damaging ability in your optimal rotation.

4.) Sniper Volley/Burst Volley (LEVEL 57) – Immediately finishes the cooldown of Penetrating Blasts, increases base energy management rate by 2 per second, and increases Alacrity by 10%. Lasts 15 seconds. (Cooldown: 45 seconds)

The top tier talent ability of Marksmanship/Sharpshooter. You will use this all the time in terms of offense and resource management.

Key Talents:

**NEW**Accurized Rifle (LEVEL 12 PASSIVE): Increases the critical chance of Suppresive Fire by 15% and increases its critical damage by 30%.

With this talent, Suppresive Fire becomes your most lethal AoE ability in a Marksmanship Discipline.

**NEW**Heavy Diversion (LEVEL 24 PASSIVE): Targets affected by Diversion continue to be affected for 3 seconds after leaving area of affect.

A nice bonus to Diversion with Marksmanship discipline.

**NEW**Honed Shots (LEVEL 59 PASSIVE): Snipe grants Honed Shots, increasing the critical hit chance and damage done by Snipe by 5% for 20 seconds. Stacks up 3 times.

An excellent talent for Marksmanship. With this, this is more than enough reason to cast more Snipes in your rotation. Snipe also becomes your 2nd highest hitting ability in an average parse. This is the reason why Marksmanship is like playing Annihilation.

What’s Changed/Removed/No Longer Accessible?

Spoiler
Key Abilities:

1.) Diversion:

Diversion is no longer a Marksmanship Exclusive Utility skill, and this is a good thing. In add heavy fights, you would almost want to use this to benefit your raid group. I will stress that Diversion is like providing a defensive cooldown most for your tanks, but also for your raid group. With its improved effects that can hit up to multiple targets instead of one and its 45% Accuracy Reduction, Diversion is a very powerful utility skill to use.

2.) Explosive Probe:

Explosive Probe used to be our core filler skill where we ideally place this in our Sniper/Burst Volley windows. With 3.0, this ability is now exclusive to the Engineering Discipline. Although we lost one of our potentially damaging burst abilities, the void is filled by Snipe.

3.) Orbital Strike:

Previously our Orbital Strike is able to be casted in a GCD as well as our second viable filler in our rotations. Now with 3.0, this is (finally) redesigned per BioWare’s Stage 2 plan. With the base cast of 2.0 seconds, a 20 energy cost, a 60 second cooldown, and a slight damage buff, they have done an excellent job in discouraging its single target rotational use. With that said, Marksmanship is stripped of beneficial Orbital Strike talents (now in the Engineering Discipline), so we can no longer rely on this skill in our single-target rotations. This void is, yet again, filled by Snipe.

4.) Corrosive Dart

Corrosive Dart has a global effect where it provides the Marked debuff that makes targets susceptible to ranged attacks by 5%. That being said, you really want to provide this debuff as early as possible, not to mention the decent uptime of damage it provides.

5.) Shatter Shot

Shatter Shot is redesigned where it no longer gives its global armor penetration bonus. Instead, it’s changed to simply reduce the amount of healing by 20%. Honestly, this has much better use in PvP than PvE (which is very rare). With Penetrating Blasts taking care of the Armor Debuff, SS officially becomes a useless skill.

Key Talents:

1.) Recoil Control: Firing Snipe twice in a row, firing Takedown or Ambush once, or completing a Penetrating Blasts now finishes the cooldown on Followthrough.

Recoil Control is changed where it no longer provides the 30% Alacrity increase to Series of Shots. Not really much a worthy noting, but it is a major impact to leveling your Sniper to a degree.

2.) Zeroing Shots: Snipe zeroes in your sights, reducing the activation time of your next Ambush by 0.25 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.

Previously, Zeroing Shots reduced the activation time of your next Ambush by 0.50 seconds per stack. With 3.0, this reduced the amount of seconds by 50%. However, this isn’t really a nerf considering that Ambush is now a 2 second cast for Marksmanship, so the change is generally negligible.

Gear and Stats:

Spoiler
Every expansion can be in muddy water in terms of stats, so here are my alternative choices for you to pick.

Order of Priority from Top to Bottom:

Resurrected Gear Set

1.) Accuracy:

a.) 777 Accuracy (7 iLVL 192 Initiative/Acute Enhancements)
b.) 710 Accuracy (6 iLVL192 Initiative/Acute Enhancements + 1 iLVL186 Accuracy Augment)

2.) Surge:

a.) 401 Surge Rating (333 Surge Rating (from 3 iLVL192 Adept/Battle Enhancements + 2 iLVL186 Surge Augments) (71%)
b.) 333 Surge Rating (68%)

3.) Critical:

200-350 Critical Rating. I recommend a set up of 2 iLVL192 Battle/Acute Enchancements and 2 Eviscerating Crystals.

4.) Alacrity:

a.) 0 Alacrity
b.) 111 Alacrity
c.) 222 Alacrity
d.) <222 Alacrity (Preference)

5.) Augments:

You have a couple of options of pick.
a.) All Mainstat (iLVL186 Skill Augments)
b.) 12 Mainstat + 2 Surge (iLVL186 Skill and Surge Augments)

The reason I put 2 Surge Augments is because nearly all of your abilities will Crit half the time (Honed Shots Critical Bonus from Snipe, Laze Target Critical Bonus from Ambush, and Headshot Critical Bonus from Penetrating Blasts). I feel that the extra 108 Cunning is negligible at this point, so I swapped to 2 Surge Augments which boosted my critical damage bonuses from 68% to 71%. Through testing, I found better results than going all mainstat, so I highly recommend going with this route. Otherwise, if you truly value every Mainstat, by all means go with Option A.

I also want to bring out that with this tier’s iteration, despite the same stat formula as 2.0’s, you should not feel restrictive to use whatever augments you want. Experiment them around as you gear out your Sniper more, and realize there is more than one way to be nearly BiS.

Set Piece: 6-Set Sniper Set Bonus

Revanite Set:

In Working Progress

Relics:

1.) Revanite Relic of Focused Retribution (RECCOMENDED)
2.) Revanite Relic of Serendipitous Assault (RECCOMENDED)
3.) Revanite Relic of Boundless Ages (In case you need it for burstier fights)

The Rotation:

Spoiler
Dummy Rotation:

MAX DPS Opener:

Laze Target / Orbital Strike -> Ambush -> Corrosive Dart / Attack Adrenal -> Followthrough / Target Acquired -> Penetrating Blasts -> Sniper Volley / Followthrough -> Penetrating Blasts -> Followthrough

Now here you have a couple of routes to pick. Remember that without Orbital Strike and Explosive Probe being reliable fillers, the rotation is more heavily centered around filling those gaps with more Snipes. With that said…

a.) Snipe x2 -> FT -> Snipe -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT -> Corrosive Dart -> Snipe x2 -> FT -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT -> Corrosive Dart -> Snipe x2 -> FT -> Snipe -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT/SV -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT

b.) Snipe x2 -> FT -> Snipe x2 -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT -> Corrosive Dart -> Snipe x2 -> FT -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT -> Corrosive Dart -> Snipe x2 -> FT -> Snipe -> Ambush -> FT -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT/SV -> Penetrating Blasts -> FT

Generally, those two voids are filled with two Snipes. The reason is our rotation centers around Honed Shots, which stacks up 3 times in terms of damage and critical chance. You want to increase your frequency of Snipes as often as you can, but not too much or else you will overshot your energy resource and your timing of CDs.

The key thing about Corrosive Dart placement is you have to do a countless number of parses to know when to place Corrosive Dart or not in terms of energy management. In fact, though dummy parsing, you have to auto-attack (or Overload Shot if specced to Calculated Pursuit) once in order to continue with your flow of rotations. Unless you have Target Acquired or Adrenaline Probe ready to use, do NOT use Corrosive Dart in the third sequence. Doing so will result in risking your resource management below 60% as well as delaying your rotation a bit.

Raid Rotation Priority:

Unfortunately, dummy rotations do not equal raid rotations since every boss fight doesn’t act like a perfectly static simulation. I’ll leave you with this piece of advice:

MECHANICS > DPS.

If you perfectly apply the dummy rotation to boss fights, nearly 100% of the time, you’re going to fall rock bottom due to mechanics. The developers have stated that the current iteration of operations are going to be harder than the previous tier, so I want to stress this bolded fact.

For this, I have ordered the priority system for all Marksmanship Snipers to look out for.

Single Target Rotation:

1.) Corrosive Dart (Reason: Marked Debuff)
2.) Penetrating Blasts // Sniper Volley/Burst Volley (Reason: PB is your highest hitting skill and it goes on CD for 12 seconds. If SV/BV is up, you should ALWAYS use it for a 2nd wave of PBs.)
3.) Takedown (Be wary of your energy management when using this)
4.) Followthrough
5.) Ambush (2 stacks of Zeroing Shots)
6.) Snipe

AoE Rotation:

1.) Suppressive Fire (Spam it. With Accurized Rifle and Imperial Efficiency, this will hit like a chipotle-powered truck).
2.) Orbital Strike (If you can predict incoming uptime for add phases, use it. Otherwise, you should really use it strictly for pre-casting).

Analytical Rotation Breakdown:

Spoiler
It is generally the same breakdown as with my old guide. However, there are new talents and skills I want to stress on.

Takedown:

With 3.0, there’s is one change. First, you’ll notice that our set bonus here:

“(4 Piece) Reduces the energy cost of Takedown or Quickdraw by 4.”

…no longer exists. While our new 3.0 set bonuses are better, faster, stronger than before, our Execute rotation now loses its “grit” to a degree. In fact, it’s a bit tougher to manage than having that set bonus.
However, let me remind everyone that we had to deal with this back when Orbital Strike did insane damage, and we had to take the 2-pc PvP set bonus (Additional 3 second duration of OS) for the sake of maximum OS damage output. Therefore, it was somewhat difficult to manage the execute rotation, but the gains were phenomenal at the end.

My point is, stick with replacing Takedown with Followthrough if you can. If you have high enough energy to justify that method, use it. Some alternate ways you can do are…

a.) Takedown > Followthough -> Next skill

b.) Followthrough > Takedown > Followthrough -> Next Skill

c.) Followthrough > Takedown -> Next Skill.

Generally you want to avoid method ‘b’ unless you’re in too deep with your energy.

Honed Shots:

This talent is a worthy LVL 59 Talent. With 5% Critical Chance and damage per stack, you’ll be dealing a total of +15% Additional damage and 15% Crit chance with every Snipe up to 3 stacks. A great Sniper once commented that this is the reason why Marksmanship plays like a Marauder’s Annihilation, and this is legitimately true! With 20 seconds to maintain, you have plenty of time in between boss phases to land another Snipe in order to maintain the stacks needed. That’s why Snipes fill the voids of the MM rotation where Explosive Probe and Orbital Strike previously filled.

Snipe:

You’ll find yourself using 2 more Snipes than the previous pre 3.0 rotation ever before. Thus, with Honed Shots, Snipe will find itself as the 2nd highest hitting ability in many average parses.

Videos:

Spoiler

Data and Averages:

Spoiler
Coming Soon

Raiding Tips:

Spoiler
1.) You should ALWAYS make use of your utilities (Diversion and Ballistic Shield) whenever necessary to your raiders’ discretion. Don’t leave them off just because you want to e-peen and gain big numbers. Use them immediately.

2.) Never meter pad during progression. EVER. I don’t care if you’re the best player in the world. Chances are, you’re going to be kicked off from your raid group, or even worse, your progression guild.

Rule Number 1: Mechanics > DPS.
Rule Number 2: Full Mechanics Mate. #Kappa (Don’t kill me Zejim <3)

3.) Keep your Honed Shots buff on at all times. Again, I’ll stress that this plays like Annihilation to a degree. If you find yourself running out of time with Honed Shots, try to cast a Snipe.

4.) Corrosive Dart first to take advantage of the Marked debuff, then Penetrating Blasts to sunder the target (ideally should go to a boss who will last for many moons).

5.) If there is a mechanic that will potentially kill you, cancel your rotation immediately. Often times, it’s human nature to have a form of tunnel vision when performing your rotation, so start to break that habit, and be mechanically aware. This reinforces Tip #2.

6.) Always use your defensive cooldowns smartly. This means don’t go around spamming defensives like Shield Probe or Evasion carelessly. With so few in our arsenal, only use Shield Probe for moderate damage, Evasion for heavy damage (in cover), and roll in order to evade a mechanic or incoming unavoidable damage.
Words of Wisdom:

“A good DPS is an efficient DPS”- Thrax 2014

Raid Guide

Spoiler
I’m leaving this area blank for now. In a foreseeable future, I will be adding content to the Raid Guide for Snipers/Gunslingers here.

Credits and Acknowledgements:

Spoiler
Fellow Snipers who have shaped my gameplay:

Yolo, Thrax (the best), Zahik, Gomerik, Claimed, Shay’m, Zejim, Aksana.

Other mentions:

Waratte (for translating my guide to Republic terms)

Very shameless of me, but if you like me, my guild <Zorz>, and my guide, please use my referral link to gain extra subscriber days and other free goodies. Cartel Coin funds will go towards server transferring my toons from the Bastion.

http://www.swtor.com/r/zm2yNg

Thanks for reading my guide. This is not meant to be something you have to do on paper. This is more of something you can rethink and create new ideas for Marksmanship. Going to quote the wise wizard, KBN, here:

Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Guides are always about inspiration and ideas, not dogmatic instruction.

#GG,#WP,#HF folks.

SHARPSHOOTER MIRROR
*All credits go to Waratte (from Reddit) for translating this*

Discipline:

Spoiler
Sharpshooter (Damage)
“Armed with the steely fortitude required to set up the perfect shot, the Sharpshooter is the Gunslinger at its most devious. Aiming from distant cover, the Sharpshooter goes for a devastating opening salvo, following up with vicious trick shots and penetrating rounds, putting a definitive end to the fight they started.” – Sharpshooter Lore 3.0

With 3.0’s new Discipline system, you will be optimized to full capacity. Pre 3.0, you had to level and buy skills in order to become a viable Gunslinger. This is no longer the case in post 3.0. The difference is that you no longer need to purchase skills with credits. Instead, you are given a set amount of basic Gunslinger skills to start. This means abilities like Speed Shot, XS Freighter Flyby, Sweeping Gunfire, and Defence Screen are automatically given to you once you commit to an advanced class (in this case, Gunslingers)

To put this in MLG terms, if you want to pull threat from the tanks so hard, they desperately want to get it back, choose this spec.

Full Range of Abilities and Talents

Spoiler
Gunslinger Passives:
1.) Bravado: Increases maximum energy by 10.

This is now one of the Gunslinger passives. A nice addition to our resource management.

2.) Steady Shots: Increases the damage dealt by Charged Burst, Dirty Blast, Speed Shot, and Penetrating Rounds by 5%.

A great passive that globally increases our core skills in all of our specs. In this case for Sharpshooter, Charged Burst and Penetrating Rounds get the most benefit.

3.) Hold Position: While in cover, ranged defense is increased by 20%, you cannot be leaped to or pulled, and you are immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback. In addition, Dodge reduces the damage you take from Force and tech attacks by 75% while in cover.

In 3.0, we get some nice QoL buffs for Hold Position. This adds another layer of benefit for Dodge which is all the more reason for a Gunslinger to be in cover at all times within burn phases.

4.) Crack Shot: Increases the range of Quick Shot, Flash Grenade, and Distraction to 30 meters, and additionally increases the range of all blaster, grenade, and charge attacks by 5 meters. In addition, Vital Shot marks its target for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged weapon attacks.

This passive defines the Gunslinger class in a way our abilities can hit 35 meters as opposed to the traditional 30 meters from other classes. It also allows Vital Shot to be used more efficiently because it has a 5% increase in ranged attacks. In Sharpshooter, you will be using Vital Shot a lot in your rotations, so hence this is a better change for this discipline.

5.) Ready for Anything: Upon entering cover, your stealth detection level begins to increase gradually, reaching up to 30 additional levels of stealth detection over the following 30 seconds. This effect ends when you leave cover.

This passive is the best passive for PvP in case you need to track down stealth-based classes in warzones and ranked arena play. In PvE, this is somewhat useless to a degree unless you encounter NPCs with stealth.

Offensive Cooldowns:

1.) Smuggler’s Luck: Increases the critical hit chance of your next Aimed Shot, Sabotage Charge, or Wounding Shots by 100%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

This is one of your core offensive cooldowns in generally your Gunslinger rotations. In this case for Sharpshooter, this buffs Aimed Shot’s critical hit chance by 100%. For this, it is mandatory to pop Smuggler’s Luck before opening up with Aimed Shot in your MAX DPS rotations. With the 6-piece set bonus, Smuggler’s Luck gives your two opportunities to crit Aimed Shot which is definitely a plus.

2.) Illegal Mods: Increases ranged and tech accuracy by 30% and armor penetration by 15% for 10 seconds.

Another great offensive cooldown. Typically, you would only use with in conjunction with Burst Volley (double Penetrating Rounds). With the set bonus, you will have more options to use Illegal Mods in terms of energy management.

3.) Cool Head: Keeps a cool head, recovering 50 energy over 3 seconds.

A resource gain cooldown that lets you gradually gain back 50 energy over time. Very good cooldown in a couple of scenarios:
a.) Rotation complications that cause energy problems
b.) Burn phases in raid fights

Defensive Cooldowns:

1.) Defence Screen: Projects a defense field around yourself, which absorbs a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 30 seconds)

This defensive cooldown is great for mitigating small to moderate incoming damage, regardless of any damage type. Only use this when you can predict miniscule damage, and be very efficient with it.

2.) Dodge: Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

With Hold Position, Dodge gains the benefit of mitigating Force and tech attacks by 75%. Therefore, it is imperative that you use it only for massive incoming damage as well as staying in cover for maximum potential.

3.) Scrambling Field: Deploys an acquired scrambling field that disrupts the energy signature of conventional weapons. The field spans 10 meters around you, reducing the damage taken by all allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 3 minutes // 2 minutes 30 seconds if specced into Riot Screen)

Your raid wide cooldown for your operations group. A very situational, but powerful defensive. You would ideally save this for burn phases where damage gradually takes a toll on your group, and making healers’ lives easier.

4.) Hunker Down: Hunkers you down into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover. Lasts 23 seconds (Cooldown: 1 minute // 45 seconds if specced into Lay Low)

Hunker Down is your jack-of-all-trades cooldown with a myriad of utilities to support it. Immune to crowd control, movement-impairing effects, and physics, this cooldown is one of the best defensives a Gunslinger can have. There are plenty of utilities to list from:

a.) Stay Low (LEVEL 52 Talent) (Sharpshooter Exclusive): Increases the duration of Hunker Down by 3 seconds. In addition, when you enter cover after using Hightail It, you gain Hunker Down for the first 3 seconds.
b.) Heads Up: When Hunker Down ends or you leave cover while Hunker Down is active, you gain Heads Up, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.
c.) Lay Low: Reduces the cooldown of Hunker Down by 15 seconds and Pulse Detonator knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.
d.) Holed Up: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Hunker Down is active.

5.) Surrender: Puts up the front of surrender, instantly lowering your threat by a moderate amount.

Your main threat dropping ability. You would want to use it immediately after you perform your MAX DPS Opening Rotation or if you somehow pull threat from your tanks. Really, don’t be a hero and expect to pull threat from tanks. Use it immediately.

Crowd Control and Active Utilities

1.) Pulse Detonator: Detonates an emergency charge that knocks all nearby targets back several meters and immobilizes them for 5 seconds. Damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. Only usable in cover. (Cooldown: 30 seconds)

This is your CC defensive in case you want to escape from all NPCs bunching up on you. Very useful for knocking players and NPCs out of the edge into their own timely deaths.

2.) Flash Grenade: Lobs a flash grenade that blinds the target for 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely. (Cooldown: 1 minute)

Your other CC ability that stuns the target for many moons (unless you damage it of course).

3.) Dirty Kick: Stuns the target for 4 seconds and deals X kinetic damage.

Your “hard” CC stun ability (“Hard” means a stun that persists through damage). In certain PvE situations, this is useful. In PvP, this is one of your core CC abilities you want to save this for burning your opponents in ranked.

4.) Leg Shot: Fires a shot that deals X weapon damage and immobilizes the target for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.

Often times, you want to use this to keep NPCs in place to prevent incoming damage or activating mechanics. This has more better use in PvP.

5.) Hightail It: Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement-slowing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%.

Your anti-mechanic ability which allows you to be invulnerable in a short window of rolling. This has the best of both worlds, both PvE and PvP.

6.) Diversion: Reduces the accuracy by 45% and exposes from cover up to 8 enemies within 8 meters for 8 seconds. Cannot be used on Operation bosses.

Diversion has been buffed to become an AoE utility skill, so this is a welcomed change. In certain raid fights with adds, this is a valued cooldown you need to save. In ranked, you should also save this to prevent incoming burn damage from other opponents.

Utility List:

Spoiler
I have broken down these following utilities into PvE and PvP. Please note that I have no experience in Ranked PvP play, but I am looking in getting into it post 3.0! I invite the experienced PvP Sharpshooter Gunslingers to share their input. Do also note that my rating should not affect the way a player proceeds with the utility tree, but rather consider their choices in PvE and PvP situations.

Skillful
1.) Ballistic Dampers: Entering cover grants 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers. Each charge absorbs 30% of the damage dealt by an incoming attack. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Ballistic Dampers can only be gained once every 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility has the best use in PvE by adding another layer of defensives in Hold Position. You will have the most use of it in many fights, and some moderate use in PvP. For this, it is safe to safe this deserves a value of 9.

2.) Snap Shot: Entering cover makes the next Charged Burst or Dirty Blast activate instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility is pretty situational. Every six seconds, you have the opportunity to gain an instant Charged Burst which is pretty great if you need to kill of an add or boss quicker in burn phases. However, the reason I give this a 7 is because it’s really not that great of an utility. A misconception is an instant channel ability would lead to a DPS increase. This is pretty wrong. It’s really an APM increase. A Charged Burst takes a GCD to cast the ability regardless, so generally, I sort of undervalue this utility.

Still, with Honed Shots, this is, at the most, good enough reason to take this talent, so I would pretty much take it in most (but not all) scenarios. In PvP, this is a slightly better pick as PvP is all about fast-paced control.

3.) Cover Screen: When exiting cover, you increase your ranged defense by 20% for 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 4/10

It’s a pretty underwhelming utility. While the bonus to 20% ranged defense is nice outside of cover, it’s really lackluster. There really isn’t much variety to this utility in terms of other damage types. If there was such a thing (like reduces Force and Tech damage for example), I would definitely take it. But, as it stands, it’s pretty useless, so I rate this a 3.

4.) Flash Powder: Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Flash Grenade ends.

PvE Rating: 2/10
]PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility has little situational use in PvE, so I won’t go too in-depth on that. In PvP though, this is good in terms of duration and accuracy loss. Combine this with Plan B & C, it’s a decent soft stun to hold in ranked PvP. I would pretty much overvalue this utility, but some professional PvPers may disagree.

5.) Cool Under Pressure: While in cover, you heal for 1% of your total health every 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 2/10
PvE Rating; 1/10

This utility is pretty much bad. Normally, you would spec into this if the glitch still existed. However, this is a pretty pathetic choice to take. 1% of restoring health every 3 seconds bears nothing in PvE and especially PvP.

6.) Reset Engagement: Slapping a target with Blaster Whip grants Reset Engagement, increasing your movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds. Additionally, the final shot of Speed Shot and Penetrating Rounds knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

PvE will see little use with Reset Engagement, so I rated a 3. In PvP though, this is a beastly. Ranked arena is generally about CC control, and this takes the cake. Combine this with Compounding Impact, this is almost mandatory to pick both utilities. I overvalue this with a rating of 9.

7.) Efficient Ammo: Increases the damage dealt by Sweeping Gunfire by 25%.

PvE Rating 9/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

I give this utility a rating of 9 mainly because with the Marksmanship talent, you have Accurized Rifle which increases the Critical Hit Chance of Suppressive Fire by 15% and increases its critical damage by 30%. This is all the more reason for you to spam it in add phases, even more powerful than Orbital Strike. In PvP, this can be quick good to prevent objective captures in Regs, and some great area of affect control in Ranked Arenas.

Masterful

1.) Heads Up: When Hunker Down ends or you leave cover while Hunker Down is active, you gain Heads Up, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

In some raid scenarios, this utility will allow you to infinitely abuse the Hunker Down’s duration by cover dancing, and resetting the speed boost duration. A pretty powerful utility in PvE. In PvP, you would certainly want to take this in case you need to escape from your opponents burning you down.

2.) Hotwired Defenses: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Defense Screen by 30%.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This utility allows Defense Screen to absorb even more damage, so at best, this allows the defensive itself to be used for moderate to slightly high damage. Both in PvE and PvP can benefit from this most of the time, so I would take this talent.

3.) Dirty Trickster: Surrender will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

I see this utility as very weak in PvE, so I will leave it at that. In PvP though, this has some decent use. However, I would argue that Heads Up is a better alternative than Dirty Trickster mainly because that utility can also prevent movement-impairing effects during the duration. Still, I would see some use outside of the Hunker Down’s duration, so pick this one if you want to.

4.) Pandemonium: Activating Pulse Detonator makes the next Charged Burst or Dirty Blast activate instantly.

PvE Rating: 1/10
PvP Rating: 4/10

Wow! This utility is pretty garbage. Again, I want to emphasize that an instant GCD really doesn’t make a difference other than short executes. That being said, I would definitely not touch this talent at all in PvE. Otherwise, why are you picking this Gunslinger class? In PvP, this is slightly better as it synergizes pretty well with other utilities with Pulse Detonator benefits, but still much worse than other PvP utility top picks.

5.) Lay Low: Reduces the cooldown of Hunker Down by 15 seconds and Pulse Detonator knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.

PvE Rating: 8/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

This utility is pretty good both PvE and PvP wise. Hunker Down benefits much with its cooldown reduced by 15 seconds, thus allowing even more uptime of its defensives. PvP gets the added benefit of having Pulse Detonator knock back targets by 4 more meters. Thus, it has a slightly higher rating than PvE, but both can benefit from this utility.

6.) Hot Pursuit: You gain 4 charges of Hot Pursuit upon exiting cover, which reduces the energy cost of Quick Shot by 100%. Each use of Quick Shot consumes 1 charge, and consuming the first charge triggers a 20 second rate-limit on this skill. This effect lasts 15 seconds but is also removed by consuming all charges or reentering cover.

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

Hot Pursuit is a pretty decent utility, mainly because in damage based boss fights, you would want to take this for better damage than Flurry of Bolts as well as a free 4 Quick Shots. In PvE, this is decent if you want to stay mobile in between boss phases. Outside of that though, I rated this a 7 because I personally believe it’s a waste of space. I would value survivability more than damage in HM/NiM fights for the sake of progression. Still, this is a worthy point to invest in.

In PvP, it has a slightly worse value. I can’t comment much how this can make a big difference in PvP, but this utility is more PvE than PvP.

7.) Trip Shot: Reduces the cooldown of Leg Shot by 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 2/10
PvP Rating: 6/10

Yet again, this utility see rare uses in PvE scenarios, so I rate this a 2. In PvP, this combined with Kneecappin’ is a decent utility to invest in. Outside of that, Leg Shot is sort of underused than other CCs in PvP.

Heroic:

1.) Holed Up: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Hunker Down is active.

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

This adds another layer of defensives in Hunker Down, so with 60% AoE damage reduction, healers will laugh at how little of a damage you’re taking within the duration. Both PvE and PvP can benefit from this utility. I think in ranked Arena, AoE is fairly as common as CCs stuns, so this see’s almost a must-have to take this utility.

2.) Riot Screen: Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 6% and reduces the cooldown of Scrambling Field by 30 seconds.

PvE Rating: 9/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

This further augments your defenses while in cover, so another reason why you should remain in cover as often as possible. A reduced cooldown in Scrambling Field is a welcomed plus in PvE and PvP settings.

3.) Kneecappin’: Increases the Trauma duration of Flourish Shot by 8 seconds. In addition, when Leg Shot’s immobilize effect wears off the target’s movement is slowed by 70% for 3 seconds.

PvE Rating: 1/10
PvP Rating: 8/10

Overly useless in PvE, so therefore it has the lowest rating of 1. In PvP though, Flourish Shot is your primary ability to reduce the amount of healing done to a single player. Given that healing has been nerfed post 3.0, Trauma becomes a deadly ability for healers, so therefore, I rate this an 8. An additional effect of Leg Shot’s immobilize is welcomed, and combined with Trip Shot, you can continue to immobilize players at a faster rate.

4.) Hold Your Ground: Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Defense Screen by 4 seconds and Pulse Detonator by 5 seconds.

PvE Rating: 7/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

Somewhat a decent utility for PvE since Escape and Defense Screen are used often in raids. It has even more value in PvP because of Pulse Detonator too. Stun breaks are very valued in ranked, so hence why it has a higher significance than PvE.

5.) Plan B & C: Reduces the cooldown of Dirty Kick and Flash Grenade by 15 seconds.

PvE Rating: 4/10
PvP Rating: 9/10

In PvE, there is rarely enough targets to CC in raids, so I would give it a four. In PvP, this is your go to utility to invest in. You want to have as much stuns and CCs as quickly as possible, so go with this one.

6.) Compounding Impact: Each shot of Speed Shot and Penetrating Rounds snares the target by 20% for 3 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.

PvE Rating: 4/10
PvP Rating: 10/10

I undervalue this utility in PvE to a degree, so not much use for stacking slows.

PvP on the other hand, Penetrating Rounds becomes a deadly ability among other players in ranked. The stacking slows that can total up to 80% of movement impairment for 3 seconds means it’s often a guaranteed death sentence for that slowed player. With Reset Engagement, it synergizes very well for knocking the target 10 meters away from you. I gave it a perfect 10 because of how well this ability does in PvP.

7.) Crippling Diversion: Diversion slows all targets by 50% for as long as they remain in the area.

PvE Rating: 3/10
PvP Rating: 7/10

As with other slow-based utilities, not much use in PvE. In PvP, it adds a bonus to Diversion where it slows all targets within its AoE range (like Kolto Bomb). This is very good in regs. In Ranked, it sort of has a slight lower value, but it gets the job done.

The Key Abilities and Friends:

Spoiler
Key Abilities:

1.) Aimed Shot (LEVEL 10) – Fires a high powered shot that deals X weapon damage.

Aimed Shot is officially a Sharpshooter exclusive skill. Pre 3.0, this has been a global skill to use for all three specs. Now, this is (and has been) one of your primary burst skills in Sharpshooter. Nothing has changed on this skill other than the fact that you will be using this as much often as the Pre 3.0 SS rotation. (Cooldown 12 seconds)

2.) Penetrating Rounds (LEVEL 26) – Fires a number of blasts that deal X weapon damage and sunder the target for 45 seconds. Sundered targets have their armor rating reduced by 20%. Consumes 20 Energy over the duration of the channel. Shares a cooldown with Speed Shot. (Cooldown: 12 seconds)

The advanced “Speed Shot” of Gunslingers, except in Sharpshooter only. A 2.0 second base cast over the course of 5 shots fired, an additional Armor Sunder debuff, and a 12 second CD makes this skill very lethal, and very critical to our rotation. Again, nothing has been changed in terms of priority, but this skill is an obviously replacement for Speed Shot.

3.) Trickshot (LEVEL 41) – Fires a wild follow-up shot at the target that deals X weapon damage. Only usable within the 5 seconds immediately following a Charged Burst, Aimed Shot, Quickdraw, or a complete Penetrating Rounds. (Cooldown: 9 seconds)

A powerful filler skill. This is your 2nd highest damaging ability in your optimal rotation.

4.) Burst Volley (LEVEL 57) – Immediately finishes the cooldown of Penetrating Rounds, increases base energy management rate by 2 per second, and increases Alacrity by 10%. Lasts 15 seconds. (Cooldown: 45 seconds)

The top tier talent ability of Sharpshooter. You will use this all the time in terms of offense and resource management.

Key Talents:

**NEW**Accurized Blasters (LEVEL 12 PASSIVE): Increases the critical chance of Sweeping Gunfire by 15% and increases its critical damage by 30%.

With this talent, Sweeping Gunfire becomes your most lethal AoE ability in a Sharpshooter Discipline.

**NEW**Percussive Diversion (LEVEL 24 PASSIVE): Targets affected by Diversion continue to be affected for 3 seconds after leaving area of effect.

A nice bonus to Diversion with Sharpshooter discipline.

**NEW**Honed Shots (LEVEL 59 PASSIVE): Charged Burst grants Honed Shots, increasing the critical hit chance and damage done by Charged Burst by 5% for 20 seconds. Stacks up 3 times.

An excellent talent for Sharpshooter. With this, this is more than enough reason to cast more Charged Bursts in your rotation. Charged Burst also becomes your 2nd highest hitting ability in an average parse. This is the reason why Sharpshooter is like playing Annihilation.

What’s Changed/Removed/No Longer Accessible?

Spoiler
Key Abilities:

1.) Diversion:

Diversion is no longer a Sharpshooter Exclusive Utility skill, and this is a good thing. In add heavy fights, you would almost want to use this to benefit your raid group. I will stress that Diversion is like providing a defensive cooldown most for your tanks, but also for your raid group. With its improved effects that can hit up to multiple targets instead of one and its 45% Accuracy Reduction, Diversion is a very powerful utility skill to use.

2.) Sabotage Charge:

Sabotage Charge used to be our core filler skill where we ideally place this in our Burst Volley windows. With 3.0, this ability is now exclusive to the Saboteur Discipline. Although we lost one of our potentially damaging burst abilities, the void is filled by Charged Burst.

3.) XS Freighter Flyby:

Previously our XS Freighter Flyby was able to be casted in a GCD as well as our second viable filler in our rotations. Now with 3.0, this is (finally) redesigned per BioWare’s Stage 2 plan. With the base cast of 2.0 seconds, a 20 energy cost, a 60 second cooldown, and a slight damage buff, they have done an excellent job in discouraging its single target rotational use. With that said, Sharpshooter is stripped of beneficial XS Freighter Flyby talents (now in the Saboteur Discipline), so we can no longer rely on this skill in our single-target rotations. This void is, yet again, filled by Charged Burst.

4.) Vital Shot

Vital Shot has a global effect where it provides the Marked debuff that makes targets susceptible to ranged attacks by 5%. That being said, you really want to provide this debuff as early as possible, not to mention the decent uptime of damage it provides.

5.) Flourish Shot

Flourish Shot is redesigned where it no longer gives its global armor penetration bonus. Instead, it’s changed to simply reduce the amount of healing by 20%. Honestly, this has much better use in PvP than PvE (which is very rare). With Penetrating Rounds taking care of the Armor Debuff, Flourish Shot officially becomes a useless skill.

Key Talents:

1.) Recoil Control: Firing Charged Burst twice in a row, firing Quickdraw or Aimed Shot once, or completing a Penetrating Rounds now finishes the cooldown on Trickshot.

Recoil Control is changed where it no longer provides the 30% Alacrity increase to Speed Shot. Not really much a worthy noting, but it is a major impact to leveling your Gunslinger to a degree.

2.) Charged Aim: Charged Burst gets your blasters charged up, reducing the activation time of your next Aimed Shot by 0.25 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.

Previously, Charged Aim reduced the activation time of your next Aimed shot by 0.50 seconds per stack. With 3.0, this reduced the amount of seconds by 50%. However, this isn’t really a nerf considering that Aimed Shot is now a 2 second cast for Sharpshooter, so the change is generally negligible.

The Rotation:

Spoiler
Dummy Rotation:

MAX DPS Opener:

Smuggler’s Luck / XS Freighter Flyby -> Aimed Shot -> Vital Shot / Attack Adrenal -> Trickshot / Illegal Mods -> Penetrating Rounds -> Burst Volley / Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot

Now here you have a couple of routes to pick. Remember that without XS Freighter Flyby and Sabotage Charge being reliable fillers, the rotation is more heavily centered around filling those gaps with more Charged Bursts. With that said…

a.) Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Charged Burst -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot -> Vital Shot -> Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot -> Vital Shot -> Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Charged Burst -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot/Burst Volley -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot

b.) Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Charged Burst x2 -> Aimed Shot -> Trick Shot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot -> Vital Shot -> Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot -> Vital Shot -> Charged Burst x2 -> Trickshot -> Charged Burst -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot/Burst Volley -> Penetrating Rounds -> Trickshot

Generally, those two voids are filled with two Charged Bursts. The reason is our rotation centers around Honed Shots, which stacks up 3 times in terms of damage and critical chance. You want to increase your frequency of Charged Bursts as often as you can, but not too much or else you will overshot your energy resource and your timing of CDs.

The key thing about Vital Shot placement is you have to do a countless number of parses to know when to place Vital Shot or not in terms of energy management. In fact, though dummy parsing, you have to auto-attack (or Quick Shot if specced to Hot Pursuit) once in order to continue with your flow of rotations. Unless you have Illegal Mods or Cool Head ready to use, do NOT use Vital Shot in the third sequence. Doing so will result in risking your resource management below 60% as well as delaying your rotation a bit.

Raid Rotation Priority:

Unfortunately, dummy rotations do not equal raid rotations since every boss fight doesn’t act like a perfectly static simulation. I’ll leave you with this piece of advice:

MECHANICS > DPS.

If you perfectly apply the dummy rotation to boss fights, nearly 100% of the time, you’re going to fall rock bottom due to mechanics. The developers have stated that the current iteration of operations are going to be harder than the previous tier, so I want to stress this bolded fact.

For this, I have ordered the priority system for all Sharpshooter Gunslingers to look out for.

Single Target Rotation:

1.) Vital Shot (Reason: Marked Debuff)
2.) Penetrating Rounds // Burst Volley (Reason: PR is your highest hitting skill and it goes on CD for 12 seconds. If BV is up, you should ALWAYS use it for a 2nd wave of PRs.)
3.) Quickdraw (Be wary of your energy management when using this)
4.) Trickshot
5.) Aimed Shot (2 stacks of Charged Aim)
6.) Charged Burst

AoE Rotation:

1.) Sweeping Gunfire (Spam it. With Accurized Blasters and Efficienct Ammo, this will hit like a chipotle-powered truck).
2.) XS Freighter Flyby (If you can predict incoming uptime for add phases, use it. Otherwise, you should really use it strictly for pre-casting).

Analytical Rotation Breakdown:

Spoiler
It is generally the same breakdown as with my old guide. However, there are new talents and skills I want to stress on.

Quickdraw:

With 3.0, there’s is one change. First, you’ll notice that our set bonus here:

“(4 Piece) Reduces the energy cost of Takedown or Quickdraw by 4.”

…no longer exists. While our new 3.0 set bonuses are better, faster, stronger than before, our Execute rotation now loses its “grit” to a degree. In fact, it’s a bit tougher to manage than having that set bonus.
However, let me remind everyone that we had to deal with this back when XS Freighter Flyby did insane damage, and we had to take the 2-pc PvP set bonus (Additional 3 second duration of XSFF) for the sake of maximum XSFF damage output. Therefore, it was somewhat difficult to manage the execute rotation, but the gains were phenomenal at the end.

My point is, stick with replacing Quickdraw with Trickshot if you can. If you have high enough energy to justify that method, use it. Some alternate ways you can do are…

a.) Quickdraw > Trickshot -> Next skill

b.) Trickshot > Quickdraw > Trickshot -> Next Skill

c.) Trickshot > Quickdraw -> Next Skill.

Generally you want to avoid method ‘b’ unless you’re in too deep with your energy.

Honed Shots:

This talent is a worthy LVL 59 Talent. With 5% Critical Chance and damage per stack, you’ll be dealing a total of +15% Additional damage and 15% Crit chance with every Charged Burst up to 3 stacks. A great Sniper once commented that this is the reason why Marksmanship/Sharpshooter plays like a Marauder’s Annihilation/Sentinel’s Watchman, and this is legitimately true! With 20 seconds to maintain, you have plenty of time in between boss phases to land another Charged Burst in order to maintain the stacks needed. That’s why Charged Bursts fill the voids of the SS rotation where Sabotage Charge and XS Freighter Flyby previously filled.

Charged Burst:

You’ll find yourself using 2 more Charged Bursts than the previous pre 3.0 rotation ever before. Thus, with Honed Shots, Charged Burst will find itself as the 2nd highest hitting ability in many average parses.

Raiding Tips:

Spoiler
1.) You should ALWAYS make use of your utilities (Diversion and Scrambling Field) whenever necessary to your raiders’ discretion. Don’t leave them off just because you want to e-peen and gain big numbers. Use them immediately.

2.) Never meter pad during progression. EVER. I don’t care if you’re the best player in the world. Chances are, you’re going to be kicked off from your raid group, or even worse, your progression guild.

Rule Number 1: Mechanics > DPS.
Rule Number 2: Full Mechanics Mate. #Kappa (Don’t kill me Zejim <3)

3.) Keep your Honed Shots buff on at all times. Again, I’ll stress that this plays like Watchman to a degree. If you find yourself running out of time with Honed Shots, try to cast a Charged Burst.

4.) Vital Shot first to take advantage of the Marked debuff, then Penetrating Rounds to sunder the target (ideally should go to a boss who will last for many moons).

5.) If there is a mechanic that will potentially kill you, cancel your rotation immediately. Often times, it’s human nature to have a form of tunnel vision when performing your rotation, so start to break that habit, and be mechanically aware. This reinforces Tip #2.

6.) Always use your defensive cooldowns smartly. This means don’t go around spamming defensives like Defense Screen or Dodge carelessly. With so few in our arsenal, only use Defense Screen for moderate damage, Dodge for heavy damage (in cover), and roll in order to evade a mechanic or incoming unavoidable damage.
Words of Wisdom:

“A good DPS is an efficient DPS”- Thrax 2014