We here at Sparkypants are excited for the release of Lynx, our first Sniper pilot!
Snipers add a spacing aspect to the game that no other class quite approaches, and it’s something we’ve been looking forward to introducing for a long time.
In service of this release I wanted to share some information on Flight, a new Sniper feature, and also provide some clarity on how our Stealth system works since that is much more in the forefront with the advent of the Sniper.
One of the unique features of the Sniper is that their Utility slot is dedicated to transforming the Sniper into different forms. Flight mode is one of two forms into which the Snipers can transform (the second will be unveiled with the next Sniper release). All flight modes have certain things in common (unless otherwise noted) and grant some unique advantages. The Sniper gains a sizable speed boost while flying, and it can freely traverse chasms and other unpathable areas, though they can’t stop while over chasms. Entering flight mode has a short cooldown designed to keep players from entering and immediately exiting flight while spamming the ability key. Exiting flight mode imposes a longer cooldown, as noted on the Gear card.
However, this mobility comes at a cost. The Sniper may not use auto-attacks or abilities while in flight mode. Both entering and exiting flight mode have an associated animation, with entry generally taking longer than exiting. Picking up a core while in flight mode also has a brief animation, but luckily it will not force the Sniper out of flight mode.
Our stealth system is composed of 3 components. Much like the rest of our design, we’ve strived very hard to avoid explicit hard counters for stealth. We want players to be able to both use and oppose stealth in fun ways without feeling like its presence restricts their choice.
Cloak is the most apparent component of the overall stealth system. When cloaked, units appear partially transparent and are generally (see the Detection section for more information) not visible to the enemy either in the gamespace or on the minimap. Discrete actions, such as auto-attacking, using an ability, picking up a Core, uplinking a Core, etc, will remove the unit's cloak, rendering them visible again. Specific actions may be exempt from breaking cloak, and they will be explicitly called out on the gear card. An example of this is Lynx's special move, Cat and Mouse, which can be used on an enemy without removing Lynx's cloak.
Fades are the process that units use to enter cloak. The most important thing to know about fades is that they are effectively a timer, which, when it reaches 0 causes the unit to enter cloak. Fades usually start upon Gear activation. Fades may also be reset, causing the current timer to reset to the base value. This effectively delays how long it takes the unit to enter cloak. The Gear card will contain information about the conditions that will cause a fade to reset, and also the number of times a fade may be reset (if it is finite).
The body piece Stealth Plating is a good example of this process. The fade timer starts immediately when you use the Gear. It has a 300ms duration, it resets by taking damage, and it may be reset 3 times. Once the reset limit is reached, the unit can no longer be prevented from entering cloak.
When a fade timer reaches 0, any other ongoing fades on the unit are immediately ended and the unit enters cloak.
Cloaked units aren't completely hidden from opponents. They may be detected, which does not cause the cloaked unit to leave stealth but does potentially make them visible to opponents in the gamespace and on the minimap.
There are a few conditions that will cause a unit to become detected:
Getting too close to an opposing player's unit. Everything with a health bar has a proximity-based detection radius, with Rigs having the largest. Certain special abilities, such as M.A.S.R Flare, may also grant some amount of detection radius in their area of effect. This information can be found in the Builder on the Pilot and Gear cards.
Walking on a Vision Tower's pressure plate will detect cloaked units, no matter who owns the tower.
Taking damage will cause the cloaked unit to be detected by the attacker's team for 500ms.
Since detection doesn't break cloak, it’s possible for a cloaked unit to become undetected and invisible to the enemy team again after being detected. Being detected also does not automatically grant your opponent sight of your unit. They must also have vision on the cloaked unit's position.
That covers all of the immediate “need-to-know” information about the new Sniper class. If you have questions or want additional details, visit us on the forums or our Discord server. Happy hunting, Commanders! Watch your back out there; you never know who’s watching you.