Beginner's guide to the Sharpshooter class
#1
I might not be the most experienced player around, but I always loved the crossbowman class and played it ever since Warband came out. Since we have no class-specific guides, and no one else seems to be interested in creating one, so I thought that I might be as well the one to make it. I believe that the Sharpshooter is so unpopular because players don't fully understand how the class works. This is why I focused on explaining its main strength and how to use it to be effective.
I am not a native English speaker, but I tried my best to make this guide as well written as I could. I'm sure there still are some mistakes I couldn't find, so feel free to correct me if you find any. I'm aware that I went “a little” overboard with its length, but I have a history of making a 40 page long guide for helicopter pilots in my native language, so I guess we could call this an improvement Wink.


Beginner's guide to the Sharpshooter class


Sharpshooter
  1. One who is highly proficient at shooting.
    • [li]The second military grade of proficiency in the use of rifles and other small arms.
    • One who holds this grade of proficiency.
    [/li]

The Sharpshooter, as the definition states, is a person highly skilled at shooting. The name of the class however does not fully reflect the actual skill distribution and available equipment that defines his role. Common misconception about the Sharpshooter's ranged combat has led to comparison to Sniper, which in turn created belief that the latter is universally superior as a damage dealer. The conclusion is true, but the Sharpshooter is not meant to be simply a ranged unit. His decent armor, good sword, resistant shield and appropriate skill distribution makes him a good melee fighter while the Sniper needs to rely on his Athletics in order to survive. Maneuverability does not make up for fragility in close combat, so if the Sharpshooter was as efficient over distance as the Sniper while being vastly superior in melee, then we wouldn't need Snipers at all.
To find the best use of the Sharpshooter's abilities we need to take a closer look at the stats and compare them to other classes:

Skill \ Class
Sharpshooter
Commando
Pikeman
Sniper
One handed
135
190
80
100
Two handed
80
185
80
80
Polearm
20
80
160
20
Archery
20
20
20
245
Crossbow
280
20
20
20
Throwing
20
20
190
20
Power draw
1
1
1
6
Power throw
1
1
6
2
Power strike
5
6
5
2
Ironflesh
5
6
5
4
Athletics
4
6
8
6
Shield
4
6
4
1

In terms of main melee weapon proficiency, the Sharpshooter looks weak compared to Commando and Pikeman, but is still noticeably better than the Sniper. However, with good Power strike, Ironflesh, and average shield skills, the Sharpshooter has a fair chance against lighter targets, even when outnumbered. The heavy board shield is not as resistant as Commando's top tier shields, but is good enough for brawling and will not break easily. Armor ratings are between Commando's and Pikeman's, so combined with the board shield and high Ironflesh, it makes him the second most resistant class in NordInvasion. The Sharpshooter does not have a great variety of weapons to choose from, but the T4 sword, Ornate Espada is surprisingly good for mere 3000 gold from the marketplace. The weapon is a bit better than a Steel sword, so even though the class has low onehanded proficiency, it is able to do enough damage to stand his ground on the battlefield. If we were to compare his brawling capabilities to other classes, then:
ClassFighting styleCapability
CommandoNeutral100%
PikemanOffensive75%
SharpshooterDefensive~70%
SniperAvoid melee40%

Judging by the stats, armor rating and weapon damage, the Sharpshooter is noticeably inferior to Commando, vastly superior to the Sniper and roughly equal to the Pikeman. The last one has a better damage output, throwing weapons and better athletics, but is much less resistant. That makes him an aggressive fighter that heavily relies on his movement speed. The Sharpshooter on the other hand, has almost twice as much armor and a shield, but half of Pikeman's damage (per hit) and athletics. This forces the player to employ defensive combat techniques, and wear off his opponent instead of killing him quickly. To compare the two:
ClassEnduranceKilling potentialManeuverability
SharpshooterHighMediumLow
PikemanLowHighHigh


The Sharpshooter's ranged combat can be described by the following traits:
  • The greatest damage per shot (100+) of all ranged classes.
  • Supreme accuracy
  • Sharpshooter's shots are equally accurate, regardless of aiming time
  • Movement affects accuracy to a lesser extent
  • Slow reloading
The Sharpshooter has the best accuracy of all ranged classes, as well as highest damage per shot. The limiting factor, however is an extremely slow reload, making him less efficient as a ranged damage dealer. The siege crossbow combined with unscratchable gold bolts deals massive 100 pierced damage per shot that also has bonus against armor. Scoring a headshot with this weapon is an instant death for many opponents even on hard mode, while others are severely weakened. Thanks to his unique abilities, the Sharpshooter can take better advantage of covered positions by readying the crossbow when covered and pop-up shooting. Supreme accuracy and it's insensibility to movement is very helpful in this case, as it allows to minimize the time of exposure as well as required target size (ie. only the head). On top of that, when a crossbow is being reloaded, the Sharpshooter leans forward, making his silhouette smaller, while being able to peek trough objects due to collision bug.
If the Sharpshooter focuses only on ranged combat and try to compete with the Sniper in terms of kills, he is able to keep up with at least 75% of the Sniper's score. This disproportion between kills per seconds (KPS) and theoretical damage per second (DPS) happens because crossbows inflict twice as much damage as bows and there are many occasions, where a mob dies from a single headshot, where the Sniper needs more hits. Accuracy and projectile trajectory is also an important factor, because bolts fly straight and it's easier to hit over larger distances, not wasting shots and lowering KPS. Therefore, if the Sharpshooter focuses on appropriate targets, he is able to relieve Snipers from killing lesser threats so they can focus on more dangerous enemies. Team's survival depends on shield wall's health, so it is safer to kill an enemy from range instead of just wounding him, letting the slashers to finish them off. Dead enemies are guaranteed to stay put, while wounded ones have a chance of scoring a hit or two before they go down.
To conclude the fighting effectiveness, the Sharpshooter is a hybrid class performing well in both melee and ranged combat. He is not as good as any other class in their respective roles, but being the second best ranged unit and shield wall member while being the third best brawler and slasher, gives him the ability of adapting easily. This ability, not his ranged capabilities, is his distinct strength that makes him unique and useful. He is able to compensate for his team's weaknesses which is invaluable when things are starting to go wrong.

When playing the Sharpshooter, the teamwork aspect is very apparent. The Sharpshooter needs his team in order to survive fights against stronger mobs, while the team needs him to make their mistakes less significant. The team's effectiveness is not simply a function of it's size, but also of it's composition. The Sharpshooter's role is to prevent the decline in team's effectiveness by substituting fallen teammates, depending on their importance.
In order to be useful to his team, the Sharpshooter needs to know which roles are most important in every situation. For example, when a Sniper or a Slasher dies, the game continues, but enemies are killed slower, so there is a bigger load on the shield wall. On the other hand, if a player that is a part of a shield wall dies, the enemy gets past the defense and the game ends quickly. Of course, the shield wall will fall eventually, if the load becomes too big to manage, so it is also very important to have enough damage dealers in order to survive. It is crucial to read the situation properly, so the Sharpshooter can use his abilities to help the team with maximum effectiveness.

ThreatDescriptionCourse of action
Very highShield wall member diedGrab a shield, patch the shield wall
HighBig load on the shield wallBecome a Slasher, or a medic. Be ready to substitute or relieve a shielder.
HighBarricade destroyedCheck if enemies got past the shield wall. If the breakthrough is big, patch it. If it's not, first kill the units that got past.
MediumIncoming waveFocus on sniping off targets you can take down with a single headshot, or 2 hits. Let the Snipers handle the rest. Reassess the situation of the team.
LowWave defeatedRearm and heal yourself. Reassess the situation. Check whether your team has enough shielders and slashers and substitute them as appropriate. Pick up weapons, repair the shield as needed. Kill roaming mobs. Don't forget to keep the last one!
VaryingDamage dealer diedCheck how the DD died and make sure nobody else is going to die because of it. Check the load on the shield wall.

If we wanted to estimate the Sharpshooter's effectiveness as a substitute for each role in an organized team, we would compare the stats and possible damage output. From my limited experience, the effectiveness rates are as follows (with 100% being the best class in respective role):
RoleEffectiveness
Best class
Ranged damage dealer
75%+
Sniper
Shield wall member
75%
Commando
Brawler
70%
Commando
Slasher
60%
Commando/Pikeman
That would give us total of 280% effectiveness, which would lead to conclusion that one Sharpshooter is worth 3 soldiers. This is not correct, as he can perform only one of the above tasks at once. That on the other hand misleadingly hints that he's worth minimum 60% of a soldier, which is not correct either, as his versatility is not taken into account. The Sharpshooter is a valid class, as useful as any other. It is best suited for calculative players, skilled both in ranged and melee combat in order to be efficient. This is different from other classes which are specialized in either melee or ranged combat and require the player to master only one set of skills. This may be the cause of unpopularity of the class, but the player who chooses to be a Sharpshooter will not miss out on any aspect of the gameplay.

The Sharpshooter requires 4 items in order to use his full potential:
  • Sword
  • Shield
  • Crossbow
  • Bolts
Fortunately, his crossbow can be mounted in either weapon slot, or support slot, so players can equip all of the required items. On top of the regular class, NordInvasion allows players to pick a support class which can either be a Medic, or an Engineer. This gives the player an ability to heal his teammates, or construct barricades that block AI's pathfinding and distract them from attacking teammates. The support class requires one additional item, which can't be equipped by the Sharpshooter without losing some if his strength. As mentioned before, the Sharpshooter is an asset to the team by being able to substitute other members. With support classes, the player can choose to trade some of the Sharpshooter's versatility for a new ability that can help the team in a different way. This ability however, can be used by other classes without decreasing their potential, so it is best to be left for another player to perform. There is no other class as adjustable as the Sharpshooter, so by lowering his versatility, his overall value declines. If the player insists on picking a support item, the best way to do it is by becoming an engineer and picking a barricade instead of the heavy shield. Barricades can be placed right in the beginning of the round and the Sharpshooter can pick a shield from a dead enemy to regain some of his strength. Becoming a medic is a worse choice, because the player needs to preserve the item and loses one equipment slot indefinitely.

On lower levels, the Sharpshooter is also a useful class. Due to low athletics and slow reload speed he is not able to solo, but is easy to level up because of high damage and accuracy of his crossbows. Even a Light crossbow is able to kill a peasant with a single hit to the torso, so he has an advantage over low level Archers. This changes once they get stronger bows and are also able to kill mobs with a single hit. The Crossbowman will not be an efficient melee killer until he gets the T4 sword, Ornate Espada. Good armor and resistant shield, however, will provide a decent survivability. Once becoming the Sharpshooter, most of the normal mobs will die from a single slash to the torso and he will be almost as good melee fighter as Commando. By that point however, the player will be able to play on hard mode servers, where the only way to single shot enemies is to slash their head if they don't wear a helmet.

After becoming the Sharpshooter, there still is some room for improvement with 13 class points left by the level 52. There are two viable paths the player can take to supplement his abilities. Those are:
  • Becoming a Heavy infantry
  • Becoming a Skirmisher
Let's check the stats to decide which one is better:
Skill \ Class
Heavy infantry
Skirmisher
One handed
+50
0
Two handed
+40
0
Polearm
+25
+60
Archery
0
0
Crossbow
0
0
Throwing
0
+75
Power draw
0
0
Power throw
0
+2
Power strike
+2
+1
Ironflesh
+1
0
Athletics
+2
+3
Shield
+2
+1
Judging by the stat increase, the Heavy Infantry path focuses on polishing the skills that the Sharpshooter already has. It boosts relevant melee skills allowing more damage output, while making the class tougher with more Ironflesh and Shield skills.
The Skirmisher path focuses on increasing the versatility of the Sharpshooter by adding a possibility to use throwing weapons and polearms. Skill boosts are less significant, apart from precious 3 points of athletics.
Versatility is very important for the Sharpshooter, but the Skirmisher path adds more weapons to carry and they can't be used effectively because the class is already a pack mule with his 4 (5) available items. It gives him possibility of becoming a polearm slasher, but doesn't increase overall performance as this role. Damage output does not increase because the Skirmisher path levels polearms with two handed proficiency.
The Heavy Infantry path boosts two handed to 120 and one handed to 185 which is very useful. With main melee proficiency this high, the Sharpshooter no longer needs to be defensive with his fighting style as it's equal to level 39 Commando's and level 52 Pikeman+Heavy Infantry. Sharpshooter's slashing capabilities are now greatly improved, but two handed weapon proficiency is still not high enough to make him the second best slasher class. The Heavy Infantry path is also superior in terms of skills as it boosts Ironflesh, Power Strike and Shield one point more, while the Skirmisher is only better in terms of Athletics. If we account for all of the above observations, the Heavy Infantry path is a better choice in every aspect.
Reply
#2
Tips&Tricks:

Ranged combat:
  • The sharpshooter is essentially a Nord Ranger anti-class. He seems vulnerable with his slow and stationary reload, but when using cover, the class is deadly. The key to success lies in readying the crossbow when covered, quick peeking and sending the bolt flying before the ranger has a chance of even touching his bowstring. Combine this technique with the Sharpshooter's incredible accuracy and  the fact that Nord Rangers usually stay still, and you get an endless stream of headshot announcements in the game log. Snipers usually follow the same tactic, but their accuracy has a “sweet spot” when they need to shoot for maximum effectiveness. Because of this, they usually move and pull their bowstring at the same time. Recovering their accuracy after movement takes more time and leaves them with a smaller window for aiming before the enemy fires his projectile. Sharpshooters have their crossbows ready from the beginning and accuracy is less prone to movement so it is safer to do pop-up shooting as this class.
  • Never try to engage Nord Rangers from distance without cover. It's the fastest way to die for a crossbowman.
  • Low levels are good for practicing distance adjustments, as enemies usually die from a single torso hit. Use this opportunity to learn how the crossbow works and how to use it's full potential.
  • On low levels your crosshair isn't small enough to hit targets over large distances. Bolts however, tend to stay in the middle of it, so it is best to aim with its center, rather than count on lucky shots.
  • Once you become the Sharpshooter, it becomes apparent that the crosshair is not aligned properly in Warband. Bolts are a little off to the right so you need to make adjustments in order to be accurate. Mountain pass is a good map to practice this as it has snow which makes observing the flying bolt easy.
  • I highly recommend the first person view for shooting. Third person obstructs some of your view with your character and makes aiming more difficult.
  • You are the most vulnerable when reloading your crossbow. Use that time to make a quick 360 turnaround and look for threats. Moving is better than panning ("~" key) because it makes it harder for ranged units to hit your head.
  • You don't need to stay still the whole time you reload your crossbow. Once the character has a bolt in his hand, you're free to move and it will not interrupt the process. This takes some practice, but is very useful.
  • When mobs move as a pack you can take two approaches depending on the situation. You can either shoot at the pack, or shoot at the first mob to reach his target. The first option has a better hit chance, and the second one gives the targeted teammate more space to operate. When you are the target of a pack, always shoot at the closest enemy. This gives you more time before they reach you and possibly allow you to kill more enemies before going melee.
  • When you are shooting at the enemy who's targeting you, it is usually better to leave the last bolt in the crossbow before he reaches you. The extra punch the crossbow gives is invaluable if you need to finish off an enemy quickly.
  • Don't be afraid to use the crossbow when moving. On higher levels you are able to score a hit up to 10-20 meters.
  • When an enemy touches you, aiming and reloading is interrupted.
  • It is not considered honorable to steal a kill from a melee fighter when he clearly can handle the fight. It's very tempting to finish off wounded nords, but consider the fact that the assist exp goes to everyone in proximity of the killer, not the killed enemy. If you finish off the enemy from distance, the melee fighter gets no experience, even though he could get killed in the fight, probably is wounded and his shield took some damage.
  • For a detailed guide refer to this link: http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?t...123.0.html

Melee combat:
  • Do not underestimate your melee skills. It is usually better to go melee than try to kite with your crossbow which is simply not fit for this kind of combat.
  • Do not overestimate your melee skills. You are not a Commando. Diving into a pack of mobs usually ends in your ass being handed to you.
  • First person view is most effective when playing aggressive. Nothing obstructs your view of the enemy, it is easier to feel the length of the weapon and to time your blows. It is also effective when manual blocking because it's easier to read enemy's movement.
  • Third person view is best suited for defensive combat when outnumbered. Peripheral vision allows you to react better to incoming threats, shield does not obstruct your view when used, and it's easier to keep track of your enemies.
  • Do not get stuck at one view, change them as the situation changes. It is usually better to go first person when you're fighting 1 vs 1 or 1 vs 2. It really does help to feel the fight and helps to exploit the enemy's mistakes. The third person view is better when you're defending yourself against many mobs as it helps you to stop them from encircling you.
  • When heavily outnumbered, make the enemies get in each other's way by keeping them aligned in a single line. This also makes you face one opponent at a time which makes their number advantage useless.
  • Axes have bonus against shields. Pierced damage has bonus against armor. Blunt damage has bonus against armor and a chance of knockdown. Unbalanced weapons have a high chance to crush trough your block when struck from overhead, even if you have a shield. Adjust your tactics to opponent's equipment. Learn to dodge the blows, not only to block them.
  • Use different attacks depending on the situation. Is your opponent not wearing a helmet? Chop him, or even better: slash his head for more damage. Does he wear a thick armor? Stab him with your sword, pierced damage has bonus against it!
  • Different attacks have different speeds and require a different distance. Do not try to thrust up close, or when moving backwards. Do not use a two handed axe when your opponent is right next to you. When the enemy is to your side, use the slash that is closer to him.
  • Right side slash has a better reach than the other. Thrusts have the greatest reach of all attacks.
  • Don't forget about the speed damage multipliers. Hitting when moving forward deals more damage than when moving backwards. You will definitely not do any damage with a thrust when backpedalling.
  • You can stop your blows in mid air when you press the “block” key. This technique is called a feint. It is very effective against mobs that use shields as they immediately try to land their blow after you stop yours. When they await your blow with their shield up, you feint, and once the enemy lowers his shield to start his attack, you attack again and land a free hit.
  • Learn your weapon's length and use it to your advantage. More reach means more safety.
  • When you are a part of a shield wall as a Sharpshooter, prepare to pick a shield from fallen enemies laying around you. Find an appropriate item on the ground and wait to press “F” in case your shield breaks.
  • For detailed guides on melee combat refer to these links:
    http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?t...7133.0.htm
    http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?t...526.0.html

This concludes the Sharpshooter guide. I hope you find this knowledge useful and hopefully we will see more awesome crossbow users in game. Feel free to add comments, tips, tricks, or simply declare this whole guide bullshit Smile.
Reply
#3
Wow, definitely linking this in the xbow progression.

Might get shifted to the beginner guide section, but regardless this needs a sticky Smile.
Nothing is impossible, it's just a matter of determination and probability.

2nd Knight forever!

No longer active.
Reply
#4
Very nice  Big Grin
[align=center][Image: birdtalon.png]
Reply
#5
Many thanks for this guide
Mojo - LvL 26 Sergant / medic Armorsmith
Dussan - LvL 20 xbow / tinker Weaponsmith
Leduss - LvL 8 skirmisher
Reply
#6
So i cant progress above lvl52 
Is that permament cap or there going to be some changes?
AMOR PATRIAE NOSTRA LEX
Reply
#7
For now, 52 seems to be quite a permanent cap. It might get changed with the next big update (0.5.0), which is upcoming, but it might as well not.
I was never here, you saw nothing...

Motivational tip: When you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say confidently, "That's a nice head you have on your shoulders."
Reply
#8
A few corrections.
1. Pikemen have 300 throwing proficiency.
2. The Ornate Espada is craftable, and worth about 45000

Great job btw!
Mighty_Vdude - Level 52 - Halberdier
Mighty_Vdu - Level 44 - Commando/Crossbowman
Mighty_Vdud - Level 39 - Sniper
Reply
#9
how much xp u need to go sharpshooter?
Reply
#10
Quote:_Neeewty link=topic=3336.msg113245#msg113245 date=1370105358]
how much xp u need to go sharpshooter?
In case some people still wonder, the XP is separated between melee and ranged in the opposite of Spikeman.
In other words, it's 66.66% in ranged XP and 33.33% in melee. (Meaning that it takes 2x more Ranged XP than Melee XP to level)

For example, Man At Arms which is T4 prior to the Sharpshoot require 50K melee XP and 100K ranged XP to level.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)