The point that might be missed is the fact that those backstabs that are jumped still setup the alertness flag. In the new system, that would basically leave the sniper running for two ticks without him having done any reasonable amount of damage.
Running in pk is also problematic. If a fighter had half the sense, he'd know when to run. Against a fighter with 400ish hps, it is possible to kill him off with one good para, but chances are that it won't para, and that he'll have roughly 100 pts even after waking up from a para. At 100 hps, the options are quite clear--run.
In essence, the only time the opponent will chase the sniper is when the odds are still good for him. Whereas the sniper has to run pretty much at all times, if we were to utilize run/flee. And if the going is good for the sniper, say the opponent is at 200 pts, and you are nearly full... the sniper can't really tank it out from that point on since a bash or two would still kill him off, but the fighter can simply bail at that time, since getting backstabbed at 200 doesnt quite cut his odds.
In order to be able to kill in pk, you need some ability to sustain damage while delivering them. In theory, the tumble, dodge, parry bonuses should grant the sniper with some reasonable amount, but it takes luck at every step for a sniper to actually depend on those less-concrete attributes. But of course the fact that there is room for luck makes snipers truly deadly when they are on a roll. It is perfectly possible for a sniper to actually tank any type of a fighter on such rolls, especially when the sniper gets happy-go-lucky on shots and keeps stunning the opponent.
Shots are also very problematic in pk. Not only are they rather unreliable in terms of just hit/miss, they also give the target priority if the targe t has autorush enabled. Moreover, the 1 round skill lag is rather moot when using hit/flee, as any fight skill in such sporadic combats will have technically 1 round skill lag--but also, with the opponent able to autorush, even that advantage is taken away.
In essence, shooting is effective when you are actually tanking your target to some degree, but the trade off for that extra damage (possibly) every round is rather steep. Even with 80 perc you miss enough to make it no better than a kick, and that's an investment of 60-55 stat points (when needing perc for dodge; guns don't have stats) that you could have made elsewhere. In terms of hps, that's roughly 200+ hps, with a high resistance to headbutt, or 17-18 damroll with a high resistance to bash.
So shooting alone won't nearly justify the cost of perc, so it must be attributed, in part, to backstabs. Backstabs can only do so much damage at fairly high perc with the heaviest daggers in the game (even then, it ranges from 40-83 while awake). Chance to para seems to be quite independe nt of the amount of perc you have; i've had alts paralyzed by 40 perc backstabs. In pk, regardless of how it was coded, the effect is that perc only helps damage--yes, jumping a backstab is 5% it seems, just like any other skill failure, regardless of the amount of perc.
Another thing that hampers running for snipers is the fact that most don't have means to cure poison without getting rid of all the other effects they might have. Unless you come across a sniper who carries about cure-poison poults, chances are they'll either have to dispel poison or rent it out, getting rid of flight, see invis, and some other things they might have prepared for the fight. The other alternative is to drop 5 pts of stats again to gain timed/permanent flight eq, or to simply sit and wait on a safe room. Again, another hit on the stats for a sniper, not to mention acs, rent, and whatnot.
Snipers are already underpowered, and the only reason i can see for this change is the fact that snipers 'can' do quite a lot of damage on a para. But it is much easier for the non-sniper to avoid this than it is for a sniper to cause it. Simply, a non-sniper can wait near/on certain agg mobs, so the sniper can't think to flee too efficiently, or move to a room with no visible exits. If anything, snipers should have their skiills upgraded in order to make them more competitive. Currently, and they have been for quite some time, they are my pker's favorite targets, because backstab was easy to work around with, and once taking that away, a sniper is really harmless to fight against.
Let me begin by stating-yes, snipers have, and always will rely on luck to some degree. When their luck holds, they can seem nearly unstoppable. If their luck is poor, nearly any other type of character can wipe the floor with them. Such is life. In any case, snipers have a number of advantages over other characters. First of all, snipe. Yes, snipes are rare, and with good reason. A snipe instantly ignores any other stats or skills which the victim might enjoy. No other type of character has the potential to cause the death of another pkiller without taking any damage whatsoever. Even a mage who jumps their opponent perfectly, binding and blinding before the victim can begin to react, can expect to take a bit of damage unless their luck is simply extraordinary. A fighter who lands all of his bashes or headbutts will still take damage from the person they are fighting. In comparison, snipes are relatively instantaneous. A sniper ten levels below their victim can kill that victim instantly, simply by having the patience to aim successfully five times in a row and getting a little luck. As an example, I'll use Oompa's snipe of Nosferatu earlier today. Oompa was able to kill the Camel warrior through a snipe, even though he was clearly overmatched in a straight fight. Snipe really does level the playing field, in this respect. No, it doesn't work all the time, it doesn't even work reliably.
But when it does work, it's instantly fatal. Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me.
It seems I've already rambled quite a bit. I have a bit more to say, but I'll attempt to be a bit more concise. Backstab, if nothing else, can be demoralizing. Seeing 80 or so hp disappear in an instant can really make you wonder why you didn't just stay in your comfy safe room. In addition, when it paras, it tends to stun the victim longer than any other fight skill, in my experience.
I'll attempt to sum this up in some way.
Can snipers expect to go toe-to-toe with any other sort of character and win? Nope. If their luck goes against them, are they in trouble? Yes-just like any other type of characters. Even 100 mind mages backlash once in a while, or have their stuns tumbled. Even 100 str fighters or 100 con fighters miss, or have tumbled, bashes and headbutts. Between two opponent of roughly equal skill, luck plays a large part in determining the outcome of the fight. For example, my duel with Gangrene last night might have gone otherwise had she not tumbled my first two bashes, or had her first stun backlashed instead of worse-for-the-wearing me, or innumerable other factors.
However, the luck seemed to be with her last night, and she, being skilled and intelligent, capitalized on her luck and killed me. So it goes with snipers or any other type of character. I don't believe you can write off snipers as viable characters for pkill simply because snipe doesn't work 100% of the time, or because backstabs don't para all the time.
Sorry if this post rambles a bit...or a lot. -peer self-
Also, backstabs don't nearly do close to 80 pts all the time. Even at 94 perc and 31 damroll, and with the biggest dagger usable, i pull anywher e from 40-80, with a sizable chance of 0 as well. Not to mention that it is only once-per-tick. Many number of skills can pull off that kind of a number, and those are not even restriced once-per-tick. A bash will take off quite a sizable chunk, headbutt or stun has the potential too (conside ring that any sort of character can land a decimate on a stunned foe), and even kick does 30-40 pts at one shot.
And let's not forget the cost of such a backstab. Such backstabs only are possible if you invest 15 more str than necessary (to use the bigger dagger), and depending on the char, 40 to 55 more perc than you would othe rwise have. That's 55 pts that could've gone elsewhere. Need i elaborate o once again how these numbers will translate in terms of skills that aren't even tick-restricted? Not to mention the other benefits that come with such stats.
While it may seem outrageous that a snipe ignores everything the opposing char has, in essence, that IS pk. When you pk, you try to circumvent the opponent's strong stat and use your stat to your advantage. Should we comp lain that 100 con doesn't do whit to stop a bash? Or that 100 str doesnt do anything against a stun? And snipe definately isn't instantaneous. It takes 5 rounds of careful aiming, with the target able to break aim simply by going ooc, hiding, vanishing, moving, or at the worst, feels you aiming and simply coming after you while you are sitting. If you suspect there's reason for ppl to snipe you, you can simply be alert and hunt/scan/whois for possible snipers, or simply stay ooc until you can simply attack them first and take away their ability to snipe.
As far as 100 mind mages backlashing; well, if you are willing to take the risk stunning an 80+ mind character, you deserve to get backlashed. The fact is that there is quite a sizable chance of backlash even with 20 mind diff, and Gangrene being Gangrene, I don't think she had much more than that over you. Besides, Gangrene is as much a mage as she's a healer and a sniper, so her fault for trying to play mage :P
And chances of such are nowhere close of the chance where you rely for a para. I dare say it is much more likely to have something not tumbled than it is for any sniper to get a para. True that the para maybe more deadly, but again, to utilize the para you need quite a bit of knowledge of the mud, and you can only reliably do so on rooms not adjacent to agg-mobs or rooms with no exits.
I also agree about guns, I'm at 100 perc because at 90 I couldn't hit Gloria from 2 feet away. I still miss half the time at 100.
5 aims is a bit much too... why not 3 for greatest chance to snipe? It's like having to sneak or hide 5 times or more for it to work which is annoying and serves no real purpose.
Oh well.. just more reason I should stay at 40 and go for the cheap snipe, backstab and run if unsuccesful just as I did with nosferatu so annoyingly yesterday :P
Snipers are overpowered, no wait its mages....no I mean str fighters! What it looks like is we are all balancing out more and more and we are seeing the effects of luck making one type "seem" better than another. I agree with Papercut's main idea -- although we probably disagree on how to fix it.
Luck plays too much of an effect on pk (do what you want to mob fighting) IMHO. Dex/Perc fighters should hit better and parry better and such, hell yeah! But paralyzes of any type should be capped at 2, _maybe_ 3 rounds. Also, sticking stuns and staggering headbutts should be capped at 2 rounds, as should chokes and gun/bow stuns. This will take the luck out and put the player skill back in it (I hope).
-Crackle, the friendliest rice crispie of all.
Second, snipers don't have a ton of rent free. The Gae rents more than most weapons, only falling behind str weapons and weapons with devastating spells on them. Also, aside from that, the cheapest setup in the mud is the min/dex setup, which can give you enough room for a chalice even with 2 herne's.
Third, str fighters can have a buttload of rent free. My last str fighter had a claw and two herne's, and STILL had enough rent free for a chalice.
Fourth, it's better to be quiet and look a fool than speak up and remove all doubt... :P