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The Z-310 Directed Energy Laser Emitter/Modified, also known as the Sentinel Sniper Beam, is a Forerunner Directed Energy Weapon utilised by Sentinel Snipers.

Overview & Background

The Sentinel Sniper Beam is a Forerunner weapon created during the Battle of Installation 04, designed by the installation's Monitor 343 Guilty Spark. It is a modified Sentinel Beam designed to fulfil a more combat-oriented role, after it was determined that the standard Sentinel Aggressors would be insufficient at supressing a major Flood outbreak, in addition to the interloping UNSC and Covenant forces. Integrated into the endostructure of the newly-created Sentinel Snipers, the Sentinel Sniper Beam draws power directly from the drone when firing, but also contains an auxiliary battery which allows for continued use of the weapon in the event of its owner's destruction.

Like the standard Sentinel Beam, the Sentinel Sniper Beam utilises a "Recharging Magazine"; energy is directly transferred from the power supply into a secondary energy receptacle or "magazine" before being expelled through the firing chamber. This energy transfer is a continuous process which requires no manual input, allowing the Sentinel Sniper Beam to recharge its "magazine" even while idle or being fired. However, the rate of energy transfer is relatively slow, thus it takes a considerably long time for the magazine to reach full charge if it is completely drained.

Like its unmodified counterpart, the Sentinel Sniper Beam projects a beam of superheated energy which can travel a theoretically unlimited distance and cause biological tissues to spontaneously combust, thus setting the target aflame. However, the rate of the Sentinel Sniper Beam's energy expenditure has been dramatically increased compared to the standard Sentinel Beam, as demonstrated by the blue colouration of the fired beam. This modification has had notable effects on the weapon's performance, in that the increased energy output has coincided with a greater damage output, bypassing the standard Sentinel Beam's ineffectiveness against energy shielding (though it remains largely useless against vehicular armour) and eliminating targets most targets with near-instantaneous efficiency. However, this increased expenditure has a knock-on effect of draining the weapon's "magazine" at a much faster rate, meaning that more time will likely be spent waiting for it to recharge.

Of the more visually apparent modifications, the Sentinel Sniper Beam features an extended, ported barrel and a variable (2x/8x) scope in the form of a blue hologram, which is projected on top of the weapon from a rail-mounted emitter. The barrel ports and the scope appear to control how the energy fired from the weapon is focussed, allowing for the support of two "firing modes": When the scope is disengaged (weapon is fired from the hip), the barrel ports are opened and energy is discharged through them in addition to the muzzle, rapidly projecting multiple beams in a cone-shaped pattern; when the scope is engaged (weapon is fired while scoped in), the barrel ports are sealed and energy is discharged only through the muzzle, projecting a single, powerful beam at a single point. These variable "Shotgun/Sniper" modes allow the Sentinel Sniper Beam to retain its versatility and lethality at all ranges.

Gameplay Information

Advantages

  • The Sentinel Sniper Beam has the highest damage output of any long-range Sniping weapon, capable of bringing down extremely resilient targets such as an Elite Zealot in as little as a full magazine.
  • The incendiary nature of the fired energy beam makes the Sentinel Sniper Beam highly effective against unshielded targets, especially Flood forms.
    • The Sentinel Sniper Beam will ignite targets if the beam strikes an area unprotected by Energy Shields or Armour. These flames deal additional damage and can finish off enemies without wasting the Sentinel Beam's battery power.
      • Ignited enemies will still drop grenades on death, which can take out additional enemies if they're cooked off by the burning corpse.
  • The Sentinel Sniper Beam has near-perfect accuracy when in Sniper mode which persists with its practically unlimited range.
  • The Sentinel Sniper Beam utilises a "Regenerating Magazine"; Instead of reloading or overheating, the weapon will passively refill its cache of usable ammo when not firing. Unlike Covenant energy weapons, the Sentinel Sniper Beam does not overheat after discharging the entirety its magazine.
  • The Sentinel Sniper Beam will always have a full battery upon being acquired from a destroyed Sentinel Sniper.

Disadvantages

  • While it is immensely more powerful than the standard Sentinel Beam, the Sentinel Sniper Beam deals reduced damage against energy shields.
  • Unlike Covenant energy weapons, the Sentinel Sniper Beam's battery cannot be recharged from a charging station, the meaning the weapon must be discarded or replaced once the battery has been depleted.
  • The Sentinel Sniper Beam can only be obtained from fallen Sentinel Snipers, making the weapon considerably difficult to acquire.
  • Due to the higher energy output, the Sentinel Sniper Beam consumes its battery faster than the Sentinel Beam. As such, the weapon should only be fired either in quick bursts or continuously on high priority targets.
  • The weapon has very low accuracy when fired in Scatter mode, meaning this mode should be reserved for enemies at close range.

Developer Information

TBA

Trivia

  • When picked up, the Sentinel Sniper Beam is referred to as an "UNRECOGNISED EXTENDED RANGE INCINERATION BEAM" by the HUD, presumably because the UNSC has not previously encountered and/or classified the weapon.
  • While the Sentinel Sniper Beam's magazine can only fire 18 battery units, the weapon will drain more units when a single burst is fired. This is because the weapon's magazine is being constantly recharged even as it's being fired.
  • Interestingly, the way the Sentinel Sniper Beam is attached to Sentinels implies that the Master Chief is actually holding it upside-down.

Gallery

TBA

vde Forerunner weapons in SPV3
Sentinel BeamSentinel Sniper BeamPulse Laser Suppressor (Unusable)Incineration Cannon (Unusable)