As one of the central character and figure of Girls Frontline, ST AR-15 is actually one of the easy to obtain and actively used late game playable units, this article offers analysis and commentaries on the T-Doll.
Obtaining and development
AR-15 is awarded to players when they complete story chapter, she cannot be obtained from production and there will be no other way of obtaining duplicates of her via any means. For the newer players, exchange core is a valuable currency, unable to obtain duplicate units means players can only expand AR-15's dummy link size by investing cores in multitudes of 9 (As of the update with the career quests, new players will save 18 units of exchange core).
By level 50 players will realise AR-15 is actually able to hold two accessory type equipment. The first and second slot are accessory slots, while the third slot is reserved for magazine types (HV ammunition). As oppose to most other AR dolls with the accessory/magazine/doll body equipment configuration. This attribute means that she will not be able to equip a HV ammunition (or her exclusive equipment), the piece of equipment that has the most impact on an AR doll's combat performance until level 80. But once she reached level 80, all of her equipment slots are offensive oriented, which means she has an extra edge over most if not all AR dolls in terms of equipment provided attributes at late game.
With the introduction of Singularity AR-15 became the first batch of dolls to receive digimind upgrades. Added bonus stats (see 'Stats' section), a flashy secondary skill (see 'Skill' section) and a second piece of exclusive equipment (see 'Equipment' section). Modified AR-15 is one of the strongest AR type dolls in terms of flat damage output in the game and definitely a worthy investment for all the exchange cores and memory fragments.
- Skill 1:
AR-15 being an early generation of playable dolls, her skill is relatively simple and self explanatory, she improves her combat damage by simply shooting faster for a set duration. The duration is literally 1 second shorter than the actual cooldown at max level, AR-15's skill 1 is almost a permanent rate of fire bonus with the amount of empowered uptime. Her skills can be compared to AR OTs-12OTs-12 and AR Type 97Type 97 , the other two dolls with flat rate of fire improvement skills. When compared to OTs-12, AR-15's skill is of a lower magnitude, but a longer duration. Compared to Type 97, it has a slightly lower magnitude but same duration, Type 97 however is able to activate her skill two seconds earlier with her low initial cooldown. After modification stage 1, AR-15's skill's magnitude is raised to the same level as Type 97's, initial cooldown duration remains the same though.
- Skill 2:
The skill 2 is a passive effect, when skil 1 is active, AR-15 deals an additional portion of her damage stat as a simultaneous attack, extending her damage to enemy by 10% at max level. This attack is a separate entity, similar to the manner of a AR K2K2 's burst shot, this property means that it does not increase AR-15's per shot damage, and it has a chance of hitting another target if the primary target dies. This shot deals 20% of AR-15's damage if the target is marked by modified AR M4A1M4A1 's Mark of Vengeance (M4A1 skill 2).
AR-15's stats leans more towards rate of fire, per hit damage is relatively low compared to the other AR type dolls. Even at 4* rarity level her stats are fairly exceptional in the fields of RoF and accuracy. A comparison graph is available, green indicates ST AR-15, red indicates AR average.
Modification means the doll receives added attributes, enhancing her strengths even further, while buffing her per shot damage value by a small margin. Below the graph for modified AR-15, green indicates ST AR-15, red indicates AR average, while orange indicates average stats from 5* rarity AR dolls only (not including other modified dolls).
(Pretty much) Permanent RoF capped uptime:
At max skill level, AR-15's skill can be considered a permanent buff, a total duration of 15 seconds while the cooldown is 16, she only has a power downtime of 1 second, unless she has to move tiles the skill is reactivated almost right away. At modification stage 3 and the installation of her light weight rails, she is able to maintain 117 RoF on her own. This alone makes AR-15 one of the most formidable AR dolls in the game, as she is just able to sit at the back and shoot at the game's RoF cap at all times. 4 second initial cooldown is considered short, which means AR-15 performs just as good in short duration combats as she does in extended combat sessions.
Anti armour performance:
Unfortunately with her low damage stats and all of her skills oriented towards rate of fire, by mid game stage (around chapter 3/4 night) players will begin to realise that she can't brute force her way against the SF armored units, or at least not as good as other firepower oriented AR dolls such as AR 9A-919A-91 and AR G41G41 . Since AR-15's modification stage 2 skill is calculated separately and not added to the main attack, it doesn't really help her anti armour performance.
Since the story event Deep Dive, the event bosses are starting to appear with armor values, bosses such as Gaia from Deep Dive, Agent from Singularity and Obelisk/Polarday from Continuum Turbulence. The values might be low enough for the main attack to overpower through, but it can still completely negate her skill 2's damage, dampening AR-15's performance against those bosses.
For fighting against bosses without armour value and trash mob packs, AR-15 performs nicely.
Mark of Vengeance synergy:
AR Team's captain M4A1 also received modification rights at the same time, M4A1's skill 2 serves as a mark, the targets she attacked will be marked for extra damage. AR-15 can abuse upon this mechanic, as her secondary hit will deal 20% of her attack damage instead of the default 10%. Having the two dolls together in the same echelon can improve AR-15's performance in combat.
AR-15 provides mixed tile buff to 3 tiles in front of her, bonus effect increases rate of fire and evasion attributes for SMG dolls.
- Flexible placement
AR-15's tile shape is quite user friendly, as it covers 3 frontal positions, no matter where she is placed on the back, AR-15 is able to provide bonus to at least 2 SMG units up front.
- High magnitude
Being able to provide upto 15% evasion bonus to more than 1 SMG doll is a nice selling point for AR-15, as it improves SMG doll's survival chance in combat.
Being able to empower herself to the RoF cap, it is better to provide AR-15 with damage bonuses, since her modified skil 2 is calculated separately, and modification stage 3 exclusive equipment provides critical damage, crit rate is also good for AR-15. Following is a list of suggested dolls with compatibilities:
- Examples of SMG dolls: SMG UMP45UMP45 (Damage and crit rate), SMG Honey BadgerHoney Badger (Damage and crit rate), SMG AK-74UAK-74U (Primarily damage), SMG P90P90 (Primarily damage) and SMG C-MSC-MS (Primarily damage and small RoF).
- Examples of HG dolls: HG ContenderContender (Damage and crit rate, Inquisitor's Bullet skill debuff), HG PythonPython (Damage and crit rate).
- Other dolls: AR M4A1M4A1 (Damage and crit rate), modified AR M4A1M4A1 (Damage and crit rate, as well as Mark of Vengeance synergy), AR AUGAUG (Relatively small damage)
As one of the few dolls with added crit damage multiplier from exclusive equipment, a few selected fairies can be selected for AR-15's echelon to amplify this effect further:
- Fury Fairy - large crit damage multiplier bonus, critical chance active skill, but no damage bonus
- Command Fairy - large crit damage multiplier and damage bonus
- Parachute - large crit damage multiplier and damage bonus
- Yae Sakura - crit damage multiplier and damage bonus
Though the latter two of the list can be difficult to obtain and difficult to enhance.
Both slot 1 and 2 are Accessory slots, so they are interchangeable, the way this list suggests slot 1/2 is purely for the sake of simplicity, any and all Accessory equipment can go into either slots.
- Slot 1 (Accessory)
|Improvement to critical hit rate is crucial, it is recommended to keep a telescopic sight in one of AR-15's accessory slots at all times.|
- Slot 2 (Accessory)
|A holographics sight provides more to AR-15's damage output capability when compared to a suppressor and a red dot sight, it is a good equipment to have in her second accessory slot. The RoF penalty induced by this equipment is relatively neligible on AR-15 due to her permanent skill uptime.|
|Exclusive item for AR-15 obtained after her stage 3 modification, at max upgrade and calibration it can provide 20% crit damage and 10 accuracy attribute, giving her additional damage on critical hit and helps counteracting the accuracy penalty from .300 BLK equipment. At around upgrade level 5 to 7 this equipment becomes better than a holographics sight, but overall players can install this equipment on AR-15 at their preferred discretion.|
|A night combat optic in the secondary slot is recommended for night sorties, to keep slot 1 reserved for a telescopic sight, even AR-15's exclusive item should be replaced.|
- Slot 3 (Magazine)
|AR-15's first exclusive item obtainable from chapter 3-4 night. At max calibration it provides 25 damage attribute, 5 more than a normal craftable 5* rarity HV ammo. Though this equipment will come with a -5 accuracy penalty, which shouldn't effect AR-15 too much because of her high accuracy stats. This equipment is a great boon to the doll, high obtaining priority is advised for players who wishes to use ST AR-15.|
|For players who haven't obtained the equipment above, use the standard HV ammo equipment for AR-15. High upgrade priority.|