“Slight change your weapon will repair itself when hitting an enemy”
I decided to determine how effective this perk is when compared with using gunsmith to impact the condition loss/weapon breaking. I had a particular weapon in mind for my build, and it was this I concentrated on but also ran testing with other weapons to determine its effectiveness. Here are the results of my analysis.
Points to cover: I conducted testing with rank 1 and rank 3 (still think rank 2 is bugged as it never seems to proc). The number of times the card procs does not appear to change at all between the ranks, which is consistent with the perk effect naming as you rank it up. The amount repaired by the card increases with rank, not the number of times it will proc.
The following testing was conducted with rank 3 of the card equipped, guns were all repaired to 150% using improved repair kits (thanks SBQ) then the ammo count noted at the point of repair, and then again once the weapon was broken. Testing then repeated without the card slotted to determine the difference. Gunsmith was not equipped. Character luck stat 11, no unyielding armor in effect, to remain consistent PA was worn the whole time.
Point of note, as the card says “when hitting an enemy” – this card is not going to work simply from firing the gun, so if your aim is terrible and/or the gun used is very inaccurate then its going to impact the effectiveness of the card. I’m not going to claim I’m awesome with aiming but I know what I’m doing and did my utmost to remain consistently on target for the testing.
Primary weapon used to test is my absolute favorite, an Anti-Armor explosive Cryolator – it was my first ‘awesome’ drop (been playing since release) and its become my signature weapon, have a themed Cryo warrior build I use. Obviously this is a legacy drop but it’s a good choice for testing as the rate of fire and explosive legendary effect means this thing breaks very quickly (hence my research on how to best mitigate this). I completed several events and make many kills, I mixed hip firing in third person, aiming down sights in first person and using VATS. I’d say that the vast majority of my hits were on target with the testing. Rounds of Cryo cells fired before gun broke (from 150% condition)
Without Lucky Break Equipped: 604
With Lucky Break Equipped: 1315
So that seems clear, with more than double the number of rounds fired before the weapon broke that this card is very effective with this gun. By comparison Gunsmith rank 5 will give you a 50% reduction in weapon condition loss, so I can expect approx. 900 rounds from Gunsmith Rank 5 (5 perk points invested) or and extra 400 from Lucky Break rank three which only requires 3 perk points invested. The results are clear on this.
More on the weapon and why it was so effective with this card. The Explosive effect makes each ‘bullet’ so explosive damage, the Cryolator fires a ‘cloud’ normally and when these effects are combined it provides a cluster of ‘rounds’ each of which has its own little explosion on impact. This is very similar to using an explosive shotgun, in that you have multiple hit markers on an enemy at once. It would appear based on my testing that the game calculates the chances of Lucky Break taking effect for each round. As a result weapons with more than one projectile are going to be more effective with this perk as it will proc more times than single shot versions (I wish I had a two shot explosive version to test!).
With this in mind I tested some additional weaponry:
Gatling Laser, Ultracite Gatling Laser and Gatling Plasma – Each of these weapons is a rotary barrel gun, and based on testing it appears that once the trigger is depressed and the weapon ‘spins up’ and starts firing the card will either proc once or not based on the odds once, each additional round fired does not trigger it again, so if you unload all 500+ rounds for example into a large target you may only get this to work once. This makes it high ineffective with rotary barrel weapons.
Pump Action Shotgun, and Explosive Combat shotgun. I did not have sufficient shells to repeat the testing as noted above with the Cryolator, however the number of times the card procced was consistent with the observation and both shotguns instigated many time with lucky break, resulting in very slow loss of condition with them. The explosive version did appear to proc more frequently, I suspect that even the splash damage from missed pellets close to the target are working here resulting in more ‘rounds’ to calculate against resulting in more repairs to the weapon. This (at least partially) offsets the increased wear that the explosive legendary effect has on a gun.
Combat rifle (rifleman – single shot) Infrequent but consistent instances of this taking effect, weapon condition loss very slow but overall there was a drop in the bar after around 500 rounds fired.
Combat rifle (commando – burst of automatic fire) this method appears to be consistent with the rifleman version, although the weapon condition loss was slightly higher, not certain if this was a result of missed rounds fired or it only proccing once from each ‘burst’ rather than each round for the single shot fire method.
Tesla Rifle (full auto – commando) – This was a very interesting test, I used the Tesla when in ‘crowded’ situations, Uranium Fever, Guided Meditation, Distant Thunder and with the ghouls in the Whitespring. I’m pulling and holding the trigger (in a similar fashion to the rotary barrel weapons) but rather than it only proccing once per trigger pull, I could get this running multiple times as it arced between targets. It would appear that the tesla effect hits multiple times (as you see the damage numbers displayed) and that each hit, on each target (many at once) can allow the card to proc. After 2500+ rounds fired the gun was still going strong and at 100% condition. Lucky Break rank 3 and Tesla Rifle = no need for repairs
I may conduct some more in depth analysis in future but for now here are my recommendations:
Rotary Barrel (non-explosive) weapons – not effective with Lucky Break, gunsmith provides better weapon 'life extension'
Rifles (non-explosive) – effective but the impact on condition loss is minimal and not worth it IMO, expect similar performance from pistols here (but did not test). IMO neither gunsmith or lucky break is required to manage weapon condition with these weapons.
Shotguns (non-explosive) – effective, however condition loss is low on these weapons, so unless you are really tight with your repair materials its not necessary, provides better life extension than the use of Gunsmith
Shotguns (explosive) – very effective, offsets the loss in condition caused by the explosive legendary effect keeping the gun running much longer between repairs, provides better life extension than the use of Gunsmith
Tesla Rifle – extremely effective and negates the need to repair the weapon when used in ‘crowd control’ situations (where the tesla itself excels). Of course the Tesla as a weapon does not suffer from rapid condition loss so its up to you on whether or not to equip the perk, provides better life extension than the use of Gunsmith
Explosive Cryolators – extremely effective, in the event that you are lucky enough to have one of these weapons congratulations and definitely equip this perk card to more than double the lifespan of the weapon between repairs. I’d also expect this to work in the same way for legacy explosive flamers as they perform in the same way (or explosive plasma guns with the flamer barrel mod fitted). Provides better life extension than the use of Gunsmith
I have a friend with a BE Laser gun, planning to borrow and repeat the ‘ammo count’ testing to determine its effectiveness with this weapon as well, will add results later.
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