I've played melee past 50, I've done rifles past 50, and I've dabbled in some heavy weapons… but I main a gunslinger. I just love the playstyle of revolvers. Compared to everything else though? It is very obviously a poor weapon choice if you want actual performance in this game.
DPS is just low. Burst is lower than rifles and sustained is lower than almost every other build option. There is no pro-con situation here when choosing pistols it is just all con compared to other builds.
I'm not sure how to address this other than an increase in base pistol damage and perk based anti-armor. (more on AA later)
Gun choice is basically non-existent. Western and .44 are the same guns, except .44 has level 45 max with lower damage while the Western is level 50 with higher damage. The choice between the 2 is obvious.
Single-action has slightly higher damage, but the lack of mods and a brutal reload time kinda kills the gun as a real option.
The 10mm is a nice option in theory. Plenty of mod choices and has a great feel during gameplay, but the damage is far too low. I get that it's a starter weapon, but when it's the only option for auto and fast semi-auto in an entire build, that's not really a fair deal.
Maybe we need another modern type pistol like the 10mm, that has a higher min-level and packs more of a punch?
Agility has a lot of nice perks. Action boy, thru-hiker, white knight, evasive, adrenaline, various sneak perks, dodgy for bloodied builds… it can be hard to pick and choose what to get in agility for all weapon builds, but with pistol damage being in agility too? You are really forced to make some difficult decisions. Only 1 point into each damage perk helps that, but seeing as pistols are already low on damage that just compounds the issues with pistol builds.
Those hard perk choices would all be fine if the other trees synergized with pistols better, but again it comes up short compared to most other weapons.
A big example is "modern renegade" perk. IMO, this is truly one of the worst. 3 points for hip fire accuracy and 4% cripple chance? 4%… Really? And this is in agility too? How do you possibly choose this over any other perk in that tree?
I would love to see the modern renegade perk moved to perception and changed to stagger and anti-armor. Something like 10% stagger/25% anti-armor at 3 points would be fair, but seeing as even that would still leave pistols behind other builds how about make Pistols actually desirable? Here's my idea:
New perception perk – Weak Spot
You can see the cracks in your opponent's armor. Gain armor penetration and a chance to stagger your opponent with pistols.
Rank 1 – 8% stagger / 17% anti-armor
Rank 2 – 16% stagger / 34% anti-armor
Rank 3 – 25% stagger / 50% anti-armor
It could be easily fit into most builds. It would give pistols some much needed AA. And it would also give pistols a new role as a sort of crowd-control type build. The cherry on top would be pistol builds having a perk based counter to assassin + sentinal/cavalier in PvP.
I would suggest also adding in a cooldown to the stagger proc to prevent some PvP issues. A 10mm stagger-lock would be pretty unfair. So maybe a 1-2 second cd on the proc? Or possibly making the perk only work with vats? Maybe both? Would need testing of course.
All this being said, I know pistols can still perform in the game despite the drawbacks. It is just that many other builds do everything a pistol does, just much better.
Also, I just want to make clear that I do not want other builds to get nerfed. I mean… a bloodied nerf would seem pretty justified at this point in the game but that effects all weapons. What I really just want is a much needed buff for us pistol lovers.
Please feel free to comment with more suggestions if anyone has some. Or even if you just want to tell me how I'm idiot for wanting to main a sidearm? Go for it! I'm basically just spit-balling here waiting for the servers to come back up so have at it.
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