The big 3 damage buffs in the Helminth system are: Shooting Gallery, Roar, and Xata's Whisper, which naturally leads people to compare them. They all have roughly similar stats on the buff% and duration, but all three of them have different mechanisms that they actually work by.
|Shooting Gallery||Roar||Xata's Whisper|
|Drain||50 energy||75 energy||25 energy|
|Mechanism||+Damage%||+FactionDmg%||Extra damage instance|
Mesa's Shooting Gallery is overrated. It's listed as a 25% damage buff, but assuming that you install Serration/Hornet/PPP, your actual effective buff is closer to 7.8% for pistols or 9.4% for melees and primary weapons. The reason for this is that Shooting Gallery is coded as an increase in your "damage%" statistic for your weapon, which means that it stacks additively with the 165% or 220% damage mods on your weapon, making it a relatively small increase. If you're picking this for the crowd control, that's fine, but be aware that it is a mathematically inferior buff for damage output.
Rhino's Roar does NOT function this way, and instead is coded as faction damage. Assuming that you do not have any faction damage in your build, then it functions exactly as it appears on the skill, the full 30% buff. However, if you are running a faction mod on your weapon, that buff drops down to about a 19.4% effective increase.
|Mod Effectiveness||Roar Effectiveness||Xata Effectiveness|
Look at that, Xata's whisper is TWICE as effective as roar when using primed faction mods at 100% strength. This is because faction mods make roar weaker, while they actually make Xata's Whisper BETTER, since it double-dips, applying first to the initial instance, and again to the second instance.
Roar is better in some situations. In casual play it's common to ignore faction mods, and stacking faction damage will increase your bleed damage for slash builds. But, in cases where you simply need to output a lot of raw damage without relying on slash, Xata's Whisper + faction mods is the mathematically superior option.
It's also worth pointing out that below 180% strength, a Primed faction mod alone will provide more damage increase than ANY of these buffs alone.
At higher levels of ability strength, the difference between the buffs widens. At 155% ability strength, with primed faction mods installed, Xata is about 108% better than Roar. With non-primed faction mods, Xata still gives a 46% larger buff than Roar. Without no faction mods, Roar is about 13% better than Xata's. In all cases, the highest raw damage output occurs when using faction mods, primed or not, with Xata's Whisper.
tl;dr infested goo make gun strong
Edit: Actually, it looks like faction mods get applied to the Xata's Whisper second damage instance AGAIN, meaning that it's more like a 40% effective damage buff. Updated data to show this
Source: Original link
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