Content of the article: "Rebalancing weapon attributes"
It's common knowledge that Damage to Targets Out of Cover (DtOOC from now on) is best in slot for the 3rd attribute on nearly all weapons. It is a separate multiplicative damage category that has few other sources, the value that you get on the roll is high, and it applies to an enemy's entire health/armor bar in most situations where you are shooting at them. While some people might be fine with this, I think this state of affairs makes the game less interesting, and it also limits the design space for new exotics, since any exotic without 10% DtOOC as its third attribute is automatically suboptimal unless it has an extremely powerful talent. So I'll propose a bunch of changes.
Much ado about DtOOC:
The simplest thing I would do is swap the values of DtOOC and Damage to Armor (DtA). DtOOC would max out at 6% while DtA would max out at 10%. This change gives DtA a niche vs DtOOC; DtA only applies against armor bars, so choosing between DtOOC and DtA is choosing whether to sacrifice some general-purpose damage for more specialized damage.
Why not just bring everything else up to match the damage potential of DtOOC? Because the numbers required would be insane. Let's say you have an AR crit build: 3x Providence, 1x Grupo, 1x Fenris, and Fox's Prayer, with 60% critical hit chance (CHC), and critical hit damage (CHD) on every gear piece, plus 3 CHD mods. Add in your maxed-out SHD watch and this build would have (25 + 9*12 + 2*15+20) = 183% CHD. You have 10% DtOOC on your AR and 8% on the Fox's Prayer. The overall damage bonus from DtOOC + crit damage is
(DtOOC) * (1 + CHC * CHD) = 1.18 * (1 + 0.6 * 1.83) = 2.47564.
Let's see how much CHD we would need on a weapon attribute roll to match the damage from 10% DtOOC: 1.08 * (1+0.6*(1.83+x)) = 2.47564, solving for x. x = 0.3237.
In order to exceed the damage output of 10% DtOOC on a full-crit build using pure crit damage, you would need the CHD roll to be 33%! The values would be lower if you did not have as much CHD, but you still had max CHC (as in a gear set build), but if you only had 123% CHD, the required CHD roll to outdamage 10% DtOOC would still be 27%. Now CHD would not need to outdamage DtOOC because CHD is applicable in more situations than DtOOC, so there should be a damage tradeoff to balance it out, but this example is to show that to get crit even close to the damage of 10% DtOOC would require enormous values. The nerf to DtOOC gives other stats the chance to be viable alternatives without them needing to be huge numbers.
DtA and DtH:
With the increase of DtA to 10% on regular rolls, I would then increase the DtA on shotguns to 15% from 12% to give them a differentiator. Damage to Health (DtH) would be increased from 9.5% to 12%. Thus DtH should be a more viable option for a weapon specializing in taking down chungus enemies and robots.
Critical Hit Damage:
CHD and headshot damage (HSD) are the worst of the damage options right now, because they're no better (and with CHD, even worse) than a comparable roll on gear. I would increase the CHD attribute to max out at 17% from 10%. The way the numbers work, if you have 60% CHC but less than 140% CHD, rolling 17% CHD on your weapon will give you more damage than 6% DtOOC. A max-crit damage build would come up a few percent short if going CHD vs DtOOC, but CHD applies even if targets aren't out of cover. Rifles should have their innate CHD increased to 25% to compensate for the increased crit damage on non-rifle weapons.
HSD is mainly useful for marksman rifle (MMR) builds, and those wouldn't be affected by any change to headshot damage as a third attribute. I haven't run detailed numbers on HSD, but I'm thinking 20% HSD as the max 3rd-attribute roll would be alright for non-MMR builds.
Consolidating Weapon Handling:
The Stability, Accuracy, Reload Speed, and Swap Speed attributes should be combined into a single Weapon Handling attribute just like it is on gear, topping out at 15%. Each attribute alone doesn't contribute very much, and combining them both buffs handling attributes as an option, and reduces the RNG involved in finding the attribute you want.
I would increase it from 12.5% to 20%, like the pre-WONY talent Extra. Choosing Magazine Size is trading off burst DPS for long-term average DPS.
So yeah, that's how I would rebalance the third attribute on weapons. I want to shift away from best-in-slot DtOOC to a model where DtOOC is still best in some cases, but there are niches for other attributes to fill.
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