Fusion rifles have been a very hot topic lately. I just thought I would weigh in on the discussion with some changes to fusion rifles (some buffs and some nerfs), that hopefully make both sides happy.
I will begin by proposing some changes that would apply to all fusion rifles (except Telesto and One Thousand Voices).
[spoiler]-A new archetype of fusion rifle should be added: The [b]Aggressive Frame[/b]. The details of this archetype will be explained in its own section.
-Fusions should be projectile weapons. When they were power weapons, being hitscan made sense, but now that they are special weapons, it makes sniping people a bit too easy.
-Keep in mind that this does NOT mean that fusion rifles would be affected by gravity. Bolts will still fly straight, just not as quickly.
-Fusion rifle bolt speed should be tied to archetype of fusion rifle in question. In order of slowest bolts to fastest bolts, my suggested order would be: Rapid-Fire, High-Impact, Adaptive, Precision, Aggressive.
-The range stat on fusion rifles is replaced by Velocity, similar to Grenade Launchers and Rocket Launchers.
-Instead of regular damage falloff, fusion rifles now deal full damage up to a certain distance, where the projectiles then disappear. All range-affecting fusion rifle perks will now affect velocity.
-[b]Dissipation Distance[/b], the distance at which bolts disappear is tied to velocity. Higher velocity means that the bolts can go farther before dissipating.
-(Legendary) fusion rifles receive a moderate PvE damage increase, to make up for these changes.[/spoiler]
Now I will go through changes that I think would balance each archetype: the High-Impact, Precision, Adaptive, and Rapid-Fire frames. I will include the average dissipation distances and min/max charge times for each archetype. Also included are some details about my ideas for aggressive frame fusion rifles.
*suggested changes are listed within spoilers to make this post less of a wall of text*
[b][i]HIGH IMPACT FRAMES[/i][/b]
[spoiler]-Dissipation Distance: 35-40 meters
-Charge time: 820-900 ms
-High impact fusion rifles should have some reach, but not as much as they currently do.
-Remove Backup Plan from all high impact fusion rifles.
-In order to replace Backup Plan on high impacts, I propose a new perk exclusive to this frame: Overcharge. This perk would allow your shot to be "overcharged" for up to twice the normal charge time. Charging for the full double charge time would greatly increase the damage of that burst. This would come with the drawback that overcharging reduces effective range, as this makes the bolts more unstable.
-Keep in mind that the damage increase is only applied upon charging for the full double charge time.
-Overcharging is much louder than normal charging, allowing for easier differentiation in gunfights.
-A minor velocity reduction, but made up for by a slight damage increase, making it possible to one-hit kill most supers with one shot, but only if all seven bolts land.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Dissipation Distance: 40-45 meters
Charge time: 660-740 ms
-This should be the archetype effective at the furthest distance. They are [b]precision[/b] frames, after all.
-The precision frame now provides a bonus to bolt velocity.
-Higher stability stat, but a slight reduction in handling.
-Backup Plan is also removed from this archetype, again being replaced with the Overcharge perk.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Dissipation distance: 25-30
Charge time: 520-600 ms
-Should be the "jack of all trades" archetype, offering a nice balance of all stats.
-Also have the highest reload stat of all archetypes.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Dissipation distance: 15-20 meters
Charge time: 360-440 ms
-These should be the fusion rifles used in close range, fast-paced engagements. Should have more reach than shotguns, but should require a bit more thought to use to their full potential.
-These would have low velocity stats, but very high handling, with average stability.
-Increased reserve capacity. I have noticed that rapid-fire fusions don't seem to be able to carry as much ammo as you think.
-Reduced charge time by about 100ms.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Dissipation distance: 10-15 meters
Charge time: 1020-1100 ms
-These would be the fusion rifles to be used against large targets at close range. They would have a high risk of use, but with a high reward.
-This archetype would have the shortest dissipation distance of all the archetypes, but have the highest bolt velocity of all.
-Instead of firing standard of 7 bolts per shot, these would fire 15 per shot. The damage of each individual bolt would be lower (about 30 damage in PvP), but the total damage per shot would be the highest.
-This archetype would have very low stability.
-Handling would be pretty low.
-Magazine sizes would range from 3-4.
-These fusions would not be able to roll with Overcharge OR Backup Plan, but will be able to roll with their own unique perk.
-Unique to Aggressive Frame fusion rifles, the perk Violent Battery: Getting a kill increases the amount of bolts fired by the next shot. After getting a kill with the fusion rifle, the number of bolts in the next burst will be increased to 24. Once the perk is activated, it will not go away until it is used. Switching weapons will not get rid of the perk either, allowing you to save it until it is needed.[/spoiler]
Quick side note regarding what would happen to Merciless with these changes:
[spoiler]-Telesto and One Thousand Voices are exempt from most of these changes due to how they fire, but since Merciless still fires standard bolts, these changes apply to it.
-Merciless would keep its current charge time, but its bolt dissipation distance would be comparable to adaptive frame fusions.
-Merciless gets a bump to reserves (like 3-4 more shots).
-Receives a change to how its exotic perk works.
-The effect of Conserve Momentum now goes away if no damage is done for six seconds.
-The effect of Conserve Momentum is no longer lost after reloading.[/spoiler]
Hopefully these changes would help reign in the high impact fusions a bit, while also giving other archetypes a chance to become competitive options.
Be sure to reply with your thoughts or suggestions! I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.