Theory on Fusion Rifles: Are They More Consistent Against Moving Targets via Latency?
This is a hard thing to test, but the reason I brought this up is because I was testing High-Impact Frame fusion rifles in a Private Match with a friend on the map, Eternity, and saw something I find odd. This was tested on an Xbox One.
Realistically with a High-Impact Frame and no main traits, you're going to be able to one-shot enemies in the Crucible consistently at around 30 meters, which is actually a pretty common range in battles. Outside of that range and without any other traits that boost accuracy, they will start to experience consistency issues. With damage falloff, the least amount of damage that a bolt can deal against a Guardian without damage resistance is 36. So if all six of the bolts hit the target without damage resistance, no matter what, the total damage is at least going to be 216 and that WILL kill. This was all tested against my friend who was standing still.
About the tests that I performed, I was using Gallant Charge and two Elatha-FR4s.
- Gallant Charge has Arrowhead Brake, Projection Fuse and a stability masterwork with Targeting Adjuster. No other perks that affect performance.
- Elatha-FR4 1 has a long-zoom scope (Signal), Projection Fuse, Firmly Planted, Backup-Plan and a range masterwork with Targeting Adjuster.
- Elatha-FR4 2 has a long-zoom scope (Impulse), Particle Repeater and a stability masterwork with Targeting Adjuster. No other perks that affect performance.
All fusion rifles performed similarly against a stand-still target, surprisingly. 30 meters was where they were pretty consistent but past that point, it was possible for recoil to really punish you on occasion. 35 meters had a lot more cases of only hitting 3-5 bolts normally over kills but there were still kills here and there and the Firmly Planted Elatha was still pretty consistent at killing. 40 meters and the kill count dropped noticeably with 2-3 bolts hitting usually, sometimes 4. At this point, Gallant Charge and Elatha FR4 2 could miss entire bursts sometimes. Even Firmly Planted was noted to be less consistent but it was basically the only fusion killing at that point. 45 meters and almost nothing was killing except Firmly Planted but very rarely and it usually hit around 3-4 bolts. At 50 meters, nothing killed at all but sometimes it was still possible to take almost half of the enemy's health away with 2-3 bolts using any of the fusions.
Upon further messing around, I saw what many of you might call luck, but it is somewhere around that "fabled" range past 50 meters that everyone talks about. Not sure exactly what the range was as we were still moving into position after dying to get more special ammo, but my friend was far away somewhere past 50 meters using Icarus Dash on his Warlock and I fired at him using my Gallant Charge and almost one-shot him. 5 bolts hit at that distance using Gallant Charge, which was the only fusion I used without a long-zoom scope. During the stand-still tests, only the Firmly Planted Elatha was able to land 5 bolts at 50 meters, which was rare.
So we moved on to some different tests. We tested the ranges again for 35 meters onward and we both started strafing randomly as I fired. Throughout those tests, we came to the conclusion that fusion rifles are more consistent against moving targets as 3-4 bolts was very common in all of the range/moving tests with almost no entire misses at all, even with Gallant Charge.
I have seen many instances in the Crucible where High-Impact Frames could be pretty lethal at far ranges, even against moving targets. Sometimes not all of the damage numbers even pop up if you do manage to "snipe" an enemy. This makes me wonder if latency is at play here a little bit.
In the stand-still tests players usually perform during Private Matches, the visual results are usually pretty accurate to both of the players since neither of them are moving. The bolts go in the same spots on both ends, though the player who fires will actually see the shots come out on their end first.
If the target is moving though, where the fusion user fires may not actually be what the target sees. For example, you might snipe an enemy in the head using a sniper, but on their end, they already moved out of the way but they still die because it registered on your end that you got the headshot. This is latency and the reason why it might look like you get shot through walls on occasion. I'm not sure, but it might be possible that if you miss a fusion rifle shot you fire on your end, the enemy COULD run into it on their end and take damage without a damage number popping up for you. I'm pretty sure that type of thing is why some snipers can get collateral double-kills in a single shot without Armor-Piercing Rounds.
The previous paragraph is why I say this would be hard to test. This type of thing isn't something you expect to happen because you have to be lucky just to see it. I know it's a lot to read, but it's a complicated theory.