Have the shotguns -and the grudgeraker in particular- been nerfed?

I hadn’t played a shotty in a few months (been trying other classes and completing all those Legend runs with every career), but when I tried the grudgeraker today it felt so…weak.
I can’t tell if it’s the spread (seems way harsher than before, the pellets seem to hit well outside the crosshair, even at point-blank range and with the spread talent) or if something else has changed, but I used to be able to one-shot pretty much anything up to maulers (except packrats), and now I really have to be point-blank to hope to kill a Storm Vermin.

Weird thing is, I’m not the only one who has noticed, some of my friends feel it’s different too, and I found a few discussions about that same topic on the Steam Forums: https://steamcommunity.com/app/552500/discussions/0/3203652426723528057/

Apparently Kruber’s shotty is affected too.

I can’t find anything in the last patch notes, so am I goign crazy? Is this an unintended bug, an unanniunced nerf, or is it just me?

PS: I have run a few tests,here is the current spread on 85 FoV, both with and without the Corsshair fix mod:

No. They actually got a massive buff, which is going to be fixed in the next patch as it was unintended. All pellets in the blunderbuss can currently trigger headshots and crit traits. Which means unlimited ammo for the HS.

I just tested this, and the mechanic just behaves oddly.

If you use huntsman kruber with ammo on headshot trait on your blunderbuss, then you will get 6 ammo back when you fully headshot a training dummy. This is not the expected 24 you would get when all pellets give 2 ammo back on headshot.

With the grudgeraker on bardin the limit also seems to be 3 (because you can’t stack the ammo on headshot like you can on kruber)

And having used the blunderbuss for a while I did also notice it had great trouble oneshotting stormvermin even in close quarters.

Here’s a response from Hedge in a reddit thread about the same issue:

In short: shots can now leave the muzzle at different frames (presumably there was a reason for the change, but I’m not sure why) which had the unintended effect of making later pellets have their scatter increased by the recoil.

I’m just assuming here, but I’m guessing perhaps shots that hit on the same frame can only trigger the talent once. In the past, with all the pellets being fired simultaneously, each full shot could only trigger the talent once.

However, with the new change all of a sudden the headshot talent can trigger multiple times even on the same target.

I’m guessing the pellets leaving the barrel have been made into three groups of 4 pellets, (or 3 pellets for grudge raker) each group being fired a frame after the last. And now each group of shots can trigger the talent once. That seems to be consistent with your test results of max 3 talent procs.

Again, I have little to back this up with beyond some educated guesswork, so take my claims with a pinch of salt.

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Ah thanks mate, that seems like a plausible explanation.

I will test if it work with scrounger as well, since this would mean that talent can also trigger multiple times now.

Ok, I just did some tests myself. Here’s what I’ve found, regarding blunderbuss specifically:

It can trigger on-hit traits four times per shot. This presumably means it shoots four groups of three pellets, and each group can trigger a trait. Some examples:

  • Conservative Shooter can theoretically return up to 4 ammo per target hit (though having each grouping count as a headshot is extremely finnicky)
  • Barrage can reach 4 stacks in a single shot, on a single target.
  • Scrounger can return up to 4 ammo on a crit shot.

Framerate, from my testing, doesn’t seem to have any effect on the number of pellets shot per frame. It might be disingenuous to say “shots per frame”, since I can’t say for certain the groupings are based on framerate. It might not affect the time between shots at all, I have no good way of testing.

It doesn’t affect the results from traits, in any case. I’ve tested on 30 and 60 FPS, and there was no difference on the end result.

EDIT: Quick test on Grudge Raker seems to confirm it shoots three groupings of pellets. (Barrage instantly reaches a maximum of 3 stacks, rather than 4 as with Blunderbuss.)

AFAIK that’s intended because it’s worked like that since the beta, you still have to hit reasonably near the crosshair. You wont trigger a headshot if you fire into a crowd and one of the pellets randomly hits a guy in the head 8 feet away from the point of aim.

What isn’t working properly is that it can trigger multiple times per shot and one of the fixes in the previous patch seems to have been reverted regarding graphical FPS affecting damage.

There use to be a single pellet just above center that was responsible for triggers effects. Now theirs 4 on kruber and 3 on Bardin. I’m pretty sure hedge said it was not supposed to be happening and would be fixed.

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I found that post on reddit a few hours after posting ehre, but thanks!

So, if I understand what others have said correctly, both the buff (mutliple procs) and nerf (wider spread) are unintended changes and will be reverted back to normal? I know the spread is coming back, Hedge told me so himself on that same post, but what about the multiple procs?

Based on Hedge’s response, it seems that both are unintentional and are likely to be reverted. The nerf has forced me to hone my slayer skills while my shotty IB cant kill a special point blank, so not all bad :).

Came to a similar conclusion and on FPS drops, you an actually hear the four different groups hitting subsequently, especially on headshots.

But I have to say that I think this is a change that the shotguns do need, since it makes everything that isn’t Scrounger actually worthwhile. I mean, if you think about it, it is kinda not working as described if CS says you regain ammo on headshots. Technically, it’s a headshot even if one pellet hits. While obviously it should not proc Scrounger more than once, I’d welcome if more than the center pellet from the shotguns could proc traits.

Judging by the descriptions and Hedge’s responses, this sounds like the change was something that was tested internally as a potential change, but somehow slipped into the release version.

If that’s the case, I’m guessing it’s an attempt to make the shotgun procs less of an all-or-nothing thing. A good thing if they get it to work.

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