Masterwork Pistol Nerf

I don’t think it’s a hot take to say that Masterwork Pistol is one of the strongest ranged weapons in the game. It deals the same damage per bullet as handgun, but with 6 shots in a magazine, an easy and fast way to dump all those rounds, and a faster reload speed to boot. It shreds monsters even without any steroids, and blasts through Stormvermin like none other. While it does have notable weaknesses, like the significant damage drop-off, no super armour damage, and wind-up time for the left click, these just aren’t enough to off-set the raw damage this thing unleashes, and none of that stops it from performing normal functions like sniping specials either. It catapulted Ranger into meta tier all by itself, when previously some people thought he was a rather underwhelming career. That by itself should say a few things about the pistol.

What options are there then to tone it down? I definitely think the most problematic part of the pistol is the right-click function. Choking the hammer lets you unleash 6 hot loads in quick succession, and with good, although messy accuracy, if close enough to the enemy (which you will be). The DPS is jumbo-sized. The left click is not what you see blow away bosses and patrols by itself, and it has enough downsides to keep it decently balanced, although by no means weak. So here’s some options:

  • Reduce the rate of fire of the right-click;
  • Increase the reload time;
  • Reduce rapid-fire damage per bullet;

Option #1 and #2 both serve to reduce the DPS of the pistol, without hurting its functionality or ammo efficiency. Effects both Ranger and Engineer about equally. Of course, rate of fire can’t be reduced below what the left click can put out, and pistol can’t take significantly longer to reload than it does now, otherwise the animation would look too awkward. This does however give room to cut into the DPS substantially, depending on the exact numbers. Whether both of these should come paired together is another question.

Option #3 would entail the removal of the one-shot bodyshot Stormvermin breakpoint on Cataclysm, and a sizeable monster damage reduction per bullet. However, the bodyshot breakpoint could be won back with a bit of extra power stacked up. Not a significant nerf by itself, since you’ll likely have that extra power on a standard build anyways, but could be stacked together with either #1 or #2. This could however impact the pistol more significantly on higher difficulties, like HFBS deeds and DWONSC3.

Tell me what you think. What combination of nerfs look good to you. Maybe there’s other changes that could be made? Or perhaps you don’t think it should be nerfed at all?

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If rate of fire on the right click is the main problem then maybe a special(longer) reload can be implemented?

Sort of like the way moonfire gets locked out for some five seconds if you bottom it up, specific numbers up for debate.

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I basically never see rangers in quick play. When I do see them they’re often running handgun, crossbow, or grudge. Do you actually have data on this?

I think the damage falloff and delay are both huge cons. The weapon has a clear niche but it’s performance outside of that niche is pretty bad.

Edit: not exactly disagreeing about overall power just looking for a more objective metric.

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I will just copy over what I wrote in my other thread:

  • Masterwork Pistol: The Masterwork Pistol does damage. Like lots of damage. The LMB hereby has a stark range drop-off (if stark enough is another question) and a delay in firing. Overall, the LMB has some drawbacks for the power it holds. The RMB on the other hand is just dishing out damage like mad without any delay. Most obviously this can be seen on its monster damage. It does lots of damage in short time.
    Potential solutions: I would favourise something what I call “Pressure loss”. This means while shooting with RMB each subsequent bullet loses damage/power as you don’t give the weapon enough time to build up pressure. Simplified it the six bullets would do damage 100/80/60/40/20/0 % and the pressure loss would count until reload (if you don’t waste the whole clip). This would effectively half its monster damage dps and also reduce the elite clear potential. Another (easier and more boring) solution would be to reduce clipsize to three bullets.

Not sure how this would play out but I think it would be worth testing in a balance beta.

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It’s difficulty dependent I suppose. On Cataclysm it’s certainly not uncommon to see Masterwork Pistol in action, and it’s very powerful there. On any sort of twitch mode it’s pretty incredible, due to the abundance of monsters and elite votes. On DWONSC3 Pistol Veteran is a meta beast, since you still get to bodyshot Stormvermin with disengage buff, and while we shouldn’t balance things around that difficulty, it does show that the pistol is incredibly powerful regardless. On Legend and below the Pistol is significantly worse, since a lot of its advantages like bodyshot Stormcermin is shared with crossbow, and there’s simply not enough elite density. Judging the merit of a weapon by it’s pickrate isn’t a flawless argument, however, since it’s dependent on whether the person has the DLC.

Generally, I think that it’s more important to keep weapon balance in check at Legend and above, although that could just be me being biased.

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I’d actually like the weapon to not feel clunky.
Balance wise, I think a lot of the stopping power should be reserved for the left clicks.
Nuke the monster DPS and tone down the right click yeetus deletus potential

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I’d just change the alt-fire.

Less damage, maybe less spread. Remove the SV breakpoint and excessive monster damage. LMB has to do a charge animation to fire, so it never made sense how RMB had the same damage.

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Yeah this is a big recurring issue IMO. You basically have a couple tiers of weapons that are kind of junk at lower difficulties and make huge waves at higher difficulties.

It’s those pesky breakpoints!

I don’t want to derail but as a side comment this is just the kind of issue you run into when your primary difficulty slider is damage and health. Could be a whole thread / topic on it’s own though.

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Lack of enemy density is just as much of the issue.

In lower difficulties it just feels like there’s so much empty space. The game is full of weapons with strict roles that mean nothing when you encounter only a handful of hordes the whole map and see maybe 1 monster or chaos warrior.

that’s not to say I don’t think there should be hero power level caps so lower difficulties don’t feel completely stomped on

Sadly that’s not going to happen. We had this discussion before, and it would indeed make a lot more sense for a pistol to be ergonomic and easy to use, rather than a clunky beast. But this is how Fatshark decided to make the weapon, and I don’t think a DLC weapon complete redo is on deck.

The problem with this suggestion, is that it disproportionately affects Engineer over Ranger. Unless the damage is nerfed by over 50%, you’re still getting the breakpoint via disengage, and Ranger isn’t going to care about the lesser ammo efficiency, while Engineer will. I think the one-shot breakpoint has to stay sadly, which is why I propose to limit the rate of fire, which would affect both equally, and cut into the DPS significantly, without doing anything fancy or altering the weapon massively.

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Changing the damage of the Pistol to be able to either two shot Maulers, or one shot SVs would be something to start with. Being able to one shot every cata special, one shot cata SVs, and two shot cata Maulers is just too much.

Oh I’m just on about timings mostly
e.g pausing during the alt fire introduces massive delay before firing again
Polishing the weapon like they did with Bret Longsword.

EDIT: I’d actually approach MWP the complete opposite way and push it more into Repeater Handgun territory. Nuke the right click damage, but buff it in other areas; ammo capacity is sketch cuz of RV.

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Engi is a trash fire that’s better off with any other weapon, and that’s right now. Anyone determined to live that meme can take Armor Piercing Slugs and a strength pot.

The purpose of the thread is to weaken RV so he can’t solo bosses and patrols anymore in cata and mod realm, right? If that’s the case then the fix is simple.

Just force the player to LMB if they want to do max damage, ensuring boss/patrol DPS is only mildly higher than a handgun if they don’t have a strength pot to boost their RMB.

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I’m not sure Fatshark would be willing to put this much effort by adding these mechanics to the pistol. It’s a case of “why do lot work when little work do trick?”

Am I wrong to like this mechanic? I think it adds an interesting feel and gameplay element. Similar to repeater recoil, which also got essentially removed with the update to it.

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You really think so? I’ve been playing Engineer with Masterwork Pistol a lot recently, and I’ve been enjoying him a lot. I think he does pretty well in at least regular Cataclysm.

Essentially, yes, but not at the cost of Engineer.

The only way right click would only be slightly better DPS than handgun is if you completely dumpster it in terms of effectiveness. You’d be relegating half of the weapon effective only with a potion. Keep in mind that despite the weapon being so strong, it still has notable drawbacks. We don’t want to overnerf the weapon into irrelevancy.

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On principal I agree that less work is more likely to happen. However, I don’t know how hard it would be to code a subsequent damage loss per bullet.

I just think it would fit thematically to the MWP. On the LMB the MWP needs a few miliseconds to build up pressure. On the RMB it doesn’t though which seems strange. As such it would make sense that the pressure is not enough to give each damage the same damage. The more the clip is emptied the less pressure is there to accelerate the next bullet.

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I dunno, feels unintended to me, as if it’s tripping over itself.
Repeater Handgun has the same problem, except it’s much worse and can halt firing entirely despite holding left click. Massively delayed inputs feel meh.

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I’d add the same delay to the first RMB shot as that of an LMB shot, and decrease the damage of consecutive shots by something like 15%.

So LMB doesn’t change ( Wind up > shot (100%) > Wind up > shot (100%) > [...] ), and if you want to empty your entire clip faster you get :
Wind up > 1st shot (100%) > 2nd shot (85%) > 3rd shot (70%) > 4th shot (55%) > 5th shot (40%) > 6th shot (25%), to represent the loss of built up pressure ; or you can interrupt it by releasing RMB to reset the pressure for something like :
Wind up > 1st shot (100%) > 2nd shot (85%) > 3rd shot (70%) > pause (release RMB) > wind up > 4th shot (100%) > 5th shot (85%) > 6th shot (70%)

RMB becomes a compromission of power for speed.

Dropping the capacity to 5 would dent the extreme DPS slightly.
This is somewhat a RV issue; Engineer and Ironbreaker don’t have nearly enough supporting talents to make it a problem.

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Yes

So, you want an MWP nerf that has to be heavy enough to affect RV, but still allow Engi to do what you like to use MWP for?

I gotta ask how are you using MWP on Engi that’s different than RV? Because, to me, the thing that makes it OP on RV is the same thing that makes it OP on IB and Engi. How would yours or anyone else’s suggestions let the MWP still do the thing you want it to do on one class but not the other?

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