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?