I’ll cover this more in another topic, but Killian isn’t the best example since most of her stuff is fairly effective. I wouldn’t use the swift-bow in legend over any of her other ranged weapons unless you’re playing Waystalker, but even still, there are better options.
There is so much to agree with within that post. So, I’ll start with this one. The argument never convinced me either because as you said, you can’t compare the need for headshotting skill- and timewise needed for Longbow to come close to the same results of unmotivated bodyshotting of Moonfire Bow. If someone is able to reliably headshot specials and elites every 2 seconds then I am impressed. If someone bodyshots specials and elites every 2 seconds then I am annoyed. Sure, Moonfire Bow has a slight delay in damage but there are very few enemies in the game which can make something out of these seconds.
Another argument which didn’t convince me either. The official realm has rarely situations where this much pressure is actually existing. Maybe a few instance in Chaos Wastes. But the balance should never be centered around: How to make a weapon that a single player can cover the job of the whole team.
Yea, this is a thing to consider. I do not think that the solution should be in tying the DoT more to headshots. It will get more similar to Longbow then. I am not even sure if a total damage nerf is required. I think there should be other solutions be pursued. The following is mainly centered around charged shots as uncharged and half-charged may need indeed some damage nerfs. For the charged shots what annoys me the most though is the spammability. Weapons this strong should not be spammable (looking at you Javelin). As such most solutions from my side center somehow around to reduce the spamming of the weapon. Right out of my head, I would consider a few options which could work (obviously tweaking needed to find the mediocre middle ground every weapon should have).
Option 1: The solution I already suggested in the past. Slow down the application time of the DoT significantly. Speaking by a factor of three or more. Like this, the bow becomes less desirable to be used in close and middel quarters. The bow would best be used for enemies farer away, making it more a look-out weapon, to be used in a more tactical manner and harder to aim as enemies appear smaller in the distance. Would also still be feasible in close-quarter in high density situations where the DoT supports the melee play but does not outright replace it (because faster and higher). It would still work well against hordes and elites but would lose ground as special killer as they have means of reaching player from range or fast.
Option 2: Make it more similar in the ammo department than actual ammo weapons to reward tactical choices. This means: Leave the damage as it is for charged shots, increase the energy bar to allow up to 25 consecutive charged shots but reduce the energy recovery significantly so that the energy equivalent of 1 charged shot needs 1 minute to recharge. With a playtime of 25 minutes for a map this would result in a maximum of 50 charged shots. This would give you an unlimited ammo weapon but would punish spam while also ensuring that you can use the bow in high pressure situations but would have to stay low afterwards. With proper adjustment of the uncharged shots (in terms of damage of energy consumption), you could even create a weapon which blends Swiftbow and Longbow in one as uncharged shots against hordes would need less energy. So you have like 50 Charged shots or 150 uncharged shots. Runs risk of players being overly conservative with when to shoot due to the long recharge time. But I think that is not that huge of a problem. Obviously, “ammo” can be adapted if necessary. Mostly to lower numbers because 50 shots are already a lot.
Option 3: While holding the Moonfire bow in the hands the player movement is slowed down by 50 % or more. Does that sound heavy-handed and unfun? Yes, that is within design. The weapon is strong like really broken strong. And this is okay against priority targets. But the spam is annoying. So if you spam a lot, you will fall back and expose yourself to higher risk for getting hit. It will make the player focus on the actual important targets. This way the weapon will become like a ballista. A slow but devastating weapon. You still get all the bonuses like now, just that you can’t gun and run with the bow anymore. Makes the choice when to use also more tactical instead of “always”.
There are other solutions which could work too. But I think these are options which could work without touching the total damage of the charged shots. I think Option 2 sounds the most interesting for me at the moment.