So these were the changes to it in 1.0.6
Added a separate damage profile for shotgun blast with lower damage to Chaos Warriors on crits, lower damage on headshots, but with more cleave.
Added chain window to weapon switch for shotgun blast as it was missing (0.3s by default) and increased wield chain window from 0.1 to 0.2 on normal shot.
Reduced max ammo to 40, down from 50.
I personally think every single of these changes is a step in the wrong direction (and the weapon switch thing still isn’t even working it seems), and I will explain in detail why.
First, let’s consider it as a weapon choice for bounty hunter. Before these changes you had the following choices: volley crossbow if you wanted anti horde and anti unarmored boss (although it was/is still ok against most elites and specials), repeater pistol for elites (particularly chaos warriors) and armored bosses (much worse against hordes and a bit worse against specials) and crossbow if you wanted to snipe far away specials (still ok against elites but much worse against CW than pistol).
So pistol’s main niche was super armor, particularly chaos warriors: it took 2 shots to down a CW with revolver and 3 with volley or xbow (that’s on body shots), and with vs chaos and/or crit power stacked you could leave them very weak to easily finish them off even with a rapier.
However, after the multiplier changes, even with 20 vs chaos it only 3 shots chaos warriors (maybe 2 shots with multiple lucky headshots, but with the spread it has it’s impossible to guarantee even 1 in 3 blasts). You can reach 2 if you stack a lot of crit power, but it is currently bugged and doesn’t work unless you are a host. Even after it is fixed, stacking every single property possible just to make the weapon useful in it’s only niche is simply not a good design.
This is a problem as it essentially renders the weapon useless: it lost it’s only niche, and is effectively strictly worse than both volley and regular crossbow. It is much worse at sniping specials and increased cleave doesn’t compensate for this, as it’s still worse anti-horde than volley crossbow.
Now to the ammo changes. Even before the reduction, pistol was already the least ammo efficient ranged option for Saltzpyre and was only used on bounty hunter, as other careers simply couldn’t sustain it. There was some arguments for it due to it being a bit of a panic button and being decent at killing specifically assassins, and cleave made the former a bit more relevant, but due to it’s weak anti-special it will always be the least popular option on the other 2 careers.
I’m guessing these changes were supposed to be a nerf to bounty hunter, but volley crossbow was already an overall more powerful choice, so they ultimately failed to achieve that and the only effect was reduction in weapon/build variety.
My proposed changes would be to revert both the ammo changes and the crit modifier changes, fix the supposedly implemented increased delay on weapon switch while keeping increased cleave (to incentivize it’s use on other careers, although I’d prefer something else) and nerf the only level 15 talent ever used on bounty hunter. Making your blessed shots consume no ammo while also alleviating any need to reload is way too strong of an effect, especially compared to other level 15 talents both on bh and other careers. This would give pistol it’s niche back while reducing the potential for chain blasting elite after elite without any reload.