Should damage even be a variable on weapons, or just always roll max for its power level?

A thought occurred to me: I always want weapons with the highest possible damage stat. Killing things faster is almost always the best thing you can do. All other stats on weapons are kind of a nice to have, but most of them are soft stats. The one thing I cannot compensate for with how I play is the math the game does when it’s just my damage vs. the enemy’s hitpoints.

So that makes me think: Should weapons even have a variable damage stat? Does anyone actually pick low damage weapons if the other stats are really good?

If a broad consensus exists in the community that higher damage weapons are always better then maybe damage should not be a variable on weapons, and weapons should instead simply always roll max damage for their power level to eliminate trash items that clutter up the market and spoil the fun of loot.

  • Damage is the most important stat of a weapon
  • Damage can be low if the other stats of the weapon are good

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The other stats those weapons can have include damage to secondary targets, how many targets you can hit, damage bonus on weak spots, etc.
Even if ignoring useful things like knokback, damage alone can come in a plethora of stats, of which a single weapon will usually have at least two, often more.

Would you use a weapon that has extremely low base damage but high cleave damage though? Or a weapon that has really low base damage and high area damage? Sure you can argue that there are theoretical uses for a weapon like that, but when it really comes right down to it, if the vast majority of people don’t want that kind of weapon, is it reasonable to have a system that random rolls them just as often as weapons people do want?

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Well, I switched from an autopistol with average damage to one with lower damage, but better colatteral and ammo, as I use the gun mostly for suppression and to thin out hordes.
That said, an Assassin-Type weapon with lower damage, but higher finesse and first target damage bonus could still very well be a good single target killer.
Similarly, if I pick a sweeping melee weapon over a stab or overhead type, I already sacrifice damage for crowd control, meaning cleave and knowback. Logically, I’ll be willing to sacrifice some more to improve the weapon at what I picked it for.
Everything is a tradeoff - raw damage is one of the more important stats, and I’ll probably prioritize it (usually), but not to the exclusion of all else.

There will still be tradeoffs, just not with a stat that most people probably don’t want to trade for anything.

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