The Repeater Pistol: How can it be improved?

In the latest link in a chain of a long, long series of threads, we come once more to Saltzpyre’s Repeater Pistol.

With the latest Elf Patch, Fatshark did show some regard to altering long-held talents and abilities of Shade/SOT, and they have stated that a Big Balance Patch might be a thing for the future.

As it stands now, I think everyone can agree that the Repeater Pistol needs changing. The real question we have now is, how should it be changed?

I am not terribly familiar with specific mechanics such as the ‘finesse’ modifier the M1 shot has, but if it is similar to the one-handed sword’s ‘finesse’ modifier, that means it has further headshot damage. For an 8-shot weapon, that is very nice. Assuming one has the capacity to hit multiple headshots in a row, you can stack up a good deal of damage with it on the M1.

M2, or the Spin-Fire, was changed to have a shotgun-like effect should memory serve correctly. Personally, it really never worked all that well when alt-firing into a horde. It deals about a quarter to half of a regular shotgun blast from Kruber or Bardin when I compare it to my memories, and is the real culprit of any controversy on the weapon.

Namely, the interaction between Bounty Hunter’s Prize Bounty free-shot, the Repeater Pistol’s Altfire. With Hunter included in, if you don;t worry about ammo preservation. Its a fine balancing act to not give it enough damage to be the pick of choice, and to make it not underpowered and a poor choice of ranged weapon.

Give it too much power, and BH Saltzpyre has what is essentially a free ult every 10 seconds, doing a massive amount of damage at whim. Too little, and why pick it at all over things like the Brace of Pistols, Griffonfoot Pistols, Crossbow, Repeater Crossbow?

Unfortunately, I think its been on the opposite side of the ‘might-be-too-powerful’ scale for a long time. The Single-Shot Crossbow is the got-to for damaging individual shots, with its great accuracy, and enhanced critchance while zooming in. Repeater Crossbow, or Griffonfoot weapons absolutely mulch hordes. Brace of Pistols does everything decently.

So far its all problems, so, what can we do for solutions?

Other than adding in some things that have happened in the past through bugs, because I have very fond memories of the time-frame in which every individual shot of the alt-fire counted for ammo recovery with Scrounger, I propose instead a rather large ammo buff.

One suggestion I’ll give is that the regular ammo pool should be increased drastically. On the level of Bounty Hunter’s Saltpyre’s enhanced ammunition pool of 60 shots should be the new base amount of the weapon. Someone will probably pinpoint the number of shots Scrounger will give back at BH’s then even-further enhanced pool, which might as well be me, doing so on a calculator, it should be 90 at 150% of 60. 90 shots, and at 5% of that returned with Scrounger gets you, 4.5, so maybe a bit less/more to get it to a single number.

Personally, I won’t get into all the different damage thresholds that changing the base damage numbers would involve. Combined with the power and stagger system, it gets rather complex.

My closing bit is that I just did a quick test at max power level with the base keep dummies, broken as they may be. At what I’d consider mid-range, with no headshots, with the armored dummy set in front of the unarmored one and standing in the doorway to the smithy, the BOP was doing around 30, while the Repeater M1 was doing around 10.

I’d at least like the repeater pistol to have more than 15 shots over the generalist weapon which does 2X or more its damage.

Thoughts, hopefully some from people more familiar with the precise widgets that changing around the damage values would mess with?

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So, while I agree Repeater Pistol is a somewhat weak Ranged Weapon, it can be made to work on BH, as a shotgunning and melee-focused build. It’s completely viable in this regard.

E.g.

33% Melee Power (before Charm stats), and Assassin build:

https://www.ranalds.gift/heroes/11/232332/31-1-2-1/66-4-5-3/1-2-1/4-5-1/2-3-1

  • Ignore Melee Weapon, etc
  • Prize Bounty to maintain Hunter, get a big AoE off every 10 seconds, and sustain ammo
  • Enough ammo + Hunter for dealing with Specials
  • Spam ammo on Specials until you’re low, and then sit on low ammo for Hunter procs

A similar build works with Volley Crossbow, where you get 40% Power + Assassin, and can deal high damage to Bosses.

OR

A Scounger build. This is the most obvious one, and works fine on BH, since it has a low reload and you can get Blessed Combat so easily.

The problem with the idea of adding ammo, is that BH has the options to maintain ammo. It’s his other Careers that can’t make use of it. Much like Swift Bow and Hagbane on Elf, this weapon only works with BH. And like Swift Bow, it takes a while to kill armoured enemies and doesn’t feel good while doing it. In this case, you have to spam shoot, due to spread.

I’ve played this Weapon on Huntsman (AnyWeapon Mod), and it’s absolutely broken to be able to have Hunter up, and enough ammo for every Special and Elite. Especially with the fire rate of the LMB. It really puts Repeater Handgun to shame on him. This would likely be the same on BH to a lesser extent (due to Huntsmans Crit% spam), and BH doesn’t need a buff to this weapon anyway.

I would lean more towards less spread on the LMB than ammo increase. Especially since it has really low armour damage:

  • BH doesn’t need a buff to the shotgunning
  • Griffon-Foot exists for shotgunning
  • WHC and Zealot don’t shotgun due to ammo sustain and Power bonuses
  • It has low armour damage, but spread, so it’s harder to hit heads making the LMB inconsistent
  • It would make Conservative Shooter a viable option for WHC and Zealot, without making BH insane
  • Rewards being accurate, and not having bodyshot breakpoints like BoP
  • Additionally give it less spread while moving, which would make it unique

Another suggestion would be some special mechanic on the shotgun, rather than just straight up damage. Stagger or interrupt disablers in some way, or go through Shields, dealing high damage to the user (Saltz doesn’t have access to shield piercing on a Ranged Weapon).

Giving it armour damage isn’t a good idea, because it would step on BoP’s toes, and be better than Repeater Handgun, due to fire rate.

Yeah it does good headshot damage, but the design doesn’t make sense. They’ve made it deal decent headshot damage, but then given it a silly amount of spread. It does less armour/bodyshot damage than BoP while being more innacurate too. lol

Try shooting both Repeater Pistol and BoP from range to see the difference.

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Simply increasing the reserve ammo would make R-Pistol much more effective. It has good damage, but run dry too easily. I will also mention the bug where you can’t input buffer the single shot which punishes clicking too fast.

https://www.ranalds.gift/heroes/11/232332/31-1-2-1/66-4-5-3/1-2-1/4-5-1/2-3-1

Weight of Fire over Open wounds… Build discarded.

To the OP:
The shotgun component of the weapon needs more spread and way, way, way more damage, and anyone who says otherwise, has no idea what they are talking about. A point blank blessed shot to the face where every pellet is a headshot, deals comparable damage to a single crit headshot from the crossbow.

Now toss in damage dropoff, how unlikely that scenario is, ammo consumption and attack speed (on the rmb) and it becomes quite obvious just how bad this is. The alt-fire should at the very minimum get double it’s current damage.

This would make the weapon a bargain shotgun and better burst tool. The increased spread is to make it actually usable against hordes, something the current iteration is not, as well as reduce it’s effectiveness against specials/elites from further ranges since, if the damage were to be improved.

Ok, play what you want. That build works fine for me.

As I am given to understand, Open Wounds is a better choice over Weight of Fire for the various reasons of;

Extra Damage from Open Wounds applies to the original Hit, if it is a Crit Shot.
8% Ranged Power seems a sub-optimal choice if you are using the weapon primarily with the guaranteed Crit. Clicking only M1 over the round would make Weight of Fire a better choice for some situations.
Open Wounds affects both Ranged and Melee Critical Hits.

I do agree that the alt-fire could use adjustment. Currently I think the prevalent build focused around it is the 20% Chaos 40% Critpower, which enables you to oneshot a Chaos Warrior, with mostly headshots and up close.

We run into the problem again where it simply becomes ‘Have a free ult every 10 seconds’ if it gets too powerful. But I am glad that other people think the alt-fire is a bit too weak.

What would people think if the Shotgun effect was reverted, and instead, the alt-fire was back to what it was originally, which was firing all 8 shots at once, as if you clicked M1 eight times?

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Yes, but Crits don’t give extra Cleave, and it’s a Hunter build. Enhanced Power probably would’ve been more optimal too, but Assassin is still good.

As with the build, you only shoot once every 10 seconds for Hunter, and then maybe one more shot if you really want the Horde cleared, it works fine. EP + Weight of Fire also makes Special killing better, making up for not playing the broken unlimited Crit build.

You can also go Just Reward for more sustained Special/Elite damage throughout the map.

Arguing this is kind of pointless anyway. Even if it was weaker, it’s completely viable, and capable of doing ridiculous damage. It’s the same argument with Double-Shotted vs his other Career Skill Talents. They’re 100% viable, but just not broken.

Hitting Specials with the shotgun from range isn’t too bad with the spread either.

The good thing about this is that you can land the kill on the Chaos Warrior in melee, making On-Kill THP more worthwhile.

It becoming another Ult with Blessed combat would make it more absurd than Griffon-Foot already is tbh.

To be clear, neither does Weight of Fire if my memory serves correctly. One of the big issues with that talent. I’d use it all the time on Volley Bow if it did since it might make it possible to cleave a marauder in that case.

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So it’s just damage Power like GK’s Heavy Attack Talent?

Can confirm. Wight of Fire increases damage, yet stagger and cleave remains the same.

I wish there were in-game notification for things like this.

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Yeah as Mainman said it’s just damage unfortunately. Has some use case for volleybow and I think BoP too (no idea about Griffin foot) as is but for crossbow and rep pistol Open Wounds is always the right choice IMO

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Ok now to actually talk rep pistol. It’s well established that it doesn’t really work at all for anyone other than BH, so all my following comments are specifically with the context of BH using it. It’s… not good. Not terrible, but it’s hard to find any good reason to take it over other options. It lacks much of a niche, especially now Griffin foot exists to steal infantry/berserker killing by a mile. It’s arguably your best option against chaos warriors but 2/3 ult options already do that very well.

It’s main weaknesses as I see them:

  • Terrible damage pet pellet on the alt fire compared to primary
  • Horrendous damage drop-off with distance on primary fire (probably part of why it played well with HS @Kitten)
  • Needs crits to do good damage
  • Ammo sustain on alt fire is terrible.

It’s not an awful weapon if you mostly m1, but at that point it’s kinda just worse BoP, and isn’t terribly fun to use like this either. Hunter + Prize Bounty build feels like a meme to me. You sacrifice way too much ranged uptime and giving up blessed combat hurts pretty bad all round.

What to do about it? I don’t really know exactly. At very least personally I’d say reduce the damage drop-off with distance, give it 8 more bullets base (lets BH get 4 bullets per scrounger proc and makes it go a bit further for his other classes), and up the damage per pellet of the alt fire a bit. If I’m going to fantasise with no regard for reality, I would love a function for special attack (rapier pistol button) that swaps the alt fire between a very tight spread pattern and a very wide spread pattern, so it can play better into its inherent versatility for both single target and groups. Currently the spread pattern is too wide for good single target and too narrow for good group damage (unless things are nicely grouped/lined up for you). Just changing the spread pattern in either direction would hurt its versatility by making it better at one thing but worse at another. Hence a mode toggle would be ideal.

Perhaps implementing all of those things at once would be too much, hard to say without being able to play test this hypothetical rep pistol, but while ultimately useable it’s certainly pretty lacklustre currently while lacking any real niche.

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Don’t forget that Open Wounds actually adds a debuff, that increases all damage against the target (I believe even everyone in the party, if I am not mistaken). It’s one of the best talents in the entire game, while weight of fire is one of the worst. Especially considering how you can apply it on demand with the rapier alt-fire as well.

Either way, to further add on what Alsozara said… I disagree on the RP being the best against chaos warriors, considering crit crossbow headshots stuns and borderline oneshots as well, with minimal investment with a much higher rate of fire.

Really, the only strength of the RP as it stands is the incredible weapon swap → shoot speed and it’s quick reload time. That’s it. So unless you leverage the weapon with Blessed Combat, it has zero upsides or purpose.

Just go all out and make the alt-fire an actual threat and suddenly you’ve given the weapon it’s own niche.

Griffon for hordes
BoP as a generalist
Crossbow for specials/consistant damage
RP for burst

So, in a summary of the suggestions as to how it could be improved;
[And Note that these are separate suggestions, as implementing more than 1-2 of them may be too much]

  1. Decrease the accuracy spread for M1 shots, and give it less spread while moving. This will increase the potential accuracy of shots, and allow the higher Finesse to be taken advantage of more often, more accuracy being conducive to more headshots. Would also allow Conservative Shooter to be a better choice with the Repeater Pistol.

  2. Increase the ammunition of the Repeater Pistol by a sizeable amount. While it may be a stopgap for its real problems, a greater ammunition reserve will allow the weapon to be used more freely, as it can be quite easy to make this gun run dry of ammo very quickly.

  3. Turn the ‘Shotgun’ alt-fire in more of an actual shotgun, with more spread, and a good deal more damage per pellet. As it is, without utilizing Bounty Hunter’s Guaranteed Critical, this alt-fire is almost never worth using on any other class.

Minor bits:

Increase the drop-off distance?
Allow either the Alt-fire or M1 to go through Shields?


And, while I’ve been thinking of it, what about the possibility of adding something like Kruber’s Repeating Handgun Altfire as the Special Attack?

In this way, the alt-fire as it currently stands can be the single-attack burst, while the Special Attack could be a more controlled rapid-fire, as opposed to rapidly-clicking M1 which can potentially buffer or eat inputs.

Rapid M1= More spammy, doesn’t care so much about headshots, this Assassin tumbling at your feet needs to die now.
Special Attack= More controlled and slightly slower rapid-fire, like Kruber’s Repeating Handgun Altfire, keeping M1 damage and not a Shotgun.
Regular Alt-Fire= The same ‘Fire all Shots at Once’ Shotgun altfire as it is now.

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Give the repeater pistol explosive bullets so that they deal splash damage to nearby enemies.
Firing all 8 shots into a horde could actually be a worthwhile thing to do then. Just so I’m clear, I’m advocating for splash damage here, not a buff to damage.

Incendiary ammo would also be an interesting choice, and if you unload all your bullets at once you would get a large burst of dot damage.

I agree that it just needs more ammo; and faster reload(or just a cooler reload animation).

Basically make the reload like BoP - animation has saltzpyre dropping the pistol(basically copy paste BoP reload but with just one hand) and simply pull out another one from his infinite space coat/pocket…etc.
This will increase the cool factor(again like BoP).

It will give it more of a place as the more-forgiving(in total ammo capacity, lack of projectile velocity concerns, and the many singleshot clicks available without reload; so while it may not one-shot an assassin flying through the air - it’s far more likely to stop it from pouncing on someone) weapon compared to crossbow and even BoP(which has way less ammo and takes way longer to reload the full 12 rounds).