The Shotgun Criticism

The Shotgun

Note: The following below is simply my observations I've seen within Darktide in using the Lawbringer Mark VI Combat Shotgun thus far. This topic can be seen as suggestive depending on who reads this.

At face value, this weapon is expected gun in any horde killing game. Just point, shoot, and no more enemies in your way. It's a best friend within close quarters combat and is always reliable whenever you need it. On top of that, it feels more satisfying for players who like to be within the battle rather than a distance. Much like the Ogryn’s single shell shotgun (the “Lorenz Mk V Kickback”) and turning your enemies into exploding ketchup packets.

Within Darktide, it serves the same purpose as the only Shotgun available demonstrates this same potential. The Lawbringer Mark VI Combat Shotgun looks big, sounds powerful when firing the weapon, and comes with its own special ammo type. A shotgun shell that is force loaded into the gun that turns the normal circular spread shot into a horizontal/rectangular spread shot. This ammo type has amazing potential with horde clearing once this ammo is used.

However, there is some issues with how this shotgun is currently being used in this game...

Only One Shotgun Variance

When looking at the Lasguns and Autoguns, each weapon type has 9 different types. From precision shots with a slow firing rate for long distance engagements to rapid firing, spray and pray for close quarters combat, these variances allow the player to pick and choose which preferred gun they would enjoy using while playing the game. Even going so far as to picking the right gun for the right kind of enemy.

This is especially true if the Sharpshooter class is picked where the Volley Fire ability that allows the player to increase the ranged damage by 50%. In addition to that, having the level 30 perks unlocked can also align with the player’s play style to either be more aggressive or tactical on how they handle the enemy.

Meanwhile, the combat shotgun only has... one variance. A semi-auto shotgun. This seems like a missed opportunity on just having one shotgun type when there could be several over forms.

Different forms of shotguns that would be different to the Combat Shotgun

* Sawed-Off shotgun for those who favor extreme damage at the cost of having only 2 barrels to fire from.
Would be seen as the initial starting shotgun to give a reject as it is powerful but limited
* Pump-Action shotgun that allows different kinds of ammunition to be loaded into the gun for different effects.
> Could be ideal when choosing armor piercing slugs for any enemy wearing Flak/Carapace Armor or Inferno rounds to burn target(s) within a given range.
* Assault shotguns which contain more shells to fire from though having less fire power compared to the other forms.

Having 4 different shotgun types to play around with can allow players to have interesting build combinations on handling certain kinds of enemies within the game.
More variances of shotguns can be found within the links below:

Racking the Slide Sound Effect when Reloading

Everything about the shotgun thus far is impressive sound wise. However, when racking the slide or pumping the shotgun to load another round into the chamber, the sound effect seems a bit off. Like sliding a plastic cover off a TV remote and then sliding it back on again or a plastic Nerf toy shotgun being pumped.

This sound effect seems very counter-intuitive to give a bulky, metal shotgun we are given. With such a meaty gunfire sound effect to sound rather weak in comparison to the weak pump action sound effect of the weapon. This sound effect needs to be replaced with something better and more powerful as this seems like a immersion killer to me.

Even the heretic shotgunner's sound effects of him loading the next round into the gun is more impressive/intimidating to what is currently available to us.

Special Ammo Usage

As stated in the beginning, the special action of the weapon can load a horizontal/rectangular shot into the chamber of the gun. It’s creaking noise as the round is forced into the gun is distinct enough to let the player know when the gun now is loaded and ready to fire the special ammunition. Within the game, there is no other indicator that this ammo type has been loaded into the gun. It still contains the same crosshair as before with no way of truly knowing what the next shot is going to be. This is especially true when swapping from melee to quickly deal with a horde of enemies, then equipping the shotgun again to fire it. In higher levels, this is important as having that ammo type loaded into the gun would cost the player if he meant to do high damage to a single target or multiple targets.

In addition to this, why is there no way to load in multiple special ammo shells into the gun? The game only allows one special shell to be loaded into the gun. Even when the gun is completely emptied out. Being allowed to load multiple special rounds instead of just one would be particularly helpful as you could load 4 shots of the special ammunition and the rest the ammo with the standard shells for special or distant enemies. Making the weapon more versatile in dealing with specific enemy engagements.

Closing Thoughts

Though I am faithful that new, in-game content in terms of ranged weaponry will be coming out for this game and this game is still within its early stages of being released, I’m surprised that the shotgun was overlooked in its sound design and functionality within this game. It seems like the other weaponry was the primary focus on ensuring that those weapons were good to go while this weapon was placed once to ensure a shotgun was created.

If there would be new weaponry variances added, I would hope that weapons like these aren't overlooked as much and provides the player with more play style options to choose from rather than going with the current meta builds.

And now I leave you all with this good quote for shotguns at the 55 second mark.

Video Warning: Offensive Language (Cursing)

There’s definitely a wealth of shotgun variants in the 40k lore to work with. The in-game law-bringer was the one used by the Adeptus Arbites, the Judge Dredd inspired police force which is probably where the alternate shot idea came from.

Sawn-offs exist of course, no specific patterns but an obvious example would be genestealer cult jackals. I agree something small, light and manurable but with a sharp punch would be nice as a pistol equivalent shotgun.

Two other interesting patterns I know of that would nicely fill the heavy and lighter shotgun roles are;

Krieg’s Large-bore Revolver Shotgun

Lucius Pattern Mk XXIIc shotgun used by DKoK combat engineers, honestly looks more like an M75 grenade launcher. Its a semi-auto 8-round cylinder which shoots everything from slugs and cannister to flares.

I think it would be perfect for the heavy end of the shotgun spectrum, with heavy recoil, limited ammo reserves and slow reload to balance out the sheer weight of fire it could put down fully loaded, similar to how the bolter or flamer retains balance.

House Orlocks Drum-fed Assault Shotgun

House Orlock’s ‘Hipshooter’ assault shotgun is one of surprising few 40k shotguns to be depicted with a drum mag. No details as far as I am aware as to the gauge or drum capacity though, 20ish lighter rounds maybe?

I imagine it would be suitable for a lighter, more rapid firing and quicker reloading shotgun that can constantly put out an enemy staggering spray but is terrible for penetration of armour or bodies, suited more for horde control like the new zealot maul, but with higher crit chance and/or ammo ammo reserves to compensate.

(You can click on these to see pictures and explainations)