The Alt-Fire on the Rapier has a 2-3 second reset on it, so you’re not going to rack up some enormous kill total running around shooting things. You can kill more just with the melee strikes as they’re a lot faster.
There was no reason to nerf the Alt-Fire on the Rapier to that extent.
And EVEN back in Beta no Saltzpyre job was racking up enormous amounts of kills (other than perhaps Bounty Hunter)
So all the nerfs were pointless and only served to weaken the overall Saltzpyre character in comparison to other characters. And hosed up the balance of the Saltzpyre weapons as a whole.
After the Axe lost its cleave in 1.05 no one used it anymore because it literally got you killed in a Horde. Prior it wasn’t the best horde weapon, but at least it was passable.
The Falchion was the tweener weapon which was better in a horde than the Axe, but not nearly as good on Armored targets but still passable… well until they recently nerfed this one and removed almost all its armor piercing… so no longer any smooth transition between weapons.
The Rapier after the Beta Alt-Fire Nerf was ONLY good in a horde at that point and useless on Shield Users. And required Charged Shots on Armored targets, and then ONLY the Headshots worked.
The Smooth Transition between all of these weapons which was perfect in Beta… is now broken.
And as to where before it used to be you could pick whichever weapon you needed for a specific type of mission or group playstyle… But that was all broken by these pointless nerfs that have completely hosed up the balance between them all now.