For a weapon that is supposedly designed for the Veteran, the plasma gun is the one least suited for the Veteran Kit.
I will start with Veteran feats and why they don’t benefit Plasma, and at the end recommend some possible solutions:
This feat gives 40% to your ammo pool, NOT counting your mag. Since 50% of the entire ammo pool for a plasma is your initial mag it gives Plasma the least benefit of any gun in the entire game by a large margin.
Edit: appears to be a preset percent? of ammo regen per elite/special kill, different weapons have different percents. The Plasma is the only gun in the game that doesn’t even get a single full shot per kill (2 ammo back, and 3 consumed per uncharged shot)
Make Every Shot Count
Plasma has the worst Weakspot damage of any ranged weapon the Veteran can use, losing even to the Braced autoguns and Shredder Autopistol. Since Weakspot damage only affects the damage increase Weakspot give, and not the total damage on a Weakspot hit, that makes this nearly useless for Plasma.
More details on specific numbers can be found here:
(I also include numbers on the Gets Hot blessing - in its current form having it is indistinguishable from not having it)
The plasma gun itself is not weak, so we do have to be careful on how it is changed to better take advantage of the Veterans kit.
Some possibly resolutions:
Is an easy one, a 50-100% (3/4 ammo) boost to the ammo recovered wouldn’t make the gun significantly more powerful, just allows you to use it slightly more without having to hog all ammo pickups for yourself.
Make Every Shot Count
Currently Weakspot hits are only occasionally useful on certain enemies to hit 1 or 2 shot breakpoints. Buffing ONLY weakspot damage to be more in line with Boltgun (Increasing it to 30%~ to be inline with Boltgun) would not break the plasma gun and would make it significantly more Veteran friendly. A slight reduction in body shot damage would be an easy adjustment if this becomes too strong.
Make this apply to the entire ammo pool of the weapon, including the magazine. It would be a very minor buff to other ranged weapons, but make it actually good on Plasma.
I don’t think you need all three, but at least two, with Make Every Shot Count being most important as it is the only non-ammo ability of the three.
Bonus round, Blessings~:
Currently this blessing does nothing for the gun. You can increase crit chance to 100% at high heat (20% crit chance per stack) and it would still be quite weak (12% damage boost on body shots, and only 7% on Weakspot)
This blessing is also in direct conflict with Blaze Away since you want to start at low heat, allowing for maximum possible shots to build and keep stacks at 50% as long as possible.
20% crit chance would make 5 stacks unnecessary. Changing to 4 stacks at 20/40/60/80 means you are at 90% crit chance at max stacks with vet 10% built in (95% with the perk, 100 with perk and ads) making it nearly a 12% damage boost to body shots at max stacks which is weak, but reliable and noticeable.
A slight boost in crit damage would still likely be needed to make this blessing work, but a minor increase to 15-18%~ (10% for weakspots) would make the blessing worth using even with the very negative situational nature.
This isn’t a huge buff to the gun, just makes another blessing more viable.
Shattering Impact (brittleness)
This blessing makes little sense, whether it did Rending or Brittleness. This gun is designed to be anti-armor, doing very high damage to flak and carapace. I am uncertain what Brittleness is supposed to do when you can kill crushers in a single shot.
Replace it with a blessing that removes heat on elite/special kill or Weakspot kill - and/or an ammo efficiency blessing that reduces ammo cost by 50% or more on initial shot.
Lower ammo consumption, better crit, a fixed ammo count instead of an ammo stat, a reworked and totally new blessing pool, everything.
All of its current blessings need to go. No blaze away, no gets hot, no brittlenes, none of them. Would much rather a pool of blessings that focused on charge speeds, rate of fire, vent speeds, and further ammo consumption tweaks. The sky was the limit with a possible blessing pool and the devs stayed on the ground. Even the unobtainable blessings that we know about are just so boooring.
But why? I have spent some 200-300 hours using the gun, and honestly it is one of the better ranged weapons in the game.
No ammo stat? are you wanting the ammo stat to be removed from all guns or just Plasma for some reason?
What would you replace it with, Mobility or Collateral? I am not sure how this would be an improvement.
“All of its current blessings need to go” Again I am forced to wonder why. The only Blessing that has no purpose is Shattering impact.
Increasing damage will increase ammo and heat efficiency - two things you claim to want. Blaze away can give up to 50%. My version of Gets Hot would increase efficiency by making certain break points easier to obtain. I don’t understand how you can argue for better ammo, and less heat while stating you don’t like blessings that already give both.
Volatile already increases charge speed and fire rate of uncharged shots quite significantly. What about it do you not like/would you change about it specifically, without making the blessing, and the gun overpowered?
Yes. There’s several weapons with no ammo stat. You pick them up and you have 100% of the ammo every time from gear level 100 to 550. The weapons without an ammo stat have a great deal of control from a balance perspective as that’s a single point that can be tweaked once and done; and also from a player perspective as that’s a stat RNG cannot take away from you.
Plasma is a very low ammo count weapon, which, sure, the intent seems obvious and good, but giving it both low ammo and the energy weapon’s trait of needing multiple units of ammo to fire a single shot is more draconian than it needs to be. The degree of ammo conservation needed to operate the plasma would not change between an ammo stat of 80% vs 100%, but 50% or lower is just vacuuming the team’s resources even when played well.
I do not care what they replace it with, it can be left blank.
You know, you made a thread asking for plasma gun buffs and I’m not arguing against that?
You did start the thread like that, right? And I didn’t grill you or make counter claims or bold accusations demanding a debate, right?
Not what I said. But ok.
Yeah, it’s kind of boring. Like every stacking blessing.
You want me to brainstorm new blessings? They could have one that’s 50% charge speed, 50% less ammo consumption and whatever % less power.
Lol I mean you did respond to the post just saying that the entire gun was made wrong and it needs a total rework from the ground up without providing any rationale. I was curious if you could provide any clarification to justify such drastic changes to be necessary or even just good.
AFAIK, it’s 1% of your ammo pool (with a minimum of 1 ammo) and the fraction amounts accumulate so you’ll occasionally get an additional 1 ammo back (approx 2 additional ammo per 3 elite kills). I think you need to consider the return relative to the cost to proc Scavenger, instead of comparing to the cost to shoot one shot. For example, the Vraks Mk III afaik takes 2 bursts to kill softer elites* (6 ammo), but only replenishes 3 - 4.
*I think a full headshot burst could kill in 1 burst, but recoil and stagger can make that unreliable.
+1 for that. Ammo is a big issue on the weapon. Increasing ammo recovered to 3-4 would put the plasma in a perfect place.
This would also be a great fix for the problem.
This isn’t true. You don’t accumulate fractions.
Vrak III replenishes 5-6 ammo depending on the ammo stat and can kill with 3 shots. It has a better ammo return than plasma which has an ammo return of 2 and needs 6-9 to kill an elite apart from things like shotgunners.
Vrak III also gets 70+ ammo from a small pickup, plasma only gets 27 (enough for 9 normal or 3 charged shots).
There isn’t any weapon with as bad ammo efficiency as plasma.
I am not sure you clicked on my google doc, Boltgun gets 2 ammo per kill which is very significantly over 1%. It in fact gets the same ammo per kill as the plasma despite the plasma having a 50% larger pool not counting the mag, nearly 150% larger if you count the total ammo amount. I can’t see anyway a flat percent would give Boltgun and Plasma gun the same return. I should say each weapon has its own % return not a flat number to be more accurate.
I think you need to consider the return relative to the cost to proc Scavenger
I have, I include the damage you get from the ammo return via scavenger proc. While I could include other factors such as Weakspot damage, penetration, accuracy e.t.c. raw damage is accurate enough without having to run hundreds of tests in missions to see how that amount of ammo actually plays out for each weapon.
I agree in general the plasma is a reasonably strong weapon and mention it above. My main issue isn’t the overall strength of the weapon, so much as it is designed to be totally independent of all three built in Veteran passives which you can’t change. (at least not until sub classes theoretically become a thing)
Its ability to recover ammunition from pickups and scavenger are among the very worst in the game, so I don’t see any particular issue buffing that - I don’t think that will unbalance the weapon.
Boltgun has very nearly the same base damage, but it gets a 30% - almost 3x the Weakspot bonus of plasma.
helbore is similar in base damage as well, but has 100% weakspot.
While there are clear differences in the weapons I think even if you have to lower body shot damage a little to justify increasing Weakspot damage on plasma it would be well worth it to make the gun feel more like a weapon designed for Veteran. One that works better on Vet then it would Zealot or Psyker.
There isn’t any weapon with as bad ammo efficiency as plasma.
To be clear I am 98% certain this is because Scavenger is (and I know Ammo pickups are) based off the (total ammo - Mag) function like Be Prepared is. I didn’t want to go code diving, and since each weapon appears to have a different %, I couldn’t test it and be 100% certain.
Going off (Total - Mag) makes the plasma nearly in line with other weapons at 1% recovery instead of 1.3%~ that a lot of other weapons get with Scavenger using the same function, with the notable exception of Boltgun who won the ammo recovery lottery.
You recover 15% of your ammo pool with an ammo pack and 50% with a bag.
similar for the vet special aptitude, it is directly linked to the ammo pool of the weapon.
So, in other words, the question is now : is the ammo reserve of plasma gun good to use this weapon?
My opinion is, yes. Shotguns are worst than that… revolver also.
Plasma gun has a good ammo reserve… I don’t see a reason to increase it.
Ammo pickups are based on (Total ammo - Mag size) and since plasma magazine is the largest, that means it gets much less effect from ammo pickups than other guns.
At max ammo, plasma has 135/189 (324). A small will give 29 ammo (4939~ damage) which is 15% of 189 rounded up which is only 9%~ of the total ammo of the gun.
In comparison boltgun (ammo is 15/112 total is 127) gives 17 rounds (8415 damage), 15% of 112 which is 13.4% of the total 127 ammo.
Comparing Plasma reserve your max possible amount is 511x(189/3) = 32193 total damage. *note even total ammo for plasma is 511x(324/3) = 55188 which is still less then boltgun reserves.
Boltgun has 55440
Lasgun XII has 85737
Changing ammo pickups to be based on total ammo (including the magazine) I think is more then justified considering how it is primarily just a random nerf to plasma.
Plasma reserves certainly aren’t “Good” if they are be comparable to the worst guns (ammo wise) in the game. Though shotguns and revolvers have issues beyond that of just ammo recovery.
I will point out Kantrael has better reserves, and both it and Lawbringer have incredibly efficient special attacks to help offset the low base pool to the extent you are willing to use them.
Revolver has about the worst reserves of any in the game. Once you factor in the base crit stats the reserves aren’t much different from Plasma either.
I wouldn’t mind if shotguns, and revolvers got some love as I don’t think they are in a great place currently.
I really like the change of pace the huge magazine size gives the plasma gun. I would much rather see ammo effects just be based off the total ammo (including the mag) so it isn’t just an arbitrary “we don’t like plasma” function since it is the only weapon where the mag is such a huge % of the total ammo.
My problem is Gets Hot isn’t fun, it is a 2.4% damage increase (average) at 5 stacks. there is no way anyone can tell the difference between having it and not having it specially since you can’t even stay at max stacks. No one is like “man that 1% damage increase really felt great”