A detailed look into the woes of shotgun

So a few people consider me at least a reasonable well person when it comes to shotgun and I want to use this knowledge to talk about the mess that I feel is shotgun. Knowing funcom I expect little to no change and I still consider it more subjective nature but I want to at least share some thoughs on shotgun, some of which are repeats of gripes I put down already in my shotgun guide (Shotgun guide). Also a strong language warning, reading at own risk, I tried keeping it SFW but still not 100% calm.

Lets start with probably the biggest chunk and work ourself from top-left to bottom-right.

The Actives
Both Barrels

My first issue is with Both Barrels, the probably greatest pile of garbage as far as AoEs exist. There are 4 kinds of AoEs a player can cast: Playerbased AoE circles (PbAoE), Targetbased AoE Circles (TbAoE), attacks jumping from enemy to enemy (juming) and Cone AoEs (cone). The three melee weapons and Chaos have PbAoE, not as useful as TbAoE but still very capable as they normally extent 5m in every direction giving you the skill to deal with enemies swarming around your effective range as they basically create a bubble of meatgrinding freaking glory even if the enemy gets on your flanks and back. Elemental, Blood, AR (and technically pistol bullet ballet for certain unnamed people that like riding on goddang details) have TbAoE the upgraded version if you as me of PbAoE as in close fights you still hit all around you and in far away fights you are able to hit a group relatively easy with a 5m radius circle. Third is jumping (Elemental and pistol) which is not as predictable but has huge ability for hitting everything as it can jump 8m every time 6 times…so from 8m radius from the initial target to 6x8=48 m range even if you lowball it a little that is quite nice possible range either TbAoE or jumping are great to have.
Only missing one weapon that gets it’s own version of AoE…must be great…yeah, figures. Why give shotgun cool stuff…it gets the bloody cone.
The damage is quite nice but it doesn’T matter is hitting spread out groups is some dodgy unreliable maybe freaking pooh. You cover 1/3 of the area of circle AoEs, can’t clear enemies once they are around you, have a range of 7 meter max so not even your normal weapon range. Hurray…what a piece of crap I wouldn’T advice anyone to use and since shotgun is a tankweapon you only get 1 power AoE…great design at work. Cause you needed to create something special for shotgun that makes it less fun to play…at least a line AoE like enemies have it would be nice but no…that was to unrealistic, cause shotgun…cause the rest of the weapons care about that.
I would take less damage on it for usability any day of the week…ANY

Opening Shot

One abilitiy further and I have another ability that honestly may be more usable but still makes me WTF was thought when implementing it. Opening Shot aka please slot in group situations never use in any solo dps cabability. Most of the time slotting it is a waste of a oh so precious active slot, cause if we believe what was sad about 5 active slots that made them more valuable. Good, than give me valuable stuff to put into them. The crit buff is a short uh more damage that costs you to much time in solo and in group can turn out useless if two people in the group have it since someone thought it needed restricting to a 20 sec cooldown, cause that is saving game balance, looking away a freaking 20% crit damage to 25% uptime. Glorious. Was it so hard to think up some soloplay use for it, find other balancing tools than a buff lockout rendering it useless at times? If you think that is all wrong with it in my book…wait for the passivtalk…it gets better.

Raging Shot

Raging shot from an active only side is fine..I mean there is not that much to it...it pew pews. The passiv for later again.

Full Salvo

Full Salvo, the end of line one is okish, the damage is nice and thanks to increased range you have more area to lay with. Freaking cone could die here too but it works somehow. Casting time is bothersome as it lets you open to not being able to heal in time or getting interrupted but I call fair trade on the skill. Two minor things…a.)It is triggerheavy, not sure why but sometimes it just doesn’t wanna go off, always the hapy moment of a day when your abilities stab you in the back. b.)It really hates vertical movement…honestly I would prefer hugely to be able to jump up a ledge or walk down without worrying to waste my ult as the later attacks are the ones that hurt. Comfort things. But generally full salvo and such is were shotgun feels good but it could feel great.

Reconstitution Shells & Glutton for Punishment

Second row and start of with a great if not the greatest piece of shotgun: Reconstitution Shells, betting my hand if we had more pvp people would see how utter ridiculous this ability is, especially with passiv. But it also is one of the hairtrigger skills…the complete opposite of full salvo. Sometimes you activate it and it reloads with it, marvelous for a weapon with a mechanic that expects control and choice in it. How did that slip past in the creation in the mechanic.
Same goes for Glutton for punishment…can’T to much speak of how useful it is for tanks but I rarely see shotgun tanks anyway, so inferior all tankstuff probably is.

Shell Salvage

Shell salvage is the hairtrigger that also is useless like trumps wall for mainhand. I don’T get this moronic fixation on energy, like why the heck do energy shotguns go for more than havoc. Why the heck do you give a weapon that has nearly the lowest worth for energy more energy…like WHYYYYYY. As long as odds and even exists that is like the antithesis, the opposite to it. Give me something useful, I mean sure keep the passiv, that buffs your other weapon but drop the multiple directions of design on the active. Decide when making weapons on an idea instead of stitching together a monster that does nothing right and everything a bit.

Cleanup

Cleanup is the worse cleansing droid…using 6 shells with no budging makes it extremly clunky to use…some have suggested to make it like reconstitution shells, the more shells used the more potent but for some reason that is beyond me. It’s a good skill when debuffs fly around like crazy and the passiv is interesting but 6 shells is to goddang much all 6 shell must skills are held back by it. On a laggy client you will and should get frustrated about it.

Bombardment

Bombardment is 6 shells and that is garbage but it also is really really dependent on the enemy holding still…I would kill for having it slow like ele…it would rise in usefulness tenfold, it also is the only source of reliable expose (not counting building the oni shotgun) which is frustrating…were are the fancy debuffs…not even delibitate on a tankweapon somewhere? No purge, no slow…were are the fancy things for shotgun…used up on other weapons?

Third Row

I skip a lot of the third row cause tank skills and I am dps. But why the heck does tank get TbAoE but it is so hard for the dps. And why the heck do you call it a HEAT round…sorry, there is a diffrence between the vehicle and the mmo role. HEAT (High explosive anti tank) is a tankround…it’S freaking massiv…just call it HE round…we won’t be blowing up the orochi tank anytime sone or I would demand it to deal extra damage with that name also round…shotguns shot shells. Did someone google tanks to come up with that name. Reeeeesearch, do it. At least sometimes…alibi wise.

CQC

CQC is something I am on the fence about, some like it I use it rarely if at all cause bashosen does a better, cheaper job. I think the thing holding in back is it being a low range skill that needs a target. Make that one an AoE and it goes crazy times more fluid of the hand…especially if the passive makes it a PbAoE. Quality of life…I know you can do it. We once had a patch truely called and being QoL and it was the hottest jam we ever got. SA, OD and DA fading in it’S shining glory.

Round two of hey we designed frankenstein.

The passives
Opening shots - Fire at Will

First trainwreck probably is Opening shots passiv: Fire at Will…poor Will. The damage art is the only thing that sounds fine in that passiv. You lose it when you get hit, marvelous for solo…truely a masterpiece. Timers to fancy suddendly. And even in groupcontent there is a lot of stuff flying around and poof your damage is gone…also marvelous with multiple shotgun users around were the active shows it’S ugly head. It’S no groupbuff so anyone that wants it has to cast it him/herself. Funtastic.
It gets better: You reload shells when you crit during opening shot: Cause reloading shells messing up the shellcount is what anyone needs on a weapon where the BIGGEST damage contributer apart from shotting is dependent on knowing shellcount. Congrats you made an ability passiv unviable for sane people.

Raging Shots - Point Blank Shot

And we are getting better Raging shots passiv aka how to cripple a range weapon until you have to stick the barrel up your enemies rearend. Point blank shot is an all or nothing frustration making movement in fights pretty boring and with CQC the only ability that forces you close combat to 3m. Either go all the way or scrap it…geeze. Either make it a running theme in the weapon and a core element or D.O.N.T.
I asked for at least 5m for ages it’S still 3m…probably because those two comfort meters are to huge a burden on balancing…totally…absolutly…obviously. Since range was always balanced…right AR, RIGHT?

Next row is fine as far as I can tell.

HEAT

HEAT rounds passiv is freaking weaksauce. 140 protection stacking up to 10 is cute but why would you use that…like max 1400 protection isn’T going to save you and bossfights mostly don’t let you stack even to the max.

Odds and Even

The two other rows have a big issue with shotgun in it. The greatest tool that makes shotgun the most mindnumbing two button dps weapon: Odds and Even…I mean if you make such a central passiv you could integrate it in the weapon from the get go…else it’S just slotcost of which in my book shotgun has a metric ton of. Also it’S so static and monoton it’S frustrating…no matter what I play my damage comes from the same cycle of raging shot and pump action, no deviation because most times it is not worth it going crazy for a few percent if you are surrounded by AR doing the heavy lifting anyway. It’s the reason why despite loving my shotgun I wouldn’T force it uon people cause they probably stop playing if picking shotgun as there first weapon upon recommendation and not free will. Fixing it in any way would fundamentally change the weapon, something you don’T like but honestly speaking I wouldn’T mind. Would wake up my braincells in combat.

Munition Expert

Munition expert is another slottax…the base shell distribution is just bad and you need at least this to make it bearable. And they definitly know that it is an issue or we wouldn’T have the howling dog shotgun having such huge impact. The bandage slottax for shotgun…wooohooo -.-

Last Row

The last line of passives is an assortment of weak tank passives…I mean 3% on glance…marvelous when hammer can heal 113%…or another below 2k protection…just use real tankskills cause you need a lot of stacking stuff to make such stuff count, 4.5% heal on green shells instead of 3%…will certainly stop those high dungeon boss hits…totally. I mean…no wonder the meta is hammer/chaos with stuff like this. Combat reload might be useful for offhand but a hazard for mainhand same reason as with the Opening Shot passiv

Some smaller sidepoints

The weapon mechanic

While the mechanic of reloads and shells doesn’t bug me (shotgun gets some high numbers on passives, buffs and even shells) I find the shellselection from lacking to probably scrapable:
Red and purple are in essentiallity in 99% cases the same in effect: damage. Purple could chease existing and art from stacking purple on red when you can/if you can maybe probably it dooesn’T change a thing. Green is strangely ok…nice but unreliable heal that is useful in Scenarios and DA and stuff even if it is freaking common. Blue is the useless shell, sry to throw that out but even with the howling dog shotgun it became just an option for crazy people and people liking experimenting. Purging shells, CC shells, shells that push, explode, have more range, autoaim around corners…were is the cool stuff, let me shoot cool creative stuff

The weapons

Generally I feel like there are some really cool weaons that are better or worse in some situations. Two kinds of shotguns thought are useless in general: Tankshotgun (bar frostbound and anima if you count that tank) and damage effects weaker than the easier avadable spes…if you ever make more shotguns. Make tankshotguns with a huge umpf, like something that makes shotgun tanking cool and instead of diffrent ways of damage find useful extensions to the dps of shotgun…higher stackcount on dragonbreath, shelleffect multiplier, stuff that alters o&e or something that makes basics diffrent or cones or whatever…creativity over bland numbers. Even if it is more subpar in the end…I take something cool over something slightly less subpar.

So…that was a long talk I wanted for a long time, chewing through all the kinks that shotgun has. Not expecting anything from it but I wanted to do it for ages, same as I want to soon look into a “SWL - the good, the bad, the ugly” cause this game has hilariously grave weakpoints that we ut up with because it’S strong points are really good, same as shotgun looks like lost in it’S direction and design but has enough cool stuff to make one still stick with it.
Some issues are excusable some are why by god why would you do that (like a recent announcement).

P.S.:I try formatting it a little for easier read but it’S a junk, especially actives+passives

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As I do tank shotgun I can comment on ~2 abilities…

  • rocket pods passive is 2nd best tanking damage soak ability (behind pulverize)
  • glutton for punishment is ok as a taunt (better than any hammer taunt but still way easier to mess up than evulsion) and mediocre as a protection buff
  • in general, slotting more than 1 shotgun ability that consumes all shells is a bad idea for tanking because you need quick responses. See boss cast animation, instantly start casting appropriate response. Anything that consumes all your shells blocks every other one for at a minimum 1.5 seconds. Whereas on hammer/chaos you can just pop them back to back (instantly as many as you want when your current cast ends for non-GCD abilities like thick skin and immutable, 1 per second for impairs) and gadgets you can cast at any time regardless what other ability is in progress.

I dislike the reload mechanic enough to have never played shotgun primary, but offhand the energy from shell salvage is pretty decent (without an energy shotgun you’re very tight on 3 attacks then salvage, with an energy shotgun it’s variable 3-4 worth of energy)

That said it turns out in groups, running opening shot and no other shotgun abilities gives highest personal and group dps, reloading is just too heavy a time or slot penalty and main-hand basics get buffed a ton at endgame. I stick to my Raging Shot included build cause it’s a little more consistent for killing at-level adds (7 shots at gettin a power move to crit at the start of a fight instead of 4).

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Main problems:

  1. Reload GCD. That is biggest problem. Along with abilities that consume all available shells sometimes it means 2 consecutive reloads. It makes fight very clunky.
  2. Random shells. As offhand weapon with dragon’s breath shells I get same dps from dot and raging shot. Any other type of shells is way worse. It means you need to have at least 2 active abilities slotted to reliably select DB shells in fight.
  3. Abilities that consume all shells and abilities that require 5-6 shells to use.

Having any one of those 3 problems would be ok but with all 3 SG is a disgusting weapon to use. But… better to buff rifle again I guess.

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The random shells can be overcome with shell savage and its passive. However the others are valid issues.

Yes. That is what I meant by ‘you need to have at least 2 active abilities slotted to reliably select DB shells in fight’. One damage and one Shell Salvage. Still too much when combined with issues 1 and 3. Or have Combat Reload passive, but I still run out of shells with it sometimes.

Ah fair point sorry I read that wrong

I think the problem with reloading shells (aside from the super clunky way they interact with the gcd) is that it should either be designed as “it’s a random bonus, try not to worry about it” or “it’s a skill check, make sure you hit the right button to get what you need” but not both. If you have four or more shotgun abilities on your bar then you should be guaranteed a choice of all four shell types during a reload. All the passives that mess with shell probabilities are awful - they just say “we know this weapon gimmick sucks but at least you can waste a bunch of slots to mitigate it somewhat”. :v:

Edit: like, “some weapon gimmicks are harder to deal with than others” is a nice idea on paper but in practice it sucks that shotgun & blood users have to jump a bunch of hurdles in order to do way less dps than other weapons that are easier to use.

I kinda object to the odds-changing passives cause they imply that you’d play in a way where you sometimes don’t get what you want, so they increase damage. Whereas you could just put in shell salvage, lock in a dps shell type and always have it. It doesn’t matter if the other shotgun slots are 30% or 35% chance of being red when the SS slot is 100% red.

I would be significantly more ok with the reload mechanic if you just had to hit a hotkey any time you want (immediately available upon hitting 0 shells, nothing can interrupt it including regaining partial shells) and you always get a refill of 6+ of that kind within the next few seconds. Combat Reload should be a useful passive since it increases time between reloads but if I run out of shells while I have it slotted, I get stuck in a loop of “use shotgun ability to drop to 0, combat reload immediately adds 1 before the abilities flip so I can’t reload” where I’m unable to get what I want and my shotgun’s locked out a bunch from the flipping.

Really though for every point of pain there are multiple ways to improve it, all I can say for certain is “I absolutely detest RNG, and TSW was a better game for having static rotations available to those who want them” Both games balanced that badly though; TSW was 98% static rotations, with the exception of ~ 2 passives that gave rng energy, SWL is 100% rng rotations (due to crit energy). I’m pretty limited in gimmicks due to the strength of this preference; only hammer ele fist and blood are completely free of 1-cast rng (where you might need to change the cast after the current one to suit what the gimmick does during this cast) and of those, hammer’s the only one that makes it 100% positive with 0 slot tax.

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