When I started TSW my goal was to run around with a double barrel shotgun fighting the hordes of the undead. Unfortunately no side by side undead slaying double barrel was ever added to the models. However SWL rectified this with a very nice Double Barrel Shotgun, sure it has 5 barrels, but hey it looks awesome. I decided this weapon was going to be my main before I even knew what it do. Two barrels of buckshot is better than one.
On the subject of Shotgun DPS I wanted to chime in as if there are any other crazy people out there with Red Quality double barrels running around we should get a club going. That said, presented below is my weird musings on why a crazy double barrel; build throws everything out of whack for shotguns and why it might need some testing to see how good/bad it is that I am to lazy to do.
First the biggest “problem” with shotguns is that they quickly become energy neutral as a mainhand. Alternating basic and power attacks for odds and evens means you spend 4 energy on a power attack (3 on a crit) and you gain 1 energy on a basic attack (2 with a crit). Throw in cold silver dice, or a weapon of energy and alternating power attacks and basic attacks means one you hit a decent crit chance you are probably never going to run out of energy. Since we only get X amount of attacks per time period what can we do to make sure those attacks are the higher damage ones. The first thought is use more Power attacks, but odds/evens means using a power attack with an odd shell drops our damage.
This is where the double barrel shotgun comes into play. It removes the ability for us to be energy neutral, you cannot by default ever regain enough energy to spam raging bullet for every attack. However this moves the question to just how many raging bullets can we fit into a given time period.
We know standard regen is going to be 1per second. Crits return 1 energy. of energy is a 33% chance on crit for a 3rd energy, and cold silver dice is another 22% chance at a 4th energy. Even if everything fired every shot you are still spending 5 energy and gaining 4. Your 4th shot is a reload which regains 1 energy so in 4 seconds you are spending 15 energy and regaining between 4-13 energy.
Now add in shell salvage and full salvo . You open with an offhand power attack (i like mjolnir with voltaic shunt) and then immediately blow 3 raging bullets. Reload, and use Full Salvo. By the time Full salvo is done you will have enough energy for another 2 or 3 raging bullets. If you hit 15 offhand energy, or <3 shotgun energy you use an offhand power attack. When voltaic shunt procs you use the offhand power attack. By alternating Full salvo, shell salvage, and the occasional offhand attack. You will almost never use a basic attack. The only time you end up possibly using a basic attack is after full salvo since it takes 5 shells. However if you use opening shot, you will then full salvo into a reload, and the timer of both abilities will synchronize.
The fun part is the more your crit chance goes up, the more energy you regain, the more raging shots you use, and the less you use your offhand. You reload more, which gives you more procs on the belt. So far its been pretty viable for everything up to e8-e9. Best way to play? Probably not, but it is a way to completely remove Basic attacks from your rotation and deal very high spike damage.