It had always impressed me that shot guns in this game was effective at more realistic ranges compared to other FPS games out there, yet also have been a pet peev of mine to see shot guns for the BREACHER class be a useless weapon for actual breaching.
I have thought about many ways to balance this weapon, to be more suitable for CQB situation (and breaching) without being overly 'snipy' as it is currently used right now.
Here are my suggestions:
- make the aim be slightly thrown off every time the pump action is performed. This would make it difficult to aim targets at long range quick enough for a fast burst of accurate down range fire at longer ranges.
Key Point: the manual pump reload (extra clicking before the automatic pump action takes place) would need to throw off the aim after pumping more significantly compared to the 'automatic' pumping which is slower, but less disruptive to the aim.
This makes a semi-realistic approach to nerfing shot guns at long range, as your handling of the weapon during a pump would shake the weapon a little anyway.
Lower penetration for buck shot - especially heavy drop off for longer distances. (they realistically don't have very good penetration) This will reduce the effectiveness of buck shot for longer range. Note: I do admit, I'm not sure how good the penetration is for buck shots in this game, but armour at long distances should effectively block buck shots.
Now that the shot gun has been nerfed for longer engagements, it needs to be more effective in close quarters by buffing up the pump speed (or decrease the delay). Especially for manual pumping, which means you can dump all 7 to 8 rounds in a quick burst. The current pumping speed for both manual and automatic is pathetically slow. Which makes close quarters engagements all about hitting the first shot quickly, and not expecting to survive when you miss.
Reload speed needs to increase (or at least implement a speed reload). Pretty obvious, it is extremely discouraging factor for close quarter engagement when your reload takes almost 10 seconds. Which is another reason why longer engagements are preferred with this weapon.
Introduce a "damage saturation" for limbs. Which just means that if multiple pellets from a single shot gun blast are hit on the limbs, the damage doesn't multiply for all the pellets and will only damage to a certain amount (saturated damage), which means a person could survive a single hit on the foot or a hand. This might not sound realistic at first, but also consider that the pellets essentially go through very small volume of area, which means the damage is essentially similar to 2 or 3 pellets going through the limbs.
Game mechanical wise, this will reduce BS one shot to the foot with a shot gun, reducing its potential as a OP weapon.
With these changes in mind, I'd also like to suggest some pricing and minuet balancing changing.
Increase the price of shotguns (I'd say 3 or 4 supply would be enough)
Increase pricing of flechett (2 or 3?) since they are more rare. Also make them more intended for longer range engagements (less damage drop off and more penetration) and armour penetrating, but with less individual damage compared to buck shot, and due to saturation damage as mentioned above, less effective in close quarters.
These changes will effectively change how the shot gun would be played, from slow quick corner peaking shot by shot at long range meta - towards a more close quarter oriented breaching role as it is intended to be.