before you call me some crazy idiot, just hear me out plz.
I've actually been opposed to the idea of bringing AP and HP back from Insurgency: Source to Sandstorm for ages now. AP and HP made Ins2014 extremely unbalanced, and thus it shouldn't be in Insurgency: Sandstorm. Right?
Here's the thing; Insurgency: Source was a horribly imbalanced game due to AP and HP ammo types. However, it was also extremely fun. Ins2014 was a semi-realistic game with some arcade elements here and there, but the gunplay was lethal and easy to learn.
Insurgency: Source is good in the same way Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is good; there are so many ways to play/cheese the game because everything's extremely overpowered. Wanna run an AKS-74u with HP and a PO scope? It'll work fine. What about a decked-out Makarov? You can sh*t on entire teams with that if you're decent.
Sandstorm, however, was specifically designed around Competitive play. I think that's the biggest hurdle to this game, as the "Source" material simply wasn't designed for Competitive at all. Attempting to "balance" Sandstorm to work competitively just makes the game not feel like a true sequel to Insurgency. It would almost make more sense to just have the Competitive damage model differ from the standard model.
Now, I still think it's possible for Sandstorm to have a solid damage model with high lethality without adding in AP and HP. However, I'm asking for these ammo types now because Sandstorm's damage model has been royally f*cked for over half a year now.
On September 6th, 2018, both Light and Heavy Armor were heavily nerfed. Prior to this update, Light Armor actually helped protect the player from pistol calibers (and possibly battle rifles?) while Heavy Armor helped additionally against battle rifles, shotguns, and 5.56 weapons. While the old damage model wasn't perfect, it wasn't bad.
Ever since September 6th, armor, in general, does an extremely poor job at protecting the player from anything. In fact, 75% of Sandstorm's weapons will kill a player in 2-3 torso shots in CQB, with or without armor. Only a quarter of Sandstorm's weapons can kill an unarmored player in one torso shot, while every single firearm in Insurgency: Source, without mods, could achieve the same.
So while most weapons basically have the same amount of shots to kill, that whole idea of "one shot, one kill" has been completely thrown out the window in Sandstorm.
Another issue is Sandstorm's actual weapon handling. Hipfire now has ludicrous amounts of recoil and is impossible to control for weapons with high horizontal recoil like the MP5s and MP7. Crouching reduces recoil by 40%, which is insane. Just slav squatting reduces the recoil of your weapon so significantly that it'll make it a laser beam. Going prone has an even greater effect (although this at least makes sense) and using Focus also seems to reduce recoil by roughly 20%. Also, if you're suppressed, you have much more sway and your recoil can increase by 50-100% from what I've tested. The first-shot recoil is also much higher, making full-auto fire the current meta.
In Insurgency: Source (feel free to correct me on this, because I'm not 100% about some of these stats), crouching seems to reduce recoil by 15-20% maximum (not sure about prone). Using Focus does not reduce recoil at all, as far as I'm aware. Being suppressed adds some weapon sway, but it's nothing that you can't counter. Recoil stays constant. The meta was AP + single tapping or burst-firing at most.
First of all, before anything else, Sandstorm's weapon handling should exactly mimic Insurgency: Source. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I have no idea why the hell NWI did what they did to weapon handling in Sandstorm. Stick with the Ins2014 weapon handling because that was near-perfect.
As for the gunplay model, I'm starting to lose hope that NWI will ever change the damage model and shots to kill, which is why I'm asking for AP/HP to come back. The game is already in such a bad state with the damage model and the gunplay, and I feel like you should just say:
Break the game! Insurgency: Source was broken and yet it's an amazing FPS. Trying to balance out everything so "nothing's too strong" and all this other sh*t really just isn't Insurgency's style. Adding in AP and HP will change the meta in Competitive (unless, of course, you just keep AP and HP ammo mods out of Comp entirely), but it's not like the current Comp meta (spraying with an M4) is any better.
NWI can always test out AP and HP ammo types in a custom arcade mode first, or possibly even adding them on the CTE and getting community feedback that way. I just want firearms in Sandstorm to not feel like peashooters anymore. It's strange that after all of the quality-of-life changes and all the graphical improvements and new mechanics, the old Insurgency is still more fun to play.