One of Sandstorm's more serious balance issues has gone too long without seemingly being acknowledged or addressed.
This issue is the meta nature of high per shot damage; aka the Battle Rifle meta. Simply put, Battle Rifles are meta weapons in the game, easily outclassing ARs and lighter calibers.
This means that ARs, unless you just really want to run them, are inferior to Battle Rifles, whose per shot damage makes up for any loss in controllability.
The reasons for this, I think, arise from 2 sources:-
1. The ability to tank shots
Simply put, getting shot once, unless you die, isn't much of a hindrance. You'll die easier next time, but in the firefight, you suffer no penalty from getting shot once and can continue moving or shooting as before.
This makes the per shot lethality of Battle Rifles a very attractive option, since in the average shooting match, the ability to either one shot or 2 shot enemies easily trumps the slightly easier to control recoil or better RoF of assault rifles.
2. Lack of any kind of suppression
This isn't just a lack of physical or optical effects, but also reactions to getting shot. It is all too easy to tank shots and return accurate fire upon taking fire rather than seeking cover and laying down covering fire.
What this translates into is a reinforcement of the high damage meta, since the greater RoF of lower calibers can't even effectively suppress enemies, and even if they get the first shot in, that isn't going to keep the enemy down or hinder them in any way. The high damage wins out every single time, since it kills faster and there's no reward for suppressive fire or landing shots not amounting to a kill
This, apart from affecting PvP, also makes PvE worse.
Bots, being entirely unaffected by suppressive fire and having near perfect awareness means that, unless you're landing kill shots, things like suppressive fire and high rates of fire are useless compared to per shot lethality.
And Bots themselves getting high caliber(one shot kill) weapons when combined with their lightning reflexes, makes bringing anything outside to high damage weapons just a way of handicapping yourself.