Recieved response as personal message from Netheos. Posting here as I'm aware I'm not the only person who wants to know. Supposedly his answer came from the lead game designer.
Lethality is to remain where it is as NWI believe it is lethal enough. Unarmoured targets shrugging of SCAR rounds to the heart is fine, this is as-designed and not a bug.
Bulletpoint 1 wasn't really addressed.
Bulletpoint 2 is covered ^.
Bulletpoint 3 is a maybe - it's possible we can fix the balance and weapon damage ourselves in the future but they will not confirm.
Bulletpoint 4 has been confirmed not to be happening. Apparently this was experimented with and determined more efficient from a performance standpoint to not be the case.
General theme was:
"gameplay trumps realism" - apparently NWI think this gameplay is superior to Ins2014/DoI.
"the gameplay of the game has to be balanced" - apparently there isn't a battle rifle meta and the game is balanced.
While the answer is appreciated Netheos, I will reinstall Sandstorm if and when modding tools are implemented enabling these unimmersive, unbalanced and non-lethal design decisions to be fixed on private servers.
I've no idea what else to do as a customer other than take my business elsewhere.
It absolutely frightens me that people want a ticking UI of reward points over an immersive sequel to what are arguably the two best immersion shooters ever made, Ins2014 and DoI.
This to me is just contrary to the whole point of what an Insurgency game is.
But it isn't.
FAL is roundabout twice as lethal, both fire full auto, both can have 30 rounds in the magazine. FAL also has the ability to punch through cover a bit more consistently. What advantage does an M4 have? The ability to attach a drum magazine? Whereupon you can have nearly twice the ammo with actually less than half the effectiveness per round? The only argument which can be made here, is there's a midrange sweet spot where the M4 is controllable on full auto but the FAL isn't. Which I'd counterpoint with the simple fact that the FAL doesn't neccessarily need follow-up shots as it can sometimes kill people.
@bullet59 Not really seeing the difference here.
For example, FAL behaves almost like a gun, SCAR behaves like a paintball marker. Aren't these supposed to be eachother's counterpart?
As for M4 vs FAL, well, it's a lethality issue. FAL isn't lethal enough, M4 isn't lethal at all. If the M4 had some lethality it would be of some use. In CQB, your best bet is a FAL since you can win an exchange on a mouseclick. At range the FAL is the best bet because it sometimes downs people instead of the M4 which never under any circumstances ever will unless it's a headshot.