Its damage and shred bonuses don’t do it much good considering its crappy aim and 4 shot burst. Sure, its damage bonus allows it to do more against heavily armored targets, but if the armor is high enough to matter then the gun is hardly gonna do any damage anyway. Also most aliens have a weakly armored spot, which makes the rifle even more unnecessary.
All this, and it even has the gall to be more expensive than the Ares!
Aside from the game imbalance, it’s also a glaring lore break. No species supremacists (Special? Specist?) like New Jericho would ever embolden The Hated Other by bringing such a pathetic weapon to bear. Master of conventional weaponry is NJ’s whole shtick, so it makes no sense that their assault rifle is worst of the lot.
One way to improve it would be to give it a higher shred ability. That would make it more useful against The Pure and The Forsaken, and would give it a unique niche that no other assault rifle possess.
Also, I haven’t gotten to the post patch versions of the NJ AP rifles, but if they haven’t been changed already then they should be. They were totally outclassed by the Anu shotguns and served no purpose.
Actually in the eyes of many experienced players, the Bulldog is one of the more enduring weapons in the Auto-rifle spectrum. It is generally kept in use for much longer than the Ares or even the Deimos (which generally hangs around because of its accuracy).
I’ve had long discussions with experienced players over the merits or otherwise of the weapon. Many see it as a good armour-stripper in a combined-arms squad - and I know of at least one old hand who prefers it over the Piranha for precisely that reason.
So while you might not yet see a use for it, others would quite strongly argue that it’s fine as it is.
I wouldn’t say it is more practical. It is good when you try to maintain long range fight, but enemies often are closer than you need with Deimos, so accuracy is not so important. Bulldog has more raw power against armored targets. With other rifles (except Piranha) you need to strip armor first.
I’m not refunding. I want to play this game as long as it is possible and there is no better successor.
The Bulldog only does 2 extra points of shred damage per burst over the Ares while having only 4/5ths the aim. That’s not terribly impressive. Maximizing your chance to hit for double digit damage is more important than doing an unimpressive 2-8 shred damage. It only does around 50 max damage against 30 armor targets and only 12 max against 40 armor. At 20 armor it roughly does 17 more max damage than the Ares. Not really viable for a gun that’s supposed to be good against armor.
All in all I’ve just never had a moment where this weapon has truly impressed me with its performance. Sometimes it performs well when it hits an average sized target with all its bullets at medium range, but often it’s just mediocre.
Compare it to the Deimos which has double the Bulldog’s aim and delivers consistent, solid results. You could even argue it’s a better shredder than the Bulldog in some ways, since it can precisely deliver repeated shred to a single bodypart instead of causing minor shed damage to a bunch of body parts in the Bulldogs big firing cone. Obviously this is negated somewhat if you get in close with the Bulldog, but in that case you’re usually better off shotgunning a low-armored limb.
@VOLAND , you’re the best advocate I know for this, so maybe you want to pitch in here?
FWW @Dogar , Voland and I have had long debates over this. I tend to believe that the Piranha renders everything but the Deimos obsolete when it comes out - and the Deimos only hangs around because of its accuracy over range. Voland has other ideas and can argue very intelligently in favour of the Bulldog.
So over to you V-Man - and Dogar, I don’t say this with any kind of meanness at all, but you asked for this
In the early game it is just whatever is available. Later it depends on the skills and the squad. Anyone with virus gets a 6 shooter. Troopers tend to get Bulldogs if the squad needs shred. Arese is cheap to shoot, so even in late March I still have a couple in service. Zerkers get Deimos as hitting is more important than damage.
The Independent AR is the worst in all ways, yet sometimes we just need a gun so they do get pressed into service…
Looking at damage in first turn where we fire full barrage we can clearly see that with armor higher than 15, Bulldog is starting to outperform Ares. I don’t know how about you but I would prefer to deal that 30 damage more against enemies with 20 armor, 70 more damage against targets with 30 armor. And against armor 40 Ares is almost not doing any damage.
Really? My all soldiers wear sniper helmet, anything that boost accuracy and use quite accurate weapon. Miss ratio is way less. Short distance it doesnt matter but then I hit with snipers and grandade launchers, stun or use Berserker sticks.
For me it’s roughly something like Ares–> Bulldog–> Deimos–> Piranha, but really it depends on playing style:
If you use explosives to strip armor, Ares and Deimos are better than NJ ARs as damage dealers at 8-20 tile range.
If you don’t mind going for really close range (1-2) tiles, Iconoclast is the way to go.
If you want to shoot off limbs of armored targets at 4-8 tile range, a Bulldog or a Piranha is the better option, imo
I don’t agree that armor shredding of Bulldog is not good enough - at 8 shred per 2 AP it’s pretty good, and with really heavily armored enemies it does make a difference to he able to strip 16 armor with 2 bursts (Scylla, for example: and there Piranha is not as good, because it deals very little damage and doesn’t have a combined arms benefit, to help other squaddies deal more damage).
But the key in PP with all weapons and why they all have their niche is that targets come in very different sizes. The effective range numbers are pretty meaningless by themselves. For example, Shotguns have ER of 8-10, but most of the time engaging targets at the that range is very ineffective, unless they are really big. To hit that thin Arthron’s arm you have to be 1-2 tiles away. Meanwhile, a Bulldog or a Piranha has 22 ER, so it can hit that same arm at maybe 5 tiles (depending on angle). Or maybe you can go for a little more armored body part a little further away…
All this without getting into skills and perks, of course (for example, I like to give Bulldogs to snipers with Trooper perk, because 8 shred for 1 AP is a really good deal).
Anyway, it’s just my opinion - I like Bulldogs and in some cases I will take them over other weapons.
Player should think about effective range of direct fire weapons as divided by 2. So if shotguns have 8 then range is like 4. If assault rifle range is between 20 and 32 then real effective range is between 10 and 16. That is why I say accuracy is mostly irrelevant.
If you boost it with skills and equipment then it is fine but ratio between weapons stay the same. And assault rifles are good if you don’t want to go personal with enemy and you prefer to stay behind cover. Then if that range is 10 or 16 doesn’t really matter.
Unless you really prefer to stay away from enemies and use long range combat. Then yes Bulldog will underperform, but only then. In all other situations I prefer using it over all other ARs. Siren, Chiron especially. As often I don’t bother with explosives (too expensive and AP consuming) and usually I also don’t run out of cover to blast enemies with shotguns.
I think that is a valid approximation if we think of the target as a humanoid and we don’t care what body part to hit. But that imho applies only to low tier Arthons.
The beauty of the game is that intended targets come in very different sizes and at different angles. So, for example, when dealing with high tier Tritons you want to disable one of the arms that holds the weapon, and a shotgun can only accomplish that at a distance of 1 tiles max, while a Bulldog maybe 3 tiles.
Okay, I guess I was missing the forest for the trees. Voland and Yokes make some pretty solid points. I definitely see how Bulldog could work really well in a team, especially if you got a shotgun to really exploit that extra shred damage. Point withdrawn!