I think there is a good case to be made that the Biochemist perk could really use a change in how it works. By applying 1 viral damage to each bullet fired in a weapon attack regardless of weapon type, it causes high burst stat weapons like shotguns and the Deceptor MG to be almost as good, or even better, at applying viral damage than the Priest class’s own viral weapons. Even laser weapon shots get Biochemist viral damage applied to them. The way the Biochemist perk has always worked, just doesn’t make sense from a gameplay balance or believability perspective.
My proposal for changing the Biochemist perk so that it’s more balanced and realistic, is for the Biochemist perk to instead apply a 20% bonus to poison/paralysis/viral damage to the weapon attacks made by operatives that have the Biochemist perk. Only weapons that already do poison/paralysis/viral damage would benefit from this perk. This 20% bonus would cause a shot from a Subjugator viral sniper rifle to apply 12 virus instead of 10 virus, for example. Changing the Biochemist perk in this way ensures that the Priest class’s own specialised and purpose-built viral weapons are the main and best source of viral damage effects.
To me, it seems believable that expertise in biochemistry would be applicable to the poison and paralysis weapons as well, not just viral weapons. The poison weapons in the game such as the poison crossbow, poison grenade and venom torso arm seem underpowered and underutilised. They could use something that applies a 20% bonus to their poison damage stat. The paralysis weapons in the game generally seem to rely on applying neurotoxins to cause their paralysis effects, so I think paralysis weapons should also benefit from the 20% bonus as well. Poison and viral weapons are mainly Synedrion/Disciples of Anu restricted tech as well, so having paralysis weapons included too would ensure that a changed Biochemist perk would be usable with at least one Phoenix Project tech tree weapon, the Neurazer. Acid and fire damage weapons seem balanced enough as they are and don’t need buffing.
Do you think that changing the Biochemist perk to instead apply a 20% bonus to poison/paralysis/viral damage types makes sense, or do you have better alternative ideas on how Biochemist should work? In any case, I just think the Biochemist perk really needs to be redesigned so that it’s more sensible and balanced than what it is now.