Take two identical soldiers. Give one the Ares (the starter assault rifle) and the other the Deceptor (the NJ machine gun). Put them on opposite ends of the map and have them fight. Who wins?
The Deceptor is a higher tech level than the Ares and needs more resources. Plus it’s bigger and it’s a machine gun. You’d expect the guy with the machine gun to win, right?
Wrong! The guy with the assault rifle wins and it’s not close.
The damage numbers are pretty similar. The Deceptor puts out 12 shots to the Ares’s 6, but it takes 3 APs to fire instead of 2, so the guy with the Ares gets off two shots to the Deceptor’s one. The problem is the range. 11 range is awful! The guy with the Deceptor will get shot to bits as he tries to get close, because the Deceptor has the same sort of range as a shotgun.
Unsurprisingly, the best way to use the Deceptor IS to use it like a shotgun: at touch range. Except if you’re that close, you can just Bash the target three times, and if you’re a Heavy, it’ll literally do more damage than shooting would.
THE MACHINE GUN IS MORE EFFECTIVE AS A CLUB THAN IT IS AS A GUN.
This sort of thing is the reason that new players think the Heavy class is useless. It’s not, but it’s incredibly counter-intuitive, and its early-game ‘upgrade’ is worse than the starter Hel Cannon.
The only way to use the Deceptor effectively is to pair it with some combination of Lvl 7 skills, cheese, and incredibly specific circumstances, like using Adrenaline Rush or Rage Burst to pump lots of shots into a Scylla whose armour you’re shredded already. But if you can do all that, you can kill the Scylla in about 5 other ways. No other weapon in the game is this finicky.
Have you noticed how none of the Pandorans use the Deceptor or Uragan? They use human handguns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles. But they use the special Arthron machine gun instead of human ones. Why? Because the Deceptor sucks. Every time you go up against enemy Heavies using the Deceptor/Uragan, you can basically ignore them while you take out the dangerous targets.
A machine gun that you have to research ought to be heavy and dangerous with a lot of firepower. It shouldn’t be worse than the starter weapons, and it shouldn’t lose 1v1 against a rifle!
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