Earlier today i hit a predicament while playing overclock. I was being conistently overwhelmed by the futuristic assault rifle. In one case where i was armed with the steam-punk assault rifle, both of us started firing at the exact same time and both of us died at the exact same time. Later, i asked the person who killed me what augments they had been using. They were using growth and gold, neither of which affected the weapons lethality. Meanwhile, i was using power level 4 on sp ar. The general consensus has always been that sp ar is the highest damage ar, but clearly it seems that that is not the case. And as such, i set out to find out what was going on...
This is all of the data that i collected on the assault rifles. In each case, the highest damage rifle is circled. In one case, it is the standard assault rifle, and in all other cases it is the futuristic assault rifle. Looking at the theoretical damages, they are all very comparable. Balanced, you might say. However, in practice, their is about a 64 damage gap between the damages of the standard and the goo assault rifles, a huge difference over five seconds. It is clear that the overall damage rates and fire rate are directly proportional, but the fire rate is not what causes this gap in damage. The overall damage over time of any weapon, is more severely affected by the relationship between accuracy and rate of fire than the actual damage per shot.
Accuracy, when combined with rate of fire, is what causes this. Overall, the reasoning can be a little hard to grasp. Basically what's going on here, is that faster firing weapons will shoot more rounds. As such, all rifles will miss, but the faster firing weapons are less affected by a miss because the damage is not concentrated in fewer rounds. For an extreme example, compare the loss in damage over time from a miss with a sniper rifle, and a miss with a submachine gun. Yes, theoretically these faster firing weapons will miss more, but they still yield better results when all of the weapons in question do not have 100% accuracy. Because accuracy is an important factor, the highest damage over time for all assault rifles, is the standard assault rifle, which has the highest accuracy. However, in close quarters combat, accuracy has a lesser effect on the weapons performance, so the futuristic assault rifles fast fire rate allows it to overcome the standard and come out on top for damage over time in close quarters (this effect is not shown in the data). Meanwhile, the goo assault rifle with its dismal rate of fire has the lowest damage output in any situation by a considerable amount. Additionally, because all of these fire rates are different decimals, the damage over time will vary depending on how much time is actually applied. This is why the standard has the highest damage over five seconds, but the futuristic has the highest damage over just one.
The first problem this data has, is that accuracy varies wildly depending on range. Additionally, the damages vary depending on time due to different fire rates. However, flat values are used to demonstrate the effect, as it would be unreasonably complicated to run highly in-depth analysis for a relatively simple concept like this.
Second of all, this data ignores critical hits, and the damage that they do. The sp has the highest crit rate and crit damage, however, in my personal experience it is still outperformed by the futuristic ar in terms of damage. I do not know how critical hits affect the damages of all of these weapons, but there is still a point to all of this outside of them.
Lastly, i did not know what the accuracy values were for futuristic and sp, so i assumed 70% for both of them. In seperate charts, all rifles were given the same accuracy and in those cases the faster firing rifles still outperformed their slower counterparts.
Overall, the goo rifle becomes less appealing than the others after all of this, and the futuristic becomes more practical. The standard and the steampunk variants remain viable options, as they are less prone to user error ( if your aim is off, you will waste more ammo with the futuristic), and their higher individual damage sometimes makes them better against weakened targets. I do not think this data shows the rifles as being unbalanced with each other, it is clear that relationships between these numerical values are situational and more complicated than they seem. I think all four of the rifles are balanced fairly well, but the point of this is to draw attention to the deadliness of the futuristic assault rifle and note the importance of accuracy and rate of fire.
The accuracy augment has long been considered to be one of the least helpful augments, however these findings might suggest otherwise. The accuracy augment may in fact lead to a higher damage increase in some situations than the power augment, however i do not know these situations and to what extent they apply. Additionally, earlier today i saw someone mention in the chat that they noticed an increase in effectiveness with the daisy cutter after equipping the accuracy augment (the rockets became harder to dodge). If this is the case, the augment may be highly useful with that weapon as well.