Fusion Rifle – Darkblade’s Spite/Midha’s Reckoning frame
Exotic Node – The Second Law: Each individual bolt from a shot that hits a target reduces the charge time of the next shot. This buff stacks with itself until the weapon is reloaded.
- Hip Fire – this weapon has increased accuracy when fired from the hip.
- Injection Mold – Increased stability, faster handling; reduced range
- Enhanced Battery – increases magazine size.
- Rangefinder – aiming this weapon increases its effective range.
The goal for Heatsink is to develop the fusion rifle into the PVE DPS monster that weapon class has never quite managed to reach – despite being solid performers, nothing has really become a staple for people to use against AI. When a player can stack up charge buffs using the exotic node, this would be a go-to for bosses and major-heavy encounters, and would allow players to play a little metagame where they decide how they want to build their gun – either building stability for more reliable “full” charge buffs, or going for a safe increase in overall damage with a larger magazine. By the end of the magazine, you end up with a Pocket Infinity that has standard fusion rifle range, but the damage is spread over a greater duration. The primary and secondary perks ensure that no matter what, you’ll be able to effectively hit your targets which can be an issue with some fusion rifle frames due to the long charge time. In this case, we choose the lowest charge rate fusion rifle frame as a balancing factor for PvP gameplay, and then further lower its base stability by 10 – the charge time and low initial stability makes a player less capable of reaching an enormous charge time buff in PVP gameplay because of the inherent dangers of using a fusion rifle in those modes with the increased lethality of your opponents.
Rocket Launcher – The Hothead frame
Exotic Node – In Triplicate: This weapon fires three homing warheads in a tightly grouped spiral pattern, one of each element type. Each warhead does slightly less damage than a standard rocket.
- Soft Launch – increased velocity, more recoil.
- Warhead Verniers – increased velocity and blast radius, more recoil.
- Aggressive Launch – more predictable but increased recoil, increased blast radius, lower velocity.
- Clown Cartridge – reloading this weapon has a chance to grant a larger than normal magazine.
- Javelin – greater warhead velocity
- Quickdraw – faster weapon swap time.
- Flared Magwell – faster reload time.
- Cluster Bomb – rockets create cluster bombs as they detonate.
This weapon serves a point-and-click purpose: if it has a shield and it needs to go away, this will do the job. Potential concerns are an overall lack of shielded enemies in content – when Ironclad or Match Game are present, this feels like a solid loadout choice. However, in cases where that isn’t the case, unless missions are more prominently multi-faction, it would be a hard sell. However, with three smaller rockets you would also be getting increased damage over a normal rocket launcher overall, increasing general effectiveness and making it a more attractive choice. This is part of a larger concern over rocket launchers – in PVE content they do not deal enough damage to make them worthy of a loadout choice, especially not with their heavily restricted inventory sizes. As HMGs have become more and more lethal and have maintained (largely) their sustainability with very large ammo capacities and increasing prevalence of low fire rate/high impact frames, rockets have been edged out of the picture entirely ( ed: this was written prior to the launch of Rise of Iron; Gjallarhorn was not considered).
Sidearm – Havoc Pigeon frame
Exotic Node – Giveth/Taketh: Scoring kills on minions of the Darkness with this weapon grants reserve ammunition for your other weapons. Scoring kills on minions of the Darkness with your other weapons grants reserve ammunition for this weapon.
- Quickdraw IS – Agile sight. Lightning fast handling
- Steadyhand IS – Stable sight, optimized for excellent recoil control.
- Crowd Control – Kills with this weapon grant bonus damage for a short time.
- Quickdraw – this weapon can be drawn unbelievably fast
- Snapshot – aiming this weapon is incredibly fast
- Appended Magazine – larger magazine, slower reload
- Reactive Reload – Reloading after a kill grants bonus damage for a short time.
Sidearms have never really found their place against AI. Individual rounds don’t hit very hard so they sometimes fail to meet the stagger threshold, something that’s crucial in helping the player feel powerful. They chew through ammo at an extreme rate and players aren’t willing to devote an armor talent to increasing that pool – combined with their limited range, they’re a niche pick at best, and are most often ignored in favor of high DPS range-specific utility.
As a whole, sidearms can’t be treated like other weapons in the special slot – they don’t offer the same things and aren’t intended to be used like that. Instead, we can offer a more attractive tertiary character-wide playstyle shift, and make a weapon that isn’t just panicked backup pick or a grimoire grind, but something you want to tactically and mindfully switch to, and something that opens up how you play the game. With ammo being such a concern for so many weapon archetypes, offering the player the ability to, in some small way, bypass the problem and just play the game might make some space for an underutilized special weapon choice. It’s a really attractive offer, and it has to be borderline broken in terms of power because you’re sacrificing so much utility by giving up one of your range-extreme options. Fundamentally, sidearm play is more aggressive and instinctual than a player with a sniper rifle perpetually equipped is used to – offering a strong choice in that archetype introduces people to what might be a new way of playing.