What metric do you use to determine weapon choices?

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#1 Posted by Zombieheadbutt (309 posts) -

I love everything about Borderlands and the universe they've created. I really want to get invested into the game considering I've got, literally, ten friend online at this very moment playing the game and I know they'll be playing it into June of next year when the final DLC hits. For the life of me though, I can't seem to wrap my head around how to make good weapons choices. Having just come off of playing another loot based game, Darksiders II, I thought I'd have a handle on being able to choose weapons appropriate to my class which is a Gunzerker.

So, my question. Has anyone established a useful metric for determining how useful a gun is? I just need something to go on until I figure out what I want to do with my character. I like to think I'm not an idiot but rather just insanely indecisive in regards to loot based games.

Example, if your using a SMG you should always prioritize fire rate, then damage, then reload time, etc. Something like that. A Gunzerker duel wields and can't zoom while in Gunzerker mode so two fast firing from the hit guns would probably be best. Two assault rifles or SMG? I feel like keeping a shotgun in the off hand is to situational.

So, has anyone whose like me determined a good method to retain sanity in a loot game?

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#2 Posted by Sanity (2149 posts) -

Really i dont stress over the loot a ton until im at or near max level, i just find something i like and use it until i find something that is clearly better or just feels better to me. Worrying about side grades or very small upgrades at low levels just doesn't matter when in the grand scheme of things those weapons are all doomed for vendor trash eventually. Once i max out then i'll go nuts with worrying about whats best.

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#3 Posted by Ares42 (3561 posts) -

I'm really struggling with it in this game since the manufacturers are so different. I'm already at the point where I just ignore guns from certain manufacturers, and I haven't found one that I really enjoy. It's hard to say but if I'm right in that both stats and properties are determined by manufacturer it sorta feels like you have less of a choice. Like I can find a gun that has stats I like, but really hate it because of it's properties. And if they are connected it means I'll never find the gun I want.

Atm I just do quick dps estimate by doing rough multiplications of damage + fire rate. Then since I'm going gunlust zerker I want it to have 10-20 ammo (and completely ignore reload). I've found Jakobs to often fall into this category, but having to manually click every shot when dual-wielding is quite unwieldy.

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#4 Edited by golguin (5275 posts) -

Always be elemental. In the first Borderlands I set up my Siren for maximum elemental damage. Why shoot for normal damage when you can hit for elemental weakness? I essentially had every elemental variant for each weapon class and I'm doing the same thing for my Siren in Borderlands 2. Unfortunately, I'm only level 9 and I reach my ideal build at around level 44.

EDIT: I'm also really enjoying how the different manufactures have their guns shoot differently. I rarely ever go full auto when I'm shooting (in the first Borderlands) so Hyperion guns are a pain while Jakobs are my style. I say that and yet none of the weapons I'm using right now are Jakobs.

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#5 Posted by ApolloBob (577 posts) -

In a really general sense I go by how much a gun sells for. I make a blanket assumption that guns that sell for more $ are "better", but you can't be rigid about it. You have to balance that with whatever weapon types suit your spec and play style.

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#6 Posted by ChadMasterFlash (1000 posts) -

I'm level 9 so nothing has great damage. So for me it's about reload speed so I can deal more damage faster.

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#7 Posted by hbkdx12 (800 posts) -

I focus on damage first. With elemental as a very close second. (still low level so i have yet to find a good elemental with anything over 20% chance)
Beyond that i'll compare it with a similar gun that i have in my inventory and if it's worse by all accounts i'll junk it. If its a bit more comparable i'll fire off a few shots to see how it feels. 
Jeff was right in the review/QL when he said that gearbox was going for a strong balance with their guns that require you to really think about which gun is better, unlike the first game. I find this to be both a welcome and frustrating change. 
I really wish there was a stat for sway/recoil/spread. I have a jacobs pistol that i favor at the moment and it has very little recoil/sway/spread which is great for getting consecutive headshots and crits. I found another jacobs pistol that had twice as much damage, slightly higher accuracy (95+) and the rest of the stats were comparable. I ADS and shoot the gun at the wall a few times and it has the spread of a freakin shotgun. I find this to be really annoying, especially when the gun boasts such high accuracy.

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#8 Posted by Tennmuerti (9082 posts) -

The guns are quite a bit more interesting and varied this time around. So it's not as easy to make snap judgments as it was in the first game, which is excellent imo.

Almost every stat matters, a lot will depend on your build too. Damage and fire rate are just starting points. But clip size and reload also matter, all the huge fire rate in the world won't do much with a tiny clip and a long ass reload for example. But a gunlust gunzerker after level 16 doesn't need to care about reload speed anymore for example, while a rampage gunzerker would initially prefer bigger clips. Then ofcourse it's always a good idea to have a few elemental weapons on hand to make use of their inefficiencies versus certain enemy types.

Frequently I simply try out the guns in the field if they have decent stats (obviously not every gun, you can still sort out most of the chaff easily enough)

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#9 Posted by Mike (17288 posts) -
@hbkdx12 is that stability? I've seen "increased stability" on several guns, its too bad this is a hidden stat.
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#10 Posted by TheMasterDS (2912 posts) -

Damage for all things. Clip Size for shotguns. Lack of a scope for nearly everything. The Jacobs brand on revolvers. Rockets are always a plus. I play it by ear.

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#11 Posted by BeachThunder (14581 posts) -

@TheMasterDS said:

Lack of a scope for nearly everything.

I'm interested, why would you specifically seek out guns that don't have scopes?

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#12 Posted by Wemibelle (2391 posts) -

I like quick reload speed as I have an obsession with reloading as often as I can. I won't give up damage for it, though. I try to get a nice balance of damage (with or without elemental effects), fire rate, reload speed, and clip size. So far, I haven't really found anything that I like a lot; just a bunch of guns that suit certain situations and I switch when I have to.

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#13 Posted by TheMasterDS (2912 posts) -

@BeachThunder: Don't like zooming in. Jarring, isn't it? If they were like the Kusanagi from Syndicate earlier this year where the scope can be turned off at will it would be different, but every time you pull left trigger you get an eye full of scope.

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#14 Edited by ViciousReiven (977 posts) -

Everything, I compare every stat, just being better at one thing isn't good enough!
Have better damage with as slightly lower reload? sure I'll trade up, have better damage but has a low clip size and takes forever to reload? hell no! 
My current love is a Maliwan fire SMG, 30+ clip, reloads extremely fast, has a great sight that zooms decently, great accuracy when aiming, only downside is the damage isn't all that hot, but the overall DPS from the firerate and elemental makes it  the highest next to my Gearbox sniper, once a dude is set ablaze he's toast.

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#15 Posted by Dagbiker (7041 posts) -

I pick my weapons based on the job I want. A sniper gun I want to have a bigger crit (at least im assuming the yellow number after the damage is crit ) and I dont care about reload speed. But I do care about Accuracy.

I haven't quite figured out what I like with my pistol, but I think i like a more powerful shot and do not mind a slower reload speed.

With my rifle I like accuracy.

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#16 Posted by B0nd07 (1748 posts) -

@Dagbiker: That number indicates how many bullets (the things that come out of the gun, not ammo) are fired per shot, while critical damage is a flat multiplication of the damage you do, not counting skill bonuses (don't know what the calculation is). So for example, a shotgun with damage 90 x12 will shoot 12 bullets/pellets that do 90 damage each. A sniper with damage 140 x2 will shoot two bullets doing 140 each.

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#17 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1849 posts) -

As a gunzerker, I just have like one assault rifle/smg or smg/pistol of some sort in the first two slots. Then I roll with a shotty or sniper (since I only have 3 slots thus far...) But, for that loot breakdown, it depends on the area. Like, I got to the firey duders area yesterday and I had almost solely fire weapons. They were really powerful, but against fire enemies they did shit. I did better with an assault rifle that did 25 dmg than a fire pistol that did 94. I just generally look at damage first then accuracy, then reload speed/fire rate. everything else is kind of low priority.

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#18 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@golguin: Yeah I agree to prioritize elemental damage for Sirens. I also put a premium of stability and accuracy especially with revolvers, repeaters, and SMGs.

For shotguns for I try look for something with a decent reload and larger clip maybe useful for a gunzerker.

I noticed that some of the weapons dispense more than on bullet per fire and it really eats into the ammo reserve. I found an awesome sniper with it fires five bullets per shot and a slow reload. If I don't get a headshot with the first fire I need to reload.

In any case if you find something you prefer you can probably compensate its weaknesses by upgrading your badass points to fill the weaker stats. It doesn't do a lot but some is better than none.

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#19 Posted by hbkdx12 (800 posts) -
@MB said:
@hbkdx12 is that stability? I've seen "increased stability" on several guns, its too bad this is a hidden stat.
It might be stability. I'm not sure. I suppose that it is. But yeah it sucks that this isn't a more prominent stat considering it makes all the difference when you're forcing yourself to choose between two very similar guns
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#20 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

Depends on which application I would like to use the weapon. I do primarily very long range and very short range. So, on a sniper rifle I always want some elemental and will prioritize that over raw damage, although I usually bring along a pure damage rifle as well just in case I run into enemies that are resistant to whatever element my first rifle is. When out at sniping range it's a slow paced process aimed more at weakening the herd than getting outright kills. Once the crowd has been thinned, I'll run in for melee (I play Zer0 focused on the melee tree- the one on the right, i don't remember what it's called) and point blank damage. For point-blank I'm looking for a shotgun that will one hit kill or one hit + melee = kill. For shotguns, I don't care about damage over time so elemental is not important for that application.

For boss fights, it's a different setup.

@Tennmuerti said:

Almost every stat matters, a lot will depend on your build too. Damage and fire rate are just starting points. But clip size and reload also matter, all the huge fire rate in the world won't do much with a tiny clip and a long ass reload for example.

Gotta love the Jacobs "fire as fast as you can pull the trigger" description on a gun with a 1 or 2 shot clip. :D

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#21 Posted by Silver-Streak (1841 posts) -

Pistols: Jacobs

Sniper rifles: Depends, really. Jacobs or Hyperion seem pretty good.

Assault: Usually Hyperion

SMGs: Whats an SMG

Rocket Launcher: pfft.

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#22 Edited by Tennmuerti (9082 posts) -

As a gunzerker i have settled on using fully auto Vladov sniper rifles as my secondary weapon. Pretty OP they are. Very high damage of a sniper rifle combined with the high fire rate of a Vladov make them completely tear shit apart while gunzerkering (as long as i use ones with higher clip sizes).

Always carrying all 4 elemental weapons, fire/shock/corrosive/slag. The difference between using appropriate elemental weapons on appropriate enemies vs. not doing so, is huge. (corosive+shock on robots = lulz)

A rocket launcher is my 4th at all times, for 2 reasons huge firepower when you want to start of a fight strong vs. something tough. And secondly rocket launchers are probably the best weapon there is to get you out of second wind successfully, because sights don't matter for them and neither does hipfire recoil, and they usually one shot things due to high damage. Also RLs are fantastic versus assholes that carry those huge front facing metal shields (if you're solo)

It's less about pure stats and more just about keeping my weapon selection diverse

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#23 Edited by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

I find guns this time are just so different it is crazy. In BL1 I used Tediore guns.... alot. They were always good all around balanced guns and made some of the best Combat Rifles with the only real competitor being Hyperion. In a pinch I also really liked Torque for alot of guns too. Now in this game I stay away from Tediore on everything except rocket lauchers, don't use Hyperion for anything but snipers, would kill a guy for a Dahl Combat Rifle but the things just wont show up, and I down right dislike Torque guns because they are all inaccurate and fire slow moving explosive rounds.

At least you can still rely on a Maliwan to light a dude on fire.

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#24 Posted by granderojo (1899 posts) -


Any weapon type really

Overall damage(elemental or otherwise) + Accuracy

You would think accuracy isn't that important but on shotguns, they have so much range now that high accuracy can be awesome since you're always on the move. You can be just as cheap with the zig zaging as the fucking AI is.

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#25 Posted by JonSmith (174 posts) -

Is it faster, stronger, does it have an elemental effect, does it have more rounds per clip?

I determine what guns I use mostly in that order of priority.

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#26 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10221 posts) -

@TheMasterDS said:

@BeachThunder: Don't like zooming in. Jarring, isn't it? If they were like the Kusanagi from Syndicate earlier this year where the scope can be turned off at will it would be different, but every time you pull left trigger you get an eye full of scope.

Scopes almost universally increase accuracy by a large factor, for every weapon type. Scope on a shotgun = tighter packing of projectiles, scope on a rocket launcher = perfectly accurate at extremely long distances, and so on and so forth.

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#27 Posted by Nightriff (7122 posts) -

I haven't play nor own the game but if it is anything like the first one (and it sounds a hell of a lot like the first one) I will be basing it on damage and elemental. Most bang per shot is usually how I role.

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#28 Posted by probablytuna (4924 posts) -

I just compare the stats of the new weapon to my current weapon and if I see enough green arrows I will swap it out.

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#29 Edited by EthanielRain (1339 posts) -

I wouldn't worry about it too much....just use whatever you find fun. By the time you reach end game, you'll know what you're looking for. Before then it doesn't matter all that much, since you'll be swapping them fairly often. But as commando, I'm going for the same thing I did in the first game:

Primary weapon is full auto assault rifle, non-elemental, preferably Vladof for inherently high rate of fire. DMG & large clip to take advantage of Metal Storm. Grip it and rip it, 50 bullets a second :D Other weapons are just the best shock/corrosive/slag I can find.

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#30 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6117 posts) -

The great thing about being an Assassin is the sniper skill tree. You don't have to max it, but if you take all of the more important skills, so long as you don't use the crappiest sniper rifle in the game and can score a crit here and there you'll be fine. Have to try out the Gunzerker next.

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#31 Posted by brownsfantb (443 posts) -

I go for elemental damage, especially for snipers. That way, body shots are still effective because they'll do damage over time. For short range shotguns or pistols, I like high-damage with a melee boost. But honestly, I usually go with what guns look the coolest. I had an awesome sniper that I keep around just because it looks badass.

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#32 Posted by morrelloman (639 posts) -

I'm still early level so I just go based on how much it can sell for. Magazine size is very important for all guns. However, the stacking of various elemental abilities and other perks an be hard to quantify AND you generally wind up comparing apples and oranges across gun types. So until I get a stronger character and actually find a gun I like, I'm sticking with just keeping whatever is more expensive.

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#33 Posted by morrelloman (639 posts) -

@HerbieBug: I'm hoping to roll a similar character type. Once I saw the final skill in that tree was essentially spamming the special skill if you melee someone to death I was in. More Decoys, more throat slits? I mean ACIII is still weeks away. Gotta get stabby.

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#34 Posted by TheMasterDS (2912 posts) -

Recently I've been more and more using cost as a metric when guns are similar enough and the differences are very small.

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#35 Posted by envane (1225 posts) -

too many good guns to stick with just 4 , so i now just go for "fun to shoot" as long as they arent terrrible stats , things work out fien and i have more fun , like the sheer insanity of alot of the bandit weapons , or weapons with fairly unusual bullet / damage types , explosive ricochet grenades from an assault rifle , good stuff , shotgun with them timed explody darts , but firey .. etc .. with my gunzerker atm im rocking an electric scattery bouncy shotgun , and a firey explody scattery shotgun , shooting both at once = a zillion blue and orange sparks across the screen everywhere , ridiculous spam

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#36 Posted by laussica (187 posts) -

I always go with elemental weapons, I also really like the feel of pistols. It's mostly how the weapons feels and how cool it looks.
If your having trouble the best way to pick weapons is how much they are worth.

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