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Forums: Index > Watercooler > Elemental Weapons Question

Been working on the weapons pages, finished with the Shotguns and the Combat Rifles sections last night. Adding some general but accurate info, along with strategy information.

What I need to know is what makes for a good elemental weapon? I'm going to take a crack at the SMG article, and as I understand from game play experience weapons with an elemental effect are best with rapid-fire. Of course Maliwan anythings have a better than normal chance to do extra elemental damage, but Maliwan automatic rifles and SMGs are absolute murder as far as I can tell. Especially incendiary and corrosive weapons where the effects not only linger, but stack each time they're triggered.

What I want to know before I proceed, am I correct in my observed assumption?

http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=86431 has a great analysis of how elemental attachments really work. A basic summary follows: Revolvers are the best because they always proc and have the possibility of doing the highest procs. Sniper Rifles are next because they usually can proc (slow rate of fire lets tech pool replenish between shots), and are capable of doing the highest level procs. Repeating Pistols are next. They are only capable of x2 procs, but each proc drains only a small amount from the tech pool. SMGs, Combat Rifles, and Shotguns are the worst. Inability to do more than a x2 proc and each proc drains a relatively large amount from the tech pool. Launchers are unique in that they don't proc at all, they simply convert all their damage into that element.

Many Legendaries work differently Hellfire is insane because it always procs (in many ways acting like a Revolver) at least x2 and can go higher.

Again, can't take credit for any of this, credit goes to the good people on the gearbox forums who tested this (especially instant karma)--Ocdscale 04:24, December 20, 2009 (UTC)


Well Ocdscale scooped me while i was typing this up but i'll post anyway. All my info is from from the same thread on gearbox [1].


Rapid fire is not that helpful in general. Weapons have a tech pool. Better elemental guns have bigger pools, but they all refill the same rate (siren spark skill and some class mods make it fill faster). They start at zero and only refill while they are in your hands. To do an elemental effect takes a chunk away from the pool. Bigger effects take more. But the amount drained and the effect size are different for every kind of gun.

Revolvers are the best elemental weapons because they always proc at least x2, and x2 drains 0 from their pool. They can proc x3 and x4 which do more damage but drain the pool.

Snipers are next best, they can proc 2x,3x,4x, but they're not guaranteed. All procs drain Tech, and a x4 drains a ton. So once a sniper has made a few effects it can't make any at all until it recharges.

Rockets have no chance involved, they do full every time.

Everything else can only proc x2. Repeaters drain very little tech so they can do it a lot, especially if they are slow. Combat rifles, shotguns and SMGs all drain a lot every time they proc. A few effects empty the pool and then they go off basically at the recharge rate which is as slow as possible. It can still be worth it, especially on that first enemy after a long pause of not shooting between fights, but these weapons get way less out of being elemental.

ORANGE weapons are a totally different story. If the orange part is elemental (they always come with it) then it not only doesn't get reduced damage like normal elemental accessories but it may be special in other ways. Hellfire, volcano, defiler, ogre and orion all go off 100% of the time. pestilent crux, friendly fire, hammer, draco, and any others i am forgetting are probably the same. It's this 100% proc rate that combines so well with high rate of fire to make the game-breaking Hellfire.

The Maliwan Firehawk does this bizarre all or nothing x6 proc.

Orange elemental weapons that are NOT always elemental will be like a normal elemental gun with a really big tech pool. So an elemental Atlas Cyclops would be decent, but an elemental Vladof Revolution is gonna suck like all elemental CRs (except the draco and ogre).

What makes a good elemental weapon

Orange > Revolvers > Snipers >>> Repeaters > Everything else

--Raisins 04:59, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

thank you for this info. it was very helpful. --sX-- 08:03, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

OP here... what's a proc?

I don't read much into tech, but if I'm not mistaken it's the elemental effect. --Nagamarky 06:17, December 21, 2009 (UTC)
old online rpg jargon. It basically means something with a random chance of activating whenever a player does X. "Chance on hit" effects are a common type of proc. --Raisins 06:44, December 21, 2009 (UTC)

Different Question: Has anyone ever had a combat rifle with more than x2 elemental damage? Or just a rifle with decent base damage + some elemental tech (probably more a q for the CRifle talk page I guess)?

Both questions pretty much have the same answer: only the Atlas Ogre (and S&S Draco if you count it). --Raisins 03:12, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

OP here again. Thanks for the info everyone. I'll be making revisions some time tomorrow to the Shotgun and Combat Rifle pages. Then I hope to get working on the SMG, Rocket Launcher, and Sniper Rifle pages. Not gonna be touching the Revolver or Repeater pages. Not much experience with pistols; comma, what goes down quick in the face of. Even with Mordecai, I favored Shotguns with large magazines for close-in situations where I couldn't just run away and snipe at distance.


This is a test BlueZorro 21:10, September 8, 2010 (UTC)

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