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How severe is the difference between "ideal" and "non-ideal" weapon type?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
How severe is the difference between "ideal" and "non-ideal" weapon type?

SW_display_name's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 05:18 AM | #1
I'm referring to situations where a Class or Companion can still equip the "dunce version" of a weapon slot for some inexplicable reason:
  • Assault Cannon / Sniper Rifle DPS that can still equip Blaster Rifles
  • Saberstaff DPS/Tanks that can still equip Single-Blade Sabers
  • Techstaff DPS that can still equip Techblades

Sometimes, I really prefer the look of the "fail" weapon type for example, IMO Sergeant Rusk just looks better as a rugged psychopath soldier with a simple blaster rifle, rather than a goofy gigantic tube glued to his back.

From comparing damage ranges and basic MMO common sense, I can figure out that you're supposed to use the "correct" type and that this will do more damage.

What I'm trying to understand is how bad the difference is are we talking a minor difference that's only going to matter in Ops / parses (like 2-3% etc), or are we talking a severe difference that's going to gimp you in any kind of content (like 20-30%+, etc)?

If anyone has any insight about this I'd appreciate it.

Dras_Keto's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 06:24 AM | #2
Well, in some cases, using the wrong weapon will make it impossible to play certain specs. Example, all of the key dps abilities for commandos *require* an assault cannon. You can heal with a blaster rifle, if you really want to since the tech bonus is identical either way and that is what determines your bonus healing, and therefore your hammer shot Support cylinder heal.

It used to be assassins could equip "electro staves" but couldnt really use them because most of their key abilities required a double saber. But when the cathar double bladed sword came out, they changed the ability requirements so people would actually buy the thing.

As far as damage differences go, any spec that is reliant on white damage will notice a change in their dps output. I happened to have an old event blaster rifle sitting in my snipers invent. The 130 legendary barrel in it went from 302-453 damage in the rifle to 407-498 in a sniper. I dont know what that will translate to in a sustained dps parse, but for marksmen, it looks pretty significant.

oturak's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 06:29 AM | #3
First, let's exclude any kind of pve questing or even SM ops. These are so easy you could be using the wrong main stat and still manage it. We can as an extension forget the question for companions too : if you want to seriously do some challenging stuff with them like 1 manning HM ops, you'll want them to perform their best. Otherwise, it's easy enough to not care about their weapon.

Let's talk about any kind of content hard enough for you to want to be able to get out at least 70% of your character potential.

First, there is roughly a bit more than 10% weapon damage difference between the "optimal weapon" and the "alternative one"

The second issue is that using the wrong weapon will prevent you to use some skills at all :
- hail of bolts and charged bolts for the commando
- Assassinate, Force Breach, Spike, Maul, Lacerate or Discharge for the assassin

The only spec where a rotation is still doable at all would be a gunnery commando, where you'll probably lose around 6% dps (the weapon damage difference has to be weighted against each skill multiplier and usage within the rotation).

For any other spec (assault commando, or shadow), you cannot perform at all your rotation, thus nonviable.

Sources : A old post by oaceen for my gunnery commando numbers.
Not 100% sure i quoted correctly all impossible skills from memory, please correct if necessary

Edit - Forgot about the sniper, never played one, cannot answer on this part.

Dras_Keto's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 06:45 AM | #4
If you try to use a single saber as an assassin or shadow, youll run into the above. But, Bioware made sure to change the skills to allow the electrostaff category (which includes the Cathar "honour staff" or whatever they named that idiotic thing) so people would actually purchase it (and, I guess, not immediately bombard Bioware with rather decent accusations of "Bait and Switch" and "Douchebaggery"")

Adaliaya's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 06:45 AM | #5
I think it's somewhat between 10-20%. No big deal on companion and for them I use freely everything. Player characters instead lose more damage because they cannot use their some abilities and on grouping situations gimping yourself purposesely is a bit rude

Gardimuer's Avatar

06.11.2014 , 10:29 AM | #6
I once joined a 16man pug group in which the assassin trying to main tank wielded a single saber. His attitude was pretty amusing when this was pointed out. He was overgeared, but his threat generation was terrible, especially against multiple targets since he was missing 2 of his main aoe abilities (Lacerate and Discharge). Speaking of Discharge, he took significantly more damage since he couldn't put out the accuracy debuff from that ability.