Shotguns are, truth be told, one of my favorite weapon types in Unturned. While I don’t really care for guns in real life, I’ve fired some shotguns belonging to my relatives at their encouragement (4-10, 16 and 12 gauge), and noticed a few things:
1 - They kick like hell. This is one thing that 3.0 has right, because the 12 gauge nearly knocked me over. (Though I’m a younger teenager, so obviously I don’t have much recoil control)
2 - They’re loud. A 12 gauge with ear protection seems louder than a 22. rifle (Think sportshot) without any. They’re also probably much louder than most assault rifles, which would make sense.
3 - They’re pretty inaccurate. Even a fairly long-barreled shotgun has a massive spread. Again, my aim was terrible, but I could easily notice the wide grouping in the buckshot and, especially, birdshot. I never fired slugs, but from what I noticed when others fired them they seemed reasonably accurate.
4 - They shoot pretty far. Shotgun rounds don’t have a tiny range like many movies and games portray. While obviously not on par with rifles, I imagine that birdshot can easily travel at least 100 meters.
Of course, I’m don’t really care for firearms in real life, so I could be completely wrong. That being said, I would like to suggest a new system in 4.0 that could make shotguns much more diverse and interesting, instead of only being there to provide close range combat options. This new system would facilitate more shotgun shells, which would make shotguns much more versatile in general.
Let’s start with points 1 and 2.
I think that the recoil for shotguns is pretty much fine right now. It’s pretty difficult to control, but not impossible, especially with hip-fire. As for the noise, shotguns should be significantly louder than in 3.0, probably audible from longer ranges than assault rifles.
Now, onto point 3.
Right now, if I put all the right attachments on both a Vanguard and Zubeknakov, the Vanguard is more accurate in 3rd person hip, 3rd person aim and 1st person hip modes, and is nearly as accurate when zoomed. Now the Zubeknakov is a very inaccurate rifle, yes, but I guarantee you that an AK-47 it will blow any buckshot shotgun out of the water accuracy-wise if aimed properly. And yes, I understand that if zoomed, the vanguard will be beaten, as shotgun spread cannot be reduced to zero. But the thing is, the grouping is still far too small.
When I use a vanguard, for example, I can always hit at least three of the six pellets from its maximum range of 40 meters, letting me easily one or two shot players, killing them quicker than an assault rifle. If I’m able to reduce my shotgun’s spread to a tiny minimum regardless of what shell I use, what’s the point of adding more rounds in the first place? Also, it doesn’t make any sense that a scope or grip is going to decrease the spread of a shotgun. It may help your aim, but having the best aim in the world isn’t going to let you get a shotgun’s grouping any tighter.
What I would like to suggest is a much higher minimum spread for shotguns. You can, of course, improve your aim and reduce spread by putting on attachments, but the type of ammunition you use, and what weapon it is loaded in, would provide a hard cap on accuracy. This way, you could still increase grouping by adding attachments, but it would be capped depending on the weapon and ammo. For example, a bluntforce using all the best attachments would still be inaccurate when using buckshot, while a maxed sawed-off with slugs would be close in accuracy. Even the most accurate shotguns with the best skills would be hard capped at much higher spread than 3.0, preventing issues where shotguns are unrealistically accurate.
To reiterate, I think that grouping and accuracy should be two separate things. Aim could be improved and would make shotguns more accurate, but would be bottlenecked by grouping, which in turn could only be improved by changing shotguns and ammunition. Ultimately, this would make shotguns more situational, depending on what type of ammunition you use. Want to fight enemies at medium-close range? Bring slugs. Want to fight at point blank range? Bring buckshot.
Players having to choose between ammunition types would be forced to use shotguns more intelligently, making them a configurable, situational weapon instead of just as a 2-shot death stick that works as well at 40 meters as it does at 1. And yes, I understand that assault rifles are guilty of this too, but they’re end-game weapons, very inefficient ammunition-wise, and much harder to hit with at close range. (The point of an assault rifle is to be versatile anyway, so if you take that away, you just have a rifle or an SMG)
Finally, onto point 4.
Shotguns have significantly less range than rifles, yes. However, the main reason that shotguns are only useful at close range is because of how hard it is to hit targets from a distance. I think that shotguns should have their maximum range buffed, with maybe a 80-meter base range for the longest-range shotguns. This would allow for players to fire on others with slugs and flechette rounds from SMG range, if somewhat inefficiently.
Now that that’s out of the way, I would like the suggest some ammo types.
Note: The “Armor bonus” denotes how effective armor is against the rounds. (A -50% armor bonus would make armor double as effective, and a +150% would make it ⅔ as effective.)
-The default shotgun ammunition, found anywhere shotguns are. Effective at close range.
Armor bonus: -35%
-Common shotgun ammunition found only at low tier areas. For hunting or as a last resort point-blank option.
Armor bonus: -70%
-Heavy, single-shot shells that deal high damage. Suitable for close to close-medium range. Found rarely anywhere shotguns are found.
Armor bonus: -15%
-Small, needle-like projectiles with tighter grouping and longer range than buckshot. Found at mid-tier locations and above.
Armor bonus: -45%
-Explosive rounds designed to detonate on impact. Much less accurate than slugs with a much shorter range, but deals small area damage. Found at high-tier locations.
Damage: -20% (Explosion deals an extra +80% in an area)
Armor bonus: +5%
-Incendiary rounds capable of dealing high area damage at very close range. Effectively a trigger-press flamethrower, with more momentary intensity but lack of a continuous stream. Found at high-tier locations.
Pellets: 100 possible hits of damage total.
Damage: -96%, in the form of small area damage.
Armor bonus: +15%
-Crudely fashioned shotgun rounds. Can be crafted, or found at select low-tier locations. Simply fires a spray of glass, with low effectiveness overall.
Armor bonus: -75%
-A rare shell with both a slug and buckshot. Only found at mid-high tier specialty areas, and is most effective between buckshot and slug range.
Pellets: 4 (Buckshot) 1 (Slug)
Damage: -10% (Buckshot) +35% (Slug)
Armor bonus: -25%
-A flare in a shotgun shell. Designed to be as noticeable as possible, and can be found at a slew of mid-high tier areas.
Armor bonus: +5%
-Specialized shells designed to deal extra damage to armor. Found at high-tier locations, and can damage low-tier structures and vehicles.
Armor bonus: +35%
-High-Explosive Armor-Piercing rounds. Has the properties of an armor-piercing round, but also able to damage mid-tier structures and vehicles. Found at top-tier locations.
Damage: +0%, and an extra +45% for explosive damage
Armor bonus: +50%
-Shells designed to cripple, not kill. Causes blunt injury, like broken bones (If that system exists in 4.0), but does little damage.
Armor bonus: -15%
These are just some ideas, and the exact stats for shells don’t really matter. However, if we want to make shotguns interesting and balanced in 4.0, we need to make them less accurate, and facilitate more types of shells. At this point, only having buckshot just feels like a bit of a waste for such a potentially expansive weapon class.
And yes, there may be quite a few errors in this post, because I wrote this on a flight and am posting it immediately when I gain wifi access.