What makes a ground gun the “best”? Single big hits? The ability to hit multiple enemies at once (AE damage)? Rate of fire? Specific enemies? There’s a lot to it, and the best answer is that there isn’t one best weapon for every situation. But what about the best weapon for the most situations? The best all-around weapon?
I had a few considerations for testing:
- Parsed on solo maps, since teamwork isn’t what we’re testing.
- No damage-dealing kit abilities, since we’re testing guns not kits.
- Buffing kits that add damage to weapons are valid.
- Buff kits are being spammed mindlessly, but hopefully consistently and evenly among test runs.
- Tested on Elite difficulty only.
- Tested in the mission “Signs & Portents” . Tzenkethi are some of the most durable enemies in STO, making them ideal for testing single-target effectiveness.
- Tested in the mission, “Home”. The Hur’q are fantastic swarming enemies, ideal for testing effectiveness against many smaller enemies.
My perennial favorite has been the Plasma Wide Beam Rifle for it’s quick firing rate, long range (“best in class” 35 meters), and amazingly powerful secondary AE attack (5 targets, exploit, also 35 meters). This weapon can be purchased from a vendor, making it easily obtainable by anybody.
The Phaser Full Auto Rifle (Dsc), available from the Lobi store, is a new fan favorite. It fires in a 1-2-3 burst, while retaining high damage for all three shots. The variant I use in these tests, the Assault Squad Phaser Rifle, was available for a short time as a mission reward and is said to be identical.
The Play Tests
Assault Squad Phaser – Signs & Portents
It pretty much kills whatever it is pointed at. It’s hard to complain about a weapon like this!
Plasma Wide Beam Rifle – Signs & Portents
The wide-beam secondary attack really shines!