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  1. (For the lazy lads, "I won't go through that wall of text" version: Make SINGLE Hanguns on levels 31~40 at least an UTILITY option for those Fortegunners and Guntechers that still like a classic Handgun despite having access to far superior left handed options as Crossbows or Machineguns, or just every single other gun at the disposal of the classes with access to level 31~40 Handguns: FG, GT and Protransers. Give handgun bullets the Rifle treatment and change their hit flag at levels 31~40 to apply blowdown) Still with me? Are you sure that you don't want to run away screaming BALANCE doomsayer mode? Sure? Ok. Let's first sit back and analyze the time and circumstances that brought the dreaded or loved removal of flinch for mobile guns, going from guaranteed on every single hit to the sheldom flinch on the ocasional critical hit. For those who might ignore this, during past christmas event Subzero Outbreak, though I'm sure the change was being cooked and discussed way before that, light guns flinching was considered too disruptive for group play as it displaced enemies away hindering melee classes from approaching their targets or making techer classes miss their spells. In the cirscumstances of that 'era'; a time without S rank missions and S rank speed doped enemies running for your throat, an event compossed of mainly Gohmon/Olgohmon enemies that don't even walk towards the player and every inch they are pushed back works in their favor, enforcing the feeling of frecuent flinching being punishing and cumbersome (it didn't help that the other common enemies were Goshin, which as a worm type have different rules and ignore flinching, and Tengohg, which fall back dramatically if flinched when they try to rise flight, seeming as annoying to some as a Grenade Launcher happily displacing enemies on a public game, so the world without flinching didn't seem that bad), and an active limited time player and PA exp. boost, aggravating the "I want to level up this PA" and "Their flinching isn't allowing me to touch enemies with this PA that I want to level up", with almost the whole server concentrated on the same lobby making a perfect seasonal social excuse to hang out and easily full party with others, so the chances of finding an evil flincher in your six man parties were high. To quite some extent I can accept and see why the stream of bullets of a Machinegun or even the not so constant flow of hits of a pair of Twin Handguns pinning a target towards the edge of the map could be seen as an annoyance. If there was any debate I just missed it, after fixing some problems with the hit flags of all weapons in the game (for a time even Rifles and Longbows lost their flinch) the change was made and any protests soon died silent, some melee was affected too, positively on most cases, but the main changes were mobile guns: Machineguns, Crossbows, Cards, Twin Handguns, and Single Handguns. Now, let's gauge the dent on the performance of these guns from the perspective of a gunner playing solo, just because it makes an scenario free of external help with enemies strictly focused on reaching the player, allowing us to value each gun on their own. - Machineguns sport a respectable damage output with an almost high enough firerate as to proc some flinching and keep a charging enemy away from you, but if more than one is closing the gap with S rank mob speed you are just screwed. I would allow Machineguns at levels 31~40 to gain Flinch just as Rifles gain Blowdown, keeping intact their functionality at levels 1~30 for Fighunners that desire to weaken their targets without pressing them away while getting close for right hand melee. - Crossbows not only are still an uncontested beast on gunning with their five bolts per shot, but even despite not needing to flinch due to melee range being their ideal range (and due to being a monster of a weapon too), ironically they are the best flinchers since their shotgun point blank mechanics make them force critical hits and with five hits they put excellent bullet density, which translates in almost constant flinching. - Cards despite having excellent damage per shot they aren't very bright at keeping enemies at bay, they never were before even with guaranteed flinch, but the fact that cards are the best chasing gun for flyers and or dodgy enemies, with four darts per throw and high SE grants them a special spot due to their specialization. - Twin Handguns have never been too good, though they have always remained popular, their flinching capability is even lower than that of Machineguns, but being the sole mobile option for Gunmasters and being so with 20% IAS and lvl 41~50 bullets changes the story, becoming more than usable. - Single Handguns. Handguns. Oh good ol' handguns, this whole post is for poor single handguns if anyone saved any doubt. To be fair, Handguns have received a decent bunch of buffs in Clementine, but sadly, only geared towards Fortefighters (well, or any stuborn Acrofighter or Fighunner, but Fortefighters have no other option). In a Fortefigther view, the sole class nowadays to seriously contemplate the use of Handguns, Handguns were never this shiny: access to S rank handguns, access to lvl 21~30 SE3 bullets which is huge for FF, and on top of that, SE override, AND your enemies aren't getting annoyingly pushed back anymore while you pew pew them making it easy approaching them with your S rank claw and making the removal of flinch seem beneficial. The problem? I was that weirdo (let's be honest, I doubt anyone can relate to this, so I was The weirdo) who liked to use single handgun on Fortegunner, despite having the option for the infamous Crossbows or the decimating Machinegun, I just liked the option, the feel, the fantasy of playing gunslinger, that high noon vibe of wrecking things with the focused hammer shots of a wrist shaker six-shots. BANG, and enemies were put to a stop. The feeling of impact, of solid contact, of force applied. I enjoyed it so much that I even played it bare right handed. That was untill handguns stopped stopping anyone. All gone without flinching. Now, returning to that solo gunner scenario above, you feel armed with a water gun, and even when dealing 1500 damage a pop, you'll be quickly overwhelmed by four lowly Badiras, BADIRAS, now unstoppable juggernauts that shrug off your thousands of damage and just keep cruising towards you unhindered faster than what you can backpedal while shooting, resorting to switching routes resulting on a ridiculous circling persecution that makes you look as someone trying to dispatch some food at a bunch of enthusiast and anxious jumping dogs dancing around you. You can't even stop the charge of a single Koltova or Distova if you aren't lucky with a well timed crit. You can't dream of outrunning a single Go Vahra before it jumps to your neck even though you only need to score seven shots for it to die. And we are talking basic PARUM natives, the easiest and simplest enemies on the whole game in S rank. Despite the buffs, comparing single handguns to the rest of mobile guns they still fall short, Handguns don't have the fire rate of Machineguns or Twin Handguns so the lost of flinch was a bit unjustified and harsh on their case since they couln't flinch that often before the changes, nor do they have the potency of Crossbows or the reach and special capabilities of Cards, Handguns are just handguns, but they fail at that simple task if they cannot affect what they shoot, anyone remembers shooting in PSO? normal attack, strong attack, strong attack (or triple strong once you had ATA enough), keeping your enemies at bay controlled by your fire was essential. As I said with Machineguns, in order to preserve the pace of meleers, only at levels 31~40, so only at the access of Fortegunner, Guntecher, and Protranser I would not only restore the flinch capabilities of single handguns, I would go beyond and actually make single Handguns become an interesting utility option by giving them the Rifle treatment gaining Blowdown at levels 31~40. Now before you jump your hands at your heads in disbelief, absolutely sure that all things balanced would break apart, think about it for more than two seconds. I highly doubt any Gunmaster would drop their 20% IAS lvl 41~50 bullets and eagerly downgrade to Fortegunner only for lowly single Handguns no matter how flashy blowdown might seem, it is already present on Rifles, with far more damage, SE and elemental % weight, same reason for which I don't honestly see any Fortegunner forsaking their Rifles in order to squeeze the most of that shiny S rank availability in single Handguns while they still have access to A rank disguised monsters as Queen Viera & Axeon Cross for Xbow or Psycho Gun & Squirt Gun for MG. I don't see it, the same way I don't see any Guntechers throwing away their S rank arsenals of Crossbows and Mechguns in order to get a hold of those blowdown applying single handguns, nor would they or Protransers let go of the power of Longbows and their several K damage crits. What I would see, is SOME gunner palettes making room for a single handgun for UTILITY (ignoring the few Fortegunners who already do for healing with Mayalee), what I see is that seemingly broken single handgun with Blowdown for gunners becoming just an OPTION to compete and increase diversity. "Do I opt for the control but lowest damage of Handgun? Do I opt for the sheer damage but risks of Crossbow? Or do I opt for the mid ground of damage and distance that Machineguns offer?" Currently, in Fortegunners and Guntechers, single Handgun doesn't even exist as an option. Let's change that. Single sabers are a respectable option for fighters the same way that a lowly Wand is not lowly for anyone thanks to passive bonus to technic weapons depending on their weight (+20% rod, +10% wand, +0% TCSMs). If a classic stuborn old ass like me wants to solo the world with a shitty handgun, let him be, it will hurt only his time. Let me enjoy that time playing pew pew pistol man again.
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