Oh, semantics. That’s my name!
Let’s start with aspect one of the use of the word useless in this context. It is a word of hyperbole, used to vent the frustration brought on by the fact that many things are Incredibly Less Effective. However, saying something is Incredibly Less Effective carries little to no weight, and gets shrugged off. Tell someone something is useless and they’ll think about it. Some will go “yeah. I guess so”. Others will test it and come to the conclusion of agreement. And still others will work to prove it inaccurate. They will either succeed or fail. Some of that will be on their mechanical skill. Some of it will be on their understanding of game mechanics. A combination of the two. Or pure luck. But the fact is that hyperbole is a tool of discussion that is often employed because Middle of The Road statements tend to get left…in the middle of the road.
But there’s a truth to the use of the word useless that comes down to aspects of connotation and audience. The people who check youtube videos tend to fit into a couple of categories. These aren’t mutually exclusive nor are they all encompassing. But for simplicity sake let’s mention three:
There’s Gun Review videos. These are watched by people who wanna know what a gun does and whether it’s worth looking for. These help all levels of players, because they give them a peak into the future of their own loadouts without having to farm something they won’t want.
Then there’s Playthrough Videos. These are watched by people who want to be entertained by a streamers personality and playing ability. These are often watchrd by people who don’t play, as well as people who want to play better, or just want to feel like they kinda experienced playing with someone they enjoy.
Then there’s build videos. This is where you’re gonna see the talk about “useless” weapons the most. Why? Because no one goes to a build video for “Here’s a fun way to play, it’s a little struggle bus, but it’s fun!”. That’s my niche. Lol. I’ve got a few of those videos. But no.
People go to build videos for “How to destroy content”. They don’t want the guns that take clips to kill enemies. They want to know how to one day get that 6 minute takedown.
So the use of the word useless, when seen in context to the audience these videos are designed for, makes perfect sense.
The fact is. They buffed a bunch of guns before m2.0 launch and some of those buffs let them hang in the Damage Threshold. Hellshock is one of them. Hellfire got some buffs, as did some other weapons.
You questioned the Maggie. There’s no new replacement for it yet, but it was already starting to drag a bit back at old m4. Now, it’s not really hanging in there.
There’s an issue at play here that goes beyond these weapons not performing well. That’s this loop Gearbox has made of answering the call for greater difficulty by adding more health to enemies…and then giving guns that negate that buff. So the people who wanted the added difficulty get those guns. And now the game is too easy because they won’t NOT use them. So we get an endless cycle of guns falling further and further behind as they keep doing that.
I enjoy taking a while to clear an area as long as that area clear feels like a fight and not a slog. That damage threshold I keep mentioning is the difference between a Battle and a Slog. When you have to dump a clip or two into the weakest enemy of the pack, that’s when you’ve hit slog territory.
Now for a few odds and ends.
You mention the Hellfire doing better than the Kaosin for you. I’d assume that in part that’s because a Gamma Hellfire will rip apart a shield then burn the flesh rather well. A suboptimal Kaosin might get held up at one step or the other. Another thing possibly happening is not accounting for the stickies. You might be using twice as much ammo on an enemy compared to what’s necessary because you didn’t account for the damage the stickies will do when they explode.
I could rant for eons about the unironic use of Orwellian style vocabulary in active discussion. But this is neither the time nor place for that so I’ll try to be succinct in this one.
Group Think is often thrown around by people who are “dissenting” an opinion they see as prevalent in an attempt to discredit it with the connotation of 1984’s Big Brother. It’s a hyperbolic insult designed to place oneself as the true savior of free thought, assuming that the people they disagree with are all wrong because they agree and that it must all be part of socio-psychological hive mind effect that the Group Think Sayer is somehow impervious to. It often neglects to realize we are all sharing our experiences and coming to our own conclusions that tend to be similar enough that we say we agree. Especially in America, we have this notion that the rebel is always right, and the use of “Group Think” in this instance is an example of that mindset seeping through.
You can find use in the old guns and still recognize that there is a lot going wrong with how we’re expected to play with them. That’s all people are asking, that you recognize that the tool box has been severely reduced in effectiveness at higher levels of difficulty, and a continuation of this trend will only result in a very bland end result that will not be the beautiful Tapestry of weaponry that many want the game to be.