Sure thing! I’m going to finish making dinner and then I’ll drop a big post with links below. Glad to hear that someone else is interested in the original. It’s not often that we get BL2 converts that stick around…
Alrighty, back now. First and foremost, I’m going to summarize a lot for simplicity. The links I post (at least the ones I can still find and remember) should cover just about everything. Also, I don’t really know anything about Borderlands: 2 so I won’t be able to use any comparisons or reference mechanics that are in both.
The prefixes and numbers represent the parts of the gun. Every weapon type is different, but the parts consist of the body, barrell, magazine, stock, accessory, action, sight, grip, material, and so on. Every part affects the stats of the weapon in some way and not all of them are observable on the gun card. For example, a stock doesn’t change any visible numbers but it does affect the recoil reduction, reload speeds, and draw/unequip speed.
For easy math and understanding until you go over these links, suppose every weapon type has 5 different variants of each part. With part 1 generally being the worst and the higher-rarity part 5 being the best. The Revolver bodies are RV, DL, MAL, KLR, and AX. AX offers the best stats across the board so you should aim for that on every revolver. The first sequence of letters are always going to represent the body on a gun. The numbers following that tell you the stock and magazine in most cases. For a revolver, you want the AX body with either a stockless ‘10’ variant for faster reload speeds or a ‘300’ for the best stock and recoil reduction. So, where do the rest of the stats come from? Barrel, magazine, and material. For parts like these where they are often unidentifiable by anything in the prefix/title of the gun, you’ll have to memorize what they look like and what they affect. For example, barrel 4 offers the highest damage on a revolver while barrel 5 offers the next-highest damage with more accuracy. You can usually determine the magazine by, you guessed it, how many rounds you have in said weapon.
Materials affect pretty much every stat across the board and are usually identifiable by a single letter or word after all of the other stuff. Every manufacturer has a different letter or prefix, too. The best variant of a Maliwan revolver will read as AX300 C, with C representing Maliwan’s best material. Tediore would read as AX300 B, and so on. Some manufacturers have multiple materials that are viable like Jakobs and Hyperion. To make things a real pain in the ass, Atlas doesn’t even have anything that indicates what material it is aside from mat’ 3 having the ‘Pearl’ prefix. For cases like this, you again have to memorize what the appearance of each material looks like. I’ll try to digress a little bit here so you don’t get too confused already. The links I post will clarify a lot.
Your Hellfire reads as 440 because it has stock 4 and magazine 4. Not bad, but 530 is preferred because stock 5 offers better recoil reduction and magazine 3 has a much faster reload speed. The ‘HX’ represents the best body for an SMG with HX530 C being best because it’d have Maliwan’s best material again.
For a general rule of thumb, here’s what you want to see on each weapon type. I’ve left out the materials because it varies by manufacturer.
Revolver: AX10 or AX300
Repeater: HRD.5 or TK.5
Machine Pistol: TMP8
Combat Rifle: AR520
Machine Gun: AR590
SMG: HX530 or HX130
Semi-Auto Sniper: PPZ1270 or PPZ570
Bolt-Action Sniper: DVL590 or VRR 550
Combat Shotgun: ZPR1200 or ZPR15
Semi-Auto (Assault) Shotgun: ZPR43 or ZPR630
Rocket Launcher: RWL760 or RWL770
Trust me when I say it is a thousand times easier to familiarize yourself with these ‘presets’, so-to-speak. Remember what to look for and when something catches your eye, then you can step back and start breaking it down one part at a time. Double check the material, then check to see if it has the barrel you want and the damage that corresponds with it, check the accessory, check the action on repeaters, etc. A very easy way to do this is to use that 'site I linked and then compare to the best possible variant. If you notice something is off but aren’t sure why, open up the GearCalc and toy around with the parts until you figure out what it’s missing.
Now to complicate things and toss in a few other random things of note:
Legendaries are determined by one individual part that is unique to that weapon and some behave drammatically different. An Unforgiven gets that title because of its barrel. Some legendaries like the Tediore Savior have a part that completely changes the numbers and prefixes you’re used to seeing. A perfect Savior would read as SV530 B instead of HX530 B because it has a different body. The same can be said about the Tediore Defender appearing as DEF1200 B and the Dahl Raven as AR780 instead of AR520 because of its legendary magazine, etc.
Every weapon has a rarity and every enemy, chest, and boss in the game has a drop/loot pool. We call it an awesome level in this game 'cause we’re awesome like that? (Stupid, I know.) Basically all you need to know about this is that some enemies can only drop items up to a certain rarity. Want to get a perfect legendary out of a white chest? It’s not gonna happen.
This thread breaks down what they all do: The Definitive Ultimate Red Text Bonus List *Spoilers*
Good read about the awesome level: Awesome Level - Testing and Discussion
Here’s a GearCalc of what your Hellfire might look like: http://gearcalc.50webs.com/#tqstqklluijjpjkksfgikghkimnpqbcfdzywxsrqoxxxxabgfxwvnpolktsml
And fml… Guys, have we seriously lost the rest of the Part Spotters Guide?
That guide is the most important thread in the existence of Borderlands and it’s going to be damn-near impossible for you to put everything I just said together without referring to that. Sigh. I’ll see what I can find and work out. If not, I can break down each weapon type on an individual basis.
By the way, do you play on 360? I’d be fine with explaining everything in-game if you ever wanted to hop on. It’d probably be much easier that way. Anyway, I hope that covered some of it for the time being.