This isn’t about the power-level (Damage or DPS) or more generally efficiency of specific pieces but the overall aesthetics and manufacturer-specific mechanics. Which mechanics and weapon designs do you enjoy the most?
This is how I rate the different manufacturers (from best to worst):
I always loved Dahl, in any Borderlands game. And in BL3 we got the best version of it. All of their guns look and feel amazing. Being able to have selective fire no matter whether you hip-fire or ADS is perfect. No other manufacturer comes close.
Design-wise this is a huge improvement over the BL2 designs (they looked already great back in the day). They feel impactful and it’s so satisfying to spray all those bullets in a matter of seconds. The under-barrel options are super-rich in variety and also impactful.
I didn’t like Jakobs in BL2 aesthetically. Now they look top-notch. They would probably end up at the second spot (before Vladof) if I wouldn’t have a hard time using them (clicking every single shot) due to a physical handicap.
Their guns look and feel amazing. I consider the clunkiness a fun feature. Unlimited magazines sound great but don’t offer many synergies with the current VHs skill trees.
Hyperion is supposed to produce high-tech futuristic weaponry. But those wiggly flaps on the guns (especially on those bulky shotties) look and feel awful. And the gimmicks feel contradicting: the shield is useful when ADS but the reverse-recoil is most useful for hip-firing. Identity crisis? While the guns usually perform quite well the reverse-recoil makes the gun feel everything but impactful. They sound and feel like a pea-shooter.
I hated Torgue in BL2. Slow projectile speed and super bulky guns aren’t my cup of tea. In BL3 they look significantly better and feel slightly better to handle/shoot. But the slow projectile speed or on many cases outright weird projectile behaviour while being semi-auto (same issue as with Jakobs) for the most part still kills them for me. There are only ~3 Torgue gun I like using.
I like to shoot my guns. That makes Tediore’s mostly useless for me. Design-wise they’re quite good.
A straight-up downgrade in every regard compared to BL2. I love being able to switch elements on the fly, though. But the designs are awful. I feel like I’m shooting a nearly full-size Porsche concept car when using their SMGs and especially snipers and shotties. The pistols don’t fit at all. Instead of being round and smooth like all the other weapon types they look like a brick with a grip. The sleek and slim design of BL2 Maliwan guns was perfect IMO. Not sure why the devs thought having a charge time is a good idea. The negligible increase in DOT doesn’t justify the charge mechanic.
The assault rifles look like super-bulky plastic miniature carriers. Pistols and rocket launchers being hand-/arm-mounted is a great idea, though. But I prefer more traditional designs. And while their gimmick also sounds neat I never used it once for the same reason I didn’t enjoy playing Nisha in TPS. I love aiming manually. Also having to swap to the trackers on every enemy to get the gun’s full potential is quite boring/tedious. When Dahl was able to track enemies on a map (Echo) automatically years ago and the tradition-conscious Jakobs having automatic bullet ricochets I fail to see how manual and tedious secondary trackers are state-of-the-art.