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Aphelion VEX-4: Highly Technical Weapon Guide

Aphelion VEX-4 is an empire-specific secondary weapon for Vanu Sovereignty’s Magrider and Harasser. Harasser variant is less accurate and its minimum damage is one tier lower, but otherwise they are identical.

Aphelion has a couple of unique mechanics. For one, it starts firing at low Rate of Fire, which gradually increases over time, similar to TR’s Vulcan. It takes 1.5 seconds for Aphelion to reach full Rate of Fire, and in that time span it fires 6 shots.

If you let the Aphelion reach full Rate of Fire, then when you stop firing it will unleash an additional blade projectile, which has a larger hitbox, pinpoint accurate, and deals roughly 4 times the damage. Firing the blade projectile does not cost any ammo. 

Due to these unique mechanics, there are two main ways to engage with Aphelion: 

  1. Build up the Rate of Fire and keep firing at full auto, like you would with Vulcan.
  2. Interrupt fire every 6 shots to repeatedly strike the enemy with blade projectile.

Let’s try and figure out which way is better in what situations.

Stats

Shared

AMMO 50 / 300
MAGAZINE SIZE UPGRADE +8 rounds
AMMO POOL UPGRADE +600 rounds
RELOAD TIME 3.0 sec
RELOAD TIME UPGRADED 2.4 sec
PROJECTILE VELOCITY 300 m/s
RATE OF FIRE 150 -> 400 RPM over 1.5 sec
FIRE DETECT RANGE 50m
DAMAGE RESIST TYPE 28 – Armor Piercing Chainguns
BLADE PROJECTILE DAMAGE 800 @ 20m – 680 @ 50m

Note that upgrading Magazine Size does not increase Ammo Pool.

Harasser Variant

DAMAGE 200 @ 10m – 125 @ 50m
CONE OF FIRE 0.85 -> 1.5
CONE OF FIRE BLOOM 0.1

Magrider Variant

DAMAGE 200 @ 10m – 143 @ 50m
CONE OF FIRE 0.7 -> 1.0
CONE OF FIRE BLOOM 0.05

Mechanics

Aphelion RPM over time
Click to enlarge

In PlanetSide 2, Rate of Fire is defined by Refire Time – the amount of time that must pass between shots. The graph above shows how Aphelion’s Refire Time changes over time. Numbers are calculated, and confirmed by in-game tests.

INITIAL RATE OF FIRE 150 RPM
INITIAL REFIRE TIME 400 ms
MAXIMUM RATE OF FIRE 400 RPM
MINIMUM REFIRE TIME 150 ms

Basically, 400 ms Refire Time is 150 RPM, and 150 ms Refire Time is 400 RPM. Try not to get lost in these numbers 🙂

Calculations for Blade Projectile

The blade projectile is triggered specifically by the amount of time you held the “fire” key, not by the number of shots. Since it takes 1.421 seconds to fire 6 shots, it is technically possible to fire 6 shots without triggering the blade projectile.

It worth noting that the blade always comes out perfectly horizontal, no matter the orientation of the gun, and the projectile does have a horizontal hitbox.

GroundTrooper

The Refire Time for sixth shot is 157 ms, so it will be 1.578 seconds before you can fire again. During that time, you will fire: 

  Magrider Harasser
Normal Shots 6 x 200 @ 10m – 143 @ 50m 6 x 200 @ 10m – 125 @ 50m
Blade Projectile 800 @ 20m – 680 @ 50m
Total Damage 2000 – 1538 2000 – 1430

For the purposes of damage-over-time calculations, we can treat one blade projectile cycle as one super shot that consumes 6 ammo and has a 1578 ms Refire Time.

Aphelion has the default Magazine Capacity of 50 rounds and a 3 second Reload. You can choose to upgrade one of them.

  Magazine Size Reload Time
Magazine Size Upgrade 58 3.0 sec
Reload Time Upgrade 50 2.4 sec

Magazine Size Upgrade

Upgrading Magazine Size lets you fire 9 blade projectile cycles, and then have 4 shots left over. Firing those 4 leftover shots the usual way is an overall DPS loss, so the proper way to take advantage of them is to extend the final blade projectile cycle.

  Magrider Harasser
8 BP cycles 8 * 1.578 = 12.624 seconds
9th BP cycle, extended 2.178 seconds
Reload Time 3.0 seconds
Total Time 17.802 seconds
Total Damage 18800 – 14414 18800 – 13370
DPS 1270 – 974 1270 – 903
DPS w/ Reload 1056 – 810 1056 – 751

Reload Speed Upgrade

The default magazine lets you fire 8 blade projectile cycles, and then have 2 shots left over. Once again, you should take advantage of them by extending the last blade projectile cycle.

  Magrider Harasser
7 BP cycles 7 * 1.578 = 11.046 seconds
8th BP cycle, extended 1.878 seconds
Reload Time 2.4 seconds
Total Time 15.324 seconds
Total Damage 16400 – 12590 16400 – 11690
DPS 1269 – 974 1269 – 905
DPS w/ Reload 1070 – 822 1049 – 763

As expected, upgrading Reload Speed leads to slightly higher damage over time. This is usually the case, because upgrading Magazine Capacity’s advantage is in allowing to maintain the same DPS for longer – Total Damage.

Calculations for Full Auto

We already know it takes 1.578 seconds to fire first 6 shots and reach full Rate of Fire. After that, Aphelion will continue firing with the Refire Time of 150 ms. One blade projectile will be fired when you have to stop for a reload.

Overall, you can think of this as of firing one BP cycle, and then firing off the rest of the magazine at 400 RPM.

First batch of numbers will be exact same as for Blade Projectile Calculations. The rest will depend on whether you upgrade Reload Time or Magazine Size.

Magazine Size Upgrade

With upgraded magazine, Aphelion will be able to fire 52 shots at maximum RoF.

  Magrider Harasser
1 BP cycle 1.578 seconds
Full Auto Time 7.8 seconds
Reload Time 3.0 seconds
Total Time 12.378 seconds
Total Damage 12400 – 8974 12400 – 7930
DPS 1322 – 957 1322 – 846
DPS w/ Reload 1002 – 725 1002 – 641

Reload Speed Upgrade

The default magazine lets you fire 44 shots at maximum RoF.

  Magrider Harasser
1 BP cycle 1.578 seconds
Full Auto Time 6.6 seconds
Reload Time 2.4 seconds
Total Time 10.578 seconds
Total Damage 10800 – 7830 10800 – 6930
DPS 1321 – 957 1321 – 847
DPS w/ Reload 1021 – 740 1021 – 655

Same as before, upgrading Reload Speed instead of Magazine Size allows to reach slightly higher total DPS. 

Conclusion

Until you have to reload, magdumping allows to reach marginally higher DPS, but at the cost of worse accuracy and spending more ammo. Practically, you should go for Blade Shots in nearly every situation. 

You can keep firing if you briefly lose line of sight or if you need to weaken the target just a few hits more so the wave secures the kill, otherwise there really is no reason to ever magdump. DPS gain is negligible, and you spend more ammo, and lose range and accuracy.

– /u/jackch3

Blade Shots are harder to perform mechanically – if you let go of the trigger too early, you will not fire the blade projectile, lowering your DPS.

Also, missing even a few blade projectiles will significantly reduce the effectiveness of that method. However, given that blade projectiles are easier to hit than normal shots, this shouldn’t be an issue. At least, not until you have to deal with blade projectile hitting cover around the target.

The mathematically ideal way to engage with Aphelion is to fire Blade Shots until you can finish off the target in Full Auto mode without reloading, securing the kill with one final blade projectile.

However, in actual gameplay this mathematical perfection is impossible to reach, and your brain power is better spent on something more useful than trying to figure out if it’s the time to switch to Full Auto just so you can deal ~4% higher DPS for a few seconds. 

Damage to Kill

 

Damage per Reload

Magrider Harasser
Blade Shots / Capacity 18800 – 14414 18800 – 13370
Blade Shots / Reload Speed 16400 – 12590 16400 – 11690
Full Auto / Capacity 12400 – 8974 12400 – 7930
Full Auto / Reload Speed 10800 – 7830 10800 – 6930

As a bonus, here are some values of how much damage Aphelion needs to deal in order to kill certain targets:

Target Health Resistance Damage
Harasser 2500 60 6 250
Harasser Composite Armor 3000 7 500
Sunderer 5000 75 20 000
Sunderer Blockade Armor 6000 24 000
Deployment Shield +10 000 Effective Health
ANT 4000 75 16 000
ANT Reinforced Armor 4400 17 600
Lightning* 4000 75 16 000
Prowler* 5000 75 20 000
Vanguard* 6000 75 24 000
ESF 3000 65 8 572
ESF Composite Armor 3300 9 429
Valkyrie** 3000 75 12 000
Liberator** 5 000 75 20 000
Galaxy 7 000 67 21 213

And DPM numbers for reference:

 

Damage per Reload

  Magrider Harasser
Blade Shots / Capacity 18800 – 14414 18800 – 13370
Blade Shots / Reload Speed 16400 – 12590 16400 – 11690
Full Auto / Capacity 12400 – 8974 12400 – 7930
Full Auto / Reload Speed 10800 – 7830 10800 – 6930

* – Tanks take double damage from the rear, so you would need to deal only half as much damage in order to destroy them.

** – Valkyrie and Liberator take only half damage from the bottom, so you would need to deal the double amount of damage in order to destroy them.

These calculations should help you decide whether you want to focus on Magazine Size or Reload Speed, and which firemode to choose in which situation.

MG-H1 Watchman: Highly Technical Weapon Guide

MG-H1 Watchman is a Terran Republic LMG with a beautiful model artfully crafted by /u/d0ku. Embracing the Terran faction trait, Watchman has the highest Rate of Fire among LMGs, and overall it looks and feels like a big brother to the TORQ-9 Assault Rifle.

Players have been asking for an LMG like this for a long time, and now that we have it, let’s take a deeper look to try and figure out how fast should you be throwing money at the monitor.

The following guide will be taking a good close look on the weapon, but if you want just a short summary:

It’s a great weapon for short range up to 20-50 meters. If you mainly go for headshots, it is very easy to kill multiple enemies inside buildings.

/u/flub1337, the first player to earn an auraxium medal with Watchman

Stats

DAMAGE 125 @ 10m – 100 @ 55m
RATE OF FIRE 857 RPM
VELOCITY 550 m/s
AMMO 125 / 375
RELOAD TIME 5.525 sec / 7 sec
UNLOCK COST 1000Certification Pointsor 699 Daybreak Cash

Auto

Damage Output

Watchman’s damage output is above average, equal to 143 @ 750 weapons, like T9 CARV and Orion. This is pretty much as high as LMGs go, and it’s a solid amount of damage. 

Watchman has two tiers of damage degradation, which is typical for LMGs. However, low damage-per-shot weapons lose less absolute damage over range, though higher damage-per-shot weapons have longer Minimum Damage Range. So while they lose more damage over range, that process happens slower. For example:

  • LA1 Anchor: 167 @ 10m – 125 @ 75m -> loses 42 damage (25%) over 65m.
  • T9 CARV: 143 @ 10m – 112 @ 65m -> loses 31 damage (21.6%) over 50m.
  • Watchman: 125 @ 10m – 100 @ 55m -> loses 25 damage (20%) over 45m.

If you imagine a Super Anchor with 641 RoF – that’s what it would take for a 167 damage weapon to match Watchman’s DPS – and compare how their DPS changes over range, you will notice that Watchman starts dealing more DPS at ~61m.

Click to enlarge

Of course, it doesn’t mean Watchman will actually be more effective at range than Anchor. Higher damage-per-shot weapons are naturally more effective at range.

Watchman has access to two Ammo attachments that affect its performance in a meaningful way, and it should be always used with one of them:

  • Soft Point Ammunition (SPA) – increases Maximum Damage Range from 10m to 15m at the cost of reducing Projectile Velocity by 5%.
  • Impact Ammunition (IA) – increases Minimum Damage from 100 to 112 at the cost of reducing Magazine Size from 125 to 100 rounds.
watchman ammo options
Click to enlarge

In terms of raw DPS, SPA is better within 20m, and IA is better outside that range. 

  • SPA is most powerful at 15m, where it has a 1.6% advantage.
    • DPS: 1785 @ 15m – 1428 @ 55m
  • IA is most powerful at 55m, where it has a 12% advantage.
    • DPS: 1785 @ 10m – 1600 @ 55m

Extended Mags

As a 125 damage weapon, Watchman has very consistent and clean BTK Thresholds. As long as the standard infantry target is within Maximum Damage Range, it will be killed without any overkill whatsoever, both with headshots or bodyshots, with or without Nanoweave. Going even 1cm outside the Maximum Damage Range will increase the BTK by 1 and TTK by 0.07. The main function of SPA is to postpone this effect by extra 5m.

However, Watchman has a super high Rate of Fire, and among other advantages, it means Watchman’s TTK is not as penalized when going to the next BTK Threshold. For example, the 500 RoF Gauss SAW requires extra 120ms to kill an enemy 1m outside of the Maximum Damage Range, while Watchman requires only extra 70ms.

Impact Ammunition

Impact Ammunition provides a noticeable damage boost at range, and makes damage degradation even less of an issue. For example, if we take our previous example with Super Anchor, but add ammo attachments this time, you’ll notice that Watchman starts dealing higher DPS at any range further than 20m.

Or if you compare Watchman with Impact Ammunition to CARV. Both degrade to 112 damage, but one fires at 857 RPM, and the other one at 750. Watchman will overtake CARV’s DPS at 15m already.

Bullets-to-Kill and Time-to-Kill

Standard Infantry

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
SPA IA
4 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.21 Headshots
5 16+ 11+ 0.28
8 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.49 Standard Infantry
9 16 – 35 11+ 0.56
10 35+   0.63
10 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.7 Nanoweave
11 16 – 32 11 – 48 0.77
12 33 – 47 49+ 0.84
13 48+    

 Heavy Assault

For the sake of brevity, BTK and TTK are listed only for the first threshold.

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
SPA IA
6 0 – 23 0 – 27 0.35 NMG / Adrenaline + Headshots
7 0 – 39 0+ 0.42 Resist Shield + Headshots
13 0 – 24 0 – 30 0.84 Resist Shield
15 0 – 23 0 – 27 0.98 NMG / Adrenaline + Nanoweave

Notes

  • Within Maximum Damage Range, Watchman kills in 4 headshots, same as 143 damage weapons. Given Watchman’s higher RoF, it makes for an incredibly fast headshot Time-to-Kill, rivaling the infamous AF-4 Cyclone.
  • Against Heavy Assaults, Ammo Attachment choice has no effect on TTK all the way up to medium range. Depending on enemy health and overshield energy, there could be some situations where SPA still kills faster, but since SPA deals at most 2 extra damage, these situations are highly improbable. 
  • Against full-health targets, Impact Ammunition doesn’t come into play until 35m against standard infantry, and 48m against Nanoweave Infantry. 

Effective Range

Hip Fire Accuracy

HIP CONES OF FIRE 2.25 / 2.75 / 2.75 / 3.5 / 0.1

Watchman has better than average starting Hip Cones of Fire, same as dedicated CQC LMGs like MSW-R and LA1 Anchor. It’s still pretty far from being able to comfortably hip fire at everything that moves, but you can land some decent shots at the center mass of an enemy a few meters away, and high Rate of Fire ensures good consistency. 

Laser Sight

Laser Sight provides a few extra meters of effective Hip Fire range, but it’s nothing breathtaking, and it will not confer any new combat options, like being able to reliably hip fire for headshots, or being able to take on enemy Heavy Assaults without ADSing.

ADS Accuracy

ADS CONES OF FIRE 0.25 / 0.25 / 0.25 / 0.3 / 0.05

ADS accuracy is both strength and weakness of this weapon. 

On one hand, it has fairly terrible Cones of Fire for stationary positions. Even in situations where you can afford to stand still, you cannot squeeze any more accuracy out of the weapon. It is definitely one of the meaningful downsides of the Watchman.

On the other hand, the 0.3 ADS Standing Moving CoF is hands down the best among all LMGs, period. Most other LMGs have 0.35 or 0.4 CoF.

This is honestly a weird and unexpected quality on a “bullet hose” type of weapon. However, this is somewhat compensated by relatively high Cone of Fire Bloom.

Cone of Fire Bloom

Despite dealing only 125 damage per shot, Watchman has the same Bloom per Shot as 143 damage weapons.

   Watchman T9 CARV
Hip ADS Hip ADS
Bloom per Shot 0.1 0.05 0.1 0.05
Bloom per Point of Damage Done 8 * 10-4 4 * 10-4 7 * 10-4 3.5 * 10-4
Bloom per Second 1.43 0.715 1.25 0.625
Standing Moving CoF 3.5 0.3 4.5 0.4
Click to enlarge

Watchman starts with better Cone of Fire, and it will hold an accuracy advantage for the first 8 shots – up to 2000 damage. After that, CARV and other similar 143 @ 750 will have a more efficient Cone of Fire. However, this doesn’t really matter outside of prolonged magdumping scenarios.

For example, by the time both weapons would fire 3000 damage, CARV’s CoF advantage would be only 0.05, and a 0.1 advantage by 4000 damage. Basically, as long as you keep your bursts within 15 rounds or so, you will not feel any downside to higher Bloom per Shot, but there will be a meaningful accuracy advantage for the first several shots. 

Recoil

VERTICAL RECOIL 0.28 / 0.3
FIRST SHOT RECOIL MULTIPLIER 2.5x
RECOIL ANGLE 5 / 10
HORIZONTAL RECOIL 0.18 / 0.22
HORIZONTAL RECOIL MAX INCREASE -0.015
HORIZONTAL RECOIL TOLERANCE 0.5

Recoil Analysis

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
VERTICAL RECOIL PER SECOND 4.14 5 4.375
FIRST SHOT RECOIL 0.7 / 0.75 0.8 0.875

Watchman’s Vertical Recoil has a bit of random to it, but it’s not a big deal. The gun fires so fast that recoil will average out, and you won’t notice it. Vertical Recoil per Second is slightly lower than for MSW-R, and generally isn’t very high for an LMG with such a high DPS. 

First Shot Recoil and Multiplier are somewhat high, but still better than for competition.

As a more interesting feature, Watchman has some negative scaling applied to its Horizontal Recoil. 

 

Horizontal Recoil

Stock Forward Grip
Shot # Min Max Min Max
1 0.18 0.22 0.135 0.165
2 0.18 0.205 0.135 0.15
3 0.18 0.19 0.135 0.135
4 0.18 0.18    

After just a few shots, Watchman’s Horizontal Recoil scales down to the level of T32 Bull, which is downright incredible for a weapon with such a high DPS. 

  Stock Forward Grip
AVERAGE HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.15 0.113
MAXIMUM HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.40 0.270

These numbers are calculated for 10 round bursts and take scaling into account. Without Forward Grip, Watchman’s Average Horizontal Deviation is only 7% higher than for MSW-R and Orion with a Forward Grip.

T9 CARV has noticeably worse Horizontal Recoil Tolerance than all three, and will have ~60% higher Maximum Horizontal Deviation. 

Recoil Angle is average. A slight bias to the right with a bit of Variance to it. Most of the time you won’t even notice it, though statistically it will result in a minor impact to overall accuracy, giving the Watchman a slight nudge towards being a bullet hose.

Recoil Recovery

RECOIL RECOVERY DELAY 0
RECOIL RECOVERY RATE 18

Watchman has better Recoil Recovery than vast majority of other LMGs, and this is good, because it increases the effectiveness of burst fire, making it easier for Watchman to repeatedly take advantage of its better starting Moving CoF. 

Velocity

VELOCITY 550 m/s

Watchman’s velocity is average for a CQC LMG, and it’s about average on the overall velocity spectrum as well. It’s not too low, but you will definitely have to do some conscious leading when engaging enemies beyond medium range. 

Conclusion on Effective Range

Due to bad minimum Cones of Fire and low damage per shot, as well as high-ish FSRM and average velocity, Watchman has a somewhat limited effective range overall. 

However, Watchman gives you a lot of tools to keep itself under control, such as its affinity for burst firing, stable recoil and good Standing Moving ADS CoF.

So within that “limited effective range”, a properly handled Watchman will be more effective than your average CQC bullet hose like T9 CARV.

Another thing is consistency. The effective range of other CQC LMGs is roughly equal to Watchman’s, but their performance becomes noticeably worse as the range grows, while Watchman – especially outfitted with Impact Ammunition – will perform nearly equally well at 20m and 40m.

Just keep in mind that no matter the user skill, there eventually will be a stone wall of range where Watchman is simply not effective, and hitting shots and getting kills relies mostly on luck and enemy Exposure Time

Exposure Time is how long the enemy spends out of cover, susceptible to your shots. Given enough Exposure Time, pretty much any weapon can kill any target at any range, but Exposure Time is the one thing you have the least control of. 

Finding exposed targets is easier for flanking classes, such as Light Assault and Infiltrator, but it comes much less naturally to Heavy Assaults. Often you have to land shots on just a tiny part of enemy hitbox sticking out of cover, and Watchman may well let you down, if the enemy is too far.

And when you do stumble on an exposed enemy, often you’ll have just a few moments before they make it into cover, and you won’t have enough time to pepper the enemy with weak Watchman’s shots.

Utility Stats

Ammo Capacity

  Watchman Stock Watchman IA T9 CARV MSW-R
MAGAZINE SIZE 125 100 100 50
DPM @ MAX DAMAGE 15 625 12 500 14 300 7 150
DPM @ MIN DAMAGE 12 500 11 200 11 200 5 600
AMMO POOL 375 375 400 250
DAMAGE TOTAL 46 875 46 875 57 200 35 750

Watchman has a respectable ammo capacity, overall close to the bountiful T9 CARV, and more or less keeps up even while using Impact Ammo.

Reload Speed

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
RELOAD SHORT 5.525 sec 5.4 3.045
RELOAD LONG 7 sec 6.2 3.305

Watchman takes a lot of time to reload, which makes it somewhat annoying to use, especially for those who suffer from reloaditus – an obsessive-compulsive disorder that forces the player to reload their weapon after every engagement.

If we wanted to assess how efficient is the Watchman, we could calculate how much “damage” it reloads per second, and compare it other LMGs:

Reload Damage per Second = Average Damage * Magazine Size / Reload Speed
Where Average Damage = (Maximum Damage + Minimum Damage) / 2

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R AVERAGE LMG
SHORT RELOAD DAMAGE PER SEC 2539 2361 2093 2786
LONG RELOAD DAMAGE PER SEC 1904 2056 1929 2260

We can see that Watchman has good efficiency, though it’s still ~10% below average.

However, the issue is not time efficiency, but the fact that reload takes so darn long. Every second added to the Reload Time has an exponentially increasing negative impact, increasing chances of being engaged on, or missing a kill opportunity.

All that said, in terms of Short Reload, Watchman is very comparable to CARV, and as long as you avoid the unusually punishing Long Reload, you’ll be fine most of the time. Seriously, d0ku, what the hell were you thinking, putting the charging handle so far to the right and front?

Equip Time

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
EQUIP TIME 1125 ms 1200 800
UNEQUIP TIME 250 ms 250 250
FORWARD GRIP PENALTY 150 ms 50 150

Watchman’s Equip Time is about as expected for a full-sized LMG, and roughly equal to CARV overall.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Short headshot TTK, access to SPA.
  • High DPS.
  • Low damage degradation with Impact Ammo.
  • Controllable recoil for an LMG.
  • Best in class ADS moving accuracy.
  • Effective at bursting.
  • Good and consistent Hip Fire for an LMG.

CONS

  • Bad ADS still accuracy.
  • Limited effective range.
  • Average Projectile Velocity.
  • Takes a lot of time to reload. Long Reload is especially punishing.
  • High Bloom per Shot makes long bursts undesirable, especially from the hip.
  • Low damage per shot.
  • Smaller Ammo Pool compared to other “big” LMGs.
  • No access to Suppressor.

Recommended Attachments

Flash Suppressor is the only barrel attachment available to Watchman, and despite having unique looks, it functions exactly the same as for other weapons, and generally there’s no reason not to use it.

Technically, both Forward Grip and Laser Sight are viable, but I recommend the Forward Grip to further improve on Watchman’s strong point – easy handling. Forward Grip will reduce the number of shots required to fully scale down Horizontal Recoil, and reduce Recoil Angle and its Variance, somewhat increasing the overall effective range of the weapon, which is Watchman’s weak point. Laser Sight will make hip fire slightly better, but that’s about it. 

Impact Ammunition

Soft Point Ammunition is taken for competitive close quarters fighting, especially indoors, while Impact Ammunition is taken to boost your performance at medium range. Generally, unless you KNOW you will be soon fighting a lot of enemy infantry at close range, Impact Ammo should be your go-to attachment. 

Optics, as always, are up to personal preference, but I would highly recommend staying away from scopes with magnification higher than 2x. Watchman just doesn’t have the effective range and accuracy to warrant it.

Tips and Conclusion

On the surface, Watchman looks like a typical bullet hose, but it’s actually a bit more nuanced, and to take advantage of everything it has to offer, it needs to be properly handled. You have to fire in bursts, which is made easier by excellent Recoil Recovery statistics. At the same time, high FSRM may make Watchman feel less controllable than it is. 

At the end of the day, Watchman’s most defining feature is short headshot TTK within Maximum Damage Range. Otherwise, it is effectively a sidegrade to the default T9 CARV. 

Apart from the First Shot Recoil, Watchman requires noticeably less recoil management, but more Cone of Fire management – burst firing, in other words. 

You have to be mindful of Watchman’s reload. Unlike MSW-R, you can’t just reload on the go, and you have to be ready to switch to a sidearm in case you get caught while reloading. At the same time, Watchman’s reload disadvantage is somewhat overblown – as long as you avoid being hit by a Long Reload, it won’t be much different from other “big” LMGs.

Overall, Watchman is a welcome addition to the Terran Republic arsenal. It provides veterans with a stylish answer to Anchor’s headshot TTK, and this time without the TR Recoil™.

Easy recoil makes Watchman a suitable option for less skilled players as well, and it’s not like Watchman is too difficult to handle. Just remember to cut your bursts at about 10 shots and you’re good to go.

Watchman’s biggest downside is its inability to reach out to distant targets. Even when you can afford to stand still, there won’t be any accuracy boost. Couple that with low damage per shot and you can pretty much forget about even trying, unless the enemy will be exposed for a long time. That’s the price you have to pay for the combination of high DPS and easy recoil.