Here’s an exotic rifle concept image I found:
I’m actually looking forward to a Cabal-themed raid, and this has all the markings of a big raid exotic ala Vex Mythoclast. Scout rifles are pretty popular and they’re my favourite primary weapon type.
My concept for this weapon is something you’d find in the middle of a venn diagram between scout rifles, sniper rifles and fusion rifles. It would spin-up the same way as a fusion rifle, fire a single hard-hitting shot like a sniper but be classified as a scout due to primary status and usefullness at closer ranges. Firing rate would be akin to a very fast fusion rifle (a hair faster than FWC’s The Calming). This would all add up to a unique weapon that would be built to melt bullet-sponges right out of the box.
That’s about all I’m going to get from the pic. Frankly the Surplus perk is fairly useless at the best of times. “Psion Buster” is obviously the artist’s idea of a raid-specific perk, but you wouldn’t find those on exotics. Armour-piercing rounds would be great if the weapon we were dealing with fired faster. Void damage makes no sense for a Cabal weapon. We’re outside the box already, let’s stay outside.
My favourite strike mission is The Dust Palace, as it has the most exciting final encounter, a lack of big singular bullet-sponges and the main targets use all three types of polarized shields. That last point requires some unique loadout thinking for a strike. In honour of that strike, I’d like this very unique weapon to be able to put out all three damage types. That alone will make it a must-have.
Beyond optics and secondary perks which I don’t really like to specify, we’re left with the primary and unique perk. The pic calls the unique perk “Bust A Move” which sounds like a movement perk and the icon tells nothing. We’re not going in that direction.
For the primary perk, I’d like to add another circle to the aforementioned venn diagram. Rocket Launcher. “Quantum Munitions” will act much like an enhanced firefly or Ice Breaker, as well as explosive rounds. Hits with this weapon cause a 3-meter kinetic explosion around the target, while kills will trigger a 7-meter explosion dependent on the damage type in use.
With the unique perk, it’s best to look at why this weapon is called the Phobos Buster. Phobos is the Martian moon that the Cabal have wrangled much closer to the planet. The warlocks believe it’s being held there by the Psion Flayers who intend to use it as a weapon. In the strike mission where you encounter them, the three Flayers each had a different polarized shield, so why not give Guardians the same option? The perk “Quantum barrier” would apply an overshield after each kill, polarized to the damage type in use.
The usefulness in PvE situations can’t be understated, but its effectiveness in the Crucible requires a lot of skill and observation, specifically observing what weapons one’s opponents are using and tracking any common damage types. If you notice that your foes are using more arc light than anything else, switching to arc light and getting a barrier up will give you a sizable defensive advantage.
What do you think? Would you use this weapon? Does it balance out?
Always looking for more exotics ideas from readers. I’d specifically like to get some armour items suggested!